The Cavanaugh House

  • by Elizabeth Meyette
  • Narrated by Amy McFadden
  • 10 hrs and 35 mins
  • Unabridged Audiobook

Publisher's Summary

When Jesse Graham unlocks the door to the deserted house she inherited from her Aunt Helen, she doesn't realize she's unlocking secrets that had lain dormant for years. Reeling from a broken engagement to acclaimed musician Robert Cronmiller, Jesse wants to leave the city where her name is linked to his in all the society pages. Her best friend, Maggie, aka Sister Angelina, convinces her to take a job at a private girls school in the pastoral Finger Lakes region of upstate New York. Anticipating a quiet, revitalizing life in her aunt's deserted house, Jesse is instead thrown into a maze of danger. Questions about her aunt's death lead Jesse to investigate events surrounding it and the people involved, but she uncovers a web of deceit that reaches far beyond the occurrences of over two decades earlier. Still dejected from her broken engagement, Jesse finds it difficult to trust anyone, even her self-absorbed mother. Joe Riley is irresistible, but secrets obstruct involvement with him until Jesse can solve the secrets of the Cavanaugh House. Someone doesn't want those secrets unearthed and will stop at nothing, even murder, to keep them hidden.


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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful

enough twists and turns to hold your interest

The Cavanaugh House by Elizabeth Meyette is true to the genre, so if you want a cozy mystery with a dash of paranormal (a ghost – not a spoiler), the you’ll enjoy listening to this novel. Jesse Graham, devastated by a messy engagement breakup, retreats to a house left to her by her aunt. With the help of her childhood friend, Maggie, a nun, she tries to start a new life. However, a restless spirit, a possible suicide or murder, family secrets and several possible love interests keep stirring the pot. Layer upon layer of secrets and lies combined with an attempt on Jesse’s life kept me listening. The story line is, of course, predictable, it follows what I think is an outlined genre format and this is probably what most listeners expect. But there are enough twists and turns and interesting characters to hold your interest. Some of the cliché characters (the ‘mean beyond words’ nun, for one) was a bit annoying, but their scenes were blessedly few.

The setting, in the Finger Lakes area of New York was interesting and pleasant and well defined. I did find the climax of the mystery was unexpected, which was refreshing. Endings are often difficult and contrived, but this one wasn’t and for that I was grateful. All the ends were woven in and tidy, happy of course The inserts of women’s lib and how men should address women seemed kind of added in and seemed unnecessary, and at times I was embarrassed for the character’s trying to dance around Jesse’s demands for the proper ‘terms’ like ‘woman’ instead of the exterminator’s ‘little lady’. I know it was a different time, but insisting that every male in town change their ways when so many other scary and serious events were going on just didn’t work for me. The obligatory love interest was well done, but as always, they didn’t get off to a friendly start, and had their issues, but we get the idea that true love will follow after the dust settles. I did find the climax of the mystery was a bit of a surprise which was quite refreshing.

The narrator, Amy McFadden, has a pleasant voice and does a good job with the dialogue, but her narrative takes on a ‘valley girl’ tone that I found distracting, especially considering this story is set in the late 1960’s, when such a speech pattern didn’t exist, unless maybe you lived in that valley? But it was always easy to tell who was speaking and to follow the conversations, and with the many characters, especially male character voices, that was a coup.

Audiobook was provided for review by the author.

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Hear this story with your ears and your heart!

Where does The Cavanaugh House rank among all the audiobooks you’ve listened to so far?

I am a frequent listener of audiobooks and really enjoyed listening to this one! I enjoyed the inflections in Amy McFadden's voice as she took the part of the varied characters.
I live in upstate NY so I enjoyed the references to familiar places and products.
The most entertaining part for me was the unfolding of the secrets and mystery that are an important part of the story.

What other book might you compare The Cavanaugh House to and why?

This book is similar to The Mermaid's Chair in the small and interesting details of people and places. Both books transport you to a different time and place. There are mysteries and exploring of spirits in both books.

What does Amy McFadden bring to the story that you wouldn’t experience if you just read the book?

I did read the book shortly after it was released in paperback. I then enjoyed listening to it about 18 months later.
Amy McFadden brought the characters to life by voicing their humor, determination and insecure moments. I could easily picture the situations as I relaxed and listened to the great story.

Was there a moment in the book that particularly moved you?

When the main character finds the missing pieces of who she is, after a long and difficult search.

Any additional comments?

I have recommended this book and audiobook to many friends.

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- Barbara S. Grady

Book Details

  • Release Date: 03-28-2016
  • Publisher: Elizabeth Meyette