Mist of Midnight Sandra Boyd, 2015.
Fans of Gothic romance and period mystery will have their desires fulfilled in this alluring tale.
The sole member of her missionary family to survive the Indian Mutiny of 1857, emotionally battered Rebecca Ravenshaw returns home to England to claim her family estate and recover her peace and security.
Unfortunately, Rebecca discovers that she has already claimed her estate. Or rather, someone pretending to be her assumed her place as lady of the house, and then abruptly committed suicide.
Rebecca’s home is now occupied now by Hussar Captain Luke Whitfield, a very distant relation. A tall, dark, handsome, charismatic – and possibly dangerous – distant relation.
The real Rebecca must overcome the cool disbelief of both the staff and dashing Capt. Whitfield and prove her claim to the inheritance, all the while figuring out the identity of her imposter and if the lady really killed herself…or was murdered.
Mist of Midnight is a highly captivating romantic mystery with all the trappings: mysteriously locked rooms, scrawled warnings, a crumbling chapel, whispers of madness, horses and hunts, costume balls and chaperones, social calls and stolen embraces.
Boyd elevates Mist of Midnight beyond the standard, however, by making India as vivid a presence in the book as Hampshire. Lush sensory and historical detail bring India to life and add a level of complexity to Rebecca’s character: she is truly a unique daughter of two disparate yet connected lands.
We root for Rebecca to keep her chin up and rebuild her confidence as she finds her way in the English culture that has become strange to her. And we root for a happy ending, for of course, despite cries for caution, Rebecca has fallen head over heels with the dashing Captain.
Cliché? Maybe a little. Satisfying? Completely.