For aspiring novelist Ellis Brooks, the idyllic setting of Bosco promises to provide the perfect backdrop for finishing her book about its founder, Aurora Latham. But the artists' retreat is not providing the inspiration she hoped for. Instead of being visited by her muse, Ellis is haunted by the spirits of dead children who seem exceptionally ...
For aspiring novelist Ellis Brooks, the idyllic setting of Bosco promises to provide the perfect backdrop for finishing her book about its founder, Aurora Latham. But the artists' retreat is not providing the inspiration she hoped for. Instead of being visited by her muse, Ellis is haunted by the spirits of dead children who seem exceptionally playful, even vicious. Bosco is famous as a centre for the arts and for its gardens based on Greek and Native American mythology. But it's infamous for the scandal that took place there early in its history.In an effort to ease his wife's spirits after the death of three of their children, Milo Latham summoned feted spiritualist Corinth Blackwell to Bosco. There she performed two seances, both of which ended in tragedy. But was Corinth medium or charlatan? Seductress or seduced? And when she disappeared from Bosco, did she spirit the Latham's only surviving daughter, Alice, away with her? It seems the events of the past are taking on disturbing relevance for the occupants of the artists' retreat in the present. It transpires that they all have some sort of connection to Bosco or the scandal associated with it. And the ghostly visitations are becoming progressively frightening and violent. But are they truly haunted or is the explanation much more mundane, more earthly, more close to home.
Publishers Weekly, 2005-10-10 An isolated Victorian mansion in upstate New York is the backdrop for Goodman's latest literary mystery (after The Drowning Tree), which stars a debut novelist and her fellow residents at the artists' retreat Bosco. Ellis Brooks has been accepted to Bosco primarily because her first novel is to be a fictional account of the mansion's mysterious past; while there will be no deaths during her stay, there's spookiness aplenty, as well as several 1893 murders still begging resolution. Goodman's narrative alternates between Ellis's first-person present and 1893. Coincidentally-or not-two of Bosco's other guests are also working on projects related to the mansion. But they turn out to be little more than convenient accessories as Ellis, the daughter of a psychic (and possessor of certain powers of her own), unlocks clue after mystical clue to secrets long buried by the mansion's original owners. As great a player as any is the mansion itself and its creepy (and possibly haunted) gardens. Is this an updated Victorian drawing room mystery or a romance novel/crime fiction-cum-ghost story? Never mind. Enjoy the atmosphere. And enjoy the ride; its twists and turns mesmerize, even if they don't surprise. Agent, Loretta Barrett. (Feb.) (c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved
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