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Title: The Last Heir to Blackwood Library
Author: Hester Fox
Publisher: Graydon House
Publication Date: April 4, 2023
Page Count: 339
My rating: 3 1/2 stars
About the book:
In post–World War I England, a young woman inherits a mysterious library and must untangle its powerful secrets…
With the stroke of a pen, twenty-three-year-old Ivy Radcliffe becomes Lady Hayworth, owner of a sprawling estate on the Yorkshire moors. Ivy has never heard of Blackwood Abbey, or of the ancient bloodline from which she’s descended. With nothing to keep her in London since losing her brother in the Great War, she warily makes her way to her new home.
The abbey is foreboding, the servants reserved and suspicious. But there is a treasure waiting behind locked doors: a magnificent library. Despite cryptic warnings from the staff, Ivy feels irresistibly drawn to its dusty shelves, where familiar works mingle with strange, esoteric texts. And she senses something else in the library too, a presence that seems to have a will of its own.
Rumors swirl in the village about the abbey’s previous owners, about ghosts and curses, and an enigmatic manuscript at the center of it all. And as events grow more sinister, it will be up to Ivy to uncover the library’s mysteries in order to reclaim her own story—before it vanishes forever.
Lush, atmospheric and transporting, The Last Heir to Blackwood Library is a skillful reflection on memory and female agency, and a love letter to books from a writer at the height of her power.
The Last Heir to Blackwood Library by Hester Fox is a historical mystery set in a fantasy world with a gothic feel to it. A ghost story for the books lovers set in a mysterious library bringing books to the forefront.
Ivy Radcliffe is living in London after the war trying to come to terms with being left alone after losing her family. Out of the blue Ivy receives notice that another distant relative has passed and left an inheritance to her. Ivy soon finds her inheritance comes with a few catches, she must stay in her new property but things are not normal at Blackwood Abbey.
The Last Heir to Blackwood Library by Hester Fox is not the first book I’ve read from this author and won’t be the last. Again I found the author has a way with a creepy gothic setting and I found myself pulled into the somewhat darkness. I did find that there were a few things happening I kind of wanted more with but overall this one landed at three and a half stars for me.
I received an advance copy from the publisher via NetGalley.
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About the author:
Hester Fox comes to writing from a background in the museum field as a collections maintenance technician.
This job has taken her from historic houses to fine art museums, where she has the privilege of cleaning and caring for collections that range from paintings by old masters, to ancient artefacts, to early American furniture.
She is a keen painter and has a master’s degree in historical archaeology, as well as a background in Medieval studies and art history. Hester lives in Massachusetts with her husband and their children.