Rosie’s Book Review Team #RBRT Babus reviews Drowned Murmurs by Honor A Dawson

Today’s book review comes from Babus, she blogs at


Babus chose to read and review Drowned Murmurs by Honor Dawson


Here is her review.

Book Review: Drowned Murmurs by Honor A Dawson


Drowned Murmurs tells us about the eerie occurrences in the lives of two women 100 years apart: In present day, Michaela has just inherited Primrose Cottage from her Uncle Jim and along with boyfriend, Sam is renovating this much neglected property against the wishes of her mother, Judith and the written recommendation from her Uncle Jim. The cottage also comes with a history of rumours about a curse and myths about a ghostly Catherine. Catherine Cooper lived in Primrose Cottage 100 years prior to Michaela. She moved in after marrying well-to-do Jack Cooper who was from a wealthy and prominent local family who owned the copper mines nearby. During the course of her arduous life with Jack, Catherine lost a number of children in infancy at the cottage. Local have always upheld that Catherine was to blame for the demise of her children. Michaela disagrees with this local folklore after she has a number of visions about Catherine and concludes that she has always been wrongly accused and held accountable for the deaths of her children when she was innocent and living with a volatile husband, Jack.

Michaela comes up against hurdle after hurdle trying to find out about Catherine’s life, which seemed odd as the locals associated Primrose Cottage with Catherine and a curse but clammed up about it as soon as Michaela and Sam showed any interest. Michaela’s mother, Judith has her own skeletons linked to the Cottage and is another opposing force to both Michaela’s renovations and investigation into the life of Catherine. As the toll of the renovations, stress of her dilapidated living standard and the stress of arguing with her mother and neighbour affects Michaela she starts becoming more emotionally labile and relating to Catherine.


I found this book quite engaging to begin with as it was very reminiscent to reading a Susan Hill horror (Susan Hill is one of my favourite authors). I found the story about Catherine very gripping and felt that the parts dealing with her life were well written and kept a good pace, however I found reading about Michaela was not as interesting and this is where the book departs from my previous experience of reading Susan Hill, as she becomes more moody, morose and generally unlikeable for a protagonist. I felt we kept being told the same things about what she was thinking and feeling without much progression in the story. Also there were many typos that needed correcting and a good proofread and editing was much needed too. The book ends relatively well with all loose ends being tied up and explained, however, the story could have had a better impact if it was shorter and a little more to the point when telling us about Michaela.


There was real potential in this horror suspense novel to be a very effective read but some of that was lost through the lack of proof reading and editing that would be required to make this a great read.

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The 20’s Girl, The Ghost and All That Jazz by June Kearns

The 20's Girl, the ghost, and all that jazzThe 20’s Girl, the ghost, and all that jazz by June Kearns

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

This book was delightful, I read it in less than 24 hours. Set in 1924 the book covers two extremely different settings. Firstly the English Shires, lush, green, damp and a place short of men after the War and the Flu epidemic. Secondly Texas, vast, hot and dry, full of rough men and cattle.

Gerardina Chiledexter has been left a bookshop and a heap of debts by her flamboyant aunt. When a complete stranger announces that she has been left half a Texas ranch by a man she’s never heard of, a chance to pay off all her debts looks hopeful. But Aunt Leonie left a letter asking Gerry to visit Texas before she sells her half.

On a whim, Gerry travels thousands of miles to Jericho Wells and the Circle O Ranch. But Coop and everyone there make her feel very unwelcome. She struggles to fit in and when Doc Hyde reveals that Coop can’t pay up, Gerry hot tails it back to England.

With no nest egg and the bookshop falling down around them, it looks like Archie’s offer of marriage is the only way out, unless the ghosts that surround Gerry finally get their way. looking forward to reading more by this author.

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I recently reviewed “An Englishwoman’s Guide to the Cowboy” also by June, here is a link to the post

You can also catch up with June’s guest author interview here

Finally June and The 20’s Girl, took par in my April A-Z tour, here is a link to that post.

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The Spook’s Apprentice by Joseph Delaney

The Spook's Apprentice (The Last Apprentice / Wardstone Chronicles, #1)The Spook’s Apprentice by Joseph Delaney

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

It’s the Spook’s job to protect the County from such things as ghouls, boggarts, and witches. He’s getting on in age and needs to train an apprentice to take over. Tom Ward is the seventh son of a seventh son and that makes him special, he’s Mam’s gift to the County.

The Spook takes Tom on for a months trial, first they deal with the Ghasts at Hangman’s Hill, fragments of souls that have moved on. Next Tom must last a night in a haunted house. At the Spook’s home in Chipenden, up near the fells, Tom begins his lessons. First he must learn about boggarts and how to bind one. He’s also told not to venture into the garden after dark and to stay away from Mother Malkin who is kept in a pit in the garden.

Tom is warned to also stay away from girls with pointy shoes and his first big mistake comes when he is rescued from bullies by Alice. When the Spook is called away to deal with the witches of Pendle Hill, Tom falls into a trap laid by Bony Lizzie who intends to release Mother Malkin. Fearing the Spook dead, Tom takes on the evil witches, but it takes a lot to kill off a witch as strong as Mother Malkin as Tom is about to find out.

This is the first in the Wardstone Chronicles, written for older children. If they can cope with Harry Potter then this will be fine. The warning on the back on the book says “Not to be read after dark”. There certainly are some chilling pages which make me shiver as an adult. I’ve loved re-reading these books as an adult and shall continue with the series.
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Darkening Around Me by Barbara J Hancock

Darkening Around MeDarkening Around Me by Barbara J. Hancock

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

It’s September in the Pacific Northwest and Samantha is driving to Thornleigh, to meet Miles O’Keefe who is going to create a clay likeness of her, which will help her move on with her life.

Samantha has her own horrific past and her strength to overcome it helps her face “The Thornleigh Bride” who haunts the house and lives of those who live there. No visitor is safe if they stay longer than a week from the madness which takes hold.

Passionately drawn to Miles, their lust seems forbidden. With a garden full of haunting statues, and employee living in a house full of scary dolls and time running out, will Samantha survive the wrath of the ghost?

This book may well send a shiver down your spine.

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Barbara is joining us on the blog tomorrow as our guest author, do come back and find out more about her and her writing.

24 Sleeps ’til Xmas Tour “Christmas Guardian Angel” by E. B Sullivan (Day 5)

Product Details

Christmas Guardian Angel by E. B Sullivan

Book description courtesy of Goodreads:

In their first encounter, Isabella becomes infatuated with Marc a handsome young man who makes fantastic potato chips. Fifteen years later while Isabella purchases a picturesque Victorian house she discovers Marc is the seller. His magnetism stirs her emotions and pulls her into his troubled world.
Soon Isabella realizes her new house, nestled deep in the woods, is haunted. By communicating with the house’s spirit, she hopes to learn secrets, which can help Marc resolve his conflicted past and move him into the future. During the process, her love for him intensifies. As Christmas approaches, Isabella longs for Marc to return her affection.

Just 62 pages this book is available in kindle format. Published by Summer Solstice Publishing

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As part of my year of Good Deeds Challenge, in the run up to Christmas linking with the season of Goodwill I’m making daily suggestions of Good Deeds that you can join in with. Today why not send an overdue e-mail to a friend.

The Haunting by Alan Titchmarsh

The HauntingThe Haunting by Alan Titchmarsh

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

I really liked this book. It is set on my door step in the beautiful county of Hampshire. So many of the places and their names were everyday words to me. Alan wove a lovely novel through two timespans which joined together at the very end. He used his vast knowledge of nature and gardening to enhance the descriptions and bring them alive. Harry Flint, a retiring History teacher buys a house in much need of repair. Whist searching for more links to his family tree he finds the past catches up with him. The storyline kept me enthralled, I do love a happy ending!

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