by Joanna Challis
Minotaur Books (November 24, 2009) ~ 304 pages
Fiction / Mystery / Historical Mystery
Edition Reviewed: Paperback - Review copy received courtesy of the publisher, many thanks to both the author and the publisher and Omnimystery for coordinating the tour and sending me a copy to review!
Perfect for : Personal Use, Book Club Read
My Thoughts: Murder on the Cliffs by Joanna Challis is a wonderfully engrossing historical mystery that would also fit into the Gothic mystery category. I was immediately interested in this book simply from the title. I've heard such wonderful things about Daphne du Maurier's books and have recently ordered a few... so to have the opportunity to read a historical mystery with her as a central character was fun.
For me, the book started off quickly, with Daphne happening upon a young girl looking at a body on the beach. The body ends up being the fiance of the young girl's brother, David, a titled member of the Hartley family. While the death of Victoria was ruled an accident, Daphne finds out that she was poisoned, and that the family was against the marriage between David and the ex-house maid.
Daphne begins her own investigation into Victoria's death, starting with the members of the Hartley family.
Joanna Challis has written a wonderfully descriptive book and balanced it with well-developed characters. I really enjoyed this book and the change of pace it gave me!
About the Book: (From the Tour)
The first book in the Daphne du Maurier series.About the Author: (from the tour)
The storm led me to Padthaway.
I could never resist the allure of dark swirling clouds, windswept leaves sweeping down cobbled lanes or a view of the sea stirring up its defiant nature. The sea possessed a power all of its own and this part of Cornwall, an isolated stretch of rocky cliff tops and unexplored beaches both enchanted and terrified me.
It is not a lie to say I felt drawn out that day, led to a certain destiny ...
So begins this new mystery series featuring young Daphne du Maurier, headstrong, adventurous, and standing at the cusp of greatness.
Walking on the cliffs in Cornwall, she stumbles upon the drowned body of a beautiful woman, dressed only in a nightgown, her hair strewn along the rocks, her eyes gazing up to the heavens. Daphne soon learns that the mysterious woman was engaged to marry Lord Hartley of Padthaway, an Elizabethan mansion full of intriguing secrets.
As the daughter of the famous Sir Gerald du Maurier, Daphne is welcomed into the Hartley home, but when the drowning turns out to be murder, Daphne determines to get to the bottom of the mysteries of Padthaway—in part to find fresh inspiration for her writing, and in part because she cannot resist the allure of grand houses and long buried secrets.
Joanna Challis lives and writes in a colonial house with wrap-around verandahs and an English garden Queensland, Australia, surrounded by family, old paintings, and anything fleur-de-lys. She is the author of several romantic suspense novels; Murder on the Cliffs is her first series mystery. Author's website: http://www.joanna-challis.com/.Giveaway: Hosted at the main Tour website
Joanna Challis is giving away a signed copy of her book, Murder on the Cliffs, to one lucky tour visitor. Go to her book tour page, http://joanna-challis.omnimystery.com/, enter your name, e-mail address, and this PIN, 1386, for your chance to win. Entries from Wendi's Book Corner will be accepted until 12:00 Noon (PT) tomorrow. No purchase is required to enter or to win. The winner (first name only) will be announced on their book tour page next week.