A STRANGER’S HOUSE
BY CLARE CHASE
Genre: Mystery: woman sleuth / crime-solving couple
Release Date: 12th February 2016 (Kindle version)
Publisher: Choc Lit Ltd (under their new ‘Death by Choc Lit’ imprint).
What if you were powerless to protect the person you cared about most?
When Ruby finds out that her partner has done the unforgivable, she has no option but to move out of their home. With nowhere else to go, a job house-sitting in Cambridge seems like the perfect solution.
But it’s soon clear the absent owner hurts everyone he gets close to, and Ruby’s faced with the fallout. As violent repercussions unfold, her instinct is to investigate: it’s a matter of self-preservation. And besides, she’s curious…
But Ruby’s new boss, Nate Bastable, has his eye on her and seems determined to put a stop to her sleuthing. Is he simply worried for the welfare of a member of staff, or is there something altogether more complicated – and potentially dangerous – at play?
From Death by Choc Lit – gripping edge of your seat reads.
From the moment Ruby stepped across the threshold of River House I knew this was going to be a great read. Glad of a place of refuge while she sorts out her life following husband Luke’s betrayal with a much younger woman, house sitting seems to be the ideal solution. Unfortunately she soon finds living in the mysterious Damien Newbold’s house is far from peaceful. Strange things begin to occur; a mysterous package is delivered, an ex-lover arrives and Ruby becomes involved with the students next door, one of whom had fallen under Damien’s spell with disastrous results. And then the unthinkable happens.
I warmed to Ruby straight away and also her friend Steph. The house sitting was suppose to give her space to sort out her life but instead she found herself pulled into a lot of strange and sometimes quite scary goings on. Then to add to her problems she finds herself dealing with Luke, who has become the subject of hate mail.
Nate is lovely – dependable and undeniably attractive , he has his own past to deal with. There is an immediate and strong attraction between him and Ruby and moments when I was convinced they were going to get together. But it didn’t happen. For those who remember, it reminded me of the will they – won’t they situation in the 1980s series Moonlighting between Maddie and David. (Cybill Shepherd and Bruce Willis.)
The book is cleverly written from the two central characters’ viewpoints. As the story progresses more people become suspects as the body count increases and we are supplied with a good few red herrings to confuse and distract. I have to confess I did work out whodunit but not the why. Maybe I’m wrong but the ending did give me a feeling we might see more of Nate and Ruby in the future. A fabulously entertaining read and a well deserved five stars from me.
ABOUT CLARE CHASE
Clare Chase writes women sleuth mysteries set in London and Cambridge. She fell in love with the capital as a student, living in the rather cushy surroundings of Hampstead in what was then a campus college of London University. (It’s currently being turned into posh flats …)
After graduating in English Literature, she moved to Cambridge and has lived there ever since. She’s fascinated by the city’s contrasts and contradictions, which feed into her writing. She’s worked in diverse settings – from the 800-year-old University to one of the local prisons – and lived everywhere from the house of a Lord to a slug-infested flat. The terrace she now occupies, with her husband and teenage daughters, presents a good happy medium.
As well as writing, Clare loves family time, art and architecture, cooking, and of course, reading other people’s books.
Clare’s debut novel, You Think You Know Me, has been shortlisted for an EPIC award, and was chosen as a debut of the month for September 2015 by Lovereading.
Publisher page: http://www.choc-lit.com/productcat/clare-chase/
A signed paperback copy of previous book, You Think You Know Me (also a mystery/suspense novel) plus a sweet treat from Hotel Chocolat.