Review of the Lady in Residence by Allison Pittman
About the Book
Young widow Hedda Krause checks into the Menger Hotel in 1915 with a trunk full of dresses, a case full of jewels, and enough cash to pay for a two-month stay, which she hopes will be long enough to meet, charm, and attach herself to a new, rich husband. Her plans are derailed when a ghostly apparition lures her into a long, dark hallway, and Hedda returns to her room to find her precious jewelry has been stolen. She falls immediately under a cloud of suspicion with her haunting tale, but true ghost enthusiasts bring her expensive pieces of jewelry in an attempt to lure the ghost to appear again.
In 2017, Dini Blackstone is a fifth-generation magician, who performs at private parties, but she also gives ghost walk tours, narrating the more tragic historical events of San Antonio with familial affection. Above all, her favorite is the tale of Hedda Krause who, in Dini’s estimation, succeeded in perpetrating the world’s longest con, dying old and wealthy from her ghost story. But then Dini meets Quinn Carmichael, great-great-grandson of the detective who originally investigated Hedda’s case, who’s come to the Alamo City with a box full of clues that might lead to Hedda’s exoneration. Can Dini see another side of the story that is worthy of God’s grace?
When I started reading this novel, I was intrigued from the first sentence. And the more I read, the more I did not want to stop reading. The author truly had me hooked.
The plotline itself was different. It is not every day you can find a Christian Fiction book where one of the main characters sees what she believes to be a ghost and the other main character is a magician. And I personally enjoyed how unique it was. After a while, some of the Christian Fiction Romance all seem to be the same. But this one was different.
Hedda Krause is a head-strong character. She is independent and stubborn. I liked reading her story. And I especially liked the fact that she was an unreliable narrator. I wasn't sure which parts of her story to believe and which not to, which made it all the more intriguing to me.
Dini is obsessed with the mystery of Hedda Krause. She's read her book a million times (probably not quite that many, but she does have it memorized). And this obsession of hers leads her to the handsome and charming Quin Carmichael, the great-great-grandson of the detective that works Hedda's case. And if there is any way a person can have a crush on a book character, I did. I fell in love with Quin right away. He is sweet, kind, gentle, Godly...everything I would want in a man and more. Even if the plotline of this book does not interest you, I would say just read the book for Quin.
What I most liked about this book, however, was the attention to detail the author gave it. I am one of those readers who likes a lot of description. I felt like I was actually a part of the story. And it tells me that the author really did her research. Reading the author note, I was surprised and pleased the lengths the author went to to research this book. I won't spoil it for you, but it made me respect her and her writing more. I also appreciated her writing style.
I do have to say, though, there is one thing about the book that I did not like. I'm usually not one to care about how strong the Christian aspect of a book is. As long as the novel is clean, I am okay. But there doesn't seem to be a lot of Christianity in this book, just a few references. And with how Godly of a man Quin seems to be, I expected there to be more and found myself oddly disappointed by the lack of it. However, it did not take away too much for me, personally, but if you are looking for a novel with a strong Christian message, this isn't it. Otherwise, though, I loved the book and will be reading more from this author.
I would give it five out of five stars.
I received a copy from the publisher via Netgalley and this is my honest review.
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