Rating: 5 out of 5
Slow-burn is not my favorite style of horror; I like to jump right into the scary stuff. Yet somehow, S.H. Cooper’s Inheriting Her Ghosts completely drew me in and never let go of me. It also delivers the action and scares by the end!
43-year-old Eudora Fellowes is a single woman in a time when single women are curiosities and people look down on them or assume there’s something wrong with them. She’s accompanied by her two well-trained and very loyal wolfhounds, Cerberus and Black Shuck, so she can afford to be a little less nervous than some women might be on their own. When she inherits a country estate (High Hearth) from a great-aunt she only met once or twice, she decides a move to the country might be exactly what she needs. Unfortunately, the townspeople didn’t look fondly upon Great-Aunt Emmeline. Gossip says she killed her husband, that she went mad after her 10-year-old son’s death. There are rumors of witchcraft, and it’s obvious by the state of things when Eudora arrives that she was a hoarder. When inexplicable things start happening, Eudora has to decide whether it’s worth staying–and whether she can live through what happens if she stays.
Eudora is such a wonderful character. She’s strong, a product of her time period but with ideas of her own. She doesn’t need a lot of people around her, and she’s fine with people spreading a little gossip about her. But she’s unwilling to be tarnished by her great-aunt’s reputation. She’s determined to be seen as her own person. She’s also smart–she keeps the dogs with her at all times, noting that they seem sensitive to the arrival of dark things and are more than willing to protect her. The fact that Eudora is so engaging, and her dogs are so wonderful to hear about, is pretty much why I was hooked from the start.
The solicitor who helps with the paperwork is an interesting character, and I particularly like his wife, even though she only shows up briefly. Two people who used to work at the manor before Emmaline died similarly have a lot of depth to them, in unexpected ways. There are few named characters, but all of them are worth reading about.
There are angry ghosts, strange monstrous beings, and a mysterious someone who wants to help Eudora. But even though I’m not a dog person, the dogs were my favorite part of the story!
Thank you to the author for sending me an early copy to read and review.