The Strange Fate of Kitty Easton (Hardcover)
Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, 9780547547527, 416pp.
Publication Date: June 26, 2012
When Great War veteran Laurence Bartram arrives in Easton Deadall, he is struck by the beauty of the place: a crumbling manor, a venerable church, and a memorial to the village’s soldiers, almost all of whom died in one bloody battle.
Now peace prevails, and the rest of England is newly alight with hope, but Easton Deadall remains haunted by tragedy—as does the Easton family. In 1911, five-year-old Kitty disappeared from her bed and has not been seen in thirteen years; only her fragile mother still believes she is alive. While Laurence is a guest of the manor, a young maid vanishes in a sinister echo of Kitty’s disappearance. And when a body is discovered in the manor’s ancient church, Laurence is drawn into the grounds’ forgotten places, where deadly secrets lie in wait.
A gorgeous restoration of the manor-house mystery, The Strange Fate of Kitty Easton is sure to entrance literary, historical, and crime fiction readers.
About the Author
ELIZABETH SPELLER studied Classics at Cambridge. She has written for various publications, and has taught at the universities of Cambridge, Birmingham, and Bristol. She divides her life between Gloucestershire and Greece.
Praise For The Strange Fate of Kitty Easton…
Laurence Bartram, a veteran of the Great War, is called by an old army comrade, William Bolitho, to Easton Deadall, a small manor house in the west of England, to help out with architectural work. Bolitho will be installing a memorial window in the manor’s church in honor of the men the Easton family and its village sacrificed in World War I. Lydia, the widowed lady of the manor, is still haunted by the disappearance of her five-year-old daughter, Kitty, 13 years earlier. As Laurence unravels the mysteries of the ancient church, he also learns more about the greater mysteries that surround the village and the Easton family’s dark secrets. VERDICT Speller’s follow-up to her acclaimed debut, The Return of Captain John Emmett, is a well-crafted mystery with intriguing historical details and measured pacing that creates suspense. Fans of Jacqueline Winspear’s Maisie Dobbs series and readers who enjoy well-drawn characters in historicals will add this to their wish list.--Library Journal"Ms. Speller's considerable gifts as a social historian are on fine display...The Strange Fate of Kitty Easton is as much a literary novel as it is a thriller...Ms. Speller combines a Ruth Rendell-like psychological realism, an Agatha Christie-like plot and a Dickensian feel for life's roulette to create a complex and multi-faceted story that is as thought-provoking as it is pulse-pounding."--Wall Street Journal