RIDE OF PENDORRIC by Victoria Holt


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Had this been set in early Victorian times rather than the 20th Century present, perhaps the plot and the characters -- even their names -- wouldn't jar so. Petroc Pendorric marries Favel Farrington, takes her from her sheltered island home, brings her to his Cornish castle and installs her there with a full complement of odd relatives, servants and the oddest of ""dark hints"". Favel has a depression where every-one else's bump of suspicion is and she tediously puzzles over the pointed remarks that come her way about the legends of early death among the ladies of Pendorric. At a point when any woman in her right mind would have armed herself with at least a blunt hatpin, Favel is wondering what it could all possibly mean. The castle and heirs are short of cash, but next door is an old millionaire of whom she grows very fond and -- guess what! He's her long lost grandfather! With a bad heart and a new will! Oh, the plot thickens -- to say, quicksand consistency -- and the novel sinks much too slowly out of sight. Way toward the end, Favel turns a little surly, but what girl wouldn't after being shut up in the family tomb, tracked all over by a full-blooded ""ghost"" and evaded by a full-blooded husband? She's properly repentant over this lapse when it all comes right in the end. Real Estate Notice: The market is inflated because of Mellyn, but let the National Trust get stuck with Pendorric.

Publisher: Doubleday