The Fear of Ravens by Wendy Percival (Esme Quentin Mystery Book 4) #NewPaperback

Fear of Ravens

When Esme Quentin is engaged to research the history of an ancient mill owned by her client, Anna Brannock, she stumbles upon a bitter family feud, tales of witchcraft and a century-old allegation of murder.

​As Esme digs deeper, the past begins to converge on the present, when Anna becomes the target of a disturbing campaign, echoing menacing events from many years before.

Can a 19th century curse still wield its formidable power? What connects Anna with the 24 year-old mystery concerning the whereabouts of the charismatic Ellen Tucker?

​Esme must uncover the truth to save Anna from becoming a 21st century victim, in a cruel repetition of her ancestor’s merciless fate.

My Review

I welcomed the chance to return to Devon and join Esme Quentin in another historical research project, veiled in mystery and menace.  The history of the old mill, which Anna Brannock hopes to refurbish, reveals tales of witchcraft which may connect to the disappearance of Ellen Tucker at Halloween twenty-four years earlier.  But the story also links to Anna’s immediate family, revealing divisions within their marriages.

Esme is concerned about the health of Anna, who is expecting her first baby, and she is determined to discover the truth behind the myths.  The sources she finds in a local history centre and on the internet, reveal how lucky we are in the UK in the availability of historical information for a determined researcher. But the search darkens after the accidental drowning of a visiting detective and Esme’s friend Maddy begins to wonder about her father’s recent death.

This is a particularly thrilling adventure, difficult to put down, as the past resonates in the present.  It is a book to appreciate on many levels, as a delightful description of a lovely part of the west country, as a study of genealogical skills and particularly as an atmospheric murder mystery tale.

The Fear of Ravens on Amazon UK

My Review of The Indelible Stain by Wendy Percival

Death of a Cuckoo: An Esme Quentin Short Read by Wendy Percival #BookReview #Mystery #AncestryHour

Death of a cuckoo

A letter. A photograph. A devastating truth.

When Gina Vincent receives a letter of condolence from a stranger following her mother’s death, a photograph slipped inside reveals a disturbing truth – everything she’s ever known is based on a lie. Shocked and disorientated, she engages genealogy detective Esme Quentin to help search for answers.

The trail leads to an isolated and abandoned property on the edge of Exmoor, once the home of a strict Victorian institution called The House of Mercy and its enigmatic founder, whose influence seems to linger still in the fabric of the derelict building.

As they dig deeper, Esme realises that the house itself hides a dark and chilling secret, one which must be exposed to unravel the mystery behind Gina’s past.

But someone is intent on keeping the secret hidden. Whatever it takes.

My Review

I really enjoyed the three books Wendy Percival has written about courageous genealogist, Esme Quentin, so I welcomed the chance to read this “short read” where we see Esme through the eyes of a young client, Gina Vincent. After the sudden death of her mother, Gina is sorting through her mail when she discovers shocking news about her own birth.  When an intruder attempts to search her mother’s documents, Gina seeks Esme’s help. The two women visit Gina’s birthplace, a remote empty property on Exmoor, and begin to research its past.

The story explores painful episodes from our recent past and I was on the edge of my seat as each woman risked danger. The family history investigation particularly interests me but there is plenty of mystery and adventure for the enjoyment of any reader.

In addition, I also read a free short read from Wendy’s website

https://www.wendypercival.co.uk/legacy-of-guilt-sign-up

Legacy of Guilt takes us back to the time when Esme returned to live in Shropshire and considered becoming a genealogical investigator.  Unexpectedly bumping into her long-lost cousin Joanna, she is determined to help restore her to her inheritance. Discovering a family connection to the sudden death of a young woman in 1835, the two women draw the attention of an unsavoury character who threatens them.  Another great read!

My review of The Indelible Stain by Wendy Percival and The Malice of Angels