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Helen MacInnes
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An Inquiry Into Love and Death / by Simone St. James ; narrated by Rosalyn Landor

An Inquiry Into Love and Death - Simone St. James

An Inquiry Into Love and Death was another paranormal mystery/historical romance novel by Simone St. James, and while I enjoyed it, I didn't find it to be nearly as good as The Haunting of Maddy Clare.  Everything that I found to be spectacular in The Haunting of Maddy Clare was much more subdued in An Inquiry Into Love and Death.  The ghost story was much less spooky and terrifying, and the love/romance angle contained significantly less pull for me.  Like The Haunting of Maddy Clare, An Inquiry Into Love and Death was a mystery story.  Unlike Maddy Clare, however, the ghost in Inquiry had much less presence, and was not the central figure in the mystery.  I almost hesitated to call Inquiry a ghost story, but I think that it is one to a certain extent.

 

The focus that St. James placed on how WW I impacted the vets of that war was well done.  In Maddy Clare St. James focused on physical wounds that soldiers bring home from war, but In this book the vets' scars were more emotional and psychological as opposed to physical.  I find stories that deal with the psychological and emotional scars of vets to be very compelling, and I thought that St. James did a very fine job of including some of the symptoms of shell shock or PTSD that faced some of the men in this story. 

 

I will certainly read more books by Simone St. James in the future.  I like her writing.  It's eloquent, has feeling, and when she wants to she can scare the socks off of you!  She can write emotional passages very descriptively and very well.  I listened to this book in audiobook format, and it was narrated by Rosalyn Landor.  I've listened to several audiobooks that Landor has narrated, and she truly is a wonderful narrator.  She is not afraid to pack her voice with emotion and expression, and that really makes the stories pop to life.  

 

Overall, this was an entertaining story, if sporting less of a "wow factor" than the Haunting of Maddy Clare.  If you like mysteries, ghost stories, and maybe some steamy romance on the side, give Simone St. James a try.