I loved this book, the first in the Hode’s Hill series by Mae Claire. It had all the things that make for a good mystery – a historical basis, an unknown murderous entity, a psychic, a touch of paranormal, a growing romantic relationship and great story telling. What’s not to like? It was a perfect summer beach read, only I read it on a boat circumnavigating Iceland…
The story opens in 1900 with a dead-of-rainy-night visit by society woman Charlette Hode to a renowned spiritualist, Lucinda Glass, on whom she has come to depend. She’s been warned that the Fiend – a killer with seemingly supernatural abilities to kill and disappear – may be about, but she pays no mind…
In the present day, Maya Sinclair, recently recovered from a car accident during which she was dead for two minutes, settles in to an old house in Hode’s Hill, Pennsylvania. She soon discovers the house was once owned by the renowned psychic Lucinda Glass, who was called the Blue Lady because of her blue-hued skin and who was killed by the Fiend. When sightings of a strange creature occur at the time of the annual ‘Fiend Fest’ and Maya begins to experience strange happenings in her house, she can’t help but try to learn more of the history of Hode’s Hill and the Blue Lady. She soon meets the son of the current Hode patriarch, who believes her account of the mysterious events in her house, and she also learns of a secret research facility located outside the town.
I won’t say more because I want to leave other readers to the delight and chills of the story. Who was the Fiend? Has it returned to life or is it a more modern version of the legend?
Mae Claire has crafted a gem of a creepy thriller about supernatural occurrences and a centuries-old monster. She creates the perfect turn-of- the- century ambience, and I liked the alternating point of view from the 20th century Lucinda Glass and the modern-day Maya. The author clearly researched spiritualists, who were so popular in Lucinda’s time, which lends authenticity top that aspect of the book.
The tale, while chilling, is not gorey. There is no lurid blood-letting, and Maya and her friend Ivy are authentic characters. The author lays out the clues to the mystery in an agonizing precision – so I had to read faster – and I loved the way the twists and turns in the story came together at the end. A perfect paranormal cozy!
I’m anxious to read the next in the Hode’s Hill series.
About the author
A member of the Mystery Writers of America and International Thriller Writers, Mae loves creating character driven fiction in settings that weave contemporary elements of mystery and suspense with urban legend and folklore. Married to her high school sweetheart, she lives in Pennsylvania, and is passionate about writing, old photographs, a good Maine lobster tail and cats.
You can find her
On twitter: @maeclaire1
On the internet at: https://maeclair.net/
And on Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/maeclairauthor/
Cusp of Night is available on Amazon: