A new book has arrived on the Enchanted Emporium bookshelf, The Parlour Game by Jennifer Renshaw thanks to Random Things Tours. With a stunning cover and an intriguing blurb involving a creepy house and spiritualism Amber has snuck it into her college bag. Watch this space for a review but in the meantime scroll down to see why the book caught her eye.
Book Review: The Parlour Game by Jennifer Renshaw
Title: The Parlour Game
Author: Jennifer Renshaw
Genre: Dark Gothic
Release Date: 31st August 2022
DEATH IS ONLY THE BEGINNING… a dark gothic tale for fans of The Clockwork Girl and The Woman in Black.
Ivy Granger, an amateur botanist, is plagued by disturbing dreams and faceless whispers. Misunderstood by her father, she fears for her sanity – threatened with the asylum or worse, the hands of a man she loathes.
But a stranger at her mother’s funeral reveals Ivy’s world has been a lie and she could have a different life, for she is capable of so much more…
Miss Earnshaw, London’s most renowned spiritualist, is Ivy’s only hope of revealing what secrets her mother took to the grave and discovering her true purpose.
Ivy’s journey for knowledge takes her to Blackham House, a building haunted by a terrible past – full of macabre artefacts and ancient studies of the supernatural. But behind closed doors, the Blackhams collect more than relics alone, and Ivy will soon find herself at the centre of a conspiracy spanning generations and a hidden evil waiting to be unleashed.
Can Ivy survive in a world where women must play their part or risk being silenced?
Jennifer Renshaw grew up in Sussex, England, and is a former analyst. She has always been fascinated by history and enjoys a gothic mystery. She now lives in Denmark with her family and two portly cats.
When The Bleeding by Johana Gustawsson appeared on the Enchanted Emporium bookshelf courtesy of Random Things Tours, there was a audible gasp of awe at the cover. With it’s distinctive red gothic imagery on a black background, it lured both the witches in. With an intriguing blurb linking a crime thriller with the occult, both wanted to read it first. By the toss of the coin, Amber won.
Scroll down to see their honest and unbiased review.
Book Review: The Bleeding by Johana Gustawsson
Title: The Bleeding
Author: Johana Gustawsson
Publisher: Orenda Books
Genre: Horror, Gothic thriller
Release Date: 15th September 2022
1899, Belle Époque Paris. Lucienne’s two daughters are believed dead when her mansion burns to the ground, but she is certain that her girls are still alive and embarks on a journey into the depths of the spiritualist community to find them.
1949, Post-War Québec. Teenager Lina’s father has died in the French Resistance, and as she struggles to fit in at school, her mother introduces her to an elderly woman at the asylum where she works, changing Lina’s life in the darkest way imaginable.
2002, Quebec. A former schoolteacher is accused of brutally stabbing her husband – a famous university professor – to death. Detective Maxine Grant, who has recently lost her own husband and is parenting a teenager and a new baby single-handedly, takes on the investigation. Under enormous personal pressure, Maxine makes a series of macabre discoveries that link directly to historical cases involving black magic and murder, secret societies and spiritism … and women at breaking point, who will stop at nothing to protect the ones.
Thoughts from the Emporium
The Bleeding is deliciously dark and atmospheric, and blends the forensic police procedural timeline of Maxine, with the historical threads of Lina and Lucienne effortlessly.
From the first chapter, Amber and Willow were hooked. Despite the initial discovery of a mummified hand giving them an indication of where the story would go, the writing style, and the shocking twists in each thread kept them turning the page.
Willow felt the heartache of Lucienne’s grief and the mystery of her daughters’ deaths encouraged her forward while Amber related hard to Lina’s experiences at school. She could understand Lina’s emotions and the need for a confidante and mentor. With the atmospheric backdrop of an old asylum, the tension increased when the timeline unfolded with dark magic twists. It was a book to read into the early hours of the morning and neither guessed the ending.
Amber raved about this book and has recommended it to her friends but while Willow galloped through it with enthusiasm, a couple of historical niggles in Lucienne’s line prevented her from giving it full five stars.
Despite their differences, both agreed it’s an ideal creepy and unnerving read for these darker nights in the run up to Halloween. With its genre crossover, it would appeal to those who love crime novels as well as those who enjoy horror and gothic thrillers
Born in Marseille, France, and with a degree in Political Science, Johana Gustawsson has worked as a journalist for the French and Spanish press and television. Her critically acclaimed Roy & Castells series, including Block 46, Keeper and Blood Song, has won the Plume d’Argent, Balai de la découverte,Balai d’Or and Prix Marseillais du Polar awards, and is now published in 28 countries. A TV adaptation is currently underway in a French, Swedish and UK co-production. The Bleeding – number one bestseller in France and the first in a new series – will be published in 2022. Johana lives on the west coast of Sweden with her Swedish husband and their three sons.