THE GHOSTS OF NEDDINGFIELD HALL
BY FENELLA-JANE MILLER.
PUBLISHED BY ROBERT HALE LONDON.
This book combines a Regency romance with a mystery story in and around Neddingfield Hall, it is in 1814, a very cold and severe winter.
Miss Hester Frobisher is travelling with her friend and companion, Miss Mary Bird whom she affectionately calls Birdie, to stay with her Great Aunt Miss Agatha Culley, at her invitation, at Neddingfield Hall. Unfortunately when they arrive at the Hall after a long and cold journey, they find the gates locked and the Hall looks deserted. Greatly puzzled by this unexpected turn of events the two travellers have no choice but to turn back and seek rooms in the village Inn. Hester is very suprised by this event as she was specifically asked by her Aunt to visit now.
Strangely another carriage had also pulled up at the gates of the Hall, in front of them and Hester wondered who it could be, but she was more interested at that time in getting warm and finding a room for the night.
When they arrived back at the Jug and Bottle their coachman hired bedrooms and a sitting room for the two ladies, and as the owner of the inn Mrs Jarvis, who had at one time been employed at the Hall, set an excellent table, they were content to stay there for the night.
The other coach which had made turning in the lane by Neddingfield Hall so difficult then pulled into the Inn but they could only obtain much poorer rooms and the coachman Tom thought this highly amusing, as he listened to the owner of the coach complaining loudly in the lobby of the Inn later.
Hester determined to go back to the Hall the next day and discover what was wrong there.
Hester set off early in the morning, riding Thunder her splendid horse with Jet her faithful hound running beside her and Tom and James riding with her. They skirted fields and byways following the river until they were on land belonging to the Hall, where they went around the back of the Hall, to the stables. The place looked deserted, the cobbles were unswept , the stables were empty, Hester called for the yard lad to take the horses but all was silent, the mystery deepened. Tom did not like the silence and thought that they should return to the Inn and try and find out what had taken place at the Hall, but Hester was determined to investigate the situation right then, not wait any longer.
Having gained entrance by the kitchen door Hester now cold and wet from the ride, made her way to the room which she used when staying with her aunt, there she would find dry clothes to change into. On her way to her room Hester was surprised to see furniture under Holland covers, obviously her Aunt was away from home, why then had she been invited to the Hall?
From this moment Hester’s life was to change dramatically, she was to meet The new Earl of Waverly in strange and uncomfortable circumstances, discover the Hall was haunted and face many dangers to herself and to others she was to become fond, of before this fascinating story is told.
Where had Her Aunt disappeared to with almost her entire staff from the Hall and who was behind the dangerous accidents which seemed to be aimed at getting rid of the new Earl and herself? Was it indeed the Ghosts of Neddingfield Hall or some more earthly beings, read the story to find the answers, it is a fun book. I award this book 5 Red Roses. AS