The Darkling Bride by Laura Andersen

Reviewed by Katy Zignego (Library Staff)

As I anxiously await Kate Morton’s newest release, I picked up this read-alike from the author of The Boleyn King. The Darkling Bride has all the elements of a Kate Morton novel: a clever heroine, an atmospheric setting, a historical mystery, and a bit of romance.

Author Laura Andersen delivered a Morton-quality story in nearly every particular. The heroine, Carragh Ryan, is an American living in Ireland, and she is hired to catalog the library at an ancient family seat, Deeprath Castle. Carragh’s interest in Deeprath goes beyond the library, however, as she is a fan of its most famous resident: the Victorian gothic novelist Evan Chase. Chase’s lost final novel, The Darkling Bride, was rumored to be based on events at Deeprath, and Carragh would do anything to find it.

The only area in which Andersen loses Morton points is the romance. Naturally, the current owner of Deeprath Castle is the dashingly handsome Aidan Gallagher, Seventeenth Viscount Gallagher, and of course sparks fly. But while Andersen is great at illustrating a setting and developing a mystery, she never really convinced me on the love story. Maybe I’m just a doubting Thomas, but I distrust any romances that involve leopards changing their spots. Overall, though, the story worked just fine without the romance, so I just ignored it and wished the author had too.

Available through the Bridges Library System

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