Book Review: The Bloodstone Vial by Anita Higman, Hillary McMullen

Book Review: The Bloodstone Vial by Anita Higman, Hillary McMullenThe Bloodstone Vial (The Belrose Abbey Mystery series Book 2) by Anita Higman, Hillary McMullen
Narrator: Michelle Babb
Published by Winged Publications on 07-25-17
Genres: Cozy Mystery, Mystery
Length: 4 hrs and 6 mins
Format: Audiobook
Source: Narrator
Buy on Amazon/Audible
Goodreads
Overal Rating: five-stars

In the time it takes for a villain to breathe his last, Anne and her mother, Dauphine, suddenly inherit Belrose Abbey—a gothic castle set on a monstrous estate, complete with devious servants, mysterious forests, and the darkest of secrets. The more they settle into their new home, the more unsettling the house becomes. What do all the unmarked graves mean? Where are all the people who had arrived on the estate but then vanished? And could there really be an abandoned insane asylum on the property? Although Anne and Dauphine are determined to purge all the horrors from Belrose Abbey, this new mystery could very well be their undoing…

We left Wyatt, Anna, and and her mother Dauphine in charge of the Abbey at the end of book 1. This one just continues the story where we left it, and we witness the attempts of the two women to manage the Abbey and its surroundings. But things will get messy again. Dauphine finds the blueprints of a building that should belong to the Abbey, and she realizes that there are some missing files from what used to be Ivan’s office. The fact that the staff at the Abbey is not helping and some are even bold face lying, just adds to Dauphine’s suspicions. Who can they trust?

After finishing the previous book just two days ago, I had to start with this one almost immediately. I have a soft spot for well written cozy mysteries, and I can’t resist to Michelle Babb.

On this occasion we are up against a clear cozy mystery. There were some elements in the previous book that led me to think that there could be something paranormal, but there is nothing of the kind in this book, and some of the strange phenomena from book 1 are explained.

Our characters need to find out the truth about this supposed building belonging to the Abbey, but nothing and no one can be trusted. The authors did a wonderful job building up the suspense and describing the scenes and hard events the characters met. I am not usually scared when reading horror books, but I listened to this one with bated breath. The scenes seemed so real that I felt that I was with Anne and Dauphine, and I could not stop listening.

There are no loose ends and the story arc is complete. Nevertheless there is plenty of room for the authors to create more stories around these characters and place. I do hope they will delight us with more books.

This is a great book, but Michelle Bab’s narration made it excellent. I find impossible not to enjoy a book narrated by Michelle. She focuses on great character interpretation, making them sound natural; and her narration traps you in a way that you can’t stop listening. When I listen to a book narrated by Babb I have the feeling that somebody is telling me a story, not just reading it. And the characters are brought to life and they talk like real people. 

I really enjoyed this series so far. The stories are intriguing, the characters are believable, and their length (this one just over four hours) provides almost instant gratification. I hope there will be more books in this series.

I received a copy of this book in audio format from the narrator in exchange for an honest review.

My name is Elena. Since I was a little child I loved science fiction and fantasy, and I can’t resist to a good novel. In 2015, while wait I started to listen to audiobooks and I discovered the pleasure in being able to read while doing my daily tasks, so there’s always an audiobook playing on my phone. If you see me with my Bluetooth headphones on, please be gentle, I get easily startled.

I live with my boyfriend, which I met during my six year stay in Belgium, two cockatiels, five lovebirds, and two Gouldian finches in Madrid, Spain; and I like to spend my free time knitting and sewing while listening to audiobooks.

Story (Plot)
five-stars
Narration
five-stars
Overall: five-stars
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