The Haunting at Bonaventure Circus

Written by Jaime Jo Wright
Review by Bonnie DeMoss

In 1928 in Bluff River, Wisconsin, Pippa is the adopted daughter of the stern, controlling, and disapproving Richard Ripley, owner of Bonaventure Circus. She is also encumbered by a domineering fiancé. At the same time, she has an undeniable pull towards the circus and its staff. Are her birth parents among them? When a motherless baby elephant looks to her for comfort, Pippa begins making her own choices. As she spends more time there, she sees evidence that a killer seems to be stalking the circus, and a mysterious figure called the Watchman has contacted her. Does he have the secrets of her birth?

In the present day, single mom Chandler begins to renovate an old train depot and circus grounds. The discovery of a long-dead body leads Chandler to investigate the past and try to find the true identity of the serial killer known as the Watchman. As the timeline alternates between Pippa and Chandler, a chilling portrait emerges of a coldblooded killer. In one timeline Pippa is trying to stop him, and in another Chandler is trying to uncover his past. Then in both timelines, the worst happens.

This is an intriguing murder mystery which also gives us a lot of history of the circus and paints a sad picture of how the staff and animals were treated. There are multiple mysteries going on in both timelines, and surprises abound in this book. In addition, both of our heroines struggle with physical or health issues and their faith in God as they strive to learn the truth. And both heroines get a chance at real romance. Jaime Jo Wright does a masterful job of weaving mystery, faith, romance, and history together in this spellbinding tale. Recommended for fans of historical thrillers, animal lovers, or anyone who wants to know more about the circus.