The Royal Ghost

Written by Linda Stratmann
Review by Marilyn Sherlock

This is an intriguing book set in Victorian times. It is well worth reading the historical notes at the end before reading the book itself, as so much then falls into place within the story.

The Royal Pavilion in Brighton, originally built for The Prince Regent, later to become George IV, had been acquired on his death by the local Council and was opened to the public. Two sisters claimed to have got lost among its many rooms and passages and had seen the ghosts of George, when he was Prince Regent and his lover, Mrs. Fitzherbert. They wrote a book on their experiences called An Encounter, which became the talk of the town and one which ‘no respectable lady’ would dream of reading, although at least one copy was found beneath a pillow! Séances were popular, and many were taken in by the so-called mediums who claimed to receive messages from loved ones who had passed to the other side. Our heroine, Mina Scarletti, has a friend who was robbed of a considerable amount of money by this practice and sets out to prove the frauds that were, and are, being perpetrated.

I found this tale totally different from the usual Victorian melodramas, as it was firmly based on fact and the beliefs of the time. The pace is good, the characters believable and the style of writing suits the time in which it is set without going over the top. I enjoyed it very much.