The Scent of Lilacs

Written by Barbara Hazard
Review by Richard Tearle

Billed as a Regency romance, you get quite a bit more than that for your money. It’s also a quietly spooky ghost story, with at least one really chilling moment that will cause a heartfelt shiver or two. And if this were still the 1970s, when gothics were ultra-popular in this country, that’s how it would have been published, with an eerie old mansion in the mist in the background, and a young girl running down the hill up in front. In order to claim an inheritance, it seems, Katherine’s brother has to spend every evening in the house during the month of October, and to give him support–the servants leave the house exactly at sundown, and don’t return until morning–Katherine stays with him.

That there is danger involved, and evil intent on the part of someone is very clear–but who, and for what reason? There’s also a romance, a rescue, and more. Very effective, and very entertaining.

Steve Lewis