Refuge on Crescent Hill by Melanie Dobson

Somehow my address was wrong when this book was sent out for the CFBA blog tour a few months ago. The kind people at Kregel Publications sent me the book anyway thanks to Cat Hoort, trade marketing manager! Thank you, Cat.

I did enjoy this offering by Melanie Dobson. It is her second book published by Kregel. It was something a little different, but akin to the old gothic novels that I absolutely adored, complete with creepy old house, disappearing antiques, trap doors and secret tunnels. It all came wrapped upon in a modern package that didn't detract from the creepiness at all.

Sometimes, I got a lot aggravated with the protagonist, Camden Bristow. She seemed whiny and obtuse, but then what else would a person be when jobless, homeless, broke and your grandmother just died? So, I gave her a pass, especially since she turned out to be a rather nice person in the end.

I give it three out of five stars. I liked the storyline and the characters were good. I hated the jumping into the criminals mind parts. They detracted from the suspense level. The Unknown is always scarier than the known menace. Too often authors sell the imaginations of their readers short. We read, therefore our imaginations are wild.

Moving home after a recent job loss was supposed to reassure Camden Bristow and give her time to decide what to do next. But when she arrives in Etherton, Ohio, she discovers that her grandmother, who she hasn’t talked to in years, has passed away and “home” is an empty mansion 150 years old. Not exactly the comfort Camden was looking for. What happened to the house she played in as a child, the bedtime stories that told of secret passageways and runaway slaves, and all those family memories?

When antiques start disappearing and footsteps are heard, some of those memories start to creep back and Camden wonders if her grandmother’s bedtime stories might actually be true. What really happened here . . . at Crescent Hill? How was her grandmother involved? Who still has access to the house? And for what purpose? As she works to uncover the past and present mysteries harbored in her home, Camden also uncovers secrets about her family that could change the town—and her life—forever.

"It's history, mystery, and treasure hunt wrapped up in one suspenseful adventure! You'll want to keep the lights on while you read Dobson's plot-driven story. She so skillfully sets the scene in this memory- haunting house that you'll hear the creaks and footsteps. And whether lost or redeemed, her believable characters ring true with their genuine faults, all-too-human mistakes, and realistic 'skeletons in the closet.'"--Fiction Editor, Christian Book Distributors

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