Friday, September 15, 2006

Poison to Purge Melancholy

What could be worse than facing your boyfriend's family and sullen daughter at Christmastime without him? How about also facing a house full of ghosts?

After an absence of five years, author Elena Santangelo brings back Pat Montella in a fascinating mystery, set in colonial Williamsburg. Montella's boyfriend, Hugh Lee, has invited her to his mother's home, the Carson House, in Williamsburg, for the Christmas holidays. As Pat deals with modern day problems of her future in-laws, the historic house with electrical problems, and the sudden appearance of her gynecologist at the family Christmas, she also experiences feelings of sickness and the presence of a ghost when she enters certain parts of Gladys Lee's home. The parallel storyline from December of 1783 tells of Benjamin Dunbar, a music master residing in the Carson house, who witnesses a slow sickening and death of another resident of the house. Pat, who is sensitive to ghosts, feels fear and illness when she's in the old parts of the house. However, she's promised Hugh that she will no longer discuss her knowledge of ghosts. When tragedy strikes during a holiday meal, a murder two hundred years earlier could provide answers.

Santangelo does a wonderful job utilizing two storylines in a riveting mystery. Anyone who enjoys history mixed into stories, along with a little bit of paranormal, should welcome these books. There's something for everyone - mystery, romance, history, and a touch of humor, all wrapped up in a beautifully written package.

Elena Santangelo's website is

Posion to Purge Melancholy by Elena Santangelo. Midnight Ink, c2006. ISBN 0738708909 (paperback), 407p.


Julia Buckley said...

This sounds great, Lesa! Thanks for the review. I always admire authors who can write history authentically, and I LOVE her title.

Lesa said...

Santangelo does a wonderful job with the history angles. I hope you enjoy her!