Monday, March 11, 2013

The Devereaux Legacy by Carolyn Hart

Some books that were once popular just don't hold up with the passage of time. There is a reason Seventh Street Books is reissuing Carolyn Hart's books, though, in a line called "Carolyn Hart Classics". Her novel, The Devereaux Legacy, is an absorbing example of the gothic romances that were so popular in the late 1970s. If you sometimes skip introductions, I urge you not to skip this one. Hart has written a new commentary in which she talks about the difficulty women had in finding a niche in the mystery world. Sometimes, it was by writing a romance and adding the mystery element, as she did with this book. And, she sets the stage. "It reflects a day before cell phones and constant linkage to the world." It was easier to put a heroine in jeopardy. And, Hart did that in this book.

How does it feel to stand over a tombstone, and see your name on it with a death date nineteen years earlier? Leah Devereaux had no idea she had ever lived in Mefford, South Carolina, until her grandmother, Louisa Shaw, died, leaving part of a letter and a magazine article about a ghost. The Whispering Lady was one of the South's famous ghosts, seen again after many years. Her appearance was said to occur only when a Devereaus was about to die. When Leah appeared in Mefford, people acted as if they had seen a ghost. And, some were not happy to see her.

Two of Leah's cousins warned her to stay away, while a third welcomed her with open arms. But, when the ghost walked again and accidents happened, Leah wasn't sure who she could trust. However, she was determined to find the truth and tell her newly discovered Grandmother Devereaux the story about the night nineteen years earlier when a yacht disappeared, along with Leah's parents.

Over the years, Carolyn Hart has excelled at writing mysteries. It's obvious with The Devereaux Legacy that she had a knack for writing gothics as well. As a writer, she knows what the genre required - a young woman left alone in the world, a discovery of an inheritance and a family, a haunted and haunting house, a possible romance threatened by secrets, and someone determined to kill the young woman to preserve those secrets. Leah Devereaux is the perfect heroine, young, beautiful, and determined to find the truth. If you loved those gothic romances of the late '70s, as I did, you'll welcome the chance to escape into that simpler world again. Carolyn Hart's The Devereaux Legacy is the perfect vehicle into the past.

Carolyn Hart's website is

The Devereaux Legacy by Carolyn Hart. Seventh Street Books. 2013. ISBN 9781616147044 (paperback), 156p.

FTC Full Disclosure - The publicist sent me a copy of the book, hoping I would review it.


San said...

FTC Full Disclosure - The publicist sent me a copy of the book, hoping I would review it.
End quote

Your previous post says
My friend Carolyn Hart
End quote

It's not really full disclosure, is it?

Lesa said...

The full disclosure consists of how I received the book, for the sake of the FTC who demands that. And authors know that I will do a fair review, whether or not they are friends. So, the disclosure is actually accurate. The FTC only wants to know whether or not you are receiving any sort of payment, which I do not.