top of page

The House on Biscayne Bay - a gothic historical mystery set in Florida.

The year is 1918, after the end of the Great War. As Anna Barnes approaches her 40th birthday, her adoring husband Richard surprises her with quite a gift. He is building a showcase mansion overlooking Biscayne Bay in the Miami area. His quest is to have his new waterfront estate rival that of nearby Vizcaya. It will be called Marbrisa. While Richard sees this as a way to showcase his wealth, Anna only sees problems ahead. And her fears are dead on. Years later in 1941, Asher Wyatt is the new owner of Marbrisa and lives there with his wife Carolina. After the death of her parents in Havana, her sister Carmen Acosta comes to live with them. Carmen quickly discovers that things are not quite right in the gothic mansion. Could the tragedy of the house's past be repeating itself?

Author Chanel Cleeton's The House on Biscayne Bay starts with Anna thinking to herself, "I cannot for the life of me imagine why anyone would want to live in Florida." Now that I live full time in South Florida (isn't that where New Yorkers are supposed to end up?) I knew I'd enjoy this book. So many of its grand mansions are long gone but how nice to be transported to a fictional estate and a timeline that pays homage to Florida history - the infamous Florida East Coast Railway, its land boom and subsequent bust including the effects of the 1926 Miami Hurricane, the Great Depression and the beginning of World War II. The gothic atmosphere enhances the chilling history of Marbrisa, which is the book's true main character. This was a quick read and it never got too heavy. You might even figure out some of the secrets that lie behind the pale stone behemoth of a house. It's an enjoyable read.

Many thanks to Berkley for the opportunity to read this book in advance.

Rated 4 out of 5 stars.

Historical Fiction / Mystery.

Publication Date: April 2, 2024.

Please "like" this post if The House on Biscayne Bay sounds like a book you might like to read. I'd love to know. Scroll below the photo and click on the red outlined heart on the lower right-hand side of the page. Comments can also be left below.


bottom of page