The Two Mrs. Carlyles pays homage to Daphne du Maurier's Rebecca. It's a haunting story set in San Francisco in the early 1900s. Violet is sent to an orphanage after losing her parents and becomes close friends with Cora and Flossie. After a fire destroys the orphanage, the three friends find themselves trying to survive. The 1906 San Francisco Earthquake ends up freeing them from a hard life in the seedy Barbary Coast, a red-light district. The three separate to create new lives for themselves.
Violet becomes a shop-girl selling fine hats and catches the eye of handsome, wealthy Harry Carlyle, much to the shock of her friends, who she has reunited with. Once married, she moves into his mansion and feels like an outsider in the home once occupied by the first Mrs. Carlyle whose absence is a mystery. Did she die in the Earthquake or did she secretly run away? When strange occurrences start taking place, is Violet imaging things? Her husband’s faithful Head of Household Miss Weber reinforces her fears that she is not wanted in the house.
There’s a tenseness throughout which keeps you on edge and fearful for Violet. And also wondering if perhaps it’s Violet who is the real culprit to all that is going amiss.
This is a well-written, dark, Gothic-style book that will keep you guessing until the end. Calling Alfred Hitchcock.
Many thanks to Edelweiss, G.P. Putnam’s Sons / Penguin Publishing Group and author Suzanne Rindell for a copy of The Two Mrs. Carlyles in advance of its release.
Rated 4 out of 5 stars.
Historical Fiction / Suspense.
Publication Date: July 28, 2020.
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