17.4.09

Mistress of Mellyn by Victoria Holt


This is the first book that I have read by Victoria Holt, that is the pseudonym for Eleanor Alice Burford who has written many books in different styles and under different names.
Mistress of Mellyn is very much a romantic suspense novel. The reader follows Martha Leigh as she takes up the position of governess at Mount Mellyn House in Cornwall. The house itself is central to the story; it is a spooky, cliff-top mansion hiding many secrets within it's walls. Connan TreMellyn is the master of the house who has recently lost his wife and so he has employed Martha Leigh to take charge of his young daughter, Alvean. Martha feels the presence of the previous mistress of Mount Mellyn immediately and sets out to uncover some of the secrets surrounding her untimely death.
This book has many aspects which are similar to some of the classics. Connan TreMellyn has many similarities to Mr Rochester of Jane Eyre and there are comparisons with Daphne Du Maurier's Rebecca with the mysterious death of the first wife and the mysterious house on the Cornish coast. Some of these similarities annoyed me slightly but I still enjoyed it and I have to say that I really had not predicted the twist at the end.
I am just about to start The Book Thief by Markus Zusak. It is my intention to catch up with some of the books that I missed from last year. Next on the list is The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Society by Mary Ann Shaffer and Annie Barrows. Mr S is reading this at the moment so I am going to borrow it when he has finished. It is the fastest that I have ever witnessed him read a book so it must be good!

10 comments:

Savidge Reads said...

I can't wait to see what you make of both of your next reads they are two of my favourite books from the last few years, very good choices. This book sounds quite interesting. The house sounds like my dream home, spooky a bit decrepit lol. I have finally caught up on all your blogs and have commented away. Hope you have had a delightful weekend?

Liz said...

OK, I'm older than you, read Victoria Holt years ago and LOVED her, devoured all her books and NOW I find out it's a pseudonym? Where have I been all these years? Oh well, you have brought back many fond memories with your review not to mention a resolve to go research her! (P.S. Personally -- did not care all that much for "The Book Thief." Very hard to get into...But my reaction might not be yours at all.)

I'm busy finished a book club book, a PD James book, "The Lighthouse." My first James and I'm enjoying it. My brother tried it and hated it. Oh well. I'm also tackling a nonfiction book, "Dominance and Delusion," which tackles our motivations and human behavior, which is really interesting. It delves into a scientific and objective study on why we are as we are, and why we behave as we do. Turns out we kind of have a biased view of our own humanity. So far I've learned a lot about how we got to where we are today. Very interesting. There's even an excerpt available online.

Dot said...

Simon- Thanks Simon, I have had a lovely weekend actually, hope you did too! I can see from your blog that it was a very successful book buying weekend!

Dot said...

Liz- I was quite shocked about Victoria Holt but it's good news in a way as it means that she has written many other books! I am not that far into The Book Thief but I am really enjoying it, a lot of people though have said that it is hard to get into.
'Dominance and Delusion' sounds very interesting, I shall have to have a look at the excerpt. Hope you have a good week!

Scattie said...

The Book Thief is an amazing book! One of my favourites! I have never read a Victoria Holt, but this sounds like a really good book!

I have an award for you on my blog! :-)

Kim said...

Hello Dot, first time here on your blog- saw your link at Simon's place and thought I would come visit. Potato Peel Society is a great book, but unfortunately, I no longer have a copy as I it got lost over the years, though I still remember it well. Would be fascinated to see what you think of it.
Sometimes 'borrowing' from other plots and characters works out great and other times, not so good, as it seems was the case in Mistress of Mellyn.
I will be back here now I have found you and come visit me, too. Perhaps we can swap a recipe or two

Dot said...

Kim- Thanks for visiting my blog! I am really looking foward to reading The Literary and Potato Peel Society. I shall have to come over and visit your blog, it's lovely finding new ones to read isn't it?

Liz said...

If you like Victoria Holt, give some of the other "Gothic romance" writers a try. They include Mary Stewart and Phyllis Whitney. (At least I think it's phyllis Whitney -- am drawing a mental blank... I tell you, the fun I had with those!

Liz said...

OK, I just checked my library web site -- it IS Phyllis Whitney. Enjoy!

Dot said...

Liz- thank you so much for those suggestions- I have added them to my list of authors to check out! I do like a good gothic romance! Hope you're having a good week!

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