A Thousand Steps

A Thousand Steps
A Thousand Steps by T. Jefferson Parker

Friday, December 13, 2013


The Secret of Mirror House by Jennifer Blake is a Steel Magnolia Press Publication

In the deep south during the 1870's, Amelia's mother dies and she finds herself nearly destitute. When an invitation is offered from distant relatives for Amelia to come stay with them, she doesn't hesitate to accept the offer.

Upon arrival however, Amelia begins to regret her decision. She encounters a house full of relatives that do not really seem to like her. Neville, a man who never married, a rude, blunt and even cruel man at times, a cousin, James that seems friendly on the surface, and several other relatives, none of whom are overly friendly. In fact, they are all downright strange with all their secrets and hidden agendas.
The situation Amelia is in becomes a little clearer when she discovers the family would like her to marry either James or Neville. It is obvious they have a preference too. Amelia doesn't want to marry at all and especially not to either one of these two odd ducks.
Tension builds as the family becomes more and more nervous and more and more desperate about Amelia and the threat she represents to their future.
Who can Amelia trust? Will she learn all the secrets of Mirror House?

This book was written back in the hey day of Gothic romance/mystery novels. In the 1960's and 70's and even into the very early 80's, these novels were super popular. Their popularity died out in the wake of the "Bodice Ripper" novel taking romance novels to a different level.
In this case the Gothic mystery has a historical setting which to me makes the story more atmospheric and tense. The hot and humid climate also gives the reader the impression that things are about to boil over. A girl with vey little resources , still mourning her mother's death, finds herself in a large plantation house surrounded by people she doesn't really know and who all seems to be on edge. They play mean tricks, lie to her, try to manipulate her and eventually she begins to fear for her safety.
I thought the author did a great job of building the suspense and keeping the reader feeling tense. The romance is limited to kissing, which was common in this genre. There are adult themes but that's about as far as it ever got.
I am thrilled that these earlier novels by Jennifer Blake are being released in digital format. You can find these at Amazon.com - http://www.smarturl.it.smp
This one is an A.

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