First Line from Prologue: "The dining table shimmered with candlelight reflected in antique glassware; silver clinked gently while people ate their prime rib and chatted quietly in the enormous room."
Summary: Nora Blake has been offered a position with an acting troupe that performs at an actual castle in the middle of Illinois. Part of her is very excited, the other part wonders if it is too good to be true. Along with the position comes room and board in the castle. As these are things that often take a large portion of an actresses' salary, Nora has decided to give the position a try.
Things are going smoothly until one of the actors is found dead in the chapel during one of the performances. Every member of the cast is a suspect, along with the guests attending the performance. Suddenly, Nora's decision to accept the position doesn't seem so wonderful after all. She feels unsafe in her own home. So, she sets out to discover who might have wanted the actor dead.
My thoughts: This was a lot of fun! The setting in a castle along with a dinner and mystery show was hard to resist.
Nora is a likeable character. It was interesting to walk into this situation in her shoes. The other actors seem nice, but Nora questions whether she has missed something and so did I. The supporting characters are interesting and a bit quirky in their own way. Each has an interesting back story that we have only begun to learn. Nora's family is important to her and she connects with them regularly. I liked that. Her younger brothers help bring out how amazing the castle is through their exuberance.
The castle setting is unique and the author does a good job of helping you get a feel for what it is like. A map of the castle is included at the beginning of the book. I really liked this. I could flip back and look at the map and really "see" what was going on. There is definitely a gothic tone to the story and this helped enhance the setting and the mystery.
The mystery was good and everyone was a suspect. There were some creepy elements that kept the pages turning. Nora always reported anything she discovered to the authorities. I appreciated this. There were plenty of twists and turns that kept me guessing until the end.
This is a great start to a new series and I hope there will be more stories in Castle Dark.