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A former journalist and graduate from Humber College's School for Writers, Tracy Ward has been hard at work developing her favourite protagonist, Peter Ainsley, and chronicling his adventures as a young surgeon in Victorian England. Her website can be found at www.gothicmysterywriter.blogspot.com. Tracy Ward is currently working on the second book in the Peter Ainsley mystery series. She lives near Barrie, Ontario with her husband and two kids.
on May 10, 2016 :
The Marshall House series has another great addition with Prayers for the Dying.
With each series installment, I become more emotionally attached to Peter and his sister Margaret. You can't help but connect with these characters and like them, not despite their flaws and vulnerabilities, but because of them. Both Peter and Margaret struggle with the limitations dictated for their class by society and the demands of family obligations in the face of deep conflict, all while trying to realize their own desires.
The story line takes the reader into the urban underbelly which is ominous and intriguing with a variety of ancillary characters that add color and mystery. The reader can easily sense the unfortunate realities of the underclasses through the well written imagery.
I was completely drawn in by the characters, setting, and story. And, I loved the ending - which I won't spoil here. Already looking forward to the next book in the series...
(reviewed 24 days after purchase)
on May 03, 2016 :
I received an Advanced Reader Copy of this book in exchange for an honest review. I have really enjoyed all of the "Marshall House" books, but this one is my favourite. I feel like I got to know the characters better in this book, through backstory and also how they interacted with one another. Ainsley seemed much more "real" to me in this installment, more vulnerable, and that made me like him more than I have in past books. The pace of this book was quick and exciting, I was never bored.
(reviewed 19 days after purchase)
on April 25, 2016 :
***THIS IS AN HONEST REVIEW IN EXCHANGE FOR AN ADVANCED READER'S COPY***
This is the fifth installment of Tracy L. Ward's Marshall Family series and I have to say it certainly packs a mighty punch. I LOVE this family!
The Marshall family has certainly had their fare share of trauma, from the murder of their mother, the Countess, by a close and trusted friend to their father and patriarch, the Earl of Montcliff's apparent sudden apoplectic breakdown, not to mention the secrets they are all trying to keep out of the society papers. One of which is Peter's troubled "visions" and his ability to see the ghosts of murdered souls who come to him for help.
Peter Marshall, second son and heir, who also goes by Dr. Peter Ainsley, morgue surgeon, is suffering from the consequences of his actions that irrevocably changed his life forever. The only two people in his family he can trust with his darkest secret are his sister, Margaret and someone who's become as close as a sister, her lady's maid, Julia Kemp. This story focuses mainly on Julia and Ainsley's relationship with her.
From the moment Julia was introduced to the Marshall family, I had hoped to find out more about her and we do. She has a troubled past and secrets of her own. Her story is very well developed and touching and not without it's fair share of heartbreak. Frankly, I couldn't see how the author was going to be able to make the relationship between Peter and Julia work. It's just not done in Society. He's a nobleman, she's a maid and never the twain shall meet, so to speak. From the moment the two met, they were hopelessly drawn to each other. Then one day the body of a man is found just a few doors down from their mansion. It soon becomes apparent that the man was murdered. Peter soon realizes that it was left as a message for someone. Then one day Julia goes missing and Peter puts two and two together. He is frantic to find her. He can also no longer hide his affections for Julia from those around him. His search digs up old secrets that Julia had hoped no one would ever find out, especially the man she loves.
Needless to say, the twists and turns this book took me through were like a roller coaster and happened just as fast. I breezed through it in a matter of hours, that's how fast paced it is. That isn't necessarily a bad thing, but as in the case of anything that you wish could go on forever, this ride was over way too quick and having to wait yet another year for more... :(
I had read that there will only be one more story to this family's saga which, due to the cliff hanger at the end of PFTD, will bring back Jonas and hopefully a happy ending for him and Margaret.
I say again, I enjoyed this book. I love this family. I look forward to more from this author. You will too.
(reviewed 11 days after purchase)