THE SHIFTING FOG by Kate Morton

“Summer 1924: On the eve of a glittering society party, by the lake of a grand English country house, a young poet takes his life. The only witnesses, sisters Hannah and Emmeline Hartford, will never speak to each other again.

Winter 1999: Grace Bradley, 98, one-time housemaid of Riverton Manor, is visited by a young director making a film about the poet’s suicide. Ghosts awaken and memories, long consigned to the dark reaches of Grace’s mind, begin to sneak back through the cracks. A shocking secret threatens to emerge; something history has forgotten but Grace never could.

Set as the war-shattered Edwardian summer surrenders to the decadent twenties, The Shifting Fog, renamed Riverton House,  is a thrilling mystery and a compelling love story.”

OK, maybe not a thrilling mystery,  but a small and interesting one.  This story is told from the point of view of a ladies maid who left service, was able to go to uni and became a noted archeologist.   The vehicle holding this tale together is a rather flimsy one concerning a film maker who wants to make a movie about the suicide(?) of a famous poet on the grounds of the estate, which happened during the maid’s time there,  and visits our now quite elderly former maid in order to get more inside info, which sends Grace floating off into deep remembrances.  She decides to tell the whole story on tape for an adult grandson, a well known mystery writer who has stopped writing and gone somewhat missing after the death of his wife.  (Eye roll here.  I mean, really.)

Very readable,  but for me, structurally shaky.  But of course, fiction contains the necessity of suspending disbelief, so sometimes ya gotta just go with it, right?

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