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The Secret Staircase (Wendover House Mystery #1)
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The Secret Staircase (Wendover House Mystery #1)

3.58 of 5 stars 3.58  ·  rating details  ·  85 ratings  ·  10 reviews
A strange inheritance leads Tess MacKay to an island in Maine. In her unknown relative's ancient house, she discovers that the sins of the past are very much alive and able to be visited on the children. Smugglers and pirates and an old curse are not just things of the past, but dangers and mysteries to be reckoned with today.
Kindle Edition, 111 pages
Published October 12th 2011 by Brian Jackson (first published September 29th 2011)
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Frederick Brooke
This book is masterfully written in elegant, clean, spare prose, and it moves along swiftly with a light touch. The heroine is a strong young woman who owns and runs a newspaper in the midwest. When she travels to Maine to inspect the house she inherited from a great-grandfather, she surprises herself by falling in love with it. In fact, I realized part way through the book that the house is one of the main characters, with its quaint rooms and wooden trim and old gas stove and lack of electrici ...more
When I was younger, I was a huge fan of the Nancy Drew Mysteries, and I ordered this book on my Kindle because I loved the title, and the premise of a "house with secrets." The book did not disappoint, and it immediately transports the reader to a tiny coastal village in Maine, not unlike Jessica Fletcher's Cabot Cove from the "Murder She Wrote" series. It is a fast read, but doesn't go so fast that you don't get a flavor for Goose Haven and its quirky townsfolk. What I loved most about this boo ...more
J.P. David
The Secret Staircase is the perfect story to read while sitting in a comfortable chair in front of a roaring fire, or perhaps on the beach. I settled back in my recliner and was quickly swept away in a well crafted tale of intrigue with just the right combination of suspenseful plot, quirky characters, sharp dialogue and a setting that is both comforting and threatening. In other words, a terrific cozy.

Melanie Jackson knows her craft and it certainly shows in this, the first of the Wendover Hous
Stuart Haddon
Like a wine which promises much when first you put your nose into the glass, Melanie Jackson's novel makes a good first impression. Her writing is extremely accomplished. She has a strong voice, especially in the early part of the novel and demonstrates confidence and originality in her use of language. The main character, Tess, is likeable, quirky, interesting and believable, and the other inhabitants of the story play their parts well. The sense of place is strong. The island and, especially, ...more
Jeannie and Louis Rigod
This novella or short story was worthy of the title of classic mystery in the style of a Poe. In my opinion, the only thing I would have liked is for the book to be triple the size. I chose the Paperback version.

Tess MacKay, a woman with a sense of humor, yet, curiously quite alone in this world, gets notice that she is the remaining heir of the Wendover's, an ancestral family that has lived for the past three hundred years on Little Goose Island, Me or is it Canada? That is one of the mysteries
Andrea Závodská
I absolutely adore the beautiful writing style of Melanie Jackson. She has done an amazing job on the settings, history, characters, and... the cat, of course! I love the idea of a secluded island full of secrets and mysteries and the atmosphere was just like it, getting me hooked up and entertained until the very end. This is a wonderful read for anyone who likes mysteries. I have seen reviews talking about "an disappointing end", but I have to disagree. This is a SERIES! And the first book of ...more
Terry Huebner
The Secret Staircase is a wonderful addition to the Agatha Christie-style of cozy mysteries. The book’s heroine, Tess MacKay, unexpectedly inherits a large old house on an island in Maine from a long-lost relative. When she travels to see it from her home in Minnesota, she discovers colorful characters and a tempting series of family secrets, superstitions and even a curse. As the first book in the Wendover House Mystery series, The Secret Staircase introduces us to an interesting locale and ple ...more
Deanna Sletten
Jan 18, 2012 Deanna Sletten rated it 5 of 5 stars
Recommends it for: Everyone
Shelves: favorites
I thoroughly enjoyed The Secret Staircase by Melanie Jackson. Ms. Jackson has a beautiful writing style that makes you not only enjoy the story, but also appreciate the art of writing. Her characters are so well thought out that you feel like you know them personally and the story line is given to you in small doses until you can’t wait to see what happens next. I just couldn’t put this book down. The perfect blend of mystery, suspense and intrigue. I am now hooked on Ms. Jackson’s books and can ...more
Feb 02, 2012 Kel rated it 3 of 5 stars
Shelves: mystery
A woman inherits a beautiful island off of the coast of Maine, but she must live there forever or the island will fall into the ocean. An interesting and fairly short story I downloaded for free.
Mary  (Biblophile)
Reminded me of the old-fashioned gothic mysteries I used to read when I was younger.
Beatrix marked it as to-read
Apr 14, 2015
Lynne Craddock
Lynne Craddock marked it as to-read
Apr 08, 2015
Mary McCusker
Mary McCusker marked it as to-read
Feb 25, 2015
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Jan 18, 2015
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Melanie, an award-winning author of more than fifty novels, stories and poems lives with her writer husband in the California Gold Country with their cat (also a writer who has a page on myspace) and their dog (who is hoping to get a page on facebook as soon as she masters typing). Melanie likes gardening but hates the deer who also like her garden, and she volunteers at a local animal shelter.
More about Melanie Jackson...

Other Books in the Series

Wendover House Mystery (5 books)
  • Twelfth Night (A Wendover House Mystery Book 2)
  • On Deadly Tides (A Wendover House Mystery Book 3)
  • Pieces of Hate
  • Mysterious Island (A Wendover House Mystery Book 5)
Moving Violation (A Chloe Boston Mystery, #1) The Pumpkin Thief (A Chloe Boston Mystery, #2) The Selkie Traveler (Wildside #1) Death in a Turkey Town (A Chloe Boston Mystery #3)

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