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House of Ashes

(Haunted Bluffs Mystery #1)

3.75  ·  Rating details ·  159 ratings  ·  56 reviews
A family patriarch’s dying proclamation, an enigmatic disappearance, and a century-old curse converge in the shadows of a majestic home on Cape Cod’s craggy coast.

Thirty-seven-year-old painter Cassandra Mitchell is fourth-generation to live in the majestic Battersea Bluffs, a brooding Queen Anne home originally built by her great-grandparents, Percy and Celeste Mitchell, a
Hardcover, 336 pages
Published November 13th 2018 by Crooked Lane Books
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Average rating 3.75  · 
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 ·  159 ratings  ·  56 reviews

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Kylie D
Nov 22, 2018 rated it really liked it
I did enjoy this book, it had the right eerie background for a haunted house, a gothic type setting in Cape Cod. A lonely divorcee, Cassie, lives in the house and befriends a young couple who end up staying with her, until they disappear without a trace. A missing ring, tattoos of a phoenix, a mysterious "T" that keeps turning up. Not to mention an old curse cast against Cassie's family.

All in all I found "House Of Ashes" to be an intriguing mystery, with clues and red herrings every time you t
Will Byrnes
Curiosity is lying in wait for every secret.
-----Ralph Waldo Emerson - from the epigraph
Cassandra Mitchell is beside herself. She is in dire financial straits after her less than wonderful husband managed to drain most of her trust fund on failed business ventures. The marriage reduced to cinders, the divorce is nearly done, but she is in danger of losing the family manse if she cannot come up with some more money. She works as a tour boat guide part time to bring in something, but her pri
Sep 11, 2018 rated it liked it
Recommended to Matt by: Crooked Lane
First and foremost, a large thank you to NetGalley, Loretta Marion, and Crooked Lane Books for providing me with a copy of this publication, which allows me to provide you with an unbiased review.

Loretta Marion develops a story that straddles time and geography to bring the reader into the centre of numerous mysteries that come to a head in an energetic ending. The small Massachusetts community of Whale Rock has been home to the Mitchell family off and on for over eight decades. When one of the
Nov 10, 2018 rated it really liked it
Cassie Mitchell is 37 and in trouble. She lives in her family's historic Victorian house on Cape Cod...but the house comes with ghosts. Literally. Or bad memories. Or a curse. Whatever you want to call it. Three generations of her family have met with sadness and death because of a long-ago curse placed on the family by an unhappy lover...a lighterman named Robert Toomey. 80 years ago Toomey supposedly started a fire in the house, killing Cassie's great-grandmother Celeste. Percy Mitchell then j ...more
Oct 28, 2018 rated it really liked it
Shelves: netgalley, kindle
Thank you Netgalley and Crooked Lane Books for the ARC.

A house by the sea with an artist in residence is all it takes to get me curious. Add a good mystery and a bit of paranormal activity and I'm game.

Cassie lives at Battersea Bluffs, the house that has been in her family for generations. In return for some maintenance work she takes in a young couple, without paying much attention to their backgrounds. When they don't return from a short outing, Cassie worries for their safety and gets the cop
Gail C.
Nov 04, 2018 rated it liked it
My thanks to NetGalley and Crooked Lane Books for providing an advance digital copy of House of Ashes by Loretta Marion in exchange for an unbiased review. I had some difficulty getting started with this novel. It shifts from present day and eighty years in the past, however even in the present day the time shifts over several months time. While the time period of each ensuing section was clearly labeled, initially I found the constant shift to create a choppy, less cohesive story. As time went ...more
Sherry Fundin
The location, Cape Cod, made this a must read for me. I have spent a lot of time at the Cape and I can picture Battersea Bluffs and the surrounding area easily.

Cassandra’s great grandparents had owned the home and now it was hers, but she needed help financially and help fixing it up. Along comes Vince and Ashley.

It doesn’t take long and they come up missing. How? Why? Whenever a house is involved, I immediately think of ghosts and goblins, and we do have a curse with smells that can be pleasant
Sep 12, 2018 rated it did not like it
Copy courtesy of NetGalley

Disclaimer: I dislike love stories, happy endings, and helpless, whingeing females. As such, I got 5% into this book and decided my life was worth more than wasting time reading this.
Leslie aka StoreyBook Reviews
There are some days I want to read a suspense filled book and this one did the trick. There were so many stories to unravel, personal histories to understand, and a mystery to solve that I had a hard time putting this book down each night.  I also can't discount the descriptive words of the town, Battersea Bluffs, the residents in the town, and the area in general.  

The story starts off 80 years in the past with the deaths of Percy and Celeste, Cassie's Great Grandparents that came to the US fro
Stanley McShane
Nov 09, 2018 rated it really liked it
Cassandra Mitchell is the great-granddaughter of Percy and Celeste Mitchell who built the gorgeous Battersea Bluffs mansion in Whale Rock, Massachusetts, Cape Cod where she now lives alone. She is 37 years old and tenaciously clings to the family Victorian despite its history, local folklore, and apparent supernatural experiences. There is an apparent curse that has followed them from England affecting their male descendants. Cassie has weathered a disastrous marriage and impending divorce and i ...more
Nov 01, 2018 rated it it was ok
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Nov 29, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Recommends it for: all who enjoy mysteries!
Loved it! Absolutely loved this book and I did not want it to end! Loretta Marion’s House of Ashes, A Haunted Bluffs Mystery, is an enthralling mystery. Once I began reading this book, I could hardly stop for a moment to complete some other tasks I had begun. The female protagonist, Cassie or Cassandra, if she was in some kind of trouble, is living in an old Victorian house built by her ancestors. Of course, there is more to that story, but one must read this novel to discover to what I am refer ...more
Melanie Lopata
Mar 01, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Excellent writing, loved the characters and loved the plot. Can’t wait to get the second one!!!
 Reading Reindeer 2021 On Proxima Centauri
HOUSE OF ASHES is a wonderful cozy mystery, set in a glorious scenic location, that strongly tugged at my heartstrings. I found myself involved with the characters--past and present--from the beginning. It was simple to care about them, which is one of the hallmarks of good fiction. Grieve when they grieve, rejoice, worry, puzzle out mysteries. The beautiful family heirloom residence, set high on the bluffs near Cape Cod, won't remain in the family unless Cassandra can construct a way to save it ...more
Cozy Cat Reviews
Nov 26, 2018 rated it it was amazing
This is the perfect mystery for a cold winters day . I enjoyed this book and highly recommend it .
A house by the sea in a small coastal village with mysterious happenings, a rumored ghost, a good mystery and strong charcters with well crafted writing made this the perfect read for a afternoon of escape.

Cassie lives at Battersea Bluffs, the house that has been in her family for generations. She takes in a young couple who soon disappears.. The gossip in the village abounds as do mysterious clue
Nov 22, 2018 rated it really liked it
I really liked this book, it was entertaining and engaging.
I was hooked since the first pages and couldn't put it down.
I love the characters and atmosphere, dark and atmospheric.
The characters were well developed and interesting.
A very good and enjoyable read.
Many thanks to Crooked Lane and Netgalley for this ARC
Sally Coles
Nov 18, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Cassie is in danger of losing her beloved house The Bluffs that has been in her family for generations thanks to the debts her ex husband left behind and the divorce, but then a couple Ashley and Vince turn up out of the blue and help her do up the coach house so that she can let it out, but then they mysteriously disappear........ is the house really haunted! Trying to find out what really happend to them she starts to uncover more of her own family history but why will the police and the FBI n ...more
Reader The Brown Bookloft
House of Ashes by Loretta Marion (Pre-pub, Nov 2018, Crooked Lane Books). Review copy courtesy of NetGalley.

Summary: Battersea Bluffs at Lavender Hill is a grand old Cape Cod house in the town of Whale Rock. The weather-beaten Victorian is home to Cassie Mitchell and quite possibly the ghosts of her ancestors, Percy and Celeste Mitchell. After her soon to be ex-husband spent her sizable inheritance, Cassie is struggling to find a way to keep The Bluffs out of foreclosure.

While she’s mulling over
Sep 07, 2018 rated it it was ok
House of Ashes is a mystery book that isn't quite sure which mystery it wants to solve.

There are a lot of strange and mysterious things happening around Battersea Bluffs, an old and historic home located in the Cape. Local resident Cassandra is intent on solving all of them - the mystery of why her sister won't visit her or the home they grew up in anymore, the mystery of whether her grandmother's house is haunted, the mystery of what happened to her tenants that disappeared without a trace, t
Patricia Romero
Oct 30, 2018 rated it it was ok
Shelves: mystery
A Haunted Bluffs Mystery

Cassie Mitchell is living in her great-grandparents beautiful home overlooking the ocean. Battersea Bluffs is a house with a past. Built by her great-grandparents, Percy and Celeste Mitchell who died in a fire brought on by a curse.

Oh, and they still live there. Just in a different form.

I'm not going to go into a lot of detail here because the summary tells the entire story.

One thing I did not like was the jumping back and forth of timelines and characters that seemed to
Cassie’s Reviews
Oct 23, 2018 rated it really liked it
House of ashes has so many different elements of romance , heartbreak mystery and the paranormal. House of ashes begins with a horrible tragedy against percy and his wife Celeste and Percy blames a horrible curse gainer them by a scorned Robert Toomy. Fast forward 80years later and descendant of Percy . She’s in danger of losing bluffs which is her family’s historic home on the cliff side. She’s going through a horrible time. Along comes Ashley and Vince with their dog whistler this young couple ...more
Jul 12, 2018 rated it it was amazing
House of Ashes had many elements; romance, heartbreak, mystery, paranormal happenings and intrigue. Marion was able to blend all those elements together into a wonderfully spellbinding book.

First, I'd like to thank Netgalley, Crooked Lane Books, and Loretta Marion (the author) for allowing me to have this ARC of House of Ashes.

House of Ashes opens with the tragedy that befalls Percy and his wife Celeste. Percy blames everything on a curse that was cast onto them by a scorned Robert
Jenn Z at That's What She's Reading
I received an ARC of this book from the publisher via Netgalley in exchange for an
honest and thoughtful review.

From the book's haunting cover design to the intriguing synopsis, I was instantly captivated and could not wait to delve into this one. Now after having spent an enchanting adventure along the Cape, I cannot wait to see where this series takes me next!

From the opening chapter to the final sentence, I was completely immersed in this intensely atmospheric story made even more so by the fa
Lucia Henderson
Sep 15, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Loretta Marion's House of Ashes drew me into the story right from the beginning. A tragic fire in the first pages of the book sets the scene for a curse that has haunted four generations of Cassie Mitchell's family, including her own misfortune with both love and financial success. Set in a fictional town on Cape Cod, House of Ashes is full of flawed but engaging characters like Cassie who are a pleasure to get to know. This is one of those books you hate to have end because you feel like you ar ...more
Dara Miller
Jul 14, 2018 rated it it was amazing
“Leave the buried past where it is. You will hate how it changes you.”

Although I was in the middle of a reading slump, I still pushed through to read this book. Haunted anything intrigues me, always… so I was very excited to be accepted for the ARC through #NetGalley.

The story begins by tossing you into the past, which I found pulled me in pretty fast. After that, we are taken to present time in the midst of a missing persons investigation, but then thrown back into the past just a smidge to go
Sherry V Wood
Nov 16, 2018 rated it it was amazing
I thoroughly enjoyed this book. It has all the elements that make for a good story. It has romance, mystery and the setting is a huge Victorian house in cape cod that is rumored to be haunted. It is such a believable tale which is sometimes not always found when reading about houses that supposedly have ghosts. The author did a great job combining all the elements together. I highly recommend this book.
Lisa Ortega
Nov 17, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Great read! The story goes from the present to the past and back again. I loved the history told in the book. The characters really come alive in a dramatic fashion. You can feel the presence of the ancestors thru out the book. You have to read on and not put the book down because you have to know what will happen next. The family curse brings such a great element to the story. I don't want to spoil it for anyone. Just know its a real page turner and you will not be disappointed. Get your copy t ...more
Jul 21, 2018 rated it really liked it
Shelves: giveaways
A gentle mystery which kept me guessing until the end. Not a suspenseful story but an engrossing untying of knots and secrets to the final revelation. I thoroughly enjoyed it, from the setting to the characters and all the romance and angst in between. #NetGalley
Jan 11, 2019 rated it it was amazing
This was a great read! It kept my interest all the way through. Best fiction book I’ve read in a while. Congrats to the Author.
Nov 13, 2018 rated it it was amazing
This is a book that’s great to read anytime and especially if you want to give yourself a treat on a cold blustery day (which is what I did). The characters are engaging and genuine. The story is both historic and present day. You will quickly become absorbed in the mystery. The story’s depth of detail of the cast of characters and the quaint water front town of Whale Rock on Cape Cod will grab hold and capture your imagination. Being a life long New Englander, who frequently has visited the Cap ...more
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Though born and raised in the Midwest, Loretta Marion fell in love with New England and has made it the setting for much of her writing. She is a true bibliophile with a love for reading and creating with words beginning when she was just a young girl. And that affection for the written word has followed her like a shadow throughout her life.

Loretta’s writing bridges the genres of mystery and sus

Other books in the series

Haunted Bluffs Mystery (2 books)
  • Storm of Secrets (A Haunted Bluffs Mystery #2)

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