If you’re a mook like me, you’ll be all over this book like a kid on a hot fudge sundae.
It’s the 1950s, see, and big Jim Malhaven, reporter, gets sent to get the goods on the ghost that haunts the old cemetery. There he meets a dame, Victoria, a real looker. He don’t see no ghost, but someone don’t like the big galoot sniffing around the graveyard, see. Problem is, Jim Malhaven is like a dog with a bone, especially when pretty dames and threats are involved. Seems like there is more weird happenings at Wynter’s Hill than the three spinster sisters that live there.
Growing up I watched a lot of black and white movies from the 1930s, 1940s and 1950s, and I loved them. Some of them are still on my list of favourites to this day. I love the style, the humor and how every little incidental side character has a personality. There is a truth to them, which exists despite the often stilted acting and creaking sets.
Helen Whistberry has captured the era perfectly in the The Weird Sisters of Wynter’s Hill. Not only in the language and frequent cigarettes, but also in the tone and behavior of the characters. It gave me such a warm feeling to read this book. I could picture every scene and hear every piece of dialogue as I read it.
Jim Malhaven is the narrator, and he’s a very likable guy. He fought in the war, had his own set of troubles, and is a big guy with a big heart. I loved his voice and enjoyed going on the adventure with him.
The cast of characters is quite extensive and they are all handled extremely well. Q, an archivist in the newspaper filing room, his family, and Sister Honoria, who ran the orphanage, were particular standouts for me.
The mystery is pleasantly dark and revealed well. Enough crumbs were given that I had a good idea what was going on, but it wasn’t so simple that it was obvious, nor was it an Agatha Christie like twist where the least likely suspect was the culprit.
There is a second book in the Jim Malhaven series, and I look forward to catching up with the characters.
I award The Weird Sisters of Wynter’s Hill…
The Weird Sisters of Wynter’s Hill is available for $4.05 ebook and $9.99 print book on Amazon.