Wednesday, June 3, 2015

Aloha to Hannah Dennison and DEADLY DESIRES AT HONEYCHURCH HALL - Book Review


When the body of a transport minister is discovered in the grounds on the Honeychurch Hall estate, suspicion as to his unusual demise naturally falls on the residents. After all, who could possibly want a high-speed train line and rolling stock depot built in their front yard?

News of the murder soon reaches our heroine Kat Stanford’s nemesis Trudy Wynne. A ruthless tabloid journalist and the ex-wife of Kat’s discarded lover, Trudy is out for revenge. She is also interested in exposing—and humiliating—Kat’s mother Iris, who is secretly the international bestselling romance writer Krystalle Storm.

As the body count begins to build, Kat becomes inextricably embroiled in the ensuing scandal. Is the minister’s death the result of a local vendetta, or could it be connected to her mother’s unusual past?

Saltram House still stands in Devon.
It served as a movie location for Sense and Sensibility.
Public Domain (link).

Principles are like prayers. Noble of course. But awkward at a party. - Violet, Dowager Countess of Grantham, Downton Abbey

The denizens of Little Dipperton have principles.  They are taking a stand against the proposed high speed railroad, "Save seconds in travel, loose a 1000 years of history".  The project would destroy their village, devalue their property, and detract from the grand house that has ruled over their area, Honeychurch Hall.  While the earl escapes to London, the villagers vow to take back their heritage.   They call upon Kat Stanford, a reality TV star from Fakes and Treasures, to lead them in this endeavour.  Kat reluctantly accepts the challenge, only to find herself entangled in another mystery set in Devon countryside.   

DEADLY DESIRES AT HONEYCHURCH HALL is the second novel in the series.  Dennison offers a brief recap of how Kat, an antiques appraiser, relocated from London to Devon - it involved her widowed mother with a secret career as a romance author.  Although Kat intended to return to London, her stubborn mother and the new mystery keeps her in Little Dipperton.  Kat is also drawn to the manor house, Honeychurch Hall, forging a bond with the dowager countess, Lady Edith, and the heir apparent, 7 year old Master Harry.

DEADLY DESIRES AT HONEYCHURCH HALL follows the predictable path of a cozy mystery - false leads, outlandish theories, and zany characters.  Yet Dennison adds 
depth with details of modern life in a historical village.  Dennison also mixes Litte Dipperton's centuries old legend with realty TV, tabloid journalism, and Downton Abbey to create an entertaining read.  I could help but laugh (and sympathize) as as Kat tries to appease her mother, the villagers, Lady Edith, Master Harry, and Sir Maurice, the local ghost.

DEADLY DESIRES AT HONEYCHURCH HALL will appeal to fans of cozy mysteries, English country life, and, of course, Downton Abbey.   Although it can be read as a stand alone novel, I recommend reading book 1, MURDER AT HONEYCHURCH HALL, to enjoy the back story of Kat and the cast of colorful characters.

I purchased DEADLY DESIRES AT HONEYCHURCH HALL as I enjoyed the first book.  I also love Devon.

Vintage image of Bradfield House, Uffculme, Devon
Public Domain (link)

I am giving away a copy of DEADLY DESIRES AT HONEYHALL CHURCH to one randomly selected commenter.  To enter the giveaway,

1. Leave a comment about you favorite "ghost story".  

In the book, Sir Maurice led the Royalists to ambush the Roundheads during the English Civil War.   He has a special chair in the local pub next to the great hearth.  The villagers do not move the chair nor sit on it.  When a newcomer moves the chair and sits on it, the villagers predict doom and gloom.

2.  Comments are open through Saturday, June 6, 10 pm in Batlimore.  

3.  I'll post the winner on Sunday, June 7.


Kim in Baltimore
Aloha Spirit in Charm City

Learn more about Hannah and her books at   

Check out my interview with Hannah at this link and my review of MURDER AT HONEYCHURCH HALL at this link.



  1. We have a local ghost story of Kate Morgan who haunts the Hotel Del Coronado. Some say she was murdered, others say she killed herself, but many say she still haunts her room at the hotel. It is a very popular room and people book it well in advance of their stay.

    1. I have seen a ghost myself ... I had one in my old house in Chailey, England. It TERRIFIED me and half-scared my poor cat to death.

  2. My sister went on a tour of an old jail. It was a ghost tour taken at night. Scared her enough for me not to want to do it.

    1. Ha!! I took a tour of the Queen Mary that's anchored in Long Beach. It was really spooky down by the old swimming pool (empty of course) - and engine room.

  3. I'm not a fan of ghost stories & can't think of one I really liked. But I do enjoy murder mysteries :-)

    1. Me too!!! I can't watch any type of horror on TV and I'd definitely not go to one at the movies. I get scared just watching "Lassie."

  4. I'm not a fan of ghost stories either but i do like Casper the Friendly Ghost.

  5. near my hometown, in a very old cemetery, there is a place called "ticking tomb." if you go there, you can hear a noise which sounds like a "tick-tock." no one knows why or a reason for haunting... of course experts feel there's probably an underground stream which makes the noise--but tell that to a bunch of teens huddled in a cemetery


    1. Hmmm ... I love that story. I have another mystery series called The Vicky Hill Mysteries and she's an obituary reporter ... I think I am going to have a ticking tomb. Thanks for that!!

  6. I'm horrible at remember names but I just finished a book by Heather Graham - The Dead Room that had some wonderful ghosts.

  7. not really a fan of ghost stories

  8. An old cottage that I lived in in England was haunted. My neighbor saw her one night (when she was babysitting for me), floating up my stairs. She was wearing a blue crinoline dress. I'm glad that she never told me whilst I still lived there.

  9. I find most ghost stories very sad - they are usually about people who died tragically

  10. I've always been amused by when Churchill saw Lincoln's ghost in the White House... I can imagine the conversation they would have had if Lincoln's ghost could talk.

  11. There are a number of places that I would love to visit to take the ghost tours - Savannah, GA, Hot Springs, AR, New Orleans, LA. Maybe someday. One of my favorite ghost stories is HAWTHORNE by Sarah Ballance.

  12. There's a ghost story surrounding our local theater...During visits, we used to freak ourselves out so bad haha.