Death in the Castle Book Review

Death in the Castle Book Review

Title: Death in the Castle
Author: Pearl S. Buck
Published: May 21, 2013, Open Road Media
No. of Pages: 207
Cover Price: $28.95 Hardcover, $1.99 Kindle

While Pearl S. Buck is most famous for The Good Earth, a Pulitzer prize winning novel that most American students read in school, she also published other novels, most that are comparable in writing quality. Death in the Castle is a delightful mystery that tells the story of Sir Richard Sedgeley and Lady Mary, who live in the castle, but are so impoverished that they have put it up for sale. However, since the castle has been in their family for centuries, they just can’t let it be sold so it can be turned into a state-run prison or moved to America to become a museum. When a wealthy American comes to look at the castle with the intent to purchase it, Wells, the butler and his daughter, Kate deal with him; Sir Richard is in denial and cannot accept the fact that the American wants to move it brick-by-brick to America. Lady Mary sees ghosts, and believes they will tell her where treasure is hidden in the castle, and Sir Richard is possibly not right in the head. All of this comes together in a very suspenseful mystery with surprising results.

It goes without saying that Buck’s writing is excellent; few authors are so good that they receive numerous awards (Buck not only received a Pulitzer, but also a William Dean Howells Medal; she was also the first American woman to receive the Nobel Prize for literature). It is very different, however, from some of her other novels. She is a master in her portrayal of characters; they are very unique, yet believable. The book seems to be fairly lighthearted, and is a fast read, but the actual death in the castle is not what most readers assume – a dead body and a need to find the murderer - and the ending is not at all expected.

Highly recommended, Death in the Castle is a delightful, well-written suspense/thriller and will be enjoyed by readers of all ages.

Special thanks to NetGalley for supplying a review copy of this book.

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