Grace Alban returns to her family’s estate on Lake Superior after two decades of avoidance. With her teenage daughter in tow, Grace is tasked with making funeral arrangements for the sudden and unexpected death of her mother Adele.
Surrounded by the same hired help as when she was a child, Grace feels a little more at home. However, the unexplained death of her mother—the very day she planned to reveal family secrets to a journalist—and the strange re-appearance of a long-lost aunt is not only unsettling, but seems to point to foul play.
As Grace confronts her own skeletons, the family’s mythic tale of a witch in the mansion’s woodwork, and an Alban family curse may now be fact, as strange and dangerous things begin to happen.
With the help of the single and attractive Reverend Matthew Parker, Grace must unravel decades of myth and mysteries surrounding the Alban family and their ancestral home before the curse claims them all.
Wendy Webb weaves a story that is part mystery and part ghost story. Though the mystery and intrigue are ratcheted down, Webb still manages to write a fairly intriguing story that propels the reader to its conclusion.
The Fate of Mercy Alban is reminiscent of Diane Setterfield’s The Thirteenth Tale, and, unfortunately, very much like Webb’s own The Tale of Halcyon Crane.
Reading level: Ages 18 and up
Paperback: 352 pages
Publisher: Hyperion (February 5, 2013)