The Fate Of Mercy Alban by Wendy Webb
Grace Alban left the large mansion like home on Lake Superior in Duluth Minnesota 20 years ago and had not looked back. But when her mother suddenly dies leaving Grace the sole heir of the family property and a staff with some spooky insight into the last two decades, Grace reluctantly travels back to her childhood home this her teenage daughter.
Long buried family secrets, love letters, and a mysterious unpublished book by a famous author are just a few of the things Grace discovers shortly after her arrival. As Grace soon learns, a secret around a death that took place at the house during a party many years ago was about to be relieved by her mother to a reporter on the day that Grace’s mother had a heart attack and died. It was an event that no one in the family had discussed – ever.
What really was the story behind the girl in white dancing in the yard that people have claimed to have seen through the years? And what of the hidden tunnels within the walls that look as though they have been traveled recently…. why is someone trying so hard to frighten Grace and her daughter away?
The Bookies chose this book for two reasons. 1.Wendy Webb is an author that is going to be at our fall Wine and Words event in Brainerd MN. 2. The book is written around an actual mansion in Duluth called the Glensheen Mansion which does actually have a real murder story.
OOH right? :)
My thoughts: Honestly, The Fate Of Mercy Alban was better than I had anticipated. I read this one on the plane on my way to New York and found myself thoroughly engaged in the writing. The characters were nicely developed and I lived the thought of hidden tunnels in the walls (how very Nancy Drew!), and I wondered in the Glensheen Mansion which I have toured many times, did indeed have secret walls and tunnels.
Wendy Webb mixes a good old-fashioned mystery in with the paranormal which was surprising in content, and I liked that twist of expecting one thing out of a book and getting a little bonus! The book had me guessing on what happened to Mrs Alban, what had really happened to the famous author who had died on the property years ago, and who was the girl in white….
Did the butler do it?
You will have to just read this one to find out!
As this was our book club read for June 2013, the overall census was fairly high ratings. The Bookies really enjoyed the mystery around a place that we were all aware of. While we had some different thoughts on the ending (I was bummed – found it unnecessary) other really liked the way it ended.
As a result of this read, we are planning a Bookies road trip this late fall to the Glensheen Mansion, about half of us have toured it before – but we all would like to go through it again now, seeing it through the Alban families eyes and Wendy Webb’s too!
* note – the Alban family and the events in the book are fictitious as are the hidden tunnels in the home (at least according to Wendy Webb ;) )