Enchanted Hill by Emily Bain MurphyEnchanted Hill by Emily Bain Murphy
Narrator: Jennifer Jill Araya
Published by Dreamscape Media on November 7, 2023
Source: NetGalley
Genres: Historical Mystery
Length: 12 hrs 25 mins
Pages: 384
Format: Audiobook
Purchase at Bookshop.org or Audible
Add on Goodreads

Escape to Enchanted Hill in this historical mystery where two people with a dark, shared past collide while working undercover at a glittering mansion on the California coast.

The year is 1930 and Cora McCavanagh is posing as a maid at Hollywood magnate Truman Byrd’s legendary estate. She’s closing in on the damning evidence she needs for a high-profile client.

An aspiring PI, Cora was trained by her father, a former prison guard at the notorious Pelican Island, where Cora grew up surrounded by hardened criminals.

Which is why she recognizes Jack Yates as soon as he walks through the door. The last time she saw him was on an ill-fated night that changed the course of her life and still haunts her more than a decade later. Cora never expected to see Jack again—and now a single misstep could cause both their secret identities to come crashing down.

They strike a tentative truce to help each other during a week of parties overflowing with champagne and caviar. But there are puzzles hidden in every corner of Truman Byrd’s labyrinthine estate, and if Cora is to finally learn the truth about Jack Yates, she must unravel a sinister history that the rich and powerful will do anything to keep concealed.

Filled with intrigue and Old Hollywood glamour, Enchanted Hill is an unforgettable, sweepingly romantic novel set in a world you won’t want to leave.

Brimming with Old Hollywood glitz and mystery, Enchanted Hill follows two outsiders, an aspiring private investigator and an alleged thief/murderer, as they infiltrate the estate of Truman Byrd, newspaper owner and Hollywood producer. The story takes place during a week-long house party with a group of movie stars, political figures, and powerful “friends” all vying for fortune, prestige, and power. The estate is lovely and exotic and filled with hidden spaces and secret doors. The atmosphere is both sparkling and privileged and claustrophobic.

Cora, our PI, is runing out of time to gather the evidence she needs when the last person she ever imagined seeing again shows up with a new name and dyed hair – Jack. Their history is complicated and the author does a good job dealing with the tensions and attractions between them. I went into the book expecting a historical mystery, which it is, but for me it felt more like a romance or romantic suspense. The slow-burn romance between Cora and Jack, along with their hesitations and worries, is really the focus. The mystery itself was rather predictable

I listened to the audiobook and the narrator did a wonderful job pulling me into the story. Even though it wasn’t what I was expecting, I thoroughly enjoyed Enchanted Hill, from the people with their public faces and private fears and secrets, to the sparkling drinks and delicious food, to the hidden codes and dangerous men. I just wish the mystery portion had been a bit stronger.

About Emily Bain Murphy

Emily Bain Murphy was born in Indiana and raised in Hong Kong and Japan. She graduated from Tufts University and has also called Massachusetts, Connecticut, and California home.

Murphy is the author of the critically acclaimed YA fantasies Splinters of Scarlet and The Disappearances, which was a Bank Street Best Children’s Book of the Year, an ALAN Pick, and shortlisted for the Waterstones’ Children’s Book Prize.

Enchanted Hill, Murphy’s debut adult novel, is a historical mystery set in 1930 over a glittering week of parties at a mansion on the California coast. It is available now from Union Square and Co.

Murphy is represented by Peter Knapp at Park & Fine Literary and Media. She currently lives in the St. Louis area with her husband and three children.

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