It’s publication day for Kirsty Ferry’s second instalment of the Hartsford Mysteries Series and here’s my review.
“The stars are aligning and it’s time again …”
Working at the Folk Museum in Hartsford village means that Kate Howard is surrounded by all sorts of unusual vintage items. Of course she has her favourites; particularly the Victorian ice skates with a name – ‘CAT’ – mysteriously painted on the sides.
But what Kate doesn’t realise is how much she has in common with Catriona Aphrodite Tredegar, the original owner of the skates, or how their lives will become strangely entwined. All Kate knows is that as soon as she bumps into farrier Theo Kent, things start getting weird: there’s the vivid, disconcerting visions and then of course the overwhelming sense that she’s met Theo before …
This book does indeed confirm Kirsty Ferry as one of the best time slip authors. In Watch for me by Candlelight we are back at Hartsford Hall in Suffolk. Elodie, who featured in Watch for Me by Moonlight, is now married to Alex and pregnant with twins. This time the story centres on Kate Howard who looks after Hartsford Hall’s Folk Museum. As the story begins Kate starts her day with a visit to the bakery to collect rolls for her breakfast. There she bumps into a stranger. He looks familiar. Kate wonders where she’s seen him before.
Right from the off I really liked Kate’s character. She’s committed to her job, loves Hartsford Hall and the village and has unlimited patience with everyone. One night the unexpected sound of the cuckoo clock downstairs wakes her and triggers the beginning of her time travel adventures. She finds herself back in Victorian times as Catriona Tredegar a young woman staying at Hartsford Hall with her friend Lady Amelia (Millie) Hartsford. A nasty fall while skating on the ice has brought the Hall’s blacksmith Will Hadden to her rescue and sees the beginning of a forbidden love affair between the two of them.
Nineteenth and twenty first century stories run together seamlessly. Kate has her share of troubles with arrogant, self-absorbed boyfriend Chris and her awkward assistant Jenna. And then there’s her attraction to newly arrived farrier Theo Kent, the familiar stranger she bumped into at the bakery. Both heroines face many challenges, Cat probably more so due to the social restrictions of the time. Her love affair with Will seems doomed from the very beginning. With everything stacked against them can they ever have a happy ever after?
The story is also related in parts from Will and Theo’s viewpoints, adding their voices and life challenges into to mix. All in all it made for an absorbing read.
Although it was sad to say goodbye to Katie, Theo, Cat and Will, I held onto the thought that Kirsty no doubt still has many more Hartsford Hall tales up her sleeve – great news for all of us.
All in all an excellent read with great characters, well deserving of five stars.
I would like to thank Choc Lit for an ARC copy of Watch for Me by Candlelight in exchange for an honest review.