The novel has so many cool elements: a character who can see and communicate with ghosts, two characters who are bookbinders by trade, ancient manuscripts, medieval monks, a rich family with a massive mansion and a butler, and a crime that needs solving.
I had such high expectations for the book that I couldn't help but be a little disappointed at the end result. I definitely believe too much time was spent on the main character's son and family arrangements (boring and not key to the plot) and I definitely wanted to read more about her ability to communicate with ghosts and how she decided to use this gift in her every day life.
In my opinion, the plot line was too complicated for these authors to successfully tackle in their first novel together, and the book would have worked better if they'd kept it simple instead of aiming so high.
Will I read any of their work in the future? Of course I will! Mary Ann Winkowski is the kind of author I will follow blindly, and I hope she hones her style and gains the confidence to write novels on her own. I'm confident she can do it and I'll support her work all the way.
My rating = **1/2
That's my four bucks!