Tuesday 6 June 2017

The Mystery of the Haunted House - Manuel Alfonseca - The Sleuths of the Spanish Transition Book 2

The Mystery of the Haunted House
The Sleuths of the Spanish Transition Book 2
Manuel Alfonseca


This is the third book by Alfonseca that I have read in as many months. I am greatly enjoying his writings. This is the second book in the series: The Sleuths of the Spanish Transition, and has only just become available in English. I stand by my statement in an earlier review that Manuel's writings remind me of those by Gabriel Garcia Marquez, Jose Saramago, and to a lesser extent Paulo Coelho. This second story in the series is also extremely well written. But knowing the characters was a little more predictable. But that predictability did not detract from the mystery, in fact it enhanced it for in visiting the main characters it was like visiting old friends. 

This story begins with a request for help from an unusual source. Gonzalo and Vicki accept the task of a young woman who has inherited some property and that is being threatened, or intimidated to let the property go. Because of propriety, and Gonzalo's need to register for university, it is decided that Vicki will accompany Diana to her vacation home and write to Gonzalo every day as she investigates. She is investigating the mysterious letter, also trying to figure out who wants Diana to abandon her vacation home, and why. But as with their last mystery, not everything is as it appears. Logic and reason might be able to help them solve the case, but one of them ends up in grave danger again. 

Again in this book there are number of references to classical literature, specifically the works of Sir Arthur Conan Doyle and also Jules Verne. This book has fewer references to science fiction, and movies, and focuses more on literary mystery references. And a few of the plot elements I was able to figure out but overall a wonderful read.

I consider this book Catholic fiction. The author is Catholic, and the book though not overtly religious, the main characters have a faith and that faith shapes their character. In this book there is reference to premarital sex, not by the main characters and it is witnessed by others. But it is not graphic or overt. 

This book is the second in a series. Currently there are four books in the series in Spanish. One can only hope that the remaining two will become available in English in short order. The book is translated by the author himself. I loved this book and the series. And really appreciate the literary offerings of Alfonseca. I have read three of his books and already have a fourth on the go. I look forward to reading more of his book and can highly recommend them to you. This book would be a fun read for those who enjoy a good mystery, or for fans of Marquez, Saramago, or Coelho. So why not give this book and this series a try.

Again I highly recommend this book, and series.

Note: This book is part of a series of reviews: 2017 Catholic Reading Plan!

Books by Manuel Alfonseca in English:
Jacob's Ladder
The Ruby of the Ganges
The Last Dinosaur
Ennia in Faerie
The Heirloom of King Scorpion
Beyond the Black Hole
The Water of Life

The Sleuths of the Spanish Transition Series:
Quetzalcoatl's Zahir

The Mystery of the Haunted House
The Mystery of the Sapphire Bracelet
The Mystery of the Honeymoon
The Mystery of the Egyptian Vulture Country House

Chronicles of the Magic Jigsaw Puzzle Series:
The Journey of Tivo the Dauntless
The Mystery of the Black Lake
The Silver Swan
The Secret of the Ice Field
The Lost Continent

The Chronicles of the Aeolian Family Series:

Human Cultures & Evolution
World Population: Past, Present, & Future
The Fifth Level of Evolution

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