Die For Love

A Ghost Story

Fiction - Mystery - General
268 Pages
Reviewed on 05/01/2022
Buy on Amazon

Author Biography

Ellen Read is the author of Die For Love: A Ghost Story, and The Dragon Sleeps, The Inca’s Curse, The Amber Trap and The Feathered Nest - historical murder mystery romance novels.

Ellen was born in Queensland, Australia.

She loves to read fiction, non-fiction, and poetry. She particularly loves history and stories of ancient myths and legends. Authors such as Edgar Allan Poe, Agatha Christie, and Victoria Holt, the latter of whom wrote gothic mystery/romances, have influenced her own work.

Other interests include photography, painting, music and musical theatre, and dance. Ellen was a ballroom dancing teacher for many years and has also worked in Performing Arts administration.

    Book Review

Reviewed by Michelle Stanley for Readers' Favorite

“Tis said, that some have died for love.” - William Wordsworth. Die for Love: A Ghost Story is a mystery by Ellen Read. In England in 1935, while recuperating, artist Edward Wallingford feels inspired to sketch Marston Castle despite warnings about its haunting history. He meets the beguiling Rose Marston who coaxes him to stay at the castle because they were meant to be together. England, present-day, William is curious to learn the circumstances surrounding his great-great-uncle Edward’s disappearance. He travels to Claeg, Dorset, where his uncle was last seen. Natalie, the innkeeper, also warns William not to go to Marston Castle, which he ignores. While touring the castle, William meets a lovely woman named Rose who invites him to stay with her. Natalie has her suspicions when William behaves oddly and takes him to see a witch.

“His love was such a grievous pain.” - William Wordsworth. Edward and his great-great-nephew William were befuddled after being smitten by the beauty of a Marston woman. William Wordsworth’s poetry is a significant feature throughout this story. If you’re a fan of Edgar Allen Poe like myself, you will be thrilled with the engrossing dark mystery theme of Die for Love. It’s a suspenseful, touching story with a lovely setting in the rural English countryside. Ellen Read has also included excerpts from her other books at the back of Die for Love: A Ghost Story and the information on how this story originated. I really like the book’s cover illustration and highly recommend the novel for your reading pleasure.

Pauline Reid

I absolutely enjoyed The Feathered Nest. There definitely is alot to read about, such as dolphins, whales, a generous number of bird species and alot of historical information about Norfolk Island.

So what did I find facinating?
✔ well, definitely the constant mention of Norfolk Island food! There was a strong theme of tropicana, with banana fritters, paw paws (papaya) fish of course and even a drink - pineapple and passionfruit in orange juice (the correct name is mentioned in the book)
✔ We also have Ellen's signature of weaving her love of flowers in her storyline and I spotted Hoya, which I was delighted to find, as my Nana used to have it in her house. Also found Bird Of Paradise, which does grow here in New Zealand.

The scenes I enjoyed the most
✔ this time excerpts explained more the scenes I enjoyed.

Excerpt 1
"Alexandra had never mastered swimming. However, here, she didn’t
feel afraid. The cool water took her breath away, and then she laughed as its gentle movement rippled around her ankles. She wandered in up to her thighs, Edith beside her, holding her hand. They both giggled and trailed their hands through the lagoon".

This was also balanced out with the soulfulness of the book, Ellen knows how to tug at your heart strings and this scene I really enjoyed. It made my heart sing.

Excerpt 2
"They became one. They would always be one … one heart, one
soul. When he raised his head and broke the kiss, she felt an agony of
disconnection from him, but then she realised she still felt his lips on hers."

The icing of the cake for me was Ellen's wittiness and this was displayed with a play on words through nicknames and vegetables.
The Feathered Nest is a Historical Fiction/Cozy Mystery, with the inquisitive mystery style of Hercule Poirot.

Overall I found this book suspenseful, yet frightening in some places, humorous in others, informative and intriguing book with a satisfactory ending.

A well earned 5 star rating/review.

Goodreads Reviewer

While this is book 4 of the Thornton Mysteries series, and I came into this not having read any of the previous, I didn’t feel out of the loop with characters or backstory as I dove into this tale of a family expedition turned sour by murder.

Read brings the beautiful island of Norfolk to life, and as the mystery unfolds, her descriptions of the local flora and fauna, along with the dress, mannerisms, music, books, and slang of the time, make for a truly immersive experience. Don’t read this book hungry, as the meals produced from the local foods had my mouth watering!

Although this story has an expansive cast of characters, I didn’t get confused – even with the hilarious nicknames the locals give each other. Alexandra is a standout, of course, a lady ahead of her time whose independence adds a great kick to the story, especially when she refuses to take no for an answer and marches off to take matters into her own hands. I wanted to throttle Mr Byrd myself he was such an annoying, whiny character, (and that’s a compliment to the author, not a criticism) while the charming Scrimshaw lit up every scene he appeared in.

Read weaves the history of the island into the story, and the scenes where Alexandra visits the site of jailed mutineers were especially poignant. I also enjoyed learning how the locals took deliveries onto the island, especially the description of the car being unloaded.

I had my suspicion on whodunnit, but Read proved me very wrong, and I was so delighted she did, as I didn’t see it coming.

The Feathered Nest is an engaging, immersive read with great characters and lots of intrigue – including that sneaky mention of Jane Byrd bringing something aboard the boat at the end. Hmm

Goodreads Reviewer

Having read Ellen read's "Thornton Mysteries" I was looking forward to "Die For Love". I was not disappointed. Ellen is excellent at "painting the picture" and has a knack of placing her reader within the story. Set in the same village in England and alternating between modern day and the 1930's, with a well thought out plot, the story moved at a good pace. Described as a ghost story - there was much more to enjoy - with intrigue, suspense, mystery, history and romance added to make a very enjoyable read. Recommended for anyone who enjoys a "Good Read".