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The Whispering Muse: The most spellbinding gothic novel of the year, packed with passion and suspense

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Fabulous characters, twists and turns aplenty. Deliciously dark and very satisfying' REBECCA NETLEY

The Whispering Muse – Laura Purcell The Whispering Muse – Laura Purcell

Deliciously creepy, riveting and full of heart with compelling characters and brilliant twists ... glitteringly dark and mesmerising' Jennifer Saint, Sunday Times bestselling author of Ariadne and Elektra Towards the end, Sjón gets fed up with maintaining a Pooteresque tone for Haraldsson, and the former fish inspector relates an eerily vivid account of Caeneus in bird form, scavenging for putrid meat near the decaying ruins of the Argo. It is here that the dehumanised mate meets "the most wretched of vagabonds: a bald, haggard, pinch-bellied, shrunken-limbed old man" who, Caeneus realises with a spasm of grief, is all that remains of the once-magnificent Jason.

Though this is my first novel by Purcell, I can clearly see why she is highly praised as the master of haunting tales. This was an absolutely delicious read.

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This was a fun, gothic read set in a Victorian theatre. I loved all the atmosphere and references to classic tragedies during this novel and the scene setting was vivid and colourful. This is my first book by Purcell, but it’s safe to say it wont be my last. I’ve never quite felt as transported when reading historical gothic novels as I did with The Whispering Muse. Her atmospheric writing style wholly brings the theatre and the characters who inhabit it to life. Her use of the different parts of the book, each part focusing on a different play, was exceptionally done. Each part, and with it, each play seems to perfectly capture the atmosphere and feelings not only of the story but of the characters themselves, and the use of foreshadowing was just *chefs kiss.* I also enjoyed the mythological element. It was spooky without being outright fantasy, but had enough of the element to keep me on my toes, wondering whether the muse, Melpomene, was actually causing Liliths bizarre behaviours, or whether it was her obsession with needing to become a star so bright no one could ever forget her.As I watched her, washed in that red light, I almost believed that Melpomene was on her way. Every beat of the drum was a footstep. When the principal actress, Lilith, is gifted a cursed timepiece once belonging to a famous actor who died a grisly death on stage, her performances seem to take on a new level of energy that leaves her in a state of deterioration as the season progresses. Jenny, who is no fan of Lilith, can’t help but begin to feel concern, that slowly gives way to dread, as more and more, it seems as though the timepiece is possessed of a power that reaches beyond Lilith’s grasp. Ritchie, Gayle (7 November 2021). "Seances, shadows and secrets: Laura Purcell's latest gothic thriller oozes menace". The Courier . Retrieved 11 May 2023. Mrs Dyer wants to prepare Jenny for theatre life and Shakespeare productions in particular. She pays for her to see Dr. Faustus at a local theatre. The actor playing Faustus is well renowned for being the best. But the performance becomes marred with tragedy when the actor dies on stage in a grisly and gory fashion. A small timepiece seems to be connected and Jenny feels distraught at what she’s witnessed.

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