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Lynn Spencer - All About Romance

I'm one of the publishers of All About Romance. I love reading romance, as well as mysteries, fantasy, history and historical fiction, and all kinds of other things. Staying on Goodreads for now but trying this out in case I decide to switch.

Currently reading

The Blood Detective
Dan Waddell
Vienna Waltz
Teresa Grant
Lost in the Light - Mary Castillo I'd give this 3.5 stars. This was an unusual read, and it's one of those books that is a little rough in the execution, but lingers in the mind nevertheless. The main character, Dori Orihuela, is a police officer recovering from a gunshot wound. The events leading to the shooting haunt her, as does what seems to be a very real ghost lingering in the historic home Dori has purchased and started to renovate. The ghost is that of a bootlegger from the 1920s/30s, and his story draws Dori into a darker side of history.The intersections between past and present in Dori's life are fascinating. Dori's life in the present feels vibrantly alive as her grandmother, friends, and various family members zoom in and out of her daily routines. However, the author does a wonderful job of showing just how isolated Dori is in the midst of all this activity. The mysteries of her house and the way in which the ghost haunting it met his demise push past the walls that Dori has built up, and I really enjoyed watching her unravel the mystery. I also really liked Dori herself. She's not a perfect heroine and I enjoyed seeing her struggle to do the right thing and to solve a mystery even as she had to deal with her own stubbornness, physical weakness, and what might best be described as an uneasy relationship with the truth.Parts of the story are told in flashbacks to the San Diego/National City/Coronado area in the 1920s/1930s, and the portraits of life in the Mexican-American community at that time as well as the effects of Prohibition on the area were both vivid and quite different from what I've encountered in most mainstream mysteries. There's some romance worked into the plot of Lost in the Light, but the ghost story and related mysteries dominate most of the plot action.And the rough spots? Well, while the mystery of the murder gets solved, plenty of other loose ends with regard to the characters from the 1920s/30s in this book get left dangling for no good reason. In addition, if you're one of those readers who must know how everything works from a logical perspective, the ghost plotting in this book will drive you nuts. I could deal with the ghosts appearing and reappearing at various points in the home and even with the idea that somehow Dori's presence could call a ghost to her, but no real explanation of the mechanics of the ghostly world is given.Even though this book has some weak points, I still enjoyed reading it and I'll be curious to see what happens to Dori and her family next. This one is an enjoyable mystery and also an interesting glimpse into another culture and time.