AUDIO BOOK REVIEW: Keep of Enchanted Rooms by Charlie N Holmberg

Publication Date: November 1, 2022
Format: Audio
Genre:  Mystery
Narrator:  Amanda Leigh Cobb,  Graham Halstead, Nicholas Boulton

Publisher: Brilliance Audio
 10 Hours 35 Minutes
Buy: Kindle | Audio


Rhode Island, 1846. Estranged from his family, writer Merritt Fernsby is surprised when he inherits a remote estate in the Narragansett Bay. Though the property has been uninhabited for more than a century, Merritt is ready to call it home—until he realizes he has no choice. With its doors slamming shut and locking behind him, Whimbrel House is not about to let Merritt leave. Ever.

Hulda Larkin of the Boston Institute for the Keeping of Enchanted Rooms has been trained in taming such structures in order to preserve their historical and magical significance. She understands the dangers of bespelled homes given to tantrums. She advises that it’s in Merritt’s best interest to make Whimbrel House their ally. To do that, she’ll need to move in, too.

Prepared as she is with augury, a set of magic tools, and a new staff trained in the uncanny, Hulda’s work still proves unexpectedly difficult. She and Merritt grow closer as the investigation progresses, but the house’s secrets run deeper than they anticipated. And the sentient walls aren’t their only concern—something outside is coming for the enchantments of Whimbrel House, and it could be more dangerous than what rattles within.


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This was a fantastic cozy romantic mystery. Merritt has been disinherited by his family so he thinks it strange when he is contacted by a solicitor telling him he is now the proud owner of a house and a remote island in Rhode Island. 

The house it turns out is haunted and while desperate to get out Merritt also finds himself empathizing with the house and feeling its loneliness which he understands. When Hulda who works for the Institute of the Keeping of Enchanted Rooms comes to help she finds that Whimbrel house is much more than it seems. There is also a second source of magic that she needs to uncover. 

This is a fun and cozy story of loneliness, and not feeling like you have a place.  As Hulda and Merritt work together to tame the house they find themselves creating a family of various stray people. While they may not have felt they once belonged somewhere the feeling that they belong in this house together is getting stronger and where Merritt once wanted to exorcise his house from the unwanted inhabitant he has changed his mind and feels a kinship with it. 

The writing is fantastic, whimsical and the banter between Merritt and Hulda is magnificent. I once described TJ Klune's book The House in the Cerulean Sea as a warm hug, I think I need to add this book to that category as well. 

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