Favorite Book Winner — Mystery

Christine Webb
Beaverton book lover

“Favorite Book” Writing Contest Winner. $50.00 Mystery Category Prize.

Reviewing the book Gothic Spring, by Portland Author Caroline Miller.

My favorite book?  It is, without a doubt, the mystery “Gothic Spring” by Portland-based, Oregon author Caroline Miller.  I’ve read this novel three times in the past four months and each time come away with something new, an idea or reflection I might have missed during an earlier read, perhaps a part of a theological discussion or the slightest glance, or touch, that may have hinted to a deeper feeling shared, or details I might have raced through breathlessly in an attempt to discover an outcome. Ms. Miller’s writing style is captivating and enriching.

I admit, I read her novels with a dictionary close at hand, and I love knowing that I am coming away from her story feeling elevated to a different level after discovering words I never knew existed. One especially intriguing aspect of Gothic Spring was a story Ms. Miller created in the middle of her story.

Written about an earlier period of time, using a slightly different dialect, Ms. Miller allows her central figure, Constantine, to find a little book, one in which this secondary story unfolds, creating a lesson, of sort, or maybe a clue to a larger riddle, both of which compel the reader to want to hear every word spoken and see every image as though one was standing hidden in the back of a room where the characters had gathered.

The plot contains elements of good and evil, faithfulness, love, affection, anger and betrayal, yet, the eventual outcome is not in anyway, predictable. These elements are woven together so tightly that there are no loose ends left, leaving the reader stunned at the finish, but satisfied. Such a good book for all seasons–I am eagerly anticipating reading it yet again, during the colder, darker evenings of winter, by the warm glow of the fireplace.

Gothic Spring is my favorite book because after finishing this gothic mystery and mulling it over for a period of time, I am still eager to read it again knowing that there are elements of surprise and hidden treasures still to be discovered. What Ms. Miller can do with rain falling against a window pane is simply magical.

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