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Reviewed by Jack Magnus for Readers' Favorite
Castles in the Snow: Alladale is a historical mystery written by Linda Heavner Gerald. Caroline struggled to clear her mind of the fog still holding it captive. She knew it was Alladale, her lovely home, but why was the window near her bed wide open, making it feel as though a thousand tiny shards of ice were assaulting her eyes, her lips, her face. And there in the hearth was a roaring fire, its warmth overbearing despite the chill of the open windows. Her hands and feet were manacled; she was restrained but what had happened, how had she been made a prisoner in her own home -- and why.
Where was Thomas? While she lay there, her body buffeted by the heat of the fire and the chill blasting through the open window, she began to remember her earliest days in the wedding-cake home she shared with her parents in Charleston, South Carolina. Thomas and his brother Max were a part of that early life as well, their home painted a blazing gold by their father, a gold which, captured in the late afternoon sun, seemed to be metallic rather than being merely bricks painted gold. Thomas and Max each sought Caroline for their own as the three grew up together, but Thomas had won her hand, and together they went in search of their ancestral roots, back across the Atlantic to Scotland.
Linda Heavner Gerald’s Castles in the Snow: Alladale has the reader wondering who has taken Caroline captive and why as they follow the details of her life in Charleston and later in Scotland, and learn about Scottish history through her and Thomas’s research. There’s also the tantalizing aspect of the 23,000-acre nature preserve they were intent on creating when they purchased Alladale. Gerald’s story is well-written and will make the more imaginative and impressionable reader begin to notice the scent of heather as they read this marvelous tale. Her characters are credible, and her mystery bristles with red herrings and clues for the armchair sleuth to puzzle over. Castles in the Snow: Alladale is highly recommended.