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Reviewed by Emily-Jane Hills Orford for Readers' Favorite
When you’re a writer, the characters you create become your best friends. You live with them, dream about them, obsess about their perks and anomalies and you help them, through words, to bring their stories to life. But when the characters surround a mysteriously lovely house, the one on Maple Street with the charming white picket fence, the intensity of the plot thickens. Evelyn is doing research on this house. It’s become something of an obsession. Each new clue leads to a disturbing dead end. But when a grad student, Hillary, moves into the room just down the hall from her and starts talking about people in the house that no one else has seen or heard, then the plot gets increasingly eerie and unsettling. Who are these people Hillary talks about? And how do they fit into the unfolding story and the slowly evolving highlights of Evelyn’s research?
Heidi Slowinski’s novel, The House on Maple Street, is a cleverly crafted, double-plotted story, an unexpectedly enticing story within a story. Multiple plots are carefully constructed, leading the reader along through the strange happenings that Hillary witnesses to the compelling research that Evelyn is doing on the house, which, in effect, is a character in its own right. The characters are well developed and the reader instantly feels at ease with each character, knowing their strengths and weaknesses and whether or not they can be liked and trusted. Friendships evolve and develop, adding a cohesive blend to the cast. There is lots of action, mystery and, of course, a few ghosts.