The Splendour Falls

The Splendour Falls - Susanna Kearsley The town of Chinon, France is mired in legend and mystery. The mystery surrounds the disappearance of a treasure hidden by Queen Isabelle in 1205. There's also a local legend centering on another Isabelle from World War II. Emily Braden isn't really hung up on legend or mystery, but she looks forward to the opportunity to spend some time in Chinon with her cousin Henry—her unreliable, but completely lovable cousin. Heedless to any nay-sayers, Emily sets off for a well-deserved break from her tedious and boring life. Of course, Henry is nowhere to be found upon Emily's arrival in France, and thus begins Emily's step into intrigue that goes back more than seven centuries.

The Splendour Falls is actually a reprint and was originally published in the mid-1990s. Unlike some of Ms. Kearsley's later this books, The Splendour Falls is a more straightforward contemporary romantic suspense story with bits of history interspersed throughout the story. Emily comes across as rather staid in the first part of the story, but she quickly becomes less-restrained as she interacts with characters in Chinon, including other guests at the hotel, hotel employees, and town residents. The interactions between Emily, the flirtatious and outgoing Lazarus brothers, the mysterious and reserved violinist Neil Grantham, and the fun-loving Lucie and her father, Monsieur Armand Valcourt adds interesting layers to the story. As Emily becomes more settled in Chinon and with her new acquaintances, she also becomes more mired in the current intrigues happening in the shadows. Can Emily unravel the mysteries of Chinon and find her cousin before it's too late?

I actually read The Splendour Falls in 2013, one of the last books read during that year. I found The Splendour Falls to be a fast-paced read that had moments of humor, as well as intrigue mixed in with the history, suspense, and romance. I enjoyed the characters, historical aspects of the story, and the action. If you enjoy romantic suspense that blends history with contemporary action, then you'll definitely want to put The Splendour Falls on your reading list. Have you already read it? Please let us know what you thought about it.