Another Gothic novel by Isabelle Holland. With apologies to The Princess Bride, let me explain-- no-- it is too much-- let me sum up:

Candida is approached by Diana, a childhood not-friend, to be her companion in the apparently haunted Tower Abbey:

"And you think it's a possible twin sister who is haunting you?"

Since Candida has just lost her job and is about to be thrown out of her apartment, she agrees. When she arrives, who does she find but her childhood flame, Simon, who is now a doctor and an Episcopal priest (handy for doing exorcisms, yet marriageable!), even though:

"I also had heard before that you had been killed-- or committed suicide-- in a bad accident. I thought you were dead."

Occupants of the house soon include Diana, Candida, Candida's menagerie of pets who are dab hands at reacting to ghostly presences, Simon, Diana's estranged nine-year-old son James, James' cat Hannibal who also reacts to ghosts, childhood friend Eric (who is afraid of cats, so you know he can't be a good guy), possible former Nazi and housekeeper Mrs. Klaveness who keeps making vague and ominous statements and refusing to explain them:

"I will say nothing more. You will see. That's enough."

An odd-job man who sleeps in the cellar, two hippies who are friends of Candida's and are hoping Diana will sell Tower Abbey and replace it with low income housing, and the possible ghosts of everyone who died on the property:

"My God, Candy, you've got to remember who Donnie was. The whole world knew who Donnie was and what happened to her."


"After all, it was on just such an outing-- when they were alone that time-- that his daughter was lost."


She suspected that Totsie's death was not accidental.

The last three statements are all about different people: two children who drowned in the same well at different times, and a governess who got locked in an elevator when the family went on vacation. There's also a hidden treasure, a hidden diary, a fire, a hostage situation, an imaginary kingdom, lots of cold drafts, an exorcism, repressed memories, and lots of dysfunctional family dynamics. I found it all great fun.
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