Marcela Beauregarde is not wealthy by any stretch of the imagination, but she and her relatives have lived in a cottage in the shadow of the famous estate The Seminary for several generations. They share not only the familial knowledge of the cottage, but also a special power that allows them to see through the lies of others. The Seminary has an ancient tree, historical quarters, and a giant tower featured in many a ghost story about a priest that threw himself from the battlements. When the properly is purchased by Richard and Gordana Lehman, history begins to stir back to life, bringing the ghost stories with it. While Gordana becomes more and more obsessed with the tower and spending as much money as possible to bring the estate back to life, Marcela has to deal with not only the past but the constant badgering of her new neighbors to sell her cottage to them. Still, there are benefits to the project. A gorgeous workman named Bartholomew takes a liking to her, but it becomes very clear he may not be all he has attested to be. With a cast of characters, all somehow involved with the Beauregarde family’s past or Sydney’s crime scene in the 1990s, The Legacy of Beauregarde ends up being one of those books that not only draws you in, but keeps you awake long after you’ve ready the last page.
Author Rosa Fedele not only has penned The Legacy of Beauregarde, but is also responsible for the gorgeous artwork found within the pages. Keep in mind, while the art is stunning, some of it will not be suitable for small children, and honestly you wouldn’t want a small child to read through this book. There are many adult themes, and some drug running and murder. Set in 1990’s Sydney, don’t be surprised at the classical style of her artwork and the sometimes noir themes that emerge through the pages. As someone who grew up in the United States, I really enjoyed all the references to Australian life and history, including the drinking of Milo and references to other types of food and lifestyles.
The Legacy of Beauregarde is part noir, part mystery, part ghost story, and a whole can of suspense. There are characters that you desperately want to run away from the whole situation, because they seem blameless and innocent. There are others that you wish would be thrown from the tower. My advice is to read all the way through to the end, because very few of the characters are as they seem (although some are as bad as they seem).