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The Haunting Scent of Poppies by Victoria Williamson - Review and Blog Tour

Friday, December 8, 2023

Hello and welcome to my post for this tour for Victoria Williamson's brilliant new ghost story, The Haunting Scent of Poppies. I signed up for this tour because I've really enjoyed everything I've previously read by Victoria and also because I really like ghost stories! This novella is less than a hundred pages long, but it fits a lot in in that time! It's set at Christmas too so it helped get me into a festive mood. 

The book is set the first Christmas after World War One ended, which had ended obviously just a few weeks earlier. Charlie didn't serve as a soldier and in fact is very scathing of those who did. He is a small time thief who has had to escape London due to his crimes, and has arrived in Petersfield just a few days before Christmas. He needs to lie low to escape the heat, but he also doesn't have a lot of spare cash. He plans on robbing a few shops or something, and he finds a book shop that is barely open. He talks to the owner and the assistant, and happens to notice that the owner is reading a very rare book. Stealing the book and selling it on would set Charlie up for quite a while, so he manages to make that happen. He takes it back to his hotel, where he has several other of his ill gotten gains - a fancy watch, a sharp suit, a bag. And then of course the book. He falls asleep, and when he wakes up all the stolen stuff is gone, except for the book. Charlie assumes he has been robbed, and possibly that he was sedated, as he's suffering some weird effects.

He has to leave the hotel suddenly and ends up in a downtrodden B&B. It turns out that the book belonged to the nephew of the owner there and that he died in the trenches. Charlie begins to see flashbacks of this, and is haunted by something very, very weird. The ghost in this story is all too real and believable. I really liked it. I'm giving this four out of five, and I'm so glad I was on this tour! Victoria Williamson just keeps writing amazing stuff! 

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