Synopsis: As a Halloween treat, Serial Box presents The Haunting of Beatrix Greene.
In the first chapter, a spiritual medium, Beatrix Greene, is approached by scientist James Walker with a job offer. She fears he plans to expose her as a fraud.
In the second chapter, Beatrix and a group of supernatural sleuths arrive at the infamously haunted Ashbury Manor. James awaits with secrets in tow.
Review: First things first. Readers will be glad to know that The Haunting of Beatrix Greene features actual haunting. Authors Rachel Hawkins and Ash Parsons also feature atmospheric world-building and confident characterizations.
Rachel Hawkins begins with Beatrix Greene. She deftly crafts a heroine who is both a woman of her time and relatable to this era.
It’s obvious Hawkins put considerable thought into her background. The author puts equal effort into Beatrix’s friend, Harry Smythe. I really appreciate the narrative economy that allows Hawkins to address multiple aspects of Victorian society with so few characters.
As for the story’s leading man, James Walker is a study in Victorian contractions. Hawkins and Parsons use those contradictions to drive the tale.
That said, I subjectively prefer the romance established between Mrs. Amanda Reynolds and her husband Michael in the second chapter. Couples who are already couples are more interesting to me than will they won’t they preambles. However, the fact that Ash Parsons presents the Reynolds’ as the end game bodes well for Beatrix and James.
As for the ghosts, their undeniable presence is perfectly paced and foreshadowed throughout. I also adored the nods to Victorian penny dreadful culture with the fans circling Ashbury Manor.
My one quibble is with the cameo by Dr. Doyle. It’s too short. Objectively, I get why it can’t be longer, but I’m hoping that isn’t the last we see of him. For now, I’m thankful he’s used as a real-life analog for the leading man.
Shiromi Arserio and Alister Austin narrate in turns. They handle the spooks and the sexual tension with equal nuance.
It’s difficult to celebrate Halloween during a pandemic. My usual go-to Poe is too on the nose this year. I needed external horror that wouldn’t automatically become allegory for the current situation. The Victorian gothic of The Haunting of Beatrix Greene is perfect.
You can purchase The Haunting of Beatrix Greene here.
- Audio Production10