Picks and Pans Review: House of Dreams

updated 10/09/2000 AT 01:00 AM EDT

originally published 10/09/2000 AT 01:00 AM EDT

by Brenda Joyce

House of Dreams? More like nightmares. From the moment shy historical novelist Cass de Warenne and her glamorous socialite sister Tracey arrive at a remote Spanish castle owned by Tracey's current squeeze, hunky medieval studies professor Antonio de la Barca—there with his son and brother—things get creepy. The power goes out. The phones don't work. And the tires on their cars are mysteriously slashed, leaving everyone stranded. Worse, people start turning up dead.

Is someone in one of the two families a murderer? Or are both clans haunted by a centuries-old curse that has kept them tragically intertwined? Author Brenda Joyce (The Third Heiress) keeps the reader guessing. She also manages to spin a first-rate tale of romance—and sibling rivalry—amidst all the spookiness. Skeptics of the supernatural should look elsewhere, but fans of ghost stories and star-crossed romances will want to settle right in. (St. Martin's, $23.95)

Bottom Line: Gothic gem

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