It’s no surprise that I enjoy gothic novels based on my reading history and favorites. I especially love gothic novels that incorporate elements not often presented (or acknowledged) in the classics, which is ultimately what caught my attention with Lavender House. I found myself intrigued by both the time period and the exploration of LGBT+ people at this time and how the current viewpoints and legislation impacted their lives (and especially so for the narrator).
While this book presents a promising start, I found many parts of this book to be a bit underwhelming in their execution. I think a general lack of character development caused my interest to fade slightly, especially given that the proximity of the characters in the house is a contributing element to the plot. I think what makes mysteries like this compelling is that there is something at stake until the mystery is resolved, and without that development, there’s not as much interest to de nod about the end result.
However, I did really like the scenic aspects of this book. The idea of rivaling soap companies was an interesting background and I thought the presence of lavender around the house and its connections to the storyline was a really unique touch.
Ultimately, I think Lavender House brings some really unique features to the genre but is lacking in some areas. I’d tend to recommend it more to those looking for a procedural with a gothic twist and queer characters.