My family is dead.
Death by fire, in our English country manor.
I have never returned there since.
News of my grandfather's passing reaches me.
News of how I'm the remaining heir.
News of how I must return to govern my lands.
I must leave New York.
To return to the last place I want to go.
To face the deaths of my family.
I am the new Duchess of Wickersham.
I am Imogen Rockford.
Hello! Today, I'm the American-British duchess, Imogen.
Author: Alexandra Monir
Series: stand alone (I think)
Setting: present day, mainly Wickersham
Genre: YA mystery, a little paranormal
POV: first person, by Imogen
Reading: first time
Favorite line: "I just don't understand how everyone else seems to magically know where they want to go to school and what they want to study and do with their lives. Since when did seventeen become the age when we're supposed to have it all figured out?"
Rating: 3 stars
I picked this book up on a whim, mainly because the cover was quite intriguing. Suspicion is a cross between The Princess Diaries (the whole you-just-inherited-lands-from-afar-and-now-you-must-return-to-you-native-lands-to-become-their-ruler kind of thing) and Rebecca (though I haven't read it, but sort of know what it's about. The whole last-mistress-of-the-place-haunting-the-new-mistress thing). Also add a touch of paranormal powers, and you get Suspicion.
Imogen was a relatively likeable character. You really understand her thought processes, on how bewildered she feels, being forced to take the place an English Duchess after living seven years as a regular citizens in America. Suddenly, she's no longer dealing with trying to convince her parents for a gap year before going to NYU, but now she's trying to orchestrate and host parties for various English noblemen and all the other responsibilities that comes with governing the lands of Wickersham.
The situation that Imogen finds herself is that she really doesn't want to ever return to Rockford Manor, as that was where her parents died, but she really doesn't have much of a choice. The people there need a Duke or Duchess to maintain Rockford Manor and the lands at all times, as they are the ones that supply the homes and jobs for the people of Wickersham. Not going would mean leaving an entire town stranded with both no homes, and no jobs. So Imogen makes the decision to face her fear for the better of her new people.
Though this was a good read, there were noticeably a few bumps in the plot. Part of it could be the result of the book being so short. As mentioned before, there was a touch of paranormal abilities in this book, but it didn't really play that much of a role. It was merely introduced, but it wasn't developed as fully as I would have liked it to have been. More pages will be needed to fully explore the role of these abilities.
Which comes to the next question: is this a standalone book? It's not clear. There are a few major loose ends at the end of the book, with the antagonist still at large, predicted to one day return. But will she? Or is this simply their happily-ever-after? I'm not sure, and when I looked into a sequel, there was no news of another one being released. So...is this really the end? Was the ending satisfactory for a stand alone? There wasn't the closure I expected, nor was there that big of a character development on the paranormal side. Yes, there was a complete plot twist that drew the attention away from it, but I feel that this book could be more elaborated through a sequel. As for whether or not a sequel will be made, only time will tell!