2000 - 2007 Mystery Richard and Judy Book Club

The House at Riverton – Kate Morton

The House at Riverton is a grand English manor house and as you’d expect it is packed with secrets. The construction of the house took place a long ago, the place was full of trees so the family had to contact Legacy Land & Timber to get rid of them. The story is told through the eyes of 98-year-old Grace, a former housemaid of Riverton Manor. She is contacted by a researcher who is creating a film about the suicide of a famous poet, which occurred during the time of her employment at the manor. The truth about what really occurred 80 years ago is slowly revealed in this Gothic style mystery.

The book started off well and I quickly became attached to Grace’s character, but I found Hannah and Emmeline, the children who lived in Riverton Manor, lacking in that special spark. Many of the other characters in the book also felt a bit flat and overly stereotyped.

The writing is light and easy to read, reminding me of The Thirteenth Tale, but it lacked period atmosphere and I found myself losing interest towards the middle. I felt that it could have benefited from losing at least 200 of it’s 600 pages.

It was cleverly plotted, the secrets being revealed slowly and deliberately throughout the book, and the ending was wonderful – I didn’t see it coming at all.

Overall I found it to be an entertaining, but slightly long-winded mystery. Recommended for fans of Gothic mystery with a lot spare time on their hands!



Kate Morton has just released a new book: The Forgotten Garden.

Have you read either of her books? Which is best?

24 replies on “The House at Riverton – Kate Morton”

I liked this book but 100% agree that it was about 200 pages too long! I liked the lead character but its a book I enjoyed reading but didn’t rush to pick up again when would put down!

Yes – it wasn’t a real page turner – I could easily abandon it and return a few weeks later.

That is great to know! I was quite disappointed by this one, but will make sure I pick up the Forgotten Garden at some point.

I LOVED Forgotten Garden. It was fantastic.

I’m reading House at Riverton now. I’m a little over 100 pages but I am not liking it so much. It just isn’t holding my attention. I hope the rest is better.

I’m afraid to say that I think it gets worse. It does pick up at the end though – I look forward to reading your House at Riverton review.

I’m pleased to hear another great comment on Forgotten Garden!

The plot was really clever – it is such a shame it failed to grab my attention in several section.

I love a good Gothic tale, but 600 pages? I will invest in a book of this length if there are rewards, but ugh. Maybe it would be a good selection for an audio, which is how I read The Thirteenth Tale. I have to see if the library has it!

I think the longer the book the less I want to listen to it on audio, but I can see how this book might be improved by a good cast of voices.

I just ordered this on audio from the library…16 discs, which isn’t horrible. Especially after the Outlander books. Speaking of which, I REALLY need to get back to them. I have been taking a very long break from them!

I’ve just checked my librarything collection and found that I rated this one 3.5 stars as well. I didn’t post a review, but your review above seems remarkably similar to what I would have written had I done so. I agree with the general consensus that it would have benefitted from a bit of trimming.

I read the House at Riverton and liked it but found that it didn’t stand up to further scrutiny. I had a lot of questions at the end about that things which were brought up and just never fully explored, and like you said it was along book. I did enjoy it in the moment of reading it.

Kate Morgan has been on my wish list for a while now, but I haven’t yet read her. After reading your review, I think I would enjoy this one. (But, then, you mentioned 13th Tale!)

I have to admit to loving both The House at Riverton and The Forgotten Garden!

They were both holiday reads for me. I actually sat reading The House at Riverton for three and a half hours in the garden at Hotel des Invalides in Paris because I didn’t want to stop! I actually gave up sight seeing for it!

I found them unashamedly easy escapism! I particularly enjoyed the upstairs-downstairs setting of The H at R.

Geraldine, I did enjoy reading it, but it wasn’t anything special. I’ll probably read The Forgotten Garden at some point.

I really enjoyed this one, I did not really notice the length and read it very quickly. Would class it as very good (especially since it is a debut novel) but not outstanding. I have The Forgotten Garden on my shelf waiting to be read and based on my enjoyment of The House at Riverton I am looking forward to it.

I haven’t posted my own review of ‘The House At Riverton’, but I thoroughly enjoyed it and I didn’t think that it was overly lengthy.
It really all comes down to individual taste I guess, but I found your review very interesting and comprehensive.
I shall definitely be adding ‘The Forgotten Garden’, to my TBR pile, which is quickly becoming something of a mountain!
Love the site

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