Since Bluebeard is one of my favorite fairy tales, I approached this book with some knowledge of the original source and a high level of excitement. I went in anticipating extreme creepiness -- I mean, the original tale features a serial killer, bloodstains, a forbidden room.... Long story short, the creep factor was lower and the pace slower here than what I expected. I did like think it was interesting that this retelling -- set in pre-Civil War Mississippi -- uses slavery to parallel Monsieur de Cressac's imprisonment and mistreatment of his wives. But for most of the book, the main character Sophie -- and the reader along with her -- spends a lot of time hanging around Wyndriven Abbey, waiting for something to happen. Halfway through, Sophie meets a new guy -- a minister who reads Pride and Prejudice (or, at least so it seems, as he leaves Sophie a letter that begins, "In vain I have struggled…") I was looking forward to some P & P verbal sparring, but unfortunately, Sophie is more a Kitty than a Lizzie in the personality department, and the minister is more sweet Bingley than tart Darcy. The last few chapters of the book do finally edge into macabre territory, but it was a long wait. I think going into this book with the right expectations is key: if you expect and enjoy mildly suspenseful historical fiction with a very leisurely pace, you won't be disappointed.