Book Review: The Haunted Hotel by Wilkie Collins A Mystery of Modern Venice

vintage classic cover to the haunted hotel
© Vintage Classics, 2015.


An eminent doctor is visited by a desperate woman with a question: am I evil, or insane?

When an Italian servant stops sending letters to his wife in London, she is convinced he has been murdered.

In the darkened bedroom of a mouldering palazzo by the Grand Canal, an English lord sickens and suddenly dies.

How are these little mysteries connected? Spend the night in Room 14 of Venice’s finest hotel, and find out the truth – if you dare…

Via Goodreads


You know that saying “You should stop while you’re ahead”? Yeah, that’s not something Wilkie Collins is acquainted with at all. I really just want to rant and rave and rant about The Haunted Hotel: A Mystery of Modern Venice, so yeah.

The characters of this book are greatly flawed in their own ways and that’s a plus. The absence of flaws makes it hard to identify with a character. Couple that with a spooky, true to the ghost story genre feel of this gothic literature, and I’d love to give it a four or five skull rating. So that begs the question… why didn’t I? Well, here’s why:

Collins, you fool, you don’t ruin you’re own plot by giving all the answers to the questions it raises. The last few chapters of The Haunted Hotel ruins the story entirely by giving us spoilers. Spoilers that spoil the mystification created by the story that most horror and ghost story readers don’t want spoiled. Catch my drift?

Sorry, Wilkie Collins, but I’m gonna have to give you a two.

Rating: 💀💀

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