THE OXFORD INHERITANCE – Ann A. McDonald
England – The Present
Loner Cassandra (Cassie) Blackwell is an American student who has received a scholarship to Raleigh College at Oxford University. After a long flight, she arrives at the school wanting to find her room and sleep only to have one of the college porters hand her a robe and tell her to join the other first-year students. She is quickly caught up in the first day photo session followed by meet and greet activities. Older than most of the students, Cassandra has to be careful, for while she earned her presence, she lied about her background and has ulterior motives for wanting to come to this college. A mysterious package was delivered to her that showed her mother had attended Raleigh College, something Cassie hadn't known. Her mother Joanna often had irrational anger episodes and constantly moved her daughter to new dwellings. The same anger has exploded in Cassie upon occasion. She is at Oxford to learn about her mother's past and perhaps discover who her father is. She soon learns most of her cliquish fellow students have prestigious families with generational ties to Raleigh College. The only person who might help her is Constable Charlie Day, if she can trust even him. Her search leads her to a secret society, the School of the Night, and a trap that might cost her everything.
To say more would give away much of the mystery and drama involved in this story, but the paranormal aspect is down played until the end, yet it slowly adds a sinister aspect to Raleigh College and its alumni. Cassie's own paranoia creates most of the tension while the setting gives readers a unique look at the Oxford education system and creates a very different background from most stories. THE OXFORD INHERITANCE also proves that even an intelligent, driven, but suspicious young woman familiar with the unsavory sides of society can be deceived into becoming a willing pawn in a life-endangering situation.