Ghostwalk by Rebecca Stott Phoenix, HK$132 Lydia Brookes, the protagonist of Rebecca Stott's first novel, has the requisite dead friend, Elizabeth Vogelsang, working on the requisite highly sensitive intellectual project - in this case, an unfinished book about Isaac Newton concerning Freemasonry, alchemy and science. Lydia is asked to complete the work by Elizabeth's son, a hunky, reclusive neuroscientist called Cameron, with whom Lydia once had a passionate relationship. Brushing aside her qualms about Cameron's wife, Lydia accepts the commission and becomes embroiled in a story that involves far more than turning base metal into gold - one that may shed light on Elizabeth's untimely death. Stott's modern murder mystery is enjoyable although her self-consciously poetic elegance occasionally feels like drowning in honey. 'Cameron Brown, man of fractures and disguises, lie close still, under, between, inside, for we became once, and still are, entangled together, imprisoned, like time, in a skein of silk.' Luckily for us, when Stott stops using her thesaurus and comma button she provides intriguing puzzles, an on-off romance, twists, turns, ghosts and more historical detail than you can shake a footnote at.