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A Curse Dark As Gold - Elizabeth C. Bunce I really enjoyed this book. It's a Rumpelstiltskin tale, fleshed out and made darker and more complex than those you hear as a child. Charlotte Miller's father has died, and he's left her and her sister with a cursed mill--according to local lore, though of course Charlotte believes no such thing--and a hefty mortgage to go with it.

Charlotte and her sister owe the bank (and the handsome banker, who Charlotte eventually marries) a lot of money, and on several occassions, they have good, solid plans to earn the sum. But a phantom who slashes their stock of fabrics to ribbons the day before market forces them to employ a strange man who delivers gold from straw, and then bolts upon bolts of fabric from thin air, in a night.

Of course, since we know the story, we know that eventually, this man is going to demand Charlotte's baby, but the real mystery is in the why. Stirwaters (the mill) has a dark history, and Charlotte's going to have to uncover it if she's going to save her son and her mill.