While I initially had some difficulty getting into this story, by the time I was a couple of chapters into it, I could not put the book down. Well, unfortunately, I did HAVE to, but I didn't WANT to. The title is so very appropriate, as well--this truly was a "strangely beautiful tale." There is no better way to describe it!To begin, Hieber's writing is really quite lovely--she has a way with words that is enjoyable to read. There were frequently dialogues of subtle wit that I appreciated, and at many times the writing was lyrical. It may not always be consistent, but the writing is generally very good. Add to that a story that was ultimately gripping and fascinating, and I think you have an all-in-all great read. Here we have a paranormal story dealing more with visions and ghosts, coupled with a brewing romance that really spurred me along while reading. Honestly, I was probably more interested in how the romance would turn out than the rest of the story, and perhaps that's why I have to admit that I'm still not quite sure how the paranormal elements all managed to resolve themselves. I'm thinking a re-read will be in order sometime down the road.I enjoyed the characters, though I did often get annoyed with Percy Parker's self-pity (to be fair, it was very in line with her character). In the end, however, she came into her own, much to my satisfaction. All of the members of The Guard (headed by Alexi) are unique and have their own personalities that tend to stand out. Overall, I thought Hieber developed and presented her characters very fittingly into the story. I think that lovers of mystery, the paranormal, or romance would enjoy this book. The Strangely Beautiful Tale of Miss Percy Parker is the first in a series, and I definitely look forward to reading the next story!