Joceanne2000, April 29, 2012 (view all comments by Joceanne2000)
I just finished reading the Haunting of Maddy Clare, in 2 days. Very well written and it will pull you in. Though this is a debut, it reads with an established voice, in fact I didn't remember it was a debut until I went looking for more by this author. Hopefully she will write more, either with these characters or others.
A good feel for the period and felt knowledgeable about the people of the time.
Susan Craig, April 6, 2012 (view all comments by Susan Craig)
This is a ghost story to read at the beach - in full sunlight and surrounded by people. It is not (as I found out the hard way) a book for a rainy night alone. Also, allow time to finish it in one sitting. It moves fast. First-time author St. James has a real keeper here - atmosphere, suspense and a little romance. Can't wait for the next book.
"Publishers Weekly Review"
by Publishers Weekly,
"St. James's debut novel is a fantastic paranormal historical set in England between the World Wars. Sarah Piper is a young woman who has been sent by her temp agency to assist Alistair Gellis, a WWI vet and troubled ghost hunter charged with investigating a barn haunted by the specter of 19-year-old Maddy Clare. However, Maddy refuses to interact with men, and so Sarah is thrust to the forefront of the inquiry. When she arrives at the barn, Sarah is overwhelmed by Maddy's spirit, who demands that she return with Alistair and his enigmatic assistant, Matthew Ryder. The ghost demands that the trio find the men Maddy wanted to kill before she committed suicide, and why, or she will drive Alistair insane. As Sarah and Matthew work frantically to discover Maddy's murderous plans, they confront increasingly resistant townsfolk and their own irresistible attraction to one another. By the time they learn Maddy's secret, it may be too late for all involved. Though readers may surmise the ending long before the last page, St. James deftly ratchets up the tension in this thrilling ghost story. (Mar. 6)" Publishers Weekly Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved.
Portis House emerged from the fog as we approached, showing itself slowly as a long, low shadow....”
In 1919, Kitty Weekes, pretty, resourceful, and on the run, falsifies her background to obtain a nursing position at Portis House, a remote hospital for soldiers left shell-shocked by the horrors of the Great War. Hiding the shame of their mental instability in what was once a magnificent private estate, the patients suffer from nervous attacks and tormenting dreams. But something more is going on at Portis House—its plaster is crumbling, its plumbing makes eerie noises, and strange breaths of cold waft through the empty rooms. Its known that the former occupants left abruptly, but where did they go? And why do the patients all seem to share the same nightmare, one so horrific that they dare not speak of it?
Kitty finds a dangerous ally in Jack Yates, an inmate who may be a war hero, a madman or maybe both. But even as Kitty and Jack create a secret, intimate alliance to uncover the truth, disturbing revelations suggest the presence of powerful spectral forces. And when a medical catastrophe leaves them even more isolated, they must battle the menace on their own, caught in the heart of a mystery that could destroy them both.
When a young woman returns to North Carolina after a thirty-year absence, she finds that the once grand tobacco plantation she called home holds more secrets than she ever imagined.
Though Peak Plantation has been in her family for generations, Leslie Nichols cant wait to rid herself of the farm left to her by her estranged grandmother Maggie—and with it the disturbing memories of her mothers death, her fathers disgrace, and her unhappy childhood. But Leslie isnt the only one with a claim to Peak.
Jay Davenport, Peaks reclusive caretaker, has his own reasons for holding onto the land bequeathed to him by Leslies grandmother. Before she died, Maggie hinted at a terrible secret surrounding Adele Laveau, a ladys maid who came to Peak during the 1930s and died under mysterious circumstances. Jay is haunted by Maggies story, yet the truth eludes him—until Leslie uncovers a cryptically marked grave on the property.
As they delve into the mystery of Adeles death, Leslie and Jay discover shocking secrets that extend deep into the roots of Leslies family tree—secrets that have the power to alter her life forever.
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