Synopses & Reviews
In 1920's England, a young woman searches for the truth behind her uncle’s mysterious death in a town haunted by a restless ghost…
Oxford student Jillian Leigh works day and night to keep up with her studies—so to leave at the beginning of the term is next to impossible. But after her uncle Toby, a renowned ghost hunter, is killed in a fall off a cliff, she must drive to the seaside village of Rothewell to pack up his belongings.
Almost immediately, unsettling incidents—a book left in a cold stove, a gate swinging open on its own—escalate into terrifying events that convince Jillian an angry spirit is trying to enter the house. Is it Walking John, the two-hundred-year-old ghost who haunts Blood Moon Bay? And who beside the ghost is roaming the local woods at night? If Toby uncovered something sinister, was his death no accident?
The arrival of handsome Scotland Yard inspector Drew Merriken, a former RAF pilot with mysteries of his own, leaves Jillian with more questions than answers—and with the added complication of a powerful, mutual attraction. Even as she suspects someone will do anything to hide the truth, she begins to discover spine-chilling secrets that lie deep within Rothewell…and at the very heart of who she is.
"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.
"Debut author St. James has written an atmospheric and resoundingly old-fashioned ghost story that pulls you in from the first pages...This book is just right for those who prefer suspense to be scary but not too
scary. It's haunting but (despite disturbing elements) not nightmarish. St. James's writing evokes the time period without pretension, the pacing is just right, the ghost story plausible, and the love story important but not all-consuming. Recommended."
Historical Novels Review
"A chilling start...fans of the modern Gothic novel will enjoy filling up a few creepy hours."
"A novel of chilling romantic suspense that evokes the lost era between the world wars that so wounded the lives of the young men and women of England, and adds to the mix an inevitably dark, gothic ghost story. Read it with the lights on. Simply spellbinding."
Susanna Kearsley, New York Times and USA Today bestselling author of The Winter Sea
"A compelling read. With a strong setting, vivid supporting characters and sympathetic protagonists, the book is a wonderful blend of romance, mystery, and pure creepiness. Simone St. James is a talent to watch."
Anne Stuart, New York Times bestselling author of Shameless
"Compelling and deliciously unsettling, this is a story that begs to be read in one sitting. I couldn't put it down!"
Megan Chance, author of City of Ash
"With a fresh, unique voice, Simone St. James creates an atmosphere that is deliciously creepy and a heroine you won't soon forget. The Haunting of Maddy Clare promises spooky thrills and it delivers. Read it, enjoy it--but don't turn out the lights!"
Deanna Raybourn, author of the Julia Grey series and of The Dark Enquiry
"One foggy evening not long ago, I lit a fire in the fireplace, brewed myself a cup of tea, settled in and began to read The Haunting of Maddy Clare. When I looked up again, my tea had gone cold, the fire was out, and hours had passed in an instant. The deliciously eerie, traditionally gothic story grabbed me with its first sentence and didn't let go until the very last, as though Maddy herself reached out from the page and drew me in, insisting that I, along with ghost hunters Sarah, Matthew and Alastair, not rest until I discovered what happened to her one terrible night in the dark and foreboding English countryside. Author Simone St. James gets everything right in this ghostly tale, and I'll be standing in line to buy whatever she writes next."
Wendy Webb, author of The Tale of Halcyon Crane
"Fast, fun, and gripping. Kept me up into the wee hours."
C. S. Harris, author of the Sebastian St. Cyr mystery series
"I don't believe in ghosts, but I believe every word of this fast-paced, compelling story."
Madeline Hunter, New York Times bestselling author of The Surrender of Miss Fairbourne
Praise for An Inquiry into Love and Death
“I thoroughly enjoyed it!...Simone clearly relishes and is steeped in the traditions of gothic fiction - in the best way. She conjures that secretive, hushed atmospher perfectly, and the story kept me turning pages from beginning to end. At once an intriguing mystery and an eerie ghost story, it had more than enough spine-tingling moments to keep me gripped.”—Katherine Webb, author of The Unseen
Praise for The Haunting of Maddy Clare
“Chilling romantic suspense that evokes the lost era between the World Wars…Simply spellbinding.”—New York Times Bestselling Author Susanna Kearsley
“Compelling and beautifully written.”—New York Times Bestselling Author Madeline Hunter
“An atmosphere that is deliciously creepy and a heroine you won’t soon forget.” —National Bestselling Author Deanna Raybourn
Praise for Silence for the Dead
“Vivid, eerie and atmospheric. St James latest will simultaneously tug at your heart strings and send chills down your spine. Absolutely riveting.”—Anna Lee Huber, award-winning author of the Lady Darby Historical Mystery series
“Kudos for Simone St. James. I was swept away by this atmospheric and truly spine-chilling page turner, a riveting tale of dark suspense set in 1919 within a crumbling mansion turned mental hospital. If you love a good ghost story, you will be entranced.”—Mary Sharratt, author of Illuminations: A Novel of Hildegard von Bingen and Daughters of the Witching Hill
Praise for the novels of Simone St. James
“Downright scary and atmospheric. I flew through the pages of this romantic and suspenseful period piece…”—New York Times bestselling author Lisa Gardner
“Anyone who loves Daphne du Maurier and Victoria Holt will enjoy this book… highly recommended.”—Historical Novels Society
“The perfect book to curl up with by the fire on a stormy night...although perhaps not by yourself in an empty house!”—Katherine Webb, author of The Unseen
“Another chilling story.…St. James delivers a quickly paced read that will satisfy both new and old fans.”—Publishers Weekly
“A perfectly balanced combination of mystery, romance, ghost story and history.”—Romantic Booklovers, Top Pick
“An inventively dark gothic ghost story. Read it with the lights on. Simply spellbinding.”—Susanna Kearsley, New York Times bestselling author of The Winter Sea
Praise for The Secrets She Carried
“Davis paints a picture of two eras and beautifully flawed characters with evocative and caring words.”—Susan Crandall, author of Whistling Past the Graveyard
“Lovely and assured writing. Adele Laveau's haunting voice and Leslie Nicholl's journey toward understanding lingered long after I read the final page of this engrossing tale."—Julie Kibler, author of Calling Me Home
“A beautifully crafted page-turner with many twists but a simple theme: no matter how far you run, you cant escape your past. Part contemporary womens fiction, part historical novel, the plot moves seamlessly back and forth in time to unlock family secrets that bind four generations of women….A stunning read from the first page to the last sentence.”—Barbara Claypole White, author of The Unfinished Garden
Sarah Piper's lonely, threadbare existence changes when her temporary agency sends her to assist a ghost hunter. Alistair Gellis-rich, handsome, scarred by World War I, and obsessed with ghosts- has been summoned to investigate the spirit of nineteen-year-old maid Maddy Clare, who is haunting the barn where she committed suicide.
Since Maddy hated men in life, it is Sarah's task to confront her in death. Soon Sarah is caught up in a deperate struggle. For Maddy's ghost is real, she's angry, and she has powers that defy all reason. Can Sarah and Alistair's assistant, the rough, unsettling Matthew Ryder, discover who Maddy was, whereshe came from, and what is driving her desire for vengeance-before she destroys them all?
Sarah Piper's lonely, threadbare existence changes when her temporary agency sends her to assist a ghost hunter. Alistair Gellis-rich, handsome, scarred by World War I, and obsessed with ghosts- has been summoned to investigate the spirit of nineteen-year-old maid Maddy Clare, who is haunting the barn where she committed suicide. Since Maddy hated men in life, it is Sarah's task to confront her in death. Soon Sarah is caught up in a deperate struggle. For Maddy's ghost is real, she's angry, and she has powers that defy all reason. Can Sarah and Alistair's assistant, the rough, unsettling Matthew Ryder, discover who Maddy was, whereshe came from, and what is driving her desire for vengeance-before she destroys them all?
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 Maggieand 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 himuntil 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 treesecrets that have the power to alter her life forever.
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 Houseits 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.
Sarah Piper's lonely, threadbare existence changes when her temporary agency sends her to assist a ghost hunter. Alistair Gellis-rich, handsome, scarred by World War I, and obsessed with ghosts- has been summoned to investigate the spirit of nineteen-year-old maid Maddy Clare, who is haunting the barn where she committed suicide. Since Maddy hated men in life, it is Sarah's task to confront her in death. Soon Sarah is caught up in a deperate struggle. For Maddy's ghost is real, she's angry, and she has powers that defy all reason. Can Sarah and Alistair's assistant, the rough, unsettling Matthew Ryder, discover who Maddy was, whereshe came from, and what is driving her desire for vengeance-before she destroys them all? Winner of two RITA Awards from the Romance Writers of America and the Arthur Ellis Award from Crime Writers of Canada
About the Author
Simone St. James is the award-winning author of An Inquiry into Love and Death and The Haunting of Maddy Clare, which won two RITA awards from Romance Writers of America and an Arthur Ellis Award from Crime Writers of Canada. She wrote her first ghost story, about a haunted library, when she was in high school, and spent twenty years behind the scenes in the television business before leaving to write full-time. She lives in Toronto, Canada with her husband and a spoiled cat.