Good Reads - Fiction
Aiken, Joan - Castle
Barebane - 1976, 312p.
When Val Montgomery
receives a call for help from her half brother, she immediately
abandons her job and her
fiancee and leaves for England. Once there, she finds only
his children, and seeking safe refuge, she takes them to
Castle Barebane, her mother's ancestral home. Here,
while trying to unravel the mysterious circumstances surrounding
her brother's disappearance, she encounters four
men destined to change her life forever.
Anthony, Evelyn - The
Doll's House - 1992,
Devastated by her husband's announcement that he
is leaving her, British diplomat Rosa Bennett accepts a
dangerous assignment to infiltrate a ring of ex-spies whose
base camp is an old English country hotel, The Doll's
House. Rosa, while ingratiating herself with the proprietor,
Harry Oakham, a possible member of the ring, soon finds
herself inexplicably attracted to him. In a riveting climax,
with her own life in imminent danger, Rosa finds out whose
loyalties Harry will honor.
Ballard, Mignon F. - The
Widow's Woods - 1991, 224p.
Cannon returns home to stay at her parents' house
while they vacation in England. Not long after her arrival,
her neighbor is murdered and the Widow's Woods behind
the house becomes the site of some bizarre occult rituals.
When her grandfather and another young woman disappear,
Jane reluctantly becomes involved and soon finds herself
the target of the killer.
Brandon, Beatrice - The
Court of Silver Shadows - 1980, 305p.
Laurel Warrick accepts the position as live-in librarian
at Sablecroft Hall, she is unaware of the dangers that
await her. While cataloging the vast and extraordinary
silent film memorabilia, Laurel discovers real terror,
as she explores the mysteries surrounding the house. Despite
warnings from family members, she vows to unravel the secrets
of the house herself.
DuMaurier, Daphne - Rebecca - 1938, 357p.
The Cornwall estate
of Manderley is the setting for this classic tale of romantic
suspense. When Maxim deWinter
brings his new bride home, she is overwhelmed by the aura
of mystery surrounding the death of Maxim's first
wife. When the boat with the body of Rebecca turns up,
the truth about Rebecca and her life at Manderley is finally
Holt, Victoria - The
Black Opal - 1993,
Carmel March, found abandoned as an infant, is taken
in and raised with the other children of Dr. and Mrs.
She spends her early years in England until Mrs. Marline
dies and she is then whisked off to Australia where she
remains until the age of seventeen. Curious about the childhood
she does not remember, she returns to England, and, with
the help of an old friend, Sir Lucian Crompton, she attempts
to resolve the mysteries surrounding her early years in
Johnston, Velda - The
Underground Stream - 1991,
The quaint village of Hampton Harbor seems like the
ideal place for Gail Loring to spend the summer while
from a mental breakdown. Her good luck in finding a house
to rent only reaffirms her decision. However, suddenly
and at unexpected times she finds herself in another time,
interacting with the inhabitants of the house, from over
a century ago. To complicate matters, Gail's ancestors
lived in the same village, and the secrecy surrounding
their lives soon becomes apparent as Gail must confront
a past she can neither remember nor escape.
Llewellyn, Caroline - Life
Blood - 1993,
Children's author and illustrator Jo Treleven, along
with her infant son, has come to the isolated Cotswold
cottage left her by her grandmother in order to escape
and refocus her life following her husband's mysterious
death—only to find the house holds its own haunted
past. The brutal murder of a woman fifty years earlier
and a novel written by her grandmother, perhaps identifying
the killer, pique Jo's curiosity as she attempts
to unravel the mystery of the house.
Michaels, Barbara - Into
the Darkness - 1990,
Meg Venturi is shocked when she learns she has inherited
her grandfather's antique jewelry business. She is
also surprised when she meets the man her grandfather chose
to run the business with her. Meg and most of the town
look upon A.L. Riley with skepticism, and when Meg receives
threatening phone calls and Victorian rings inscribed with
foreboding messages, Riley is a likely suspect. Meg, however,
does not concur and it takes a life-threatening fire on
the estate to flush out the unlikely culprit.
Peters, Elizabeth - Night
Train to Memphis - 1994, 353p.
Bliss, Assistant Curator of the National Museum in Munich,
is persuaded to help an international intelligence
agency by posing as one of an elite group of passengers
on a luxurious cruise ship sailing up the Nile. The mastermind
of a suspected robbery of a Cairo museum is the target
of her investigation. However, a murder and other complications
turn the cruise into a nightmare voyage, putting Vicky's
own life in serious danger.
Robards, Karen - One
Summer - 1993, 345p.
Released from prison
for a murder he says he never committed, Johnny Harris
returns to a hostile homecoming. His only
supporter, former teacher Rachel Grant, befriends him and
soon their friendship turns into an affair that has the
whole town talking. Rachel becomes even more important
in Johnny's life when another identical murder is
committed, and she is Johnny's only alibi. Trying
to establish Johnny's innocence pits Rachel against
a deadly and surprising villain.
Roberts, Nora - Hidden
Riches - 1994, 395p.
Dora Conroy, an
antique dealer, is unaware of what she really purchased
at a local auction. Concealed in the gaudy
items are priceless treasures mistakenly shipped to the
auction, but meant for a ruthless art collector. Furious
at the bungle, he will stop at nothing, even murder, to
regain his treasures. Luckily for Dora, Jed Skimmerhorn,
ex-cop, is her new tenant and together they begin to unravel
the mysterious deaths of those who have come in contact
with the misdirected items. Finally, Dora puts her own
life in danger as they attempt to catch this diabolical
Rossiter, Elizabeth - The
Lemon Garden - 1983,
Joanna Fleming, a victim of amnesia following an automobile
accident, remembers nothing of her past. She does, however,
experience an ominous feeling whenever she visits her aunt's
lemon garden or holds an earring, the mate of which was
worn by a body found floating in Lake Garda. Joanna, an
aspiring actress, is surrounded by people wanting to help
her, but she is fearful of trusting anyone. Murder and
an exciting chase through Italy result in a dramatic conclusion.
Stewart, Mary - The
Stormy Petrel - 1991,
Rose Fenemore looks forward to a relaxing holiday with
her brother Crispin on a remote island off the coast of
Scotland. Her plan is to do some writing while Crispin
indulges his passion for photography. Crispin, however,
is delayed, and when two men seeking refuge from a storm
arrive at her cottage, Rose's idyllic retreat becomes
anything but that. Are Ewan Mackey and John Parsons what
they seem or are both hiding something? Rose is drawn into
a web of suspense as the truth unfolds about her unexpected
Whitney, Phyllis - Star
Flight - 1993,
Lauren Castle's husband is accidentally killed while
working on a documentary about the career of the famous
actor, Roger Brandt. Months later Lauren receives a mysterious
letter concerning her husband's death. Curious not
only about his untimely death, but also about Roger Brandt,
Lauren travels to Lake Lure. With the help of a former
boyfriend, Lauren eventually meets Roger Brandt, who was
her grandmother's lover. A myriad of suspects makes
Lauren's job difficult, but eventually she finds
the answers to why and how her husband died and to her
own personal questions about her past.
Prepared by Sheila Guenzer, December 1994