Damaris Gordon shuddered at the thought of working for the cruel and bitter Master of Blacktower—but her father’s death left her no choice. Suddenly her fate—her life itself—was in the black silk-gloved hands of Gavin Hamilton, a man scarred and tortured by an unspoken past, whose mocking laughter echoes through his ancient Scottish estate. Damaris has heard the whispers that accuse Gavin Hamilton of his wife’s death and his young daughter’s crippling injury. But the pain and sadness barely hidden behind his blazing dark stare touch Damaris deeply—and a courageous heart is luring her to the estate’s topmost tower in search of his dangerous secrets.
Ada and Harriet don’t know what to expect when they meet their new guardian, Mr. Wolfson. Here is a strangely magnetic, darkly amusing man confined to a wheelchair and flanked by a pair of fierce, dangerous dogs—an enigmatic benefactor, at once welcoming and intimidating. Even more unsettling to the girls are Wolfson’s two sons, Julian and Francis. One of them is warm and good-natured, the other is pure malevolence. But young Harriet is about to discover a frightening truth: that evil runs rampant throughout their mysterious new home, Abbey Manor, and the surrounding moors—especially when the moon comes out .
It begins as a lark — a harmless diversion initiated by Washington, D.C., hostess Ruth Bennett as a means of entertaining her visiting niece, Sara. But the séance conducted in Ruth’s elegant Georgetown home calls something back; something unwelcome … and palpably evil. Suddenly Sara is speaking in a voice not her own, transformed into a miserable, whimpering creature so unlike her normal, sensible self. No tricks or talismans will dispel the malevolence that now plagues the inhabitants of this haunted place — until a dark history of treachery, lust, and violence is exposed. But the cost might well be the sanity and the lives of the living.
A stranger has come to Middleburg, Maryland, a visitor from abroad with a mysterious purpose. But this quaint, affluent community has dark secrets of its own. And when the interloper, Peter Stewart, becomes involved with the bewitching, seductive ward of noted local author Kate More, the townfolk fear the chilling past they are hiding will no longer be safe. For Middleburg has a colonial history of malevolent sorceries and obscene sacrifice. And when the terrible pot is stirred, murder may be the least of the evils to emerge from the unholy brew.
Everywhere she turns, Linda Randolph hears voices: from empty dark corners and lonely rooms. But it is the house itself that speaks the loudest, telling Linda to run for her life. Her husband, Gordon, the noted statesman and scholar, suggests she’s losing her mind. Linda almost hopes it’s true, because the alternate explanation is too terrible to contemplate: that Gordon is intimately involved with dark, diabolical forces beyond the scope of the natural and rational. Either Linda Randolph is half-mad … or her husband is pure evil.
Joanne McMullen’s fears for her sister’s sanity have brought her to remote King’s Island, Maine. Mary’s grief over the loss of her child is threatening to send her over the edge and her insistence that she has heard an eerie, childlike wailing in the woods fuels Joanne’s anxiety. And now Mary’s taken to disappearing at midnight in search of the source of the heartrending moans. But it’s not just her sister’s encroaching madness that is chilling Joanne’s blood it’s her own. Because suddenly, impossibly, she also hears the crying child.
Lucy Cartwright placed her life and future into the hands of the dashing Baron Clare, despite the rumors of his dark, unsavory past. Trusting his kind words and gentle manner, she agreed to be his wife and followed the enigmatic lord to Greygallows, his sprawling country estate. But mystery, deception, betrayal, and danger surround the magnificent manor a ghostly secret charges the atmosphere and terror reigns in its shadowed hallways. Lucy entered Greygallows willingly… and now she may never leave.
For Ellen March, the secluded old house nestled in the pine woods is more than the dream home she’s long been searching for. It’s an escape, a chance to start over, to forget the pain of her failed marriage and enjoy the restful pace of small-town living. Here, too, is a golden opportunity to get to know Norman McKay, her handsome and worldly new neighbor. But after dark in Ellen’s “perfect” house, strange visions invade her restless mind: silent strangers moving through the twilight shadows, the ghostly figure of a woman and a spectral white cat. Ellen came here hoping to bury the past, but something terrifying has taken its place. Her safe haven has become her prison . . . and there is no escape.
Meg Rittenhouse fears she is losing her mind. The doctors tell her the strange and disturbing hallucinations she’s been experiencing ever since her accident are all in her head, and that, with a little rest, the haunting visions will vanish. But accepting an invitation to stay with her cousin in the country may be the worst decision Meg has ever made. Here, in a remote old house miles from anywhere, the terrible sights and sounds have gotten even worse. Suddenly eerie black shapes dance in the shadows—mocking Meg, haunting her . . . threatening her. And the presence of kind, considerate Andy Brenner, the caretaker, both reassures her and terrifies her—because Andy also sees these dark specters . . .
Since Sandy Frederick first set foot on the volcanic Greek isle of Thera, this breathtaking place of ancient myth and mystery has haunted her dreams. Joining her estranged, obsessed father on a dive to find astonishing secrets from the ocean’s floor, she cannot shake the feeling that she was meant to be here; that some ancient, inscrutable power is calling to her. But there are others who have been eagerly waiting for her arrival to drag her into a tangled and terrifying web of secrets, dark superstition, betrayal, blood, and death. And suddenly Sandy’s heritage and her destiny could be her doom.
Jan Wilde’s much-needed vacation in Williamsburg, Virginia, is anything but restful. Here in this historic restored colonial village, her sleep is invaded by strangers from two centuries in the past. They seem so close, so real and when Jan awakens in the morning, their lives and loves and the secret they share shadow her very existence. The only way Jan can ever be free is to seek the truth . . . in her dreams.
The death of her English father left Francesca alone and unprotected, with nowhere to turn but to the noble Italian family of her late mother. Adrift in a strange land, surrounded by cold and suspicious relatives who had disowned her mother on her wedding day, Francesca is determined to make the best of a bad situation. But nothing could have prepared her for the nest of dark secrets and oppressive cruelty she has been cast into. And her fate now rests in the hands of a mysterious horseman known as the Falcon, whose appearance will speed her salvation … or hasten her doom.
The last of an ancient Cornish clan, Carla Tregellas has inherited her historic ancestral home: a massive mansion looming high up on the jagged cliffs of Cornwall. From the moment Carla takes possession of the grand manor she feels right at home, warmly welcomed by everyone—except the strange and secretive housekeeper, Mrs. Pendennis, who warns the new owner of the tragic, inevitable fate that will surely befall her if she does not depart at once. But Carla cannot leave, for the unseen bonds of a dark family curse are beginning to tighten . . . and a demon lover waits.
The house next door to Pat Robbins eerily identical to the home Pat shares with her college-aged son, Mark has been empty for years, the darkness within seeming to warn all to stay away. Now new tenants are moving in: affable Josef Friedrichs and his lovely daughter, Kathy, who has stolen Mark’s heart on first glance. But something is not right something old and secret lurking in the shadows that fresh paint and new furnishings cannot mask or exorcise. There is evil alive in the heart of the house next door and it means to feed on the fears of two families . . . and drag Kathy Friedrichs with it into peril.
A penniless yet strikingly beautiful orphan, Marianne Ransom’s indomitable spirit has enabled her to survive a cruel life on the backstreets of Victorian London. But it is her gift of second sight that carries her into the world of money and privilege—a power brought on by a strange twist of fate. In the opulent home of a wealthy duchess, Marianne is being called upon to summon her late father—a noted mystic—from the grave. But Marianne’s exceptional abilities have become a perilous trap. And suddenly knowing too much could prove fatal.
An English Gothic mansion, transported stone by stone to the isolated Pennsylvania hills, Grayhaven Manor calls to Anne and Kevin. Here is the ideal summer retreat a perfect location from which to write the book they have long planned together. But there are distractions in the halls and shadows of the looming architectural wonder luring them from their work for they are not alone. Something lives on here from Grayhaven’s shocking past something beautiful, powerful, and eerily seductive unlocking the doors of human desire, of fear … and unearthly passion.
Megan O’Neill sees it hanging in the sky above the towers of Grayhaven Manor — a beautiful yet sinister black rainbow, a warning to the estate’s new governess to stay away. Yet the warmth and kindness of the Mandeville family banish her fears — and her hypnotic obsession for her handsome, mysterious new employer blinds her to the darkness within. But desire always has its price. And the shocking secrets enclosed in Grayhaven’s walls threaten to pull Megan into the terrifying shadows, never to emerge again.
Andrea Torgesen is certain that hard work is exactly what her younger brother Jim needs to help him recover from the trauma of a serious car accident—and turning a decrepit old mansion into a beautiful country inn seems to be the perfect project. But unearthly voices and eerie visions haunt Jim from almost the first instant he sets foot in the dreary old house. And his strange obsession with a long-neglected graveyard is most troubling to his concerned sibling. There is evil in this place where the unthinkable is possible—a terrifying force that Andrea and Jim must confront . . . or forfeit their lives.
Devastated by her husband’s death, Kathy Malone has traveled to his childhood home, hoping to come to terms with the recent tragedy. Here in the beautiful rolling hills of Tuscany, she seeks solace—and discovers something sinister instead. Befriending a lonely boy named Pietro—accepting the chilly hospitality of the aristocratic Contessa Morandini—Kathy begins to uncover the pieces of an ominous puzzle and hints of a deadly obsession. And now she has stumbled upon a murderous plot that could cost Kathy her life—for it was meant to stay hidden . . . forever.
There are terrible secrets from generations past buried at Maidenwood. Medical student Julie Newcomb has returned to her family’s decaying plantation the site of so many painful childhood memories to tend to her tyrannical grandmother, felled by a stroke. The fire of malevolence still burns in the cruel, despotic matriarch’s eyes yet, for Julie, a faint spark of redemption and second chances flickers in this hated, haunted place. But her hope and her life are seriously threatened by a nightmare reborn . . . and by the grim discovery on the lonely road to Maidenwood of the earth-browned skeletons of a mother and child.
Karen Nevitt has brought new life to old, abandoned things. Her vintage clothing collection, nestled away in Washington, D.C.’s picturesque Georgetown, features exquisite designer originals from decades past. But there is something deadly sewn into the lace and delicate fabrics she has clues to a forgotten mystery that is pulling Karen into a dark and terrifying place. A secret once locked away in old trunks and dusty attics is crying out for justice, and only she can make things right. But a killer still lurking in the shadows has decided that the truth must remain hidden . . . and Karen Nevitt must die.
Haskell Maloney was cruelly orphaned when she was just a baby. Now, twenty-two years later, she receives confirmation of the bitter truth she always suspected: the fallen war hero whose name she shares was not her father. Her quest for answers and a personal history brings Haskell to the famed Oriental Institute in Chicago, a city in which her mother lived and thrived before her strange, untimely death. But by rummaging around in the darkness, Haskell’s exposing much more than she bargained for. And now she’s racing against the clock to discover who she really is . . . and why someone is suddenly determined to kill her.
Joining the campaign of a charismatic congresswoman, young Erin Hartsock arrives in Washinton, D.C., filled with idealism and ambition. But her enthusiasm dissolves into terror when the campaign takes a malevolent turn. Someone…something…has begun threatening Erin and her colleagues. First come the strange fires, then a seemingly accidental death. As the election nears, Erin fears that she just may be a murderer’s next candidate.
Meg Venturi never expected the windfall she inherits when her grandfather dies. For some unknown reason the eccentric old millionaire has left her his profitable antique jewelry business. But there is a catch. Meg must share the business with an aloof, mysterious, and somewhat sinister young man called A. L. Riley. The town is whispering about her enigmatic new partner. Rumors spread about unspoken secrets, a dark and disturbing legacy . . . and murder. Soon a series of troubling events has Meg looking uncomfortably over her shoulder. The longer she stays in this tiny New England village the clearer two very troubling truths become: that all that glitters is definitely not gold . . . and that someone will stop at nothing to drive her away.
Fearing for the safety of her missing brother, lawyer Diana Reed will do anything to get to the truth. Taking a job as a landscape architect at the last place Brad was seen — the sprawling estate where he worked as a caretaker — she prowls the strange old house determined to unlock its secrets. But each mystery Diana uncovers is more unsettling than the last, as odd visions, scents, and sounds pervade an atmosphere of dread and barely suppressed violence. And in her zealous search for answers, she may have inadvertently opened a door to something frightening and deadly that can never be closed again.
It is a find of inestimable value for Karen Holloway. The battered manuscript she holds in her hand written in the nineteenth century and bearing the mysterious attribution “Ismene” could prove a boon to the eager young English professor’s career. But Karen’s search for the author’s true identity is carrying her into the gray shadows of the past, to places fraught with danger and terror. For the deeper she delves into Ismene’s strange tale of gothic horror, the more she is haunted by the suspicion that the long-dead author was writing the truth . . . and that even now she is guiding Karen’s investigation, leading her to terrible secrets hidden behind the cold walls of houses of stone.
When an antique bridal quilt appears under mysterious circumstances at the vintage clothing shop where Rachel Grant works, she is fascinated. She has never been able to resist handmade textiles from the past, for she believes that through the ages, women wove protective magic into their fabrics in order to mark the important events of their lives: birth, marriage, and death. But there is more than good in the quilt’s magic power. Day by day Rachel sees and feels the power growing, as she senses the quilt influencing her thoughts and actions. Much as Rachel’s logical mind longs to deny the supernatural, the aura of evil coming from the quilt is terrifyingly real, and it seems to carry a sinister legacy into the lives of the people Rachel loves.
For years, Heather Tradescant had dreamed of the journey she and her father would take to England–a pilgrimage to the great gardens of history. Now that her father is dead, Heather is determined to fulfill his dreams. Unfortunately, her request to see the fabled 17th-century garden of Troytan House is denied by the owner. Though unwelcome, she braves the walls of briars and reaches the Victorian manor house beyond. She senses a strange mission of evil lurking, tainting the manor’s peaceful beauty. Only then does Heather begin to wonder whether it is only stories of long-vanished witchcraft that haunt Troytan House or whether there is some more modern horror, hearer at hand, and far, far more dangerous.
The smoky room glows with a mix of cigars, brandy, and genius. Those present include Harry Houdini, king of illusion; Sir Arthur Conan Doyle, father of the modern detective novel; Dr. Nandor Fodor, a psychoanalyst of international acclaim; and an elegant writer who can rival them all with her sleuthing talent. These masters of mystery put their minds to a pair of gripping stories of families beset by poltergeistly pranks and bewitched by inexplicable horrors. Gripping puzzles, yes, but the terror is all too vicious and all too real. In the hollows of Tennessee, a family is threatened by a dire spirit whose predictions of despair and death come frighteningly true. In a small Connecticut town, a newly married widow and her children move into her second husband’s home to find their lives possessed by an unimaginable demon.For the gathering at the club, a brilliant battle of wits is at hand. Were these villains phantoms from beyond or evildoers of flesh and blood? Each expert has a theory. Which of them is correct?
“The Runaway” tells the story of two young sisters who leave home to escape an overbearing stepfather and meet a boy with a mysterious past. Available in the Sisters in Crime anthology or as an audiobook.