If You Like….

What with the sultry summer heat, I’ve been on a huge Gothic/romantic suspense kick. So here’s this week’s “If You Like”.

If you like Mary Stewart, you’ll probably also like….

— M.M. Kaye’s Death In series, in particular Death in the Andamans and Death in Kashmir;

— Susanna Kearsley’s The Shadowy Horses or Season of Storms;

— Emma Cole’s Every Secret Thing;

— Pretty much anything by Elsie Lee, but particularly Mansion of the Golden Windows, Dark Moon Lost Lady, Satan’s Coast, and The Spy at the Villa Miranda;

— Barbara Michaels’ Houses of Stone (contemporary) or Sons of the Wolf (historical);

— Victoria Holt’s Bride of Pendorric.

Any other ideas? I’m always looking for successors to Nine Coaches Waiting….


  1. Joanne M. on July 25, 2011 at 10:21 am

    Anything by Victoria Holt is gothic romance goodness…

    Phyllis A. Whitney was a big favorite of mine way back when — Window on the Square, Columbella, The Trembling Hills,
    Thunder Heights, The Quicksilver Pool, etc..were all good.

    Daphne du Maurier’s Rebecca, Frenchman’s Creek, and Jamaica Inn are my favs.

    I’ve also enjoyed Kate Morton’s The Distant Hours and The House at Riverton.

  2. Joanne M. on July 25, 2011 at 10:59 am

    I forgot to mention Susanna Kearsley’s Named of the Dragon! This one is the novel that is most reminiscent of Nine Coaches Waiting in that there is a similar heart-pounding build up of suspense with a chase scene. Highly recommended if you like Nine Coaches.

  3. nancy doty on July 25, 2011 at 1:00 pm

    Oh, what fun to find “Mansion of Golden Windows” on your list. I enjoyed it so much nearly 40 years ago and was thrilled to find it still available through Amazon.com. I’ve regretted the replacement of good old gothic romances with “trashy” Regency Romances (and their obligatory sex scenes). These days, it seems as if it’s Lauren Willeg who keeps me going. Your wonderful humor, combined with sly historic and literary references are unique. Write faster, lauren!

  4. jamie on July 25, 2011 at 1:27 pm

    haha first novel i thought of was wings of the falcon by barbara michaels. i also really enjoy jane aiken hodge, maulever hall and the winding stair in particular.

  5. NikkiB on July 25, 2011 at 2:06 pm

    Anything by Barbara Cartland, more specifically “A Ghost in Monte Carlo” or “Duel of Hearts.” Nothing like crazy people or hidden plots to get the blood racing!

  6. SusanN on July 25, 2011 at 6:32 pm

    Seems like I read tons of these brooding, gothic-style books back in the day, but the ones I remember best were the Victoria Holt and Jane Aiken Hodge books. I bought a bunch of used JAH books earlier this year to fill in the gaps/replace missing copies. When VH was mentioned the other day on this blog, it made me want to do the same w/ hers.

    If you want to go way back for your gothic/women in peril fix, you can’t go wrong with Bronte’s Jane Eyre or Du Maurier’s Rebecca (or any of her other books, for that matter).

    For more recent works, I enjoyed Sandra Schwab’s books, especially The Lily Brand and The Castle of the Wolf. I found them a tad slow to get into, and a bit uneven, but they had a unique magic.

  7. Amy N. on July 25, 2011 at 8:40 pm

    How about Dragonwyck? I remember watching a movie by that name with an absolutely deliciously rakish Vincent Price~ So I read the book. I didn’t know the author’s identity until today. Anyone read other books by Anya Seton?

    Love Barbara Michaels, Phyllis Whitney and Victoria Holt. Have not tried Cartland or Du Maurier. I feel a road trip to the bookstore coming on….

  8. Tracie on July 25, 2011 at 9:47 pm

    The first Kathleen Woodiwiss book I ever read was A Rose in Winter and I just loved the writing, the characters, and the gothic aspect of the story – beautiful heroine is married to the highest bidder by her father who has gambling debts. Her new husband is a secretive man who wears a mask because he was badly scarred in a fire. Lots of secrets, intrigue, and suspense, and a romance with plenty of twists and turns. A great read!

  9. Lauren on July 25, 2011 at 9:53 pm

    “A Rose in Winter” was my first Woodiwiss, too! I was enthralled by the whole combo Beauty and the Beast/Cinderella story.

  10. Lauren on July 25, 2011 at 9:55 pm

    Amy N, have you read “The Green Darkness” yet? I used to love “My, Theodosia”, but was amazed on re-reading it to discover how dark it was.

  11. jeffrey on July 26, 2011 at 10:58 am

    If you liked Northanger Abbey, you’ll love Nachtsturm Castle, an Austenesque sequel novella by Emily C. A. Snyder. I’ve done a review of this sophisticated Gothic thriller coming up on http://www.austenprose.com in a couple of days.

  12. Becky on July 26, 2011 at 11:10 am

    De-lurking here to post my favorite Gothic romance author: Madeleine Brent. “Tregaron’s Daughter”, “Golden Urchin”, and “Moonraker’s Bride” are my favorites. I gave a copy of “Moonraker’s Bride” to my little sister when she was about 16, and although she poo-pooed the cheesy cover she gave it a read. I found her 24 hours later clutching the novel to her chest and sobbing “Moonraker!” She is now a fan as well. 😉

  13. Pat on July 26, 2011 at 11:55 pm

    I used to read Mary Stewart, Victoria Holt, Phyllis Whitney, Victoria Coffman. Don’t forget Helen MacInnes. She used to write great romantic spy thrillers.

  14. Elizabeth Kerri Mahon on July 29, 2011 at 11:42 am

    The Devil on Lammas Night by Susan Howatch is wonderful.

  15. Joni on August 7, 2018 at 2:48 pm

    A new author I love is Julianne Donaldson!!

    • Ruth Heinz on February 13, 2021 at 12:52 pm

      I’ve read most of these authors books multiple times. Phyllis Whitney, Victoria Holt, Barbara Michaels and MM Kaye, Mary Stewart. I’ll have to Elsie Lee. I love romance (not sex scenes, I don’t need to know what he laved, lol) but I want a little suspense.

  16. Booklover on June 18, 2020 at 10:16 am

    Try Helen MacInnes!

  17. Angie on December 9, 2020 at 10:08 am

    I love this genre and have and reread Victoria Holt (who Is also Jane Aiken Hodge), Phyllis Whitney, Barbara Michaels, Dorothy Eden, and several others listed here. If there’s a creaky stair, a ghostly whisper, a mysterious hero then I’m there.
    I really liked The Dead of Haggard Hall by Marie Treanor if you like a mystery with a ghostly twist. There are a couple of sexy scenes but you can skim them if you like. It’s still a spine tingling read.

  18. Marg on June 11, 2021 at 3:05 pm

    Try Madeleine Brent, which is a pseudonym used Peter O’Donnell. My favorites are The Golden Urchin and The Moonraker’s Bride.

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