New York Times Bestselling Author

If You Like….

I’ve spent many years looking for Mary Stewart read-alikes and was lucky enough to have been given one by my college roommate this past week. So… if you like Mary Stewart, you’ll probably like….

— Caroline Llewellyn’s The Lady of the Labyrinth (this is the college roommate used-bookstore-find), told in the first person and set in 1980’s Sicily against a background of ancient myth and modern political intrigue;

— Susanna Kearsley’s Season of Storms, The Shadowy Horses, and Every Secret Thing, all of which read like vintage Stewart (with a frisson of the supernatural at times);

— pretty much anything by Elsie Lee (although her spunky, first person heroines are American, rather than British), in particular The Spy At the Villa Miranda and Satan’s Coast;

— M.M. Kaye’s “Death In” series, 1950s romantic suspense in various exotic locations, including Death in Kashmir, Death in Kenya, and Death in Berlin;

— and Helena Dela’s The Count (I’ve always wished she would write more).

I’m tempted to add Elizabeth Peters/Barbara Michaels and Dorothy Cannell’s mystery novels (especially Down the Garden Path), but I feel like we’re verging into different subgenres there.

Have you stumbled across any other Mary Stewart read-alikes?


  1. Vicky on February 27, 2012 at 8:51 am

    I think you should reconsider introducing Dorothy Cannell on the list. Even though her subjects are a bit more mystery and less vintage. How to Murder the Man of Your Dreams series is a very good example.

  2. Joanne M. on February 27, 2012 at 9:50 am

    Back in the day, Victoria Holt, Phyllis Whitney, and Daphne du Maurier (along with Mary Stewart) were some of my favorite romantic suspense authors.

    You are absolutely correct — Susanna Kearsley is the next best thing to Mary Stewart.

  3. Anne Smittle on February 27, 2012 at 12:15 pm

    I think you should keep Barbara Michaels in there. And I don’t know how many Victoria Holt’s I’ve read. How about Susan Cooper’s the Dark is rising? Thats kind of like Mary Stewart?

  4. Carol Arsenault on February 27, 2012 at 12:28 pm

    Wonderful list, thankyou. I’m a huge Stewart fan – own them all – but I hadn’t heart of Dela or Lee. I’ll have to look them out.

  5. Susan B. on February 27, 2012 at 9:03 pm

    I’m so very glad that you included M.M.Kaye – how I love those books!

  6. Ann Monahan on July 23, 2014 at 10:53 pm

    Wow! I thoughts was the only one who love her books!!!! Glad to have come across this page.

  7. Kate on June 8, 2015 at 12:26 pm

    I also love Mary Stewart’s books – my favourite is “Nine Coaches Waiting” although “This Rough Magic” runs it close. Dorothy Dunnett wrote a lovely series of sophisticated 1960s novels known as the Dolly series – they’re great fun although there is lots of mystery and not much romance.

  8. AMY on July 1, 2017 at 2:49 pm

    I cannot, cannot find authors comprable to Mary Stewart. I’ve tried Jayen Anne Krentz, but she’s really not that similar. I have to settle. And, I wish Mary Stewart had not died…just hate when a favourite author does that.

  9. Sandra Smith on March 20, 2019 at 3:20 pm

    I loved Madeleine Brent for strong heroines and suspense. Also agree Elsie Lee with her Regency period included

  10. Moll on March 24, 2019 at 11:00 pm

    Have you checked out Dorothy Gilman’s stand-alones (Incident at Badamya, Caravan, Thale’s Folly) etc? They make me think of a cross between Mary Stewart and Charlotte McLeod.

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