It’s Monday give away time! Today we have… Simone St. James’s upcoming 1919-set ghost story, Silence for the Dead.

Here’s the official blurb:

silence for the dead“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 House—its plaster is crumbling, its plumbing makes eerie noises, and strange breaths of cold waft through the empty rooms. It’s 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.

I am a huge fan of St. James’s 1920s set ghost stories: The Haunting of Maddy Clare, An Inquiry Into Love and Death, and, now, Silence for the Dead. She has mastered the rare art of writing the old-fashioned sort of ghost story that just gives you a little bit of a chill, and that urge to look over your shoulder to make sure there’s noone else with you in the room, without being graphic or gory.

For a copy of Simone St. James’s Silence for the Dead, here’s your question….

What are your favorite ghost novels?

(I was going ask about favorite WW I set books, but that thread popped up all by itself in last week’s Weekly Reading Round-Up— yet another reason I love the community on this website.)

Silence for the Dead appears in bookstores on Tuesday, April 1.

Winner to be announced on Wednesday!


  1. Rebecca B. on March 17, 2014 at 9:12 am

    The Woman in Black is my all time favorite.

  2. Tarah Petersen on March 17, 2014 at 11:39 am

    Susanna Kearsley’s books – i.e. The Rose Garden. They are all fantastic!

  3. Sarah Gentry on March 17, 2014 at 11:45 am

    My favorites are the Aunt Dimity series by Nancy Atherton. They are so comforting and interesting. The woman in black is definitely the scariest ghost story I’ve ever read. I couldnt sleep for days!

  4. Ashley Pohlenz on March 17, 2014 at 11:48 am

    I really enjoyed “This House is Haunted” by John Boyne. The first line was what had me hooked.

  5. Adeia on March 17, 2014 at 11:50 am

    Silly as it sounds my all time favorite ghost novel is a kids book from the 60s:The Ghost of Dibble Hollow.

  6. Ammy Belle on March 17, 2014 at 11:51 am

    The Woman in Black for sure!

  7. Ashley P on March 17, 2014 at 11:52 am

    The Haunting of Hill House!

  8. Meghan on March 17, 2014 at 11:57 am

    Thanks to your Halloween lists, I’m a big fan of “Ammie, Come Home” by Barbara Michaels. I’ve finished the entire “trilogy”, but that one is by far my favorite.

  9. Ella on March 17, 2014 at 12:00 pm

    The Shadowy Horses by Kearsley

  10. Emily R. on March 17, 2014 at 12:05 pm

    I was OBSESSED with Wait Til Helen Comes by Mary Downing Hahn in junior high. I don’t think I’ve ever read a ghost story I liked more!

  11. Amy R. on March 17, 2014 at 12:11 pm

    The Haunting of Maddy Clare by Simone St. James! Though Susanna Kearsley is also phenomenal.

  12. Sherri O. on March 17, 2014 at 12:32 pm

    I would have to say my favorites are The Haunting of Maddy Clare and An Inquiry Into Love and Death.

  13. Denise on March 17, 2014 at 12:49 pm

    “The Ghost & Mrs. Muir” by Josephine Leslie. And “Rebecca” (although not a ghost story, it leaves you with your arm hair standing on end) by Daphne du Maurier

    • Molly on March 17, 2014 at 11:47 pm

      Rebecca! I listened to it and would be totally spooked by the time I got to work every morning! The actress who read the book had a way of saying “Mrs. de Winter” that still makes me cringe to think about.

  14. Gina on March 17, 2014 at 12:49 pm

    Susanna Kearsley! Other than that, I don’t read a ton of ghost novels, but I am working my way through House of Leaves, which is creepy as all get out.

  15. Celeste on March 17, 2014 at 12:55 pm

    Have always been a fan of the classic The Turn of the Screw by Henry James.

  16. Jacki on March 17, 2014 at 12:55 pm

    I love the Barbara Michaels books- Ammie Come Home, Shatter, and all the rest. I re-read them every few years!

  17. Alice on March 17, 2014 at 1:06 pm

    I love Stitches in Time by Barbara Michaels. She really was a wonderful author. Also An Inquiry Into Love and Death by Simone St James. I was totally creeped out!

  18. Christine on March 17, 2014 at 1:13 pm

    I loved Danielle Steel’s “The Ghost.”

  19. Am7 on March 17, 2014 at 1:16 pm

    Does Harry Potter count? my favorite ghost is Nearly Headless Nick. “Nearly headless, how can anyone be nearly headless?” (Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone).

  20. Moira on March 17, 2014 at 1:39 pm

    The Graveyard Book by Neil Gaiman is a favorite of mine!

  21. Pam on March 17, 2014 at 1:46 pm

    Definitely The Woman in Black and most of Susan Hill’s other books. Ditto for John Harwood (The Ghost Writer and The Seance). I’ve not read that many of the Barbara Michaels ghost stories but the ones I’ve read I’ve enjoyed.

  22. Kayse on March 17, 2014 at 2:29 pm

    I haven’t read too many books with ghosts recently, but I was obsessed with Meg Cabot’s “The Mediator” series when I was in high school.

    • Gina on March 17, 2014 at 8:06 pm

      Oh my gosh, I forgot all about these. I loved them too.

  23. Laura on March 17, 2014 at 2:35 pm

    The Haunting og Maddy Clare and The Restorer

  24. Nikki B on March 17, 2014 at 4:40 pm

    I loved loved loved this book with a haunted house in it and only this girl can feel the ghost and there is a ring involved… but I read it so long ago that I can’t remember the title… sigh. Anyway, someone already said it earlier, but the Mediator series is so much fun! I read it when I was still in school, but dare I say it… I still love them!

    • Louise B on March 19, 2014 at 8:13 pm

      Was it The Sherwood Ring by Elizabeth Pope? I read that many years ago and have always loved it. I’m now giving copies to nieces as they come of age.

  25. Liz E. on March 17, 2014 at 4:58 pm

    The Uninvited by Dorothy Macardle!

  26. Cheryl C. on March 17, 2014 at 5:26 pm

    I love Barbara Michaels, but I’d have to say my favorite is Nora Roberts Sign of Seven Trilogy.

  27. Ashley on March 17, 2014 at 6:28 pm

    The Woman in Black, The Shadowy Horses, or The Haunting of Maddy Clare!

  28. Pat D on March 17, 2014 at 6:39 pm

    To mention some not listed already: Amanda Stevens’ Graveyard Queen series, Maureen Johnson”s Shades of London YR series,Helen Dunmore’s The Greatcoat, Wendy Webb’s The Tale of Halycon Crane and The Fate of Mercy Alban,Darci Hannah’s The Exile of Sara Stevenson and The Angel of Blythe Hall, and Karen White’s Tradd Street series. Love spooky stories!

  29. Sandra Zajac on March 17, 2014 at 7:01 pm

    An inquiry into love and death. Love Simone

  30. bn100 on March 17, 2014 at 7:31 pm

    Not really a fan, so no fav

  31. Betty S. on March 17, 2014 at 8:47 pm

    Darci Hannah’s Exile of Sara Stephenson and Angel of Blythe – both really great. Sharon McCrumb’s She Walks These Hills – Katie Wyler’s ghost from 1789 still roams the hills of modern day Appalachia. Dream Lake by Lisa Kleypas is a modern day romance set in Seattle area with a ghost inhabiting the house the main character is refurbishing. Titania Hardie’s House of Wind, tieing together San Francisco 2007 with Italy 1347. And oh, yes, Kristin Hannah’s Comfort and Joy will really grab you!

  32. Faith on March 17, 2014 at 8:49 pm

    I really really loved Simone St. James’ first novel, “The Haunting of Maddy Clare.” But I’d think the one I remember most is a very tattered copy of a Scholastic book fair book from elementary school called “The Ghost in the Garden.”

    • Betty S. on March 18, 2014 at 8:19 pm

      Faith, I read my 5th grade class The Doll in the Garden (which has the ghost of a long dead girl trying to get her doll back)by Mary Downing Hahn every year, and they are captivated. Wonder if this is the same book you have mentioned.

  33. Amanda V on March 17, 2014 at 9:20 pm

    Susanna Kearsley’s The Shadowy Horses.

  34. Pam L on March 17, 2014 at 11:27 pm

    I definitely agree with the others who voted for The Haunting of Maddie Clare and Inquiry into Love and Death. They were so wonderfully creepy. The Shadowy Horses by Susanna Kearsley was also excellent.

  35. Connie on March 18, 2014 at 8:52 am

    You ladies have me yearning for more Barbara Michaels…sigh, I’ll have to pull some out for a re-read. And although not technically a ghost story (as another post pointed out earlier), I read Rebecca by Daphne du Maurier as an impressionable teen and it has haunted me since.

    Have a wonderful day — blessings!

  36. Kristy on March 18, 2014 at 10:41 am

    Two older favs to add to the list: A Knight in Shining Armor by Jude Deveraux (I own an audio version read by Stephanie Zimbalist thatI hear once a year) and Stardust of Yesterday by Lynn Kurland. (I love the idea of knights of old being entranced by football in place of jousting.)

  37. Catie on March 18, 2014 at 12:20 pm

    I really loved your short story “A Night in Northanger” in “Jane Austen Made Me Do It!”

  38. Aleen D on March 19, 2014 at 4:14 pm

    It would have to be Star Flight by Phyllis A. Whitney. Love the suspense factor in all of her books actually. She wrote several “ghost” type stories.

  39. Katie on March 25, 2014 at 11:13 pm

    The woman in Black is mt favorite if I can’t pick a Simone St. James book.

  40. Katie on March 26, 2014 at 6:16 am

    I haven’t read many ghost stories. Of the ones I’ve read I love The Woman in Black.or anything by Simone St. James.

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