Monday, February 20, 2012

The Haunting of Maddy Clare by Simone St. James

Do you enjoy ghost stories only at Halloween or find that a cold winter’s night is a good time for a tall tale? Either way I have an intriguing ghost story to share with you today.


152401043Ghost stories are told around the campfire late night and have a ‘got-you’ moment at the end.

Rarely does a ghost story slowly draw you in, seep into your bones, hold you captivate, and send shivers down your spine all while propelling you to want more. Author Simone St. James has accomplished this with her suspenseful debut, THE HAUNTING OF MADDY CLARE (scheduled for release March 6).

The protagonist is Sarah Piper, a lonely young woman living in 1920s London. She works for a temporary agency and has long given up any hope of happiness or family. Life as she knows it takes a dramatic change when she takes a job the agency sends her on.

Rich and handsome Alistar Gellis needs a female assistant. The charming young veteran is a ghost hunter and has a particular case that he needs a women to help with. At first Sarah refuses but soon is drawn in and agrees.

They are to investigate the ghost of 19-year-old Maddy Clare, a maid who hung herself in a barn in the rural English countryside. Maddy now haunts the barn and hates men causing havoc when a man is present. The mistress of the land wants Maddy to leave so it falls to Sarah to convince her.

The assignment gets a bit more complicated for Sarah when Gellis’ regular assistant, Matthew Ryder, shows up. Also a war veteran, Ryder has scars inside and out. He and Sarah clash as a volatile relationship between them begins to grow. Meanwhile, Maddy’s destruction increases and answers must be found before her vengeance does them all in.

The author pulls you in to this sleepy little village where the citizens have far too many secrets and are suspicious of newcomers. The desire to know what happened to Maddy grows as her powers defy reason. The Gothic atmosphere only adds to the tension and suspense.

Sarah first appears to be a timid girl, but you quickly see she is made of strong-will and determination. She is a likable protagonist that is realistic in her emotions.

THE HAUNTING OF MADDY CLARE is a fast-pace story that will leave you breathless at times. Even the cover evokes thoughts of ghosts and unexpected elements. The dramatic conclusion brings the story to a close, while leaving an opening for more adventures from these ghost hunters. A reader can hope.

Author Simone St. James’ website is

The Haunting of Maddy Clare by Simone St. James, NAL Trade, @2012, ISBN: 978-0451235688, Paperback, 336 Pages 

FTC Full Disclosure - This book was sent to me by the publisher in hopes I would review it. However, receiving the complimentary copy did not influence my review.
If you’re a writer, do you include ghosts in your stories from time to time? If you’re a reader, do you enjoy ghosts in the books you read? Thanks for stopping by today. 


  1. This sounds like my kind of ghost story! I love books with sleepy villages full of secrets!

  2. Mason - What an interesting take on the "ghost" theme! I like the setting and time period, too, and Maddy's story sounds so intriguing.

  3. I like the sound of this, because though ghosts are involved, at the heart of it all are those ever present relationships with others weaving the web.

  4. I do love a ghost occasionally as long as it ends happily. See, I'm a happily ever after sort.

  5. It depends upon how the *ghosts* are portrayed.

    But this book sounds like a really good read. I'll have to check it out.

    You do realize you are stretching my poor book budget by posting intriguing books, don't you?


  6. I don't normally read ghost stories but this one sounds like a good story and suspenseful.

  7. Sounds like a great ghost story! I'll watch for it.


I'd love to hear your thoughts on today's post. Thanks for dropping by.