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Extended Audio Sample The Haunting of Maddy Clare, by Simone St. James Click for printable size audiobook cover
3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 3.00 (1,034 ratings) (rate this audio book) Author: Simone St. James Narrator: Pamela Garelick Publisher: Blackstone Audio Format: Unabridged Audiobook Delivery: Instant Download Audio Length: Release Date:
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A thrilling debut in women’s suspense—a ghost story set in 1920s England

Sarah Piper’s lonely, threadbare existence changes when her temporary work agency sends her to assist a ghost hunter. Alistair Gellis—rich, handsome, scarred by World War I, and obsessed with ghosts—has been summoned to investigate the spirit of nineteen-year-old maid Maddy Clare, who haunts the barn where she committed suicide. Since Maddy hated men in life, it is Sarah’s task to confront her in death. Soon Sarah is caught up in a desperate struggle, for Maddy’s ghost is real, she is angry, and she has powers that defy all reason.

Can Sarah and Alistair’s assistant, the rough and unsettling Matthew Ryder, discover who Maddy was, where she came from, and what is driving her desire for vengeance before she destroys them all?

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Quotes & Awards

  • “A compelling ghost story, the book is written quite beautifully, weaving elements of romance and mystery with a gothic twist…Offering a glimpse of life in England between world wars as the twentysomething ghost investigators stay at a country inn, the book proves a satisfying, chilling read.”


  • “Debut author St. James has written an atmospheric and resoundingly old-fashioned ghost story that pulls you in from the first pages…This book is just right for those who prefer suspense to be scary but not too scary. It’s haunting but (despite disturbing elements) not nightmarish. St. James’ writing evokes the time period without pretension, the pacing is just right, the ghost story plausible, and the love story important but not all consuming. Recommended.”

    Historical Novels Review

  • “The book’s spooky atmosphere and post–WWI setting are well developed…St. James is one to watch.”

    RT Book Reviews

  • “St. James deftly ratchets up the tension in this thrilling ghost story.”

    Publishers Weekly

  • “A chilling start…Fans of the modern Gothic novel will enjoy filling up a few creepy hours.”

    Kirkus Reviews

  • “Set in 1920s England, this eerie, engaging ghost story relates the adventures of Alistair Gellis…Canadian writer, Simone St. James creates a psychologically complex and chillingly good ghost story in this first novel, including elements of romance and an aura of gothic intrigue. This story will appeal to all who love suspenseful tales of the supernatural, historical novels, and really good ghost stories. Narrator Pamela Garelick has a deeply resonant voice which lends itself equally well to voicing for Sarah and the other women’s mellow tones, as well to Matthew’s and some of the ‘darker’ characters’ restrained, depressed vocal tones. An exceptionally captivating audiobook.”


  • “Pamela Garelick gives a powerful performance of this mesmerizing story…Garelick is masterful in giving each character the perfect nuances. Her accents for all the characters—whether aristocrat, local policeman, common laborer, elderly widow, or housekeeper—are flawless. This is an audio experience to savor.”


  • “A compelling read. With a strong setting, vivid supporting characters, and sympathetic protagonists, the book is a wonderful blend of romance, mystery, and pure creepiness. Simone St. James is a talent to watch.”

    Anne Stuart, author of Risk the Night

  • “A novel of chilling romantic suspense that evokes the lost era between the world wars that so wounded the lives of the young men and women of England and adds to the mix an inevitably dark, gothic ghost story. Read it with the lights on. Simply spellbinding.”

    Susanna Kearsley, author of The Winter Sea

  • “I don’t believe in ghosts, but I believe every word of this fast-paced, compelling story.”

    Madeline Hunter, New York Times bestselling author

  • “Fast, fun, and gripping. Kept me up into the wee hours.”

    C. S. Harris, author of the Sebastian St. Cyr mystery series

  • “One foggy evening not long ago, I lit a fire in the fireplace, brewed myself a cup of tea, settled in, and began to read The Haunting of Maddy Clare. When I looked up again, my tea had gone cold, the fire was out, and hours had passed in an instant. The deliciously eerie, traditionally gothic story grabbed me with its first sentence and didn’t let go until the very last, as though Maddy herself reached out from the page and drew me in, insisting that I, along with ghost hunters Sarah, Matthew, and Alastair, not rest until I discovered what happened to her one terrible night in the dark and foreboding English countryside. Author Simone St. James gets everything right in this ghostly tale, and I’ll be standing in line to buy whatever she writes next.”

    Wendy Webb, author of The Tale of Halcyon Crane

  • “Compelling and deliciously unsettling, this is a story that begs to be read in one sitting. I couldn’t put it down!”

    Megan Chance, author of City of Ash

  • “With a fresh, unique voice, Simone St. James creates an atmosphere that is deliciously creepy and a heroine you won’t soon forget. The Haunting of Maddy Clare promises spooky thrills and it delivers. Read it, enjoy it—but don’t turn out the lights!”

    Deanna Raybourn, author of the Julia Grey series and The Dark Enquiry

  • Winner of the 2013 RITA Award for Best Novel with Strong Romantic Elements
  • Winner of the 2013 RITA Award for Best First Book
  • Winner of an Arthur Ellis Award in 2013 for Best First Crime Novel

Listener Opinions

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 by Cynthia | 2/9/2014

    " I liked the story itself, I thought it was really creepy...but the writing was eh. Very cliche and repetitive. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 by Jennifer | 2/7/2014

    " This is so much more than a ghost story, romance or period piece. The characters are true, with a depth seldom found in suspense novels. Never with the paranormal plot line, there was a believability to the story, and the transformation of our heroes and heroine as well as the romance. I look forward to reading more from Ms. St. James and would recommend this to anyone. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 by Marzia Bianchi | 2/7/2014

    " Not my typical selection, but a good bodice-ripper and ghost story. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 by Fitchburg Public Library | 2/2/2014

    " If you like the genres involved (mystery, paranormal, romance, historical) and don't mind them being blended together, this is a great page turner! - Reviewed by Kate H. "

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