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Extended Audio Sample The Tale of Halcyon Crane: A Novel Audiobook, by Wendy Webb Click for printable size audiobook cover
3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 3.00 (1,465 ratings) (rate this audio book) Author: Wendy Webb Narrator: Cassandra Campbell Publisher: Blackstone Audio Format: Unabridged Audiobook Delivery: Instant Download Audio Length: Release Date: January 2007 ISBN: 9781455196647
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Ghosts don’t exist in our world of today; life is too pragmatic, too consuming, too busy for past lives to linger on longer than their allotted time—or so Halcyon had believed, until she received a letter from a lawyer claiming that her mother, whom she had thought long dead, had actually been living in another part of the country since Halcyon’s early childhood. She had only recently passed away, leaving Halcyon heir to an unexpected fortune and an estate on an isolated island in the middle of the Great Lakes.

Setting out to find some answers, Halcyon travels to her mother’s home. But will she be prepared for the ghastly family history that waits for her there, the visions and revelations that will change everything she thought she knew about the father she lived with and the mother she'd lost long ago?

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Quotes & Awards

  • “Entertaining to say the least. Sensational…Webb’s page-turner is a guilty pleasure best suited for a lakeside cabin's bedstand.”

    Minneapolis Star Tribune

  • “Booksellers are loving Halcyon Crane, which has been selected by three independent booksellers’ associations—national and Midwestern—as worthy of special promotion…Webb includes all the classic ghostly elements in her novel, but she gives the book a contemporary spin with a strong female protagonist.”

    St. Paul Pioneer Press

  • “Webb offers an engaging modern gothic tale with a strong female protagonist and well-done suspense. Fans of Mary Higgins Clark and Barbara Michaels and readers who like supernatural elements in their fiction will enjoy this debut.”

    Library Journal

  • “Debut novelist Wendy Webb gives both Bram Stoker and Stephen King a run for their travel budget, inventing an island in the Great Lakes that can’t be matched for pristine natural beauty, richness of history, touristic amenities…and sheer supernatural terror…The novel [also] gives a more generous account of how the spirit of a beautiful place can complexly affect a human being, for both good and ill…Like those journalistic masters Dickens and Twain before her, [Webb] knows that to write good travel prose, you must give a vivid account of both the demons you find along the way and the demons you bring along with you.”

    BookPage

  • The Tale of Halcyon Crane is a wonderful gothic complete with ghosts and witches, graveyards and dreams. It whisks the reader up and into its magic from the first page. Captivating and haunting, this debut proves Wendy Webb is a very gifted storyteller.”

    M. J. Rose, author of The Memorist and The Reincarnationist

  • The Tale of Halcyon Crane is a wonderfully creepy gothic tale with a distinctly modern sensibility. Ms. Webb has written a hypnotic, twisting, and vividly imagined story about the terrible and lovely ways the past impacts the present and how one woman’s discovery of old family secrets reveals new truths about herself and her life.”

    Megan Chance, author of The Spiritualist

  • “An old fashioned ghost story with a contemporary twist, The Tale of Halcyon Crane has it all: an unsolved murder, mystery, family drama, a moody old house on an island, and a feisty orphan who will have you rooting for her from page one. In her debut novel, Wendy Webb weaves a complex, atmospheric tale that will remind you why you first loved reading.”

    Patry Francis, author of The Liar’s Diary

  • A Great Lakes Great Reads Pick by the Great Lakes Booksellers Assocation
  • Selected for the April 2010 Indie Next List

Listener Opinions

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Rachel Crump | 2/19/2014

    " An okay book. Not great, but not bad by any means. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Melinda | 2/18/2014

    " I really liked the way this book started out, but then it just got really weird. Not my favorite. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Laura | 2/16/2014

    " Loved it! Such a quick and easy read. Couldn't put it down! "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Jessica | 2/9/2014

    " The ending was a little anti-climactic, but overall a good book. I would probably rate it 2.5 stars. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Jamie | 2/7/2014

    " I really liked this book but, this is another one with an ending that took away a star. I was waiting for a something BIG to happen and it never did. The story is great though, full of ghosts, witchcraft and really creepy! "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Jaime | 1/26/2014

    " Is Hallie seeing ghosts? Or is it simply repressed memories that have come back to haunt her? 3.5 stars. A fun, engaging read. Not quite high literary art, but that's okay. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Maria | 1/22/2014

    " This book was very engaging and a quick read. I loved the characters, but I had a hard time with the ending. I think the story built up so much that it left me feeling flat. Some of what happened was predictable, but that didn't take away from the story in any way. The concept was intriguing, and the blending of past and present was very cool. I rated this a 4, but it was more of a 3.5 to me due to the ending, and some inconsistencies I found with dates and other little things like that. I will be recommending this to others as I really did enjoy it. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Allison | 1/19/2014

    " I enjoyed the book, but I don't think is was as atmospheric or gripping as I was led to believe. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Kristin R | 1/7/2014

    " This debut novel from Wendy Webb is a chilling ghost story set on an mystical island in Lake Superior. Halcyon Crane supposedly died thirty years ago in a boating accident. But the real story is far more fascinating. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Dina London | 12/31/2013

    " Well, the story was good and the characters were OK. But, the plot had some holes and the characters lacked depth. It reminded me of a Brunonia Barry or Carol Goodman novel written on a much more basic level. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Kathleen | 12/24/2013

    " This was a fun, quick read about ghosts. I'm not that into paranormal reads, but this was pretty low key. The setting is a ficticious island in Lake Superior, similar to Mackinac Island, so I think that added to my enjoyment. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Belinda | 12/3/2013

    " This was an excellent book. I read it in two days, just couldn't put it down. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Anne | 12/2/2013

    " I love this modern ghost story, and I couldn't put this book down. An interesting book on the lives of the Hills who inhabit an island in Lake Superior, and who don't want to leave even after they die! "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Christine Devault | 11/29/2013

    " My cousin recommended this book to read and I absolutely loved it!! This was the author's first novel and she did a beautiful job. It was happy, sad, scary haunting and mysterious....all wrapped up in one! "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Cindy | 9/26/2013

    " Liked this more than the first. Character development was a little better but the sorry line was good, the pace wad great and the setting actually had me streaming of the north. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Stacy | 9/8/2013

    " I loved this book! It was very well-written and engaging throught the story. The author paints wonderful, realistic images despit the supernatural feel of the story. I enjoyed the entire book and appreciated the change of pace from my usual romantic novels. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Ann Marie | 7/23/2013

    " I liked this book. It's not a hard read but it was entertaining and filled the time waiting out a hurricane. It was a bit predictable and not very deep but it was ok. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Sydney | 6/12/2013

    " I think this would make a better movie than a book (and that's not something I would normally say about a book). Certainly creepy, but her descriptions of how creepy it was weren't as chilling as if you were seeing/hearing what she was seeing. The story was pretty interesting though. "

  • 1 out of 51 out of 51 out of 51 out of 51 out of 5 Annie | 12/6/2012

    " What could have been a creepy story was trite and plain silly in the end. While I did have some chills down my spine a couple of times, ultimately it was too convoluted to hold together. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Maryn | 11/7/2012

    " Spooky... I would give this book 3 1/2 stars if I could. I was immediately sucked into this book. Very intriguing. I liked it. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Kiersten | 7/9/2012

    " This was a fun little ghost story. It wasn't the most well-written book ever. It was a little predictable and kind of silly in parts, but it was fun to read. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Erika | 6/18/2012

    " Enjoyed this book. It had a nice amount of supernatural and mystery. Even had a few surprises that I didn't predict. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Karen | 3/23/2012

    " I thought this was a great book though it did freak me out a bit. ;) It was really well written (though I found the end a tad disjointed) and the characters were engaging. I had a hard time putting it down despite the fact that the ghosts were really creepy! An excellent read. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Kris | 5/24/2011

    " I really liked this one. I gobbled it up in one day! The last 10 pages lost me though. All in all worth the read. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Denise | 4/12/2011

    " If there had been another choice of stars this would have been a 10. I could not put it down. Every page made you want to know what was going to happen next. I hated for the story to end. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Hayley | 4/11/2011

    " What a wonderful delicously haunting book! I'm looking forward to read more from this author. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Elizabeth | 4/6/2011

    " Kept me interested throughout (which doesn't happen very often). A really good story-telling experience. I also LOVED that it took place in Michigan. "

  • 1 out of 51 out of 51 out of 51 out of 51 out of 5 Sandy | 3/18/2011

    " I picked this up in a book store in Cable, WI. A first novel by a woman living in Duluth. This had a great start, but fizzled quickly into the unbelievable. I would NOT recommend it. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Jamie | 3/9/2011

    " I really liked this book but, this is another one with an ending that took away a star. I was waiting for a something BIG to happen and it never did. The story is great though, full of ghosts, witchcraft and really creepy! "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Kimberly | 3/8/2011

    " I actually listened to this as an audiobook, but I loved it nonetheless. It was chalk full of mystery, witchcraft, ghosts and heartache. This was a really good mystery for a lazy sunday afternoon. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Candy | 2/25/2011

    " Good story, but very creepy! "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Nora | 2/24/2011

    " Good gothic read ... Loved the setting! "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Kristi | 2/11/2011

    " Really I would give this book a 3.5 rating. I loved the beginning and the main idea for the story is tantalizing, although somewhat predictable. But the ending was anticlimactic and didn’t fit the pace of the rest of the story. That being said, it was still a fun and quick read.
    "

  • 1 out of 51 out of 51 out of 51 out of 51 out of 5 Annie | 2/6/2011

    " What could have been a creepy story was trite and plain silly in the end. While I did have some chills down my spine a couple of times, ultimately it was too convoluted to hold together. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Lori | 2/5/2011

    " This book sucked me in from page 1 to page 352. Loved it. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Becky | 1/17/2011

    " Good "it was a dark and stormy night" kind of a read. I enjoyed this book overall, but felt that the ending fizzled a bit. Nevertheless, it was a fun, quick story that you can get in and out of. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Jessica | 1/15/2011

    " Deliciously creepy. I heard this author read at the Minnesota Book Fair, and remember the story she told about the fog. "

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About the Author
Author Wendy Webb

Wendy Webb is editor-in-chief of Duluth-Superior, an upscale lifestyle magazine. A journalist with two decades of experience, she lives in Minnesota.

About the Narrator

Cassandra Campbell, Audie Award–nominated narrator and winner of thirty-nine Earphones Awards, has performed in regional theaters across the country and in several off-Broadway shows at the Public Theater and the Mint Theater. In addition to narrating audiobooks, acting, and directing, she is a commercial and documentary voice-over artist.