The Vanishing by Wendy Webb

Publication Date: January 21, 2014
Publisher: Hyperian
My source: Netgalley
Genre: Gothic Suspense
Pages: 304
ISBN: 9781401305970

Author’s Website

Recently widowed and rendered penniless by her Ponzi-scheming husband, Julia Bishop is eager to start anew. So when a stranger appears on her doorstep with a job offer, she finds herself accepting the mysterious yet unique position: caretaker to his mother, Amaris Sinclair, the famous and rather eccentric horror novelist whom Julia has always admired . . . and who the world believes is dead.

When she arrives at the Sinclairs’ enormous estate on Lake Superior, Julia begins to suspect that there may be sinister undercurrents to her “too-good-to-be-true” position. As Julia delves into the reasons of why Amaris chose to abandon her successful writing career and withdraw from the public eye, her search leads to unsettling connections to her own family tree, making her wonder why she really was invited to Havenwood in the first place, and what monstrous secrets are still held prisoner within its walls.

I LOVED this book! I read it in one day. Couldn’t put it down. This is my second Wendy Webb book and I am a fan! The thing of it is, I’ve never really been a ghost story reader, but for some reason I can’t put Ms. Webb’s books down once I start one! I read The Fate of Mercy Alban in one day too.

I connect to the characters. I ‘see’ the house and surroundings. It’s a setting I like. Set in Minnesota on Lake Superior in the winter. Think blizzard, haunted mansion, stuck inside! The writer does an excellent job of keeping you in suspense. Not ever really knowing who’s the ‘good guys’ or ‘bad guys’ until the very end. And there’s always a wonderful mystery connected to long buried family secrets to solve, as well as a little romance, along the way.

Oh yea, on cold snowy winter day in January, your going to want to read this one!

Peggy Ann

The Fate of Mercy Alban by Wendy Webb


‘Grace Alban has spent more than twenty years avoiding her childhood home, the stately Alban House on the shores of Lake Superior, for reasons she would rather forget. But when her mother’s unexpected death brings Grace and her teenage daughter back, she finds more is haunting the halls and passageways of Alban House than her own personal demons.

Long-buried family secrets, a packet of old love letters, and a lost manuscript plunge Grace into a decades-old mystery about a scandalous party at Alban House, when a world-famous author took his own life and Grace’s aunt disappeared without a trace. The night has been shrouded in secrecy by the powerful Alban family for all of these years. Her mother intended to tell the truth about that night to a reporter on the very day she died—could it have been murder? Or was she a victim of the supposed Alban curse? Grace soon realizes her family secrets tangle and twist as darkly as the mansion’s secret passages.

With the help of the disarmingly kind—and attractive—Reverend Matthew Parker, Grace must uncover the truth about her home and its curse before she and her daughter become the next victims.’

This was a nice read. For someone who doesn’t read ghost stories they seem to be coming my way this year and I seem to be enjoying them. Hmm… at any rate this is a well plotted ghost/mystery story. A good summer read. Not heavy or long just right for the beach or lake shore. A little romance, a little family dysfunction, secrets long buried, legends and folklore, mysterious deaths, tragedies. Set on gorgeous Lake Superior too! A stately house as a center point, something I always like. I’m definitely getting the first book written by this author too, The Tale of Halcyon Crane. Word on the blogs is it is better than this one!

Peggy Ann