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Be Buried in the Rain

3.88  ·  Rating Details  ·  1,688 Ratings  ·  80 Reviews
There are terrible secrets from generations past buried at Maidenwood. Medical student Julie Newcomb has returned to her family's decaying plantation—the site of so many painful childhood memories—to tend to her tyrannical grandmother, felled by a stroke. The fire of malevolence still burns in the cruel, despotic matriarch's eyes—yet, for Julie, a faint spark of redemption ...more
Published May 29th 2007 by Harper (first published 1985)
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I really enjoyed this Gothic suspense novel. I was afraid it might be cheesy, especially since it was published in the 1980s, but it wasn't. I also didn't know what I would think of a Gothic novel set in contemporary Virginia, but the old manor house, its occupants, and the surrounding woods were broken down, overgrown, and eerie enough for a mystery of old bones.

The atmosphere was all you could wish for in this kind of book. It reminded me of Susanna Kearsley without the dual time periods, exc
2.5 Stars

Back roads. Spanish moss dripping from old oak trees. And guilty secrets. Be Buried in the Rain mentioned food once too often and was top heavy with excessive family drama.

I may have appreciated the story more if I read it years ago. Instead, I can't say I liked anyone but Elvis. The dog.
Dec 27, 2011 Kasia rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Another entertaining read from Michaels that reminded me of the V.C Andrews tales I used to gobble up as a teen. You know, the big mansion occupied by an evil grandmother trying to bring misery to the young maiden shuddering under strict tortures. This time its young medical student named Julie Newcomb who caves in under family pressure to spend a summer with the mean old grandmother Martha, who is paralyzed after a heart attack in a huge mansion overlooking the Virginia plantation, she reluctan ...more
Jun 30, 2011 Kelly rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2011, favorites
After having read Here I Stay a couple of years ago(the first and only other book I've read by Michaels), I didn't expect much more than a similarly light little read with this one; but it was so much better. There was a lot more going on here... the story was more detailed and more interesting, as were the characters.

The book starts out on a very creepy note within the first 3-4 pages (I won't tell you what it is!). Then we switch to Julie, who is winding up her first year of med school when s
Apr 02, 2008 Genevieve rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Written well, reads fast but not the kind of fast-pace thriller that I like. Seemed like she was trying too hard. Left a bunch of loose ends, forced ending. Disappointed me.
Aug 12, 2016 Karen rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
One of my favorite Barbara Michaels. Will have to find it in storage and read again.
Kathy Jackson
Jul 01, 2012 Kathy Jackson rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
When I started this book I did not expect to get so caught up in it that I needed to get it finished right away. I thought it would be a nice leisurely read over several days. I was wrong...again. Seems like I have to admit that a lot.

It is a sad tale of family violence all with the aim of keeping ones name in the right genteel circles and free of blemish. The plantation of Maidenwood sounded so beautiful - I would have restored it had I inherited such a lovely old Victorian. However it was fall
Feb 21, 2016 SuperWendy rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I read a lot of Michaels' as a teen and thought it would be fun to revisit some of her books on audio. I started with this one because I remembered liking it back then, and I still liked it 30 years later. There's a lot of character development here and a lot of setting the stage, so it's a slower paced book. But the way the author unfolds it all, and slow-builds the tension is really excellent. Also, I read Michaels' as a teen because I liked the creepy Gothic suspenseful storylines. The romanc ...more
Elizabeth Nesbit-comer
Apr 25, 2011 Elizabeth Nesbit-comer rated it really liked it
I'm always a fan of Barbara Michaels. This one with the creepy old house and aging grandmother who she hates was just the gothic story that i needed. i also love how she adopted the limping dog and had the vet take pity on her cause she didn't know how to care for him. The romance was a bit rushed. They hated each other and then all of a sudden the pastw as forgotten and they were back together without any sort of talk seemed a bit unrealistic and predictable at the same time. But I dod love Bar ...more
Claire Gem
Jan 06, 2015 Claire Gem rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This was my first exposure to the late Barbara Michaels, and I'm so glad I discovered her work. An eloquent writer, her ability to describe settings transports the reader into the book so completely, it's hard to come back to your own reality.

The story opens on the creepiest note – a man driving an old pickup truck screeches to a halt to avoid running over what appears to be a woman lying in the middle of the road. When he investigates, he discovers it is a skeleton dressed in an old-fashioned
Nov 11, 2014 Michael rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: suspense, romance, gothic
For the genre, this was pretty good reading. A lightweight distraction from everyday life.

It seems I can't get through a single Barbara Michaels book without being irritated by something-- this time it was mostly some characters cast from the "stereotypically ignorant, backward, religious Southerner" mold (or maybe more the protagonist's tiresome stereotyping of so many fellow characters)-- but perhaps a little irritation isn't such a bad thing in a book. It keeps me on my toes. Besides, if I do
Mar 29, 2010 AnnMarie rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: mystery
i thought this book was going to be different then what it was. i was hoping it was on the supernatural side. it wasn't. but it was an ok mystery! the book starts off with some1 finds the skeleton of a person and a baby in the road on a southern plantation. plantation of which belongs to the once great carr family. the old mansion on the plantation is owned by an ill mean old lady. martha. strokes leave her bedridden and she needs to be takin care off. thats where her granddaughter julie cames i ...more
While this novel did lack a clear ending (it's more of a "lady or the tiger" sort of thing), this novel will probably end up as one of my favorites by Barbara Michaels. I will admit that some of the reviews here put me off of reading it, but I finally gave it a try & finished it within the span of a day.

Set in Virginia, the story follows a young med student named Julie as she is forced to go back and care for her ailing grandmother- a woman who made her early years a living hell on earth. A
Aug 26, 2008 Liz rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Another contemporary gothic from the eighties, but a page turner nevertheless as are most of Barbara Michaels' books.

Julie Newcombe goes to take care of her grandmother Martha Carr who has suffered two strokes and is supposed to be at death's door. Out of family duty to her mother, Julie returns the family home, Maidenwood. It certainly isn't love for her grandmother, who Julie actively despises.

Recently a skeleton of a woman and a baby's skeleton where found in the woods near Maidenwood; the sh
Apr 28, 2012 Julie rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Anyone who knows me, will tell you I LOVE these 60's and 70's Gothic Romance/Mystery novels. Barbara Michaels in incomparable. However, this one, which was copyrighted in 1985, wasn't one of her best. The last 100 pages or so were where the action was. This story was set in Virginia, which gave this novel the feeling of Southern Gothic. Set in the requisite old mansion, Julie is manipulated into spending the summer with her 85 year old grandmother, who is recovering from a massive stroke. The Gr ...more
Aug 07, 2010 Katie rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: mystery
I like to reread mysteries, if they're worth rereading, even after I've lost the knack of forgetting who dunnit. This is worth rereading if there isn't something better. It's not Michaels' best thing. The setting is unpleasant, and the protagonist is a self-pitying snob, but it is an interesting story with a nice dog in it, if you like dogs.

I get the idea from this one that Michaels is a bit of an urbanite. Her main character spent years romping through the woods of the eastern U.S., and what s
Sharon K. Garner
Every summer, I reread Be Buried in the Rain by Barbara Michaels. I can feel the heat of a Virginia summer as I read. It has a lovely mixture of history, suspense, romance, and a little paranormal thrown in for seasoning ... a decaying family plantation, a toxic, bedridden grandmother, a medical student enlisted against her will for a summer of tending, an old love affair fanned throughout, great secondary characters, including a hound called Elvis, all beginning with the discovery of the old sk ...more
Empress Reece (Hooked on Books)
I really enjoyed this story but from reading the cover i didnt think i was going to like it because i thought it was going to have a political flair to it & i hate reading books about politicians (except Charles Finch series which is 5 star) and lawyers & judges...but it wasnt like that at all. Definitely should read if you are a Michaels fan.
University of Chicago Magazine
Barbara Mertz, PhB'47, AM'50, PhD'52

From our pages (Spring/86): "In this novel, written under the pseudonym Barbara Michaels, Mertz combines mystery, suspense, and romance in a gothic-like setting in Virginia. Mertz, an Egyptologist, is the author of numerous books, both fictional and scholarly."
Sarah Sammis
Be Buried in the Rain is a fairly typical Barbara Michaels book with a bachelor-girl protagonist who has been estranged from her family but now forced to return home during a family crisis. In this case, Julie Newcomb must return to the crumbling family plantation to care for her ailing grandmother.

While there she must help her estranged boyfriend uncover the mystery of two skeletons found on the side of the road while Julie receives threats to her life from all fronts. With a small cast of char
Boris Cesnik
Feb 11, 2016 Boris Cesnik rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
The word that comes to my mind in relation to this book is 'fluid'. Everything flows beautifully: narrative, language, writing, story, descriptions. It reads so effortlessly you would never stop doing it if it were that you must get to sleep sometimes.
I didn't know Barbara Michaels could write in such a way despite having read one of his booked years ago...which BTW I found boring.
The story is so cleverly and easily written that no matter the lack of suspense or twists you still enjoy it like a
Apr 15, 2016 Jill rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Ah, a Barbara Michaels oldie! Reading one of her books is like greeting an old friend. Terrific writing. Restrained but well-drawn characters, discreet romance, and suspense. I did guess "who done it" -- at least, I did guess one of them--but one was a surprise.
Mar 01, 2015 Laura rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: mystery
In theory this was a good book - the concept of a mysterious skeleton and an old family mansion should have made for a good little gothic mystery. For some reason I just had a lot of trouble getting invested in the story. I think my biggest problem was that I thought it was obvious from very early on who was causing all the trouble, so there wasn't really any suspense. I also never really connected to any of the characters. Martha was the only character that really felt developed to me, and she ...more
May 16, 2015 Jean rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Be Buried in the Rain is a true Gothic romance. The evil is completely understandable and perhaps the more horrific for that. Barbara was at the top of her form in this book. If you like Gothics and haven't read this one, move it to the top of your list!
Though set as present day at its time of publication, 1985 (though before looking it up, I would have guessed it was set in the early 1970s), it's still harkens back to the classic gothic vibe: creepy old house, full of family dysfunction and secrets.
Leonie Holmes
Jan 30, 2014 Leonie Holmes rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Another great novel by Barbara Michaels

"Be Buried In The Rain is a other book of Barbara Michaels that I could not put down. It is packed with mystery and intriguing things going on all the time. As with all of her books I give it a perfect "10"
May 11, 2011 Judy rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
The last of my Michael's mysteries which I have been rereading in the past few months in between other selections. Very good story about 2 young cousins who are the last of the line and their disabled, old grandmother who is an awful person requires them to look after her and her old plantation house. Meanwhile, the heroine's old boyfriend (archeologist) turns up working on an old, early settlement and cemetery on their land. The heroine comes to grips with her terrible childhood in the house an ...more
Not as creepy as I expected but still good, especially the ending. And, since this is a Barbara Michaels (Mertz) book, there are lots of archaeology lessons.
Nov 25, 2015 Victoria rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
7/10 It seems dated. No Internet, cell phones, gps or security cameras!
Sep 11, 2015 KAREN RAY rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
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Barbara Michaels was a pen name of Barbara Mertz. She also wrote as Elizabeth Peters, as well as under her own name.

She was born in Canton, Illinois and has written over fifty books including some in Egyptology. Dr. Mertz also holds a Ph.D. from the University of Chicago in Egyptology.
More about Barbara Michaels...

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