The Haunting of Maddy Clare
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The Haunting of Maddy Clare

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3.87 of 5 stars 3.87  ·  rating details  ·  2,050 ratings  ·  459 reviews
Sarah Piper's lonely, threadbare existence changes when her temporary 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 is haunting the barn where she committed suicide. Since Maddy hated men in life, it is Sarah'...more
Paperback, 318 pages
Published March 6th 2012 by NAL Trade
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The Thirteenth Tale by Diane SetterfieldThe Shadow of the Wind by Carlos Ruiz ZafónRebecca by Daphne du MaurierThe Forgotten Garden by Kate MortonThe Historian by Elizabeth Kostova
Modern Gothic
43rd out of 266 books — 599 voters
The Great Gatsby by F. Scott FitzgeraldThe Haunting of Maddy Clare by Simone St. JamesTrapping the Butterfly by Debra ParmleyAn Inquiry Into Love and Death by Simone St. JamesThe Angel's Game by Carlos Ruiz Zafón
Fiction Set in 1920s
2nd out of 20 books — 14 voters


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Community Reviews

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Hannah
May 03, 2012 Hannah marked it as did-not-finish
Shelves: spookies
Sigh...another DNF.

Too many modern mores for a 1920's time period. The supernatural aspect was fairly creepy, but then it devolved into a romance, with some unexpected sex scenes. Not what I was hoping for.

Kathy B.
I love a good ghost story, and The Haunting of Maddy Clare is indeed a good ghost story. It passed my ghost story test, which is dreaming about it. When scary carries over to my sleep, I am thoroughly satisfied. Simone St. James has made me a very happy reader. The ghost story has historical aspects, with WWI having recently ended, and romantic aspects, with two of the main characters trying to fight their attraction to one another, as well as an angry ghost.

Sarah Piper is a London girl in her m...more
TheBookSmugglers
Joint review originally posted on The Book Smugglers

First Impressions:

Ana: Thea was supposed to be doing a solo review of The Haunting of Maddy Clare but then last week I was having a moan about not wanting to read any of the books on my TBR and then Thea was like, “What do you want to read dude” and I was like, “I think I am in the mood for a historical novel, possibly Horror as well. Maybe.” and she was like, “Dudette, why don’t you read Maddy Clare with me” and I looked it up and it was a his...more
Lynn Spencer
I'll try not to ramble too much, but I'm working on a sleep deficit caused by staying up way too late finishing this book. I read this book after both Susanna Kearsley and Molly O'Keefe recommended it to me, and what a wonderful read it was! As others have commented in their reviews, I did solve the mystery rather early on, but that didn't diminish my enjoyment of the book one bit.

The story is told in the first person and Sarah Piper is a delightful narrator. Not only do we get treated to a sto...more
Molly O'keefe
I loved this book - I was freaked out. The mysteries - all of them! Were page turning and the romance was really satisfying. For readers who like well balanced romance/mystery/historical - this one is for you!
Joanne
When Sarah Piper accepts a temporary job to assist a man involved in exploring paranormal activity, little does she know that she will come face to face with a most terrifying manifestation...the ghost of a young girl with a mysterious past who committed suicide but remains to haunt her country home. A delightfully spooky ghost story and perfect for those who enjoy mystery and a bit of romance. Set in the English countryside in 1922, you'll want a cup of tea to keep the chills away as the horror...more
Nicole Ritz

Although I prefer a little more subtlety in ghost stories -- the book's spirit made her presence known early on and spectacularly -- the book started off strong. There was some nice period detail, and the premise was interesting enough that I was willing to accept it on its own terms.

THEN the author threw in an anachronism that ruined much of my enjoyment.The story was set in 1922. Sarah compared Evangeline to Norma Shearer, claiming she'd seen all her movies. Although Norma Shearer had begun a...more
 Danielle The Book Huntress (Angels Weep For Goodreads)
This was a delectable read, with a compelling and chilling paranormal mystery, and a sizzling hot romance. I really enjoyed it.

Reviewed for Affaire de Coeur Magazine in the March issue. http://affairedecoeur.com.

Sarah
Having a very hard time deciding stars...2 or 3. This book sounded promising and there were some very well written parts, but it did come up short. If you are an avid reader that just needs a book when sitting on the toilet or the commuter train, this will suffice. If you are an avid reader and looking for high quality, skip this and move on. The book's problems will distract you along the way and you will waste time evaluating these problems after you have finished reading, realizing that you c...more
Karen
I grabbed this out of the ether, from someone's mention here on Goodreads. England between the wars, a female protagonist, a haunting...hey, I loved The Little Stranger . What more could I want?

Well, this is less of a literary novel and more of a Gothic historical romance. If that's a thing. It's also a fast read. The setup pulled me in, and the writing is smooth and proficient. The author definitely relies on some tropes--our first-person POV heroine is not above noticing the sooty eyelashes of...more
Pam
It has been quite a while since I read a book in one day. But this was the case with The Haunting of Maddy Clare. Set in England after WW-1, the story revolves around Sarah Piper, a temporary worker hired by Alistair Glennis to be his assistant. Turns out, he is a ghost hunter.

This is England, after all, where every house has a ghost and every pub has a poltergeist, and Alistair admits he has seen evidence of "manifestations" but never really encountered a ghost. But Maddy Clare is no curious po...more
Victoria
I received a copy of The Haunting of Maddy Clare by Simone St. James from the Good Reads First Reads Program and I will honestly tell you that it took me a long time to get around to reading it. When I did finally sit down and start it, I was able to read it in about a day and a half. Don’t get excited though, I wasn’t able to get through it so quickly because it was a great book; it wasn’t a horrible book either. I gave it four stars on goodreads, but I’m now starting to wonder if maybe it only...more
Dorine
The Haunting of Maddy ClareNothing is more perfect than a ghost hunt across the English countryside in the 1920’s. Suspenseful, wicked, sexy – this novel is everything that gothic and paranormal lovers crave. A must read!

Sarah Piper’s lonely, threadbare existence becomes an adventure she could never have predicted when she accepts an appointment to meet with her possible future employer. Sarah works for a temporary agency in London and is currently in-between jobs, so the unusual request to meet a stranger in a coffeehou...more
Sarah Picone
Since I was a child I have always loved ghost stories, but when I began to read this story I noticed that it was nothing like the other ghost stories I had ever read. This book was so much more than your typical, creepy, horror story. It was also a tale of romance, bravery, and friendship. Out of every story that I have read I would have to say that this is one of my favorites. I read the entire book in three days, which is fast for me. When you read this book you find that it's very hard to put...more
Terri Vlasak
This is an easy read, about a team of British post-WW1 ghostbusters. I didn't expect much - I didn't get much. The ghost story was entertaining for the first half of the book - the man-hating ghost of a young girl haunts the barn of a once prosperous British estate (old money). The estate matriarch and her maid, who knew the young girl in life, continue to shelter the woman's ghost in death. All is fine until the ghost forgets her manners - and the matriarch decides the ghost must leave. Enter o...more
Zoe
If you're looking for a good ghost story, but you don't want to stay up all night with the lights on, start here. James does a nice job of presenting the tale of a post WWI temp worker who gets hired to ride shotgun with a ghost hunter. The ghost in question is a little more complicated than they realized - creepy, malevolent, and truly tortured, Maddy Clare is by far the most interesting character in the book. If the rest of the characters were more fleshed out, this would be a four star novel.
Kristi Richardson
Sometimes you just need to read for fun! This book is a great old fashioned ghost story with some 1920's ghost hunters thrown in.
It's the story of a girl who shows up dirty and disheveled and unable to talk at a farmer's door. They take her in and a few years later she hangs herself in the barn. Her ghost now haunts the barn and the ghost hunters are called in.

Alistair is a shell shocked Great War Veteran who has lots of money and nothing to do but research ghosts. He hires Sarah, a recent orph...more
Diane S.
3.5 Entertaining story for those who love ghost stories and mysterious happenings. Really liked the characters and there are plenty of creepy moments, especially the crows, they were particularly eerie. Especially because I have never gotten over seeing the birds when I was younger. Liked following the story to find out who Maddy really was and what had happened to her.
Jamie Stanley
This was a GREAT ghost story. I was unable to put it down. I spent my entire Saturday reading this book. It was very creepy and did not go overboard with the romance. If you like gothic ghost stories, I recommend this book. I just ordered her second book today :)
Tara
I really enjoyed this book. I'm always up for a good ghost story and I thought this delivered. There was just enough suspense and drama and a bit of romamce. Fun book.
Cornerofmadness
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Linda Baker
I have always enjoyed a good ghost story and one set in the post WWI era in England was even more appealing. The historical background and a positive comment from one of my favorite authors, Susanna Kearsley, made The Haunting of Maddy Clare a must read for me.

The utter devastation wrought upon an entire generation by the first mechanized war coupled with the effects of the influenza epidemic of 1918 brought about unprecedented social change. While WWI claimed an estimated 16 million lives, the...more
Jaclyn
The Haunting of Maddy Clare follows Sarah Piper as she finds herself investigating a haunting. Through a temporary employment agency, Sarah is contact by ghost hunter, Alistair Gellis, to be his assistant in a haunting investigation. The haunting takes place in a small town in England, where a young girl, Maddy Clare, is haunting the home that she lived in. Sarah has been employed to make contact with the ghost because Maddy is afraid of men and it is hoped that Sarah will have better luck than...more
Khanh (Destroyer of Dreams)
An excellent ghost story with some truly terrifying moments. This is Simone St. James' first book, and I actually read her second book first before going back to this one. They are not connected, although they have a similar setting and sets of characters. Their similarity in no way detracted from my enjoyment of both books.

It is 1922, and 24-year old Sarah Piper leads a lonely, very threadbare existence. It is hinted that there was a traumatic event in her past, and as such, she seems to be goi...more
Divine
I'm into ghost stories and gothic themed books this month. Here vacationing in hot and sunny Barbados, feeling quite happy with myself for buying this gem of a book. Simone. St James has infused some interesting twists and turns into a ghost story mystery. The story starts off simply enough with our heroine, Sarah meeting ghost hunter, Allistair for what she assumes is a secretarial job. He needs her to encounter a male-hating ghost named Maddy Clare who committed suicide in a barn and whose spi...more
Michelle Robinson
Wow! I came across this book by just browsing the new shelves at my library.
I generally never read books of this genre anymore. I feels a bit like a Mary Stewart, Victoria Holt or something of that sort, that I read as a teenager. I have to say, it is better than any books like it that I have read.

I found the book to be frightening and so real that it felt like an accurate retelling of events that had actually taken place.

I felt so sorry for Maddy. She was really scary but when one finds out he...more
Jgrace

The Haunting of Maddy Clare – St. James
3 stars

In life, Maddy Clare was a severely abused, traumatized and powerless servant girl. It is not surprising that following her despairing suicide, she would return to seek her revenge. In fact, very little of this ghost story was surprising. Set in an English village just after World War I, the ghost busters are two shell-shocked veterans and Sarah Piper. Sarah is hired from an employment agency specifically to communicate with Maddy. Maddy is underst...more
Gina
Goodreads Description- Sarah Piper's lonely, threadbare existence changes when her temporary 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 is haunting 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 deperate struggle. For Maddy's ghost is...more
Jess (Gone with the Words)
Read this review on my blog! --> The Haunting of Maddy Clare by Simone St. James

I have not been so scared by a ghost story in a very long time. This book is true thriller, with a mystery that will have you tearing through the pages seeking the truth. The way Simone St. James writes the scenes where Maddy makes contact with Sarah are truly chilling. They’re chilling because it’s how you imagine a ghost would reach out if it were to happen in real life. It felt so real in my mind. My imaginati...more
D'Ann
I'll admit it. I'm a sucker for a good ghost story. "Anna Dressed in Blood" was on my top-five-reads list last year, and I haven't been able to find something with the same eerie edge (but not gross just to be gross) until I found this book.

I received a free copy of this book at a writers' convention, but I'd been intrigued enough by the "buzz" I'd heard about the book that I would have purchased it anyway. I'm really glad I chose it for the top of my "to read" pile.

I said this on Twitter, but I...more
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Simone St. James is the award-winning author of The Haunting of Maddy Clare, which won two RITA awards from Romance Writers of America and an Arthur Ellis Award from Crime Writers of Canada. She wrote her first ghost story, about a haunted library, when she was in high school, and spent twenty years behind the scenes in the television business before leaving to write full-time. She lives in Toront...more
More about Simone St. James...
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“You can't imagine how hard it is to come home from hell and be expected to pick up the threads of a life. Apply for jobs, go to a factory, punch in, punch out. Put your lunch in a bag and get on the omnibus every day. Like nothing happened.” 11 likes
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