The Haunting of Maddy Clare
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The Haunting of Maddy Clare

3.87 of 5 stars 3.87  ·  rating details  ·  2,788 ratings  ·  594 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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Community Reviews

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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.

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
This feels so right. I am listening to the audio version and for some strange reason it reminds me of one of my first and favorite audio books ever Rebecca. At the same time, reminding me of one of my favorite horror novels , Hell House. Instant love.
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
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!
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
Khanh (Kittens, Rainbows, and Sunshine)
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
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
Laura (Kyahgirl)
3/5; 3 stars; B

I didn't really know what to expect from this book, having never read this author before. In my mind it would be a ghost hunting adventure/mystery. Is started out that way, with Sarah, the somewhat down and out temp worker taking a job as an assistant to a ghost hunting writer. What it turns into is a dark exploration of a true haunting by a tortured soul and the mystery surrounding how she became so very tortured.
I enjoyed the story and, for the most part, the narration. The nar...more
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 :)
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
 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.

Having a very hard time deciding stars.... 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 could h...more
The Haunting of Maddy Clare by Simone St. JamesNothing 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
I did enjoy this, it kept my attention and entertained me. I liked the ghost story and the mystery and especially liked the main characters.

I'd read another story, featuring the ghost hunters, where we'd get to know them a little better.

The bedroom scene was a bit too detailed for my tastes, sometimes less is more, though it wasn't ridiculous either.

I thought overall it was well done.

The Great War is over and Britain works to recover from the horror and trauma which nearly ripped it apart. Wounded warriors - both the physically maimed and the mentally scarred - return and try to take up a life that they have changed too much to acclimate into once more. Women fight to find their equilibrium after the bars which restricted them from work fell, and the new definition of womanhood remains blurred in the eyes of an unsettled society. The nation bands together in the wake of the...more
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
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
MaryannC.Book Fiend
I won this free copy through a Goodreads giveaway and I was very excited to read this. Where do I begin, but to say that this is a deliciously creepy read! For me, this novel starts out quietly and tells the story of Sarah Piper, a young woman with a lonely existence who answers her temp. agency's request for a job. At her interview she meets handsome,rich Alistair Gellis who investigates ghosts and hires Sarah to accompany him to a site where a young servant named Maddy Clare had committed suic...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
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.
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.
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.
Hadn't read a ghost story since high school, when I read The Haunting of Hill House. This is a ghost story. A chilling ghost story.

It's also a romance, set after WWI. It's a mystery about the commission of a horrible crime. It's one great book.

The attitude of the heroine is so perfect, such a product of the time and culture. She and the hero, a veteran with a wounded soul, are perfect for each other. The setting, the time period, the characters, are so wonderfully drawn, it's as if it was writt...more
The Haunting of Maddy Clare is part love story, part ghost story, with each of these parts being equally haunting. The setting is one of my favorites: the eerie English countryside during the 1920s, a time during which the effects of the first World War were still painfully fresh. Sarah is a young woman with no family, living alone in London, when she gets a job assisting Allistair, a paranormal investigator, on a special assignment. Sarah is a skeptic when she agrees to the job, but quickly bec...more
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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
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
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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
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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.” 12 likes
“I was doomed to it. For there was no way to convince him that, with all his scars, the terrible truth was that he was still the most beautiful thing I had ever seen.” 1 likes
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