The Gabriel Hounds
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The Gabriel Hounds

3.83 of 5 stars 3.83  ·  rating details  ·  2,518 ratings  ·  91 reviews

It's all a grand adventure when Christy Mansel unexpectedly runs into her cousin Charles in Damascus. And being young, rich, impetuous, and used to doing whatever they please, they decide to barge in uninvited on their eccentric Great-Aunt Harriet—despite a long-standing family rule strictly forbidding unannounced visits. A strange new world awaits Charles and Christy bey

Mass Market Paperback, 256 pages
Published December 12th 1984 by Fawcett (first published 1967)
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Mary Stewart takes her own spin on the Hester Stanhope legend as second cousins Christy and Charles Mansel, while on separate holidays, bump into each other on a street called Straight in Damascus. With the devil may care attitude of the wealthy and privileged, the two decide to look up Great Aunt Harriet, an infamous recluse holed up in her palace in the mountains outside of Beirut. Christy gets there first and after literally barging her way in soon finds herself in the midst of a seriously cr...more
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Diane Lynn
Really more like 4.5 stars
Group read with the Mary Stewart group

First line: I MET HIM in the street called Straight.

Christabel Mansel is on vacation in Damascus. She runs into her "cousin" Charles and the two of them decide to drop in on their great aunt Harriet. Harriet is a modern day Lady Hester Stanhope living in her palace "Dar Ibrahim" up in the mountains of Lebanon. Harriet has a reputation for being quite eccentric.

Christy visits Aunt Harriet first. Charles arrives later and things just...more
The Gabriel Hounds mostly made me think of Famous Five stories for grown ups, where the hidden treasure is drugs and George and Julian get married at the end. That's pretty much my summary of it -- that and a bit of exotic local colour, given that it's set in the Lebanon sort of area.

It's fun, in that way, and pretty mindless. The main character/narrator is female, but spends most of her time being rescued by men, despite being allegedly headstrong and capable. She does have spark, though. Halid...more
Final rating 2-½ stars

Mary Stewart, as usual, has a wonderful way of describing the places her books are set in. In Gabriel Hounds, the action takes place in and around Beirut.

Read the rest of my review on my blog

November Group read with the Mary Stewart Group
Sep 23, 2009 Laura rated it 5 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommended to Laura by: Misfit
After reading Nine Coaches Waiting, I didn't expected such splendid suspense which takes place in the Middle East. I am really loving this series of books by Mary Stewart after have read her fantasy books a long time ago and never dared to look to the rest of her work.
Great read. Sizzling dialogue, spunky heroine, atmospheric setting and a twisty plot. And, its definitely a book for dog lovers. One of the best Mary Stewarts I've read so far.
Chris Pacheco
while i was in the Wacky Shack a.k.a. the Psych Ward for a lovely week, they had a book rack. Now, imagine that you've just had the worst mental breakdown of your life, but every body else there in comparison makes you feel like your about as optimistic as richard simmons.
so i spent the first three days drawing and studying how i could possibly commit suicide. Alas, suicide is impossible there. The wacky shack is fucking suicide proof, Trust me on that.( its actually pretty impressive.
Ao, out of...more
Terri Lynn
I am a longtime Mary Stewart fan and am enjoying the delicious experience of re-reading her novels. In THE GABRIEL HOUNDS, 22 year old Christy is enjoying a group tour of the Middle East. Just before the tour ends, she runs into her second cousin Charles. They were raised together and have a lot of fondness for each other which is semi-romantic.

The trouble begins when they decide to visit their eccentric great Aunt Harriet who lives and dresses like a man in her palace in Lebanon. Aunt Harriet...more
Simon Mcleish
Originally published on my blog here in November 2000.

Lady Hester Stanhope was, at least when seen from a distance, a romantic figure. Her background was the English Regency nobility, and yet she ended up in a palace in Syria, playing the role of the (male) Arab potentate. She is the basis for the character around whom this novel rotates, but in this case at least the reality behind the romance is rather more shabby - ostentation is not cheap in the twentieth century.

After many years during whic...more
Anne Sexton
This novel is a trip - in both ways. Back to some post British empire Middle East with wealthy young Brits of the 1960s. The way she has her characters speak! Sounds so odd to me as 21st century American. Anyway, it is pretty suspenseful so it kept me going. But, the central romance is not only between 1st cousins, but their fathers are identical twins - doesn't that make them more like brother-sister? Weird!! that spoils the romance for me .... The main character Christy was just unrealisticall...more
3.5 stars. I felt a sudden curiosity regarding classic romantic suspense novels after seeing a brief mention of them in another book review; a couple falling in love in the midst of great peril might be a complete cliche, but it can make a great comfort read. As an entry into the genre, The Gabriel Hounds was not a bad start at all - it could have used quite a bit more romance, but it was enjoyable all the same. There's something particularly lovely about the prose, dialogue and mannerisms of th...more
Feb 21, 2013 Lisa marked it as to-read  ·  review of another edition
On the one hand, I'm like, "Oh dear lord, are you sure you want to read about the kissing cousins?" But then, on the other hand, I've managed every other ridiculous thing that Mary Stewart has thrown at me...
Mar 13, 2014 Nicole rated it 3 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: noone.
I didn't like this as much as I have liked Mary Stewart's other books. Perhaps, never having been to Lebanon, I did not recognise the setting; perhaps the idea of the two cousins, almost twins, in such a close relationship upsets my sensibilities; perhaps it is because the majority of the book is set inside the walls of the palace and its Seraglio, and the reader doesn't get to explore the country; perhaps it is the weakness of a supposedly strong main female character.... but it just doesn't do...more
Caroline Philippone
Another delightful Mary Stewart novel! This time her heroine is Christy Mansel, on holiday near Beruit. After discovering her eccentric great aunt is living infamously in the palace Dar Ibrahim, she naturally finds herself in a surprisingly suspenseful situation.
Although Stewart keep to her signature formula of the unexpected heroine in an exotic destination, I enjoyed this one, and liked how it ended. Stewart has a fun writing style that builds well in this one, and I appreciate that her heroi...more
It took me about 2 weeks to finish this one, and for me that can only mean one thing: this was not my cup of tea. Definately the least enjoyable of the Mary Stewart novels I have read to date. The pacing is tediously slow in the first 200 pages and only near the end - like one reviewer put it - all hell breaks loose.

Another thing that bothered me was the love story between the cousins - that weirded me out more than I thought it would. Also, it was really predictable from page one, and I like my...more
Angelica Bentley
Christabel Mansel and her cousin Charles have always been close, having grown up together almost as brother and sister. When Christy turns 18 (Charles is a little older), her family move to the States and so the two lose touch but four years later their paths cross again in the Middle East when she goes for a sight-seeing holiday to Damascus and Beirut while he is there on business. As Christy's travels bring her to the very door of the remote palace where their eccentric great-aunt Harriet has...more
When I was in high school, I had a free period at one point that I cheerfully blew in the library, reading everything I could get my hands on. I credit that free hour to getting me acquainted with the likes of Barbara Michaels/Elizabeth Peters, Victoria Holt... and Mary Stewart. My memories of reading Touch Not the Cat go way, way back, and although I don't dig Stewart as much as I dig Michaels/Peters, I still like me a good Stewart read every so often.

The Gabriel Hounds is a re-release of a nov...more
Mary Stewart is best known for her Arthurian novels, which were what initially drew me to her works. However, she was prolific in the gothic novel (read this link for a pretty good description of what that entails), and this is one of my favourites.

Christy Mansell, the daughter of a rich family, and also somewhat spoiled, is on a tour of the Middle East when she unexpectedly meets up with her cousin, Charles, and decides to go visit her eccentric great-aunt, who has set herself up in an old mans...more
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
This is the last "suspense" book before the author started her Merlin books. Sadly she never really returned to this genre (maybe a bit with "Touch Not the Cat") but then again, the times had changed rather drastically from the 1950s. I suppose she could have retro-set her books into the 50s and 60s and sexed them up a bit, but they would not have had the same style. And that is part of the charm of the books, call it dated or, as I prefer, stylized.

This is not a favourite of mine, mainly due to...more
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Yet another enjoyable Mary Stewart romantic mystery. This one set in the Middle East, outside of Beirut, it centers around Cristy and Charles, two cousins who run into one another in Damascus after not seeing each other for a number of years. They get to discussing their eccentric great-aunt who is living in her palace, Dar Ibrahim, with only a few servants. They end up deciding to see her and get themselves involved in a mystery surrounding their aunt and the going's on at Dar Ibrahim.

I figured...more
Working on the complete Mary Stewart oeuvre.


Now this was more my mood. The Middle East is among my least favorite settings, but I'm enjoying the cousins Christy and Charles. Especially their banter.


Great finish. I like that no animals were harmed in the making of this story.
Anne Borrowdale
Sometimes I like to pick an old book off my bookshelves to re-read, and though this isn't one of my favourite Mary Stewart novels, I know I'm in for a gripping story. Her heroines are brave and feisty, and while there's always a "love interest", it doesn't intrude. Some of the attitudes and language is dated, given Stewart is writing in the 1960s, but a particular interest in this novel is that it is set in Syria and Lebanon before the more recent conflicts. As ever, Stewart writes lyrically abo...more
This was a fun read. Mary Stewart always has the knack for moving her stories along without drawing out too many needless details. Her characters are a bit far-fetched (do Britsh socialites really take the time to know so much about another culture's history and even learn Arabic?), but their motives and reactions are generally believable. Stewart's novels are always well researched and the facts handed out either by description or in passing through character conversation helps add to the easin...more
Good to know that pot is a grayish green flower and that reefer cigarettes can completely strip you of all ability to move or act. Hmmmm. And the Lebanese / Syrian border was a vastly nicer place 50 years ago, which is sad.
You know how it goes when you run into your cousin in Damasus: trouble arises with a capital T. Fabulousness ensues. Another great read from Mary Stewart, who pretty much invented the romantic suspense genre.
Ms.Stewarts language and descriptive skills never fail her in this tale of the mysterious East which comes complete with an eccentric old Englishwoman living in self imposed exile and an Arabian nights style crumbling palace. However, the events that take place are highly implausible and leave one wishing for the gripping suspense and drama of Ms.Stewart's other novels. The unlikeliness of the events and their quick occurrence are typical of the stereotype attached to Eastern lands,and character...more
This book started off slow and I started to lose interest which is why it took me so long to get through it. It eventually got more interesting towards the end and went much faster. It's about two cousins (actually, it turns out they are second cousins) that are from a wealthy family. One member is the eccentric Great Aunt Harriet who lives as a recluse in Lebanon in what was once an elegant Arabian palace. It is well known that she's not very hospitable but Christy and Charles decide to visit h...more
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Librarian Note: There is more than one author in the GoodReads database with this name. See this thread for more information.

Lady Mary Stewart was a popular English novelist, and taught at the school of John Norquay elementary for 30 to 35 years.

She was one of the most widely read fiction writers of our time. The author of twenty novels, a volume of poetry, and three books for young readers, she...more
More about Mary Stewart...
The Crystal Cave (Arthurian Saga, #1) The Hollow Hills (Arthurian Saga, #2) The Last Enchantment (Arthurian Saga, #3) The Wicked Day (Arthurian Saga, #4) Nine Coaches Waiting

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