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The Gabriel Hounds

3.86  ·  Rating Details  ·  3,217 Ratings  ·  133 Reviews
It's all a grand adventure when English 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. Because when the Gabriel hounds run howling ...more
Paperback, 322 pages
Published November 28th 2006 by HarperTorch (first published 1967)
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Tadiana ✩Night Owl☽
May 2016 buddy read/reread with the Mary Stewart group. Still 3.5 stars, but I'm now rounding up rather than down.

This book gets off to a rather slow start, as Christy Mansel runs into her second cousin Charles in 1960's Damascus. He's a good-looking guy who tools around in a white Porsche 911S.
I think I like him already.

They have dinner, chat, flirt a little, then meet up again in Beirut, Lebanon, where Charles encourages Christy to look up their Great-Aunt Harriet, who lives in a dilapidated
It's all a grand adventure when English 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. Because when the Gabriel hounds run howling over the crumbling palace of Der Ibrahim in the Lebanon, someone will shortly die.

A strange new world awaits Charles and Chr
 Carol ♔ Type, Oh Queen! ♔
4.5 Just gathering my thoughts before I write my review!

Ok, thoughts gathered.

I've wanted to read this book for a very long time as it has a (tenuous) link with a Georgette Heyer favourite Venetia. Venetia by Georgette Heyer The link turned out to be gossamer thin, but this didn't stop me enjoying the book. The book started to feel vaguely familiar & I think it may have been serialised in one of the British women's magazines. These magazines were also the first way I experienced Georgette Heyer & Lucy Walker A NZ
Jul 22, 2009 Misfit rated it really liked it
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
Sara Steger
Apr 27, 2016 Sara Steger rated it really liked it
Shelves: pleasure-reading
I am an admirer of Mary Stewart. She has a wonderful way of describing places that puts you right into the exotic settings and make you feel that you are seeing what she is seeing. The Gabriel Hounds is set in Lebanon and Syria in the 1960s, a place of mystery, distant and alluring. Trying to imagine that region as a place where you could come and go without fear is difficult. It is such a powder keg today. So, just the setting and the easy attitude toward being an Englishman there are ripe with ...more
Not my favorite Mary Stewart but still, a quick, diverting read. The best parts of the book are the vividly described locations from old Damascus markets...

To a crumbling castle high in the mountains of Lebanon. The castle is the scene of much of the action and features hidden passageways

And a lovely garden in the old seraglio

Alas, the plot was rather too fevered and implausible to really pull me in and the romance was something of an afterthought.

Diane Lynn
Nov 20, 2013 Diane Lynn rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: suspense, romance, mystery
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
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Mar 12, 2015 Nikki rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: romance, mystery
Mary Stewart’s romance/suspense/mystery type novels have been my go-to comfort reading for a while. Unfortunately, now I’ve finished them all and I’m back to the beginning. I mostly grabbed this from my community library to demonstrate that we should totally keep Mary Stewart on the shelves because people want to read ‘em, but I’m pretty sure this was the first of her books I read (other than The Crystal Cave), so it makes sense to start over with it!

I think I appreciated it more, this time. I w
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
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
Sep 23, 2009 Laura rated it it was amazing  ·  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.
Lea Wait
Aug 09, 2015 Lea Wait rated it really liked it
I've been revisiting Mary Stewart's books .. and this one fascinated me because it is set in the Syria and Lebanon of the 1960s, and my husband grew up in Beirut in the 1950s and early 60s. I've been there once, and loved it. Stewart gets her region right ... landscapes, food, etc. Her main character has plenty of money, so sees the world through the eyes of a wealthy Westerner, as does her cousin. Their aunt's lifestyle has an historical basis, so I was prepared to buy that. And I liked that th ...more
Found this in a very cool used bookstore downtown today. Got another Mary Stewart and a few other old gothics. Mixed reviews on here but I have high hopes. It's a beautiful Sept day on Cathedral Square and the squirrels are so tame they are coming right up to me. Let the reading begin.

Note: I could not find my edition listed actually. It is hardcover, 1967 William and Morrow. It only has 244 pages.

I just realized I did not finish my review. I absolutely enjoyed this book. I had never read abou
Mary Beth
Sep 30, 2014 Mary Beth rated it really liked it
Mary Stewart is an amazing writer. I love her exotic settings, the Gothic atmosphere and the mystery. The setting takes place in the Middle East. Christy and Charles, who are cousins run into each other in Damascus and haven't seen each other in four years.
Christy and Charles decide to visit their Aunt Harriet and things take a surprising turn which takes both cousins into intrigue and danger. I found myself engaged in trying to figure out the mystery as the story went on.
The descriptions are
Apr 24, 2016 Michele rated it liked it
Not Great Literature but not bad. The heroine is a little ditzy for my taste (I lost count of how many times she gets rescued by her not-yet-boyfriend-but-you-know-he-will-be) and the title has absolutely nothing (ok, maybe 0.5%) to do with the book, which always disappoints me. I like a well-chosen title. However, I'm glad I read it because (a) it whiled away a few hours in an amusing manner and (b) it introduced me to the historical character of Lady Hester Stanhope. I must now go and read All ...more
May 24, 2016 Bobbie rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: re-reads
First read Nov. 2005. I read this again as a buddy read with the Mary Stewart group. It is still not my favorite of hers but I did enjoy reading it with the group. I had forgotten a good bit of it so it was enjoyable to read again. I really liked seeing the pictures that a member of the group posted, especially the china Gabriel Hounds and the source of the Adonis River.
Sep 06, 2014 ToniS rated it really liked it
Shelves: read-in-2013
Great read. Sizzling dialogue, spunky heroine, atmospheric setting and a twisty plot. And, it's definitely a book for dog lovers. One of the best Mary Stewarts I've read so far.
The Bookwyrm's Hoard
I must have been in high school when I first read The Gabriel Hounds, which puts that first reading somewhere in the late 1970s, or about a decade after the book was published. Even then, it was a little dated – social mores and beliefs changed so dramatically in the 1960s and ’70s, especially regarding women’s rights and abilities. Yet the book’s exotic setting (for a young American girl whose only foray abroad had been to Great Britain) and the heady mix of suspense and romance combined with m ...more
Sep 08, 2014 Hannah rated it really liked it
Shelves: mystery, romance
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
Carol Storm
May 12, 2016 Carol Storm rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
I found this book in a box of junk in the faculty room of a high school where I was substitute teaching one day. What does that tell you?

Not romance, not suspense, not mystery, just . . . ugh. The villains are repulsive. The heroine smokes dope "by mistake." Nothing happens except stuff that creeps you out.

Why, why, why, do I go through boxes of junk that are none of my business?
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
Sep 27, 2014 Cathleen rated it really liked it
I truly love Mary Stewart and her ability to create such a subtle mood and atmosphere of mystery and intrigue. This book was a bit slower in parts and a bit over the top with descriptions. Once the action really kicked in I was hooked. Apparently Mary Stewart loved animals too -besides flowers, plants, bushes and trees. I enjoyed seeing that in this book. The ending was - oh yea!!
Jul 17, 2015 Sophie rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2015-books
I read this years ago, but it was never one of my favorites. This time, I re-read it from an omnibus edition that also contains Touch Not the Cat . The two books don't have much in common other than being romantic suspense stories, but as I read I was struck by the fact that both novels involve family members as romantic leads. In Touch Not the Cat, (view spoiler) ...more
Dec 26, 2014 Suzannah rated it really liked it
This was a solid Mary Stewart, which I particularly enjoyed for two reasons: first, the exotic and as always lavishly-imagined setting (in a decrepit palace in the mountains of Lebanon), and second, the heroine, who displays a lot of moxie.
Chris Pacheco
Jan 24, 2014 Chris Pacheco rated it it was ok
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
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
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
Mary Stewart's stories are spellbinding suspense with vivid descriptions that hold you captive. This is one of those books that you put down and then immediately want to pick back up every chance you get. The Gabriel Hounds is a tale of legend and intrigue that is set in an ancient land that one can't help be drawn into. I love the heroines of Stewart's books with their intelligence, style and sense of romantic adventure!
Anne Sexton
Jan 13, 2013 Anne Sexton rated it it was ok
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
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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 about Mary Stewart...

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