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Woman Without a Past
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Woman Without a Past

3.66 of 5 stars 3.66  ·  rating details  ·  516 ratings  ·  40 reviews

In her thirty-fifth novel of psychological suspense, Phyllis A. Whitney spins a spellbinding tale of a young woman's quest to uncover her true identity.

Successful young mystery novelist Molly Hunt, raised by adoptive parents on Long Island, is stunned when a chance encounter leads to a startling revelation. She is apparently the daughter of the aristocratic Mountfort famil

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Paperback, Large Print, 400 pages
Published January 1st 1994 by Thorndike Press (first published January 1st 1991)
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Lynne
A nice cosy gothic style mystery - undemanding but the right sort of read I needed right now! Although I guessed most of the plot but that didn't spoil my enjoyment of it - I haven't read a book like this in ages and it reminded me of the books I read years ago - authors like Barbara Michaels and Victoria Holt.

This arrived recently, a trade from BookMooch - my first mooched book! All the way from a moocher in the states - it's been on my wishlist for a while because it's set in beautiful Charles
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Joyce
Library copy.
Read bunches of Whitney's books decades ago. This one didn't ring a bell. I sure was clueless until the end. Mixed feelings all the way through, mostly because so much of it was unbelievable, unrealistic. There are a ton of characters, which the book is too short to do justice. There came a point in the book, in the last 80 pages, where it seemed the author was trying to wind this up quickly for some reason. It could easily have gone another 100 pages, with all the history involved
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Sophie
Woman Without a Past is a tedious book that fails both sides of the romantic suspense equation. The romance is bloodless and unbelievable, and the suspense is nonexistent. The story, about an adopted woman who discovers the truth about her birth family, goes nowhere. I never believed the heroine had anything at stake, and I often wondered why she cared so much about solving her newly found family's "mysteries." The author repeats often that the heroine is concerned for her supposed twin sister, ...more
Rebecca
Romantic suspsense author Molly Hunt always knew she was adopted, but didn't think much of it until a man sees her in New York and tells her he's engaged to her identical twin sister in Charleston--she was kidnapped from there as a baby. Reluctantly Molly goes to Charleston to meet her unsuspected family--which owns a large plantation and a city house--and finds an intriguing and disturbing cast of characters, as well as some skeletons in the attic that don't want to be disturbed. So of course, ...more
Nancy
This book reminds me of books I used to read in the back of Good Housekeeping Magazines. Predictable, and contrived... A twin is discovered in NYC and travels to South Carolina to meet her "family." She learns of her kidnapping and meets her sister and mother. Her sister's fiance makes passes at her, her mother threatens her and of course there are a couple of unsolved murders that must be unraveled. Naturally all ends happily ever after and the evil doer is uncovered. Her mother accepts her, sh ...more
Ea Solinas
Lots of people have fantasies about discovering that they're the lost child of a wealthy, sometimes odd family. But that fantasy turns out to be overrated in Molly Hunt's case, in the soaked-in-Southern thriller "Woman Without A Past." It's a pretty standard Phyllis A. Whitney tale -- smoldering PG-rated suspense, a memorable setting, and a plucky heroine.

Molly Hunt has always known she was adopted, and she had no interest in knowing her biological family. But then she met Charles Landry, a man
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Mel
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
J
A reliable author, and a reliable book. Perhaps a little predictable, but a good clean story.
Bexter
Didn't enjoy this as much as other Whitney books...but it was okay.
Alaina
I used to read Phyllis Whitney's books when I was a kid, but I don't remember if I'd ever read this one. I just kept wishing the heroine would *do something*. Like, you know, leave. Why does she even care about these people's stupid drama? "Don't tell Victoria about this!" "You really have to tell Victoria about this!" "You have to leave Charleston right away!" "No, you must move to Charleston forever!" (And why does it seem like all the characters think if you leave Charleston you can never eve ...more
Jane
Phyllis Whitney was my favorite mystery author. I liked "Woman Without A Past" very much, but it was not up to par with her previous stories.

Even so, it had her trademark surprise ending, and I have never yet "figured it out" before the end of ANY of her mysteries. She was the absolute unrivaled MASTER of the surprise ending!

in "Woman Without A Past," as in all of her books, we experience not only a whopping good mystery, but we also learn all about the setting - in this case, Charleston. Whit
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Farshana Sihab
Enjoyed reading this cozy gothic mystery. There's actually an underlying tension, a sense that something really bad is gonna happen but until the end there's no action. good fun and easy read thou!
Jodi
For the first 2/3 of the book, I would have given it four stars, but the last third dragged for me. I enjoyed the Charleston, SC setting which I visited once and found fascinating. A beautiful city. However the heroine didn't DO much but ask a lot of questions and wait around for things to happen. I don't feel like I really got to know any of the characters. I felt Charleston was written with more animation than her characters were. I did like the mystery aspect and the initial premise was fun. ...more
Cara Correll
A very deep mystery set in with great suspense. It's a great tale of twin separated at a young age and one living a completely different life with her adoptive family unaware of her past until...
Lani
Read this years ago. While reading "The Violets of March" I was reminded of this book and now want to curl up in a comfortable chair & read it again.
bookczuk
Sent to me by TexasWren, because this book is set in Charleston. I loved Phyllis Whitney when I was a teenager, but my tastes have changed since then. This was an interesting glimpse into my old reading habits. But the biggest shock was to find out that Phyllis Whitney is 104??? Wow!

A simple little story, more about human nature than anything else. I think I read it when it first came out, because echoes of the story seemed awfully familiar. Of course, it came out just after Hurricane Hugo, when
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Erica
It was a fast read. No really deep but I enjoyed the suspense.
Pr Latta
With an appropriately creepy, gothic tone, Whitney takes Molly Hunt from her life as a writer in Long Island to Charleston, SC to uncover her past. Though “a gentle read,” the suspense bumps up the reader’s blood pressure. Wonderful sense of place! Unusual plot, though at times it felt a bit contrived. The appeal is not the "romance", though attraction is part of the plot. While the style reminded me of my grandmother's favorite authors (and Whitney might have been -- she started writing in 1941 ...more
Katie Watkins
Molly is an author who learns she has a twin. She was adopted when she was a year old and never knew much about her birth family. She also learns she was kidnapped. Her sister's fiance pleads with Molly to return to her place of ninth to solve some mysteries tied to her kidnapping.

I liked that Molly learned she was stronger than she thought and really jumped into the situation. I didn't really care for the "summoning of spirits" and seances though. Of course, I had no idea who was behind the my
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Jolayne
I really enjoyed this mystery and a couple of her others until I realized they are almost formula books, a single young woman without family connections goes to a place where she becomes unwelcome, some small occult happenings, a child, a couple of men she has to choose between. It is, however,great to learn about a new part of the country in each book. I'd like to see her very her approach a little.
Barbie
The book was kind of slow in the beginning as most are because you have to get to know the main characters and all of that. But trust me once you get past all the introductions the book really grabs your attention and you just can't put it down. I actually read this book on the way, during, and back from a trip to Charleston. The family ties that are revealed in this book are astounding.
Isabelle Decher
This a book I refer to as my light reading. It was interesting with mystery an enjoyable short read - a break from more involved heavy book which I like to throw in once in a while. It was a 2 day read. What I like was it drew you in right away. A mystery& Romance with a woman who finds she has a twin and gets involved with her new found family a murder mystery who done it.
Stacey
Not Ms. Whitney's best novel, but still an engaging mystery of two twins separated as infants and reunited when Molly, the stolen twin, meets a man who says she looks just like his fiancee. Molly's return to meet her birth family sets into motion revelations that threaten not only to reveal a kidnapper, but a murderer as well.
Alicia
A book discussion group selection. I had a little difficulty getting through the description of the setting...okay, all of it...a little too much description, but I finally got interested when the action picked up. A pretty good story, but not my particular style. You are entitled to your own opinion...
Nomorecandy4u
I thought I would never finish this book. It was interesting read, but it bored me describing the details of everything, detail of a cup, bug, flower etc. just took away from reading. To me the book didn't get really interesting until the last maybe 6 chapters.
Teresa
This book was aite, It didn't keep my attention like the other mystery books that I read. There was no suspense. Because I'm so damn curious I kept reading to the end to find out the big mystery and what the long lost twin had to do wit it.
Jane Drager
Phyllis A. Whitney always writes well. A similar story to Poinciana. This story about a woman who discovers she has a twin.
Kim
Another book given to me by my aunt, she is the one who got me started on mystery novels. Enjoyable book, but had to really pay attention to keep up with the twists and turns in the plot. Not realy deep, but kept moving.
Susan
Barely squeaked by page 50 before calling it quits. The story moved way too slow for my taste and I didn't find anything compelling enough to continue reading.
Phancy
Easy read. Nothing surprising. Simplistic characters. If you want a pleasant rainy afternoon read that doesn't make you think, this isn't a bad choice.
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From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia -
Phyllis Ayame Whitney (September 9, 1903 – February 8, 2008) was an American mystery writer. Rare for her genre, she wrote mysteries for both the juvenile and the adult markets, many of which feature exotic locations. A review in The New York Times once dubbed her "The Queen of the American Gothics".

She was born in Japan to American parents and spent her ear
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More about Phyllis A. Whitney...
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