Goodreads helps you keep track of books you want to read.
Start by marking “Search the Shadows” as Want to Read:
Search the Shadows
Enlarge cover
Rate this book
Clear rating
Open Preview

Search the Shadows

3.78  ·  Rating Details ·  1,313 Ratings  ·  38 Reviews

Haskell Maloney was cruelly orphaned when she was just a baby. Now, twenty-two years later, she receives confirmation of the bitter truth she always suspected: the fallen war hero whose name she shares was not her father. Her quest for answers—and a personal history—brings Haskell to the famed Oriental Institute in Chicago, a city in which her mother lived and thrived befo

Paperback, 420 pages
Published (first published 1987)
More Details... edit details

Friend Reviews

To see what your friends thought of this book, please sign up.

Reader Q&A

To ask other readers questions about Search the Shadows, please sign up.

Recent Questions

This question contains spoilers… (view spoiler)

Community Reviews

(showing 1-30 of 1,871)
filter  |  sort: default (?)  |  Rating Details
Erin ☕ *Proud Book Hoarder*
4th re-read of the year for Barbara Michaels done.

Barbara Michaels, the pen name for Elizabeth Mertz, was an Egyptologist for her other career. It’s expected that the accomplished woman who want to sneak Egyptology themes and settings into even her Gothic work under the Michaels name.

Even if this book is set with a museum curator’s work, there is nothing about artifacts and Egyptology here – instead the protagonist Haskell, obsessed with her mother’s death and who her father may actually be, i
Jun 24, 2015 Jen rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Kind of dated, typewriters and telephones, no computers or cell phones, but it's not too glaring. The book was written in the 80's and has a slower feel to it. I think it was slower to try to build tension, but it didn't work too well in my opinion.

The characters were all somewhat two dimensional, but stuck to the tropes from which they came, with the exception of the "big bad" and the aunt, who was much more prominent in the beginning than she was when the ridiculously named hMC left for Chica
Sep 04, 2015 Melissa rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Had read it before, but enjoyed it again -- even though I did vaguely remember the outcome. But living in Chicago now and knowing the University of Chicago and its environs gave me extra enjoyment on this re-reading, as a large portion of it is set in Chicago and the U of C area.

Fun mystery about a young woman who sets out to find out about her mother's life and figure out who her biological father was, and about the trouble dragging up the past brings -- especially among archaeologists.
Oct 09, 2014 Rachel rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
I first read this book when I was 11 and am currently going through a phase where I'm re-reading a lot of Barbara Michaels' books. I originally got into her books because they normally had a supernatural twist that appealed to me. This one is a more straightforward mystery/thriller - Haskell is about to get married when she discovered that she is a carrier for Tay-Sachs disease, which leads her to find out that the man she thought was her father (a soldier killed in the Vietnam War) was not. Her ...more
Barbara Michaels, who has a Ph.D. in Egyptology from the University of Chicago, is a prolific writer under her own name, as well as the name Elizabeth Peters, which she used when writing a series on Egypt in the 20's and 30's.

Her books often deal with borderline occult issues; however, Search the Shadows is a fairly straight-forward story of a young woman, Haskell Maloney, whose mother died in an auto accident when she was only 3 months old. Now a young adult and very recent graduate with a degr
Jan 31, 2013 Kristen rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: favorites
Barbara Michaels is a consistent, dependable author for varied stories, interesting characters and exciting plots. This book is no exception.

Haskell Moloney was named after a museum, the museum her Egyptology-student mother was attending at the time of her birth. Left orphaned after her father was killed in Vietnam and her mother short months after Haskell's birth in a car accident, Haskell was raised by her mother's sister, who doted on and loved her into adulthood.

When a pre-marital genentic
May 02, 2009 Angela rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Search the Shadows remains one of my better favorites among my Barbara Michaels collection, and is one I like to re-read periodically.

Young Haskell Maloney is quite shocked to discover that she carries the genes for a rare disease called Tay-Sachs, which she could not possibly have gotten unless she'd inherited it from both parents--which means that one of her parents isn't who she thought. Her quest to find out the true identity of her father, and by extension what caused her mother's death, le
Dec 31, 2011 Dyana rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
After finishing this book I discovered that author Barbara Michaels also writes under the name Elizabeth Peters! Haskell Maloney finds out during a pre-marital exam that she is a Tay-Sachs carrier (a genetic disorder generally limited to Eastern European Jews). Her mother was killed in a car accident when she was 3 months old, and her father, an Irish Catholic, was killed in Vietnam before she was born. Like her mother, Haskell has a degree in Egyptology. She travels to Chicago and gets a non-pa ...more
Aug 25, 2007 Lara rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: mystery
I really like this one a lot, but I loaned it to a friend once who thought it was absolutely terrible, so what do I know? I just kind of love that it takes place at the Oriental Institute and that the main mystery is Haskell's quest to find out whether her mother's death was an accident or murder. I guess I'm more interested in murder mysteries where the victim is someone the main character actually knows as opposed to the sort where someone sort of just stumbles over a body or something. I like ...more
Sep 12, 2014 Karen rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: mystery
Not as good as the Amelia Peabody series or the Vicky Bliss series. This is a standalone and the ending is abrupt, which left a bad taste in my mouth.
Jul 10, 2016 Sharon rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Dec 03, 2009 Marti rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
since i like to read about antiquities and egyptian artifacts, i should have liked this book better than i did. at least the heroine wasn't described as a drop-dead gorgeous woman. although there were some exciting parts, such as almost being burned to death, this seemed rather humdrum. i guess that i missed the part where, although she didn't have a salary, she still had enough money to live. having the ex-fiance turn up in chicago seemed superfluous.
Sherri Dub
May 10, 2011 Sherri Dub rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Haskell is my kind of gal~Spunky and willing to go to any leangths to find out the answers to her own questions.
I loved her struggle with her inner demons, and the way Ms. Michaels wove true Egptology into the plot.
Every book of Michaels' is a treasure filled with so much humor and life.
There are little jokes throughout that kept me laughing, while I was so involved in the mystery of the story that I can't believe Michaels pulls that off.
Allen Garvin
Apr 29, 2009 Allen Garvin rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: horror
Barbara Michaels is the queen of modern gothic fiction, and this story is one of her bests. Set in modern-day University of Chicago (where Michaels got her degree in Egyptology), the main character is an Egyptologist post-doc who discovers her parents probably biological, and goes seeking her true history. Very gothic, with lots of menacing hints, unspoken secrets that no one else want revealed, and hints of, perhaps, some Egyptian curse.
Lisa Greer
May 02, 2008 Lisa Greer rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Can't remember this one, so I'm rereading it. I don't remember it so far, but if it gets familiar, I will probably quit. :)

I did remember it about half way through... but this one is a fine novel. What I love about Michaels is her obvious intellect and ability to inject big issues and problems (murder of a parent, Tay-Sachs disease, illegitimacy, Egyptology etc) into a suspense novel.
International Cat Lady
A Barbara Michaels book that I hadn't read before? I was surprised to find such a thing. I certainly enjoyed reading it, although I was surprised by the lack of anything remotely supernatural. Also, the romance that blossomed at the end seemed a tad unrealistic. Still, the book was entertaining, and I did not at all guess who the villain was before the reveal!
Randee Baty
I have enjoyed this book several times through the past few years but I found it a little less appealing lately. I realized I really don't like the heroine. I find the setting and subject quite interesting. The storyline is good. The heroine is self-righteous and judgmental. I love Barbara Michaels but this one is a little way down the list.
Nov 23, 2014 Jennifer rated it liked it
Shelves: 2009-reads
Michaels works her trademark gothic mojo here, this time on the uberunGothy Windy City. The romance here is - much like in her Night of the 400 Rabbits - somewhat out of the blue, but the quirky characters and pacing make up for any qualms. Solid work, but not her best by any means. Still, fun to read while you're in Chicago.
Jan 25, 2013 Kate rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Okay, but can I mention that I spent waaaay too much time trying to locate the Grandmother's house in Oak Park geographically? Drat you, google street view!
A Vicki Blissesque plot with a less appealing heroine, a bit of gothiciness, and lots of good description, but this is another Peters that feels too outdated to me.
May 16, 2008 Jane rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: mystery
What a fun book! It's part mystery and part romance with a splash of history and science thrown in. I enjoyed it right up until the very end. Then she sort of lost me. Overall, I would recommend it to anyone looking for a quick, easy read that requires very little deep thinking.
Mar 27, 2012 Elli rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: romance, 2012
Michaels returns to her old stomping ground by having the heroine in this book travel to Chicago to work & mingle with the UChicago Egyptology program. Standard plot & romance for Michaels, so I real pleasure to read. Warning a bit dated, but nothing that really disturbs the tale.
Jun 20, 2016 Amanda rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: mystery, fiction
A light mystery novel, Search the Shadows is filled with characters you'll find in many other Elizabeth Peters novels, most notably the plucky and headstrong heroine, and the brave, brash and arrogant hero. Nothing remarkable but a fun read nonetheless.
Tammie Painter
Only made it through about one-third of this book and, even that far in, it seemed like the book was still being set up. Way, way too much lead up to whatever in the world is supposed to be happening to hold my interest. Nonetheless, the writing was good.
Sarah Sammis
The plot was hokey and full of holes and yet I enjoyed it thoroughly. Mixed in with the mystery of who is Haskell's real father and how did her mother die is some nice discussion on the Amarna period.
Dec 24, 2011 Rissi rated it liked it
Shelves: mystery
Barbara Michaels is a nom de plume for Barbara Mertz, as is Elizabeth Peters, author of the wonderful Amelia Peabody mystery series.

This book is good, but more romance than mystery.
Jul 08, 2012 Luseride rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Going to look for your father sounds simple, but not if you are not sure who that man might be. Twist, turns, and a bit of mystery with a surprise ending keeps you turning the pages.
A young woman discovers that the man she always thought was her father probably wasn't, and sets off for Chicago to find the truth.
Not one of my favorites. Neither the romance nor the suspense were that compelling and I get enough Egyptology from Eliazbeth Peters.
Nov 18, 2013 June rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: mystery/romance readers
Recommended to June by: Polly Ross
Shelves: romance, mystery, adult
This took place in my old home neighborhood, so picked it up when Polly recommended it to me. I was pleasantly surprised by the ending.
May 27, 2010 Annie rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This was decent. One of the better Barbara Michaels I've read lately. My favorite is still Ammie Come Home.
« previous 1 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 62 63 next »
There are no discussion topics on this book yet. Be the first to start one »
  • Devil May Care
Barbara Michaels was a pen name of Barbara Mertz. She also wrote as Elizabeth Peters, as well as under her own name.

She was born in Canton, Illinois and has written over fifty books including some in Egyptology. Dr. Mertz also holds a Ph.D. from the University of Chicago in Egyptology.
More about Barbara Michaels...

Share This Book