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The Grey Beginning
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The Grey Beginning

3.62 of 5 stars 3.62  ·  rating details  ·  681 ratings  ·  19 reviews
Devastated by her husband's death, Kathy Malone has traveled to his childhood home, hoping to come to terms with the recent tragedy. Here in the beautiful rolling hills of Tuscany, she seeks solace--and discovers something sinister instead. Befriending a lonely boy named Pietro--accepting the chilly hospitality of the aristocratic Contessa Morandini--Kathy begins to uncove ...more
ebook, 336 pages
Published January 30th 2007 by HarperCollins Publishers (first published 1984)
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Christine Honsinger
soooooo slow i barely got through it...i just kept hoping that it would pay off so I read on. I do think that the ending was pretty good, the last bit...but I realize now after reading two of her books that Barbara Michael's just isn't for me...I won't give up entirely, but only if I get desperate for reading material will I give her another try, but only just.

Her heroines seem to have one thing in common from what I can tell, they lack gentility, they seem brusque to me...that makes them diffi
More like The Grey Beginning, Middle and Almost to the Finish Line. This mystery/suspense novel lacks sufficient action. It's reasonably suspenseful and well written, but frustrating because of uneven pacing. Very little happens until more than three-fourths of the way through the book. I kept watching the percentage read creep up on my Kindle (a sure sign of boredom) and when ... stuff ... finally hit the fan at 78% I thought, "Finally! Some action!" So yeah, the last 22% was pretty exciting an ...more
Great, gothic setting, bizarre ending. I don't think I can read many more of Michaels' books because I just can't stand her heroines. I get that these were written in the 60s and 70s, but her feminist characters go overboard into just being mean, rude, and abrasive. I'm also tired of reading the word "chauvinist." My god, did she love that word back then!
Lisa Greer
I liked the gothic setting in this one and the surprise ending. I figured out some of it, but not all. :) If you like Robert Browning, you will like this novel.
I was about the give up on Barbara Michaels, trying to recreate the magic of last summer where I read all the Mary Stewart books I read Greygallows and Vanish With the Rose and didn't think that Barbara Michaels was going to work out for me. The Grey Beginning started out slowly but about halfway through it really picked up speed. Reminded me in many ways of Nine Coaches Waiting. I am willing to give Barbara Michaels another chance. I do wish that the clues to the story would become clear a litt ...more
I have read this book many times and am always sorry to say goodbye to the characters at the end… nothing new in this book (except, I suppose, the setting, which is Florence and the Tuscany countryside, but really, there isn't much "travelogue"), but it's an old favorite anyway.
3.5 stars...

Enjoyable, but not my favorite BM. A nice, diverting suspense story set in Italy

Recommended to those who enjoy clean mystery-suspense with a bit of romance:)
Leonie Holmes
Wonderful author.

Barbara Michaels is my favorite author. Every book I read of hers is more exciting than the previous book. This book, "Grey Beginning" was terrific just like all of her other books. I hope she will go on writing her wonderful stories for ever!
I highly recommend this book to anyone who loves a book that they cannot put down.
Lizzi Crystal
A slow but enjoyable read. One of those I'm glad to have read, but it lacked compelling enough suspense and atmosphere and the ending - although a nice surprise - seemed rushed. This could have benefitted from more time and heart invested.
I love her work. This was no exception. While it took a little bit to see where it was headed - once you got there it was non-stop. All ends tied up nice and tight. Good reading.
Slow reading for me because I wasn't overly inspired to pick it up over the weekend. Once I got into it though and got down to the last 75 pages, the plot picked up.
Barbara Michaels writes such a great gothic novel. I love her heroines - they usually have a great sense of humor.
No ghosts here, but lots of atmosphere and a good ending.
Jayne dArcy
So bored it made me mad for wasting my time.
It's got Browning: how could I not love it?
Love Barbara Michaels (Elizabeth Peters)
Gothic-y setting with a few too many loose ends.
Develops into a pretty good plot!
Md author of romantic suspense.
Kat Arthur
Kat Arthur marked it as to-read
Jan 29, 2015
Liz marked it as to-read
Jan 17, 2015
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Barbara Michaels is a pen name of Barbara Mertz. She also writes 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...
Stitches in Time (Georgetown, #3) Ammie, Come Home (Georgetown, #1) The Dancing Floor Smoke and Mirrors Vanish with the Rose

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