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The Grey Beginning

3.66  ·  Rating Details  ·  832 Ratings  ·  23 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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(showing 1-30 of 1,201)
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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
Tadiana ✩Night Owl☽
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
Aug 05, 2011 Alyson rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: creepy
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
Jul 27, 2008 Lisa Greer rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
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.
Jun 24, 2014 Sewingdervish rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
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
Farshana Sihab
Gothic romances have been a fav genre of mine even though i haven't read many. Barbara Michaels' Patriot's Dream was such an intriguing novel that i really wanna read all her books.
Well, this didnt disappoint either. But would have surely loved a little more mystery and suspense.The setting is really spooky but the pace is little slow!!
Aug 30, 2015 Karel rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition

As always, I highly recommend this book. I think Barbara Michaels is an incomparable author. No matter what she writes, her books are engrossing and hard to put down. Be prepared to be captivated and to spending a couple of hours of enjoyable entertainment.
Jun 04, 2014 Marian rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: favorites
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.
Dec 28, 2014 Angie rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: kindle, mystery, suspense
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:)
Jeanne Johnson
Jul 08, 2015 Jeanne Johnson rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Loved it!

I read this book start to finish in two sessions. I just could not put it down for long. It keep me guessing to the end!
Leonie Holmes
Dec 22, 2013 Leonie Holmes rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
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.
Feb 10, 2015 Laura rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: mystery
I liked this book for the first 3/4. It had good gothic tones and some fun Jane Eyre references. However, the last quarter of the book got a little too dramatic and one of the major plot twists felt very dated. Overall I enjoyed the book, but the ending was disappointing.
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.
Apr 12, 2011 SJuhl4 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
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.
Oct 10, 2011 Ali rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Barbara Michaels writes such a great gothic novel. I love her heroines - they usually have a great sense of humor.
Nov 03, 2013 Polly rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: mystery, fiction, adult, gothic
No ghosts here, but lots of atmosphere and a good ending.
Jayne dArcy
Dec 16, 2014 Jayne dArcy rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
So bored it made me mad for wasting my time.
Nov 29, 2009 Miranda rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
It's got Browning: how could I not love it?
Jan 10, 2011 Michele rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Love Barbara Michaels (Elizabeth Peters)
Gothic-y setting with a few too many loose ends.
Sep 04, 2011 Runningrabbit rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: mystery
Develops into a pretty good plot!
Md author of romantic suspense.
Hallgerd marked it as to-read
Apr 26, 2016
Brittani Bardun
Brittani Bardun marked it as to-read
Apr 21, 2016
Marybeth Jones
Marybeth Jones rated it liked it
Apr 16, 2016
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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...

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