Misfit's Reviews > The Gabriel Hounds

The Gabriel Hounds by Mary Stewart
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's review
Jul 22, 09

really liked it
bookshelves: romantic-suspense
Read in July, 2009

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 creepy palace right out of the Arabian Nights peopled with insolent servants, crumbling plaster, leaking roofs as well as the hounds who prowl the grounds at night like the spectral Gabriel hounds of the otherworld.

And that is really about all of the plot I am willing to give away - any more and I'd ruin it for you. Suffice it to say that Christy and Charles soon find themselves in the thick of things as they try to unravel the mystery surrounding their reclusive Aunt Harriet and the servants determined to keep her away from all visitors. I loved loved loved the way Stewart set the scenes, particularly the very spooky palace with the secret staircases, hidden doorways, crumbling plaster, a rusty nail breaking the silence as it falls, all topped off with a fabulous nail biting finish as the island in the midst of the Seraglio (harem) becomes the author's own take on Noah's Ark during a sinking ship. Despite being a bit too wealthy and spoiled, the banter between Christy and Charles was fun and refreshing and added the perfect zest to your basic heroine in peril needing to be rescued by the hero.
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Reading Progress

07/20/2009 page 190
59.01% "Pretty spooky setting"
07/21/2009 page 350
100% "I did _not_ see that one coming."

Comments (showing 1-4 of 4) (4 new)

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message 1: by CLM (last edited Jul 08, 2009 09:37PM) (new) - rated it 3 stars

CLM Some might differ but if you have not read MS before I wouldn't start with this one. Madam Will You Talk is my favorite, but Airs Above the Ground, Nine Coaches Waiting, This Rough Magic and The Moonspinners would also be good choices.

Misfit Thanks CLM. I've read Nine Coaches and I just placed holds at the library on this and two others. For some reason I want to save Madam until last - I hear it's her best.

message 3: by CLM (new) - rated it 3 stars

CLM Everyone has different favorites, but Madam is definitely one of mine. I'll be interested to hear what you think of this one; it is the only one I never reread.

Misfit I think I'm on to a whole new adventure with Stewart. About 50 or so pages left on Hounds and enjoying it a lot. I like the middle eastern setting. I started Touch not the Cat at the gym this morning. Not sure where it's going but it's quite promising.

One of my Amazon friends has been reading Stewart and she's the same - Madam is her favorite so far.

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