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Vanish with the Rose

3.93  ·  Rating details ·  2,163 Ratings  ·  56 Reviews

Fearing for the safety of her missing brother, lawyer Diana Reed will do anything to get to the truth. Taking a job as a landscape architect at the last place Brad was seen—the sprawling estate where he worked as a caretaker—she prowls the strange old house determined to unlock its secrets. But each mystery Diana uncovers is more unsettling than the last, as odd visions, s

Paperback, 414 pages
Published September 1st 1993 by Berkley (first published January 1st 1992)
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Erin ☕ *Proud Book Hoarder*
Barbara Michaels may have written a big batch of books in a certain genre, but she kept most of them unique and didn't indulge in formulaic safety nets. In Vanish with the Rose she does again focus on her love of old houses, rose gardens and landscaping, but the story-line isn't an old fashioned ghost story. Lawyer Diana Reed is doing undercover sleuthing and pretending to be a rose expert while she tries to figure out where her older brother ended up. Was he dead? Missing? That's the real reaso ...more
Oct 16, 2009 rated it it was ok
Shelves: spookies, 2010-reads
First off, thanks go to Lisa for awarding me this book from her first blog giveaway. If you enjoy those gothic books (from the 1960's and 1970's especially), visit Lisa's awesome blog at:
She's written a ton of book reviews on all types of gothic lit. There's a little something for every gothic taste.

OK, now on the the review.

I'm pretty sure I read this book when it was first published in the early 1990's. Michaels is one of my favorite gothic writers and many of her
Aug 29, 2010 rated it really liked it
Shelves: mystery
The heroine's objective in passing herself off as an expert in old roses is not clear until about 1/2 of the way through the book (unless you read some of the reviews at the front of the book).

The old estate in located in Virginia, where a couple that recently hit the lottery jackpot bought the house from an aging single lady with an eye to restoring the house and the grounds. Only later do we learn that Diana's brother disappeared after living among the townsfolk for a brief period of time, and
Jan 06, 2015 rated it liked it
Shelves: gothic, mystery, romance
3.5, if half-stars were possible.

It held my interest, but it's not one of the author's best works.  Still, it served its purpose of providing light entertainment.  (That said, it's not the lightest "light entertainment", either...)

Specific Tidbits (with SPOILERS):(view spoiler)
Ivonne Rovira
Oct 30, 2016 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: paranormal cozy lovers
Diana Reed isn’t who she says she is. She isn’t an expert on antique roses (the ones that predate the now-ubiquitous, ever-blooming hybrid tea roses, introduced in 1867) or a garden landscaper. Diana Reed isn’t even her real name.

Diana has maneuvered to get herself hired as a rose expert by the Nicholsons, a family that literally won the lottery and used the proceeds to buy and renovate an 18th century home near the small town of Faberville. The Nicholsons bought the home from the senile Matilda
Aug 01, 2017 rated it really liked it
If Michaels set out to write an entertaining and intriguing suspense with a soupcon of the supernatural and a lagniappe of romance, she has succeeded. Yes, parts of it are pure fantasy. Why would people who had only just met a young woman go away for two weeks on the spur of the moment and leave her in charge? The first third of the book Diana is masquerading as an old roses expert and the book is a bit coy about who she really is and why she is there, but not excruciatingly so. She also runs in ...more
Jan 03, 2009 rated it it was ok
Recommends it for: nobody
Shelves: mystery
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Aug 25, 2007 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: mystery
Barbara Michaels books are such ridiculous fluff, and I love it. This is one of my favorites, but I'm not sure I can really even say why. Maybe it's that I find Diana's quest to find out what happened to her missing brother Brad interesting, or maybe it's that I like Andy as the love interest--I'm always a fan of the goofy, funny guy getting the girl. Maybe it's that I find the history of roses kind of fascinating, or that there's a supernatural element to the story that's never completely expla ...more
Nov 22, 2008 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Very good. Not her very best, but definitely a "Michaels". Young lawyer lady pretends to be a landscape artist in order to gain access to an old mansion recently purchased by an elderly couple who just won the lottery. She is looking for clues about something that might have happened at this old mansion - something she has a personal interest in. Murder, ghosts, hints of romance... everything a good story needs.
Jan 29, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Diana’s brother Brad has been missing for 8 months. She goes to the last place he was seen disguised as a rose expert and garden planner to see if she can trace his movements. She goes in disguise so as not to alert any potential evil doers that she may be on to them. Serendipity steps in and leaves her in charge of the property where Brad last worked so she can explore and investigate. But when her friend’s ex husband tries to kill her, Diana’s mission changes. Between ghostly encounters and he ...more
Mar 26, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
A tense, taut mystery that slowly builds to an unimaginable ending, with characters so real that you almost expect to see them walking down the street. Even the bit players have personality, rounding out the book's depth. This one is an old favorite rediscovered.
Jun 06, 2017 rated it it was ok
This has been the first (and maybe only) Barbara Michael's book that I didn't like. I had to force myself to finish it. I didn't like any of the characters, and the story really dragged on.
Brittany Dalton
Apr 10, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
The prolific Michael's sets off her latest high voltage mystery the instant Diana reed, a shrewd and determined lawyer ,appears at the Nicholson estate in maryland as there new landscape architect.
Feb 14, 2010 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
After my dissapointing time with Neverland I had to read something that I knew would be a great read and since I had a few Barbara Michaels' books waiting to be read, I picked one up and I was dissapointed. Michaels is a new author for me, as I've only read one other book of hers but I enjoyed it so much that I figured I would at least enjoy another. So when I picked up Vanish With The Rose and started reading, I wasn't dissapointed.

Diana is a wonderfully headstrong woman who sets out to discove
Jul 21, 2015 rated it really liked it
3.5 stars. Gorgeous pacing, a gripping mystery, intriguing historical touches (I'm now completely enamored with "old roses"--who knew?), and delicious morsels of the ghostly and supernatural. Pure entertainment. Barbara Michaels' beautiful mysteries are literary crack as always!

However, I have to deduct a star for the unsatisfying ending--the pacing completely fell apart during the crux of the story. The resolution was a rush job, and the explanations for all mysteries--supernatural and otherwis
Sridhar Babu
Jun 25, 2013 rated it did not like it
This book is about the search for her missing brother brings lawyer Diana Reed, where her brother had worked as a care taker..and disappeared, so Diana convinces the owner of the estate, that she is an expert in Rose Garden,,sort of undercover.

From page after page this novel creates great expectations,like...a secret attic in the Hall of the house , Diana's search for the former owners of the house...unknown tomb stones at the back yard of the house, the skeletal bones found during renovating
Marina Gardner
Aug 20, 2012 rated it it was ok
I purchased this book after seeing some good reviews and as I like the idea of past meeting present I thought lets give it a go ....and?
Terrible! I stuck with it and the first third of the book aside from managing to get to know the main players I wondered if all the rambling about roses was bnecessary and indeed at points I wondered if I had picked up a horticulturist book on roses.
I likes the litte quotes at the beginning of each chapter, the characters showed promise but the story line flitte
The Good: Picked this up because I have a few "old roses" planted in the yard and it intrigued me that someone would use this theme to write around. The different scenes in the book were more like "real life" in that there was a lot of wasted time chasing dead ends or things that amounted to nothing. Good surprise ending, although it was hinted at fairly strongly it made me want to skip to the end to see what I was missing!

The Bad: Difficult to imagine the scenery, house, characters -- not very
Oct 13, 2016 rated it liked it
Diana Reed arrives at an old mansion claiming to be an expert gardner. The owners have won the lottery and are attempting to renovate the house and grounds of an old estate. We really don't know why she is there for the longest time.

Ms. Michaels' books fell roughly into three categories: hints of the supernatural that were proved to be false, hints of the supernatural that seem to be helpful, definitely supernatural and look out we're in trouble. This book, I'd say, fell into the second categor
Sarah Sammis
Jan 18, 2008 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: pc, read-in-2004, released
I enjoyed the book thoroughly even the rather silly fourteen page coda which ends in a desire to conserve water. Vanish with the Rose is vintage Barbara Michaels. I just wish she would save some of this writing style for her Elizabeth Peters non de plum as the Michaels book are always so much more deliciously dark, brooding and macabre. I do have to admit to figuring out who done it about seventy pages before the ending as it otherwise would have made no sense to introduce that character into th ...more
Madiha Muzaffar
Sep 14, 2015 rated it liked it
Totally disappointed in the direction the romance went. Especially since throughout the book it felt like the author was setting up the main character with the other guy. The supernatural aspect also felt tacked on and not necessary; it didn't really add anything to the plot.
Still a fun read though. Barbara Michaels is an excellent writer, I especially adore her Vicky Bliss mysteries (written as Elizabeth Peters).
Aug 11, 2015 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Barbara Michaels, aka Elizabeth Peters, was always such a good storyteller. She's funny and witty, poked fun at the subject she's writing at the time which made it even more entertaining to read. I can always count on her books for a good break, even if the genre isn't always my favorite, I know her writing would make it interesting and fun to read.
May 16, 2015 rated it really liked it
I enjoyed Vanish with the Rose. It had a gardening theme (roses were the focus, of course) and the main characters were quite likeable. I wanted the characters to solve the mystery and I am glad the romance went the way it did. It is a perfect book for vacation reading -- the right mix of mystery, romance, and paranormal.
Apr 29, 2011 rated it liked it
Good build up on the author's part using suspence and two different story lines. Wasn't a fan of the ending, seemed abrupt and too easy. Plus the "ghost story" wasn't really addressed and didn't bring the level of suspence that the murder mystery did. The book was a good read and would reccomend for a fast beach/pool side summer read.
Apr 14, 2008 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This reminded me of some of the Little sisters' mysteries that I've been reading. It's a murder mystery with flirting by the main characters. I really enjoyed reading this, especially since I didn't figure out mystery behind Brad's disappearance until it was revealed. That's unusual for me. I usually can at least have an idea, but not in this case. Good story.
Katherine P
Jan 02, 2011 rated it really liked it
Shelves: mystery-read, 2011, 2013
Picked this up to re-read between a book I hated and a new author I wasn't
sure about. As always this was a satisfying read. It isn't fine literature
and there are some holes in the plot but the characters are likable and watching the
relationships evolve is fun. Wish the ghostly elements had been a little more fleshed out but overall a good fun read.
Mar 09, 2015 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: mystery
2.5 Stars.

I didn't start caring about the story until it was finally revealed why Diana was really at the house. Even then, I only sort of cared. The plot and the romance were both much weaker than in most of Michaels/Peters' other books.
Jul 08, 2013 rated it really liked it
This book made me want to go dig up plants from old home places that are rapidly being turned into subdivisions around me. Lots of suspense and romance with a little bit of Gothic. Just what I want and expect from Michaels.
Kathryn House
Aug 05, 2013 rated it it was amazing
Such a great read :) lots of mystery and plot twists! Once I started reading it, it was a struggle to put down! I would most definitely recommend for anymore who likes novels that vary from mystery to romance! Very well written.
Loved loved LOVED IT!!! Romance, mystery, suspense, downright creepy at times, and just well written, this book sucked me in and refused to relinquish its hold on me. Nor would I relinquish *my* hold on *it*. Definitely a feel-good book to be re-read over and over. Oh, and it's full of roses. :)
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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.