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The Gabriel Hounds

3.87  ·  Rating details ·  3,473 Ratings  ·  154 Reviews

It's all a grand adventure when Christy Mansel unexpectedly runs into her cousin Charles in Damascus. And being young, rich, impetuous, and used to doing whatever they please, they decide to barge in uninvited on their eccentric Great-Aunt Harriet—despite a long-standing family rule strictly forbidding unannounced visits. A strange new world awaits Charles and Christy bey

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Mass Market Paperback, 256 pages
Published December 12th 1984 by Fawcett (first published 1967)
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Community Reviews

(showing 1-30)
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Tadiana ✩Night Owl☽
May 2016 buddy read/reread with the Mary Stewart group. Still 3.5 stars, but I'm now rounding up rather than down.

This book gets off to a rather slow start, as Christy Mansel runs into her second cousin Charles in 1960's Damascus. He's a good-looking guy who tools around in a white Porsche 911S.
description
I think I like him already.

They have dinner, chat, flirt a little, then meet up again in Beirut, Lebanon, where Charles encourages Christy to look up their Great-Aunt Harriet, who lives in a dilapidated
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Bobby Underwood
It is so rare that I find a book such a waste of my time that I don’t finish it, and even less often that I feel a need to explain why, as a warning to other readers who may be sucked in by so many high ratings. Normally, I have an aversion to reviews written by a reader who failed to read the entire book, so take the fact that I have decided to write about the experience as an added warning of how tedious a read I eventually found this to be.

On the surface, it sounds fantastic, some intrigue in
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Margitte
It's all a grand adventure when English Christy Mansel unexpectedly runs into her cousin Charles in Damascus. And being young, rich, impetuous, and used to doing whatever they please, they decide to barge in uninvited on their eccentric Great-Aunt Harriet—despite a long-standing family rule strictly forbidding unannounced visits. Because when the Gabriel hounds run howling over the crumbling palace of Der Ibrahim in the Lebanon, someone will shortly die.

A strange new world awaits Charles and Chr
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Carol ♔Type, Oh Queen!♕
4.5✮ Just gathering my thoughts before I write my review!

Ok, thoughts gathered.

I've wanted to read this book for a very long time as it has a (tenuous) link with a Georgette Heyer favourite Venetia. Venetia by Georgette Heyer The link turned out to be gossamer thin, but this didn't stop me enjoying the book. The book started to feel vaguely familiar & I think it may have been serialised in one of the British women's magazines. These magazines were also the first way I experienced Georgette Heyer & Lucy Walker A N
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Misfit
Jul 08, 2009 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
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 cr ...more
Hana
Not my favorite Mary Stewart but still, a quick, diverting read. The best parts of the book are the vividly described locations from old Damascus markets...



To a crumbling castle high in the mountains of Lebanon. The castle is the scene of much of the action and features hidden passageways



And a lovely garden in the old seraglio



Alas, the plot was rather too fevered and implausible to really pull me in and the romance was something of an afterthought.


Sara
May 26, 2011 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: pleasure-reading
I am an admirer of Mary Stewart. She has a wonderful way of describing places that puts you right into the exotic settings and make you feel that you are seeing what she is seeing. The Gabriel Hounds is set in Lebanon and Syria in the 1960s, a place of mystery, distant and alluring. Trying to imagine that region as a place where you could come and go without fear is difficult. It is such a powder keg today. So, just the setting and the easy attitude toward being an Englishman there are ripe with ...more
Diane Lynn
Nov 15, 2013 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: suspense, romance, mystery
Really more like 4.5 stars
Group read with the Mary Stewart group

First line: I MET HIM in the street called Straight.

Christabel Mansel is on vacation in Damascus. She runs into her "cousin" Charles and the two of them decide to drop in on their great aunt Harriet. Harriet is a modern day Lady Hester Stanhope living in her palace "Dar Ibrahim" up in the mountains of Lebanon. Harriet has a reputation for being quite eccentric.

Christy visits Aunt Harriet first. Charles arrives later and things just
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Hannah
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Nikki
Mar 02, 2015 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: romance, mystery
Mary Stewart’s romance/suspense/mystery type novels have been my go-to comfort reading for a while. Unfortunately, now I’ve finished them all and I’m back to the beginning. I mostly grabbed this from my community library to demonstrate that we should totally keep Mary Stewart on the shelves because people want to read ‘em, but I’m pretty sure this was the first of her books I read (other than The Crystal Cave), so it makes sense to start over with it!

I think I appreciated it more, this time. I w
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Daniela
It took me about 2 weeks to finish this one, and for me that can only mean one thing: this was not my cup of tea. Definately the least enjoyable of the Mary Stewart novels I have read to date. The pacing is tediously slow in the first 200 pages and only near the end - like one reviewer put it - all hell breaks loose.

Another thing that bothered me was the love story between the cousins - that weirded me out more than I thought it would. Also, it was really predictable from page one, and I like my
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Nikki
The Gabriel Hounds mostly made me think of Famous Five stories for grown ups, where the hidden treasure is drugs and George and Julian get married at the end. That's pretty much my summary of it -- that and a bit of exotic local colour, given that it's set in the Lebanon sort of area.

It's fun, in that way, and pretty mindless. The main character/narrator is female, but spends most of her time being rescued by men, despite being allegedly headstrong and capable. She does have spark, though. Halid
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Lori
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Carol Storm
May 12, 2016 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
I found this book in a box of junk in the faculty room of a high school where I was substitute teaching one day. What does that tell you?

Not romance, not suspense, not mystery, just . . . ugh. The villains are repulsive. The heroine smokes dope "by mistake." Nothing happens except stuff that creeps you out.

Why, why, why, do I go through boxes of junk that are none of my business?
Laura
Jul 24, 2009 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Recommended to Laura by: Misfit
After reading Nine Coaches Waiting, I didn't expected such splendid suspense which takes place in the Middle East. I am really loving this series of books by Mary Stewart after have read her fantasy books a long time ago and never dared to look to the rest of her work.
Enchantress  debbicat ☮
Found this in a very cool used bookstore downtown today. Got another Mary Stewart and a few other old gothics. Mixed reviews on here but I have high hopes. It's a beautiful Sept day on Cathedral Square and the squirrels are so tame they are coming right up to me. Let the reading begin.

Note: I could not find my edition listed actually. It is hardcover, 1967 William and Morrow. It only has 244 pages.

I just realized I did not finish my review. I absolutely enjoyed this book. I had never read abou
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Debbie
Nov 27, 2016 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: mystery
This is the third Mary Stewart book I've reread as I revisit past reading pleasures. This one has certainly stood the test of time far better than than the first two, Wildfire at Midnight, and The Ivy Tree.

The Gabriel Hounds is set in Lebanon in a now unrecognisable Middle East. Two youthful cousins, Charles & Christy, have a chance meeting in Damascus and decide to meet up in Beirut and go to visit their mysterious, eccentric and reclusive Great-Aunt Harriet who lives in the style of an Ara
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Mary Beth
Mar 23, 2014 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Mary Stewart is an amazing writer. I love her exotic settings, the Gothic atmosphere and the mystery. The setting takes place in the Middle East. Christy and Charles, who are cousins run into each other in Damascus and haven't seen each other in four years.
Christy and Charles decide to visit their Aunt Harriet and things take a surprising turn which takes both cousins into intrigue and danger. I found myself engaged in trying to figure out the mystery as the story went on.
The descriptions are
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ToniS
Nov 13, 2013 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: read-in-2013
Great read. Sizzling dialogue, spunky heroine, atmospheric setting and a twisty plot. And, it's definitely a book for dog lovers. One of the best Mary Stewarts I've read so far.
Lark of The Bookwyrm's Hoard
I must have been in high school when I first read The Gabriel Hounds, which puts that first reading somewhere in the late 1970s, or about a decade after the book was published. Even then, it was a little dated – social mores and beliefs changed so dramatically in the 1960s and ’70s, especially regarding women’s rights and abilities. Yet the book’s exotic setting (for a young American girl whose only foray abroad had been to Great Britain) and the heady mix of suspense and romance combined with m ...more
Hannah
Aug 25, 2014 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: mystery, romance
3.5 stars. I felt a sudden curiosity regarding classic romantic suspense novels after seeing a brief mention of them in another book review; a couple falling in love in the midst of great peril might be a complete cliche, but it can make a great comfort read. As an entry into the genre, The Gabriel Hounds was not a bad start at all - it could have used quite a bit more romance, but it was enjoyable all the same. There's something particularly lovely about the prose, dialogue and mannerisms of th ...more
Lea Wait
Aug 09, 2015 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I've been revisiting Mary Stewart's books .. and this one fascinated me because it is set in the Syria and Lebanon of the 1960s, and my husband grew up in Beirut in the 1950s and early 60s. I've been there once, and loved it. Stewart gets her region right ... landscapes, food, etc. Her main character has plenty of money, so sees the world through the eyes of a wealthy Westerner, as does her cousin. Their aunt's lifestyle has an historical basis, so I was prepared to buy that. And I liked that th ...more
Michele
Not Great Literature but not bad. The heroine is a little ditzy for my taste (I lost count of how many times she gets rescued by her not-yet-boyfriend-but-you-know-he-will-be) and the title has absolutely nothing (ok, maybe 0.5%) to do with the book, which always disappoints me. I like a well-chosen title. However, I'm glad I read it because (a) it whiled away a few hours in an amusing manner and (b) it introduced me to the historical character of Lady Hester Stanhope. I must now go and read All ...more
Spiderorchid
May 13, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Definitly my favourite of all of Mary Stewart's mysteries - gorgeous descriptions, as always, and a fast-moving plot with likeable protagonists and great dialogue.

"The Gabriel Hounds" is a very enjoyable read, but also a melancholy one: today, all the places described here are only associated with war and terrorism. Sadly, the easy-going sightseeing of the protagonists in Lebanon and Syria is a thing of the past.
Cathleen
May 28, 2013 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I truly love Mary Stewart and her ability to create such a subtle mood and atmosphere of mystery and intrigue. This book was a bit slower in parts and a bit over the top with descriptions. Once the action really kicked in I was hooked. Apparently Mary Stewart loved animals too -besides flowers, plants, bushes and trees. I enjoyed seeing that in this book. The ending was - oh yea!!
Bobbie
Aug 08, 2015 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
First read Nov. 2005. I read this again as a buddy read with the Mary Stewart group. It is still not my favorite of hers but I did enjoy reading it with the group. I had forgotten a good bit of it so it was enjoyable to read again. I really liked seeing the pictures that a member of the group posted, especially the china Gabriel Hounds and the source of the Adonis River.
Suzannah
Dec 26, 2014 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This was a solid Mary Stewart, which I particularly enjoyed for two reasons: first, the exotic and as always lavishly-imagined setting (in a decrepit palace in the mountains of Lebanon), and second, the heroine, who displays a lot of moxie.
Annie Valdes
Jun 18, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
read this back in 1968, impressionable just barely teenager. she describes Place so beautifully--made me want to travel. read this just before moving from Bangkok to Berlin, and we went thru Beirut, saw Baalbeck, drove around the countryside, and o, it was JUST as she described. read her Greek books, too, and because of them spent two months touring Greece.
apart from the "travel" aspects of her books, like the characters, am amused that i STILL enjoy them, lo these close to 50 years later...
Sarah
Feb 23, 2017 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
I wanted to read this book because it was written in the '60s and set in Lebanon. The best parts were, indeed, all the mid 20th century English turns of phrase/sayings and Stewart's beautiful descriptions of the country. I do wish there would have been more time devoted to exploration of the country, rather than a palace. There was also what you'd expect from a novel written by an English person and set in the Middle East in the '60s--blatant Orientalism. However, I appreciated how Mary Stewart ...more
Angelica Bentley
Christabel Mansel and her cousin Charles have always been close, having grown up together almost as brother and sister. When Christy turns 18 (Charles is a little older), her family move to the States and so the two lose touch but four years later their paths cross again in the Middle East when she goes for a sight-seeing holiday to Damascus and Beirut while he is there on business. As Christy's travels bring her to the very door of the remote palace where their eccentric great-aunt Harriet has ...more
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Librarian Note: There is more than one author in the GoodReads database with this name. See this thread for more information.

Lady Mary Stewart, born Mary Florence Elinor Rainbow, was a popular English novelist, and taught at the school of John Norquay elementary for 30 to 35 years.

She was one of the most widely read fiction writers of our time. The author of twenty novels, a volume of poetry, an
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