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The Emerald Comb

3.97  ·  Rating details ·  1,010 ratings  ·  56 reviews
Some secrets are best left buried...
Researching her family tree had been little more than a hobby – until Katie stepped onto Kingsley House’s sprawling, ivy-strewn drive. The house may be crumbling today, but it was once the intimidatingly opulent residence of the St Clairs, Katie’s ancestors. Arriving here two hundred years later, emotion stirs in Katie: a strange n
Kindle Edition, 350 pages
Published September 22nd 2014 by Carina UK
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Kathleen McGurl It's about 350 pages (93,000 words). Hope this helps. Not sure why Amazon doesn't give an estimated number of pages for it.

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Average rating 3.97  · 
Rating details
 ·  1,010 ratings  ·  56 reviews

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Sep 25, 2014 rated it it was amazing
Firstly, thank you to the lovely author Kathleen McGurl for getting in touch with me regarding her novel The Emerald Comb. I love to take chances on books, and I love it even more when those books turn out to be absolutely stunning, as The Emerald Comb turned out to be. There is nothing, nothing in this world, that makes me feel quite the same way that I do when singing an author's praises. So I'll begin...

I wasn't sure of what to expect from The Emerald Comb when Kathleen emailed me
Jo Hughes
Sep 22, 2014 rated it it was amazing
I would like to thank author Kathleeen McGurl for sending me a link to the via NetGalley in exchange for a fair and honest review. 

I would also like to thank Becca from Beccasbooooks for tweeting about this book and making me want to read it and also Leah from GirlsLoveToRead for passing on my email to Kath.

Oh where do I start, I love the cover it is gorgeous, I love the green dress although I personally would of liked to see the comb in the ladies hair....

Oct 03, 2014 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: net-galley, kindle, n, 2014
What a stunning read. Katie is interested in looking into her family tree although her husband doesn’t share her enthusiasm. She finds the house where her family lived and although she doesn’t tell her husband it’s history they do move in. She is very keen to trace her history.

The house is described beautifully- it’s in need of some tender loving care, but it really draws Katie
The book is set in modern time and in the 1840’s and the story moves seamlessly between the two. It hi
Wendy Clarke
Nov 05, 2014 rated it it was amazing
Two stories - one historical, one contemporary - linked by an emerald comb. Lots to enjoy about this novel. Keeps you interested from beginning to end.
Oct 03, 2014 rated it it was amazing


Some secrets are best left buried...

Researching her family tree had been little more than a hobby – until Katie stepped onto Kingsley House’s sprawling, ivy-strewn drive. The house may be crumbling today, but it was once the intimidatingly opulent residence of the St Clairs, Katie’s ancestors. Arriving here two hundred years later, emotion stirs in Katie: a strange nostalgia for a place she’s never seen before... and
Oct 31, 2014 rated it it was amazing
Thank you to Girls Love To Read for asking me to take part in the blog tour for this book. I didn't really know too much about it before I started reading it but I had seen some of the hype around it so I was very much looking forward to reading it.

This is a time slip novel, which is not something I have read much of before, but I loved it! The way we get to see two stories both from completely different time's but overlapping was brilliant. This book was essentially two different books, a hist
Apr 27, 2016 rated it it was amazing
Whilst researching her family history, Katie Smith falls in love with Kingsley House, the crumbling former home of her ancestors, the St Clairs. To her surprise, when the house appears on the market, her husband is very keen to purchase it. As he doesn’t share her love of genealogy, Katie decides to keep her connection to the building secret. This subterfuge ends, however, when a terrible discovery is made and Katie must come to terms with the fact that her family is harbouring a dark secret. ...more
Jane Hunt
Sep 22, 2014 rated it it was amazing
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'The Emerald Comb' is two stories; one historical, the other contemporary, cleverly interwoven with conflict, mystery and passion. The action slips seamlessly from Bartholomew St Clair's 19th century confessions to the 21st century consequences e
Helen Baggott
Oct 15, 2014 rated it it was amazing
This book ticks a lot of boxes for me. History, genealogy, and more than one mystery – what could possibly go wrong? The short answer, nothing.

The author had me from the book’s blurb. I have files of family records, certificates marking the births, marriages and deaths of relatives, so I knew I’d find the fictional digging of Katie entertaining – to say the least.

There are many clichés involved with family trees and it would have been easy for the author to have padded her plot with them all.
Cheryl M-M
Sep 23, 2014 rated it really liked it
The Emerald Comb is a story of betrayal, murder and the hidden mysteries of genealogy.
Katie, like many others since the internet has made it easier for laymen, is set on discovering more about her ancestors. Genealogy has led her right to the front door of where her own family mystery started many years ago. The type of mystery and crime that remains a secret, because nobody knows a crime has been committed at all.

The reader is introduced to Bartholomew St. Clair, his timid fia
Oct 30, 2014 rated it liked it
Shelves: netgalley, 2014
Kathleene McGyrl's The Emerald Comb is an interesting book.

At the beginning it reminded me a lot Barbara Erskine's House of Echoes - old inherited house, with it's mysterious history, ghosts that start to communicate with children. But the ghost isn't hostile, she just wants them to know her story.

Then at one point it was very much like Philippa Carr's The Witch from the Sea - maid servant is jealous of her mistress and takes steps that eliminate her obstacle on her way to the master of the hous
Dusti Dasilva
Oct 28, 2014 rated it it was amazing
This book was so good! I loved how there were so many different components in it; mystery, history, and time. I loved how we had two different eras to be in, and I really enjoyed reading through each one. The characters were well written and developed and each one made a connection with you.

Katie wants to know more about her families past, but husband Simon doesn’t really care for it. He has a secret one that he wants to keep hidden, but when they buy a house that Katie loves, will his secrets
AL Whitehead
Jan 03, 2016 rated it it was amazing
I could not put this book down - the plot kept me guessing all the way to the end and I liked the dual timeline approach as a way of telling the story. The 21stc sections are written in a very light, contemporary style, with lots of detail and cultural references that will, in years to come, put them firmly in their time setting. A completely different voice is used for the earlier time, and this different narration style works really well as a device. There is no jarring as we go from olden to ...more
Margaret Sholders
Sep 22, 2014 rated it it was amazing
I liked how Kathleen used 2 stories of different eras, 1840ish and Contemporary, that were connected. She did a great job of creating her people. They really tug at your heart. Katie and Simon have 3 children. She is into genealogy and he has no use for it. She finds a house she loves so they buy it. Simon is acting peculiarly strange. The second story is from 1840. Bartholomew marries a young girl for her money. There is a great big spoiler here. Read the book. Will Katie find Simon's secret? R ...more
Barbara Zenger
Jun 22, 2016 rated it it was amazing
I just finished this book in 2days. This has to be one of my all time best book. I was not expecting the ending and I can't get it out of my mind. If you love mysteries and genealogy you will love this book.

I just found this author last week and have read three of her books. She is such an excellent story teller and author. Please Ms. MCGURL keep the books coming. Highly suggested read. Would make great book club discussion.
Sep 23, 2014 rated it it was amazing
A lovely book that I really enjoyed. It's a duel timeline book, and unlike some other books that I've read on this theme I liked both timelines equally.
It was an interesting story with twists in it that I didn't see coming, and I was proved to be wrong on more than one occasion when I thought I had guessed what was happening!
This is the first book by this author that I have read, and I will definitely look for more because she writes in a style that I find a pleasure to read.
Mar 28, 2016 rated it really liked it
A very enjoyable book although I was slightly disappointed that the main character in the modern era did not manage to solve the mystery of the skeleton in her backyard, although she thought that she had.

The writing was very good, with the historical portion being in the form of a letter (that Kate does not have access too, it is being read by her ancestor after the death of his father).
Oct 16, 2016 rated it it was amazing

Katie and Simon buy the house of Katie's ancestors, the St Clairs. Set in the future and the past we are introduced to Katie's ancestors. Dastardly deeds in the past suddenly become discovered in the future
Truly enthralling story that I didn't want to end. Highly recommend.
Samantha Tonge
Sep 22, 2014 rated it it was amazing
I've read McGurl's work before, and have to say this book didn't disappoint, with the same vivid characterisation and fast-pace. The chapters alternating between present day and the 19th century had me constantly turning the pages to press ahead, from cliff-hanger to cliff-hanger. Will Katie discover all of her family's secrets, lost in the past at Kingsley House? There is adultery, murder, jealousy - all great ingredients for a brilliant tale. My only disappointment was that a certain aspect of ...more
Carmen Thompson
Mar 15, 2016 rated it liked it
Great afternoon novel

I enjoyed it and found it hard to put down. I would have rated it higher but it had some parts of the story that were left hanging. It's like a lot of effort went into setting up the story, then suddenly it's like the author tired of it and wrapped it up. If that makes sense.
Nov 27, 2018 rated it it was amazing
This was a good mystery story, I enjoyed it. The description of the story is on the front of the book, I could not describe it better. It was an excellent novel and I enjoyed it, I love old home places and their secrets. This really had some sad secrets.
Apr 02, 2016 rated it it was amazing
Loved the storylines especially the historical one. Fabulous book.
Karen Bobrow
Oct 26, 2016 rated it really liked it
Having been drawn into the genealogy craze eight years ago, I discovered this book on Twitter while looking for books with a story connected to family history. I was not disappointed. I loved it! I knew as soon as I saw the drawing of the St. Clair family tree placed before the prologue that this book was right up my alley.

The story begins in the 19th century, with the confession by a man-Bartholomew St. Clair-who owns the home eventually purchased by his 3 times great granddaughter, Kate St. C
Nov 13, 2018 rated it liked it
Kathleen McGurl’s novel, The Emerald Comb is an entertaining read with enough mystery to keep the pages turning.
Dually set in modern England and down the heroine’s family tree two hundred years, Katie learns more about her ancestors than she bargained for. As an amateur genealogist, I related to Katie’s search into her past and frustration when her husband didn’t share her zeal.
I found the conversations and interactions in the present sections to be stilted and some of the characters awkward.
Emma-Nicole Lewis
Jul 15, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Delightful read from start to finish

I love a good time-slip and The Emerald Comb did not disappoint. For me, it had all the right ingredients for a deliciously intriguing and enjoyable story: present day mystery, historic mystery and an old creaking house in the country. We follow the historic tale as set out by Bartholomew St Clair, who writes to his son from his death bed. It is all about heritage and this is the theme to the present day mystery too. It ties up neatly. The author is well re
Mary Jo
Jan 09, 2018 rated it liked it
OK, this one was really hard to read for me. Not that it didn't flow nor that it did not grab my attention. I still had the draw to finish It and gobbled It up in three days. It was well written, but the story was heartbreaking and the ending unsatisfying. I wanted the "bad" people to get their up comings. They got what they wanted and their deception was not fully revealed even at the end. Ugg, I am so mad at this one. I have enjoyed McGurl's books so far, but this one . . . I am so frustrated.
Julia Bell
Jul 28, 2019 rated it really liked it
This was a lovely story that I thoroughly enjoyed. It was cleverly written with the present time in the first person and the past in the third person. In many ways I guessed what was going to happen but it didn't spoil my enjoyment. I thought the ending excellent. A very good story for those who like dual time themes.
Feb 24, 2019 rated it really liked it
This book

I enjoyed this book but felt no connection with the characters.I can't believe Katie could be so calm about the fact her husband may have been having an affair.and a bit convenient that Bartholomew and Agnes spent the rest of their lives with no-one suspecting she wasn't Georgia
Sep 20, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Katie purchases her ancestors' home, Kingsley House. First she finds an emerald comb hidden in a secret drawer. Then an old skeleton is unearthed in the back garden. Who did the comb belong to? Her great-great Grandmother? Who was buried in in the garden? Lots of secrets hidden in this home.
Feb 16, 2018 rated it liked it
Sad story of past. Better story in present.
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Sinopsis en Español // Synopsis in Spanish 1 3 Mar 11, 2015 11:35AM  

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Kathleen McGurl lives in Bournemouth with her husband and cat. She has two grown-up sons who have now left home. She always wanted to write, and for many years was waiting until she had the time. Eventually she came to the bitter realisation that no one would pay her for a year off work to write a book, so she sat down and started to write one anyway. Since then she has sold dozens of short storie ...more