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The Devil's Serenade

3.61  ·  Rating details ·  67 ratings  ·  33 reviews
Maddie had forgotten that cursed summer. Now she's about to remember…

When Maddie Chambers inherits her Aunt Charlotte’s Gothic mansion, old memories stir of the long-forgotten summer she turned sixteen. She has barely moved in before a series of bizarre events drives her to question her sanity.

The strains of her aunt’s favorite song echo through the house, the roots of a
ebook, 166 pages
Published April 19th 2016 by Samhain Publishing
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Average rating 3.61  · 
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THE DEVIL'S SERENADE, by Catherine Cavendish, is a gothic-style haunted house tale. Maddie, a single woman starting her life over, is shocked to learn that her Aunt Charlotte--who she hasn't seen since she was sixteen--has left her the huge mansion that she lived in up until her death.

". . . This was a house that truly reflected the man who created it . . . "

The setting and the estate, itself, are immediately able to draw you into the story. The many rooms, unexplored floors, and half-glimpsed
Jan 28, 2016 rated it really liked it
Shelves: hauntings
When it comes to horror, sometimes the best scares are those just hinted at, kept off the page, or left open to explanation. It's that sense of doubt, that inability to trust our senses, that makes the reader so perfectly uncomfortable. It's a large part of why Gothic horror endures, and why the haunted house tale remains a classic.

The Devil's Serenade by Catherine Cavendish is a brilliant example of the genre, and even if it does show a bit more than we might expect in the end, the entire story
Rob Twinem
Mar 04, 2016 rated it liked it
Maddie inherits a Gothic mansion from her aunt Charlotte. She is puzzled and surprised by this gift but determined to make full use of the unexpected inheritance. She has decided for the present to reside there.

A series of unusual occurrences and events is somewhat concerning; what is the significance of the willow tree in the basement? what are the shady figures and apparitions that live within the confines of the house, in particular an elderly gentleman in a cloak. We learn that Maddie had a
Russell James
Feb 15, 2016 rated it it was amazing
Who tells a haunted house story better than Catherine Cavendish? Here, Maddie Chambers inherits the home of her aunt, where she spent many wonderful summers. But from the moment she arrives, she uncovers one dark secret after another.
It is hard to inject something new into a haunted house story, but Catherine manages many new new ideas in this overworked genre, and her story comes off fresh. Ghosts who were never living people, the world’s most terrifying basement, and an excellent twist reveal
Jun 24, 2017 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: kindle, horror
Overall an enjoyable read. Nicely creepy, if not outright scary.

Recently divorced Maddie moves into the very gothic looking home she inherited from her late Aunt. Maddie used to spend summers there as a child, up until something happened on her sixteenth birthday. Something she cannot remember. Once she gets there strange things begin to happen. Is she going crazy? Do neighbor Shona and handyman Charlie have anything to do with the bizarre happenings at her house?

Before I go any further, I have
Jan 31, 2016 rated it it was amazing
THE DEVILS SERENADE starts out much like any book you may have read lately. Woman inherits her aunt's estate and finds herself the owner of a gothic mansion and millions of (pounds? euros?). She spent summers with her aunt growing up and was happy about moving to the house. The strange sounds begin and this seems to be a haunted house.

Catherine Cavendish knows how to write smart and scary horror. This is so much more than a haunted house story. As Cavendish weaves the story and you think you've
Babus Ahmed
Aug 09, 2016 rated it really liked it
Maddie inherits a gothic manor when her aunt dies and decides to move in to begin her life afresh after her divorce. But her memories of spending her summer's with her aunt at the house stop abruptly when she reached sixteen and after a few strange occurrences after she has moved in, Maddie wonders what secrets the spooky house holds.

A haunted house story of epic proportions, which had me on the edge of my seat from the start. The atmospheric horror and suspense throughout the first part of the
Mar 08, 2016 rated it really liked it
Shelves: netgalley
4 stars

Huge thanks to Catherine Cavendish, Samhain Publishing and NetGalley for this copy in exchange for an honest review.

Haunted house novels are some of my very favourite of all time so I try and read as many as I can get my hands on.

This one was slightly different than I expected, massive tree swing the difference but I really enjoyed it! Didn't scare me which is a shame as I'm still looking for one that will but it didn't stop me from becoming involved in the story and working out the
Somer Canon
Jan 25, 2016 rated it it was amazing
This is a magnificent story, and boy do I mean it. I love haunted house stories and although this is certainly a bit more complicated than that, it's still amazing. Once the story got to telling the back story of Aunt Charlotte, I found it almost impossible to put down. Even the ending was superb. If you pass this over, you're seriously missing out.
Kimberly Hicks
Mar 15, 2016 rated it it was amazing
Recommends it for: Mature Audiences
Recommended to Kimberly by: Publisher
Shelves: read-on-kindle
Too bad this book wasn’t being published in October because it would have been a great one to read during my Spook-tacular October reads! Wow, this story made my senses so raw, every noise I heard made me take a second look and then immediately I went back to the story. (wink)!

Maddie Chambers fell into the lap of luxury (or curse) from her dear Aunt Charlotte who willed Hargest House to her along with all her wealth. If the cover of the book doesn’t give you a great visual of what this house was
David Sharp
Feb 04, 2016 rated it it was amazing

Fresh off writing Dark Avenging Angel, one of Beneath the Underground’s Top 20 Books of 2015 comes The Devil’s Serenade, a freshly classic venture into haunted house stories from author Catherine Cavendish.

Having spent a great deal of time at her aunt’s mansion, known as Hargest House, Madeleine Chambers now finds herself as the sole heir of the house and its property after the passing of her relative. Epic in its size and dark in its presence, her new home is filled with mysteries including a
Greg at 2 Book Lovers Reviews
I love a good, old fashioned haunted house story. The thing with the haunted house is that they are familiar. That old house down the road, grandma’s house, or that creepy old place you look at before buying your safe cookie cutter place in the burbs. Those old places have nooks and crannies where things hide in the shadows; they have creaks and squeaks that no one can explain. These houses have roots growing into their cellars and a nonexistent child skipping from one room to another, or at ...more
Susan Roebuck
May 01, 2016 rated it it was amazing
Reading a new book by Catherine Cavendish is always exciting because, to me, it's like getting into a cosy jumper that I love and feel comfortable in. That's what Ms. Cavendish's writing is like. I know exactly how easy she'll be to read, how descriptive, how brilliant the setting. And I know I'll be scared out of my wits (forget the jumper now).

Ms Cavendish is a bit of an aficionado of haunted houses (I think she even lives in one) so she's writing about what she knows in The Devil's Serenade.

Melanie Marsh
Feb 22, 2016 rated it really liked it

The Devil’s Serenade by Catherine Cavendish has all the elements you would expect from a good scary story; a big creepy house, a reclusive and sinister former owner, family secrets, rumors of the occult, and a fairly innocent heroine.

This book was interesting and had plenty of mystery and suspense to keep you guessing through the whole book. While having many of the same elements of other stories, The Devil’s Serenade is definitely unique as a whole. The pacing was good and there was always
Mar 01, 2016 rated it really liked it
As a young lonely child Maddie looked forward to her time spent at Aunt Charlotte's house. Maddie is an only child but her imagination creates the siblings she wishes she had. She is often scolded for talking to herself, but at Aunt Maddie's house she is free to chatter away to her imaginary brother and sisters while her parents are off on Safari. Now that Maddie is a grown woman and has inherited her Aunt's house she struggles to remember what happened the summer she turned 16 and why she never ...more
 Nyarlathotep Twelfth Month The Haunted Reading Room
Review: THE DEVIL'S SERENADE by Catherine Cavendish

Catherine Cavendish has a gift for scariness--always so, but on some occasions "great" becomes "exceptional" and the fright level achieves memorable. Such is the case with THE SECOND WIFE; LINDEN MANOR; and now, THE DEVIL'S SERENADE. There is true horror here, but there is also triumph--both human and spirit. The denouement scared me pale. Read with the lights on...and ignore those noises upstairs. They're just your imagination.
Daniel Keohane
Feb 06, 2016 rated it really liked it
An excellent, back-to-the-basics haunted old house story - a Gothic horror which doesn’t get too mired in on itself. The Devil’s Serenade builds a sense of dread, with genuine scares, right up to the climax.
Jun 22, 2017 rated it it was ok
It was okay. A few spelling errors that bugged me.

I wish it had been longer and given more time to flesh out. I felt the book didn't leave space or time to really connect with the characters as a reader. The characters themselves weren't given page space to develop the relationships with each other either, so it was rather unconvincing.

I really did not enjoy switching from first person perspective of Maddie the adult to third person with Maddie as a child. Getting Charlotte's perspective
Maddie has inherited her aunt's Gothic home and her fortune, a home where she spent her summers until she was 16. She decides to make it her own home, and begins renovations. It's difficult to make friends in her new town, because the townsfolk are frightened of the house and thought the aunt to be strange and secretive. She does make one friend, Shona, who may be hiding a secret off her own. Strange things begin to happen, forcing Maddie to flee, though she returns to the house. Will she ever ...more
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Too dark and a bit naive to my taste

I didn't read enough reviews I guess. Thought it to be of some psychological depth. It is not though. Turned out to be a teenager book about supernatural powers of good or evil where evil seems to win at the end. An okey read though. Nicely written. The start is intriguing page turned. Feelings and emotions are very well described.
Kathaleen A. Gregorich
Good haunted house story.

Good haunting story of house with evil and good. Two story lines merge into one! A good quick read for summer days or winters nights by the fire. I enjoyed the twists and turns!
Ann Grunloh
Jul 09, 2017 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Only if there's nothing else to read -

Story is fast-paced, but that's about it. It was $.99, still over-priced. Typical wanna-be scary story. I'll delete it from my library.
Leah Polcar
In a way, there is nothing super special about The Devil's Serenade . It is a pretty typical haunted house story: woman moves into inherited house, stuff of creepy nature ensues, big creepy origin of creepy stuff is revealed, all is resolved. Let's face it, this is a tough sub-genre – what can you do with a haunted house that makes it truly novel?

Cavendish does her best plot-wise in The Devil's Serenade. This is not 100% typical as in there is no well-to-Hell-in-the-basement or Indian burial
Reader's Hollow
Mar 07, 2016 rated it it was amazing
**We received a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review**

The author did an amazing job with suspense. Every turn that Maddie makes in that house when things start to go wrong had me on edge. There was plenty to be frightened of, and hinted at in that eerie house.

Maddie is a peculiar woman, but I think that's why I was getting to like her. She has a mystery to her past that I couldn't wait to sort out, and the author was careful to keep the cards close to her chest.

When Maddie inherits
Mar 01, 2016 rated it liked it
This review is based on an ARC I received from NetGalley. It is an honest review and the advanced receipt of it in no way affected my review or rating.

Official Summary (From Goodreads)

Maddie had forgotten that cursed summer. Now she’s about to remember…

“Madeleine Chambers of Hargest House” has a certain grandeur to it. But as Maddie enters the Gothic mansion she inherited from her aunt, she wonders if its walls remember what she’s blocked out of the summer she turned sixteen.

She’s barely settled
Digital Book Freak
Mar 21, 2016 rated it it was amazing
Recommends it for: All Horror & Paranormal Readers!
Review rating: 5+ Chilling Stars!


"Maddie had forgotten that cursed summer. Now she’s about to remember…"

Maddie has not been back since that summer. When her aunt Charlotte died, she left everything to Maddie, her money and the big imposing Hargest House.

The house has been left unattended for a while and Maddie decides to get help from the local handyman, Charlie.

Maddie's not even barely settled in when strange vision and sounds become the norm of her daily life at Hargest House.

"The roots of a
Mar 17, 2016 rated it really liked it
Shelves: e-books, netgalley
Maddie learns she inherits her aunt's house and her fortune, even though she hasn't seen her since she was 16. She spent many summers with her aunt at the house growing up and they were very happy and fun times, but that last summer she has no memory of. Once she gets to the house she decides to make repairs and make her home there. But things start to happen and she discovers more secrets than she ever knew possible. The town is scared of her home and she learns they think her aunt and the man ...more
Stuart West
Apr 07, 2016 rated it it was amazing
Ms. Cavendish's distinctive style of horror tales never disappoints and The Devil's Serenade is one of her best. In her newest novel, Cavendish combines old-fashioned, gothic plotting and setting with a newer kind of thrills, shocks and scares. And there are plenty to be had here. Between the covers, you'll find demons, ghosts, a haunted house, satanists, spirits (good and bad), a supernatural tree and murder. The plot revolves around Maddie who inherits her late aunt's creepy house...and ...more
Shehanne Moore
Apr 28, 2016 rated it it was amazing
Maddie Chambers hasn’t had a lot going for her in her life. Her parents spent all their time and money on themselves, her husband left her for her friend, and talking friends, even hers were mainly imaginary. Now that she’s inherited her aunt’s fortune and house in Priory St. Michael, certain things are surely about to change—just perhaps not as Maddie would like. Firstly there’s the tree, the one with roots in her cellar, there’s all kinds of things going bump in the night, and, did I mention ...more
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Hello, my name's Catherine Cavendish and I write horror fiction - frequently with ghostly, supernatural, Gothic and haunted house themes.

My latest novella - THE DARKEST VEIL - is out now from Crossroad Press. In case you were thinking of messing with an ouija board - don't. Especially if you're not prepared to follow the rules.

Also out now - from Flame Tree Press - THE HAUNTING OF HENDERSON CLOSE.