Good Minds Suggest: Kate Morton's Favorite Past/Present Mysteries

Posted by Goodreads on October 5, 2015

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Do the long-unanswered questions of cold cases keep you up at night? Kate Morton can relate, although her carefully plotted novels aren't likely to lull you to sleep; instead these are stories that brim with unsolved mysteries, family secrets, and gothic atmosphere. The Australian author of four bestsellers—The House at Riverton, The Forgotten Garden, The Distant Hours, and The Secret Keeper—has now penned her fifth, The Lake House, a mystery that weaves together two timelines, set 70 years apart. While visiting her grandfather in Cornwall in 2003, London police officer Sadie Sparrow stumbles on a haunting cold case, the disappearance of a child. She begins to investigate and learns of the Edevane family, their idyllic country estate, and the night in 1933 that their 11-month-old son went missing. Morton shares five of her favorite mysteries that intertwine past and present, because secrets this juicy simply shouldn't stay buried.

The Forgetting Time by Sharon Guskin
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"The premise is irresistible: a single mum whose little boy suffers nightmares and keeps asking when he can go home. The only problem is, he's already there. Determined to find out what's happening, she teams up with a professor of psychology whose lifetime obsession with things unseen has alienated him from his colleagues. Their search leads them to the door of a woman whose son has been missing for eight years, and finally answers seem close at hand. Part mystery and part meditation on a mother's love for her child, this clever, heartfelt book kept me turning pages long into the night."

In Falling Snow by Mary-Rose MacColl
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"A beautifully written novel combining three of my favorite things: history, mystery, and memory. An elderly woman called Iris receives an invitation to the reunion of a group of nurses who operated a hospital in France during the First World War. We know immediately that something happened back then that makes Iris reluctant to attend and soon learn that she's been keeping a deep secret for a very long time. Luckily for us, the invitation's arrival jolts Iris's memory and takes us with her into the past, where MacColl brings wartime France to vivid life."

A Dark-Adapted Eye by Barbara Vine
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"Vine is the mistress of the psychological mystery. Her stories weave between the present and the past and center on a secret that refuses to stay hidden. A Dark-Adapted Eye opens in the viewpoint of a girl called Faith, who's sitting in the kitchen of her parents' house, waiting for something terrible to happen. We soon realize that Faith's Aunt Vera is to be put to death that morning for the murder of her beloved younger sister, Eden. The rest of the book, set in England during the Second World War, seeks to uncover why."

Rebecca by Daphne du Maurier
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"'Last night I dreamt I went to Manderley again...' It's one of the best first lines ever, and Manderley, the house at the story's heart, is a magnificent creation, a place of menace and foreboding (not least due to its keeper, Mrs. Danvers), based on the real-life Cornish house, Menabilly, with which du Maurier was fascinated. I love books where the house is a character, especially when it keeps a deep, dark secret. For its brooding atmosphere and tangible sense of place, this suspenseful mystery about the haunting of the present by the past is one of my favorites."

The Go-Between by L.P. Hartley
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"A man looks back on his life to remember the hot English summer of 1900, when as a schoolboy he went to stay with a friend in a grand country house and found himself acting as the go-between for a pair of star-crossed lovers. 'The past is a foreign country: they do things differently there' is the famous opening line, and as the novel progresses, this statement plays out with devastating consequences. Not a mystery so much as a tragedy, The Go-Between is elegantly written and has a strong sense of place; most satisfying of all, there's a perfect inevitability to the unfolding story and its ultimate conclusion."

Vote for your own favorites on Listopia: Best Dual-Time Historical Literary Fiction

Comments Showing 1-13 of 13 (13 new)

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message 1: by Laura (new)

Laura What a great list! Of these, Rebecca is the only one that I have read. Thanks for adding to my want-to-read shelf!

message 2: by Verna (new)

Verna Dame adding to my growing list....

message 3: by Jean (new)

Jean Zich Rebecca is one of my long time favorite books I have ever read. Loved it so long ago, should pick it up again and read it.

message 4: by Marcy (new)

Marcy Susanna Kearsley should be on this list too, am really enjoying her work.

message 5: by Nancy (new)

Nancy thanks for this list,have 3 picked out to read. Have read Rebecca an also saw the movie...

message 6: by Debbie (new)

Debbie Lawrence Read all of Kate Morton but the newest...thanks for reminding Too many books, not enough time!

message 7: by Pat (new)

Pat I wonder why this author would name a novel THE LAKE HOUSE, when Marci Nault and James Patterson already have novels titled THE LAKE HOUSE. For goodness sake, doesn't anybody research previously published titles anymore?

message 8: by Syed (new)

Syed Muniruddin I read Rebecca when I was around 20. Presently I'm past 80 and yet have a very deep impact not reduced with the passage of time.

message 9: by Marge (new)

Marge Difilippo Pat wrote: "I wonder why this author would name a novel THE LAKE HOUSE, when Marci Nault and James Patterson already have novels titled THE LAKE HOUSE. For goodness sake, doesn't anybody research previously pu..."

Yes I was wondering the same thing I also saw the movie The Lake House which probably was made from the James Patterson novel. This has already happened a few times with other authors and titles and will make it too confusing. Maybe there is no patent on a book name or movie name anymore

message 10: by Paul (new)

Paul Dicker Great list - thanks - have added three to my 'want to read'!

message 11: by Linda (new)

Linda Wise Rebecca is one of my all-time favorites too. Are Rebecca fans aware that Susan Hill (author of The Woman in Black) wrote a sequel titled Mrs. deWinter. And Rebecca's Tale by Sally Beauman is both a prequel and a sequel, exploring who exactly Rebecca was and her past, as well as what happened after the fire.

message 12: by Beryl (new)

Beryl Anderson I still haven't read Rebecca so that is my choice.

message 13: by Dianne (new)

Dianne Gardner Thank you for giving me some new reads to add to my list. I look forward to reading Kate's new book as I've read all her previous novels.

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