When Suzanna Dirkston, daughter of wealthy shipping tycoon Leopald Dirkston, is told her father is dead, only she believes it cannot have been an accident. Reluctantly forced to return to the family homestead, Beacon, a huge, ostentatious mansion set high atop a bluff overlooking Lake Michigan, Suzanna is quick to sense the air of mystery and intrigue that hangs over the house and its inhabitants. But her first shock comes when she discovers that her father, true to form, is still trying to neatly manipulate her life even from the grave. His will stipulates that she must marry Grant Fenton, a man Leo rescued as a child from poverty and groomed to replace him at Dirkston Shipping. If she does not accede to the conditions of the will, Suzanna, her half-brother Colin, Colin's wife, Alicia, and Grant will be left penniless. As if this is not enough she is suddenly plagued by strange dreams, mysterious apparitions and ghostly visitations. Suzanna begins to fear not only for her sanity, but for her life as she unravels bit by bit the gruesome reality that lies hidden amid the shadows in the mist.
"Countless readers who yearn for more of Mary Stewart's blend of romance with mystery, and for whom Barbara Michaels cannot alone fill the gap, should welcome Maureen McMahon's debut novel with open arms."
Author of: Death Train To Boston, the Fremont Jones mysteries
and the upcoming new release Beacon Street Mourning
"Hooked by the first page, I read Shadows In The Mist at a gulp.
"Suzanna's father, Leo, has fought his way to the top by dominating everyone and arranging things so they go his way. Suzanna has finally broken away to realise her dream of writing romantic novels, but while she struggles with the beginning of her second manuscript she receives news of her father's death. Racked by guilt and regret, Suzanna returns home to Beacon, her father's "castle". Here family, staff and friends are gathered and as Suzanna reacquaints herself with the family dynamics, she begins to suspect that Leo's death was not the accident it seems.
"Almost as unsettling is her father's will, insisting that she should marry his protegee, Grant, the young man he has groomed to take over the company. The marriage goes ahead, but more and more doubts begin to surface. There are too many accidents, too many loose ends - even too many suspects. Who
can Suzanna trust? Her in-name husband? Her ex-fiancé? Her half-brother? Her alcoholic sister-in-law? Her father's friend? And what about the cook and the housekeeper? Complications pile up as even Jenny, an old and dear friend, becomes embroiled in the mystery. The only constants in Suzanna's world are the strange shapes she sees in the mist and the uncommon perspicacity of Kong, the black cat.
"Matters come to a head at the Hallowe'en party...
"Shadows In The Mist is a great read, lively and engrossing. The mystery is well-handled, and the author plays fair. The clues are there, but are not too obvious. The setting is well-observed, with Suzanna's affinity for water and wide spaces nicely implied. The romance is fairly low-key, and the plot, with its well-realised characters and choice of villain and/or hero reminded me of some of Barbara Michaels' books. Shadows In The Mist should appeal to fans of mystery and suspense touched by romance.
"Of special note is the author's nice turn of phrase and the appearance of a delightfully atypical psychic."
Author of : Night Must Always Come, Powderflash,
In Search Of A Husband, Trinity Street and many more.
"Maureen M. McMahon is reminiscent of Jane Austen, there is gothic beauty in her writings.
"Haunted by the death of her father, Leo Dirkston, and the strangeness of his will, Suzanna Dirkston is forced into an unwanted marriage with Grant Fenton, Corporate Lawyer and Leo's right-hand man.
"Strange apparitions and ghostly dreams (could her father be warning her from the grave?) leave Suzanna wondering who at Beacon she could trust."Torn between her growing love for Grant Fenton mixed in with her ever-present mistrust of him, Suzanna grapples with her emotions. Murder, mayhem, love and hate haunt you until the final nerve-splintering page.
"Maureen M. McMahon has written a book I dare you to put down."
Author of: WINDS OF HEAVEN and NO GOOD WITHOUT YOU
"Suzanna Dirkston returns home to Beacon, her father's estate, when she learns of his accidental death. She steps through the front door and into a hotbed of intrigue, treachery and danger. Her father's will decrees that she must marry his assistant, Grant Fenton, in order to receive her inheritance. If she refuses, neither she nor her half-brother, Colin, will receive a penny. Everyone waits impatiently while she tries to decide what to do, including Colin's wife, Alicia, and Suzanna's ex-fiancé, David. The situation grows more serious when it begins to look as if her father's death wasn't an accident...and it soon becomes apparent that the killer thinks she knows too much.
"Maureen McMahon has written a taut, suspenseful story with paranormal and gothic overtones that compares favorably with the best of Victoria Holt. Her style is fresh, her characters well drawn, the plot line compelling. The reader is pulled into the story from the first sentence, and McMahon doesn't let up on the tension until the final word. A gripping first novel from a writer sure to top the charts!"
Author of: LADY OF THE TWO LANDS, SINCE ALL IS PASSING and FATAL FORTUNE
"Told from a first-person perspective, this is an excellent mystery with romance and a paranormal element. There are enough suspects to keep one guessing, but not so many as to be confusing and the villain is not all that apparent."
Susan Mobley for:
ROMANTIC TIMES MAGAZINE
"If you like books where you are on the edge of your seat waiting to see what will happen next, this is definitely the book to read!...I was shocked when I actually realized who the bad guy was. I had suspicions but a 'red herring' was always thrown in my path before my suspicions were founded. I totally enjoyed this book."
Four Thumbs Up
Kathy Boswell for
"Barbara Michaels move over! There's a new kid on the block. Warning to readers: Don't pick up SHADOWS IN THE MIST unless you plan to finish it in one sitting. Ms. McMahon's enticing blend of suspense, mystery, paranormal, and romance will hold you spellbound from first word to last with elegant prose, extraordinary characters, and a setting that will take your breath away. This book belongs in the number one position on your "must read" list. Fabulous!"
Author of Diamondback and winner of the 2000 Derringer Award for short fiction
"I thoroughly enjoyed reading Shadows in the Mist. It was a well-crafted book with excellent characterisation."
Anna Jacobs author of over 100 best sellers including the Gibson family saga, Blackshaw Moss, Birch End, Ellindale, Greyladies and many more
This wonderful story by Maureen McMahon has a little bit of everything to keep you turning pages! Romance, ghostly visitations, family betrayal, deception as well as an unraveling murder mystery will most certainly hold the reader's interest. The story is elegantly crafted so that the reader feels like they are within the confines of the story. I really enjoyed reading the entire story for the pace was excellent. I would certainly recommend this book to anyone with a love for all the element of a superb story. I see more great novels in the future from this author!
© Maureen McMahon 2001
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