Houses of Stone

Front Cover
Berkley Books, 1994 - Fiction - 384 pages
1 Review
When young professor of English Karen Holloway happens on a privately printed volume of verse dating from the early nineteenth century, it's all in a day's work. But when a battered manuscript bearing the same mysterious attribution, "Ismene, " turns up, Karen realizes that it is an important discovery that could be the making of her academic career. Karen immerses herself in a headlong search for the true identity of the unknown author, tracking the provenance of the manuscript to Virginia's historic Tidewater region. She is not alone in her quest; academic rivals shadow her steps, trying to gain possession of the valuable manuscript, and the locals are more inquisitive about her activities than seems natural. Fortunately, Karen has the help of her eccentric and able mentor, Peggy, whose historical expertise proves to be invaluable. And, as she painstakingly deciphers the crabbed, charred pages, she begins to wonder whether she has the assistance of Ismene herself. Is the tale of Gothic horror that Ismene tells not a novel but a memoir, the very possession of which may jeopardize Karen's life? Ismene's legacy calls out from the past, from an eerie world fraught with terrifying impressions of fire and ice that will not die until the painful truths that inhabit houses of stone are revealed.

What people are saying - Write a review

LibraryThing Review

User Review  - grundlecat - LibraryThing

If someone had written a book just for me, this would be it. When I finished reading it the first time, I went back to the beginning and started it all over. Old houses, old books, wonderful stuff. Read full review

Other editions - View all

About the author (1994)

Barbara Mertz was born on September 29, 1927 in Astoria, Illinois. She received a bachelor's degree in 1947, a master's degree in 1950 and doctorate in Egyptology in 1952 from the University of Chicago. She wrote a few books using her real name including Temples, Tombs and Hieroglyphs (1964), Red Land, Black Land (1966), and Two Thousand Years in Rome (1968). She also wrote under the pen names Barbara Michaels and Elizabeth Peters. She made her fiction debut, The Master of Blacktower, under the name Barbara Michaels in 1966. She wrote over two dozen novels using this pen name including Sons of the Wolf, Someone in the House, Vanish with the Rose, Dancing Floor, and Other Worlds. Her debut novel under the pen name Elizabeth Peters was The Jackal's Head in 1968. She also wrote the Amelia Peabody series and Vicky Bliss Mystery series using this name. She died on August 8, 2013 at the age of 85.

Bibliographic information