Narrator

Grace Conlin

Grace Conlin
  • The annual Historical Romance Writers of the World convention in New York City is calling to Jacqueline Kirby, a Nebraska librarian who desperately desires some excitement. But all is not love and kisses at this august gathering of starry-eyed eccentrics and sentimental scribes. As far as Jacqueline is concerned, the sudden "natural" death of a gossip columnist seems anything but. And when she's approached by a popular genre star who fears for her own life, the resourceful Ms. Kirby quickly goes back to work … as a sleuth.

    There's a sinister scenario being penned at this purple prose congregation. And when jealousy and passion are released from the boundaries of the printed page, the result can be murder.

  • Wharton's most erotic and lyrical novel, Summer explores a daring theme for 1917: a woman's awakening to her sexuality.

    Eighteen-year-old Charity Royall lives in the small town of North Dormer, ignorant of desire until the arrival of architect Lucius Harney. Independent yet kept from love until now by society's expectations, Charity finds herself wrapped up in a love affair with Harney.

    Like the succulent summer landscape in the Berkshires around them, Charity’s romance is lush and picturesque, but its consequences are harsh and real.

    Praised for its realism and candor by such writers as Joseph Conrad and Henry James and compared to Flaubert's Madame Bovary, Summer was one of Wharton's personal favorites of all her novels and remains as fresh and relevant today as when it was first written.

  • Ellie and Henry are young, rich, in love, and engaged. In the carefree days before marriage and new responsibility, Ellie is happy to accept hereccentric Aunt Kate's request that shehouse-sit atKate's palatial estate in Burton, Virginia. With its nearly invisible housekeepers and plethora of pets, Ellie feels right at home. Conventional Henry, however, finds Aunt Kate and her lifestyle a little hard to take, and so he departs. After he leaves, Ellie realizes that there are disturbing secrets about the local aristocracy buried in a dusty old book she has carried into the mansion—some thatextend to her own family.

    Suddenly, Ellie's interest in the past is attracting a slew of unwelcome guests—some of them living and some, perhaps, not. Unwittingly, she has aroused a terrible vengeance that is now aimed at her.

  • Scotland is Susan’s passion and obsession, and the opportunity to join a Highland dig is a dream come true for the young archaeology student. But then a sinister stranger slips Susan a cryptic message in ancient verse—and is later found viciously slain. A mysterious peril has unexpectedly emerged from the mists to haunt Susan, sending her running for her life in the company of handsome, unconventional laird Jamie Erskine. Caught up in international intrigue involving the trafficking of historical artifacts, Susan has an unseen enemy hiding in the shadows. That someone is going to great lengths to frame her for murder and to bury Susan, if necessary, in this land she loves.

  • A good salary and an all-expenses-paid summer spent a sprawling Arizona ranch is too good a deal for fledgling anthropologist D. J. Abbott to turn down—especially when it's six hundred miles from home. What does it matter that her rich new employer and benefactor, Hank Hunnicutt, is a certified oddball who is presently funding all manner of off-beat projects, from alien conspiracy studies to a hunt for dragon bones? There's even talk of treasure buried in the nearby mountains, but D. J. isn't going to allow loose speculation—or the considerable charms of handsome professional treasure hunter Jesse Franklin—to sidetrack her. Then Hunnicutt suffers a mysterious accident and vanishes, leaving the weirdos gathered at his spread to eye each other with frightened suspicion.

    But on a high-desert search for the missing millionaire, D. J. is learning things that may not be healthy for her to know. The game someone is playing here goes far beyond the rational universe—and it could leave D. J. legitimately dead.

  • For vibrant, lovely Jean Suttman, the fellowship to study in Rome was the culmination of her dreams, until she undertook an innocent expedition to the ancient Temple of Mithra. From the moment she stepped into the pagan darkness and discovered the corpse of Albert, one of her fellow students, she was afraid.

    Not even the comforting presence of the perceptive and practical Jacqueline Kirby could erase the fear that was nourished by one small accident after another, “accidents” that came dreadfully close to killing her. Someone was stalking Jean, someone ruthless and determined. Before long she could see no chance of rescue from the ever-present terror, no hope of escape, nothing but death.

  • Another exciting tale following the adventures of art history professor Vicky Bliss—who keeps getting involved in international crime.

    An assistant curator of Munich's National Museum, Vicky Bliss is no expert on Egypt, but she does have a PhD in solving crimes. So when an intelligence agency offers her a luxury Nile cruise if she'll help solve a murder and stop a heist of Egyptian antiquities, all 5'11" of her takes the plunge. Vicky suspects the authorities really want her to lead them to her missing lover, the art thief and master of disguises she knows only as "Sir John Smythe." And right in the shadow of the Sphinx she spots him—with his new flame. Vicky is so furious at this romantic stab in the back, not to mention the sudden arrival of her meddling boss, that she may overlook a danger as old as the pharaohs and as unchanging … a criminal who hides behind a mask of charm while moving in for the kill.

  • Sara Stanley is only fourteen, but she can weave tales that are impossible to resist. In the picturesque town of Carlisle, children and grown-ups alike flock from miles around to hear her spellbinding tales.

    When Bev and Felix, two city boys, are sent to Carlisle for the summer, they are captivated by this very different rural island and by Sara Stanley, the Story Girl. Their vacation becomes a time for magic and mischief as they spend their days with Sara and the eccentric local people, with a mysterious blue treasure chest and intrepid cat, and experience an ordeal that may cost a friend his life.

    But woven through the sunlit days and starry seaside nights is another kind of enchantment as well—one spun by the tales of the talented Story Girl. She tells tales of love and death, good and evil, and wondrous times and lands that exist only in the imagination. Like all stories written by L. M. Montgomery, these are timeless stories that live forever in our hearts.

  • An unexpected gift has arrived for Carol Farley this Christmas: an envelope bearing a newspaper clipping and no return address. There, blurred but unmistakable, is a photo of a man missing for years and feared dead—Carol’s father. It is a siren calling her to a world she has never known, to a place of ancient majesty and blood-chilling terror.

    Now, surrounded by towering pyramids on Mexico City’s Walk of the Dead, a frightened yet resolute young woman searches for a perilous truth and for the beloved parent she thought was gone forever. But there are dark secrets lurking in the shadows of antiquity, a conspiracy she never imagined, and enemies who are determined that Carol Farley will not leave Mexico alive.

  • A story filled with danger and excitement, Johnny Tremain tells of the turbulent, passionate times in Boston just before the Revolutionary War.

    Johnny, a young apprentice silversmith, is caught up with Otis, Hancock, and John and Samuel Adams in the exciting and dramatic operations and subterfuges leading up to the Boston Tea Party and the Battle of Lexington. As Johnny is forced into the role of a full-grown man in the face of his new country’s independence, he finds that his relations with those he loves change for the better as well.

    Winner of the Newbery Medal in 1943, the year of its publication, Johnny Tremain is historical fiction at its best, portraying Revolutionary Boston as a living drama, through the shrewd eyes of an observant boy.

  • When Sara Stanley, the Story Girl, returns to Carlisle to spend the winter with the King family, she comes up with a great idea. To help them through the dreary months ahead, she, Felicity, Cecily, and Dan will publish a magazine. From Personals to Fashion Notes, from the etiquette column to its stories of the most interesting happenings in Carlisle, Our Magazine quickly becomes the most entertaining publication anyone in town has ever read.

    But seasons pass, nothing is forever, and soon it will be time for the Story Girl to leave her good friends on Prince Edward Island, friends with whom she has walked the golden road of youth.

  • Welcome, once again, to the charming byways of Avonlea and its people, as created by one of Canada’s most beloved authors. In this volume of heartwarming tales, a Persian cat plays an amazing role in a marriage proposal, a young girl risks losing her mother in her quest to find her father, and a foolish lie threatens to make an unattached woman the town’s laughingstock. These fifteen short stories together present a piquant and fascinating picture of life in the villages and country surrounding Avonlea.

  • Listeners will be thrilled to know that Anne Shirley does appear in these wonderful stories of Avonlea and Spencervale. In fact, page one starts off with Anne curled up on the window seat of Theodora Dix's sitting-room, where Anne spent a fortnight of her vacation.

    However, most of the people who appear in this book are new to listeners of the Anne books. There are Ludovic and Theodora, Felix Moore and his grandfather, Little Joscelyn and Aunty Nan, Old Man Shaw's Blossom, and many others, all delightfully drawn with Lucy Montgomery's unique talent of insightful description.

    All the charm of Anne of Green Gables and Anne of Avonlea can be found in this gently sentimental and humorous book.

  • It was the start of a grand adventure in a land of antiquity: a rare opportunity to visit biblical places rich in tradition and shrouded in mystery. But in the middle of Beirut, a world away from everything she knows, Dinah Van der Lyn suddenly hears angry voices through the wall of her hotel. The voices are followed by a crash and cries for help—in English. The brutal shattering of an evening's stillness becomes a prelude to terror.

    Without warning, Dinah is drawn into something unholy transpiring in the sacred city. Her search for the answers hidden in the shadows will take her to the fabled cities of Sidon, Tyre, Damascus, and Jerusalem. And as she races through ancient, twisting streets, teeming with secrets and peril, she is forced to trust an enigmatic stranger, a man who may be leading her to safety—or to her doom.

  • When twenty-four-year-old Eric Marshall arrives on Prince Edward Island to become a substitute schoolmaster, he has a bright future in his wealthy family’s business. Eric has taken the two-month teaching post only as a favor to a friend—but fate throws in his path a beautiful, mysterious girl named Kilmeny Gordon. With jet black hair and sea blue eyes, Kilmeny immediately captures Eric’s heart. But Kilmeny cannot speak, and Eric is concerned for and bewitched by this shy, sensitive mute girl. For the first time in his life, Eric must work hard for something he wants badly, and there is nothing he wants more than for Kilmeny to return his love.

  • This spare, mesmerizing novel is Edith Wharton’s money-can’t-buy-happiness tale. Young Stephen Glennard is poor, but he has an unanticipated gambling chip: a collection of love letters from a scorned but now famous lover, the distinguished novelist Margaret Aubyn. To raise money for his forthcoming wedding to another woman, Stephen stoops to selling the letters. His decision brings him wealth and admission to society, but a mystery contained in the missives comes back to haunt him, and it may take a madness of guilt to remind Stephen that he does, after all, have a conscience.

    Betrayal, greed, and consequences faced make this sly, masterful story a deft social and psychological portrait to stand with Wharton’s best.

  • The winsome Anne Shirley is grown, has been married to her beloved Gilbert Blythe for fifteen years, and is the mother of six spirited children. When a strange family moves into a nearby mansion,Anne and her family are drawn into a host of trials, schemes and triumphs. The Meredith family is comprised of two boys and two girls, a minister father but no mother, and a runaway girl named Mary Vance. The clever and mischievous Meredith kids join Anne's children in a private hideout to carry out plans to save Mary from the orphanage, to help the lonely minister find happiness, and to save a pet rooster from becoming a soup ingredient.

    In this, another of L. M. Montgomery's beloved books, the sun-dappled world of Rainbow Valley is always full of adventure and delight.

  • The lethal stuff of legends

    For Jessica Tregarth, an unexpected invitation to visit her grandfather in England comes as a wonderful surprise, an opportunity to open doors to a family history that have always been closed to her. But her arrival is greeted by mysterious villains who pursue her through Cornwall, their motive and intentions unknown. Jessica's only clue is an antique heirloom she possesses, an ancient ring that bears the Tregarth family crest. Her only ally is handsome gothic novelist David Randall—her self-proclaimed protector—who appears seemingly out of nowhere to help her solve a five hundred-year-old puzzle.

    Something out of the cloudy mists of Arthurian lore has come back to plague a frightened American abroad, and a remarkable truth about a fabled king and a medieval treasure could ultimately make Jess Tregarth very rich—or very dead.

  • One of the classic works on interior decoration, Edith Wharton's The Decoration of Houses offers a comprehensive look at the history and character of turn-of-the-century interior design. Cowritten with architect Ogden Codman, Jr., this invaluable reference provides us with numerous keen and practical axioms for house design, such as (1) The better the house, the less need for curtains, and (2) the height of a well-proportioned doorway should be twice its width.

    In the words of John Barrington Bayley, President of Classical America, "this book has charm. The Decoration of Houses brings to mind the pictures of Walter Gay: There are the reflections in looking-glasses, and on parquet, and the garnitures of chimney-pieces, boiseriers, the odor of wax; outside the tall glazed doors there is a sunny silent terrace, we are now at Mrs. Wharton's Pavillon Colombe—a well laid out parterre, a rose garden, and an orchard of Reinette apples and luscious double cherries."

  • In a remote English country mansion, modern devotees of the infamous King Richard III, immortally villainized by Shakespeare, have gathered for a grand weekend of role-playing and Ricardian scholarship. Jacqueline Kirby, an attractive American librarian attending the festivities, anticipates only one mystery to be raised: the five-hundred-year-old question of whether Richard truly killed the little princess in the Tower of London.

    Jacqueline is amused at the group’s eccentricities—until history begins to repeat itself. A dangerous practical joker recreates famous fifteenth-century murder methods: beheading, poisoning, smothering, and even drowning in a butt of malmsey. As the jokes become more and more macabre, one at last proves fatal.

    Racing to untangle the murderous puzzle, Jacqueline puts all her observations together for a dazzling solution that will surprise even the most attentive listener.

  • She may be a bestselling author, but ex-librarian Jacqueline Kirby's views on the publishing biz aren't fit to print. In fact, she's thinking of trading celebrity for serenity and a house far away from fiendish editors and demented fans, when her agent whispers the only words that could ever make her stay: Naked in the Ice.

    Seven years ago, this blockbuster skyrocketed Kathleen Darcy to instant fame. Now the author's heirs are looking for a writer to pen the sequel. It's an opportunity no novelist in her right mind would pass up, and there's no doubting Jacqueline's sanityuntil she starts digging through the missing woman's papers—and her past. Until she gets mixed up with Kathleen's enigmatic lover. Until a series of nasty accidents convince her much too late that someone wants to bring Jacqueline's story—and her life—to a premature end.

  • On a trail that leads from modern wonders to ancient mystery, a determined young woman and an arrogant "prince" must uncover shocking secrets carefully guarded in a beautiful Danish city.

    Elizabeth Jones, vacationing from her New York publishing job, is off to do touristy things in Denmark: gawk at the Little Mermaid, stroll in the Tivoli … look for a missing person?

    By a strange twist of fate—and luck—the plane ride introduces Elizabeth to her idol, Nobel Prize–winning historian and famed eccentric Margaret Rosenberg, as well as to her long-suffering but handsome son, Christian. But luck can change in an instant. Margaret soon vanishes in Copenhagen, so Elizabeth joins the irascible Christian in searching the city, from underground crypts to the graves of queens. What they encounter is a baffling ransom demanding a bathrobe, not money, and what they dig up will connect a modern disappearance with an ancient artifact, along with the oldest of motives for crime.

  • One of Edith Wharton’s most acclaimed works, The Custom of the Country is a blistering indictment of materialism, power, and misplaced values. Its heroine, Undine Spragg, is one of the most ruthless characters in all of literature, as selfishly unscrupulous as she is fiercely beautiful. When her family acquires a small fortune, they leave America’s heartland and head east. As Undine climbs the social ladder through a series of marriages and affairs, she shows little concern for who she has to step on to get anything and everything she desires. Her rise to the top of New York’s elite society—before moving on to conquer Paris as well—provides a poignant and scathing commentary on the unquenchable ambitions of America’s nouveau riche.

  • There might be worse fates than spending a few months at Idlewood, Laurie thought, as the Chicago winter howled around her. It was, after all, the the beloved family home where she found comfort and peace as a lonely young girl. Certainly her Aunt Ida's invitation was well intentioned, and she couldn't really have meant what she said: "I have nothing of which to complain, considering my age. I only hope I will be taken before my mind fails. Fairies in the woods, indeed!"

    But when Laurie and her brother, Doug, arrive at the family home in the Maryland countryside, they find that things are very different now, and that Aunt Ida may actually have reason to fear. There is no peace in Idlewood. The haunting sound of a distant piping breaks the stillness of a snowy winter's evening. Seemingly random events have begun to take on a sinister shape—and something is indeed in the woods.

  • Digging up a buried past could lead to a premature death, for there is a dangerous secret that is centuries old—as old as the treasure of Nefertiti.

    Althea Tomlinson comes back to Egypt as just another tourist, showing the country to a spoiled seventeen-year-old.That's what she tells herself, anyway.The truth is more complex—and dangerous. Ten years ago, something that happened in this desert land brought about her father's ruin and subsequent death—and Althea intends to clear her disgraced parent's name and finally lay a dark past to rest. But there are some mysteries best left buried in the shifting sands, and a devoted daughter's search for answers is stirring up forgotten memories almost too painful to endure that propel her onward among ancient tombs, legendary treasures, miraculous discoveries—and ever-closer to her own threatened doom.

  • First published in 1899, this revolutionary novel so disturbed critics and the public that it was banished for decades afterward. Now widely read and admired, The Awakening has been hailed as an early vision of woman's emancipation. Rooted in the romantic tradition of Melville and Dickinson, it is the story of twenty-eight-year-old Edna Pontellier, a surprisingly modern woman trapped in a dehumanizing marriage and in search of self-discovery. Turning away from convention and society toward her primal instincts for passion and freedom, Edna abandons her family to realize herself as an individual. But her quest leads to her destruction by a society that grants no place for those unfulfilled by marriage and motherhood.

    Set in New Orleans and the Southern Louisiana coast, The Awakeningis one of the most important novels written by an American woman in the nineteenth century and a landmark work of early feminism.

  • The five little Peppers are an adorable family of children growing up in a small town and cared for by their widowed mother. She is so poor that the pittance she earns as the town seamstress fails to support or even sustain the family.

    The children are happy despite privation, and the smallest pleasures cause delight and merriment in the little house. Everything happens to this brood while mother is away sewing, and no matter how dangerous the situation, they come out of it safe and smiling.