While visiting her sister, a woman becomes ensnared in a cursed house.
Serena’s last memories of California are of her sister Amanda’s wedding to Sutton Condit, a wealthy rancher from Monterey’s oldest family. But when she remembers those days, she doesn’t think of the bride but instead dreams of Jem, a sturdy young man who won her heart so completely that, when she couldn’t have him, she fled to New York. Four years later she returns for a visit, and Jem is as charming as ever. He hasn’t changed, but everything else on the Condit ranch has.
Bitterness has crept into Amanda’s entourage, and strange secrets pollute the fine California air. Something terrible is afoot in the Condit mansion, and Serena has just begun to sense it when Sutton’s aunt tumbles off a cliff near the house. The old woman’s plunge seems like an accident until more murders follow. Nothing can protect Serena from the menace that haunts Monterey.
“Suspense to the very end.” - The New York Times
“You can’t beat Mignon Eberhart.” - New York Herald Tribune
“One of the great ladies of twentieth-century mystery fiction.” - John Jakes, author of the Kent Family Chronicles
Mignon G. Eberhart (1899-1996) wrote dozens of mystery novels over a nearly six decade-long career. Born in Lincoln, Nebraska, she began writing in high school, trading English essays to her fellow students in exchange for math homework. She attended Nebraska Wesleyan University, and in the 1920s began writing fiction in her spare time, publishing her first novel, The Patient in Room 18, in 1929. With the follow-up, While The Patient Slept (1931), she won a $5,000 Scotland Yard Prize, and by the end of the 1930’s was one of the most popular female mystery writers on the planet.
Before Agatha Christie ever published a Miss Marple novel, Eberhart was writing romantic crime fiction with female leads. Eight of her books, including While the Patient Slept and Hasty Wedding (1938) were adapted as films. Made a Mystery Writers of America grandmaster in 1971, Eberhart continued publishing roughly a book a year until the 1980s. Her final novel Three Days for Emeralds, was published in 1988.