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on April 27, 2001
Well, I am not the best mystery reader, but I was kept in suspense until I FINALLY figured it out ie when the author disclosed exactly "who-dun-it." So you can imagine the state of my household while I gasped with horror and terror at every turn of the page---neglectfully letting babies cry and starve and laundry unwashed as I nervously continued on, determined to find out who killed----what if------surely not Miss Emily!! Etc... All in all---very good story. An eccentric couple wins the lottery and purchases and renovates their dream house in Old Virginny. In steps our heroine, a lawyer undercover as a rose expert, there to help the couple replant the old family garden. The couple goes away, three "suspects" move in, a love story in the background, gosh, what else could there be? A little "lecture" on how hard it is to get funding for historic preservation, good one, Ms Michaels, and overall, you have one delicious novel! This is one of her good ones. Read it!
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VINE VOICEon September 10, 2005
Vanish with the Rose is an astounding murder mystery with a twist of paranormal. My sister recommended this book and what a wonderful adventure. The basic story is about a lawyer who pretends to be rose expert to solve a haunting mystery. You have mix of murders, ghosts and amazing friendships. She finds herself falling love with the old house and developing compassionate friends. I would recommend this book and I would also suggest The Ice House by Minette Walters.
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on July 8, 1999
This book exerted an energy towards me, not much unlike the paranormal forces Diana felt in the house. The energy was alive with laughter, excitement, apprehension and fear. Every page was filled with shivery anticipation of what deadly secrets Diana would discover next and I found myself unable to put the book down until my fears were appeased a little. I loved every character, especially Andy, whose wit and charm and unnerving loquacity (genetic, right?) made him the perfect hero for this suspense novel. Diana is the kind of woman any sensible young girl wants to grow up to be--- independent, clever and as tough as nails. She finds that deception and betrayal have close ties to love and obligation. Her brother, Brad, teaches her this from the grave and Diana becomes aware of inner strength she never knew she had. It's one of the longest Michaels' books I've ever read and I loved it.
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on August 9, 2010
This is a favorite I reread every summer or so. This suspense takes place during a Virginia spring.

It's the characters who draw me back. This cast of four is outstanding.

It's set in a rural, rundown mansion being renovated by a lively pair of elderly lottery winners who are offstage most of the book.

Andy, the hapless son of the endearing wife, is my favorite. Tall, gangly, talkative, he lives and bumbles on the page, with a history of saddling his mother and stepfather with "vintage" cars and animals that need a home. That includes Baby, a Saint Bernard trained to protect women. Her MO? Knock them down and recline on them until the danger passes.

Walt is a builder hired to do the work. Tall, muscled, prickly, he's dragged into a dab of dishonesty by an attractive, cool Philly attorney, and it doesn't sit well.

Diana is searching for her younger brother. Brad worked for the former owner of the house, and disappeared from there. Diana has gained entry by posing as a landscape architect hired to recreate the gardens, especially the rose gardens--and it doesn't sit well. Plus, Diana is, for the first time, flying in the face of her powerful, domineering father to do this.

Fiercely independent Mary Jo has several jobs, including working for Andy's parents, goes to school, and has an abusive ex-husband who turns up shooting.

Bring them all together in the old Musser mansion, season them with a little attraction, a dash of the paranormal, a spoonful of the history of roses, throw in a short, parallel historical story, and they start looking out for each other. Add a bevy of animals, and another keeper is born.

And every chapter begins with a lovely quote or verse about roses.

Like I said, a keeper.
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on February 15, 2000
This was the first of Barbara Michael's books that I ever read, and what a way to start! This book is incredible, very intelligent, well researched, and completely entertaining. I have since read all of her books, including those under Elizabeth Peters, and I have yet to be disappointed. If you want a book to make you think, I reccomend snagging this one.
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on May 16, 2015
I enjoyed Vanish with the Rose. It had a gardening theme (roses were the focus, of course) and the main characters were quite likeable. I wanted the characters to solve the mystery and I am glad the romance went the way it did. It is a perfect book for vacation reading -- the right mix of mystery, romance, and paranormal.
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on June 1, 2015
I have read many really good books by Barbara Michael’s, but sadly, this isn’t one of them. The book started off good. Being a big fan of the old Gothic/Romance/Suspense genre I always love the stories with the girl in a big old (possibly haunted) house with some sort of mystery and danger going on. I did think the premise of this sounded good and the first three or four chapters had me so interested I could not put it down. But then, like so many other of Ms. Michael’s books, the story suddenly grinded to a halt and devolved into one long, boring conversation after another between the main characters. Either two of them were talking together, or three of them or sometimes all four. They talked about this and they talked about that and then they talked about this again. Seventy percent into the book I was still forcing myself to read through boring conversations with an occasional few paragraphs dropped in to move the story along an inch or so. I have to say that I have read many books by Barbara Michael’s that I really loved, but it seems to be hit and miss with her. Some books are great and others are like this one. Too much filler and not enough story.
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on January 2, 2014
I am addicted to Elizabeth Peters 'series' books but the books written under her other pseudonym of Barbara Michaels are not as interesting. They belong to a somewhat different genre I suppose, so they don't hold the same interest for me as the Egyptology books, or Art History books of her two 'series'.
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on May 12, 2016
This book has everything! Supernatural, but not "in your face;" romance,but not torrent; and humor, but not slap stick. Also you'll learn a lot about roses and landscape gardening. A real page turner!
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on September 17, 2014
Could not get beyond 100 pages! I usually give a book about 50 pages and if there is any interest, I can continue. I gave this book the benefit of the doubt but there is no plot. One hundred pages and all I learned about was landscaping and roses. If I had not read the jaacket blurb I wouldn't have had a clue that the lead character's brother was missing! Would only recommend if you are into slow-moving stories.
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