Enter your mobile number or email address below and we'll send you a link to download the free Kindle App. Then you can start reading Kindle books on your smartphone, tablet, or computer - no Kindle device required.

  • Apple
  • Android
  • Windows Phone
  • Android

To get the free app, enter your mobile phone number.

Buy New
$7.99
FREE Shipping on orders with at least $25 of books.
Only 8 left in stock (more on the way).
Ships from and sold by Amazon.com. Gift-wrap available.
Houses of Stone has been added to your Cart
Have one to sell? Sell on Amazon
Flip to back Flip to front
Listen Playing... Paused   You're listening to a sample of the Audible audio edition.
Learn more
See all 2 images

Houses of Stone Mass Market Paperback – January 27, 2009

3.8 out of 5 stars 45 customer reviews

See all 16 formats and editions Hide other formats and editions
Price
New from Used from
Kindle
"Please retry"
Mass Market Paperback
"Please retry"
$7.99
$3.94 $0.01

Doubt (Caroline Auden)
Newbie lawyer Caroline Auden risks her life to expose a biotech giant’s deadly secrets. Learn More
$7.99 FREE Shipping on orders with at least $25 of books. Only 8 left in stock (more on the way). Ships from and sold by Amazon.com. Gift-wrap available.
click to open popover

Frequently Bought Together

  • Houses of Stone
  • +
  • The Walker in Shadows
  • +
  • The Crying Child
Total price: $23.97
Buy the selected items together

Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

The bestselling romantic suspense author ( Vanish with the Rose ) falters here with a novel that lacks both romantic intrigue and suspenseful plotting. The story begins well, with vivid descriptive writing and convincing dialogue briskly setting up the premise. Karen Holloway, an ambitious assistant professor at an unnamed women's college in the Northeast, learns of a previously unpublished novel by a 19th-century author known only as Ismene. Since she herself made Ismene famous in the academic world by publishing a volume of her verse, Karen knows her reputation will skyrocket if she can buy the manuscript from the bookseller who found it and issue it with her commentary. She and her colleague Peggy Finneyfrock (a well-drawn character) travel to a dilapidated estate in Virginia's Tidewater region in search of clues to Ismene's identity. But other academics are also in hot pursuit, and Karen finds herself haunted by nightmares brought on by the claustrophobic themes in Ismene's work ("houses of stone" is a phrase from one of the pseudonymous author's poems). Michaels's attempt to bring feminist critical ideas into the mainstream results in conversations that sound like lectures, and her plot's initial momentum bogs down in extraneous details, overly intricate narrative twists and the sporadic appearances of Karen's prospective lovers, who seem decidedly secondary to the main story.
Copyright 1993 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

From Booklist

Michaels sets her heroine, Professor Karen Holloway, to the task of discovering the provenance of a remnant from an old manuscript. Holloway is convinced that it is a thinly disguised autobiographical novel by an obscure feminist poet whose verses have already helped Holloway carve a niche in the cutthroat business of academia. The professor's archenemies, two fellow literature experts, are equally convinced of the work's value and attempt desperate measures to gain access to the manuscript. Michaels has composed a mystery that is brimming with suspense yet revolves around authorial research rather than money and multiple murders. One of her best. Denise Perry Donavin --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
If you buy a new print edition of this book (or purchased one in the past), you can buy the Kindle edition for only $1.99 (Save 50%). Print edition purchase must be sold by Amazon. Learn more.
For thousands of qualifying books, your past, present, and future print-edition purchases now lets you buy the Kindle edition for $2.99 or less. (Textbooks available for $9.99 or less.)
  • Thousands of books are eligible, including current and former best sellers.
  • Look for the Kindle MatchBook icon on print and Kindle book detail pages of qualifying books. You can also see more Kindle MatchBook titles here or look up all of your Kindle MatchBook titles here.
  • Read the Kindle edition on any Kindle device or with a free Kindle Reading App.
  • Print edition must be purchased new and sold by Amazon.com.
  • Gifting of the Kindle edition at the Kindle MatchBook price is not available.
Learn more about Kindle MatchBook.


The latest book club pick from Oprah
"The Underground Railroad" by Colson Whitehead is a magnificent novel chronicling a young slave's adventures as she makes a desperate bid for freedom in the antebellum South. See more

Product Details

  • Mass Market Paperback: 384 pages
  • Publisher: Harper; Reprint edition (January 27, 2009)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0061582999
  • ISBN-13: 978-0061582998
  • Product Dimensions: 4.2 x 1 x 6.8 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 5.6 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 3.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (45 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #176,940 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

By A Customer on February 11, 2001
Format: Mass Market Paperback
What a delight! This is a Gothic romance on at least three levels. It's like being invited to an intimate tea party with Ms Mertz (Ms Michaels' real name) together with a select group of literary types who love Jane Austen and the Bronte sisters and enjoy Ms Michaels' work, at which tea party she shares her trade secrets, explains her love for the genre and plays a clever parlour game with her guests.
At the most basic level, in the book the heroine is an English literature academic who discovers an unpublished manuscript of a Gothic romance written round about the beginning of the 18th century. Chunks of painfully but authentically purple prose are conjured up by Ms Michaels for our delectation, in the approved Gothic romance style, complete with a decrepit ancestral mansion, heroine in psychological distress and physical danger, a Deadly Family Secret, and two male protagonists either of whom could be the hero or the villain. More than a story, there is a real mystery as to who the writer is and how her novel related to real events.
Meanwhile, the heroine, while demonstrating the art of researching a gothic novel and expounding on the genre (e.g. as representing women's oppression and powerlessness in a male dominated world), is herself trapped in one. She is in physical danger, she has just escaped a suffocating marriage and is still ensure of precisely how she wishes to operate in a male dominated world, and she has to work out which of two men is the hero and which is the villain. There's even a Family Secret lurking. This is the level which usually constitutes a Barbara M, and this is handled with above average dexterity - snappy scenes, real characters and good pace.
Read more ›
1 Comment 13 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
Report abuse
By A Customer on February 22, 2000
Format: Mass Market Paperback
I've reread this book at least half a dozen times, and the ending still gives me chills. It's writing like this that keeps me a faithful fan of Barbara Michaels', despite the occasional loser novel she comes up with.
Comment 5 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
Report abuse
By A Customer on December 31, 1998
Format: Mass Market Paperback
I love this book. I enjoyed every minute with the lead character and thought her friends were the perfect foils to bring out her character quirks. The plot is fantastic--gothic horror, modern romance, feminist ideas, dueling lovers, best girlfriends--it's all here! I was in suspense to the very end, and I liked the ending. I've read this book twice so far and have recommended it to friends. Also, each chapter is headed by a pithy saying that you'll want to quote to certain men in your life. I wish Barbara Michaels would write a sequel (hint hint).
Comment 4 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
Report abuse
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
It's kind of slow getting started and there's a lot of irrelevant rambling that seems to meander all over the place before getting down to the good stuff. I thought the side-kicks were more interesting than the heroine, who seemed somewhat one-dimensional and slightly boring. The gist of the plot is interesting and I was eager to finally learn the identity of Ismene, but was disappointed at the ending. It was just confusing.
Comment Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
Report abuse
Format: Mass Market Paperback Verified Purchase
The mystery was fairly interesting, and I liked how the book Karen was investigating paralleled what was happening to her. I didn't love the ending though; it felt a bit rushed, and I just wasn't really satisfied by it.
Comment Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
Report abuse
Format: Mass Market Paperback Verified Purchase
This was a re-read--I always had loved the Michaels books as well as her Amanda Peabody books, but man, this was a slog to get through, even though the quotes about women writers were fascinating. It felt dated,even for a book written in 1993, with the over-the-top feminism theme. The main character isn't likeable and her relationships with every other character are awkward and friction-filled. The ghost story is a clunker and the ending unsatisfactory and not really believable. The humorous bits were sort of out of tune with the rest. It was just slow, to boot. I'm an English teacher and am interested in the literary discussions but I can't imagine most other people wanting to read all that. I guess I forgot this was one I didn't like? I've read every book she's written. Give me Ammie Come Home...
Comment Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
Report abuse
Format: Mass Market Paperback
I love the Amelia Peabody novels by Elizabeth Peters, but I'm finding it hard to believe this book was written by the same person. The dialogue is lame, the characters are cliches, the humor falls flat, there is a lot of filler, the characters are constantly explaining things to each other (for the reader's benefit) that all of them should know already, and the plot goes nowhere fast. To be fair, the Amelia Peabody novels aren't terribly plot-focused either, but they are funny. This one just doesn't work.

On the positive side, I continue to be astonished by the virtuosity of the audiobook reader, Barbara Rosenblatt. I'd listen to just about anything if she was reading it.
Comment 3 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
Report abuse
By Kim Talbert on September 20, 2014
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
I LOVED THIS BOOK. THEN AGAIN I HAVE READ SO MANY OF BARBARA MICHAELS BOOKS I HAVEN'T FOUND ONE THAT I DIDN'T ENJOY. SHE IS SUCH A GREAT AUTHOR. SHE CAPTIVATES YOU IN ALL HER BOOKS. I HIGHLY RECOMMEND IT.
Comment Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
Report abuse

Most Recent Customer Reviews

Set up an Amazon Giveaway

Houses of Stone
Amazon Giveaway allows you to run promotional giveaways in order to create buzz, reward your audience, and attract new followers and customers. Learn more about Amazon Giveaway
This item: Houses of Stone

What Other Items Do Customers Buy After Viewing This Item?

Pages with Related Products. See and discover other items: psychological thriller, suspense thrillers