INTRODUCING A NEW LINE OF CAROLYN HART CLASSICS, each with a new introduction by the author! Leah Devereaux is a dead woman. At least, that's what the folks now running the Devereaux plantation tell her: Leah has been presumed dead for nineteen years--since the day that both her parents died. Leah, very much alive, has returned to South Carolina to uncover the untold story of her parents' deaths. While some, like her cousin Merrick, welcome her, Cissy and John Edward tell her to stay away, tell her to stop meddling in secrets long kept. When a ghost known only as the Whispering Lady appears once again at the Devereaux plantation after years of absence, the locals know it's an omen of death. Merrick and Leah may be the next targets. . . . From the Trade Paperback edition.
In the new introduction to this Carolyn Hart classic reissue, Hart (What the Cat Saw) explains just how difficult it was for a woman to publish mysteries in the late 1970s ("New York believed in two kinds of mysteries, the hard-boiled private eye books written by American men and traditional mysteries written by dead English ladies"). Leah Devereaux Shaw's quest to locate other family members after the death of the grandmother who raised her takes Leah to a historic plantation in South Carolina, where she finds a ghost, danger, and love. Despite the dated, formulaic plot, this "gothic romance" (as it was labeled on first publication in 1986) shows the promise of the future winner of multiple Agatha, Anthony, and Macavity awards. Hart fans will appreciate what were later to become the author's signature elements: the Lowcountry setting, the vivid physical description, and surprising twists.