By Barbara Michaels
It's a locate of inestimable worth for Karen Holloway. The battered manuscript she holds in her hand—written within the 19th century and bearing the mysterious attribution "Ismene"—could turn out a boon to the keen younger English professor's occupation. yet Karen's look for the author's actual identification is sporting her into the grey shadows of the prior, to locations fraught with probability and terror. For the deeper she delves into Ismene's unusual story of gothic horror, the extra she is haunted by way of the suspicion that the long-dead writer was once writing the reality . . . and that even now she is guiding Karen's research, prime her to bad secrets and techniques hidden at the back of the chilly partitions of homes of stone.
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She wasn’t the first female faculty member he had pursued, and she wouldn’t be the last. It was not difficult to understand why he picked on women who were younger and brighter than he. “Sorry, I’m late for a lunch date,” she said, moving away. ” Though they had arranged to meet at noon, Peggy was already there when Karen arrived. She had dismissed disgusting Joe Cropsey from her mind; her scowl had another cause, one Peggy interpreted accurately. ” Karen dropped into a chair. “I’m going to call him.
She shoved the plastic bucket into Karen’s limp grasp. ” When Karen returned, Peggy had invaded the cabinet and opened a bottle. Settling herself she began her narrative, recapitulating, as any trained lecturer would do: “Having tea with Simon. He caught me in flagrante. Like the gent he is, he invited me in instead of calling the cops. ” “I think I need a drink,” Karen muttered, acting upon the idea. ” Peggy hooked another chair with her toes and pulled it close, so she could use it as a footstool.
Not Simon. ” Karen couldn’t deny that. If it hadn’t been for Peggy’s offer, she’d be beating the hedges trying to raise money too. She waved away the menu the waitress offered her. “Taco salad,” she said. ” “You always have taco salad,” Peggy said. ” “Taco salad is fine,” Karen said abstractedly. ” “I’ve practically memorized the few pages I have. ” Karen smiled sheepishly. ” “It must be pretty good, then. ” “You understand,” Karen said, “that the beginning pages are missing. I don’t know how many pages.
Houses of Stone by Barbara Michaels