Thursday, May 29, 2008

Similar to Mary Stewart

I'm always interested in finding authors whose books are similar in some way to Mary Stewart's. Same sort of tone, similar plots or settings.

Here are some authors that I've tried and can recommend as very good:

Barbara Michaels is a pseudonym of Barbara Mertz, who also writes historical fiction under the name Elizabeth Peters. Under the Michaels name she writes gothic suspense novels, which often have romantic threads running through them.


Daphne du Maurier is most famous for Rebecca, which is an amazing book. I haven't read any of her others but mean to in the future.


M.M. Kaye wrote a series of "Death in" books. Death in Kashmir, Death in the Andamans, etc. All feature young English women in exotic settings caught in dangerous situations. (She also wrote my favorite children's book of all time, The Ordinary Princess, which is not at all like anything Mary Stewart ever wrote but still fabulous.)


Susanna Kearsley writes lovely suspense novels, some contemporary and some historical (and some a combination of both!). My favorites are The Shadowy Horses and The Winter Sea.

And a few other authors I've seen mentioned as similar to Stewart but haven't read:
Victoria Holt, Dorothy Eden, Phyllis Whitney

Anyone have any other suggestions?

19 comments:

Kerry said...

I've seen Susanna Kearsley mentioned before and thought her books looked interesting, but they seem to be very hard to find here - not in the library certainly - so I haven't tried her out.

I've read M.M.Kaye (I totally agree about The Ordinary Princess) but not any of the "Death in" books.

And I've read Rebecca and a couple of other duMauriers.

The other authors are ones I've heard of but not read.

Jennie said...

Kerry--You're in Australia? Or am I remembering wrong? I think Kearsley books can be hard to find even here in the US, though I definitely think they're worth the effort. And The Winter Sea just came out in the UK, so I imagine that would be the easiest one to get.

I haven't read any of Kaye's "Death in" books in a few years, but I remember liking them very well. One heroine was named Copper, which I loved. ;) Her historicals are great too--The Far Pavilions esp.

Kerry said...

I'm in New Zealand, so close enough. I'll try to keep Susanna Kearsley in the back of my mind so I notice if I see her books around.

I went into a bookstore for the first time in ages yesterday (since I read mostly American books I tend to shop online or buy ebooks) and I was horrified at the prices. An average mass market paperback was okay (for New Zealand) at about $21, but as soon as the books got a bit thicker the prices were jumping up to $26 - $30. No wonder people are reading less if books are so expensive because that doesn't even take into account the trade paperbacks that so many books are relased as these days. I hope there's a corresponding upsurge in library use or people aren't reading because it's too expensive which is really, really sad.

Wendy said...

Has anyone read any of Carol Goodman's books? Her latest, The Sonnet Lover, is especially reminiscent of Mary Stewart.

sofies said...

Kerry, you definitely have to try Susanna Kearsley - her books are extremely well written, especially her newest one, The Winter Sea. and of all the authors I've ever been recommended as writing similar types of books to Mary Stewart, she comes the closest while still keeping her own special identity. Some of her books can be got quite cheaply used, through amazon.

Christy B said...

How fun to stumble upon a Mary Stewart blog! I've read some of the "like" authors and agree with the recommendations. M.M. Kaye's Death in... popped into my head first. Rebecca is my favorite book ever. And I really like Jamaica Inn also by Du Maurier. I remember liking Frenchman's Creek quite a bit when I was younger, sort of a pirate adventure love story. Then there are some odd Du Maurier books that I didn't love, so don't dive into a new author without getting some title recommendations too...

Wow, scanning this blog brings back a lot of teenage/young adulthood memories. Back then, I also read any Barbara Michaels/Elizabeth Peters, Phyllis Whitney and Victoria Holt that I could find in the library. Those were the days. Wish I had as much time to read now!

Anonymous said...

Love Mary Stewart! Another historical fiction author I've enjoyed is Jeanne Williams. Especially Home Mountain.

Anonymous said...

Wonderful to find this site -- Mary Stewart is one of my all-time favourite authors. I've also read MM Kaye's "Death in" books and agree that they're pretty close in style. Otherwise I've had to step further afield into Georgette Heyer (e.g., "Venetia" or "The Nonesuch" in Regency times or "Footsteps in the Dark" set in the 1930s is suspenseful and fun and well-written) and to Dorothy Sayer's books with Peter Wimsey and Harriet Vane ("Have His Carcase" and "Gaudy Night"). Oh yes -- Josephine Tey is very, very good, a beautiful, low-key style; she also wrote in the '50s ("Bratt Fararr", "The Singing Sands", "The Franchise Affair" and "The Daughter of Time"). Thanks for the tip about Susanne Kearsley!

somebirdsarelikethat said...

I know it's an old post, but I'm still adding my two cents! Victoria Holt is a little like Mary Stewart, but without the same beauty...I really liked Jane Aiken Hodge's "Greek Wedding." Fairly similar to Stewart's "Gabriel Hounds" in tone.

Thanks for all the other recommendations! I've made a list for my next trip to the library.

Terri said...

I've been looking for a spot to just say THANK YOU for this website. I have looked for such a site over the years, wishing someone would do it. You have more than exceed anything I would have thought of. I discovered Mary Stewart in the 70's and have never found an author I enjoy so much. I read Phyllis Whitney and Victoria Holt in the 70's, as well, and, while I enjoyed them, they do not compare to Mary Stewart's works. She is such a beautiful writer, and draws you into not just the story, but the location. My dream is to visit the location of each book, although we would never be able to see the sites as she saw them. I have had to replace my favorite books several times, since I tended to wear them out! I loved seeing all of the covers! Thanks again for such a wonderful website!

Rebekahrox said...

I would like to recommend Isabelle Holland. She wrote excellent romantic suspense, similar in tone to Barbara Michaels, with a twinge of humor. Subsequently, she wrote a series of 4 mysteries about a woman episcopalian priest: excellent, but not in the vein of Mary Stewart. She also wrote some childrens books, several of which are considered classics.

Anonymous said...

Susanna Kearsley is a great writer being a fan of Mary Stewart i was at a lost as to what to read after, well worth the effet. You can buy susanna kearsley's books from Booktopia and Fishpond at reasonable prices

desertdreams said...

Another good author to consider is Madeleine Brent, who wrote "Moonrakers Bride" and Merlins Keep" --two novels of historical romatic suspense which I have read and re-read several times. I don't think these books are still in print but they can be bought used online.

Oscar M. Himejima said...

To anyone who's doubting whether to read Kearsley or not, I seriously suggest the read. She is a splendid author. I've read everything of hers and I honestly cannot get enough. My two personal favourites written by her are The Splendour Falls and The Shadowy Horses.

You honestly won't regret it if you are a fan of Mary Stewart!

Linda said...

I am ecstatic to have discovered a Mary Stewart blog! Stewart is undoubtedly my favourite author of all time - my high school English teacher memorably read us My Brother Michael back in 1970. I love Stewart because she is so highly literate and describes her exotic settings with such meticulous care and provides such interesting historical information. Her heroines are beautifully spoken and smart; the heroes educated and sensitive. The love stories leave most to the reader's imagination (such a delight). I am currently on my third reading of her books (this time with Kindle). I read Stewart's books so slowly to drench myself in her wonderful settings and beautiful English - and to make them last! There are not enough of them and I am thrilled to discover ideas for other authors who are similar - thank you so much! Have made a note of several.

poisongrl said...

Under du Maurier be sure to read Flight of the Falcon, My Cousin Rachel and Frenchman's Creek.

Anonymous said...

I know this may be off the mark but one of my all time favorites was actually a man - Dick Francis - a brit who specialized in horse racing mysteries (unfortunately died a few years ago) but he has many books out there. And they are all great!

Anonymous said...

I know this may be off the mark but one of my all time favorites was actually a man - Dick Francis - a brit who specialized in horse racing mysteries (unfortunately died a few years ago) but he has many books out there. And they are all great!

Margo said...

Thank you so much for this post (and this blog). I am on a Mary Stewart, Georgette Heyer jag right now and I'm just sorry Mary Stewart didn't manage to write more! I love her books so much. So I wrote down every single recommendation :)

I've read and liked MM Kaye. I liked Jamaica Inn by duMaurier.