Valerie Martin - The Ghost of the Mary Celeste - Orion Publishing Group

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    • ISBN:9781780226217
    • Publication date:04 Jun 2015
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    • ISBN:9780297870340
    • Publication date:20 Feb 2014

The Ghost of the Mary Celeste

By Valerie Martin

  • Hardback
  • £18.99

From the ORANGE PRIZE-winning author, an enthralling novel about an enduring mystery, an infamous mystic and Arthur Conan Doyle.

From the ORANGE PRIZE-winning author, an enthralling novel about an enduring mystery, an infamous mystic and Arthur Conan Doyle.

A mystery unsolved to this day
A mystic who confounds the cynics
A writer looking for the story that will make his name

A ghost ship appears in the mist. To the struggling author Arthur Conan Doyle, it is an inspiration. To Violet Petra, the gifted American psychic, it is a cruel reminder. To the death-obsessed Victorian public, it is a fascinating distraction. And to one family, tied to the sea for generations, it is a tragedy.

In salons and on rough seas, at séances and in the imagination of a genius, these stories converge in unexpected ways as the mystery of the ghost ship deepens. But will the sea yield its secrets, and to whom? Intricate, atmospheric, and endlessly intriguing, The Ghost of the Mary Celeste is a spellbinding exploration of love, loss and the fictions that pass as truth.

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  • ISBN: 9780297870326
  • Publication date: 20 Feb 2014
  • Page count: 320
  • Imprint: W&N
THE GHOST OF THE MARY CELESTE is a wonderfully ingenious novel, compelling, convincing and exciting. — John Banville
Valerie Martin is a writer of immense talent and insight. Her latest novel weaves a beautiful tale of loss, love and the connections that link us. One moment we're aboard the doomed ship, another we're in the pages of a diary, yet another we're looking at a tragedy. THE GHOST OF THE MARY CELESTE offers readers a riveting cast and evocative prose. — Yann Martel, bestselling author of LIFE OF PI
A masterpiece of fine detail and intense reimagining. — Christobel Kent, THE GUARDIAN
In December 1872, the brig the Mary Celeste was discovered in the middle of the Atlantic, headed for Gibraltar, perfectly intact, and with no one aboard. The famous mystery lies at the heart of this wonderful, truly haunting novel, but it's a mystery which this very talented American novelist approaches obliquely and from a handful of viewpoints, before and after the ship's disappearance... It is all really rather brilliantly done - fluently written, vividly imagined, moving and genuinely, chillingly spooky. — Harry Ritchie, DAILY MAIL
This tale of ghost ships, mystery writers and seances is dripping with atmosphere — THE TIMES
The Ghost of the Mary Celeste is an unusual page-turner from an Orange Prize-winning novelist, paying homage to Robert Louis Stevenson, Joseph Conrad and Conan Doyle — Hope Whitmore, THE INDEPENDENT ON SUNDAY
This is a fiction permeated by absence. Gradually we come to understand that it is not just the events about theMary Celeste that are unknowable: that mystery is merely a spectacular version of the enigmas that haunt all transactions. The amused clarity of Martin's prose lends itself well to anatomising the ineffable. — Jane Shilling, NEW STATESMAN
The discovery of the Mary Celeste in 1872, adrift and unmanned, continues to inspire and intrigue. The enigma surrounding its fate is retold in this riveting tale that delivers a convincing portrait of the era, while also sustaining our curiosity. Masterfully weaving fact and fiction, it focuses on the relationship between a cynical journalist and the psychic cousin of the missing ship's captain, as they both try to unearth what happened. Written in vivid prose, it is an evocative account of Victorian scepticism. A maritime ghost story that keeps you guessing. — THE LADY
A sly and masterly historical novel, a page-turner written with intelligence and flair — John Vernon, THE SCOTSMAN
Vivid descriptions of life at sea — THE MAIL ON SUNDAY
For a spooky sea-set tale, try Valerie Martin's The Ghost of the Mary Celeste, which gives the 19th-century story of an abandoned vessel a fine new spin — Erica Wagner, HARPER'S BAZAAR
This historical novel explores with eerie brilliance the stories that are created to make sense of things that are inexplicable... In this intelligent, impressionistic work, Martin never tackles the story of the ship's mysterious vanishing head-on. Instead, she plays with notions of 19th-century ghost and sensation stories to draw the reader into a death-obsessed Victorian culture. — Tina Jackson, METRO
Valerie Martin has woven a brilliant novel around the main characters whose lives were touched by this tragedy... This book is a true page turner. It reminded me somewhat of "The Luminaries" (somewhat shorter!) in the entwining of the lives of the main players... It is a highly readable, emotional (but never sentimental) version of events. Highly recommended both for groups and the individual reader. — NEWBOOKS MAGAZINE
Martin builds a fascinating world around her main players, blurring the line between fact and fiction with aplomb. But the author's richest writing is in the numerous moments where the story takes to the water - these passages are wonderfully evocative, vividly describing life at sea, where calm and beauty can give way to chaos and tragedy at a moment's notice. Part ghost story, part seafaring adventure, I recommend this to anyone who fancies bringing a bit of mystery into their literary lives — Chris Gray, IRISH EXAMINER
A sly and masterly historical novel, a page-turner written with intelligence and flair... Through her ingenious weaving of fiction and fact, she both 'solves' the mystery and (as one of her characters says) deepens it ... Valerie Martin never sacrifices the richness of her novel for easy answers. She's more interested in the questions. And so, then, are we. — NEW YORK TIMES (USA)
Martin, who won Britain's Orange Prize for her historical novel "Property", slips into the 19th century with the ease of a time traveler. Her period set pieces are superb, from descriptions of the Briggs family picking plums for jam ("The trees were dripping heavy, dark fruit") to Conan Doyle's scrutiny of the Mediterranean-themed garden a sea captain's widow has planted in a West Hampstead housing development, with rosemary bushes pruned into pyramids and pots of begonias "shiny as porcelain." — THE BOSTON GLOBE (USA)
an intricate, suspenseful novel — HISTORICAL NOVELS REVIEW
A bravura book — History Today
Valerie Martin has created a gripping fictionalisation of the passengers' stories — GOOD HOUSEKEEPING
THE GHOST OF THE MARY CELESTE is a wonderfully ingenious novel, compelling, convincing and exciting. — John Banville
Valerie Martin is a writer of immense talent and insight. Her latest novel weaves a beautiful tale of loss, love and the connections that link us. One moment we're aboard the doomed ship, another we're in the pages of a diary, yet another we're looking at a tragedy. THE GHOST OF THE MARY CELESTE offers readers a riveting cast and evocative prose. — Yann Martel, bestselling author of LIFE OF PI
A masterpiece of fine detail and intense reimagining. — Christobel Kent, THE GUARDIAN
In December 1872, the brig the Mary Celeste was discovered in the middle of the Atlantic, headed for Gibraltar, perfectly intact, and with no one aboard. The famous mystery lies at the heart of this wonderful, truly haunting novel, but it's a mystery which this very talented American novelist approaches obliquely and from a handful of viewpoints, before and after the ship's disappearance... It is all really rather brilliantly done - fluently written, vividly imagined, moving and genuinely, chillingly spooky. — Harry Ritchie, DAILY MAIL
This tale of ghost ships, mystery writers and seances is dripping with atmosphere — THE TIMES
The Ghost of the Mary Celeste is an unusual page-turner from an Orange Prize-winning novelist, paying homage to Robert Louis Stevenson, Joseph Conrad and Conan Doyle — Hope Whitmore, THE INDEPENDENT ON SUNDAY
This is a fiction permeated by absence. Gradually we come to understand that it is not just the events about the Mary Celeste that are unknowable: that mystery is merely a spectacular version of the enigmas that haunt all transactions. The amused clarity of Martin's prose lends itself well to anatomising the ineffable. — Jane Shilling, NEW STATESMAN
The discovery of the Mary Celeste in 1872, adrift and unmanned, continues to inspire and intrigue. The enigma surrounding its fate is retold in this riveting tale that delivers a convincing portrait of the era, while also sustaining our curiosity. Masterfully weaving fact and fiction, it focuses on the relationship between a cynical journalist and the psychic cousin of the missing ship's captain, as they both try to unearth what happened. Written in vivid prose, it is an evocative account of Victorian scepticism. A maritime ghost story that keeps you guessing. — THE LADY
A sly and masterly historical novel, a page-turner written with intelligence and flair — John Vernon, THE SCOTSMAN
Vivid descriptions of life at sea — THE MAIL ON SUNDAY
This historical novel explores with eerie brilliance the stories that are created to make sense of things that are inexplicable... In this intelligent, impressionistic work, Martin never tackles the story of the ship's mysterious vanishing head-on. Instead, she plays with notions of 19th-century ghost and sensation stories to draw the reader into a death-obsessed Victorian culture. — Tina Jackson, METRO
Valerie Martin has woven a brilliant novel around the main characters whose lives were touched by this tragedy... This book is a true page turner. It reminded me somewhat of "The Luminaries" (somewhat shorter!) in the entwining of the lives of the main players... It is a highly readable, emotional (but never sentimental) version of events. Highly recommended both for groups and the individual reader. — NEWBOOKS MAGAZINE
Martin builds a fascinating world around her main players, blurring the line between fact and fiction with aplomb. But the author's richest writing is in the numerous moments where the story takes to the water - these passages are wonderfully evocative, vividly describing life at sea, where calm and beauty can give way to chaos and tragedy at a moment's notice. Part ghost story, part seafaring adventure, I recommend this to anyone who fancies bringing a bit of mystery into their literary lives — Chris Gray, IRISH EXAMINER
A sly and masterly historical novel, a page-turner written with intelligence and flair... Through her ingenious weaving of fiction and fact, she both 'solves' the mystery and (as one of her characters says) deepens it ... Valerie Martin never sacrifices the richness of her novel for easy answers. She's more interested in the questions. And so, then, are we. — NEW YORK TIMES (USA)
Martin, who won Britain's Orange Prize for her historical novel "Property", slips into the 19th century with the ease of a time traveler. Her period set pieces are superb, from descriptions of the Briggs family picking plums for jam ("The trees were dripping heavy, dark fruit") to Conan Doyle's scrutiny of the Mediterranean-themed garden a sea captain's widow has planted in a West Hampstead housing development, with rosemary bushes pruned into pyramids and pots of begonias "shiny as porcelain." — THE BOSTON GLOBE (USA)
an intricate, suspenseful novel — HISTORICAL NOVELS REVIEW
A bravura book — HISTORY TODAY
Valerie Martin has created a gripping fictionalisation of the passengers' stories — Margaret Atwood, GOOD HOUSEKEEPING
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A chilling tale of murder and passion deep in the bayou from the Orange Prize-winning author of Property.Claude is a middle-aged man unwillingly attached to Mona, a woman obsessed with marriage and respectability. Then one night he meets the exotic Alexandra - regal, tall and spare, skittish and powerfully independent. When her rich friend Diana falls pregnant, Alexandra and Claude agree to accompany her to Diana's house hidden deep in the bayou, where they will assist her with the birth. They are joined by Collie, the housekeeper and Banjo, a drunken old handyman. At the house, Claude hears a disturbing and haunting story of a man similar to himself who was also involved with Alexandra and Diana and was found murdered in a hotel room.This is a gothic and mysterious tale set deep in the heart of the bayou.

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From the Orange Prize-winning author of Property, the story of a woman on the run from sexual obsession'An impressive writer...I admire her straightforward style and the intelligence and strength of her heroine' Ann TylerHelene is a woman constantly on the run. A social worker, she spends her days trying to sort out other people's lives. But her need for professional detachment carries through to her private life where she is pursued by a series of needy men - one simply mad and obsessive, another a drug addict whose habit is all-consuming, the third the partner of her best friend who has a cruel, selfish streak. People see in her the sort of person in whom they can confide their secrets and desires but Helene is determined never to give up the option to walk away.

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A Recent Martyr

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C. S. Forester

Cecil Scott Forester was born in 1899 in Cairo and educated in England. He went to Hollywood during the opening years of World War II to help write and produce 'propaganda' films that would convince U.S. filmgoers that the they should take the side of the British and Allies in the War, which led to such films as Eagle Squadron (1941). He is most famous for his celebrated Hornblower series. He died in 1966.

Chris Wooding

Chris Wooding is a full time, award-winning novelist, a YA novelist, and a professional script writer for film and TV. He has travelled extensively, plays bass and guitar (and has recorded several albums) and his novels have been published all over the world.He has penned the Braided Path trilogy, a standalone novel (The Fade) and the Tales of the Ketty Jay series for Gollancz, all of which were critical and commercial successes.Chris Wooding lives in Kent, and you can learn more at www.chriswooding.com.

Dave Pelzer

Dave Pelzer is recognised as one of America's most effective and respected communicators addressing corporations, conventions and health/psychology/primary care workers. His unique accomplishments have garnered personal commendations from Ronald Reagan and George Bush. He was selected as torchbearer for the 1996 Olympic Torch relay. He has dedicated his life to helping others help themselves.

Diana Gabaldon

Diana Gabaldon is the internationally bestselling author of many historical novels including CROSS STITCH, DRAGONFLY IN AMBER, VOYAGER, DRUMS OF AUTUMN, THE FIERY CROSS and A BREATH OF SNOW AND ASHES. She lives with her family in Scottsdale, Arizona. Visit her website at www.dianagabaldon.com

Diane Setterfield

Born in Berkshire, Diane Setterfield was educated at Theale Green Comprehensive School and Bristol University. Her degree in French literature led her to teach in universities in England and France, where she lived for several years. Diane's previous publications have been in the field of 19th and 20th century French literature, specialising in the writings of André Gide. After returning to the UK, Diane ran a business teaching French to those intending to live in France. She lives in London.

Emma Powell

Emma Powell's recent theatre credits include '.45' for Hampstead Theatre, Lady Macbeth and Lady Capulet for C Company, roles in 'Two Gentlemen of Verona' and 'Julius Caesar' for the RSC and 'Persuasion' and 'The Rivals' for ReCreation Theatre Company. Her Radio Drama work includes the classic series 'A Dance to the Music of Time' for Radio 4 and 'Use It or Lose It' for Radio 3 as well as the comedy horror podcast series 'In the Gloaming'. She also has many voice-over credits. GRACELING and FIRE are her first audiobooks for Orion.

Frank Herbert

Frank Herbert (1920-86) was born in Tacoma, Washington and worked as a reporter and later editor of a number of West Coast newspapers before becoming a full-time writer. His first SF story was published in 1952 but he achieved fame more than ten years later with the publication in Analog of 'Dune World' and 'The Prophet of Dune' that were amalgamated in the novel Dune in 1965.

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Gene Wolfe (1931 -) Gene Wolfe was born in New York in 1931 and raised in Texas. After serving in the Korean War he graduated in mechanical engineering from the University of Houston and worked in engineering until becoming an editor of a trade periodical, Plant Engineering, in 1972. Since retiring from this post in 1984, he has written full-time. The author of over three dozen award-wining novels and story collections, he is regarded as one of modern fantasy's most important writers. His best-known work, the four volume far-future Book of the New Sun, won the World Fantasy, BSFA, Nebula, British Fantasy and John W. Campbell memorial Awards. He has won the World Fantasy Award four times for his novels and collections and the World Fantasy Life Achievement Award for his extraordinary body of work. Gene Wolfe lives in Illinois with his wife, Rosemary.

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George Pelecanos was born in Washington, D.C. in 1957. He worked as a line cook, dishwasher, bartender, and woman's shoe salesman before publishing his first novel in 1992. Pelecanos is the author of twenty books set in and around Washington, D.C.: A Firing Offense, Nick's Trip, Shoedog, Down By the River Where the Dead Men Go, The Big Blowdown, King Suckerman, The Sweet Forever, Shame the Devil, Right as Rain, Hell to Pay, Soul Circus, Hard Revolution, Drama City, The Night Gardener, The Turnaround, The Way Home, The Cut, What It Was, The Double, and The Martini Shot. He has been the recipient of the Raymond Chandler award in Italy, the Falcon award in Japan, and the Grand Prix Du Roman Noir in France. Hell to Pay and Soul Circus were awarded the 2003 and 2004 Los Angeles Times Book Prizes. The Turnaround won the Hammett Prize for literary excellence in the field of crime writing. His fiction has appeared in Playboy, Esquire, and the collections Unusual Suspects, Best American Mystery Stories of 1997, Measures of Poison, Best American Mystery Stories of 2002, Men From Boys, and Murder at the Foul Line. He served as editor on the collections D.C. Noir and D.C. Noir 2: The Classics, as well as The Best Mystery Stories of 2008. He is an award-winning essayist who has written for The New York Times, The New Yorker, The Washington Post, GQ, Sight and Sound, Uncut, Mojo, and numerous other publications. Esquire magazine called him "the poet laureate of the D.C. crime world." In Entertainment Weekly, Stephen King wrote that Pelecanos is "perhaps the greatest living American crime writer." Pelecanos would like to point out that Mr. King used the word "perhaps." Pelecanos was a producer, writer, and story editor for the acclaimed HBO dramatic series, The Wire, winner of the Peabody Award, the AFI Award, and the Edgar. He was nominated for an Emmy for his writing on that show. He was a writer and co-producer on the World War II miniseries The Pacific, produced by Steven Spielberg, and most recently worked as a writer and Executive Producer on the HBO series Treme. Pelecanos lives in Silver Spring, Maryland. He is at work on his next novel.

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Graham Hurley

Graham Hurley is an award-winning TV documentary maker who now writes full time. He is married and has grown up children. He lived in Portsmouth for 20 years but now lives in Exmouth, Devon.www.grahamhurley.co.uk