Saturday, July 22, 2023

Vanish with the Rose - Keeper Shelf Review

Goodreads:  Vanish with the Rose by Barbara Michaels

Rating:  Really Liked It! (4.5 Stars)
Source:   Publisher

Description:  Fearing for the safety of her missing brother, lawyer Diana Reed will do anything to get to the truth. Taking a job as a landscape architect at the last place Brad was seen—the sprawling estate where he worked as a caretaker—she prowls the strange old house determined to unlock its secrets. But each mystery Diana uncovers is more unsettling than the last, as odd visions, scents, and sounds pervade an atmosphere of dread and barely suppressed violence. And in her zealous search for answers, she may have inadvertently opened a door to something frightening and deadly that can never be closed again.

Genre: Mystery - Gothic

Why I Picked This Book:  I'm reading books off my keeper shelf to determine if they still deserve their place on the shelf.

My Impression:  This is one of my favorite Barbara Michaels' book and every time I reread it I remember exactly why that is.  Diana is at the the Nicholson home under false pretenses.  This house was the last place her brother was seen 8 months ago and she is determined to figure out what happened to him.  I'm all about a good quest and especially when that quest becomes a team effort.  The team is Diana - young lawyer pretending to be a landscaper, Andy - the son of the owner, lover of dogs, cactus, old cars, and wild theories, Mary Jo - ex-wife of main suspect in Diana's brother's death, fleeing said suspect as he has no issues with violence, hard worker but someone who has kept her world stripped bare while she focuses on bettering her life, and Walt - actual landscaper who worked with Diana's brother at one time.  There's also a lot going on with flashes of supernatural memories, a long dead skeleton, and just what happened to Diana's brother all those months ago.  

This book is a lot of fun.  I really liked the team in this one.  They're very different people and tend to drive each other crazy but they also have each other's backs and all bring their own unique strengths to the table.  I love the talk of the roses and gardens and I loved the character of Baby, a St. Bernard, with an usual protective habit. At just over 400 pages it is a bit of a heftier page count for Michaels but reads super fast.  What keeps this from being a 5 star read is a few minor plot points that don't resolved as well as wanting a bit more detail with the actual resolution.  Overall, this book has definitely earned its place on my Keeper Shelf and I'm looking forward to reading it again.

Would I Read More of this Series/Author?  Of course!  Barbara Michaels (and her other pseudonym Elizabeth Peters) is one of my favorite authors and I have so many of her books that I enjoy rereading.

Would I Recommend this Book?  Absolutely!  If you love mysteries with a bit of a gothic feel this is an entertaining read.


  1. I've read everything Elizabeth Peters but nothing Barbara Michaels.

    Anne - Books of My Heart

  2. I don't even remember this Barbara Michaels' book, even though I know I've read them all. I'm sorry I don't have a copy of this one sitting on my own shelf.

  3. Interesting plot and great review!

  4. I know that I have some Elizabeth Peters books hiding somewhere on my Kindle. This does sound like a fantastic read!

  5. Every time I read your reviews of this author I think I should try her, this one sounds great - like the idea of Baby.

  6. I've never read anything by this author but heard so many good things about her.