“The thing that inspires me to think up a story is the place,” Wendy Webb says in an interview with Publishers Weekly for her newest book, THE FATE OF MERCY ALBAN, released from Hyperion this February. “When I go into or see an old house, I wonder, what could happen there? What secrets are lurking around every corner?”
As Webb writes in her guest post on She Reads, Glensheen Mansion in Duluth, Minnesota, sparked her first imaginings of Alban House, the family home around which THE FATE OF MERCY ALBAN revolves. Like Glensheen Mansion, Alban House was built on the edge of Lake Superior in the 1800s by a powerful family. Local legend has it that Glensheen is haunted, and Webb's novel is nothing if not a modern-day haunted house story.
In THE FATE OF MERCY ALBAN, Grace Alban has successfully avoided her family home for more than twenty years when her mother dies and she returns to attend the funeral and settle her mother's estate. Chilling discoveries soon follow concerning long-buried family secrets, a lost manuscript, and the decades-old mystery of a party at Alban House during which a famous author committed suicide and Grace's aunt disappeared.
Since its release, THE FATE OF MERCY ALBAN has climbed to the #3 spot on the Heartland Indie Bestseller List. It was an Indie Bound Next Pick and a Midwest Connections Pick. iTunes declared it among the Best Fiction and Literature of February. Some of the excellent reviews received so far follow:
“Webb plots a tale rife with dark family secrets, hidden passageways, love, intrigue and witchcraft.” --Kirkus
“If you're craving a good old-fashioned ghost story to scare you on these cold nights, this is it.” --St. Paul Pioneer Press
“This second novel by Minnesota Book Award-winning writer Wendy Webb has all the elements of a downright haunting story—and it is. But there’s also romance along the way to provide relief...Be prepared to be scared—and entertained.” --Star Tribune
“After reading this book, I plan to keep Wendy on my radar...THE FATE OF MERCY ALBAN is a chilling, good read!” --Cheryl's Book Nook Blog
“Webb has crafted a modern take on a classic genre--the Gothic ghost story… What did I love the most? The house--I want to explore all those hidden passages and back staircases to unused rooms.” --A Bookworm's World Blog
“Webb's novel had me hooked from the get go and I would not put it down until I had finished the last page...I got goosebumps a number of times whilst reading this book...I would definitely recommend THE FATE OF MERCY ALBAN to anyone and everyone who loves to read spooky novels” --A Bookish Way of Life Blog
“If Sarah Waters and Stephen King had a love child, it would be Wendy Webb!” --M.J. Rose, international bestselling author of THE BOOK OF LOST FRAGRANCES
“In the gothic tradition of REBECCA, Wendy Webb's intoxicating mystery follows one family's effort to confront the secrets of its own sordid past as they haunt the last remaining members of the storied Alban clan. Hidden passages, portraits with moving eyes, and the conflicting mandates of wealth, power, and love weave together to create a story that will send chills down your spine. Read in a well-lit room!” --Katherine Howe, New York Times bestselling author of THE PHYSICK BOOK OF DELIVERANCE DANE
“A perfect read for a dark and stormy night.” --Phillip Margolin, New York Times bestselling author of PROOF POSITIVE.
Hyperion, February 2013