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Pale as the Dead

Natasha Blake is a detective with a difference. She's an ancestor detective, an ambitious young genealogist with a passion for history; whose choice of career is partly driven by the mystery of her own roots. Natasha's investigations are a matter of life and death, involving secrets, scandals and supernatural happenings; forgotten tragedies and buried crimes. The trails she must follow lead her from her Cotswold home to ancient houses, deserted chapels, overgrown graveyards and into cyberspace. Her clients could be anyone for whom the past affects the present - the haunted, the hopeful or the just plain curious.


The disappearance of a young girl, Bethany, appears to be linked in some way to Lizzie Siddal, the haunting, ethereal Pre-Raphaelite model and artist, wife of painter Dante Gabriel Rossetti. Lizzie's tragic life was cut short by an overdose of laudanum, was it accident or suicide? Why is Bethany so obsessed with her and at the same time so determined to put herself beyond the reach of her lover, Adam?


A haunting tale

Good Housekeeping


Mountain's brilliantly original take on the whodunit is compelling, atmospheric, eerie and above all intelligent

Good Book Guide


Labyrinthine…,meticulous….an intriguing and atmospheric plot



Interesting facts and speculations about the Pre-Raphaelites and an appealing heroine

Kirkus Review


Stylishly written, intelligent fare

Crime Time


A literate debut mystery introducing genealogist Natasha Blake…the premise of a genealogist sleuth holds plenty of potential

Publishers Weekly


Mountain captures the silken creepiness of much of the pre-Raphaelite story…Natasha is a mystery too and readers will be eager to meet her again



The exhilarating debut of a fascinating detective..,haunting….a unique tale starring a delightful individual who makes a fine sleuth.

Midwest Book Review

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