Simone St James is the author of several standalone historical gothic mystery novels, with the latest one, The Broken Girls, published in 2018.
The author’s debut novel was published in 2012 with the title The Haunting of Maddy Clare, the book that established her under this genre.
Here are the Simon St James books in order for novels she has so far written. The list is, of course, updated as soon as new books are released.
New Simone St James Book
Simone St James Books in Order
- The Haunting of Maddy Clare, 2012
- An Inquiry Into Love and Death, 2013
- Silence for the Dead, 2014
- The Other Side of Midnight, 2015
- Lost Among the Living, 2016
- The Broken Girls, 2018
Simone St James Biography
Simone St. James was born in Canada. Before devoting her time to writing books as the main career, she worked in the television business for about 20 years.
After going home late from work, she would spend her time writing manuscript after manuscript in her free time, which also included weekends and holidays. Even though her first books were rejected, eventually she broke through with The Haunting of Maddy Clare.
She currently lives in Toronto, Canada, with her husband, while working on her next book.
The Simon St James books are all set around the 1920s, close the First World War period. In an earlier interview, the author mentioned that she is drawn to this period since it is a time of change for most women.
After the war, women became more liberated for the first time. It was a very different time from the way their own parents lived. And, invariably, those times offered plenty of drama and suspense, which is what many good books are using for great plot options.
The author was always drawn to ghost stories, and she often read books by prolific writers in the genre such as Victoria Holt and Mary Stewart (two of my favorite gothic mystery authors as well), along with non-fiction ghost books by Colin Dickey.
Since the books are ghost stories, there is a degree of supernatural within the pages, especially ghosts.
Before getting her first book published, she had her manuscripts rejected several times. After the publication of The Haunting of Maddie Clare, it received not one but two RITA Awards from Romance Writers of America, as well as an Arthur Ellis Award from Crime Writers of Canada. Other books were nominated for various awards as well.
In the true fashion of her writing, The Broken Girls, the latest Simon St. James book, is about a haunted girls’ boarding school. Of course, there is so much more than that, including the well-chosen setting, the various themes such as friendship, love, and loss, but since ghosts are a major theme in her books, here we have them as well.
The setting of the first five books is England, however, with this latest novel, the author changed it to the US, specifically New England. This book is also different in that it spans across two timelines: Vermont in 1950 and Vermont in 2014. In addition, in The Broken Girls, the story is told in different points of view, which is also something new that the author is experimenting with, and it seems to work quite well.
Each book is atmospheric, befitting ghost tales, which are eerie and full of mystery. Even though the author often mentioned that she has never seen a ghost, she believes in them, and her books reflect that believe and beg the question What If.
I love paranormal mysteries featuring ghosts and love gothic romance and mystery novels, so the Simone St James books fit the bill nicely. Regardless in which order you read her novels, if you love this genre, make sure you pick them up. You won’t regret it.
Praise for Simon St. James
Books Reading Order » Crime Mystery Authors » Simone St James
[The Broken Girls] mixes a creepy supernatural tale with a gripping mystery. It also works well as a story about unshakeable friendship, parenting issues, obsession and sexism folded into a satisfying plot that straddles two eras of time. (Associated Press)
The Broken Girls is equal parts captivating and disturbing.—(HelloGiggles)
The Broken Girls is clever and wonderfully chilling. It held me hostage in a very modern ghost story until the early hours (Fiona Barton)
Part hauntingly gothic and part suspenseful crime drama (Karen White)
Downright scary and atmospheric. I flew through the pages. (Lisa Gardner)
A haunting tale of love, passion, friendship, and revenge. (Popsugar)
I don’t believe in ghosts, but I believe every word of this fast-paced, compelling story. (Madeline Hunter)