Hide this

Results from Google Books

Click on a thumbnail to go to Google Books.

The Mist in the Mirror by Susan Hill

The Mist in the Mirror (original 1992; edition 1999)

by Susan Hill

MembersReviewsPopularityAverage ratingMentions
231None49,976 (3.28)18
Title:The Mist in the Mirror
Authors:Susan Hill
Info:Vintage Books (1999), Edition: New edition, Paperback, 192 pages
Collections:Your library
Tags:supernatural, ghost story, England

Work details

The Mist in the Mirror: A Ghost Story by Susan Hill (1992)

  1. 00
    The Man in the Picture by Susan Hill (sardav64)
    sardav64: A short eery novella that is perfect for long cold autumn and winter evenings

Sign up for LibraryThing to find out whether you'll like this book.

No current Talk conversations about this book.

» See also 18 mentions

Showing 1-5 of 11 (next | show all)
2.5 Hill's ghost stories are always more atmospheric than downright spooky,
so I was prepared for the slow pacing, the descriptive settings and the slow reveals. This one, however, never really worked for me or maybe it was that I never felt I really ever knew the main character of Sir James. Mysterious sighting of a small desperate boy, rumors and warnings against continuing his search a strange bookshelf with a mysterious owner should have made this a stellar read. As much as I liked some of the journey, alas at the end I felt I was still in the mist.

ARC from publisher. ( )
  Beamis12 | Feb 14, 2014 |
I'm a dedicated fan of Susan Hill's Simon Serrailler detective series. but it was only on looking at the author's website that I realized she was the author of The Woman in Black - a classic ghost tale that has been made into a stage play (opened in 1989 and is still running) as well as a movie starring Daniel Radcliffe.

Vintage Books has been re-releasing some of these earlier works. Last year, I enjoyed The Small Hand and Dolly. The latest reissue is The Mist in the Mirror.

Sir James Monmouth is an aged member of a gentleman's club in London. After a night's discussion of ghosts by some members, Sir James passes a young member "an account of certain - events."

The events are from Monmouth's life. After travelling the world for many years, following the footsteps of an explorer named Vane, Sir James decides to head back to England. He proposes to write a book about Vane. But almost immediately on his arrival, he begins seeing a young boy - a boy no one else sees. And everywhere he turns, he is warned against pursuing his book.....

The reader of Monmouth's story "intended to read for an hour at most, expecting drowsiness to overtake me again, but I became so engrossed in the story that unfolded before me that I rapidly forgot all thought of the time, or my present surroundings."

As did this reader. Hill writes the most delicious stories - atmospheric with slow building tension that increases with every page turned. And all accomplished without overt gore and violence. Just wonderfully wrought words that slowly build time, place and tension with every page. Dusty libraries, forgotten rooms, glimpses of things from the corner of one's eye, suspicious townsfolk and more.....

Novella sized at 224 pages, The Mist in the Mirror was a good read for a snowy winter's night. ( )
  Twink | Feb 10, 2014 |
Very slight, but also short -- a redeeming factor. ( )
  picardyrose | Nov 3, 2013 |
Rating: 3.5 of 5

Call me old-fashioned or even simple-minded but, when The Mist In The Mirror's plot revolves around Monmouth investigating Vane's mysterious life and background then Monmouth's own mysterious childhood and family history and none of those mysteries get solved by the last page, I'm disappointed. At the end I was left with way too much speculation, which is fun with some stories but I wanted no ambiguity with this one. Overall, the story was slow-paced, crafted with spot-on 19th century settings and Gothic atmosphere, and featured interesting characters. It was just that dang ending... ( )
  flying_monkeys | Apr 8, 2013 |
Before she became known for her Simon Serrailler crime series, Susan Hill wrote a number of short novels with a supernatural theme; The Mist in the Mirror is one of these. It tells the story of Sir James Monmouth, a man in his 40s who has spent almost his whole life abroad, primarily as an adventurer and explorer in Africa, India and the Far East. When he returns to England, he is at loose ends, except that in his travels he had come across mention of Conrad Vane, a fellow explorer who lived perhaps 50 years before Monmouth's time. Over the course of many years, he has become obsessed with finding out more about Vane, but when he begins to make inquiries in England, he is discouraged by all and sundry who claim to know anything about the man. Not to be dissuaded, Monmouth perseveres, until he begins to find a connection, perhaps, between the mysterious explorer and his own, long-lost, family.... This is a short (184 pages) atmospheric novel, in some places quite eerie and frightening; ideal, perhaps, for reading in a cozy room during gloomy winter weather. I was a bit confused as to the period in which it is set because it reads like a Victorian missive, but mention is made of automobiles (well, a Bentley) and the switching on and off of lights, along with descriptions of candle-lamps. But be that as it may, I quite enjoyed the shivers this book gave me, although I don't think that I'd want to read it while alone on a very dark night! Recommended. ( )
  thefirstalicat | Nov 8, 2012 |
Showing 1-5 of 11 (next | show all)
no reviews | add a review
You must log in to edit Common Knowledge data.
For more help see the Common Knowledge help page.
Series (with order)
Canonical title
Original title
Alternative titles
Original publication date
Important places
Important events
Related movies
Awards and honors
First words
London, and the library of my Club, towards the end of an afternoon in late November, that bleak, dispiriting time of year when the golden Indian summer days that lingered on through October seem long gone, and it is yet too early to feel the approaching cheer of Christmas.  (Preface to Sir James Monmouth's manuscript)
Last words
(Click to show. Warning: May contain spoilers.)
Disambiguation notice
Publisher's editors
Publisher series

References to this work on external resources.

Wikipedia in English


Book description
Haiku summary

Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 0701187867, Hardcover)

An inveterate traveller, Sir James Monmouth has spent most of his life abroad. He arrives in England on a dark and rainy night with the intention of discovering more, not only about himself, but his obsession with Conrad Vane, an explorer. Warned against following his trail, Sir James experiences some extraordinary happenings — who is the mysterious, sad little boy, and the old woman behind the curtain? And why is it that he only hears the chilling scream and the desperate sobbing?

(retrieved from Amazon Mon, 30 Sep 2013 13:25:47 -0400)

(see all 2 descriptions)

For the last twenty years Sir James Monmouth has been a gentleman adventurer, journeying all over the globe in the footsteps of his hero, the great pioneering traveller Conrad Vane. One rainy winter night, Sir James returns to London. Orphaned at five, it is now time to find out more about his family and origins, and also to learn about the early years of Conrad Vane. But at every turn James is warned off his investigation into Conrad Vane. Do these warnings explain his flashes of intense fear and feelings of being watched? And what of the boy who has started haunting his every step and the mysterious mirror with its inexplicable reflections? Eventually, Sir James' quest leads him to the old lady of Kittiscar Hall, and deep into a past that binds him to his hero in ways he never could have imagined.… (more)

(summary from another edition)

» see all 3 descriptions

Quick Links

Swap Ebooks Audio
4 avail.
43 wanted
3 pay

Popular covers


Average: (3.28)
1 2
2 10
2.5 4
3 16
3.5 11
4 23
4.5 2
5 2

Is this you?

Become a LibraryThing Author.


Help/FAQs | About | Privacy/Terms | Blog | Contact | LibraryThing.com | APIs | WikiThing | Common Knowledge | Legacy Libraries | Early Reviewers | 89,448,811 books! | Top bar: Always visible