Ashes to Ashes

Ashes to Ashes

by Lillian Stewart Carl

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Ashes to Ashes by Lillian Stewart Carl

(First print-published by Berkley Publishing Group in 1990)

Historian Rebecca Reid comes from Missouri to a replica of a Scottish castle located outside the small town of Putnam, Ohio, to catalog a collection of historical artifacts. She knows that James Forbes, the castle's owner who had just been found dead at the foot of a stairway, owned the Erskine letter—-a letter which might prove that Mary, Queen of Scots' son died at birth and was secretly replaced by another woman's. It’s just what Rebecca needs for her Ph.D. dissertation.
The castle was originally built by James’s parents, John Forbes, captain of industry and collector of all things Scottish, including a young Scottish wife, Elspeth—-who threw herself from the fifth story window when she lost her infant daughter.

At Dun Iain Rebecca finds herself saddled with a co-worker, Michael Campbell, a Scottish professor sent from the Museum of Scotland to separate out the Forbes' family treasures and decide what would go to home to Scotland and what would stay with the historical society. He has a tartan chip on his shoulder and, Rebecca suspects, a hidden agenda. Sparks fly.

Sparks of a different kind fly between Rebecca and Eric Adler, the charming, handsome executor of the Forbes estate. Then there’s Dorothy, the eavesdropping busybody of a housekeeper who had been cleaning Dun Iain for thirty years or more, and handyman Phil Pruitt, his son Steve, and Steve’s girlfriend Heather, all of whom always seem to be in the wrong place at the wrong time.

And there’s a castle cat that Michael and Rebecca find personable but that Eric fears.

Ghostly presences stalk the halls, throw dishes in the kitchen, turn lights on and off, and move objects around. When valuables start vanishing and accidents start happening, Rebecca suspects more than just ghosts are at work. Someone wants her and Michael out of Dun Iain.

And amid all the precious artifacts, she can’t find the Erskine letter.

Product Details

BN ID: 2940011143267
Publisher: Lillian Stewart Carl
Publication date: 11/21/2010
Series: Ashes Trilogy
Sold by: Smashwords
Format: NOOK Book
File size: 539 KB

About the Author

After starting out in science fiction and fantasy, Lillian Stewart Carl is now writing contemporary novels blending mystery, romance, and fantasy, along with short mystery and fantasy stories. Her work often includes paranormal themes. It always features plots based on history and archaeology. While she doesn’t write comedy, she believes in characters with a sense of humor. Her fantasies are set in a mythological, alternate-history Mediterranean and India. Her contemporary novels are set in Texas, in Ohio, in Colonial Williamsburg, Virginia, and in England and Scotland. Of her Shadows in Scarlet, Publishers Weekly says: "Presenting a delicious mix of romance and supernatural suspense, Carl (Ashes to Ashes) delivers yet another immensely readable tale. She has created an engaging cast and a very entertaining plot, spicing the mix with some interesting twists on the ghostly romantic suspense novel." Of her Lucifer's Crown, Library Journal says: "Blending historical mystery with a touch of the supernatural, the author creates an intriguing exploration of faith and redemption in a world that is at once both modern and timeless. Among many other novels, Lillian is the author of the Jean Fairbairn/Alasdair Cameron cross-genre mystery series: America’s exile and Scotland’s finest on the trail of all-too-living legends. Of The Secret Portrait, Kirkus says: Mystery, history and sexual tension blend with a taste of the wild beauty of the Highlands. Of The Burning Glass, Publishers Weekly says: "Authentic dialect, detailed descriptions of the castle and environs, and vivid characters recreate an area rich in history and legend. The tightly woven plot is certain to delight history fans with its dramatic collision of past and present." With John Helfers, Lillian co-edited The Vorkosigan Companion, a retrospective on Lois McMaster Bujold’s science fiction work, which was nominated for a Hugo award. Her first story collection, Along the Rim of Time, was published in 2000, and her second, The Muse and Other Stories of History, Mystery, and Myth, in 2008, including three stories that were reprinted in Year's Best mystery anthologies. Her books are available in both print and electronic editions, and her web site is

Table of Contents

Historian Rebecca Reid comes from Missouri to a replica of a Scottish castle located outside a small town in Ohio. She's cataloging a collection of historical artifacts, among them, supposedly, a scandalous letter written by Mary, Queen of Scots. But her co-worker, Scottish historian Michael Campbell, has his own plans. And the ghosts of the past, not to mention a very contemporary antagonist, want them both gone.

About The Author
Lillian Stewart Carl has published seven novels and a dozen short stories, with more to come. Born and raised in the American midwest, she of course loves mountain landscapes, rocky shores, and exotic cultures-even if she has to make them up herself.

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Ashes to Ashes 4 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 5 reviews.
bbMO More than 1 year ago
I really liked the Jean Fairbair/Alasdair Cameron series of books, so was interested in getting the backstory on two of the other characters in those books.  Enjoyed that Rebecca was from Missouri, and thought the book was well written and very interesting.   The only complaint was the constant sparring between Rebecca and Michael.  While I realize that romantic tension is a tried and true formula, I was really glad when they got beyond that and formed a strong friendship.  I have really enjoyed all of Ms. Carl's books, and will definitely read whatever she chooses to publish!
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Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Side note, I'm no longer part of BloodClan. That ended last night when Thistlefang and I fought.