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The Gabriel Hounds summary

Gabriel Hounds image

They met in a street called Straight, and because they were young, impetuous and slightly spoiled, Charles and Christy Mansel decided to enliven their tour of the Middle East by calling on their Great-Aunt Harriet.

This was not only breaking the family rule of non-interference, but also their Great-Aunt's ban on visitors, for the "Lady Harriet," as she chose to call herself, was an eccentric recluse who lived in a crumbling Arabian Nights palace, Dar Ibrahim, in the High Lebanon, with a resident physician, her beloved hounds and a handful of Arab servants.

Dar Ibrahim proved difficult indeed to get into--it was quite literally a case of gatecashing--and almost impossible to get out of. The young cousins discovered that the "Lady Harriet" had very good reason for not wanting witnesses to what was going on in the underground rooms below the Seraglio.

The title comes from an English legend about a pack of ghostly hounds that hunt through the sky with Death and clamour over the house at night, when someone is going to die. It is pertinent to the story, one written with all the atmosphere and suspense that have made a new novel by Mary Stewart an international event.

—jacket, William Morrow edition, 1967