Palace of Shadows

Ray Celestin

12 October 2023
352 pages


'Chillingly gothic' — The Guardian, Best Crime and Thrillers of the Year

Inspired by the haunting true story of the Winchester Mystery House, Ray Celestin's Palace of Shadows is an outstanding historical thriller set against the awe-inspiring terror of the Yorkshire Moors. From the prize-winning author of the City Blues Quartet.

1899. The desolate Smugglers’ Coast of North Yorkshire is a place that strikes fear into those who live nearby. Unexplained deaths, suicides, young girls gone missing on the nearby moors ­­— the locals say it’s the grand house that drives people mad.

Still, when Samuel Etherstone is contacted by its reclusive owner, Mrs Chesterfield, and commissioned to work on the property, he accepts the offer. For a penniless artist adrift in London, the opportunity is too tempting to ignore.

It is only on arrival at the Chesterfield house that he learns the sinister details of its architect’s disappearance. And yet the widowed Mrs Chesterfield, keeps adding wing upon wing, and no one will tell him the reason behind her chilling obsession. But as Samuel delves deeper into the mysteries that swirl about the house the nature of the project becomes terrifyingly clear . . .

'Darkly entertaining' — Laura Shepherd-Robinson, bestselling author of The Square of Sevens

‘Gloriously bonkers' — Andrew Taylor, bestselling author of The Shadows of London

'A beguiling standalone historical thriller . . . An absolute triumph' — Sunday Express

'[S]et in the late 19th century, [Ray Celestin] takes the true story of American weapons heiress Sarah Winchester’s San Jose mansion and transports it to Yorkshire, with chillingly gothic results.
[A] beguiling standalone historical thriller . . . Its jaw-dropping finale will leave readers reeling. An absolute triumph
‘I loved Palace of Shadows . . . set on the Yorkshire moors in the late 19th century. Based on a true story, a labyrinth of timelines populated by vividly written characters offers a darkly entertaining plot.’