Louisiana, 1933


The Great Depression has limited the future opportunities for Sonja Shivera, a plucky young woman with no family, no money, and a tragic past that haunts her present.


She luckily finds employment as a companion to Mrs. Stone, a cranky old woman, but unfortunately, the work is emotionally and financially unrewarding. Their unhappy relationship gets even darker when they vacation at a fading antebellum inn near Baton Rouge on the banks of a lake known as False River.


At Moorcroft Inn, the terror begins. Sonja finds herself torn between a world of genteel decay and the dark world of her past. She crosses paths with a mysterious couple, Freddie Marsh and Lydia Grey, and an exotic beauty named Anya Cambion. Through them, she is drawn into a web of crime that has plagued the South since the Civil War, which includes crop damage, savaged animals, and missing girls.


As Sonja is pulled deeper into the mystery surrounding an abandoned plantation, a nocturnal garden, and a magical labyrinth, she ponders another enigma.


Who is the mysterious young man who drifts out of the woods, and what secrets will he tell? 


Roberta Blankenship, a frustrated middle-aged, middle-class housewife living in Indianapolis, struggles to make sense of her meaningless existence while also pondering an old family secret involving her mother that has plagued her since childhood. Sick of her Pottery Barn life and motivated by the mystery only whispered about in the past, she flees to the farthest point she can get without a passport, Juneau, Alaska. Everything is clearer under the vast Alaskan sky.


Having abandoned everything she’d spent her life creating, Roberta remakes herself in another place, doing anything other than responding to the demands of her self-absorbed husband and her entitled kids. Taking her first job since college, and a small room above a tourists’ shop, she contemplates new vistas. She never expected, however, to find romance in the form of a handsome federal agent involved in murder and mayhem.


And it is murder and mayhem, and the discovery of other’s secrets, that causes Roberta to run for her life into the Alaskan wilderness…    

Reviews of the Vanished Bride of Northfield House

Intriguing mystery that had me wondering what would happen next and who did it. This just shows that people can be truly nuts. If you enjoy a good ghost story with a mystery thrown in this book may be just right for you.


- Books a Plenty Book Reviews

I look forward to reading more novels from Phyllis M. Newman. Anyone who writes this well on their first foray into historical fiction is sure to be a favorite of many!

- Bubble Bath Books

The setting and atmosphere of Ms. Newman's The Vanished Bride of Northfield House is nothing short of exquisite!

- Back Porchervations

The best Gothic mystery I've read in years.

- Jane Reads


Kat Carson and Ernie Lunt are an odd pairing. Ernie is an irascible, middle-aged private detective. Kat is his teenage intern, a college student with a love of nineteenth-century detective novels. When a colleague’s body washes up on the beach, both Kat and Ernie want to know what happened. Kat takes the initiative without Ernie’s knowledge, hoping to impress her more cautious boss.