<h2>A PhD student uncovers dark secrets among her academic associates in this 'richly atmospheric and irresistibly readable' (Joyce Carol Oates) Gothic mystery set between Scotland, Italy, and France. For fans of <i>The Secret History</i>. </h2><p>Fleeing a disastrous affair with a colleague in Boston, Isabel Henley moves to Scotland to begin a PhD with a renowned feminist professor – only to learn, upon arrival, that her advisor has suffered a deadly fall. Soon after, Isabel is informed that another scholar at the university is about to publish a book on her dissertation topic, leaving her disconcerted and in search of a new subject, all while struggling to acclimate to her new home abroad.</p><p>Isabel needs a good friend during such a rocky start, and finds one when she reconnects with Rose Brewster, her charismatic former classmate. But when Rose confides to Isabel that she is in trouble, and then goes missing, Isabel's already unsteady life is sent into a tailspin. A suicide note surfaces, followed by a coded message: Rose is alive but, unless Isabel can complete the research begun before her friend's disappearance, both women will be killed by her captors.</p><p>As Isabel follows Rose's paper trail from Genoa to Florence and, finally, to Paris, she uncovers family secrets, the legend of an enormous cursed emerald, and a chain of betrayal and treason which parallels her own perilous present. If she can put the pieces together soon, she could solve a 400-year-old mystery... and save her and her friend's lives in the process.</p><p>Combining epistolary elements, Gothic suspense, and an atmospheric 'dark academia' setting, <i>The Bequest</i> is a gripping literary thriller that will appeal to fans of Alex Michaelides and Donna Tartt.</p>
<p>A PhD student uncovers dark secrets among her academic associates in this Gothic mystery set between Scotland, Italy, and France.</p>
'Richly atmospheric and irresistibly readable'
Joyce Carol Oates
'Intricately plotted, exquisitely written, and brimming with atmosphere, <i>The Bequest</i> is a brilliant debut, as smart as it is compelling'
'A first rate mystery by a first time author. Intriguing plot and well drawn characters'
Martin Cruz Smith
'This one will appeal to lovers of Dan Brown and Elizabeth Kostova and other mysteries of old documents and historical figures'
'Readers will eagerly await Margaret's next'
'There are two attractions here: the present-day academic whodunnit and the olden puzzle revealed in Renaissance letters; viewers of the Netflix series <i>The Chair</i> will eat this up, as will readers of Philippa Gregory and Robert J. Lloyd'
<p>Gripping debut novel by American art historian based in NYC.</p>
<p>Heady mix of Gothic suspense, mystery and thriller for fans of Donna Tartt and Elizabeth Kostova.</p>
<p>MARKET: Alex Michaelides; Donna Tartt; Elizabeth Kostova.</p>