Pretend You Don’t See Her

Pretend You Don’t See Her by Mary Higgins Clark

Lacey Farrell is a real estate agent in New York City who is given a prime apartment to sell. It belongs to Isabelle Warring, but prior to her it belonged to her daughter Heather Landis, Broadway singer. Heather died about a year ago and Isabelle’s ex husband Jimmy Landis has been telling her she needs to sell the apartment and move on. Isabelle however is convinced that Heather’s death was not a car accident but that someone murdered her and she has been trying with all her might to get answers.

As Lacey tried to find a buyer she spends a lot of time with Isabelle. One day Isabelle calls and leaves a message saying that she has been reading through Heather’s old diary and discovers a clue, one that she will talk to Lacey about next time she sees her.

Hmmm…

The next day her bosses son, Rick Parker, gives her the name and number of a potential buyer, Curtis Caldwell. Lacey shows him the house but Isabelle is against selling it and doesn’t want to talk about what she has discovered. Lacey is discouraged but goes back to speak to Isabelle that night and walks right in on her being murdered by Caldwell, her earlier apartment appointment.

WHAT!

He runs out and with Isabelle’s dying breath she tells Lacey she discovered a clue and wants her to give the diary to he ex-husband as he will find the murderer, there is something in it he needs to read.

Lacey calls the police who are really bad investigators as they meet trying to pin the murder on her. The next day she stays late at work and makes two copies of the journal, giving one to Heather’s father and keeping the other for herself. She returns home and find her apartment burgled. She decides they must be after the diary and gives the police the original copy that she hid at work, not letting them know about her secret copy.

The next day she is fired from her job (they say “suspended” I say FIRED) and goes to have dinner with her family when someone tries to shoot her, grazing her and hurting her niece.

The murderer turns out to be no average person as the fingerprint found at Lacey’s apartment turns out to belong to a serious hitman for the mafia who was thought to have died two years ago!

The Marshals swoop in and Lacey is carted off into the witness protection program, now known as Alice Carroll.

New me!

Meanwhile, the diary disappears from the police precinct and when Jimmy turns his copy over to the police, it goes missing as well. With a mole in the police department and a hitman after her-will Lacey be able to unravel this mess or wind up the next victim?

Thoughts After Reading:

This was a good mystery, although it made no sense that the marshals didn’t give Lacey/Alice a job but expected her to figure it out and find work with no references. From what I know is that they always place you somewhere.

Lacey also made several BIG mistake when it came to investigating and staying hidden. Like serious screw ups.

No thank you.

The mystery was good though, as I had no clue who the murder was, and when I read who it turned out to be, I was stunned.

For more by Mary Higgins Clark, go to Second Time Around

For more murders disguised as car accidents, go to Snagged

For more Not in a Series Mysteries, go to A Simple Favor

Too Good to Be True

Too Good to Be True (Sweet Valley High #11) by Francine Pascal

Ah, Sweet Valley. Nothing takes me back to be preteen years faster than looking at this book series I was completely obsessed with. When I first became interested in them, they were out of print which just made me want them more!

As a kid I really liked the series and wanted to even live in their idyllic Californian world, and I thought the stories were fun and interesting. But as an adult I know they weren’t the best written books. Most of them are cheesy, silly, or sometimes don’t make sense; but these were the ’80s-’90s versions of Gossip Girl or One Tree Hill except with a different type of drama.

So the story follows twin sisters, Elizabeth and Jessica Wakefield. Both are juniors, blonde, 5’6, and size sixes. Elizabeth is the smart, responsible one who dreams of being a journalist or writer. Jessica is the fashionable, social butterfly, cheerleader that dreams of parties and popularity.

They live in Sweet Valley, near Los Angeles, and attend school with their friends. The first book focused on the two girls, but the later ones were divided into two stories: one about a friend or relative while the other is about the girls. The later series got a bit darker and was done in short series, two or three books that went together. The topics ranged from drugs, sex, school dances, serial killers, sports, werewolves, princes, vampires, kidnapping, stalkers, etc. You know normal teenage girl stuff. 😉

Yes as the series progressed the writers changed, and while I didn’t like some of the alterations I still continued to read and collect (still do so today) the novels. What can I say? They are such a big part of my childhood they bring on a tsunami of nostalgia.

So what does that have to do with us? Well quite a few of the books in the series were mysteries, supernatural, had psycho characters, or other themes that fall in line with this blog.

So the novel series is similar to the Nancy Drew Files where you have a little teaser at the end like a preview, and the book picks up from there. In the last review I didn’t think I’d be reviewing another Sweet Valley High until book #13, but I forgot book #11

So let’s see since Secrets, we had Jessica being controlled and abused by her dream guy, Bruce Patman, discovering he is nothing but a nightmare; had the sisters compete to have a girl join or not join their sorority; Jessica went out with a much older man; Todd got a motorcycle; Elizabeth cracked her head riding the motorcycle and went into a coma, along with having a personality change; Roger Barret becomes a sport star and tries to go after Lila Fowler; and Jessica tried to keep the school “slut” from joining the cheerleading squad. Wow.

What?!

So that leaves us with number 11:

TOO GOOD TO BE TRUE

Suzanne rose from the couch and wound her arms about Mr. Collins’ neck. She could feel his muscles tensing as she pressed up against him

Suzanne, stop it,” Mr. Collins warned. She parted her lips and tilted her head back, willing him to embrace her. He was so close. His heart was beating much too quickly…

Trembling with the effort, Mr. Collins pulled free from her. “Get your things,” he ordered. “I’ll wait for you in the car.

She stared at him for a long, incredulous moment. How dare he reject her? Her eyes narrowed to razor-thin slits. “You wanted to kiss me. I know you did.”

Mr. Collins shook his head. “Believe me, I’m doing you a favor.”

But Suzanne scarcely heard what he was saying. Rage was boiling inside her. Oh, he’d pay for this. She’d make him pay. “You’re the one who’s going to be sorry Roger Collins!” she hissed.

Mr. Wakefield’s old college roommate, Tom Devlin, and him got back into contact. Devlin is a diplomat and has been all over the world, but has returned to New York City. His daughter, Suzanne, proposed  an idea of having her and one of the twins exchange home’s for a week during their spring break as Suzanne has always longed togo to California. (Although they are rich why not take a family vacation? Whatever).

Whatever…

But only one Wakefield daughter can go, and of course resident drama queen, Jessica pitches a fit when she loses the coin toss to Elizabeth. But Jessica can’t be out-tricked for long, and makes Elizabeth feel insecure in her relationship with Todd, getting her to switch places.

Suzanne, or Suzy as she asks everyone to call her, arrives looking glamourous as ever. She even has a dazzling English accent from her time abroad.

Even though Suzy is wealthy, lived all over, and had everything-she is kind, caring, and doesn’t mind lending a helping hand in everything-cleaning, cooking, etc.

She’s almost too good to be true,” Enid said…

Is she?

At the school picnic things go a little strange. Suzanne who is an amazing swimmer, medal-winning, starts drowning-causing Mr. Collins to have to swim out and save her. Suzy is so grateful, but Mr. Collins acts weird.

Meanwhile, in New York Jessica is having a less than thrilling time until Suzanne’s gorgeous boyfriend agrees to take her out-using his and Suzanne’s tickets.

Back in Sweet Valley, Elizabeth, Todd, and Suzanne drive by Mr. Collins’ house as Elizabeth needs to drop off some stuff for the school paper, The Oracle. Why she needs to go to his house, or even knows where he lives, I don’t know. Weird things you didn’t question as a preteen.

Suzanne delivers the papers for Elizabeth, getting a “drink of water” from the  garden hose and splashing her body, showing off her body.

Really, an “accident”.

One day Elizabeth is supposed to babysit Teddy, Mr. Collins’ son, but Todd scores some awesome tickets to the Lakers’ game. Suzy agrees to fill in for Elizabeth, promising to notify Mr. Collins but doesn’t, surprising him instead.

Yes, Suzanne is too good to be true. Underneath that beautiful exterior she is rotten to the core. She tries to seduce him, trying to add another conquest in her life, but Mr. Collins won’t take the bait. And he rejects her.

She walks back to the Wakefields and tears her blouse, messes up her hair, etc. When she gets there she accuses Mr. Collins of attacking her. Will Suzanne’s evil plan work? Or will everyone see through her careful facade?

Hmm…

Like the Nancy Drew Files, one of the best things I love in this series are the clothes, the author always gives great detail to what she wears. I’ve decided to add a special section for this in these reviews too.

Outfits-

When Jessica wears the black crepe from Suzanne’s closet.

Thoughts After Reading:

Rereading it I realize there are some things that are just not quite kosher here-in the relation to each other. Elizabeth going to Mr. Collins house multiple times, the Devlins not caring about underage drinking, Suzanne’s boyfriend trying to rape Jessica but they don’t tell her parents it charge him, and more. But anyways in the end they reveal that Suzy is evil and all works out, Mr. Collins is reinstated (although wouldn’t there be a bigger investigation into what was said), and Suzy goes back to NYC (she doesn’t face ay charges either). Jessica returns lying about the great time she had, when it was awful (how come we never see how this affects her? It’s like the writers don’t think about what would happen logically). Then we have poor Steven…

The Next Book in the Series:

Another thing I loved about these mysteries is that they were designed like radio shows and TV episodes. They always made sure to leave you with a little preview of what will come next:

On the other hand, her recent experience with Suzanne had taught her that appearances could be deceiving. It was best not to form judgements based on superficial evidence.

“You can’t be sure of anything until you talk to Tricia,” Elizabeth said gently

Steven was close to tears. “I’ve tried. But-but she says nothing is wrong. Liz, I know she’s hiding something. I can see it in her eyes. And it’s driving me crazy!”

What terrible secret is Tricia keeping from Steven? Find out in Sweet Valley #12, WHEN LOVE DIES

***SPOILER ALERT***

We will not be reviewing that book and since they say it in the title, I will reveal the end. She dies. It is very sad.

The next Sweet Valley High book we will review will be Kidnapped. 

For more Sweet Valley High, go to Secrets

For more book reviews, go to The Demon of River Heights

Death Wears a Beauty Mask

Death Wears a Beauty Mask by Mary Higgins Clark

Thoughts Before Reading:

Mary Higgins Clark wrote this book way back in the ’70s, but never finished it as she wasn’t sure how to end it. She shelved it and went on to write what would be her first book and bestseller, Where Are the Children?

Years later, she took another whack at it s here we are.

Janice Broad hasn’t seen her older sister, Alexandra, in forever. They used to be so close with Janice raising her after their mother died. Then Janice moved to New York City and started her modeling career and their time together grew less. When Janice moved to the LA area for college their time shrinked smaller still.

Now Janice is married and she and her husband, District Attorney Mike Broad, are heading to spend a week of their honeymoon in London and then a week with her.

Yay! Sisters back together.

When they get to the airport, Janice isn’t there. Nor is she at her apartment, and no one knows what happened to her.

They start questioning the men who are hounding her-first Grant Wilson, her agent. Alexandra was the face of a new line, Beauty Mask, but had been having troubles. The company producing Beauty Mask was making them do constant redos, over and over again. Alexandra looked bad and tired.

Grant had been after Alexandra to marry him but she kept saying no. He thinks that she will be sing yes soon, but then she just disappeared. Now he needs her redo the Venice shoot or else the company goes belly up as Beauty Mask won’t pay up without perfection. He says he has no clue to where she is. Could it be he did something because she kept refusing him?

They then see Larry Thompson, photographer. He has known Alexandra from way back. He hates Grant Wilson and never wanted Alexandra to sign with him. He says ever since she’s joined his company, Wilson has just overworked her and worn her out.  Larry tries to make it be that they are just friends, but he seems more interested, and to me extremely bossy, then just as a friend. He is also known to have a very short fuse. Could he have exploded on Alexandra? Or been angry if she could have refused him?

Mark Ambrose is the man who owns the plane that chartered the models and Beauty Mask. He too was another man interested in Alexandra and she too spent time in Venice together. He was supposed to give her a ride to her apartment, but then Alexandra disappeared. Hmm…what happened in Venice or the airport that made her change her mind?

Hmm…

As the couple investigates, they get in a car accident, who did they talk to that felt uneasy?

Then they find out Alexandra got the time wrong and was in the same cab as them and went back to the apartment. But when they get there they found out she has been strangled to death, her face covered Beauty Mask.

But when they do the autopsy, they discover that it isn’t Alexandra, but Lisa Markey, Alexandra’s friend. What happened to Alexandra. Is she alive? Dead? Where is she?

Thoughts After Reading:

Good, really well written until the reveal that the only reason the person was trying to kill Alexandra was because they wanted beauty mask to fail to make money.

That’s it?

A bit of a letdown for me.

But other than that I thought it was really good. I liked that she didn’t go overboard on the characters. But kept the cast short and focused.

And there was this cute little salute to her other novel as if you listen to what Alexandra hears on the news, there is a little snippet about Clark’s first book Where Are the Children?

At one point the detective says I should have known who it was because _________, and I was like facepalm! Duh, I should’ve known too!

For more Mary Higgins Clark, go to Where Are You Now?

For more modeling mysteries, go to The Turquoise Trail Mystery

For more disappearing sisters, go to The Night Sister

For more mysterious honeymoons, go to Death by Honeymoon

The Hitchhiker

“The Hitchhiker” from Suspense by Lucille Fletcher

You’ve probably heard this story before. It has been told many times and was even a Twilight Zone episode. No matter how many times one hears it, it still remains creepy.

Ronal Adams is traveling from Brooklyn, New York to California for a job. He decides to drive that way, instead of flying. His mother worries about him, but he assures her he will be just fine.

As he travels all is normal, but then he sees a hitchhiker. No matter how slow, or fast, or where he drives, the hitchhiker is always there.

He picks up a female hitchhiker, hoping that having her there will help but she doesn’t see the hitchhiker, leaves, and he still is chased by the hitchhiker.

Finally he stops and calls his mom-reaching out for something anything to prove he is sane. But he can’t reach her. It turns out she went into shock and had to go to the hospital when her son died in a car crash on his first day of leaving for California.

Ronald realizes and stops for the hitchhiker finally.

For more short stories, go to The Boscombe Valley Mystery

For more book reviews, go to Weak Flesh

A Taste of Fame

Atasteoffame

A Taste of Fame (Potluck Catering Club #2) by Linda Evans Shepherd and Eva Marie Everson

So some of you might be wondering where is the review for book one? Well there is no review for book one.

What?

The first book isn’t a mystery but a Christian novel that chronicles the lives of six women who change from a potluck prayer group to a catering group. Each member has different issues in their lives, as they grow in friendship and through trials. I wanted to skip it, but as I can’t completely do that without confusing you, I’ll give you a bite.

gotthis

The potluck group was started by Evangeline and grew to have five other members; Vonnie, Goldie, Lizzie, Donna, and Lisa Leann. The women go through trials, tribulations, prayer, and delicious food.

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Synopsis:

So since the hiccups of the first novel, the women have had a successful time with their catering business in their hometown. But things are about to change.

change

Lisa Leann’s son came to visit, and decided to film them for his media class. It turns out that he also used the footage to enter them in the reality show, The Great Party Showdown.

ohnoyoudidn't

Even though most don’t want to participate, they signed a contract and have to, besides that the church could really use the money they win.

We are so happy for you

We are so happy for you

They win their first challenge of catering a special event in the community, creating a 1930s Animal Crackers themed party.

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And now the ladies are off to New York.

Yay!

Yay!

Evangeline has adapted to married life with her long time crush, Sheriff Vernon Vesey. She has even developed a better relationship with her stepdaughter, Donna, who has previously hated her. Her biggest issue, she and Lisa Leann are going into the city to do preliminary research, will she survive spending time with the Texan she can’t stand?

2013-11-27-bradpitt friends ugh slap face stupid

Lisa Leann’s old affair came back to bite her in the last book. She admitted everything to her husband, but while he agreed to work on their marriage; he has been cold and silent. When Lisa Leann has to leave, Henry gives her an ultimatum: stay with him and they will stay together or leave and that will be the end.

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Vonnie is a little unsure about being in the city, but happy that her son David will be joining her. Vonnie was married when she moved to California to a Latina man. He died in Vietnam and Vonnie went into labor. Knocked out by grief and drugs; her mother told her that her son died and Vonnie signed the release papers, unknowingly signing her son’s adoption papers. When David surprised her by knocking on her door and revealing everything, Vonnie felt blessed to have her child back and loves every moment she has with him.

love

As they prepare for their next challenges, continuing the movie theme they find a few things they did not expect. They are doing very well, but a few things seem to be going wrong. Almost as if someone is sabotaging them.

Sabrina the teenage witch salem dum di dum dum dum

But which team?

HMMM

Lizzie is enjoying the break and opportunity to visit New York as she has had a lot on her plate. In the last book she had her mother’s Alzheimer growing worse, her youngest daughter’s wedding to plan, her son and his family moving in with her when he lost his job, and her husband being injured. But when she helps a deaf couple find their lost handbag, she discovers one of the production assistants for the show on a date with a contestant. She reads their lips and sees that the assistant has “everything arranged.” Is the contest rigged from on high? And if so, what can Lizzie do to stop it?

badfeeling

Donna is feeling pressure from all sides. In high school Donna and Wade dated, and she became pregnant. She lost the baby and Wade began drinking. Now 12 years later, Donna is a deputy and Wade is sober and taking care of his nephew Peter, the boy being the same age as their boy would have been. Donna is considering getting back with him, but then there is David who is crazy about her and wants to start a new relationship.

idon'tknowwhatI'mdoing

But now there are the paparazzo hounding her, a Cajun cook trying to start a relationship; all the while Donna being on two cases. First looking to see if her tip about Pete’s mom fleeing her abusive husband for New York to be true, and second who the saboteur is.

paris-whenitsizzlesaudreyhmmHepburn

Goldie and her husband Jack have had a rocky relationship. Jack had been cheating on Goldie since they first got together, due to his compulsion for sex. They’ve been in counseling, and with the help, Jack has been able to master his compulsion. However, Jack’s health has been bothering him, and when he has to have surgery Goldie leaves the competition to fly out to be by his side. Will she make it in time? Will Jack survive?

Aw...

Aw…

How will the potluckers be able to win this whole thing down a player and with a saboteur on the loose? Time to pray.

dearlordhelpme

 

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Thoughts After Reading:

I thought this was pretty good. The story was fun and interesting and I thought the development of the characters was great.

likeit

I loved the idea of the movie themed parties from An Affair to Remember, King Kong, and Guys and Dolls; defintely the theme direction I would have gone in.

You_know_thats_right

The only thing I thought was dumb was that Deputy Sheriff Donna was kind of dim about a few things. She starts investigating Bubba, the Cajun chef, as the potential saboteur and when he tells her she probably mistook his cousin Bordeaux who looks just like him.

really?

What a joke. Come on how could you not see through that.

seriously

There were a few other times when it would have been easy to see through things but she didn’t.

Idon'tthinkso Idontseeit

But otherwise, I thought it was a good read and think it is worth a read. 🙂

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For more caterer mysteries, go to Catering to Nobody

For more Christian novels, go to A Change of Fortune

For more sabotage mysteries, go to The Silence of the Llamas

For more mystery reviews, go to The October Game

Bloom and Doom

bloomandDoom

Bloom and Doom (A Bridal Bouquet Shop Mystery #1) by Beverly Allen

Audrey Bloom and her cousin Olivia have opened up a bridal shop in their hometown of Ramble.

Double double yay

What makes their shop stand out from others is that they specialize in the meaning of flowers. Once something that crucially studied in the Victorian era but has died out today; the Bloom cousins have decided to bring it back.

Meaning-of-Flowers

After a newspaper interview declares that the Bloom sisters have a 100% success rate in their marriages, they are chosen to do the flowers for two big weddings. The first being the wedding of the Mayor’s only daughter to her sweetheart, and the second being Jenny Whitney with the most eligible man inn town, Derek Rawling.

YayHappy-Success-GIF

Jenny and Audrey used to be friends back in the day; garage sale buddies, hanging out every Saturday. One day Jenny dropped her, lost weight, and joined the popular crowd; sayonara Audrey.

See ya!

See ya!

But as Jenny comes into the shop to choose her flowers, Audrey notices that she is not as excited and unlike most brides doesn’t have a single idea what she wants in a bouquet. Strange.

Very suspicious

Very suspicious

Even weirder, as her mother is the one making the decisions, they pick flowers that mean forsaken and other bad omen type flora. Doesn’t look good one bit.

Not-Good

A few days later Jenny calls Audrey canceling everything she ordered. She has decided that she will not be getting married after all as she doesn’t really love Derek, but instead was just seeing him because her mother wanted her to. She isn’t sure what she will do next with her life as she hasn’t been trained in anything, besides the early days when before her dad died when they owned a restaurant.

idon'tknowwhatI'mdoing

Audrey takes pity on her and offers her a trial job working at the shop.

gotthis

Jenny tries but sucks at cutting and trimming the flowers. While everyone else thinks it is a bad idea, Audrey gives her a bag with the floral scissors to practice at home.

Meanwhile, every day the new bakery owner, Nick, has been coming in to purchase flowers. Audrey thinks he is pretty cute, but since her fiancé jilted her for a “more interesting” New York City, she has been wary. However, maybe this guy…

Very fishy

Maybe.

The next day, Derek is found dead.

StarTrekTheOriginalSeriesHesDeadJim

He was discovered in his car, murdered with the floral scissors. The police arrest Jenny as they believe that she killed him.

thenannygasp

Now Audrey, is eager to prove her friend is innocent; armed by her cousin, the new baker, and the rest of the floral staff.

gotthis

To make matters even worse, Chief Bixby is in charge of the investigation, and he hates the Bloom cousins. Not only did he arrest Jenny but he is also trying to pin the murder on Blooms as well.

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Thoughts After Reading:

So I really enjoyed this mystery. I thought the characters were fun, the knowledge of the flowers were actually interesting, and I was eager to read more.

Cantstopreadingupallnight

However, there were a few things I didn’t like. Like Bixby trying to pin everything on the Bloom cousins because of his allergy to flowers?

really?

Or when he confiscates every set of scissors because the murder weapon is a set of floral scissors. Why? It make no sense? He already had the murder weapon in his possession.

seriously

But otherwise it was a great read. I’m ready for the sequel.

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For more Southern Mysteries, go to Sew Deadly

For more books revolving around Weddings, go to ‘Til Death Do Us Purl

For more mystery reviews, go to The Postman Always Purls Twice

 

A Pinch of Poison

pinchofpoison

A Pinch of Poison (A Hemlock Falls Mystery #3) by Claudia Bishop

So we haven’t talked about the Quilliam sisters since I started the blog, so let me do a quick review.

holdupwaitamin

In the first book, A Taste for Murder, we are introduced to the Quilliam sisters. Sarah “Quill” Quilliam is an artist in New York City, known as the next Georgia O’Keefe. She is starting to hit the big time, when she is stalled and has a block on what to paint next. Her younger sister, Meg, is an amazing chef who is also living in NYC. Around the time that Quill starts having trouble with her paintings, Meg’s husband is killed in an automobile accident. Both women need a change of scene and travel up north to rural New York. While visiting the cute, country town; the two discover a historic inn for sale. They decide to buy it, run it, and take on this new path of life. But things are far from ideal, as the sisters find themselves having to battle unruly guests, deal with the town’s Historic Days festival, and complexities of trying to fit in in a small town. To make matters worse: someone is sabotaging the inn, a murder occurs, Quill’s friend flees and is accused, Meg is poisoned, and much more.

wow

Now in book two, A Dash of Death. the sisters have cemented themselves a bit more into country life. Both have recovered from near misses in their last adventure, and are looking forward to the future. Unfortunately, the inn has not quite recovered as they are in need of a boost in guests and money. The group thinks they have found their salvation in TV sensation Helena Houndswood, star and creator of the show, It’s a Beautiful Life. Sadly for them, she turns out to have a major ego and becomes a huge headache for all parties. She comes to present the prize to the winner of the contest she ran, only to discover that instead of one winner, there are five. All are blue-collar women and workers at the local paint factory. And all five are nowhere near what Helena views as classy. In fact she would rather they decline and remain anonymous than set foot on being her show. When the winners start disappearing and having “accidental” deaths, Quill starts investigating as to who could be behind it all. Is it the jealous and abusive husband of one of the women? Could one of the women be getting rid of the others in order to increase her share? Could Helena be getting rid of them so they won’t “taint” her “beautiful” show? Or is someone else behind all this? Quill starts searching for the truth, but finds herself joining the ranks of the hunted.

thenannygasp

So now for A Pinch of Poison.

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Hedrick Conway has just moved to Hemlock Falls and has really started “something.”

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He and his family bought the newspaper in which Conway turned into a yellow tabloid, full of half truths, rumors, and what Conway feels is “news”.

Not-Good

Conway starts looking into the local mini mall that is about to sprout, the same one that the Quillam sisters and their employees sunk a bunch of their capital in.

Uh-oh

Uh-oh

As Hedrick starts investigating both his sister and mother end up dead.

StarTrekTheOriginalSeriesHesDeadJim

Who would want to kill them?

Very fishy

Once again the Quilliam sisters are on the case.

veronicamarsinvestigatesleuth

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I was very disappointed in this book.

IDon'tlikeit

It started out promising but became very boring.

NO emotion = BORING!

I mean there is a whole chapter on sewage!

What?

Who wants to read about that?

creepyew

I also didn’t like that the characters seemed to not learn from their past investigations and they made the same mistakes again.

seriously

I say two out of five stars.

horrible

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For more Hemlock Falls Mysteries, go to A Dash of Death

For more books on tabloids, go to The Murder of the Century: The Gilded Age Crime That Scandalized a City & Sparked the Tabloid Wars

For more mystery reviews, go to Cream Puff Murder

Where Are You Now?

Mothers-Day

Happy Mother’s Day!

So I wasn’t originally planning on posting anything today, but then I came across a book that just fit the theme and decided:

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So first thank you to all the moms out there. It is hard job and you are not honored enough.

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Where Are You Now? by Mary Higgins Clark

Charles “Mack” MacKenzie Jr. was your average college student. He came from a rich family, had a loving mother and father; a great little sister, good friends, a nice apartment; everyone who meet him liked him, he was studying to be a lawyer–i.e he has it all.

Lordoftherings LifeisGood

Then one day he walks out of his apartment and is never seen again.

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For the past ten years he hasn’t come back, the only contact the family has had is Mother’s Day. Between 12:00 a.m and 11:59 p.m. every Mother’s Day he calls, says a few words, and then hangs up.

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His parents have tried going to the police (they weren’t very helpful); have hired private investigators (who netted nothing); and questioned friends (they had nothing to add); but it all ends up with a big zero-nothing.

Not-Good

Even when his father is killed during 9/11, Mack refuses to change his procedure.

Come on, Mack

Come on, Mack

But now his younger sister, Carolyn, has decided she has had enough of this. She is tired of feeling hurt and betrayed. She is tired of always wondering why he left. And she is tired of seeing how destroyed her mother looks.

Stop this stupid love triangle!

She is going to search for Mack.

lets-do-this-ucas-gif

When Carolyn tells Mack that she is on the case and is determined to find him; she is surprised to find a note from Mack placed in the collection plate of her uncle’s church.

Interesting

Interesting

This note tells her not to look for him, but besides the warning Caroline is intrigued with its delivery. Is Mack still in New York? Had he never left?

Smirkity smirk smirk

Hmmm. Maybe she is on to something.

Carolyn decides to devote the next three weeks to searching; if she doesn’t find Mack then she will finally move on with her life, but if she does then she will finally have the mystery solved.

gotthis

She begins requestioning people from her brother’s past and happens upon some strange things. His old landlords are cagey, their statements contradictory, and they are all around reluctant to talk about that time. Could they possibly be involved with Mack’s disappearance?

suspicious Hmm

One of Mack’s old roommates, who is married to Mack’s old girlfriend; also doesn’t want to speak to Carolyn at all. And when he heard that Carolyn was asking questions he whisked his wife and kids out of the city. Very suspicious.

I've got my eye on you

I’ve got my eye on you

As Carolyn continues to investigate, she discovers that Mack was taking drama lessons and would record himself. When she tries to reach out to his former teacher she is told that the woman was killed while being mugged and that her house was broken into.

coincidenceithinknot

The only items stolen being Mack’s tapes.

Very fishy

Very fishy

Meanwhile, the police are swamped with a disappearance of a girl, Leesey, who lives right next door to Carolyn. She is the third in a series of such disappearances, the girls or their bodies never being found. As the cops are racing against the clock to find her, one detective looks through older evidence and discovers that Mack was at the same club the first girl disappeared from. Could he be involved with this vanishing? Or did he know who was and then disappeared because he was afraid.

urkelgif interesting hmm

With the press and police out to hang her brother for the crimes; and Carolyn starting to doubt his innocence as well; she knows more now than ever she must find him. But where is he?

31218-Where-Are-You-

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Thoughts After Reading:

I’ve only read a few Mary Higgins Clark: this book, Daddy’s Gone A Hunting, and Let Me Call You Sweetheart. For me I’ve noticed that her books are either a hit;

loveitSupernatural

Or a miss:

stupidestthingever

No in-between.

You_know_thats_right

This book was definitely a miss for me.

IDon'tlikeit

At first I loved the book, it had a very strong premise; the characters were interesting, and was written so well I had a hard time keeping my hands and mind off of it.

don'tneedsleepneedanswers

Mary Higgins Clark likes doing multiple narrations, and I really liked how she incorporated the killers mind. It was only a few times it really added to the book.

fantastic

However, the ending to this book just fell flat. The person they choose and the reasons behind it were kind of boring. You know same old same old.

blahblah

In fact the villain was so much something you have seen countless times I had no  trouble figuring out who he was.

im_bored_himym

The end was a bit of a letdown after all the action.

movingOnsherlocknotinterested

I also didn’t like the way she portrayed the police officers. They were mean and a bit stupid. They concentrated more on making the facts suit their theories rather than the facts speak for themselves.

bigmistake

All in all I thought it was only okay. Good for maybe one read, but not worthy to add to your permanent collection.

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For more mysteries revolving around a disappearance, go to The Unsolvable Mystery: The Mystery of Edwin Drood

For more mysteries not in a series, go to Murder and Other Unnatural Disasters

For more holiday posts, go to Wookie Cookies

The Murder of the Century: The Gilded Age Crime That Scandalized a City & Sparked the Tabloid Wars

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The Murder of the Century: The Gilded Age Crime That Scandalized a City & Sparked the Tabloid Wars by Paul Collins

I first became aware of this book through a contest. You entered to win the book, the only thing required of you was to write an honest review.

I entered and couldn’t wait for my email saying they were sending the book to my kindle!

Please!

I checked my email, and I saw that they decided to not send me the book.

What?

As they felt I wasn’t suited to it, that I wasn’t the “right choice” of reader.

whatsthatsupposedtomean

I was so mad.

IDon'tlikeit

But I still really wanted to read it. So I put it on my Goodreads’ list, and decided to wait until my library bought a copy, to borrow and read it.

So lo and behold, I got my hands on a copy and I LOVED IT!

cluelesstravistwothumbsup!

The book chronicles the discovery of chopped up body found in different sections of New York City, in 1897. All the great newspapers were sparring at the time and competing as to who could find the man’s identity and figure out the killer first. The book is divided into seven parts.

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I: The Victim

victim

The pieces of the body are found scattered throughout the city and surrounding, minus a head. From boys discovering the chest while taking a dip off a pier; a family going cherry picking and finding a leg; to a farmer looking at a red duck pond and realizing that not only has blood tainted the water but there is also a body part.

Which such an astounding discovery, reporters are sent out everywhere, investigating before the police even decided it was a murder case.

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II: The Suspects

Are you lying to me?

After figuring out who the mutilated corpse was, reporters discover his lover Mrs. Nack, her estranged husband, and new love interest. Which one did the killing? Who is innocent?

Each newspaper backs up a seperate person as innocent and persecutes who they believe to be a villian. It is up to the police to do actual work in investigating who has the motive, means, and of course: who actually did it not who makes the best news.

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III: The Indictment

possiblesuspectbecomesprimarysuspectbones

The police settle on who they believe the killer is, the D.A is building a case and defense attorneys are fighting for their chance to represent the case of a lifetime.

Now just because the police are preparing to prosecute someone, doesn’t mean it is all over fpor the newspapers. They are still contending with each other, and making sure everyone knows the facts and fiction.

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IV: The Trial

Trial_by_Jury_Usher

Jury selection begins, a truly difficult matter as with the newspapers how they are, as practically every person is aware of what the case entails.

As the accused await trial, the newspapers continue to cover and predict what will happen next. Men and women travel from all over to watch the trial, enduring a rotten stench, extreme heat, and other issues arising from the poor construction of a courthouse.

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V: The Verdict

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The jury and judge decide whom the guilty parties are and distribute sentence. Appeals are made to the government and the newspapers.

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VI: Epilogue

the-end-or-is-it

Collins concludes with not only a summarization of what happened next in our main character’s lives; but also gives a brief lesson on the newspapers rises, falls, and buyouts.

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Thoughts After Reading:

I ABSOLUTELY LOVED this book.

fantastic

I thought it was supremely perfect. It was informative, historical, and told everything in an amazing and interesting way. I know many historians fall victim to being dry and dull, but not this work. In fact I had the hardest time putting it down.

from janeaustenrunsmylife.wordpress.com

from janeaustenrunsmylife.wordpress.com

Everything about it was just amazing! I am dying to buy a copy. And I am looking forward to reading more of Collins’ work.

startatponcestartrek

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For more Goodreads recommendations, go to The Dollhouse Murders

For more book reviews, go to Good, Clean, Murder