Although Wood’s last Prior Ford novel did offer up a murder (Mystery in Prior’s Ford, 2012, etc.), the series and her latest...

RETURN TO PRIOR'S FORD

The people of the small Scottish border town of Prior’s Ford have their secrets large and small.

Linn Hall is home to the Ralston-Kerr family. Determined to restore the glory of Linn’s gardens, they have been working for years with the help of summer students and passionate garden expert Ginny Whitelaw. Ginny is in love with Lewis Ralston-Kerr, who is not over a failed love affair that produced a little girl. Ginny, an attractive and intelligent young woman, avoids her mother, the actress Meredith Whitelaw, a beautiful, self-centered woman who has either ignored or criticized Ginny most of her life. When Meredith agrees to open the annual garden fete, it is with the proviso that Linn Hall’s never-used formal rooms be thrown open and a dinner provided for her and the fellow actors she is bringing with her. The ground floor is scrubbed and decorated by the local women, and Meredith comes up with a plan to have their restoration paid for and filmed for TV with her as presenter. Alison Greenlees is trying to convince stubborn local farmer Ewan McNair to marry her. Sam Brennan and Marcy Copleton run the local store, but a big secret from Marcy’s past is going to cause problems. Helen Campbell is married to the Linn Hall gardener but has recently won a contest to write a serial for a magazine; she already secretly writes the agony aunt column for the local paper. When a newcomer, a retired college professor with a secret, offers to pay her double to type his articles, she accepts, little knowing that it will change her life forever. The pace of life may be slow, but there are always things going on under the surface.

Although Wood’s last Prior Ford novel did offer up a murder (Mystery in Prior’s Ford, 2012, etc.), the series and her latest entry is really a pleasant, romantic look at life in a small town.

Pub Date: Jan. 1, 2013

ISBN: 978-0-7278-8219-6

Page Count: 224

Publisher: Severn House

Review Posted Online: Dec. 24, 2012

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Jan. 15, 2013

Did you like this book?

No Comments Yet

This anxiety-fueled stand-alone from Edgar nominee Gaylin (What Remains of Me, 2016, etc.) takes the gulf that naturally...

IF I DIE TONIGHT

After a hit-and-run kills a high school student, the court of public opinion convicts a lonely outcast.

When Jackie Reed hears her 17-year-old son, Wade, sneaking out the night before the SATs, she knows she should stop him; instead, she pops a Xanax and returns to bed. At 4 a.m., Jackie’s 13-year-old, Connor, wakes to find a rain-soaked Wade hiding something in his closet; he considers tattling but promises to keep quiet. These seemingly innocuous decisions come back to haunt Jackie and Connor the next morning. While Officer Pearl Maze was working the graveyard shift at the Havenkill, New York, police department, Amy Nathanson burst through the door claiming to have been carjacked. According to Amy, her screams summoned 17-year-old Liam Miller, whom the thief ran over during his escape. The cops canvass the neighborhood for witnesses, and the Reeds are stunned to realize that Wade matches the suspect’s description. Evidence mounts against him, and the community ostracizes his family, but still Wade refuses to divulge his whereabouts at the time of the accident. The book opens with Wade’s suicide note, then flashes back five days and unfolds from the perspectives of Jackie, Connor, Pearl, and Amy. This narrative shift maximizes suspense by forcing readers to guess at Wade’s thoughts and actions, allowing Gaylin to insightfully explore the crime’s ripple effects.

This anxiety-fueled stand-alone from Edgar nominee Gaylin (What Remains of Me, 2016, etc.) takes the gulf that naturally develops between teenagers and their families and stocks it with sharks.

Pub Date: March 6, 2018

ISBN: 978-0-06-264111-3

Page Count: 384

Publisher: Morrow/HarperCollins

Review Posted Online: Dec. 12, 2017

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Jan. 1, 2018

Did you like this book?

No Comments Yet

Proficient but eminently predictable. Amid all the time shifts and embedded backstories, the most surprising feature is how...

THE A LIST

A convicted killer’s list of five people he wants dead runs the gamut from the wife he’s already had murdered to franchise heroine Ali Reynolds.

Back in the day, women came from all over to consult Santa Clarita fertility specialist Dr. Edward Gilchrist. Many of them left his care happily pregnant, never dreaming that the father of the babies they carried was none other than the physician himself, who donated his own sperm rather than that of the handsome, athletic, disease-free men pictured in his scrapbook. When Alexandra Munsey’s son, Evan, is laid low by the kidney disease he’s inherited from his biological father and she returns to Gilchrist in search of the donor’s medical records, the roof begins to fall in on him. By the time it’s done falling, he’s serving a life sentence in Folsom Prison for commissioning the death of his wife, Dawn, the former nurse and sometime egg donor who’d turned on him. With nothing left to lose, Gilchrist tattoos himself with the initials of five people he blames for his fall: Dawn; Leo Manuel Aurelio, the hit man he’d hired to dispose of her; Kaitlyn Todd, the nurse/receptionist who took Dawn’s place; Alex Munsey, whose search for records upset his apple cart; and Ali Reynolds, the TV reporter who’d helped put Alex in touch with the dozen other women who formed the Progeny Project because their children looked just like hers. No matter that Ali’s been out of both California and the news business for years; Gilchrist and his enablers know that revenge can’t possibly be served too cold. Wonder how far down that list they’ll get before Ali, aided once more by Frigg, the methodical but loose-cannon AI first introduced in Duel to the Death (2018), turns on them?

Proficient but eminently predictable. Amid all the time shifts and embedded backstories, the most surprising feature is how little the boundary-challenged AI, who gets into the case more or less inadvertently, differs from your standard human sidekick with issues.

Pub Date: April 2, 2019

ISBN: 978-1-5011-5101-9

Page Count: 352

Publisher: Gallery Books/Simon & Schuster

Review Posted Online: Feb. 19, 2019

Kirkus Reviews Issue: March 1, 2019

Did you like this book?

more