Willing Murder
by Deveraux, Jude






The discovery of two bodies in a quiet Florida community exposes old secrets and deadly grudges, prompting a group of improbable friends to try to uncover the truth. By the New York Times best-selling author of Moonlight. 150,000 first printing.





Upon learning she has an aunt-famous, reclusive romance writer Sara Medlar-Kate Medlar becomes a real-estate agent in insular Lachlan, Florida, so she can learn more about her father, who died when she was a child. Sara enthusiastically welcomes her, inviting Kate to stay in her large home along with construction-company owner Jack Wyatt, on crutches recovering from a car accident that killed his half-brother. At one of Jack's sites, the three accidentally uncover the skeletons of Cheryl Morris and her mother, who supposedly left town 20 years before. Sara, Kate, and Jack, who at 11 worshipped the then-teenage Cheryl, investigate, determined to find justice for the two, uncovering decades-old secrets and stirring up a killer determined to protect those secrets. Complicating matters, the suave Alastair Stewart is romantically interested in Kate, annoying Jack. The three well-drawn main characters, plot twists, verbal sparring, and the romance elements distinguish this gentle suspense novel, the first venture into crime fiction by romance-megastar Deveraux. There's enough romance here, though, to interest those who enjoy reading Phyllis Whitney and Barbara Michaels. Copyright 2018 Booklist Reviews.





The mystery debut of bestselling romance author Deveraux (As You Wish, 2018, etc.) starts with an unhappily-ever-after—an unsolved murder. But its heroine, a romance novelist, has a better ending in mind. After purchasing a house in her hometown of Lachlan, Florida, Sara Medlar makes a gruesome discovery in her yard. Buried beneath a poinciana tree with flaming red leaves are the skeletons of a mother and daughter. Sara's housemate, Jackson "Jack" Wyatt, knew the victims well. Cheryl Morris skipped town 20 years ago, just after her 16th birthday, presumably with her mother. Although Jack was younger, the two were friends, and he knew she aspired to be a television journalist, not a runaway. But Cheryl's mother was believed to be a prostitute, which was why only Jack questioned the family's disappearance. Jack is now a construction worker and the grandson Sara wished she'd had with his late grandfather, who married someone else. He's haunted by the car accident that kill ed his half brother and left him on crutches. Meanwhile, Sara's niece, realtor Kate Medlar, has joined Sara in Lachlan to learn more about her late father. Kate and Jack fight like siblings, but there's room for romance in future books. For now, Sara, Kate, and Jack form a trio of unlikely sleuths, using Sara's fame as an author and the house's notoriety as a crime scene to pump the locals for more information. Although the story's tone is dark, Deveraux's signature humor often peeks through, especially when the sheriff points out all the ways the trio's meddling has jeopardized the case. Fans of Deveraux and the cozy mystery genre will find common ground in this twisted tale of forgotten graves, small-town grudges, and new friends. Copyright Kirkus 2018 Kirkus/BPI Communications. All rights reserved.






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