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A Willing Murder
2018
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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. - (Baker & Taylor)

New York Times bestselling romance author Jude Deveraux makes her debut in the world of mystery with a story of old secrets, deadly grudges and an improbable group of friends who are determined to uncover the truth regardless of the consequences…

Sara Medlar is a household name in romance, with millions of books sold. But lately, retirement has been boring her and she’s found herself back in her hometown of Lachlan, Florida, remodeling the grand old mansion she’d admired as a child. It’s much too big for her alone, but she’d die before letting anyone in town know that.

Then Sara’s niece Kate is offered a job in Lachlan—a start in what could be a very successful career in real estate. She accepts immediately, but with so little saved up, she’ll have to approach her estranged yet incredibly famous aunt for a place to stay while she gets herself settled. But when she arrives at Sara’s home, she finds she’s not the only long-term houseguest. Jackson Wyatt already has his own room, and though it’s impossible to deny his good looks and charm—he’s clearly got her aunt wrapped around his finger—she’s also never met anyone who irritates her quite like Jack does.

However, when two skeletons are accidentally uncovered in the quiet town, this unlikely trio is suddenly thrust together by a common goal: to solve a mystery everyone else seems eager to keep under wraps. United by a sense of justice and the desire to right old wrongs, Sara, Kate and Jack will have to dig into Lachlan’s murky past to unravel the small town’s dark secrets and work to bring the awful truth to light. - (Harlequin)

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Booklist Reviews

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.

Library Journal Reviews

Surprised that the author is Deveraux, mega-best-selling author of romance and women's fiction? Here she switches gears to write a mystery that opens with two corpses found in small-town Lachlan, FL. Everyone wants them buried figuratively as well as literally, and it takes a trio of risk-taking protagonists to uncover the truth. With a 150,000-copy first printing.

Copyright 2018 Library Journal.

Library Journal Reviews

When best-selling romance author Sara Medlar retires to her hometown of Lachlan, FL, and buys the mansion she'd admired as a child, she hires Jack Wyatt, grandson of her childhood boyfriend, to remodel it. She also offers her niece a place to stay when Kate accepts a job as a real estate agent in Lachlan. But Kate and Jack, who is also a house guest, are like oil and water, each irritating the other. When a storm knocks down a tree and uncovers human remains, the trio discover they do have something in common: the need to seek justice for the two women who disappeared 20 years earlier. It's not easy to uncover secrets in a small community. However, Sara, Kate, and Jack are pushy enough to ignore warnings and additional murders, even as they bicker with one another. Acclaimed romance author Deveraux (A Knight in Shining Armor) makes her mystery debut with this delightful small-town tale headed by three engaging leads, whose banter is amusing. At the same time, readers will sympathize with the victims. VERDICT Suggest for readers who enjoy witty mysteries, such as those by Deborah Coonts, as well as Deveraux's many fans. [See Prepub Alert, 3/12/18.]—Lesa Holstine, Evansville Vanderburgh P.L., IN

Copyright 2018 Library Journal.

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