To Have and To Kill - Mary Jane Clark
ARC Copy Received from NetGalley
Expected Publication Date: December 28, 2010
"This fluffy first in a promising new cozy series from bestseller Clark (Dying for Mercy) introduces 27-year-old, down-on-her-luck actress Piper Donovan. After a painful breakup and too few acting gigs in Manhattan, Piper has returned home to Hillwood, NJ, where she's assisting her mother, Terri, at the family bakery, the Icing on the Cupcake. Piper is please to be preparing the cake for the upcoming wedding of her friend Glenna Brooks, the star of A Little Rain Must Fall, a daytime soap opera that Piper appeared in before her character was killed off. An actual murder, the cyanide poisoning of one of Glenna's A Little Rain Must Fall co-stars and her former lover, Travis York, threatens to derail the wedding. After further dangerously sticky developments, Piper confronts the surprising killer. Piper having to deal with Terri's macular degeneration lends some emotional weight." - Publishers Weekly
I was happily surprised by this book. I really wasn't expecting this to be so full of twist and turns. I have to admit there were quite a few times I thought, I know who the killer is... but go figure...I had no idea! Mary Jane Clark's writing style is fantastic -- it was a fun little mystery in which I was hooked to the characters! This is part of the Wedding Cake Mysteries series, so I will most certainly be on the look out for the others.
I really liked Piper's character because I felt like she was very similar to me. She has her own dreams and aspirations, but family always comes first. I also feel like part of her wants to be a super-spy and get everything solved as quickly as she can. I absolutely loved that Piper was obsessed with updating her Twitter and Facebook at any chance that she could. Piper's mother reminded me of my mother - just all around sweet, caring, loving individual (who always looks out for her baby) - and her father was just a complete nut. Her father had me laughing throughout the entire book!
You will be completely stunned when you read this, and I'm sure like me, you will think you've solved the murders at least 5 times...I promise you -- you haven't!
Overall - 4
Plot - 3
Characters - 5
Writing Style - 4
About Mary Jane Clark
Mary Jane Clark's media books have appeared on the New York Times, USA Today, Publishers Weekly and other national bestseller lists. Her books have been published in 23 languages.
The Associated Press says: "Her novels are like Agatha Christie's whodunits, but they have a hard, contemporary edge that enhances the fear factor.
They are so addictive, in fact, that her readers would surely suffer withdrawal symptoms unless they kept coming on a regular basis... She is one of the most talented story tellers around."
Mary Jane spent three decades at CBS News' New York City headquarters... where she began her career as a desk assistant after graduating with degrees in journalism and political science from the University of Rhode Island.... and worked her way through the ranks to become a producer and writer.
Her first books came from that experience. She developed KEY News, a fictional television new world where the characters go out into the world to cover their stories and get involved in mystery and suspense.
Those twelve novels include: Do You Want to Know a Secret? Do You Promise Not to Tell? Let Me Whisper in Your Ear, Close to You, Nobody Knows, Nowhere to Run, Hide Yourself Away, Dancing in the Dark, Lights Out Tonight, When Day Breaks, It Only Takes a Moment and Dying for Mercy.
To Have and To Kill is the first book in The Wedding Cake Mystery series.
"My aim is lay out all the clues in such a way that you don't even realize that you've been given the answer to the mystery until you get to the end... and then realize "Aha... it was there all the time but I just didn't see it." ...Mary Jane Clark
Mary Jane is the mother of two grown children and has homes in New Jersey and Florida.