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A House to Die For (Darby Farr Series #1)
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A House to Die For (Darby Farr Series #1)

4.5 7
by Vicki Doudera
 

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Red-hot real estate agent Darby Farr has spent years trying to forget her hometown of Hurricane Harbor, Maine—especially the painful memories of being raised by her controlling aunt following her parents' tragic deaths. Then one morning, she learns her aunt is dying, and the calculating woman has one final demand: clinch the multimillion-dollar sale of

Overview

Red-hot real estate agent Darby Farr has spent years trying to forget her hometown of Hurricane Harbor, Maine—especially the painful memories of being raised by her controlling aunt following her parents' tragic deaths. Then one morning, she learns her aunt is dying, and the calculating woman has one final demand: clinch the multimillion-dollar sale of Fairview, a breathtaking waterfront estate.

The deal seems simple, but trouble is brewing on the rocky coast. Within hours of Darby's arrival, an obscure deed restriction scuttles the sale just as the backup buyer is found bludgeoned to death on the property's grounds. Assisted by handsome journalist Miles Porter, Darby uncovers dark secrets that reveal an ugly scandal . . . and even uglier motives for murder. As a brutal storm surges up the coast, Darby must salvage the deal, find the killer—and somehow stay alive.

Praise:

"An appealing debut . . . the author does a good job portraying Darby in her efforts to make peace with her childhood past and solve a murder on a picturesque Maine island."—Publishers Weekly

"A superb prologue, wonderful story, atmospheric with a good plot."—Crimespree Magazine

"Light and entertaining, A House to Die For is a fun mystery and fantastic way to spend an evening!" —Suspense Magazine

"[Doudera] expertly weaves a tale of suspense on a Maine island, where murder and real estate are an explosive combination."-Tess Gerritsen, New York Times bestselling author of The Mephisto Club

"Here's a fast-paced and well-told story with a smart, savvy real estate agent as the heroine, solving crimes while making sales. Bring on the next one!"-Barbara Corcoran, real estate contributor for NBC's Today Show and author of Nextville: Amazing Places to Live the Rest of Your Life

Editorial Reviews

Children's Literature - Marcie Flinchum Atkins
Darby Farr moves to California to get away from Maine and her past heartaches there. When her dying aunt needs her to close a real estate deal for her, Darby hesitantly makes the trip back to Maine. The deal that involves selling a childhood friend's home turns out to be more complicated than she thought. First, there's the matter of an old deed that may keep it from getting rezoned into a commercial property. Then there's the surgeon from Boston who wants to buy it out from underneath the current buyers. When his body turns up at the estate, Darby realizes there is more to this real estate deal than just a rezoning issue. In the middle of dealing with her own past, Darby must solve a mystery with many twists and turns. She isn't sure what the truth is, and her life is threatened more than once. But Darby doesn't run back to California. She stays through her aunt's memorial service and solves the mystery. Doudera not only creates a protagonist who solves a mystery, but also makes a personal journey of healing and understanding her past. Darby Farr becomes a realtor turned detective in her own hometown. Readers will want to read more of Darby Farr's mysteries after reading this debut novel. Reviewer: Marcie Flinchum Atkins
Library Journal
Darby Farr returns home to Hurricane Harbor, ME, to handle a real estate deal for her terminally ill aunt. With a greedy woman and an unscrupulous doctor vying to buy the property, the closing comes down to murder. VERDICT This gentle cozy with some unexpected plot twists is sure to please fans of Sarah Graves. [See Prepub Mystery, LJ 12/09.]
Publishers Weekly
Doudera's appealing cozy debut introduces Darby Farr, a half-Asian San Diego realtor. On hearing her realtor aunt, Jane, is dying, Darby heads home to Hurricane Harbor, Maine, to help her aunt's assistant with Jane's last sale—the Fairview estate owned by old brother and sister friends of Darby's, Mark and Lucy Trimble. Bostonian Peyton Mayerson, the head of Pemberton Point Weddings, has made an impressive offer, but backup buyer Emerson Phipps, a prominent Boston surgeon, is sure he'll be Fairview's new owner. Before the multimillion-dollar sale can go through, someone bludgeons Phipps to death in the property's garden shed. Lucy, who's found hurt near the crime scene, becomes a suspect. While real estate matters slow the narrative in places, the author does a good job portraying Darby in her efforts to make peace with her childhood past and solve a murder on a picturesque Maine island. (Apr.)
Kirkus Reviews
A realtor reluctantly returns to her old home only to become embroiled in a deadly game of deceit. When her tough aunt Jane, the Florida realtor who'd come north to raise her after the death of her parents, sold the family home on Hurricane Island, Darby Farr fled for California. Now Tina, her aunt's assistant, begs her to return to finalize a multimillion-dollar deal for the sale of a stately oceanfront estate Jane had set up before slipping into a coma. Upon her arrival, she's confronted by Soames Pemberton, a drugged-up ex-SEAL who warns her to leave the island. The real-estate deal becomes a lot more complicated when Dr. Emerson Phipps is found murdered on the grounds of Fairview, the estate he'd coveted even before it was inherited by Mark and Lucy Trimble. Phipps was an old college friend of Mark, who'd wanted Phipps to buy the place because he didn't know that his old buddy had raped the teenaged Lucy, now a recovering drug addict and talented painter. Further complications follow apace. Peyton Mayerson, who's supposed to be buying Fairview, arrives on Hurricane Island with her handsome Italian boyfriend and some secrets of her own. Pemberton turns up at the town board meeting with a deed restriction that may scuttle the sale. More people die. Darby had better figure out what is going on before she's added to the list. Doudera's debut is a welcome addition to the genre, chock full of danger and romance.

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780738719504
Publisher:
Llewellyn Worldwide, LTD.
Publication date:
04/08/2010
Series:
Darby Farr Series , #1
Pages:
328
Sales rank:
1,152,648
Product dimensions:
5.20(w) x 7.90(h) x 0.90(d)

Meet the Author

Vicki Doudera's debut mystery A House to Die For, was selected to the Best of 2010 list in Suspense Magazine. She is the author three nonfiction books on real estate and the Darby Farr Mystery Series, starring a crime-solving real estate agent.Doudera's articles have appeared in Parenting, People, Reader’s Digest, Yankee and Down East magazines.

Doudera has been profiled on WCSH-TV’s “207,” and her writing has been favorably reviewed in prominent mystery and book industry magazines, as well as in the Bangor Daily News, Times Record, Kennebec Journal, Lincoln County News and Midcoast Beacon. She belongs to Mystery Writers of America (MWA), is on the board of Sisters in Crime, New England, and blogs regularly for Maine Crime Writers (mainecrimewriters.com).

Doudera lives with her family in Camden, Maine, where she enjoys spending time with her friends, kids and funny pets; hiking, cycling and knitting; and living in a beautiful, old house. Like her protagonist, Darby Farr,Doudera also sells real estate with a busy coastal firm.She is president of her local Habitat for Humanity chapter and is a member of the National Association of Realtors.

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A House to Die For 4.6 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 7 reviews.
avid-mystery-reader More than 1 year ago
This fabulous setting is perfect for the twists and turns of the intricate story. Keeps you guessing all the way and definetly leads to a surprise ending. Looking forward to her next book.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
susanneleist More than 1 year ago
It is hard to find a good mystery. A mystery where all the clues come together perfectly at the end. It is easy for some people to say afterward that the ending was obvious. In hindsight, everything seems obvious. I'm a die hard mystery reader, and it wasn't obvious to me. The important clues weren't revealed until later in the book. I found this book in a bookstore. I took a chance. And it paid off. I love looking for new authors. Most authors get a little boring after they've written book after book. I'm always looking for new talent. I liked all the characters. I thought the main character was a little full of herself. But otherwise, the story was great. I was able to picture the house, its gardens, and the beach. I have a new author to follow. I wish her the best of luck.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I really enjoyed this book and look forward to reading the others in this series. I hope she keeps going with it! Loved that it was set on an island off Maine as I have spent quite a bit of time on just such an island!!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Suspensemag More than 1 year ago
The last thing that successful, west coast realtor Darby Farr is expecting on a beautiful sunny morning is a deathbed demand from the past. Having fled the small island she grew up on years before, she had no desire to return to her haunting past even in the face of her aunt's tragic illness and request for assistance. Regardless of her irritation, it is impossible to turn her back on what may be a final bid for help from her long lost Aunt and Darby is compelled to hop on the plane. She soon finds that this simple request isn't going to be so easy. Grab a pint of ice cream, put on comfy pajamas and enjoy. Light and entertaining, "A House to Die For" is a fun mystery and fantastic way to spend an evening! Reviewed by Shannon Raab with Suspense Magazine www.suspensemagazine.com