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

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

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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.

"[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 

 

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Editorial Reviews

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.
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.]

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Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780738723730
Publisher:
Llewellyn Worldwide, LTD.
Publication date:
09/08/2010
Series:
Darby Farr Series , #1
Sold by:
Barnes & Noble
Format:
NOOK Book
Pages:
336
Sales rank:
290,284
File size:
1 MB

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.
 


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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