Footprints in the Sand (Piper Donovan Series #3)

( 33 )

Overview

It's the dead of winter and struggling actress and wedding-cake decorator Piper Donovan is thrilled to be in warm and romantic Sarasota, Florida, enjoying the powdery white beaches, soothing seas, and golden sunsets over the Gulf of Mexico. She and her family are there to celebrate her beloved cousin's wedding. Not only is Piper creating the sugar-sand-dollar-festooned wedding cake, she's also the maid of honor.

But a cloud seems to be hovering over the whole affair. Shortly ...

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Footprints in the Sand (Piper Donovan Series #3)

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Overview

It's the dead of winter and struggling actress and wedding-cake decorator Piper Donovan is thrilled to be in warm and romantic Sarasota, Florida, enjoying the powdery white beaches, soothing seas, and golden sunsets over the Gulf of Mexico. She and her family are there to celebrate her beloved cousin's wedding. Not only is Piper creating the sugar-sand-dollar-festooned wedding cake, she's also the maid of honor.

But a cloud seems to be hovering over the whole affair. Shortly after a bridesmaid mysteriously disappears, a kindly neighbor's car is run off the road and a prospective witness, an innocent Amish teenager, is threatened to keep silent. Then a body is found on the beach where the wedding will take place. With the nuptials in jeopardy, it falls to Piper to unmask a killer.

As Piper gets close to figuring out who's been covering his guilty footprints in the sand, the cunning killer has already set his sights on Piper as his next victim!

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Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly
In bestseller Clark’s fast-paced third Piper Donovan mystery (after 2012’s The Look of Love), the wedding cake decorator and sporadic actress pulls double-duty at the Sarasota, Fla., upcoming marriage of her cousin Kathy Leeds by serving as Kathy’s maid of honor as well as preparing the cake. Casting a pall on the proceedings is the discovery of the body of one of the bridesmaids on a patch of isolated beach. Piper once again turns amateur sleuth, despite the misgivings of her family and FBI counterterrorist agent boyfriend, Jack Lombardi. Potential suspects include an ex-con, a real estate developer, and a wedding planner with ties to the local Amish community. While Piper shows concern for those close to her, she can also display a callous side (e.g., she uploads photos of a crime scene to her Facebook page). Piper’s emotional distance may be off-putting to some cozy readers looking for more heart. Agent: Jennifer Rudolph Walsh, William Morris Endeavor. (Jan.)
Library Journal
Beautiful Florida and a cousin's wedding can't keep cake-decorator Piper out of danger when a corpse is found on the beach—and that's just for openers. This is Piper's third outing (after The Look of Love). [See Prepub Alert, 8/20/12.]
Kirkus Reviews
Actress/baker Piper Donovan (The Look of Love, 2012, etc.) travels to Sarasota for another homicide-laced wedding at the best beach in America. Piper has been chosen as maid of honor by her cousin Kathy Leeds, who's marrying Dan Clemens of the Mote Marine Lab. But it's impossible for the bridal couple to hold center stage when they're competing with so many corpses. The first victim is Shelley Hart, Kathy's colleague at the Whispering Sands Inn, whose murderer buries her in the sand and tells Levi Fisher, an Amish teen who caught him in the act, that he'll kill Levi's sister Miriam if he doesn't keep mum. The second is Levi, who hangs himself and leaves behind a suicide note confessing to the murder rather than condemning Miriam to unending threats. He's followed the same night by Jo-Jo Williams, an observant cocktail waitress whose brief stint as a blackmailer comes to a predictably swift end. The police assume that Levi is the killer, both before and after his death. But Clark duly implicates Dan's best man, Brad O'Hara, a kayak concessionaire with a troubled past; Levi's uncle Isaac Goode, the Whispering Sands wedding planner who's been shunned by the Amish ever since renouncing his faith; and developer Walter Engel, whose bare-knuckled tactics for expanding the Whispering Sands strike some homeowners as uncomfortably menacing. The behavior of both the killer and the hapless Levi, who falsely confesses to the murder but leaves behind a cryptic clue to the real miscreant, defy belief, but fans of Clark's more famous ex-mother-in-law will be pleased to see that the line distinguishing the two has virtually disappeared.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780062135452
  • Publisher: HarperCollins Publishers
  • Publication date: 1/21/2014
  • Series: Piper Donovan Series , #3
  • Pages: 384
  • Sales rank: 158,203
  • Product dimensions: 5.20 (w) x 8.50 (h) x 1.20 (d)

Meet the Author

Mary Jane Clark worked at CBS News for nearly three decades. Her twelve KEY News media thrillers were inspired by that experience. Envisioning the Piper Donovan/Wedding Cake mystery series, Mary Jane enrolled in cake-decorating classes and researched unique wedding locations. The daughter of an FBI agent and a mother who customized cakes for the neighborhood kids when she was growing up, Mary Jane has two grown children and splits her time between New Jersey and Florida. She is currently concocting her next novel.

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Customer Reviews

Average Rating 4
( 33 )
Rating Distribution

5 Star

(10)

4 Star

(13)

3 Star

(7)

2 Star

(3)

1 Star

(0)

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See All Sort by: Showing 1 – 20 of 33 Customer Reviews
  • Posted January 21, 2013

    I liked the Sarasota setting but thought the mystery was too pre

    I liked the Sarasota setting but thought the mystery was too predictable and Clark's formula (similar the other Clark women's books) wasn't done as well here as in some of her other books.

    I had difficulty with Piper swinging from a seemingly grown-up 27 year old with a career to an immature teenager-like kid who posts some inappropriate things on Facebook and uses strange dialog at times. (My 25 year-old thought it was strange, too)

    But all that aside, it just wasn't that good of a mystery.
    selection if your

    4 out of 4 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted January 15, 2013

    This was a good book, it kept you guessing until the end. If yo

    This was a good book, it kept you guessing until the end. If you read the other ones it pretty much picks up where the other one left off.

    3 out of 3 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted September 16, 2013

    Recommed

    Really enjoy this series. I am one who really enjoys reading thrillers and mystery books among others and really enjoy being able to find and read ones that are not always such intense ones but yet hold your interest with their characters and plots. This series is one of those kinds--when you want a break from the more intense ones, but don't want to pick one the kind that you read as a kid--want one with more depth to it that will still hold your interest and keep you wondering who among your suspects is actually the one "who dun it" as the saying goes.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted July 22, 2013

    Kept me interested

    A very good read, which kept me in suspense until late into the book.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted July 3, 2013

    Highly Recommend

    This was a great book. It was hard to put it down once I started it. Mary Jane Clark is a great writer.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted May 24, 2013

    The series continues!

    As with all of the previous Piper Donovan mysteries, this book is a fun, fast read. See if you can figure out "whodunit" before the end. If you liked the previous books, you love this one, too. If you haven't read the previous books, I suggest you get them & read them from #1 to now!

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted May 3, 2013

    This was a fun light read, like the other wedding cake books. I

    This was a fun light read, like the other wedding cake books. I read the entire book during a marathon color correction at the hairdresser's - it kept me entertained throughout.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted April 5, 2013

    So far, I love my new book! Check it out...

    I bought the Nook book for my mom, who is in long term care. I read that stroke victims have a better time with e-readers than paper books. She is having an enjoyable experience with her Nook. I just have to bring it home every couple of weeks to get it charged up again. I bought the Hardback edition for myself @ home. Being a busy person, I like the short chapters with plenty of stopping places! It is also based in my region, so I can relate from my time living in Sarasota, FL! Love it!

    1 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted December 10, 2014

    |The Original Pact Clan Introduction|

    A light gray tabby sh

    |The Original Pact Clan Introduction| <p>

    A light gray tabby shecat pads in and announces, “Hello everyone. First off thank you for listening. Now I want to ask you a question. Do you feel as though the nook clans are actually like the books? I mean when you think about it, there are not many wars, borders, gatherings, medicine cat meetings, or a true Starclan or Dark Forest. The problem? Too many clans. It's simply impossible for these things to occur on a regular basis when new clans are made constantly and then die soon afterward. I'm not here to preach about how we should combine clans or anything like that. It wouldn't work. But I am here to invite you to join a system of clans that will actually be like the books. Horseclan (Windclan), Sandclan (Riverclan), Ashclan (Thunderclan), Northclan (Shadowclan), and Rainclan (Skyclan) have made a pact to join together and rp only with each other. There are set dates for gatherings and medicine cat meetings (they alternate every Sunday and are all day events), borders, drama that can lead to wars, seasons (which you get to vote on as well as battles), and even a Starclan and Dark Forest for only THOSE clans' ancestors! We even have our own Pact Code! Sound interesting? Well you have a chance to join us! But before I tell you how to join, let me make the following things very clear: </p>
    <p>

    1. The pact clans idea was made by myself but I could not do this without the cooperation of everyone in this system. Everyone has been doing a great job making this work! There have been some other attempted pact clans. I try to work things out with them. But Horseclan, Sandclan, Ashclan, Northclan, and Rainclan are the originals. Please be respectful of all the time we have put into making this system and either join the pact clans or leave us be (this includes Bloodclan). The pact clan's goal is to create a place where anyone can rp like the warrior books! This cannot happen if people decide to copy this idea elsewhere. So please join the oringinal system and help make it fun for everyone! </p>
    <p>

    2. There are only to be 5 clans, a tribe, Pandemonium, and a possible rogue group in the pact clans system. These positions are filled so no other groups may join. If one of the current groups dies out, then and only then, will we consider adding a new group. </p>
    <p>

    3. NO ONE has the right to disrupt pact clan affairs and if you do you will first be kindly asked to leave and then ignored. This is a realistic rp and we do not accept godmodding or powers. This includes any talking creature apart from cats, wings, shapeshifting, super powers, random dumb behavior.... We are based on the books so anything impossible in the books is impossible in the pact clans. </p>
    <p>

    4. Please be as active as possible and if you plan on rping more than one cat, I encourage you to rp one in each clan instead of rping multiple in one. </p>
    <p>

    Remember these guidelines and we will get along great! Learn more important information by reading The Great Pact Code before you ask to join! Please do not post in this book. Thank you! With your help, we can make this system great! I hope to see you in one of the pact clans soon! May Starclan light your path!” </p>
    <p>

    ~ The Original Pact Clan Introduction: Rosepetal, Original Pact Clan Helper.<br /><br />
    PLEASE DO NOT POST HERE! THANK YOU!</p>

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted December 9, 2014

    Intro

    2

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  • Posted August 16, 2014

    Keeps you guessing

    Enjoyed the characters and kept reading, trying to decide whodunit? None of my suspects did it!! Guess I have to keep practicing if I want to be my own mystery solver. I will definitely be reading more of Mary Jane Clark's books!

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Posted July 6, 2014

    Reading this book is like watching an episode of Matlock, all pl

    Reading this book is like watching an episode of Matlock, all plushy and 60's-ish. The men are all handsome with bulging muscles, the women all concerned with fashion and hair styles. I could not finish it.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted April 4, 2014

    Good read but...

    It was a good read but the story ended too abruptly.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Posted April 4, 2014

    I love her books, and this one did not disappoint! Clark likes t

    I love her books, and this one did not disappoint! Clark likes to throw red herrings in the path to figuring out who the real killer is. Can't wait for the next one!

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Posted March 7, 2014

    Plans for a romantic beach wedding are threatened when a bridesm

    Plans for a romantic beach wedding are threatened when a bridesmaid goes missing and it falls to Piper Donovan to save the day in the third installment of Mary Jane Clark's enthralling Wedding Cake Mystery series

    &quot;Mary Jane Clark is a master at whipping up delicious nightmares for mystery fans…&quot;-Associated Press

    It's the dead of winter and struggling actress and wedding cake decorator Piper Donovan is thrilled to be in warm and romantic Sarasota, Florida, enjoying the powdery white beaches, soothing seas, and golden sunsets over the Gulf of Mexico. She and her family are there to celebrate her beloved cousin's wedding. Not only is Piper creating the sugar sand dollar-festooned wedding cake, she's also the maid of honor.

    But a cloud seems to hover over the whole affair. Shortly after a bridesmaid mysteriously disappears, a kindly neighbor's car is run off the road and a prospective witness, an innocent Amish teenager, is threatened to keep silent. Then a body is found on the wedding beach. With the nuptials threatened, it falls to Piper to unmask a killer. Could it be the wedding planner with something to hide? A doctor and his wife who collect unusual Japanese figurines? The best man, an ex-drug dealer with lecherous eyes and roving hands? What about her cousin's future stepfather-or even the bridegroom himself?

    As Piper gets close to figuring out who's been covering his guilty footprints in the sand, the cunning killer has already set his sights on Piper as his next victim.

    -- My thoughts on this book varied. I really really loved the storyline. It moved fast, but sometimes maybe too fast. I had a hard time keeping up who was who and the mystery just seemed a bit much. I enjoyed Piper, I thought she was a fun character, easy to like and get along with. A bit of a love story in there, I just thought it lacked the extra something to really make me fall in love. Overall, a wonderful beach read....

    I received a copy of this book from Goodreads first read program in exchange for my honest opinion.

    0 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted February 9, 2014

    OK Read

    It wasn't a bad book, it was OK. It just didn't grab you and hold you.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted January 26, 2014

    Sandstar

    Lets go and try to alley with them.

    0 out of 3 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted January 26, 2014

    Lilacdream

    Pads there.

    0 out of 3 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted May 25, 2013

    Nursery

    Nursery - fs

    0 out of 4 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted March 28, 2013

    more from this reviewer

    Review title: Week of Wedding Woes. This storyline seems to borr

    Review title: Week of Wedding Woes.
    This storyline seems to borrow information from other mystery and suspense authors such as Mary Higgins Clark and Carol Higgins Clark as well as the TV show &quot;Breaking Amish.&quot; The storyline is somewhat original, yet not totally. Our protagonist will keep readers intrigued with the possible list of suspects. Each suspect has good reason to be glad that the first person murdered is gone. As the climax builds readers will continue to read to &quot;uncover&quot; the truth and &quot;unearth&quot; the culprit of this week of wedding woes, as the mystery unfolds and the suspense keeps you in its &quot;grip.&quot; **It's a good novel to distract readers from &quot;real&quot; life for two days.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
See All Sort by: Showing 1 – 20 of 33 Customer Reviews

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