Footprints in the Sand (Piper Donovan Series #3)

Footprints in the Sand (Piper Donovan Series #3)

4.0 35
by Mary Jane Clark

View All Available Formats & Editions

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


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 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!

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.

Product Details

HarperCollins Publishers
Publication date:
Piper Donovan Series , #3
Sold by:
Sales rank:
File size:
2 MB

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.

Customer Reviews

Average Review:

Write a Review

and post it to your social network


Most Helpful Customer Reviews

See all customer reviews >

Footprints in the Sand 4 out of 5 based on 1 ratings. 35 reviews.
Madriver More than 1 year ago
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
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
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.
Penguin39 More than 1 year ago
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.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
A very good read, which kept me in suspense until late into the book.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
This was a great book. It was hard to put it down once I started it. Mary Jane Clark is a great writer.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
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!
hunneypreader22 More than 1 year ago
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.
Anonymous 10 months ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
"!" She yells in a mix of pain and pleasure
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Limps in, muttering something as she sits down. "Dammit. Forgot my crutches."
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
ChaLee More than 1 year ago
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!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
REID324 More than 1 year ago
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.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
It was a good read but the story ended too abruptly.
jmsmom More than 1 year ago
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!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
It wasn't a bad book, it was OK. It just didn't grab you and hold you.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
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!
EGHunter01 More than 1 year ago
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 "Breaking Amish." 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 "uncover" the truth and "unearth" the culprit of this week of wedding woes, as the mystery unfolds and the suspense keeps you in its "grip." **It's a good novel to distract readers from "real" life for two days.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Great Piper Donovan mystery . Kept you guessing.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago