No Place Like Home

( 108 )

Overview

"In a new thriller from America's Queen of Suspense, a young woman is ensnared into returning to a place she had wanted to leave behind forever - her childhood home. There, at the age of ten, Liza Barton had shot her mother, trying desperately to protect her from her estranged stepfather, Ted Cartwright. Despite his claim that the shooting was a deliberate act, the Juvenile Court rule the death an accident. Many people, however, agreed with Cartwright, and the tabloids compared her to the infamous murderess Lizzie Borden, pointing even to the
... See more details below
Available through our Marketplace sellers.
Other sellers (Paperback)
  • All (262) from $1.99   
  • New (3) from $2.95   
  • Used (259) from $1.99   
Close
Sort by
Page 1 of 1
Showing All
Note: Marketplace items are not eligible for any BN.com coupons and promotions
$2.95
Seller since 2006

Feedback rating:

(43)

Condition:

New — never opened or used in original packaging.

Like New — packaging may have been opened. A "Like New" item is suitable to give as a gift.

Very Good — may have minor signs of wear on packaging but item works perfectly and has no damage.

Good — item is in good condition but packaging may have signs of shelf wear/aging or torn packaging. All specific defects should be noted in the Comments section associated with each item.

Acceptable — item is in working order but may show signs of wear such as scratches or torn packaging. All specific defects should be noted in the Comments section associated with each item.

Used — An item that has been opened and may show signs of wear. All specific defects should be noted in the Comments section associated with each item.

Refurbished — A used item that has been renewed or updated and verified to be in proper working condition. Not necessarily completed by the original manufacturer.

New
2006 Trade paperback New. No dust jacket as issued. Glued binding. 472 p. Audience: General/trade.

Ships from: Springville, UT

Usually ships in 1-2 business days

  • Canadian
  • International
  • Standard, 48 States
  • Standard (AK, HI)
  • Express, 48 States
  • Express (AK, HI)
$6.29
Seller since 2005

Feedback rating:

(145)

Condition: New
2006-03-21 Paperback New NEW: First printing (complete # line)April 2006 for you collectors. Paperback, no markings, no creases, no spine lines and no remainder marks.

Ships from: Holly Springs, NC

Usually ships in 1-2 business days

  • Canadian
  • International
  • Standard, 48 States
  • Standard (AK, HI)
  • Express, 48 States
  • Express (AK, HI)
$45.00
Seller since 2014

Feedback rating:

(165)

Condition: New
Brand new.

Ships from: acton, MA

Usually ships in 1-2 business days

  • Standard, 48 States
  • Standard (AK, HI)
Page 1 of 1
Showing All
Close
Sort by
No Place Like Home

Available on NOOK devices and apps  
  • NOOK Devices
  • Samsung Galaxy Tab 4 NOOK
  • NOOK HD/HD+ Tablet
  • NOOK
  • NOOK Color
  • NOOK Tablet
  • Tablet/Phone
  • NOOK for Windows 8 Tablet
  • NOOK for iOS
  • NOOK for Android
  • NOOK Kids for iPad
  • PC/Mac
  • NOOK for Windows 8
  • NOOK for PC
  • NOOK for Mac
  • NOOK for Web

Want a NOOK? Explore Now

NOOK Book (eBook)
$7.99
BN.com price

Overview

"In a new thriller from America's Queen of Suspense, a young woman is ensnared into returning to a place she had wanted to leave behind forever - her childhood home. There, at the age of ten, Liza Barton had shot her mother, trying desperately to protect her from her estranged stepfather, Ted Cartwright. Despite his claim that the shooting was a deliberate act, the Juvenile Court rule the death an accident. Many people, however, agreed with Cartwright, and the tabloids compared her to the infamous murderess Lizzie Borden, pointing even to the similarity of their names." "To erase Liza's past, her adoptive parents change her name to Celia. At age twenty-eight, a successful interior designer in Manhattan, she marries a childless sixty-year-old widower, Laurence Foster, and they have a son. Before their marriage, she reveals to him her true identity. Two years later, on his deathbed, he makes her swear never to tell anyone so that their son, Jack, will not carry the stigma of her past." "Two years later, Celia is happily remarried. Her peace of mind is shattered when her new husband, Alex Nolan, surprises her with a gift - the house in Mendhan, New Jersey, where she killed her mother. On the day they move in, they find the words Little Lizzie's Place - Beware painted on the lawn, splotches of red paint all over the house, and a skull and crossbones carved into the door." More and more, there are signs that someone in the community knows Celia's true identity. When Georgette Grove, the real estate agent who sold the house to Alex, is brutally murdered and Celia is the first on the crime scene, she becomes a suspect.
Read More Show Less

Editorial Reviews

Marilyn Stasio
Mary Higgins Clark's awesome gift for storytelling has always been the secret of her strength as a suspense novelist. But let's credit her as well for something more subtle -- her intuitive grasp of the anxieties of everyday life that can spiral into full-blown terror. In the deliciously titled No Place Like Home, this canny writer taps into the tensions that go along with the joys of moving into a new home and comes up with a cunning variation on the haunted-house theme.
— The New York Times
Publishers Weekly
Clark's clever use of a bit of New Jersey real estate code fits perfectly into her usual formula for minting bestsellers in a novel about past deadly secrets coming to haunt the present. At One Old Mill Lane, in Mendham, N.J., 10-year-old Liza Barton wakes to find her stepfather, Ted Cartwright, attacking her mother, Audrey. Liza grabs a gun in defense, but in the ensuing melee Audrey is killed and Ted is wounded. Dubbed "Little Lizzie Borden," Liza is taken away and almost convicted of murdering her mother and attempting to kill the lying, scheming Ted. Twenty-four years later, Liza, now known as Celia Foster Nolan, has just been presented with a surprise birthday present from her new husband, Alex: the house at One Old Mill Lane. Alex doesn't know Celia is really Liza, and he doesn't know the house's grim past-but thanks to a real estate code obligating agents to notify prospective buyers if a house could be considered "stigmatized property," he's about to find out about the latter at least. As Celia fights to keep her dark secret hidden, their real estate agent turns up dead. More folks are killed and Celia comes under suspicion. But in typical Clark style, most of the characters look a little guilty. Some readers will get annoyed by Celia's tendency to do things that reinforce the cops' suspicions, but Clark's steadfast fans will suspend all necessary disbelief and play along. Agent, Sam Pinkus. One million first printing; main selection of the Literary Guild, Doubleday Book Club, Doubleday Large Print, Mystery Guild and BOMC. (Apr.) Copyright 2005 Reed Business Information.
Library Journal
Pity poor Celia. As a gift, her husband has presented her with the very house where, as little Liza Barclay, she killed her mother while trying to protect her from a mean stepfather. With an eight-city tour. Copyright 2004 Reed Business Information.
From the Publisher
'Trust Mary Higgins Clark to know what frightens us to death'

NEW YORK TIMES

'Clark plays out her story like the pro that she is ... flawless'

DAILY MIRROR

Read More Show Less

Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780743497282
  • Publisher: Pocket Books
  • Publication date: 3/21/2006
  • Format: Mass Market Paperback
  • Edition number: 1
  • Pages: 496
  • Product dimensions: 4.20 (w) x 7.50 (h) x 1.20 (d)

Meet the Author

Mary Higgins Clark, #1 international and New York Times bestselling author, has written thirty-three suspense novels; three collections of short stories; a historical novel, Mount Vernon Love Story; two children’s books, including The Magical Christmas Horse; and a memoir, Kitchen Privileges. She is also the coauthor with Carol Higgins Clark of five holiday suspense novels. Her books have sold more than 100 million copies in the United States alone.

Biography

The Queen of Suspense, Bronx-born and -bred Mary Higgins Clark has achieved international success against heavy odds. Her father died when she was 11, and her mother struggled to raise and provide for Mary and her two brothers. Clark attended secretarial school after high school and worked for three years in an advertising agency before leaving to become a stewardess for Pan American Airlines. Throughout 1949, she flew international flights to Europe, Africa, and Asia. " I was in a revolution in Syria and on the last flight into Czechoslovakia before the Iron Curtain went down," she recalls. In 1950, she quit her job to marry Warren Clark, a neighbor nine years her senior whom she had known and admired since she was 16.

In the early years of her marriage, Clark began writing short stories, making her first sale in 1956 to Extension Magazine. Between writing and raising a family, the decade flew by. Then, in 1964, Warren Clark suffered a fatal heart attack, leaving his young widow with five children to support. She went to work writing radio scripts; and, around this time, she decided to try her hand at writing books. Inspired by a radio series she was working on, she drafted a biographical novel about George Washington. It was published in 1969 under the title Aspire to the Heavens. (In 2002, it was re-issued as Mount Vernon Love Story.) Her first suspense novel, Where Are the Children?, appeared in print in 1975. It was a huge hit and marked a turning point in her life. Since then, she has developed a loyal fan base, and each of her novels has hit the bestseller lists. She has also co-written stories and novels with her daughter Carol, a successful author in her own right.

In the 1970s, Clark enrolled in Fordham University at Lincoln Center, graduating summa cum laude in 1979. A great supporter of education, she has served as a trustee of her alma mater and Providence College and holds numerous honorary degrees. She remains active in Catholic affairs and has been honored with many awards. Her publisher, Simon & Schuster, funds an annual award in her name to be given to authors of suspense fiction writing in the Mary Higgins Clark tradition.

Read More Show Less
    1. Hometown:
      Saddle River, New Jersey and New York, New York
    1. Date of Birth:
      December 24, 1929
    2. Place of Birth:
      New York, New York
    1. Education:
      New York University; B.A., Fordham University, 1979
    2. Website:

Read an Excerpt


Chapter One: Twenty-four Years Later

I cannot believe I am standing in the exact spot where I was standing when I killed my mother. I ask myself if this is part of a nightmare, or if it is really happening. In the beginning, after that terrible night, I had nightmares all the time. I spent a good part of my childhood drawing pictures of them for Dr. Moran, a psychologist in California, where I went to live after the trial. This room figured in many of those drawings.

The mirror over the fireplace is the same one my father chose when he restored the house. It is part of the wall, recessed and framed. In it, I see my reflection. My face is deadly pale. My eyes no longer seem dark blue, but black, reflecting all the terrible visions that are leaping through my mind.

The color of my eyes is a heritage from my father. My mother's eyes were lighter, a sapphire blue, picture perfect with her golden hair. My hair would be dark blond if I left it natural. I have darkened it, though, ever since I came back to the East Coast sixteen years ago to attend the Fashion Institute of Technology in Manhattan. I am also taller than my mother was by five inches. Yet, as I grow older, I believe I am beginning to resemble my mother in many ways, and I try to distance myself from that resemblance. I have always lived in dread of someone saying to me, "You look familiar..." At the time, my mother's image was splashed all over the media, and still turns up periodically in stories that rehash the circumstances of her death. So if anyone says I look familiar, I know it's her they have in mind. I, Celia Foster Nolan, formerly Liza Barton, the child the tabloids dubbed "Little Lizzie Borden," am far less likely to be recognized as that chubby-faced little girl with golden curls who was acquitted — not exonerated — of deliberately killing her mother and trying to kill her stepfather.

My second husband, Alex Nolan, and I have been married for six months. Today I thought we were going to take my four-year-old son, Jack, to see a horse show in Peapack, an upscale town in northern New Jersey, when suddenly Alex detoured to Mendham, a neighboring town. It was only then that he told me he had a wonderful surprise for my birthday and drove down the road to this house. Alex parked the car, and we went inside.

Jack is tugging at my hand, but I remain frozen to the spot. Energetic, as most four-year-olds are, he wants to explore. I let him go, and in a flash he is out of the room and running down the hall.

Alex is standing a little behind me. Without looking at him, I can feel his anxiety. He believes he has found a beautiful home for us to live in, and his generosity is such that the deed is solely in my name, his birthday gift to me. "I'll catch up with Jack, honey," he reassures me. "You look around and start figuring how you'll decorate."

As he leaves the room, I hear him call, "Don't go downstairs, Jack. We haven't finished showing Mommy her new house."

"Your husband tells me that you're an interior designer," Henry Paley, the real estate agent, is saying. "This house has been very well kept up, but, of course, every woman, especially one in your profession, wants to put her own signature on her home."

Not yet trusting myself to speak, I look at him. Paley is a small man of about sixty, with thinning gray hair, and neatly dressed in a dark blue pin-striped suit. I realize he is waiting expectantly for me to show enthusiasm for the wonderful birthday gift my husband has just presented to me.

"As your husband may have told you, I was not the selling agent," Paley explains. "My boss, Georgette Grove, was showing your husband various properties nearby when he spotted the for sale sign on the lawn. He apparently fell in love with it immediately. The house is quite simply an architectural treasure, and it's situated on ten acres in the premier location in a premier town."

I know it is a treasure. My father was the architect who restored a crumbling eighteenth-century mansion, turning it into this charming and spacious home. I look past Paley and study the fireplace. Mother and Daddy found the mantel in France, in a château about to be demolished. Daddy told me the meanings of all the sculptured work on it, the cherubs and the pineapples and the grapes...

Ted pinning Mother against the wall...

Mother sobbing...

I am pointing the gun at him. Daddy's gun...

Let go of my mother...

Sure...

Ted spinning Mother around and shoving her at me...

Mother's terrified eyes looking at me...

The gun going off...

Lizzie Borden had an axe...

"Are you all right, Mrs. Nolan?" Henry Paley is asking me.

"Yes, of course," I manage, with some effort. My tongue feels too heavy to mouth the words. My mind is racing with the thought that

I should not have let Larry, my first husband, make me swear that I wouldn't tell the truth about myself to anyone, not even to someone I married. In this moment I am fiercely angry at Larry for wringing that promise from me. He had been so kind when I told him about myself before our marriage, but in the end he failed me. He was ashamed of my past, afraid of the impact it might have on our son's future. That fear has brought us here, now.

Already the lie is a wedge driven between Alex and me. We both feel it. He talks about wanting to have children soon, and I wonder how he would feel if he knew that Little Lizzie Borden would be their mother.

It's been twenty-four years, but such memories die hard. Will anyone in town recognize me? I wonder. Probably not. But though I agreed to live in this area, I did not agree to live in this town, or in this house. I can't live here. I simply can't.

To avoid the curiosity in Paley's eyes, I walk over to the mantel and pretend to study it.

"Beautiful, isn't it?" Paley asks, the professional enthusiasm of the real estate agent ringing through his somewhat high-pitched voice.

"Yes, it is."

"The master bedroom is very large, and has two separate, wonderfully appointed baths." He opens the door to the bedroom and looks expectantly at me. Reluctantly, I follow him.

Memories flood my mind. Weekend mornings in this room. I used to get in bed with Mother and Daddy. Daddy would bring up coffee for Mother and hot chocolate for me.

Their king-size bed with the tufted headboard is gone, of course. The soft peach walls are now painted dark green. Looking out the back windows I can see that the Japanese maple tree Daddy planted so long ago is now mature and beautiful.

Tears are pressing against my eyelids. I want to run out of here. If necessary I will have to break my promise to Larry and tell Alex the truth about myself. I am not Celia Foster, nee Kellogg, the daughter of Kathleen and Martin Kellogg of Santa Barbara, California. I am Liza Barton, born in this town and, as a child, reluctantly acquitted by a judge of murder and attempted murder.

"Mom, Mom!" I hear my son's voice as his footsteps clatter on

the uncarpeted floorboards. He hurries into the room, energy encapsulated, small and sturdy, a bright quickness about him, a handsome little boy, the center of my heart. At night I steal into his room to listen to the sound of his even breathing. He is not interested in what happened years ago. He is satisfied if I am there to answer when he calls me.

As he reaches me, I bend down and catch him in my arms. Jack has Larry's light brown hair and high forehead. His beautiful blue eyes are my mother's, but then Larry had blue eyes, too. In those last moments of fading consciousness, Larry had whispered that when Jack attended his prep school, he didn't want him to ever have to deal with the tabloids digging up those old stories about me. I taste again the bitterness of knowing that his father was ashamed of me.

Ted Cartwright swears estranged wife begged for reconciliation...

State psychiatrist testifies ten-year-old Liza Barton mentally competent to form the intent to commit murder....

Was Larry right to swear me to silence? At this moment, I can't be sure of anything. I kiss the top of Jack's head.

"I really, really, really like it here," he tells me excitedly.

Alex is coming into the bedroom. He planned this surprise for me with so much care. When we came up the driveway, it had been festooned with birthday balloons, swaying on this breezy August day — all painted with my name and the words "Happy Birthday." But the exuberant joy with which he handed me the key and the deed to the house is gone. He can read me too well. He knows I'm not happy. He is disappointed and hurt, and why wouldn't he be?

"When I told the people at the office what I'd done, a couple of the women said that no matter how beautiful a house might be, they'd want to have the chance to make the decision about buying it," he said, his voice forlorn.

They were right, I thought as I looked at him, at his reddish-brown hair and brown eyes. Tall and wide-shouldered, Alex has a look of strength about him that makes him enormously attractive. Jack adores him. Now Jack slides from my arms and puts his arm around Alex's leg.

My husband and my son.

And my house.

Copyright © 2005 by Mary Higgins Clark

Read More Show Less

First Chapter

Chapter One: Twenty-four Years Later

I cannot believe I am standing in the exact spot where I was standing when I killed my mother. I ask myself if this is part of a nightmare, or if it is really happening. In the beginning, after that terrible night, I had nightmares all the time. I spent a good part of my childhood drawing pictures of them for Dr. Moran, a psychologist in California, where I went to live after the trial. This room figured in many of those drawings.

The mirror over the fireplace is the same one my father chose when he restored the house. It is part of the wall, recessed and framed. In it, I see my reflection. My face is deadly pale. My eyes no longer seem dark blue, but black, reflecting all the terrible visions that are leaping through my mind.

The color of my eyes is a heritage from my father. My mother's eyes were lighter, a sapphire blue, picture perfect with her golden hair. My hair would be dark blond if I left it natural. I have darkened it, though, ever since I came back to the East Coast sixteen years ago to attend the Fashion Institute of Technology in Manhattan. I am also taller than my mother was by five inches. Yet, as I grow older, I believe I am beginning to resemble my mother in many ways, and I try to distance myself from that resemblance. I have always lived in dread of someone saying to me, "You look familiar..." At the time, my mother's image was splashed all over the media, and still turns up periodically in stories that rehash the circumstances of her death. So if anyone says I look familiar, I know it's her they have in mind. I, Celia Foster Nolan, formerly Liza Barton, the child the tabloidsdubbed "Little Lizzie Borden," am far less likely to be recognized as that chubby-faced little girl with golden curls who was acquitted -- not exonerated -- of deliberately killing her mother and trying to kill her stepfather.

My second husband, Alex Nolan, and I have been married for six months. Today I thought we were going to take my four-year-old son, Jack, to see a horse show in Peapack, an upscale town in northern New Jersey, when suddenly Alex detoured to Mendham, a neighboring town. It was only then that he told me he had a wonderful surprise for my birthday and drove down the road to this house. Alex parked the car, and we went inside.

Jack is tugging at my hand, but I remain frozen to the spot. Energetic, as most four-year-olds are, he wants to explore. I let him go, and in a flash he is out of the room and running down the hall.

Alex is standing a little behind me. Without looking at him, I can feel his anxiety. He believes he has found a beautiful home for us to live in, and his generosity is such that the deed is solely in my name, his birthday gift to me. "I'll catch up with Jack, honey," he reassures me. "You look around and start figuring how you'll decorate."

As he leaves the room, I hear him call, "Don't go downstairs, Jack. We haven't finished showing Mommy her new house."

"Your husband tells me that you're an interior designer," Henry Paley, the real estate agent, is saying. "This house has been very well kept up, but, of course, every woman, especially one in your profession, wants to put her own signature on her home."

Not yet trusting myself to speak, I look at him. Paley is a small man of about sixty, with thinning gray hair, and neatly dressed in a dark blue pin-striped suit. I realize he is waiting expectantly for me to show enthusiasm for the wonderful birthday gift my husband has just presented to me.

"As your husband may have told you, I was not the selling agent," Paley explains. "My boss, Georgette Grove, was showing your husband various properties nearby when he spotted the for sale sign on the lawn. He apparently fell in love with it immediately. The house is quite simply an architectural treasure, and it's situated on ten acres in the premier location in a premier town."

I know it is a treasure. My father was the architect who restored a crumbling eighteenth-century mansion, turning it into this charming and spacious home. I look past Paley and study the fireplace. Mother and Daddy found the mantel in France, in a chateau about to be demolished. Daddy told me the meanings of all the sculptured work on it, the cherubs and the pineapples and the grapes...

Ted pinning Mother against the wall...

Mother sobbing...

I am pointing the gun at him. Daddy's gun...

Let go of my mother...

Sure...

Ted spinning Mother around and shoving her at me...

Mother's terrified eyes looking at me...

The gun going off...

Lizzie Borden had an axe...

"Are you all right, Mrs. Nolan?" Henry Paley is asking me.

"Yes, of course," I manage, with some effort. My tongue feels too heavy to mouth the words. My mind is racing with the thought that

I should not have let Larry, my first husband, make me swear that I wouldn't tell the truth about myself to anyone, not even to someone I married. In this moment I am fiercely angry at Larry for wringing that promise from me. He had been so kind when I told him about myself before our marriage, but in the end he failed me. He was ashamed of my past, afraid of the impact it might have on our son's future. That fear has brought us here, now.

Already the lie is a wedge driven between Alex and me. We both feel it. He talks about wanting to have children soon, and I wonder how he would feel if he knew that Little Lizzie Borden would be their mother.

It's been twenty-four years, but such memories die hard. Will anyone in town recognize me? I wonder. Probably not. But though I agreed to live in this area, I did not agree to live in this town, or in this house. I can't live here. I simply can't.

To avoid the curiosity in Paley's eyes, I walk over to the mantel and pretend to study it.

"Beautiful, isn't it?" Paley asks, the professional enthusiasm of the real estate agent ringing through his somewhat high-pitched voice.

"Yes, it is."

"The master bedroom is very large, and has two separate, wonderfully appointed baths." He opens the door to the bedroom and looks expectantly at me. Reluctantly, I follow him.

Memories flood my mind. Weekend mornings in this room. I used to get in bed with Mother and Daddy. Daddy would bring up coffee for Mother and hot chocolate for me.

Their king-size bed with the tufted headboard is gone, of course. The soft peach walls are now painted dark green. Looking out the back windows I can see that the Japanese maple tree Daddy planted so long ago is now mature and beautiful.

Tears are pressing against my eyelids. I want to run out of here. If necessary I will have to break my promise to Larry and tell Alex the truth about myself. I am not Celia Foster, nee Kellogg, the daughter of Kathleen and Martin Kellogg of Santa Barbara, California. I am Liza Barton, born in this town and, as a child, reluctantly acquitted by a judge of murder and attempted murder.

"Mom, Mom!" I hear my son's voice as his footsteps clatter on

the uncarpeted floorboards. He hurries into the room, energy encapsulated, small and sturdy, a bright quickness about him, a handsome little boy, the center of my heart. At night I steal into his room to listen to the sound of his even breathing. He is not interested in what happened years ago. He is satisfied if I am there to answer when he calls me.

As he reaches me, I bend down and catch him in my arms. Jack has Larry's light brown hair and high forehead. His beautiful blue eyes are my mother's, but then Larry had blue eyes, too. In those last moments of fading consciousness, Larry had whispered that when Jack attended his prep school, he didn't want him to ever have to deal with the tabloids digging up those old stories about me. I taste again the bitterness of knowing that his father was ashamed of me.

Ted Cartwright swears estranged wife begged for reconciliation...

State psychiatrist testifies ten-year-old Liza Barton mentally competent to form the intent to commit murder....

Was Larry right to swear me to silence? At this moment, I can't be sure of anything. I kiss the top of Jack's head.

"I really, really, really like it here," he tells me excitedly.

Alex is coming into the bedroom. He planned this surprise for me with so much care. When we came up the driveway, it had been festooned with birthday balloons, swaying on this breezy August day -- all painted with my name and the words "Happy Birthday." But the exuberant joy with which he handed me the key and the deed to the house is gone. He can read me too well. He knows I'm not happy. He is disappointed and hurt, and why wouldn't he be?

"When I told the people at the office what I'd done, a couple of the women said that no matter how beautiful a house might be, they'd want to have the chance to make the decision about buying it," he said, his voice forlorn.

They were right, I thought as I looked at him, at his reddish-brown hair and brown eyes. Tall and wide-shouldered, Alex has a look of strength about him that makes him enormously attractive. Jack adores him. Now Jack slides from my arms and puts his arm around Alex's leg.

My husband and my son.

And my house.

Copyright © 2005 by Mary Higgins Clark

Chapter Two

The Grove Real Estate Agency was on East Main Street in the attractive New Jersey town of Mendham. Georgette Grove parked in front of it and got out of the car. The August day was unusually cool, and the overhead clouds were threatening rain. Her short-sleeved linen suit was not warm enough for the weather, and she moved with a quick step up the path to the door of her office.

Sixty-two years old, Georgette was a handsome whippet-thin woman with short wavy hair the color of steel, hazel eyes, and a firm chin. At the moment, her emotions were conflicted. She was pleased at how smoothly the closing had gone on the house she had just helped sell. It was one of the smaller houses in town, its selling price barely breaking the seven figure mark, but even though she had split the commission with another broker, the check she was carrying was manna from heaven. It would give her a few months' reserve until she landed another sale.

So far it had been a disastrous year, saved only by her sale of the house on Old Mill Lane to Alex Nolan. That one had caught her up on overdue bills at the office. She had very much wanted to be present that morning when Nolan presented the house to his wife. I hope she likes surprises, Georgette thought for the hundredth time. She worried that what he was doing was risky. She had tried to warn him about the house, about its history, but Nolan didn't seem to care. Georgette worried also that since he'd put the house in his wife's name only, if his wife didn't like it, she, Georgette, might be wide open to a non-disclosure suit.

It was part of the real estate code of New Jersey that a prospective buyer had to be notified if a house was a stigmatized property, meaning one that might be impacted by a factor that, on a psychological level, could cause apprehension or fears. Since some people would not want to live in a house in which a crime had been committed, or in which there had been a suicide, the real estate agent was obliged to make a prospective client aware of any such history. The statute even required the agent to reveal if a house had the reputation of being haunted.

I tried to tell Alex Nolan that there had been a tragedy in the house on Old Mill Lane, Georgette thought defensively as she opened the office door and stepped into the reception room. But he had cut her off, saying that his family used to rent a two-hundred-year-old house on Cape Cod, and the history of some of the people who lived in it would curl your hair. But this is different, Georgette thought. I should have told him that around here the house he bought is known as "Little Lizzie's Place."

She wondered if Nolan had become nervous about his surprise. At the last minute he had asked her to be at the house when they arrived, but it had been impossible to change the other closing. Instead she had sent Henry Paley to greet Nolan and his wife, and to be there to answer any questions Mrs. Nolan might have. Henry had been reluctant to cover for her, and in the end she had been forced to remind him, rather sharply, not only to be there, but to be sure to emphasize the many desirable features of the house and property.

At Nolan's request, the driveway had been decorated with festive balloons, all painted with the words "Happy Birthday, Celia." The porch had been draped with festive papier-mâché, and he also had asked that champagne and a birthday cake and glasses and plates and silverware and birthday napkins be waiting inside.

When Georgette pointed out that there was absolutely no furniture in the house, and offered to bring over a folding table and chairs, Nolan had been upset. He had rushed to a nearby furniture store and ordered an expensive glass patio table and chairs, and instructed the salesman to have them placed in the dining room. "We'll switch them to the patio when we move in, or if Celia doesn't like them, we'll donate them to a charity and take a deduction," he had said.

Five thousand dollars for a patio set and he's talking about giving it away, Georgette had thought, but she knew he meant it. Yesterday afternoon he had phoned and asked her to be sure there were a dozen roses in every room on the main floor, as well as in the master bedroom suite. "Roses are Ceil's favorite flowers," he explained. "When we got married, I promised her that she'd never be without them."

He's rich. He's handsome. He's charming. And he's clearly devoted to his wife, Georgette thought as she stepped inside and automatically glanced around the reception room to see if any potential clients were waiting there. From half the marriages I've seen, she's a damn lucky woman.

But how will she react when she starts hearing the stories about the house?

Georgette tried to push the thought away. Born with a natural ability to sell, she had progressed rapidly from being a secretary and part-time real estate agent, to founding her own company. Her reception room was a matter of special pride to her. Robin Carpenter, her secretary-receptionist, was positioned at an antique mahogany desk to the right of the entrance. On the left, a brightly upholstered sectional couch and chairs were grouped around a coffee table.

There, while clients sipped coffee or soft drinks or a glass of wine in the early evening, Georgette or Henry would run tapes showing available properties. The tapes provided meticulous details of every aspect of the interior, the exterior, and the surrounding neighborhood.

"Those tapes take a lot of time to do properly," Georgette was fond of explaining to clients, "but they save you a lot of time, and by finding your likes and dislikes, we can get a very good idea of what you're really looking for."

Make them want it before they set foot in it -- that was Georgette's game plan. It had worked for nearly twenty years, but in the last five it had gotten tougher, as more and more high-powered agencies had opened in the area, their young and vigorous brokers panting for every listing.

Robin was the only person in the reception area. "How did the closing go?" she asked Georgette.

"Smoothly, thank God. Is Henry back?"

"No, I guess he's still drinking champagne with the Nolans. I still can't believe it. A gorgeous guy buys a gorgeous house for his wife for her thirty-fourth birthday. That's exactly my age. She's so lucky. Did you ever find out if Alex Nolan has a brother?" Robin sighed. "But on the other hand, there can't be two men like that," she added.

"Let's all hope that after she gets over the surprise, and has heard the story of that house, Celia Nolan still considers herself lucky," Georgette snapped nervously. "Otherwise, we might have a real problem on our hands."

Robin knew exactly what she meant. Small, slender, and very pretty, with a heart-shaped face and a penchant for frilly clothes, the initial impression she gave was that of the air-headed blond. And so Georgette had believed when she applied for the job a year ago. Five minutes of conversation, however, had led her not only to reversing that opinion but to hiring Robin on the spot and upping the salary she had intended to pay. Now, after a year, Robin was about to get her own real estate license, and Georgette welcomed the prospect of having her working as an agent. Henry simply wasn't pulling his weight anymore.

"You did try to warn the husband about the history of the house. I can back you up on that, Georgette."

"That's something," Georgette said, as she headed down the hall to her private office at the rear of the building. But then she turned abruptly and faced the younger woman. "I tried to speak to Alex Nolan about the background of the house one time only, Robin," she said emphatically. "And that was when I was alone in the car with him on our way to see the Murray house on Moselle Road. You couldn't have heard me discussing it with him."

"I'm sure I heard you bring it up one of the times Alex Nolan was in here," Robin insisted.

"I mentioned it to him once in the car. I never said anything about it to him here. Robin, you're not doing me or, in the long run, yourself any favors by lying to a client," Georgette snapped. "Keep that in mind, please."

The outside door opened. They both turned as Henry Paley came into the reception room. "How did it go?" Georgette asked, her anxiety apparent in the tone of her voice.

"I would say that Mrs. Nolan put up a very good act of seeming to be delighted by her husband's birthday surprise," Paley answered. "I believe she convinced him. However, she did not convince me."

"Why not?" Robin asked before Georgette could frame the words.

Henry Paley's expression was that of a man who had completed a mission he knew was doomed to failure. "I wish I could tell you," he said. "It may just be that she was overwhelmed." He looked at Georgette, obviously afraid that he might be giving the impression that he had somehow let her down. "Georgette," he said apologetically, "I swear, when I was showing Mrs. Nolan the master suite, all I could visualize was that kid shooting her mother and stepfather in the sitting room years ago. Isn't that weird?"

"Henry, this agency has sold that house three times in the last twenty-four years, and you were involved in at least two of those sales. I never heard you say that before," Georgette protested angrily.

"I never got that feeling before. Maybe it's because of all those damn flowers the husband ordered. It's the same scent that hits you in funeral homes. I got it full force in the master suite of Little Lizzie's Place today. And I have a feeling that Celia Nolan had a reaction like that, too."

Henry realized that unwittingly he had used the forbidden words in describing the house on Old Mill Lane. "Sorry, Georgette," he mumbled as he brushed past her.

"You should be," Georgette said bitterly. "I can just imagine the kind of vibes you were sending out to Mrs. Nolan."

"Maybe you'll take me up after all on my offer to back you up on what you told Alex Nolan about the house, Georgette," Robin suggested, a touch of sarcasm in her voice.

Copyright © 2005 by Mary Higgins Clark

Read More Show Less

Customer Reviews

Average Rating 4
( 108 )
Rating Distribution

5 Star

(53)

4 Star

(27)

3 Star

(15)

2 Star

(8)

1 Star

(5)

Your Rating:

Your Name: Create a Pen Name or

Barnes & Noble.com Review Rules

Our reader reviews allow you to share your comments on titles you liked, or didn't, with others. By submitting an online review, you are representing to Barnes & Noble.com that all information contained in your review is original and accurate in all respects, and that the submission of such content by you and the posting of such content by Barnes & Noble.com does not and will not violate the rights of any third party. Please follow the rules below to help ensure that your review can be posted.

Reviews by Our Customers Under the Age of 13

We highly value and respect everyone's opinion concerning the titles we offer. However, we cannot allow persons under the age of 13 to have accounts at BN.com or to post customer reviews. Please see our Terms of Use for more details.

What to exclude from your review:

Please do not write about reviews, commentary, or information posted on the product page. If you see any errors in the information on the product page, please send us an email.

Reviews should not contain any of the following:

  • - HTML tags, profanity, obscenities, vulgarities, or comments that defame anyone
  • - Time-sensitive information such as tour dates, signings, lectures, etc.
  • - Single-word reviews. Other people will read your review to discover why you liked or didn't like the title. Be descriptive.
  • - Comments focusing on the author or that may ruin the ending for others
  • - Phone numbers, addresses, URLs
  • - Pricing and availability information or alternative ordering information
  • - Advertisements or commercial solicitation

Reminder:

  • - By submitting a review, you grant to Barnes & Noble.com and its sublicensees the royalty-free, perpetual, irrevocable right and license to use the review in accordance with the Barnes & Noble.com Terms of Use.
  • - Barnes & Noble.com reserves the right not to post any review -- particularly those that do not follow the terms and conditions of these Rules. Barnes & Noble.com also reserves the right to remove any review at any time without notice.
  • - See Terms of Use for other conditions and disclaimers.
Search for Products You'd Like to Recommend

Recommend other products that relate to your review. Just search for them below and share!

Create a Pen Name

Your Pen Name is your unique identity on BN.com. It will appear on the reviews you write and other website activities. Your Pen Name cannot be edited, changed or deleted once submitted.

 
Your Pen Name can be any combination of alphanumeric characters (plus - and _), and must be at least two characters long.

Continue Anonymously
See All Sort by: Showing 1 – 20 of 108 Customer Reviews
  • Anonymous

    Posted July 28, 2009

    Captivating, thrilling and a walk down memory lane

    I thoroughly enjoyed this book as I listened to it on a 12 hour drive -- it kept me engaged and awake throughout. Additionally, since I grew up near the area in NJ in which the book is set, I had a great time picturing the roads, establishments, and the people as the backdrop of the book. I've shared it with several of my NJ relatives who I'm sure will also get a kick out of it.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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

    Posted August 27, 2008

    better then i thought

    When I read about the book online, it caught my interest but I thought oh I'll only read a little bit and get bored. On the contrary, I read this book in 2 days, I couldn't put it down. I had to see what happened next. The end was not a huge surprise to me though, throughout books if you pay enough attention to little details you can figure it out. That's what I love about her books, they do make you think about what you read.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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

    Posted July 18, 2008

    Great Story -- Dynamic Ending!!

    This is only the second MHC novel I have read (the first being Two Little Girls in Blue). I completely enjoyed reading this book. The storyline and the twists it took were wonderful and never in my wildest thoughts could I have guessed the ending... Excellent book!!

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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

    Posted July 31, 2007

    Same old, same old

    I was disappointed in this book, as I was with some of MHC's other recent books. The language is so prosaic. It lacks beauty and interest. She is a good story teller, to be sure, but the repetitiveness, far-fetched coincidences, predictability, and lack of development led me to skip all the middle chapters and go to the ending, where the person who was too good to be true proved to be exactly that. Also, this book does not move me emotionally or intellectually I felt detached throughout, and certainly not thrilled or frightened or puzzled. My advice: skip MHC for now as there's much better entertainment available in the world of books than her.

    1 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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

    Posted April 12, 2005

    The 'Queen' has lost her touch...

    What was this nonsense? 'No Place Like Home' has a good and promising start and then after the first 100 pages or so it all falls apart. I found this read terribly boring and too REPETITIVE. It is an insult to fans and readers. Where is all the build up to the murders? Where is all the suspence? There is none...bam here's the body that's it. The character's are a bore and one demenisonal. All they do in this book is keep repeating themselves to one another over and over and over and over and over again rehashing and repeating all the previous details through their dialouge. Give me a break! Seriously, I lost all patience with this book about half way through it and skimmed through just to get finished with it. The ending was rushed and fell short with really no exlaination as to why the killer did what they did, just they were behind it now they're in jail, end of book. I also found it predictable and figured out whodunit after the first few chapter's. So yes, MHC has lost her touch and I felt the same way about 'Nighttime Is My Time.' And to think she spent a year writting this junk? I could have wrote it in less than a week. You aren't missing anything great here, trust me.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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

    Posted April 6, 2005

    Horrid

    Mary Higgins Clark proves once again how commercial she has become. All of her books in recent memory are like this one: no character development, same tired plot etc. She seems more interested in cashing in on her name than providing her former fans with even a hint of the creativity in her earlier work. This one was particularly boring. I found myself skipping tens of pages just to be done with it. If you really must read it, save your money and check it out from the library. Or better yet, wait until the TV Movie comes out on Lifetime or PAX.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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

    Posted July 28, 2014

    Neko

    Took you long enough.

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

    Posted July 28, 2014

    America

    Heyy.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Posted February 22, 2013

    I overall enjoyed this story however I did get annoyed with ever

    I overall enjoyed this story however I did get annoyed with everyone hiding information when it seemed more natural to share some things in an investigation and especially leaving crime scenes. That part made it seem less plausible to me.

    It was difficult at times to tell who were the good guys and who were the bad guys.

    I liked the ending and the resolve that followed. It made sense to me.

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

    Posted January 18, 2013

    Good Reading

    This is a great suspense book.

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

    Posted June 29, 2012

    Great!

    I liked this book, though it was only the second I have ever read(The first being Daddy's Little Girl). I will definitly read more MHC books in the future.

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

    Posted July 11, 2012

    Fantastic twist

    My first book of hers wow she has me hooked for sure. Can't wait for my second read.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Posted June 17, 2012

    Mary Higgins Clark is fantastic!

    Barnes & Noble online support and general customer service on the other hand is the worst. I will be a kindle owner in the very near future.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Posted April 30, 2012

    I haven't read a MHC novel in a while, and it's good to know tha

    I haven't read a MHC novel in a while, and it's good to know that she has not lost her touch. I pretty much had the culprits figured out, but the final twist was definitely a shocker ... great book! I would definitely recommend if you're into thrillers/suspense type readings.

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

    Posted September 14, 2011

    Another home run.

    As always, M. H. Clark has kept me reading well past the time I wanted to stop for the night. I enjoy trying to guess the outcome and reading to the end to find out if I was right. I don't know how she does it, but I hope she keeps on doing it!

    Anyone who loves mysteries will enjoy this one. I'll keep reading as long as she keeps writing.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Posted June 26, 2011

    The Best

    Great twist!

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Posted April 22, 2011

    GREAT BOOK!!

    This was the first MHC book i have read and it certainly will not be the last!!!

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Posted December 27, 2010

    One Of The Best Books I Have Ever Read!!!

    This book is incredible! Mary Higgins Clark never disappoints and this book was exceptional. The plot was well thought out, the characters realistic, and the end is stunning! It all comes together to create a novel that will blow your mind.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Posted September 18, 2010

    more from this reviewer

    Good ending

    I do not understand what readers see in Mary Higgins Clark books. The only other book I read from her was "Loves music, loves to dance." I gave this book a chance only because a friend recommended it. I am not a fan of her writing style. There is no character devolopment. I didn't feel for any of the characters. The plot was not original. However, what saved the story was the ending. It had a nice twist at the end. Sorry, but I am not a fan.

    0 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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

    Posted June 8, 2010

    I Also Recommend:

    A great plot, but not enough explanation

    I enjoyed reading this book because of the mystery and suspense in the story. However, the murders were not explained until the very last chapter of the book. I just wish more explaining would have been done throughout the book, but I did enjoy it. SPOILER ALERT My friend and I thought all along that the killer would be Alex, and it was! :)

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
See All Sort by: Showing 1 – 20 of 108 Customer Reviews

If you find inappropriate content, please report it to Barnes & Noble
Why is this product inappropriate?
Comments (optional)