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The Last Refuge

Overview

It doesn't take much arm-twisting to persuade Hannah Ives to join the twelve-strong cast of Patriot House, 1774, a reality show recreating eighteen-century colonial life during the turbulent days leading up to the American Revolution. But when Hannah befriends Amy Cornell, a maid on set and the young widow of a Navy SEAL off it, and the crew’s dance master is found murdered, events away from the camera become just as dramatic as those on it . . .

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Last Refuge

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Overview

It doesn't take much arm-twisting to persuade Hannah Ives to join the twelve-strong cast of Patriot House, 1774, a reality show recreating eighteen-century colonial life during the turbulent days leading up to the American Revolution. But when Hannah befriends Amy Cornell, a maid on set and the young widow of a Navy SEAL off it, and the crew’s dance master is found murdered, events away from the camera become just as dramatic as those on it . . .

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Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly
In Talley’s lively 11th Hannah Ives mystery (after 2011’s A Quiet Death), Hannah agrees to participate in a new reality show, Patriot House, 1774, which recreates 18th-century colonial life in Annapolis, Md. While Hannah adjusts to living without iPhones, electricity, or toothpaste, her on-set lady’s maid, Amy Cornell, confronts a more serious issue: a text message from her Navy SEAL husband, Drew, who supposedly died in a mission 10 months earlier. Drew is very much alive, as Hannah learns when he shows up at the house. After Amy’s new romantic interest, Alex Mueller, is murdered, Hannah must act fast to protect herself and Amy from a killer, possibly Drew, whose schemes go beyond mere murder. Talley makes the most of a large supporting cast, all of whom come across as distinct individuals. The clever setup and appealing lead more than compensate for the lack of genuine thrills and a rushed denouement. Agent: Vicky Bijur, Vicky Bijur Literary Agency. (July)
Booklist
“Likable Hannah is a sympathetic character who holds the cast of Patriot House and this premise-driven tale together"
Library Journal
Hannah (A Quiet Death) jumps into a history-based reality TV gig but gets involved in a decidedly contemporary investigation when a cast member is murdered on the closed set. [See Prepub Alert, 3/21/12.]
Kirkus Reviews
Hannah Ives (A Quiet Death, 2011, etc.) agrees to wear a wig and a farthingale for three months. LynxE TV is in a bind. Patriot House, 1774, a reality show they're about to start filming, has lost its leading lady to illness. Would Hannah, who lives just two blocks away from the William Paca colonial mansion, where the show is shot, agree to act as the other lead's sister-in-law for the three months of shooting? The perks include no electricity, no indoor plumbing, no contact with anyone but cast members and 24/7 cameras following every move. The sweetener would be a $15,000 stipend and a $75,000 donation to the Komen Breast Cancer Foundation. Leaving her husband Paul to his own devices, Hannah moves into the Paca house, where she cavorts with people playing a wealthy merchant, his children, a tutor, a dance master, indentured servants, and her lady's maid. That would be Amy, the young widow of a Navy SEAL who died in a government-sanctioned raid. Or did he? Now romancing the dancing master, Amy is none too pleased when her husband returns from the dead and wants her to collect his life insurance, then run off to Argentina with him using disguises and aliases. The problem of how to deal with the dancing master is settled when Hannah finds him dead in the springhouse where the family provisions are stored. Hannah sneaks messages past the production crew to Paul asking for help, which arrives punctually just as she's being throttled at the show's big finale at the State House ball. The crimes are definitely secondary to the tidbits about colonial Annapolis. Most readers will feel Hannah's pain at the era's lack of shampoo and toothpaste.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781847514189
  • Publisher: Severn House Publishers
  • Publication date: 12/1/2012
  • Series: Hannah Ives Mysteries Series
  • Pages: 208
  • Sales rank: 850,077
  • Product dimensions: 5.60 (w) x 8.50 (h) x 0.90 (d)

Meet the Author

Marcia Talley is the author of five previous books featuring Hannah Ives. A winner of the Malice Domestic writing grant and an Agatha Award nominee for Best First Novel, Ms. Talley won an Agatha and an Anthony Award for her short story "Too Many Cooks" and an Agatha Award for her short story "Driven to Distraction." She is the editor of two mystery collaborations, and her short stories have been published in numerous magazines and anthologies. She lives with her husband in Annapolis, Maryland.

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