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The Pandora Box

The Pandora Box

4.9 17
by Lilly Maytree

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While investigating mysterious happenings at a state mental hospital, journalist D.J. Parker learns the location of a famous cache of diamonds stolen during World War II. What she doesn't know is that the federal government has secretly been following the case for years. With an old journal to lead the way, she sets out aboard a yacht that once carried the infamous


While investigating mysterious happenings at a state mental hospital, journalist D.J. Parker learns the location of a famous cache of diamonds stolen during World War II. What she doesn't know is that the federal government has secretly been following the case for years. With an old journal to lead the way, she sets out aboard a yacht that once carried the infamous Herman Goering and embarks on a thrilling treasure hunt that could prove to be the adventure of a lifetime... if the captain and his partner don't turn out to be crooks. And the FBI officers following D.J. are really working for the FBI, and if the horrendous secret Dee uncovers during the investigation has absolutely no connection to the famous jewels. But just how long can a secret remain a secret? And more importantly how can a person know whom to trust?

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The Pandora Box

By Lilly Maytree

Pelican Ventures, LLC

Copyright © 2013 Lilly Maytree
All rights reserved.
ISBN: 978-1-61116-234-9


The Assignment

"How will you get me out," I asked my editor, "after I once get in?" ~ Nellie Bly

It was visiting day in the psychiatric hospital. Dee Parker sat at her usual table in the lounge, next to a foot-wide floor to ceiling window that allowed only a narrow view to the outside lawn. No need to attract any undue attention. It was not an opening window and there was no way of escape. There was that word again. Kept popping up every time she turned around. Honestly, if people could read each other's minds, they'd all be staring at her right now.

Better get a grip. This was the day. The real deal.

Today, she was going to help Nelson Peterson escape from Wyngate State Hospital. Of course, that was not part of her original assignment, and her editor would probably hit the roof when he found out. But she would deal with that after she got Peterson safely out of here. For weeks now, she only had to come as far as this visitor's lounge to talk with the old gentleman. Just the thought of having to live here was enough to give her nightmares. But it would soon be over.

Dee felt again for the sprig of miniature roses she had tucked into the band of her straw hat (the smell of roses was supposed to have a calming effect on people) and forced herself not to look around so much. There were too many people here who were getting used to her weekly visits and might engage in conversation if they caught her eye. Today, of all days, she did not want to stand out or be remembered. Except this afternoon, there was something troubling in the atmosphere. She could sense it. Then again, maybe it was just her own nerves.

She watched one of the orderlies escort a disheveled woman across the room in much the same way a person might take a dog out for a walk, then rather abruptly seat her at a crowded table of waiting visitors. It was Iris Kitner, with an inside-out pajama top on instead of something more suitable that went with her skirt. Hadn't anyone helped her dress today?

The hum of their voices was too far away to make out what anyone was saying, but Dee had heard enough past conversations to know things were progressing the same way they did every week. They would all have a lively visit among themselves, with little or no interaction with Iris. Then they would say their goodbyes. After which, Iris would have a few moments of free rein with the complimentary coffee and cookies set up on the long table against the farthest wall, before another white-coated somebody took her back upstairs.

Only, less than five minutes later, she popped up from her chair with an outburst of bizarre babbling and refused sit down again. Now, that wasn't like her, at all. The plump, forty-something woman (whose auburn bun was always crooked) was fairly complacent most Fridays. As if the thought of coffee and cookies was enough to keep her on best behavior.

Which made Dee wonder if these troubled souls might have more sensitivity to otherworldly things than most normal people. Something to look into as a possible follow-up story for the series she was writing for the Columbia Herald. The headline might read: Mental Patients: Is What They See Real? A thought that was interrupted when a self-conscious glance from a teenager in the group collided with hers. Grandson or nephew, maybe, who was embarrassed at the way Iris was acting. Dee realized she was watching people again and forced herself to look away.

Instead, she deliberately turned in her seat toward the green double doors on the other side of the room and waited. What was taking so long? Did Nelson forget what day this was?

"Come on, Nels," she murmured half-aloud. "You're not giving someone a hard time up there, are you? I don't have nerves of steel, like you do. Oh, dear Lord ... what if ..."

For heaven's sake, Iris had moved into her peripheral vision again, messing around with the refreshments, already. Dee tried not to watch that, either. Except when the unmistakable crash of a coffee cup onto the floor (probably full) caused a momentary lull in the hum of visitors.

She had to do something. Simply because that sour-faced kitchen worker who should never have been hired for this kind of job, was on duty today. In her late sixties, at least, she did not like to clean up messes. Instead, she would complain to housekeeping, which would cause an even bigger disturbance, and Iris would be returned to her room, early. Meanwhile, the family picnic was going on without her, and none of them seemed inclined to come get her.

So Dee slung the strap of her purse over a shoulder, picked up her package, and headed over there. But before she even got across the room, Iris stepped on an errant cookie that had also hit the floor, and the inevitable happened. Ms. Sour-face made an immediate exit through the green doors to tell somebody.

"Hey there, Iris, need some help?" Dee filled a fresh cup, piled an assortment of cookies around the saucer and steered her toward the nearest table. The corners of the woman's mouth turned up in a barely detectable smile, and she settled down with a contented sigh.

"Cream and sugar?" Dee set a few packets in front of her without waiting for an answer and then left her package on the table for a moment while she turned back to clean up the mess before housekeeping arrived.

"Miss Parker?" The tap on her shoulder a few moments later gave her a start.

"Was this ever clumsy of me!" She scooped up the soppy napkins and deftly tossed them into the nearby trash bin before turning around. "Slipped right out of my ..." At which point she found herself looking into the magnified eyes of a large-boned, ruffle-haired orderly whom she didn't recognize, at all. Now, which department had he come from? He had thick glasses and was wearing a blue uniform instead of the typical white one.

"Mr. Peterson can't come down today," he informed her.

"Oh?" She'd been told her dark blue eyes were fringed with unusually long lashes, and he seemed mesmerized by them. So she said the first thing that popped into her mind to break the spell. "Shall I go up, then?"

He glanced furtively toward the green doors as if someone beyond might have heard her say that. "No, I don't think you better."

"Well, I would at least like to leave my package." Dee glanced back toward the brown-wrapped bundle she'd left on the table and inwardly cringed when she saw Iris begin to open it. The visitor's lounge was getting more crowded now, and the place was turning into a hub of confusion. "What room is he in?"

"6B. But Miss Parker, He really isn't up to —"

"Did you say six?" Dee felt a sudden hollow in the pit of her stomach. "Why — that's the violent ward. What on earth is he doing there?" She walked over to collect her package before the contents tumbled out in plain sight, with the orderly following close behind.

"It is often necessary for the safety of our staff, as well as other patients, to confine ..."

A textbook answer accompanied a complete shutdown of any previous communication between them.

"Oh, honestly." Dee added more cookies to Iris's plate and retrieved the package when her interest shifted then turned around again, expecting to catch him reading verbatim off some card he had snatched from his pocket. "There must be some mistake. He has his quirks, but he isn't violent. Putting him in with dangerous people could give him a heart attack! Now, who do I talk to about this?"

When she was met with nothing but a blank stare in reply, she closed her eyes for a moment, sighed heavily, and willed herself to calm down. But it didn't have much effect. The minute she opened them, her impatience popped right out her mouth. "Oh, I'll just take care of it, myself!" Then, she whisked past him, her flowery print dress set in motion with a determined stride. At that pace, her yellow heels clicked along the gray linoleum, drawing attention like some bright tropical bird moving through dark forest.

Nearly everyone in the room seemed to watch as she walked through those green doors.


Into the Madhouse

"I went inside with fear and trembling, for good reason." ~ Nellie Bly

Leaving the restrictions of the visitor's lounge would, no doubt, bring more than one member of the housekeeping staff out to handle things. Since no visitors were allowed past the green doors, it would definitely be a matter for the security people. Who Dee was convinced, without even having to look back, the blue coat had taken off to report to, because he didn't even try to stop her. Today, of all days! But none of that mattered now. She would probably be intercepted before she even got to the elevators, but she didn't care about that, either. Not any more, she didn't.

She was going to drag old Nelson Peterson out of this horrible place, today, one way or the other, even if she had to call the police. Things had gone way past just getting a good story. Now, here she was, personally tangled up in the mess. Something good reporters should beware of. But that poor old man in the violent ward!

Well, she was deep into it now and there was nothing left but to see it through. After all he had done for her, it was the least she could do for him. Besides that, she didn't for a minute believe he was crazy, or she wouldn't even be here. He wasn't violent, either. Troubled, was all it really was, over things that would send most normal people a lot farther over the edge than he was. Which was the very reason she had decided to help him in the first place.

They had worked the escape plan out together. But it was Peterson, himself, who had come up with the ingenious parts. The rest of it was the most farfetched idea she ever heard of. One that would take a miracle to pull off.

Thing was, she had twenty-three good reasons to believe in those kinds of miracles. Besides, just because somebody was old didn't mean they were incompetent. But if he was as sound in his mind as she thought he was ...

Why had they put him in the violent ward?

The corridor beyond the green doors was eerily deserted when she stepped inside.

No nurse's station visible or even an open office door to evade. Still, there were probably cameras somewhere, so she hurried to the last door in a row of elevators and pushed the number six button when she got in. The door rumbled closed with the sound of a freight elevator, and it seemed like forever before it opened again. It was that slow. When it finally did, she found the sixth floor was — like everywhere else — buzzing with activity.

An emergency cart passed by just as she stepped out. But it was in no hurry, as if whatever had gone on was finished now. Ahead and a few yards to the left she saw a busy station with charts and people and equipment, and farther down that same corridor she could see a dozen or more doors with windows for looking in. All were closed except one. Outside it, a small group of doctors and nurses were talking quietly as other workers moved in and out. She was halfway past the station before a nurse looked up with a start.

"How did you get in here?" she said.

"Service elevator," Dee replied. "Other ones don't come up this high."

"There's a reason for that, young lady. Come back here, right now!"

The medical people, down the hall, looked toward the commotion.

Then a middle-aged woman in an old-style white uniform broke away from them to intercept her. The nurse's blonde hair was pulled back from beautiful features and there was something oddly familiar about her. Even though Dee had always tried her best to avoid any of the actual medical staff.

They met head on, and Dee mustered her most authoritative tone. "I want to see Nelson Peterson."

The thought of the old man in some sort of trouble for feeding her so much information, all these weeks, was suddenly extremely unnerving. But from the looks of things, she was going to need some serious help.

"I'm sorry," said the nurse. "Mr. Peterson died twenty minutes ago."

The quiet, non-emotional statement hit Dee like a splash of cold water. "What? But ..." Her insides suddenly began to churn. How could that happen? "Last week he was fine. He was perfectly fine! And — and — why is he up here in the violent ward?"

The gazes of the two women locked.

"Can I at least see him?" Dee peered over the starched white shoulder toward the open doorway down the hall. Contrary to typical hospital behavior, the remaining staff members around 6B seemed to have their attention centered more on her now, instead of the matter at hand.

"Are you next of kin?" The nurse's tone was cool.

Dee thought about lying, but evidence gotten by such means never held up in court. Not to mention any personal morals she believed in. "No ... just a friend."

"It's against policy to let anyone but the next of kin inside." The woman looked toward the busy station and raised her voice. "Jennifer? Could you escort Miss Parker back to the lounge, please?"

"How do you know my —"

"You're the only person on his visitor's list, so I just assumed. If you'd like, I can request that you be notified after arrangements have been made."

Dee didn't object. What could she object to? She allowed herself to be led back into the elevator. The dark-haired aide named Jennifer stepped quietly in beside her and pushed the button to the main floor. Probably to make sure she actually left the building. But — like everything else, today — there was something odd about her, too. The proverbial stethoscope was not draped over her shoulders or protruding out of a pocket. What's more, she had jewelry on and smelled faintly of some expensive perfume. It smelled like ... like night blooming jasmine. After the doors closed, the girl reached into the pocket of her blue smock and handed Dee an envelope.

"This is from Mr. Peterson."

"Thanks." She shuffled the package that held the clothes Nels was to have changed into, over to her other arm, slipped the envelope into her purse with hardly a glance, and sighed.

Dead — poor Nels! She just couldn't believe it! Maybe this was all too much for him. The stress of what they had been planning. In which case she would feel utterly and totally responsible for bringing it all on. Then again, maybe he had simply suffered a reaction to some medication and gone temporarily berserk. Had to be restrained, so they brought him up here. Worse yet, what if they somehow found out what he had been telling her and —

"Aren't you going to open it?"

"What? Oh. Probably just another list. He likes to — did like, I mean — to make up lists of things he wanted me to bring for him next time. Last week it was a magnifying glass and a world atlas. But I guess he won't need whatever it is, now. When did he give you this one?"

"This morning, after I brought him the newspaper. Sort of cryptic, if you ask me. He told me "Give it to Dee Parker when she comes by to see me this afternoon." And just when I'm wondering why he doesn't do it himself, he slipped me twenty bucks."

"He paid money for you to give it to me?"

"He paid me to keep quiet about all his lists. Twenty dollars each so I wouldn't hand them over to the psychiatric department for screening. Not much in this economy, but I did it mostly as a favor because of his phobia."

"What phobia?"

"Always worrying they won't let him have what's on them. Which they wouldn't. Cigars and good whiskey are definitely not OK around here. But in my opinion? A man that old ought to be able to smoke or drink anything he wants, if it makes him feel better. He isn't going to live long enough for it to kill him anyway."

"So it was a favor, but you still took the money."

"Hey, this job only pays minimum wage. But where he got all that money we'll never know, because they don't let the patients keep any. Especially on this floor. He was a crafty one, though. This was the first time he ever asked me to deliver one of those lists to somebody. That's probably why he gave me the extra. Then — not two hours later — his heart stopped. Spooky. It was almost like he knew it was going to happen."

Slow apprehension crept over Dee at the words, accentuated by the vibration beneath their feet as the elevator lumbered its way back down. As long as the aide was giving up information, she'd better continue to press. "What exactly went on back there — do you know?"


Excerpted from The Pandora Box by Lilly Maytree. Copyright © 2013 Lilly Maytree. Excerpted by permission of Pelican Ventures, LLC.
All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.
Excerpts are provided by Dial-A-Book Inc. solely for the personal use of visitors to this web site.

Meet the Author

Lilly Maytree is the author of Gold Trap and The Pandora Box. Two books that sent her careening along on her 'Mystery Tours' with her captain husband aboard the Glory B. She loves sharing these adventures with readers. It has even been said that she time-travels (but that's probably just a rumor). You can get in touch with her through her web site at www.LillyMaytree.com It might take a few days if she is adventuring far away... but she always comes back sooner or later.

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The Pandora Box 4.9 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 17 reviews.
Blooming-with-Books More than 1 year ago
Opening The Pandora Box will release adventure and excitement! The Pandora Box By Lilly Maytree A Tale of High Seas Adventure and the Mystery of the Insane.... Lilly Maytree has created a book you won't want to put down until you get to the end and then you'll be waiting for a sequel! Unfortunately having to put it down before finishing it was a problem for me, because I made the mistake of picking it up before I went to work.  Bad choice on my part because I was left in suspense - literally until that night.   But my wait paid off with a well deserved and greatly anticipated late night of engrossing and engaging reading. (Did that clock truly chime 4 am?  Yes, and it was a night well spent, though parting was sweet sorrow!) D.J. Parker is onto the story of a lifetime and it may very well cost her her life!  Tales of a legendary treasure lead D.J. to Nelson Peterson and unethical practices at a state mental hospital.  After blowing the whistle, so to speak, D.J. sets off in search of the famous jewels that had been stolen during World War II. But nothing is ever as easy as it sounds.  D.J. is being followed, someone has trashed her home, and someone has laid claim to the Pandora, can things get any worse?  Oh yeah, and do they ever! Especially when government agents get involved (at least they claim to be government agents) and D.J. comes up with a spur-of-the-moment explanation for her sudden unexpected departure. True treasure awaits if they can survive long enough to discover it.... I was provided a copy of this book through BookFun (dot) org and the publisher Pelican Book Group in exchange for my honest review.
NanceeMarchinowski More than 1 year ago
Unprecedented Suspense! Nellie Bly was America's pioneer female journalist. Her contemporary counterpart, Dee Parker is an investigative journalist who exposes devious activities in a state mental hospital. Subsequent to the death of Dee's source, she becomes owner of an old sailing schooner, thousands of dollars in cash, and a journal leading her to a fortune in diamonds. Never having sailed, she and her friend partner with a man claiming the boat is his, and with his fisherman friend as co-pilot they set sails for the high seas. An encounter with the "FBI" coupled with encounters of the dangerous type set the pace for high adventure and unprecedented suspense. This is by far one of the most exciting books I've read in a while!  Lilly Maytree has created an exciting, suspense-filled novel of epic proportion in The Pandora Box. The characters she has created are diverse and colorful, exceptionally well defined, and mysterious to say the least. She is detail oriented, creating pictorial visions that become a mental transportation into the pages of this highly adventurous book. There is not a dull moment in this tapestry of events. There's so much more! Be sure to pick up a copy of The Pandora Box and follow Dee and her cohorts on the cruise of a lifetime! You won't regret it! At the end of this book Ms. Maytree gives a biography of Nellie Bly which enhances the story she weaves through the character of Dee Parker. Disclaimer: I received a copy of this book from Book Fun For Readers Only and Pelican Book Group in exchange for my honest review. All opinions expressed are my own, and no monetary compensation was received for this review. Thank you to Fred St. Laurent and The Book Club Network for providing this book review program!
ARS8 More than 1 year ago
This is the second book by Lilly Maytree that I have read and she has definitely earned a spot on my to be read author list. I did not think she could top her book The Gold Trap, but this book was just as good. This book started out as a mystery in a state mental hospital that ended up on a yacht on a high seas adventure. With a colleague from work threatening her, the maybe FBI on her trail, a beach bum and his partner with their own secrets, Dee and her author friend Marion may have bargained more than they could handle when they were bitten by the adventure bug. Mysteries abound and people may or may not be who you thought they were. When Dee, a reporter, uncovers evidence of human organs being sold on the black market, she did not realize how much danger would be coming knocking on her door. Add in an unbelievable amount of stolen treasure from World War 2, then you have an adventure of a lifetime. Not only that, but Dee might just lose her heart in the process to her brand new husband. Great mystery that left me guessing till the end, adventure that had me feeling like I was there, and an unlikely romance and you have another great Lilly Maytree read. This would make an excellent movie. I received this book from the The Book Club Network and the opinions are my own.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
The Pandora Box by Lilly Mantree takes the reader on an adventure that they do not expect. D. J. Parker is an investigative journalist who gets the story of a lifetime when she attempts to assist someone from a mental institution.  One thing leads to another and before she knows it, she is searching for lost jewels with a friend and two other rough sea-goers that she met along the way. This book is full of adventure, intrigue and a little bit of romance. It is a book that is difficult to put down as it draws you further and further into the adventure yourself. Lily Mantree does an excellent job with a subject matter that would not usually intrigue me. Mantree was able to lure me in and keep me interested throughout the entire book This book was provided to me by the author and The Christian Book Network for the purpose of reviewing the material.
Diana0 More than 1 year ago
Pandora Box By: Lily Maytree Another great adventure by Lily Maytree. The story is about D.J. Parker a journalist working to uncover the fraud and illegal treatment of people in institutions. Where a man even mysteriously dies. There’s also treasure to be found. Lot of strange characters aboard the Pandora. Only God can get her through this adventure. I am sure you will enjoy each chapter has a quote from Nellie Bly. Want to read more on Nellie you can go to the back of the book to find out more about her.
ShareeS More than 1 year ago
The Pandora’s Box was an exciting read from the first chapter. The story pulled me in with full force as it opened in a psychiatric hospital and a mysterious death. The plot thickens with espionage, murder, the illegal sale of human organs, and the legend of a cursed fortune. Ms. Maytree’s writing is very good at painting a mental picture of the characters and the story. It was a page turner from the word go and did not disappoint all the way through to the end. The characters are amusing with common misunderstandings and romance in unexpected places. Just when I thought I’d figured it all out, Ms. Maytree whips the story into an unforeseen twist. This is a great read! I received this book from the Book Club Network in exchange for my honest opinion.
dhiggins4 More than 1 year ago
What a great book full of adventure and supsense! D. J. Parker is a journalist who finds herself on an old ship called the Pandora. She, along with her friend, meet a captain and his partner on the ship. They are in search of the treasure. This story has suspense and also some humor. It keeps you guessing! I would recommend this book to everyone! Lilly Maytreee is a great author!
SeasonsofGrace More than 1 year ago
I kind of hate it when I have to put a good book down to do my house work, but priorities must come first! I would so much rather have had all day, a cup of coffee or hot cocoa and time on my hands with this one. I was actually reading a couple of books at the time I started this one, but to say the least, it won out; and I just had to finish it first! What drew me to this book to begin with was the stunning, eye catchy cover! After reading the plot, I was a bit skeptical about it. Not really sure if it was my kind of book... but the more I read, the harder it was to put it down. Had my kids not been in the habit of staying up as late as I, and my eyelids not kept shutting in spite of myself (due to my 4:30am wake up hours) I think I would have finished it in record time! The author captivates you with a tale that begins in a psychiatric hospital and ends on the high seas. Mental illnesses, a hospital resorting to horrible things, an abandoned boat and millions of dollars in stolen jewels for the enthusiastic treasure hunter are just a few of the topics that will keep you in suspense. Dee, a reporter, her friend Marion and two men they just met, set out for an adventure in which none can shake the others; because they all have too much at stake - a reputation, a friend, and a dream.... Lily has so many twists and turns in this book, the pages must keep turning. Lily did a great job of including Dee's relationship with God in the story and how that affected and influenced those around her. In one sense, this story could be far-fetched, but I, personally, could easily see something like this happening in real life! I promise you will not put this down, til you solve the mystery! So go ahead and get it ... it is worth the read! Lily also includes a bit of the tale of Nellie Bly, a real life reporter, of whom with my curiosity now peaked, I will have to look into more in depth. I received this book from TBCN and author in exchange for my review. I am not required to give a positive review.
loriweller1 More than 1 year ago
I could not wait to read The Pandora Box after reading Lily Maytree's other novel, Gold Mine. She did not disappoint me with this book at all. She continues to have high adventures, fast-paced, twists and turns, and danger around every corner. I enjoyed every page. She continues to have surprises throughout her books. This book takes place on the high seas going after a lost diamond treasure. I found her sidekick Marian a joy. She gave me a few laughs along the way. I can't wait to read more of this author's works.I could not wait to read The Pandora Box after reading Lily Maytree's other novel, Gold Mine. She did not disappoint me with this book at all. She continues to have high adventures, fast-paced, twists and turns, and danger around every corner. I enjoyed every page. She continues to have surprises throughout her books. This book takes place on the high seas going after a lost diamond treasure. I found her sidekick Marian a joy. She gave me a few laughs along the way. I can't wait to read more of this author's works.
CherK1 More than 1 year ago
A Great Suspense, Romance and Adventure Book you have to read. This is the second book I have read by Lily Maytree, and it didn't disappoint. Lily has conveyed in her special style excerpts from Nellie Bly, which considerably adds to the suspense. Dee Parker is a newspaper woman, out finding injustices in the world. This time she is writing about Wyngate State Hospital and is also helping a man, Nelson Peterson, escape from there. Before she can get him out he mysteriously dies, but she already has lot of clues to follow to find what she's looking for. Before she knows what's going on her life spins out of control involving a best friends and two men she has no clue who they are. All four of these people set out on an overseas adventure in a sloop called The Pandora, and I know you've heard about that name before. So many things happen on the high seas, hurricanes, pirates, intrigue and suspense completely to the end. You won't want to miss reading this book, I'm sure glad I didn't. I read this book in two days, couldn't put it down once I started it. I liked it a lot and gave it 5 starts. I would recommend this book wholeheartedly. I was given this book from BookFun in exchange for an honest opinion.
J_Augustine More than 1 year ago
A thrilling modern swashbuckler! A little slow at first, The Pandora Box very quickly pulled me aboard, and set sail. I had a difficult time, no, impossible time putting it down after that. In many ways The Pandora Box, and Lilly Maytree's writing style, put me in mind of Agatha Christie's standalone adventure/mystery stories and Mary Stewart's suspense books. Like those books there is; a capable heroine thrust into into adventure and a danger that she isn't exactly expecting but finds herself embracing; A strong male lead who seems to be a bit of a ne'er-do-well at first but just might be a lot more; and a group of rather insane ex-Nazis bent on on finding the diamonds first and covering up their diabolical business. In addition we also have two sidekicks of sorts that keep the story going and more importantly keep the heroine and hero from killing each other. This book has everything you could want in an adventure tale. It starts out with an investigative journalist, who not only is a Christian but also wants to use her journalism to help people; she is bent on helping an old man escape an insane asylum and stop the illegal and cruel treatment of the patients by staff. Add an old man with many secrets including the whereabouts of a stash of diamonds stolen by Nazis in WWII. Toss in an older best friend that quit her job to write a novel. Next comes a gorgeous old sailboat with some dangerous secrets. Then a guy with some inner-demons left from his past, that just wants to own the Pandora and make a lazy but fulfilling life on her. Also his best friend, an older rummy with a good heart and maybe a tax-man or two after him. Some government agents, or are they? And don't forget some scary bad guys that will stop at absolutely nothing to get what they want and silence their secrets. The matter of faith is rather interesting in this book. D.J. is a Christian but none of her three shipmates are. Religion plays a part in the story but it is more subtle. D.J. is surprised how much she is being watched, that her actions really are speaking louder than words and they have an affect on those around her. The Pandora Box was my introduction to Lilly Maytree's work and after reading it I would not hesitate to pick up another. This is the perfect escape into a world of sailing and adventure! I know that authors don't exactly have control over their covers so it doesn't exactly reflect on the story, but this one is gorgeous! It not only captures the essence of the story but also draws the eye and makes a person just WANT to read the contents. It actually had an almost 3-D effect that pulls the reader into the story before they have even started the first word. I absolutely loved this book and wish their were more like them in the Christian Fiction arena. (I received a copy of this book from the Publisher through TBCN in exchange for my review. All opinions are my own.)
dun1 More than 1 year ago
Lilly Maytree has done it again; Pandora Box is truly amazing. You know you are in for a good read when it involves stolen jewels, high sea adventure and a character who has mysterious past. The way she introduces the Word of God into the story makes you want to draw closer to Him and she does it without being preachy. Lilly Maytree you have made me a fan and I can't wait to read more books from you. I received a free copy of this book courtesy of The Book Club Network for my honest review.
ShanfromCan More than 1 year ago
Wow! So much in one book, how to describe it: amazing! This book was the introduction to the writings of Lilly Maytree and upon finishing the first one am definitely planning a trip to the bookstore to pick up another one. How could visiting an elderly patient in a psych hospital, lead to owning a boat, and traveling the world?! Read and find out. This book is non-stop action, intrigue, and definitely lots of guilty looking characters! As well as being full of emotions, it is a true love story that only God could write...or in this case, Lilly Maytree. There is much I could share about the books and its characters but the one thing in the book that really touched me, so well written, you can feel God. "Suddenly, the most awesome feeling came over her. The most incredible sensation of God's presence she had ever felt in her life. Well, this was it, then. She must be closer to death than she realized. Everything was over for her. Any minute, they would come in and force her to give over the journal. And considering her threshold for pain was not something she was proud of, she knew she did not have the makings of a heroine. So, if she was going to die anyway, she would rather be shot than tortured. And the only way to do that..." pg. 284 Although she doesn't see herself as a heroine, but God sees her differently and has a plan for her! Got to love how she comes to grips with her low tolerance for pain and choosing which way she would prefer to die. This is definitely the reporter in her, always so methodical. Bit by the 'bug' Dee wants to go on another adventure, one that would be financed for something she assures the 'crew' they would probably attempt on their own, and after what they have been through no one can deny there were angels on their side. Each chapter begins with a quote by Nellie Bly, and at the end of the book given more info on whom this person is. This book is definitely worth the time to read, but be forewarned, you will not be able to put it down.
chrisGA More than 1 year ago
Have you ever dreamed of adventure and fulfilling your destiny by helping make the world a better place? Have you ever thought about slipping out of your ordinary, everyday existence to set sail in hunt for lost treasure? This is a lighthearted but very suspenseful story about such a quest, and the very unlikely participants make engaging and lovable characters. Throw in an insane asylum, black market body parts, evil Nazi war criminals, and government secret agendas, and the plot carries the reader through one catastrophe after another as unpredictable and frightening as the terrible storms at sea they encounter. Although I am in no way tempted to emulate their adventures, here safe and snug at home I can enjoy sharing them vicariously. Great fun with a message of the necessity of trusting God when uncontrollable circumstances seem overwhelming. It appears the author has set up the possibility of another adventure or two with these characters, and I hope it will happen one day. I received this book through The Book Club Network in exchange for my honest opinion.
nurse_writer More than 1 year ago
I have never been a journalist or a sailor, but Lilly Mantree hooked me right away when her protagonist Dee Parker tried to “break-out” a man committed to a mental hospital. They were going on a treasure hunt, but due to circumstances, Dee had to undertake the adventure on her own. The antagonist, Hawk, has a hidden agenda when he agrees to sail with Dee and her best friend across the ocean in search of the treasure hidden since WWII. There was just enough history for history lovers, just enough tension and romance to meet the need, and just enough descriptions of foreign ports to sooth my desire for exotic destinations. Her true gift is in the description of sailing, both the technical parts and the effect of stormy seas. I recommend this book for anyone interested in WWII treasure lore, sailing, or just good old-fashioned clean romance. Regina Smeltzer
Tanya_Stowe More than 1 year ago
Nelson Petersen tells tales of a fabulous treasure he knows how to find. His tall tales have earned him a trip to the psychiatric hosptial. Reporter Dee Parker is sent by her editor to interview Nelson. She intends to ferret out the truth. What she discovers leads her to believe Nelson isn’t crazy…and he might even be telling the truth about the treasure. She plans to help him escape, but before she can, Nelson dies and leaves Dee an inheritance and a trail to follow. Her path is full of guns, Nazis, Russian jewels, a sailboat named Pandora’s Box and a hunky hero who thinks he owns the said sailboat. If this sounds like a fun-filled, action-packed romp…you’re right. Lily Maytree has once again created an engaging mystery in exotic locals with a quirky heroine, and a man’s man for a hero. Interesting tidbits are filtered in about sailing and history. All of it’s laced with a good dose of common sense and hilarity.  Thoroughly enjoyable!
VPCaine More than 1 year ago
Nels Peterson, from his mental hospital bed, spins a tale to investigative report Dee Parker. His story dates back decades and is full of intrigue and stolen treasure. If she can get to his boat in a small Oregon harbor, she has all she needs to help him. Dee plans to aide in Nels' escape from the institution, but through her reporting, she finds the hospital is running an illegal donor harvesting operation and she's about ready to give the story to her boss exposing the administration. Dee must get Nels out before the headline goes to print. On the day she arrives to help Nels, she's told he is dead. Dee rushes to a safe deposit left to her by Nels along with his fortune. She has the deed for the boat, but when she arrives to claim it, she finds it is being inhabited by a good looking captain named Wayne Hawkins.  Hawkins knows of the stolen treasure, too, and he and Dee decide to become partners. There's little else either one of them can do since they both have a deed to the boat and she has a journal and he has a log. They have a difficult time trusting each other but along with Dee's best friend and a salty old fisherman Hawkins has helped over the years they set sail for the treasurer. Little do they know others are looking for it, too. The Pandora Box is a well written story which holds the right amount of mystery and adventure. And a brewing romance between Wayne and Dee adds to the enjoyment. Well done Ms. Maytree. My favorite line from the book is: Today is tomorrow and tomorrow never comes.