A cold case heats up when the handsome detective, Frank Fontana, asks for Jessica Huntington's help. Who killed his cousin Kelly? Does Jessica want to know the truth about her high school friend's tragic death?
"The worst kind of truth is better than the best lie, Jessica."
Jessica hopes Bernadette's right as she races headlong into Kelly's troubled past. Believed to be the victim of a hit-and-run accident in Palm Springs, the investigation into Kelly's death had quickly grown cold. Now more than a decade later, a lowlife meth addict claims to have witnessed her death and swears: "It weren't no accident! It was on purpose."
Why would anyone have done such a thing to the 19-year-old, auburn-haired beauty with a voice like an angel and a streak of wild? Join Jessica and her friends as they try to figure out whodunit and why!
"AN ENTHUSIASTIC SIX STARS!"
I read the first book in the series, A Dead Husband, and have been eagerly looking forward to reading this one. It didn't disappoint in any area. One of the things that Ms. Burke is a genius at is attention to detail. It doesn't matter whether it's a setting or a person, you can clearly see it in your mind, smell it, or taste it - and her food descriptions are to die for! But make no mistake, the story line and the characters are just as captivating. I felt like I had reconnected with old friends, and I look forward to reading A Dead Daughter. For my money, she is one of the most talented authors writing today. I simply love her work and would give it six stars if I could!
"GREAT SERIES!" TOP 500 REVIEWER
"A Dead Sister" by Anna Burke is an excellent follow up to her "Dead Husband". Jessica Huntington has a lot on her plate, especially after her last adventure. In this novel she looks into the death of one of her friends who dies in a mysterious accident 14 years ago.
The book balances her private issues, such as the broken down marriage, and her intimate connection to the victim well, making for a very personal and heart felt investigation, which lends the story more gravity and power.
Jessica is a great lead character with strong emotions, thoughtful and clever whose circumstances show that money and looks still won't necessarily buy you happiness. But she has good people around her and she won't quit until she finds out the truth.
The detective part is well written and at times very compelling. A must for fans of detective novels with interesting settings and fascinating characters. Very recommendable.
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
A fast, fun, fascinating read! I couldn't put this book down! It grips you right from the start with a spellbinding account of a young girl's desperate (and ultimately unsuccessful) attempt to escape kidnappers-turned-murderers. Subsequent chapters are propelled relentlessly forward by Jessica Huntington's quest to discover the identities and motives of those who murdered her friend. The perpetrators' tactics for fending off Jessica and her associates become increasingly malicious and deadly. Yet despite the murder and mayhem, the overall tone of the book is hopeful and uplifting, with lighthearted moments and loveable characters. Those who enjoyed A Dead Husband (Jessica Huntington Desert Cities Mystery, Volume 1) will rejoice in the re-appearance of the "Cat Pack" (a Cathedral City twist on the 50's "Rat Pack"), including beloved mother figure Bernadette, goofy surfer-boy Brien, and lovebirds Jerry and Tommy. Building beautifully on the first book (A Dead Husband), this one adds depth to the characters, especially Jessica, who is revealed as generous, caring, self-effacing, and vulnerable. Her wealth has not protected her from tragedy, but her suffering is prompting her to think more deeply about relationships and spirituality. Although she's still reeling from the shock of a blatantly philandering husband, that experience is helping her to appreciate the qualities of a truly good man, and now more than one good man appreciates Jessica right back. Like the first book, this one is as informative as it is entertaining. Well-researched, it provides lush and absorbing descriptions of southern California's desert cities, including their playgrounds for the wealthy, natural beauty, and unique lifestyle and history. The epic gourmet food and shopping scenes, alone, are worth the price of admission! In addition, there are behind-the-scenes glimpses into the criminal justice system and the world of large law firms, from their opulent upper echelons to their sweat-shop-like lower levels endured by new lawyers. Altogether, a great read!
Great Series A Dead Sister is the second book in Anna Celeste Burke’s Jessica Huntington Desert Cities Mystery Series. Ms. Burke’s writing style flows smoothly at a calm and steady pace and the storyline is well plotted with the three dimensional characters, humor, and some suspenseful moments. Ms. Burke’s books not only have interesting mysteries to solve but they allow the reader to get to know the characters. I recommend this book to readers who enjoy reading a well-crafted cozy mystery. Jessica Huntington is not pleased when her soon to be ex-husband shows up at her door and he’s brought a copy of the divorce papers she hasn’t signed off yet and wants her to sign them so he can marry the woman he cheated on Jessica with who is pregnant. Jessica is a wealthy woman who is caring and generous she treated everyone to an escape after the trauma of solving the mystery surrounding the murder of her Roger Stone, her friend, Laura’s husband. The guys decided to go to the North Shore of Oahu so Brien could take the surf safari he dreamed about, the gals stayed at the Grand Wailea in Maui and spend their days getting spa treatments and going on shopping sprees, and Laura’s sister and her family went on a Disney cruise. Jessica is surprised when she receives a call from Frank Fontana asking if she will meet with him to talk about his cousin and Jessica’s high school friend, Kelly Fontana, who died over a decade ago when she was only 19 years old when she was the victim of a hit and run in a parking lot. The call brings up troubling memories of her friendship with Kelly. Seems a drug addicted criminal, Chester Davis, claims to have information that Kelly was murdered and he wants to make a deal to have the charges currently pending against him reduced. Frank is seeking Jessica’s advice on opening up his cousin’s case and asking her to talk to officials and interview Chester. Frank and Jessica decided for her to start her investigation without informing Kelly’s parents and brother because they wanted to protect them from having to relive the tragic event if the “tip” didn’t pan out. While Jessica feels she needs to take a year to adjust to her divorce and get her life together, there is a mutual attraction between her and Paul Worthington and Frank Fontana.
A Dead Sister is the second book of the series and the second that I have read, while both books are excellent this one is more emotional and has less humor and I think is a little stronger. Ms Burke spends some time allowing us to get to know Jessica and her background which will a little slow helped me connect with her. She is extremely wealthy and every comfortable with that wealth. I do not identify well with the kind of life she leads so the extra time was worthwhile. The character interaction is awesome. Love the "cat pack"! Her best friend in high school was killed in what had been declared a hit and run accident 15 years earlier; now there are indications that Kelly's death might have been murder. Jessica can not imagine what in the life of that volatile nineteen year old could have led to her murder. Although Jessica's experience as an environmental lawyer has not prepared her for investigating crime, she and a group of friends feel compelled to looking into her late friends life I received a copy of this book from the author in exchange for an honest review! I will continue to follow the series!
A Dead Sister (Jessica Huntington Desert Cities Mystery Book 2) is every bit as good as A Dead Husband. Jessica Huntington with no more hyphen as she keeps reminding everyone is really still angry and upset about her no good ex and the younger woman he took up with. She promises herself one year before she will even think of dating again. Uh Huh--- Plus she is still hurting from the beating she got from her last sleuthing job. When her sometimes best friend's cousin shows up and asks for her help--did I mention the best friend was possibly murdered many years ago--how can she say no. The last time she saw this friend they had a major fight. And she may also take a job and actually use her law degree. Shopaholic--yup--she is still at it!! That Black American Express Card--well lets just say thank heavens she is a trust fund baby--because she not only spends on herself--but on all her friends as well (and now it is all on her). Bernadette, who is more of a mother then a housekeeper is still one of my favorite character's!! You really should read this series in order as it references back--but it is not totally necessary. I went and bought Book#3 already--that should tell you how much I enjoy this series. This one is non stop action and will keep you guessing and laughing at parts.
"A Dead Sister" was another enjoyable Jessica Huntington tale. Jessica is back to shopping sprees and getting in over her head in solving a cold-case murder. There was plenty of action on the story, but it took a little while to get to that point. In the beginning the information Jessica discovered about her childhood friend, Kelly, had to be conveyed to various people in different scenes. I felt myself wanting to skim over information the author had already provided. Once past that, however, the story picked up and became more intriguing. There are a number of places, too, that much background information is given in large doses. This would be easier to digest if given in context to the story, rather than merely to develop the characters. But, in all, the story was entertaining, and I'm looking forward to the next book later this year.