A neglected lake, covered with water lilies. A once fashionable, now faded resort. A derelict house full of secrets, uninhabited for almost half a century. The death of a twelve-year-old girl forty years in the past. And another girl who becomes obsessed with this death. With her knack for encouraging adults to reminisce, she begins to piece together puzzles from the past and present.
HOTEL PARADISE is a delicate yet disturbing view of the decisions a young girl must make on her way to becoming an adult . . . and the choices she must make between right and wrong, love and truth, life and death. With its narrative grace, compelling characters, and intricate suspense, HOTEL PARADISE is Martha Grimes at the top of her form.
The Washington Post Book World
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About the Author
Hometown:Washington, DC and Santa Fe, NM
Date of Birth:May 2, 1931
Place of Birth:Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania
Education:B.A., M.A., University of Maryland
Read an Excerpt
from Chapter One, pp. 3-4:
It's a blowing day. The wind feels weighted and the air like iron. As I walked the half-mile to the lake this evening, I could hardly push against this heaviness that settled on me like a coat of snow.
I have been sitting on this low mossy wall for an hour, but I can't see the Devereau house, or if there is any light in it. The woods are so thick by the spring, they blot out the other side of the lake like ink spilled across the page I'm reading. This time I brought a book; I mean to wait, though I don't think he'll be back.
I wonder now if there are mysteries never meant to be solved. Or not meant to be solved to a certainty, for I do have some idea of what must have happened near White's Bridge. I've found out the answers to a lot of questions, but those answers pull more questions out of hiding, ones I never would have thought to ask.
I think I know how Fern died and who killed her. But I don't know why, exactly. I have to guess at the why. Even if I was absolutely sure, I would still not tell the police, not even the Sheriff. Some things mean more than the law. I have not sat through all of Clint Eastwood's old westerns for nothing. Clint doesn't always hound a rustler to his grave, not if there's a reason to let him off more important than a dozen law-abiding reasons to arrest him. Call it cowpoke justice. I hear people say "It's between me and my conscience," but I think it's awful risky to go by your conscience, for your conscience can be pretty leaky. I think Clint would agree.
Anyway. That was the decision I made this morning, not to tell the Sheriff, and it weighs mighty heavily upon me. What I discovered over the past couple of weeks is that what I think is a difficult decision to make is really a difficult decision to make. And what I think is hard and painful is truly hard and painful.
I guess that doesn't sound like much learnt, but I think it is.