A thriller's pacing. Vivid Southern locales. Witty dialogue and wry observation about what passes for news on TV...and truth in our lives.
Jolie Marston is a TV news reporter with scruples. Her new boss would sell his grandmother's soul for a few ratings points. When he orders her to distort another meritless story, she explodes during a live broadcast.
Her career is kaput. Blown too is her chance to cover Memphis's biggest story of the year-the slaying of a respected former mayor. When the police investigation stalls, Jolie vows to find justice. She has a deep tie to the victim: He'd been mentor and friend from her hometown in the foothills of the Smokies.
Reeling from her public downfall and a failing romance, Jolie returns to that small town to start a video business. She's also there to find out who she is now that the identity she took for granted is gone. Solving the murder becomes her proving ground as she unearths a life the ex-mayor's public persona hid-one of prostitutes, drugs and danger.
Jolie chases down leads in sassy, blues-steeped Memphis, tiny antebellum La Grange and her east Tennessee hometown of Singleton. Her ally in sleuthing is Martin, Singleton's wealthy, clever, discreetly gay bon vivant. They find intrigue and deceit woven through generations and discover that exposing the lies people live by can have fatal consequences.
|Publisher:||Sarah Scott Books|
|Product dimensions:||6.00(w) x 9.00(h) x 0.75(d)|
About the Author
A native of Athens in east Tennessee and a former resident of Memphis, Sarah now lives an unusual life on the haunches of Mt. Rainier in Washington state. Her home is on land in a national forest adjoining Mt. Rainier National Park. From a life of plugged-in creature comforts in Olympia, WA, she relocated to a cabin that was off-the-grid, away from even the possibility of connecting to a utility company for running water, lights or phone. Her husband's imaginative treehouses, including Cedar Creek Treehouse, have garnered worldwide media attention. Sarah owns and manages Cedar Loft Cabin at Mt. Rainier, a secluded eco-lodging in Ashford, WA just outside the national park (www.cedarloftcabin.com). She is writing the second book in the Jolie Marston series.
Visit her website at www.sarahscottbooks.com.
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
This was a tour of Memphis and Tennessee with a enthralling murders mysteries to keep you locked into the story. It was a true tour of the landscape of my life, being a Memphian. I give it my highest recommendation.
You can take the woman out of the newsroom but you can't take the newsroom out of the woman. That's the stubborn but engaging protagonist Sarah Scott introduces in her debut mystery, along with a cast of lively characters who speak with authenticity. Her colorful Tennessee settings are woven into the fabric of the storyline, in the same vein as Ellen Crosby's Virginia wine country mysteries. The effect is as diverse and satisfying as southern barbecue. Hope there's more to come. Another helping, please!
Sarah Scott, formerly a TV journalist in Memphis and Atlanta originally from east Tennessee, follows the maxim to write what you know, bringing us Joanna Leland (“Jolie”) Marston, on-air reporter for fourteen years, working in three newsrooms, ten years in Memphis at WTNW News [apparently now spoken of as the station Where Trash News Wins). Jolie chafes at what she perceives as a mind-set determined in any way to hold onto their viewers in the desired demographic, “keeping this town more scared than it needs to be,” turning whatever news comes their way into something sensational enough to make their loyal viewers put down their forks and pay attention, thereby keeping the ratings growing. She feels the effects of constantly having to deal with the content, or lack thereof, of the stories she’s told to cover and making them into something sensational. Finally unable to deal with what she perceives to be their pattern of “Lies at Six,” she effectively blows up her career with an on-air rant, however justified it may have been. Divorced at 23, Jolie is now 36. Fast upon the heels of her firing, a truly sensational event takes place: The murder of Ellis Standifer, respected former Mayor of Memphis, and a dear friend and mentor to Jolie Marston. Despite the fact that she is no longer employed, she tries to find out whatever she can about the murder through her contacts at the police department and otherwise, to little avail. But then some information comes her way, and she determines to try to find the story behind the murder of her friend, with no idea where or to whom it will lead. Threats start to come her way as well to those who have been assisting her in her investigation. Despite the fact that she had come to love her riverside city, she feels she must leave, returning to her home town of Singleton, in East Tennessee, where she had first met and come under the influence of her friend, Ellis Standifer (although “she usually described her hometown to people as the place where the fire station had been burned and the sheriff’s department had been busted for bootlegging.”). Her family welcomes her back into the hearth; she even finds that her mother had become willing to “overlook her [ex-]boyfriend’s Jewishness.” (The hostility toward inter-marriage raises its ugly head more than once.) She soon learns more than she had bargained for, as some old secrets come to light, as well as hints at corruption at the highest level, with unexpected sources being a couple of women who were very close to the great man, and one enigmatic old-world gentleman keeping long-held secrets. The tale initially proceeds at a pace befitting the deep South, but soon amps up that pace with the mounting suspense of trying to find a killer, taking unexpected twists and turns in the process. A recurring theme seems to be that “there is no such thing as truth. Not when it comes to the past. Just different versions of it.” It is amazing how so many disparate situations reveal that to be true. I was thoroughly intrigued by Jolie and her tale, and her depiction of the old (and new) South (including the old family recipe for mint juleps!), and look forward to where Ms. Scott will take her next. Recommended.
With amazing character development, I absolutely love Sarah Scott's first Jolie Marston mystery. Ms. Scott's writing made me feel like I was riding with Jolie across Tennessee on her adventures in bustling cities and picturesque small towns. I admire her main character's qualities and have enjoyed sharing Jolie Marston with my girlfriends. I am anxiously awaiting the next installment!
Another intrepid young female sleuth has entered the mystery scene, a former TV journalist whose persistence in following a story comes back to haunt her. Jolie Marston learns too late how the past can reach into the present with painful consequences. In her debut novel Sarah Scott has introduced an intelligent, sexy protagonist whose mistakes in assembling her own life are as engaging as the surprising plot twists and finely drawn Tennessee settings.