We would urge you to resist any pediophobia issues suggested by the cover of Hallie Ephron’s You’ll Never Know Dear in order to experience the suspenseful multi-generational story within. New York Times best-selling and award-winning author Hallie’s latest suspense novel tells of a little girl’s disappearance and the porcelain doll that may hold the key to her fate. Kirkus noted: “Would have been a great vehicle for Bette Davis and Joan Crawford, including all the slightly creepy dolls.”
James Ziskin is the author of the Edgar®, Anthony, Barry, and Lefty Award-Nominated Ellie Stone Mysteries, including 2017 Anthony award nominee Heart of Stone. His latest quasi-noir mystery featuring the 1960’s California reporter is Cast the First Stone. (See fellow Anthony nominee and bookseller Sarah’s review on Page 2.)
San Diego’s own Matt Coyle (Dark Fissures) will guest host and guide the Sizzling Summer Sleuthing conversation.
An addictive novel of psychological suspense from the award-winning author of Night Night, Sleep Tight, about three generations of women haunted by a little girl's disappearance, and the porcelain doll that may hold the key to the truth . . .
Seven-year-old Lissie Woodham and her four-year-old sister Janey were playing with their porcelain dolls in the front yard when an adorable puppy scampered by. Eager to pet the pretty dog, Lissie chased after the pup as it ran down the street. When she returned to the yard, Janey's precious doll was gone . . . and so was Janey.
Forty years after Janey went missing, Lis--now a mother with a college-age daughter of her own--still blames herself for what happened. Every year on the anniversary of her sister's disappearance, their mother, Miss Sorrel, places a classified ad in the local paper with a picture of the toy Janey had with her that day--a one-of-a-kind porcelain doll--offering a generous cash reward for its return. For years, there's been no response. But this year, the doll came home.
It is the first clue in a decades-old mystery that is about to turn into something far more sinister--endangering Lis and the lives of her mother and daughter as well. Someone knows the truth about what happened all those years ago, and is desperate to keep it hidden.
February 1962 Tony Eberle has just scored his first role in a Hollywood movie, and the publisher of his hometown newspaper in upstate New York wants a profile of the local boy who's made good. Reporter Ellie Stone is dispatched to Los Angeles for the story. But when she arrives on set to meet her subject, Tony has vanished. The director is apoplectic, Tony's agent is stumped, and the producer is found murdered.
Ellie is on the story, diving headfirst into a treacherous demimonde of Hollywood wannabes, beautiful young men, desperately ambitious ingenues, panderers, and pornography hobbyists. Then there are some real movie stars with reputations to protect. To find the killer, Ellie must separate the lies from the truth, unearthing secrets no one wants revealed along the way. But before she can solve the producer's murder, she must locate Tony Eberle.
Private Investigator Rick Cahill fears the next knock on his door will be a cop holding a warrant for his arrest. For murder. La Jolla Chief of Police Tony Moretti is convinced Rick killed a missing person. No body has been found, but the evidence that's piling up says murder and it all points to Rick. With Moretti on his tail and the bank about to foreclose on his house, Rick takes a paying case that will stave off the bank, but pits him against Moretti and the La Jolla Police Department.
Brianne Colton, a beautiful country singer, is convinced her estranged husband's suicide was really murder. Rick is unconvinced, but the mortgage has to be paid. Each new piece of evidence convinces him she's right. He breaks his number one rule and falls for Brianne even, as he begins to question her motives.
As Moretti cinches the vise tighter, with Rick unable to trust the FBI, evil forces emerge from the shadows who will do anything, including torture and murder, to stop Rick from uncovering the truth.
Los Angeles 1986: When Deirdre Unger arrived in Beverly Hills to help her bitter, disappointed father sell his dilapidated house, she discovers his lifeless body floating face down in the swimming pool. At first, Deirdre assumes her father's death was a tragic accident. But the longer she stays in town, the more she suspects that it is merely the third act in a story that has long been in the making.
The sudden re-surfacing of Deirdre's childhood best friend Joelen Nichol--daughter of the legendary star Elenor "Bunny" Nichol--seems like more than a coincidence. Back in 1958, Joelen confessed to killing her movie star mother's boyfriend. Deirdre happened to be at the Nichols house the night of the murder--which was also the night she suffered a personal tragedy of her own. Could all of these events be connected?
Her search to find answers forces Deirdre to confront a truth she has long refused to believe: beneath the slick veneer of Beverly Hills lie secrets that someone will kill to keep buried.
In the waning days of a lazy August holiday, Ellie Stone is enjoying a bright Adirondack-lake morning. Nearby, two men plummet to their deaths on the rocks below, just a few feet short of the water of a dangerous diving pool. A tragic accident, it seems. But the state police quickly establish that the two victims--one, a stranger to the lake and, the other, a teenaged boy from a nearby band camp--surely didn't know each other. That anomaly is strange enough, but what really perplexes Ellie is the out-of-place station wagon parked twenty yards from the edge of the cliff. Wading into a slippery morass of gone-to-ground fellow travelers, free-love intellectuals, rabid John Birchers, and charismatic evangelicals, Ellie must navigate old grudges and Cold War passions, lost ideals and betrayed loves. She sticks her nose where it's unwanted, rattling nerves and putting herself in jeopardy. But this time, it's her heart that's at risk.
Rick Cahill risks losing everything--his home, his freedom, and even his life. In his efforts to free an innocent man from prison, he battles corrupt police, the criminal justice system, a friend-turned-enemy, a vicious biker gang, and a psychopathic murderer.