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Amethyst Dreams


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About the Author

In addition to being named Grand Master by the Mystery Writers of America, Phyllis A. Whitney has received the Agatha Award from Malice Domestic. Both awards are for lifetime achievement. She has been published in thirty foreign countries. Her most recent novels include Star Flight, The Ebony Swan, Woman Without a Past, and Daughter of the Stars. Phyllis A. Whitney lives in Nelson County, Virginia.


Romantic suspense warhorse Whitney's (Daughter of the Stars) latest is a psychological drama of a deeply troubled family set on historic Topsail Island off the North Carolina coast. The Trenches are presided over by the wealthy patriarch called "the Captain." The disappearance of his granddaughter, Susan, motivates the Captain to beg Susan's former college roommate, Hallie Knight, to search for her. Hallie leaps at the excuse to leave California (not to mention her philandering husband, Paul). But renewing the search for Susan, who has been gone two years, is only part of the Captain's agenda. Feeling that Susan has been murdered, he is determined to leave Hallie the bulk of his considerable fortune, originally meant for his granddaughter. If Susan's killer is near, this could mean danger for Hallie, who wants no part of the money. Before any clues turn up, several subplots distract both characters and the reader: the Captain's ex-wife appears on the scene, and Paul comes after Hallie in an attempt to reconcile their marriage. Unfortunately, the Knights and Trenches are 100% cardboard (and, with only a few chaste kisses between them, sexless to boot). As the plot unravels, ridiculous coincidences and highly incredible secrets proliferate. The final revelations concerning Susan's disappearance seem less important than whether Hallie and Paul will get back together. The lack of passion and of heat produce tepid fiction. Paperback rights to Fawcett. (July)

The best-selling author of romantic suspense has a magical way with words, whether with a book's title, location, or colorful blend of character names. In her newest work, a missing granddaughter named Susan is the only shadow on a canvas of vibrant personalities like Mrs. Orion and Captain Nicholas. Susan's ailing grandfather has summoned former college roommate Hallie to their historic seaport town to help find his granddaughter, who has disappeared mysteriously from her bedroom. As Hallie puzzles over her friend's fate, at the same time contending with suspicious relatives, it feels as if Whitney is carefully putting into place all the loose threads of a handstitch tapestry. What matters here are the characters' wonderfully wrought temperatments‘no sinners, no saints, but ultimately lots of forgiveness‘and the subtle, little glimpses of fear that keep readers looking for answers right up to the satisfying conclusion. Suitable reading for any library. [Previewed in Prepub Alert, LJ 3/1/97.]‘M.E. Chitty, Narragansett, R.I.

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