A Thousand Steps

A Thousand Steps
A Thousand Steps by T. Jefferson Parker

Tuesday, May 16, 2017

Heart of Stone: An Ellie Stone Mystery by James W. Ziskin- Feature and Review


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 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 music 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 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.



Heart of Stone (Ellie Stone Mysteries #4)Heart of Stone by James W. Ziskin
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Heart of Stone by James W. Ziskin is a 2016 Seventh Street Books publication.

It’s summer in the Adirondacks, where Ellie is visiting her delightful aunt for a while. She is instantly drawn into a murder case when the inept and the disgusting chief of police asks her to take photographs of two dead bodies, the victims of a cliff diving accident. However, the circumstances are questionable enough to ping Ellie’s radar.

I enjoyed the change of scenery in this fourth installment of the series, and the musical elements, as well. Ellie’s character is slightly less morose here as she enjoys a little vacation time and connects with old friends. But, her need to discover the truth behind these tragic deaths, which leads her to a few very shocking and painful revelations.

Ellie, in a short span of time, has become one of my favorite amateur sleuths. Her character carves out opportunities for women in a field dominated by men, she has an open mind and heart, and feels things deeply. The mystery, while it seems like an open and shut case, turns out to be much more complex and is a real head scratcher. Again, the details, descriptions, characters and dialogue is crisp and sharp.

This is another fantastic chapter in the series!






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 ingĂ©nues, 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.




Edgar, Anthony, Barry, and Lefty Award Nominee, James W. Ziskin is the author of the Ellie Stone Mysteries. 

HEART OF STONE, finalist for the 2017 Edgar Award for Best Paperback Original
HEART OF STONE, finalist for the 2017 Lefty Award for Best Mystery Novel
STONE COLD DEAD, finalist for the 2016 Anthony Award for Best Paperback Original
STONE COLD DEAD, finalist for the 2016 Barry Award for Best Paperback Original
STONE COLD DEAD, finalist for the 2016 Lefty Award for Best World Mystery Novel
NO STONE UNTURNED, finalist for the 2015 Anthony Award for Best Paperback Original

No comments:

Post a Comment

Note: Only a member of this blog may post a comment.