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Blackbird Fly (Bennett Sisters Book 1) [Kindle Edition]

Lise McClendon
4.1 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (166 customer reviews)

Print List Price: $14.99
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How to Start a Fire
Anna, Kate and Georgiana have been bosom buddies since their salad days at University of California at Santa Cruz: This novel follows the three adventurous women into middle age. Read about the author, Lisa Lutz

Book Description

A house in France connects three women together -- the woman who owns the house, the woman who lives in the house, and the woman who died there sixty years before. Merle Bennett inherits the house of her late husband, in a small village in the Dordogne. But when she arrives a deranged squatter won't let her inside.

Secrets from the post-war period, when southwest France was left to wither by Nazi occupation, and secrets of a newer kind, occupy what should be a fine French summer for Merle. With her teenage son in tow, a sexy roofer in her kitchen, and a nasty discovery in the pissoir, there is plenty to keep her mind off her endless to-do list. A story of murder, self-discovery, and family, deep in the heart of France.

In her first stand-alone suspense novel, Lise McClendon reaches deep into the past to find a France untouched by the outside world of tourism and fashion. Writing in a "lyrical, often humorous style," she brings both the pain and rewards of rebirth and the rich French countryside to life.

Want more Lise McClendon? Read her new novel, a twist on Jane Austen's classic Pride and Prejudice, called All Your Pretty Dreams. On sale now here on Amazon. Want a little more action? Check out Lise's thrillers written as Rory Tate, including the newest, PLAN X.

“This book brought me back to wanting to keep reading until the very end. Pour yourself a nice Merlot and keep turning the pages.”

“An intriguing story, a mystery with heart.”

“The characters were real and completely developed. All loose ends were tied up very nicely. This book climbed inside the main characters, flaws and all.”

“A very well written story, with characters that are interesting, likeable, and you care about them. There are dead bodies, suspense, and mystery. It's just a great story!”

“It would be a great chick flick!”

"A heartbreakingly beautiful story of love, loss, sisterhood, and the ties that bind us together," says novelist Jenny Siler.

Editorial Reviews


A literary suspense novel. A great deal goes into character growth and change, and McClendon's love for the French countryside is evident. BLACKBIRD FLY is a rewarding read for the discerning.

"A heartbreakingly beautiful story of love, loss, sisterhood, and the ties that bind us all together." --Jenny Siler, bestselling author

The descriptions of the French village and house make them a character with very much influence on Merle's experience. Blackbird Fly has love and intrigue, and proof that family bonds are strong enough to reach beyond the grave.

From the Author

Thanks so much for reading and reviewing Blackbird Fly. I hope you enjoyed it. The sequel is here at last. Hinted at as several reviewers noted. 

The Girl in the Empty Dress finds the five Bennett sisters doing a walking tour of the Dordogne, enjoying the food, wine, and countryside. They discover an injured dog by the side of the road and their idyllic journey is turned on its head. Who is this dog that everyone wants him so badly? Truffles, kidnapping, wine, intrigue, and a little more romance with Pascal await Merle. 

The Girl in the Empty Dress is available now.

Product Details

  • File Size: 544 KB
  • Print Length: 323 pages
  • Page Numbers Source ISBN: 0981944272
  • Publisher: Thalia Press; 2014 edition (December 4, 2013)
  • Sold by: Amazon Digital Services, Inc.
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B002E9IPSO
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Word Wise: Enabled
  • Lending: Enabled
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #168,626 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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Customer Reviews

4.1 out of 5 stars
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews
114 of 114 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Blackbird Fly is wonderful! October 23, 2009
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
Harry Strachie dies of a heart attack in the first pages. This starts a whole bunch of mysteries, lies, deceits, and intrigue. His wife and son are left without much but a key, a photo, and a deed to a house in France. Merle, his wife, and Tristan, his son, travel to France to see about selling the house. There is a squatter in the house, the people in the village don't like the Americans, some even seem to hate them. This is a fast moving story, with trips back in time to when Harry's parents lived in the house, and what happens then effects what is happening now. It is very well done, very well written, and the characters are very interesting, likeable, and you really care about them. There are dead bodies, lots of suspense and mystery, great characters, a bit of romance, but mostly it's just a great story! This is one of the best books I've read this year. You won't disappointed. I highly recommend it.
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48 of 49 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Blackbird Fly April 17, 2011
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
Blackbird Fly is a true delight. This clever story engaged me from the start because I am a middle age woman, a francophile and I love a mystery. Lise has definitely done her research and creates authentic and interesting characters. I was completely hooked on Blackbird Fly and enjoyed her play on words with the main character being named "Merle". Lise's narrative and dialogue both "take you there". I felt transported to a French provincial village and found all her characters fascinating and believable. I didn't want the story to end and would really love a sequel!
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37 of 38 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Good read June 21, 2011
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
I'm a Lise McClendon fan have read all of the Alix books. For me, this book started out a little slow, in fact, I almost didn't get back to it. But I'm glad I did. The story started moving along and I couldn't wait to continue reading.

I do recommend this book.
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18 of 19 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars A nice little diversion March 25, 2010
By Cellist
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
My book club decided this was basically a really good beach book. And that's not a bad recommendation! But what starts out as a novel of a woman of a certain age discovering herself turns into a crime novel. It was a fun read, but I think it would have been better just as a self-discovery novel. But for those who loved it, I think I detected the seeds of a sequel....!
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20 of 22 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Blackbird Fly September 11, 2011
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
I didn't care for how it was written and I forced myself to finish it. First half of the book I felt she scrambled to grab and tuck in every descriptive word she knew, it moved extremely slow & she had no focus/ game-plan to weave a flowing story ~ just a punch-list of ideas she chucked at us. Second half of the book there is a definite change of pace & "style". It felt to me as if she had taken a substantial break, reread the first part & didn't want to change it so she did the best she could to repair it and allow it to flow or someone else stepped in, helped her finish and kept her a bit more focused. A frustrating read for me because she really had a fascinating foundation for a story that could have been a page-turner. By the end of a book a reader's thoughts should be with the characters, my focus was wondering about the author/authors and how this all played out behind the scenes as it was being written & edited. To me that's not how I like to arrive at the last page.
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16 of 17 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A GREAT READ! May 23, 2011
Format:Kindle Edition
This is an enjoyable page turning mystery with wonderful and vivid descriptions of France and the French people. Makes me want to go there and visit. In my opinion, this is the best novel Lise McClendon has written.
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10 of 10 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars I didn't want to put it down... June 7, 2010
I had fun reading this book! There were times when I couldn't put it down. Lise McClendon has done a masterful job of weaving an intriguing and unexpected web, keeping the reader begging for more. She does a great job of character development -- you feel like you know them. There's a fascinating mixture of characters, and this novel truly has every ingredient a reader enjoys from murder to adventure to romance. The author's descriptions vividly transported me to each and every place in the book. You can't go wrong with this book -- great for a long plane ride, an extended rainy afternoon, or a few days in bed with your morning coffee.
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14 of 15 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars a great read August 18, 2011
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
after reading the blurb about this novel,i said,"chick lit."it was definitely not that. lise mcclendon has written has excellent qualifies as 21st century literary fiction.the characters are believable and the plot is very interesting.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars Direct and to the point. Fun tagging along
Sweet kept you hangin on, ready For more!
Published 26 days ago by Kara Ewing
1.0 out of 5 stars Review
Published 1 month ago by Denise
4.0 out of 5 stars I enjoyed it.
Well written story. I enjoyed it.
Published 2 months ago by Barbara C. Dillon
4.0 out of 5 stars Easy read and kept my attention.
this is one of those books that I stayed up to finish. After I read this, I immediately purchased the second.
Published 2 months ago by paula h
4.0 out of 5 stars Enjoyable read
Really enjoyed it. Read it in one evening. Kept me interested the whole book.
Published 2 months ago by Shopper
2.0 out of 5 stars Would not recommend it as a great ead
Pleasant reading. Would not recommend it as a great ead!
Published 2 months ago by melanie dales
5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent read
Excellent read. Will read the others in the series.
Published 2 months ago by Merland
5.0 out of 5 stars I especially like the very descriptive writing
This book held my interest. I especially like the very descriptive writing. I also appreciate the non salaciousness. I can't find a lot of books that aren't offensive to my tast
Published 3 months ago by Bette Howton
4.0 out of 5 stars Wonderful shipper and wonderful product
Wonderful shipper and wonderful product!! Arrived just as promptly as I was told it would! And in exactly in condition described!! Trust this shipper!
Published 6 months ago by Gayle Anderson
5.0 out of 5 stars Fly, Blackbird Fly...
I loved this story, so much so that I read it in two sittings. The mix of drama, mystery, geography, history and romance made this a fascinating piece of fiction. Read more
Published 6 months ago by Kasj13
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More About the Author

The new one is a Bennett Sisters novella - Give Him the Ooh-la-la! (Dec 2014) Merle and Pascal in New York City for the holidays, drag queens, wine, and misadventures!

The sequel to Blackbird Fly is here! The Girl in the Empty Dress finds Merle Bennett back in France, this time with all four of her sisters plus one friend. The friend, a law colleague of one sister, is moody and secretive and the Bennetts don't warm toward her. When she finds an injured dog along the roadside and determines to keep it, the walking tour of the Dordogne takes a dark and dangerous turn. Who is this dog everyone is after? And who is Gillian Sargent, the friend no one knows?

So exciting to be back in France again with the sisters. I did my own walking tour of France in 2012. It was much less exciting, but no more delightful, than the story told in The Girl in the Empty Dress.

Lise McClendon writes fiction from her home in Montana. She is the author of twelve novels, short stories, and articles. In 1997 she wrote and directed the short film, The Hoodoo Artist, featured at the Telluride Indiefest. She has served on the national boards of directors for Mystery Writers of America and International Association of Crime Writers/North America. She is on the faculty of the Jackson Hole Writers Conference and co-presents a novel workshop for writers.

Lise also writes under the pseudonym Rory Tate. Jump Cut (2011) and PLAN X (2013) are by Rory Tate.

"After thirty years writing fiction has become as necessary as breathing. Finding the essential story in the novel, chipping away the rock until the solid core is revealed, is an adventure and a joy."

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