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The Cruel Ever After (Jane Lawless Mysteries) Hardcover – Bargain Price, December 7, 2010

4.8 out of 5 stars 12 customer reviews
Book 18 of 22 in the Jane Lawless Mysteries Series

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Hardcover, Bargain Price, December 7, 2010
$17.83 $1.44

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Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

At the start of Hart's delightful 18th mystery starring Minneapolis restaurateur Jane Lawless (after 2009's The Mirror and the Mask), Jane's charismatic ex-husband and antiquities dealer, Chester "Chess" Garrity, wakes up one morning with a hangover outside the house of Melvin Dial, an art collector to whom he'd offered to sell a valuable Iraqi artifact, the Winged Bull of Nimrud, the night before. After finding Dial dead of a knife wound inside the house, Chess flees. When he returns to the crime scene with fellow dealer Irina Nelson, he discovers the body gone and a note clearly addressed to him demanding ,000 in small bills along with incriminating photos. Arrested for Dial's murder, Chess must turn to Jane, who has more than enough on her plate already, for help. Buttressed by distinctive characters and a splendid Minnesota setting, the well-constructed plot builds to a satisfying conclusion. (Dec.)
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From Booklist

Hail, hail, the gang’s all here in the newest title in Hart’s popular, long-running series featuring lesbian amateur sleuth/restaurant owner Jane Lawless. Jane’s past and present meet as family members, old friends, and older exes, including former husband Chester, become involved in the case after “Chess” arrives in Minneapolis and finds himself awakening next to a corpse. If that’s not enough, old issues inevitably resurface, and enmities re-ignite, as when Jane’s onetime lover Dr. Julia resurfaces with an agenda that includes opening a free local clinic and a far more selfish mission. Add Julia’s longtime hostility toward Jane’s best friend, Cordelia—“The dragon lady . . . the Mad Carlotta, the Wicked Witch of the East, Typhoid Mary,” and stir in the kidnapping of Mia, Jane’s young niece, and both devotees of Hart’s engrossing series and new readers will enjoy, enjoy every lively page. --Whitney Scott
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Product Details

  • Series: Jane Lawless Mysteries (Book 18)
  • Hardcover: 336 pages
  • Publisher: Minotaur Books; First Edition edition (December 7, 2010)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0312614764
  • ASIN: B007SRYIP6
  • Product Dimensions: 5.8 x 1.2 x 8.4 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 15.2 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 4.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (12 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #2,260,254 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Hardcover
Yikes. How often do you finish a mystery and immediately have to go back and reread parts of it because you were SO SURPRISED by the ending that you can't believe you missed the clues? I read tons of mysteries, and I'm telling you -- it hardly ever happens to me. But "The Cruel Ever After" left me blown away by Hart's seamless and excellent plotting. This one starts with a bang; I'm not giving anything away because it happens within the first few pages, but Jane Lawless's husband shows up. Yes, one of the Twin Cities' most prominent lesbians has a husband. If you're a Lawless fan, by this point you're probably already clicking on the "buy" button (even better if you have a Kindle, so you can start reading it 10 seconds from now). I love my annual catch-up with Jane, her fabulous friend Cordelia, the Lawless family, Jane's PI friend Nolan and the other characters who populate this series. It's rare to find a title this far into the series (#18!) that makes you think, "This author just keeps getting better & better," but "The Cruel Ever After" is indeed such a book. This was a one-sitting read for me because I just couldn't put it down.
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Format: Hardcover
Ellen Hart has outdone herself with this latest installment in the Jane Lawless series. The familiar characters, for those who have read the series, are back and developed further. But, the surprising piece of this mystery is the introduction of a new character, Chester Garrity. Chester is a shady and nefarious character who comes into the novel out of Jane's past. His role in her life is shocking and the trouble he creates for Jane and her family and friends is even more so.

In true Hart-style, the book takes twists and turns leaving the reader thinking she has figured things out only to be totally surprised at the next turn of the page. This lasts up to the very end of the book making for a delightful and thoroughly enjoyable read. Jane Lawless fans can't help but be thrilled with this latest installment and new readers to the series will find this book accessible without having read earlier books. I warn you, though, if you are new to Jane Lawless, you will be rushing to get the prior books in the series in short order.

Huzzah for Ellen Hart's chops as a writer! Can't wait for the next one to arrive!
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Format: Paperback
Ellen Hart has been honored for her skills in writing (she has authored 25 crime/mystery novels) by being a five-time winner of the Lambda Literary Award for Best Lesbian Mystery, a three-time winner of the Minnesota Book Award for Best Popular Fiction, a three-time winner of the Golden Crown Literary Award, a recipient of the Alice B Medal, and was made an official GLBT Literary Saint at the Saints & Sinners Literary Festival in New Orleans. Impressive? Yes, and well earned.

Hart knows how to weave mystery novels with a style that does not mimic but has a flavor unique to her works. Her novels reflect her lifestyle and that is not only refreshingly honest but also elevates the genre of lesbian literature to a new high. This book is another in her ongoing Jane Lawless Mysteries series, Jane Lawless is shocked when her ex-husband returns to Minneapolis, ostensibly to sell a rare artifact to a local collector, but he soon draws her — and her friends and family — into a murder investigation in which he is the prime suspect. 
Jane's marriage to Chester "Chess" Garrity was one of convenience. He offered her $300,000 to marry — and then promptly divorce — him so that he could inherit a fortune worth millions on his 30th birthday. She's always been a bit embarrassed by the whole arrangement, but since it helped her start her restaurants, she's made her peace with it. Seeing Chess after all these years, though, comes as a surprise: he's been living in Turkey and dealing in antiquities in Europe, but now also appears to be broke and in need of a place to stay.
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Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
Just outstanding!!!! When I thought your books couldn't get better they got me speechlessly in awe. WOW!
This Jane Lawless series I lose alot of sleep, I stayed up all night to finish this book and I had 6 chapters to go to finish I couldn't stop and the end made my mouth drop open.
Jane's husband made me so angry I wanted to beat his @#&.
Chester (Chess) is his name, that guy had the worst things go wrong from his stupid, not thought out schemes and has 6 people in danger and lied to them all until he was arrested and needed money to get out. "The boy cried wolf", No one believed him until Jane's ex-girlfriend got involved.
GIRLS you have to read this. Murder, disception, stupid plans gone wrong . You won't be DISAPPOINTED!
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Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
I like mystery novels. Ellen Hart has a very interesting cast of characters that appear in her books. Her plots are intricate and absorbing. I also like the fact that she brings to life many familiar sites in the Twin Cities.
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By A Customer on December 12, 2010
Format: Hardcover
In Minneapolis antiquities dealer, Chester "Chess" Garrity wakes up with a hangover on the lawn in front of the home of Melvin Dial, but totally clueless as to how he ended up there. The night before Chess and Melvin discussed a deal involving the Iraqi artifact, the Winged Bull of Nimrud. Chess enters the unlocked house to find the art collector dead from an apparent knife wound. Panicking, Chess runs from the crime scene.

Chess accompanied by art dealer Irina Nelson returns to the Dial residence. He is stunned to see the corpse missing, the house clean, and a ransom note addressed to him demanding $50,000 in small bills; next to the money are photos of Chess with the body. He pleads with his former wife restaurateur Jane Lawless, who has solved several murder mysteries, to investigate.

The excellent latest Jane Lawless Minnesota mystery starring (see Sweet Poison) is a great entry as Chess is checkmated by an unknown adversary. Jane is terrific as she works the case of her ex husband in which every clue she finds enforces Chess' guilt. Fast-paced with a fabulous set up, Jane is no longer an amateur sleuth as she has been paid recently as a professional (see The Mirror and the Mask) since the economy has hurt her restaurant profits. Readers will fully appreciate this terrific investigative thriller.

Harriet Klausner
,
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