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Deader Homes and Gardens: A Claire Malloy Mystery (Claire Malloy Mysteries) Hardcover – February 14, 2012


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Product Details

  • Series: Claire Malloy Mysteries (Book 18)
  • Hardcover: 304 pages
  • Publisher: Minotaur Books; Book Club (BCE/BOMC) edition (February 14, 2012)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0312363621
  • ISBN-13: 978-0312363628
  • Product Dimensions: 6.2 x 1 x 9.6 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.3 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 3.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (50 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,059,303 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

Review

"A wildly entertaining series." -- Mystery Scene
 
"Breezy and delightful...one of the most engaging narrators in mystery." -- Deadly Pleasures

From the Back Cover

"SNAPPY, SASSY."--PUBLISHERS WEEKLY

Now that she's back from her honeymoon, Claire Malloy must face the reality of her home life: It's too close for comfort. A two-bedroom apartment is a formula for disaster for her new husband, Police Chief Peter Rosen, and her teenage daughter, Caron. Time to go house hunting--before they all kill each other. Figuratively speaking, of course…

"ANOTHER FUN ROMP."--Seattle Post-Intelligencer

Or not. Ever since Claire found the perfect home--a well-preserved large house on a large plot of land in Hollow Valley--she has beeen up to the roof with problems. Not only has the real estate agent gone mysteriously missing but soon Claire learns that the house's previous owner died in circumstances labeled "accidental." And new bodies from Hollow Valley are starting to pile up…Now it's up to Claire to dig up the dirt--and unearth a killer. Can she solve the mystery before her dream house turns into a living nightmare?

"FAST-PACED...BREEZY...AMUSING."--The Mystery Gazette

--This text refers to the Mass Market Paperback edition.

Customer Reviews

The main character was lazy, whiney, boring and mean.
Amazon Customer
The book is typical of the works of Joan Hess which I find great and am always anxious for her next book.
Sezena
This book is one of the worst mysteries I've ever read.
Cheryl A. Marhefka

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

28 of 31 people found the following review helpful By Agatha Christie on March 15, 2012
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
I have read all of Joan Hess's books and this is the first time I have been truly bored with her main character. What on earth did you do to Claire Malloy? And why?????

I only got half way through it and just coudln't take it any more. I put it away for three days and went back to it. Just as bad as I remembered.

I knew Claire was a whiner and as self-centered as her daughter, but she never got off the one note whine the whole half I put up with.

What a real shame. This is the last Joan Hess book on which I will waste money.

She is unfortunately going the way of Jill Churchill.
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17 of 18 people found the following review helpful By Karen Vincent on April 10, 2012
Format: Hardcover
Joan Hess is an enigma. While the Maggody series is always good with interesting plots and memorable characters, the Claire Malloy series seems to have outlived its usefullness. The last few books have been weak to say the least and this stinker did nothing for me except make me angry that I had spent my hard-earned money! The plot, which intends to center around the new bride's search for a home, gets lost in a convoluted tale about a murder associated with the desired house. None of the characters were interesting, including Claire and her daughter, and the book was about 100 pages too long. She went over and over the same information - reminded me of two weeks I spent on jury duty listening to a case that could have been summed up in an hour. Towards the end, I did not care who killed Winston Hollow or why. Yoda said, "Do or do not - there is no try." Here Ms. Hess tried to write a good mystery, but did not.
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20 of 22 people found the following review helpful By Lois Lain VINE VOICE on April 2, 2012
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
I am just not so thrilled about these recent entries in the Claire Malloy series. In this, Claire is recently married and in search of a larger domicile for her, new husband (and deputy chief) Peter Rosen, and daughter Caron. Claire falls in love with a house in a secluded valley inhabited by a nutty extended family, the Hollows. But before she can put an offer down, her real estate agent disappears.

The rest of the book involves a twisted and turning plot and various revelations. This has to be the most confusing and, at the same time, easiest to figure out "whodunnit" mystery I've read in a long time. Unfortunately, I think Claire should hang up her PI shoes and enjoy her newlywed status.

Don't bother with this one.
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15 of 18 people found the following review helpful By Felicia on March 11, 2012
Format: Hardcover
I've always enjoyed the Claire Malloy series, more so than the Maggody which can be a little too silly. I don't have a problem with the ideology, which seems to be what people are complaining about but this is dull. It could have used a good editor and been a better book in half the length. Claire is extremely slow to catch on to the smuggling and does the old "no one else left" to find the murderer. I won't bother getting the next one, if there is one. Maybe it's just the difficulty of keeping the series interesting once the romance is settled. Jill Churchill, a real favorite of mine, started to go downhill after the romance was settled. Frustrating.
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful By Amazon Customer on June 17, 2013
Format: Kindle Edition
One star because it won't allow zero. I so wanted to like this book. The outline sounded hilarious, the content was dull, unfunny, mean spirited painfully pc crap. The main character was lazy, whiney, boring and mean. There were ridiculous characters and false stereo types, bible bashing garbage. Don't bother. No wonder I found this abansonned on the ferry.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By Inka Christiansen on May 23, 2013
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
The plot was almost incomprehensible it was so convoluted. The characters way unrealistic and since Hess introduced a basically new setting and characters for this long running series, I kept wondering if I had picked up the wrong book. I did not mind the prior book's previous change in setting in Egypt and the set of characters invented there - very Agatha Christie like - it worked. Here that formula is unfortunately off the mark. I hope Hess can regain Claire's wit and tone that I have come to like in a less contrived scenario.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By kristin barton on June 5, 2013
Format: Hardcover
Claire Malloy is recently married and looking for a house. She finds the perfect house but it is not officially for sale and her realtor has disappeared. That in itself would be enough to deter most but not Claire. Claire seems to depart from the adorable character from her past books and turn into a totally different person. I struggled to see the old Claire even wanting this house or the neighbors that came with it. Instead she seems to take up residence uninvited and no one seems to care. The old Claire would have been more focused on the disappearance of her realtor and friend than making sure she could buy the house. Love Joan Hess but not the best in the series and skip worthy.
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6 of 7 people found the following review helpful By Cheryl A. Marhefka on April 22, 2012
Format: Hardcover
This book is one of the worst mysteries I've ever read.
In past books,I've laughed out loud.
This one made me want to scream in frustration.
I didn't even get 1/4 of the way through it and quit. Whodunit? Who cares.
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More About the Author

Oh dear, this seems so personal. I was born in Fayetteville, Arkansas, luckily a blue dot in a red state. Did the normal kid stuff, avoided the long arm of the law. I earned a BA in art from the U of A, and a MS in early childhood development from Long Island University. I was teaching art in a preschool (pretty clever combination of the degrees, right?) when a friend suggested I write a romance novel. I wrote ten unpublishable ones before I realized I needed a splash of blood and a slather of humor in my prose and turned to mysteries. The Claire Malloy series came first, followed by the Maggody series. A third series, the Theo Bloomer mysteries, sputtered out after two novels, alas (it was going to be my "travel" series, requiring me to take tax-deductible business trips to do the research).

Now I live in Austin, Texas (also a blue dot, but a bigger one), a ten-minute drive from my absolutely adorable twin grandchildren Jack and Annabelle, soon to be three years old. Please don't ask me if they're identical. Their gracious mother frequently allows me to drop whatever I'm doing and dash over to babysit. And I do.

I'm currently working on my forty-fifth (or so) mystery, a Claire Malloy based on my brief experience in the jury pool. When I'm not babysitting, that is.

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