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Deadly Offer (A Darby Farr Mystery) Paperback – April 8, 2012

4.7 out of 5 stars 11 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews


"Once again, Camden Realtor Vicki Doudera has proven that real estate can be murder, in the third volume of her mystery series featuring chic Darby Farr, a Maine native who is now selling homes in beautiful San Diego." -- Bangor Daily News

"A complex mystery." --Kirkus Reviews

Reviews of Deadly Offer can be found on my website.  Here's a good one right here:    bangordailynews.com/2012/08/05/living/camden-author-proves-for-third-time-that-real-estate-can-be-murder/

" With many point-of-view characters to watch and suspect, the reader finds means, motives, and opportunities everywhere, but the ending is shocking. " --Eleanor Anders

"Darby's third appearance is just the property for those who want a fast, entertaining read with a diverse cast and appealing setting. A winning teen sleuth adds YA appeal." --Library Journal

"Doudera keeps readers riveted through this fast-paced read, making "Deadly Offer" one enjoyable offering." -- Bangor Daily News --This text refers to an alternate Paperback edition.

From the Author

Writing DEADLY OFFER was a real pleasure, for many reasons.  First off, I was thrilled to research the setting -- the lovely California wine country area around Napa and Sonoma Counties.  My husband and I did a bike trip with Backroads, and cycling through the vineyards, stopping to sample wines, and talking with the vintners themselves was wonderful.

DEADLY OFFER explores the bonds of families, especially siblings.  We see ET and his brother Carlos grappling with the death of their sister, as well as the mechanics of the Contento family, who own the neighboring vineyard.  Darby's friendship with ET and her increasingly complicated relationship with journalist Miles Porter are also explored.

I loved creating the characters in this book, especially Detective Nancy Nardone and the talented young sleuth Sophie Stewart.  The character of Selena became so real and dear to me that I seriously considered changing who the victim was... I didn't want to kill her off!  In the end though I decided I needed to stick with my original plot, no matter how attached I became to a character. 

In the end -- DEADLY OFFER is at its core a gripping mystery with several twists and turns.  Pour a glass of wine and enjoy! --This text refers to an alternate Paperback edition.

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Product Details

  • Series: A Darby Farr Mystery (Book 3)
  • Paperback: 312 pages
  • Publisher: Midnight Ink (April 8, 2012)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0738719803
  • ISBN-13: 978-0738719801
  • Product Dimensions: 5.3 x 0.8 x 8 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 11.4 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (11 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,398,930 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

Deals Gone Deadly! The cutthroat world of luxury real estate is the perfect setting for murder --- and no one knows it better than Vicki Doudera. A top producing real estate broker and former Realtor of the Year, Vicki Doudera writes the acclaimed Darby Farr Mystery series, starring a smart, savvy agent solving crimes and making sales.

Available now for preorder is DEADLY OFFER, third in the series and on bookstands April 8, 2012.

Selena Thompson, owner of a boutique winery listed for sale in California's lush grape-growing Ventano county, is dead in her hot tub, and Realtor Darby Farr doesn't think it's an accident. Three buyers -- including an overly ambitious accountant from back east, the buff owner of a yoga empire, and the scion of the powerful Contento family, whose mega-vineyard conveniently abuts Carson Creek - have offers on the table and motives to murder. Even mild-mannered Dan Stewart, Carson Creek's wine grower, is a suspect, as is the scheming Harrison Wainfield, a Ventano businessman with buried secrets. Industrial espionage, bottled-up resentment, and a clever killer with nothing to lose threaten Darby and journalist Miles Porter as they fight to find the truth twisted in the vines of a tangled and very deadly offer.

KILLER LISTING, released in April of 2011, takes Darby to the Florida coast and the fatal stabbing of the Sunshine State's star broker. Kirkus Reviews said: "A touch of romance, a hint of danger and a mystery that keeps you guessing." And Hank Phillippi Ryan - the award winning mystery writer said: "Multi-million dollar deals, mojitos and murder - real estate brings real trouble to this smart and savvy heroine. Scheming, speculation and a scary bad guy will keep you turning the pages." Julia Spencer-Fleming adds: "KILLER LISTING is a real showcase. This freshly conceived series is poised to sell!"

A HOUSE TO DIE FOR - the first in the series - takes place on the coast of Maine and is a brilliantly twisted story chosen as a "Best of 2010" by Suspense Magazine. New York Times Bestselling author Tess Gerritsen (The Rizzoli and Isles novels) said about A HOUSE TO DIE FOR: "Doudera expertly weaves a tale of suspense on a Maine island, where murder and real estate are an explosive combination." Barbara Corcoran, real estate contributor for NBC's Today Show, said: "A fast-paced and well-told story with a smart, savvy real estate agent as the heroine - bring on the next one!"

"An appealing debut," said Publishers Weekly. "The author does a good job portraying Darby in her efforts to make peace with her childhood past and solve a murder on a picturesque Maine island." And CrimeSpree Magazine said: "A superb prologue, wonderful story, atmospheric with a good plot."

"I never imagined my day job as a top selling real estate agent would lead to my dream job of writing fiction," she says. A graduate of Hamilton College and the author of several non-fiction books on real estate relocation - MOVING TO MAINE (now in its second edition) and WHERE TO RETIRE IN MAINE, she works for a firm specializing in coastal Maine properties and is one of its most successful brokers. Meeting clients, touring luxurious homes, and negotiating deals prompted her to pick up her pen and create Darby Farr, a gutsy agent solving bloody crimes while selling property.

Vicki belongs to Mystery Writers of America and is on the board of Sisters in Crime, New England. Still active as a real estate broker, she belongs to the National Association of Realtors and was a Realtor of the Year in 2009.

"One of my biggest passions is the organization Habitat for Humanity. I have been on several builds around the country and am Board President of my local chapter, Midcoast Habitat for Humanity." Because she is "all about houses"-- building them, selling them, and writing mysteries about them, Vicki gives part of her book proceeds to this organization. When she is not writing, she cycles, knits, hikes, and eats lobster with her family on the coast of Maine.

"Real estate is full of intrigue, greed, and passion. I love weaving this milieu into the suspense of a traditional mystery novel. Think about how emotional selling a house can be... now combine that with murder! I'm having a wonderful time writing suspenseful plots, describing luxurious homes, and creating memorable characters. I hope you enjoy reading Darby's thrilling adventures as much as I enjoy writing them."

Read more about the author at her website www.vickidoudera.com. Become A Darby Farr Mysteries Facebook Fan and follow Vicki's "Mysterious Moments" on Twitter.

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Kindle Edition
My thoughts...

This lovely cozy mystery really appealed to me on every level. A lovely vineyard in California, a lovely wine maker and vineyard owner...Selena. And a few short pages into the book...Selena is found dead in her hot tub.

I barely got to know her!!! However we do learn enough about her to know that she appears to be an amazing person...kind, green and a cat lover...lol. Selena was suffering from a debilitating illness so in the beginning everyone including the police feel that her death was an accident.

There are so many people who could have killed Selena that my head was spinning from the start...but spinning in a good way.

The mystery is compounded by the number of people claiming that Selena had made a promise to them to sell them her vineyard.

Really...I suspected everyone...except Jasper the cat!!!

Darby...real estate agent and friend to one of Selena's brothers is originally there for support but it does not take long for her to become immersed in this mystery.
There is a sort of a sleazy local real estate agent who wants to be involved but the brothers...well, one of the brothers anyway...only wants Darby to handle it.

And again...I suspected everyone at this point. Motives were floating everywhere.

Darby's original plan to leave right away...dissipates with each new issue...and to compound her stress she is also trying to find her missing neighbor...he is supposed to be visiting his new online girlfriend but no one can find him...that is sort of a side story. And Darby's budding relationship with Miles? Another neat side story.

See what I mean about a lot going on?

And that is just the beginning...

I won't say what happens next...trust me that it is nail biting great suspenseful stuff...Darby is helped by a teenaged neighbor...and the ending is...well...sheer genius!!!

Loved this book!!!
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Format: Paperback
In Deadly Offer, the sudden death of a vineyard owner brings about a number of offers for the property, and plenty of suspicion about the owner's death. The cast is large, the plot is clever, and the villain is hard to detect.

There is quite a bit of interesting detail included about winemaking and, as you read, you might feel as if you are in the heart of the Southern California wine country yourself. The author does a good job of describing the scenes and bringing them to life.

Along with the main plot, a quiet subplot exists, where Realtor, Darby Farr, worries about her good friend, who may be in trouble after following his heart into a relationship with a woman he barely knows. This subplot has great potential and I think the author could have done more with it.

Although there is a good level of mystery woven in to the story, at times the pace felt a little slow. The ending was unexpected and quite unique.
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Format: Kindle Edition
I have a privilege to know Vicki personally; I live close to Camden, Maine where she lives and works. I knew her for years as one of the best real estate professionals I ever met. So, her turning to the fiction was a very unexpected and very pleasant surprise for me.
I bought all 6 books she wrote – so far – directly from her, with a personal signature. But you don’t need to live here to appreciate a quality of her writing. Her style is very engaging, plot is deep and develops in multiple directions, action is swift. All this makes you to turn pages fast, never expecting the finale. The only regret you’ll have when you finished the book – but more is on a way.
Besides the mystery/suspense attraction, in her books you see a real beauty of Maine. If you’ve never been to Maine – I recommend coming to Camden carrying one of Vicki’s books. You’ll never forget the trip and the mystery.
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Format: Paperback
Another great installment in Doudera's series with smart real-estate agent Darby Farr. This one takes place in the wine country of my home state and despite Vicki being a Mainer, she does a superb job of evoking the light and landscape of the wine valleys north of San Francisco. Clever plot, believable villains, great twist at the end. She pulls off changing narrator point of view, including a realistic teenage girl voice. Intrigue in the vineyards will keep you glued to the page.
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
This third entry in the Darby Farr series continues the delightful mix of the earlier two entries: an intriguing puzzle, engaging characters, a richly detailed location and observations about human nature that always ring true. I was surprised by the ending and yet knew the author had played fair throughout. It is well worth reading the previous two books in the series as well if you have not already done so.
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Format: Paperback
I hate it when I can figure out who did it before it's revealed. In this book, I could not--a well-crafted, surprising ending. That said, I could have done without the romance with the Englishman. Who cares? Also, I'm not sure why Darby hung around the property for so long. Kind of weird, actually. A nice read, however.
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