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Dear Killer (Marley Clark Mysteries Book 1) [Kindle Edition]

Linda Lovely
4.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (62 customer reviews)

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Book Description

Marley Clark, a retired military intelligence officer, works security for a Sea Island community simply to keep busy. A single night patrol transforms the feisty widow’s yawner of a job into a deadly battle of wits when she finds an islander drowned and bobbing naked amid a potpourri of veggies in a Jacuzzi.

Asked to serve as the lead investigator’s liaison, the 52-year-old heroine is startled to discover she’s become Deputy Braden Mann’s target as well—for romance. Yet their steamy attraction doesn’t deter the pair from sorting through a viper’s nest of suspects as the body count grows and the pun-loving killer plans a grizzly epitaph for Marley.

DEAR KILLER is the first in a series of Marley Clark adventures that combine heart-pounding suspense with generous sides of romance and humor.

Editorial Reviews


Lovely's "Dear Killer" meets all my requirements, and then some! Snappy writing? Check. Dynamic heroine? Check. Vivid array of suspects? Check, check, check! Interesting setting? I'll say. -Lowcountry Weekly 

Product Details

  • File Size: 520 KB
  • Print Length: 290 pages
  • Simultaneous Device Usage: Unlimited
  • Publisher: LHI; 2 edition (May 15, 2013)
  • Sold by: Amazon Digital Services, Inc.
  • Language: English
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Word Wise: Not Enabled
  • Lending: Enabled
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #482,535 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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Customer Reviews

4.8 out of 5 stars
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews
20 of 20 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars I wish it coulda' been a 5 June 28, 2013
By Bobbrun
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
I liked the mystery part of the book enough to have given it a 5 star rating. But, again, the Harlequin romance part turned me off. Excerpts from book.."He was nude and erect. My breath caught." "Consummation a promise just beyond our trembling reach." Okay, I don't mind sexy scenes in books if I am forewarned. Being a mystery purist, I do not like getting into the gist of the crime plot and then having to stop for an unneeded romp in the hay.
This seems to be the norm with most of the women mystery authors. There should be ratings...light romance, heavy duty sex, softcore porn, really adult language, and pure mystery as in Agatha Christie, Tess Gerritsen and others that I cannot think of right now. I don't expect many to like my review, but I would hope that some authors would take notice (if they ever do) and start putting out a good old true mystery.
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9 of 10 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A Real Winner August 1, 2011
As a real fan of mysteries, I thoroughly enjoyed Linda Lovely's book, "Dear Killer." The series looks like a real winner, blending so many appealing elements. Like Carolyn Hart, Ms. Lovely has set her mystery on an island off SC, and it just gets better from there. Her protagonist is of the "hard-boiled" type of crime solver, like P.I. Warshawski by Sara Paretsky, but with softer edges - like Sue Grafton's Kinsey Millhone.

Ms. Lovely took a chance of making her heroine 52 years old and the good-looking good guy cop a lot younger. That's unique to her heroine and should hit the fantasies of a lot of women out there. And (good for her) the heroine can figure out how to get herself out of trouble most dire without help from anyone until it's all over but the shouting.

The sex scenes were realistic, not shocking, sorta middle of the road for today's romantic literature. I get the feeling they were toned down somewhat to meet mainstream expectations.

I look forward to the next book in the series. Ms. Lovely gave enough introductions in this book to build an interest in the crusty old aunt for the sequel. Way to go Linda Lovely. Keep writing them this good and you will have me as a fan for life!

Susan M. Thigpen, Editor
The Mountain Laurel
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Dear Killer rates! June 14, 2011
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
I just finished Linda Lovely's Dear Killer, set in the beautiful Low Country of South Carolina with plenty of Southern charm and some Gullah history thrown in for good measure. Not only did Lovely hook me right away, but she also kept me blissfully bogged in wet sand while I tried to figure out Marley's next moves. I thoroughly enjoyed plenty of romance mixed in with shovelsful of action including killings, deceit, and cover ups. It's difficult to believe this is Lovely's first novel. I wait impatiently for the next one. I highly recommend this book!
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A Rollicking Good Read January 13, 2012
By Polly
Dear Killer is a fun read with a terrific female role model and a devious villain. The fast moving plot and clever dialogue will keep you entertained until the last page. Highly recommended.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Not a word wasted. July 8, 2013
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
Not a thing wrong with this one, ticks all the boxes (although I coulda done without the romance parts, at least they weren't protractedly gooey) including a mature resolution of the May-December relationship without totally extinguishing the flame. If there was anything that bothered me just a little it was that, although Marley is on the waning side of middle age, that fact just wasn't clearly sustained for me. Maybe if she had a varicose vein or two, or confessed to coloring the gray out of her hair or looking forward to joining AARP in three years. Other than that, resolving myself to the "Dear Island" name took a little work but that was the only thing I thought was a bit of a push to get around. I confess I didn't read the substantial preview of the next book at the end of "Dear Killer," though I was sorely tempted: I don't wanna spoil enjoying the fun of the next book from the very first word. Marley rocks!
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars OH DEAR! January 13, 2013
By D. Dahl
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
Linda Lovely's DEAR KILLER's 52-year-old protagonist debunks the notion that over fifty is over the hill. Pig-headed, witty, gritty, smart, gutsy, sexy--and not necessarily in this order--Marley Clarke becomes an ill-chosen target in a battle of wit with a clever, pun-loving killer.
An achieved wordsmith, Ms. Lovely writes a tight, fast-moving plot peppered with clever dialogs and appealing sceneries of South Carolina low country and Gullah history.
DEAR KILLER, a first novel which bodes well for the Marley Clarke series.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Crime, romance, a great new protagonist November 9, 2011
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
Linda Lovely's "Dear Killer" is set on Dear Island, off the beautiful SC coast, which serves as a great backdrop for the adventures of Marley Clark, a retired military intelligence officer. Marley's 52, independent, experienced in sleuthing, fit and attractive, especially to a much younger sheriff's deputy. We hope this will be a nice long series, as the two make a great combination.

Lovely hasn't succumbed to the current fashion for overwriting; this is an entertaining murder mystery/romance that may keep you up reading, but probably only one night. Her prose is tight, her descriptions colorful but not too long, her characters behave in ways we believe, and the story moves right along.

Can't wait for the next Marley!
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Dear Killer August 2, 2011
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
From the description of Dear Island to the lowland of South Carolina this is a beautifully written book. I didn't want to put the book down once I began reading it. Charters came alive and soon became people I know as I slipped into their lives and followed their experiences.

Ms. Lovely tells a good story bringing people, places, and events to life. I highly recommend "Dear Killer" - once you begin it you won't put it down until it's finished.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars a great visit to the low country with mystery
I really liked this book as my husband was stationed in Beufort and it was so easy to picture everything in my mind. The writer was intelligent and kept my interest.
Published 5 months ago by William Kiesel
5.0 out of 5 stars Thanks Linda .
A fun ,exciting read . Loved the suspense and the beautiful descriptions of the area . Never have been to the area but now would like to see it. Read more
Published 6 months ago by Gerry Schumann
5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent reading and voice
I read "Dear Killer" several years ago, and I enjoyed the story very much. Recently, though, I had the opportunity to listen to K.C. Read more
Published 8 months ago by Fara
5.0 out of 5 stars Fast paced and entertaining.
Set on a beautiful island off the South Carolina coast, DEAR KILLER is the first book in the Marley Clark detective series by author Linda Lovely. Read more
Published 8 months ago by Susan Keefe
4.0 out of 5 stars Good book
This was an enjoyable book. It held my interest throughout. The characters were fairly well developed. The villain was clearly identified fairly early but but proved elusive. Read more
Published 10 months ago by Suzan Syrett
5.0 out of 5 stars Thoroughly enjoyable
Although I was a little suspicious of the title and really started the book out of a sense of obligation after I met the author, I was delighted with the story. Read more
Published 10 months ago by Entertain me
4.0 out of 5 stars So many twists and turns
I was thoroughly engaged in each chapter. An incredible amount of action with the main characters. I wish there were more books to read.
Published 11 months ago by Auntie L
5.0 out of 5 stars a terrific well written mystery
I've only just discovered the wonderful writings of Author Linda Lovely, this being the 2nd book of her's I've read. Read more
Published 11 months ago by Amazon Customer
5.0 out of 5 stars Great read
This one is awesome! It will keep you guessing & on the edge of your seat! It is packed with suspense and mystery.
Published 12 months ago by Michelle Loncar
5.0 out of 5 stars Can't wait for more!!
I loved the characters, loved the story line, the setting, everything, you really get involved !!!!!!
I would recommend this book!!
Published 13 months ago by Kirsty M. Ryan
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More About the Author

A journalism major in college, Linda Lovely has always made her living as a writer, primarily in public relations and advertising fields. Now, she's focusing on her first love--fiction.

Lovely has published novels in two series--MARLEY CLARK MYSTERIES and SMART WOMEN, DUMB LUCK romantic thrillers.

Lovely's newest SMART WOMEN, TOUGH LUCK series features content that's a mite steamier than her Marley Clark mysteries. The series follows the adventures of three friend--Nexi Ketts, a forensic accountant, Riley Reid, director of security for a prestigious university, and Kate Johnson, a medical researcher. In DEAD LINE, Nexi is the main character. In DEAD HUNT the spotlight turns on Riley. DEAD CURE will tell Kate's story.

The MARLEY CLARK MYSTERIES offer a main course of thrills coupled with a generous side of humor and romance. Marley, the 52-year-old, kick-ass heroine, is a retired military intelligence officer. In DEAR KILLER, she's working part-time as a security guard on an island in the SC Lowcountry. In NO WAKE ZONE, Marley travels to Spirit Lake/Lake Okoboji, Iowa, where the author spent many wonderful summers with her aunt, uncle and cousins. In WITH NEIGHBORS LIKE THESE, the soon-to-be-published third book, Marley returns to the Lowcountry.

DEAR KILLER earned a spot in the finals of the RWA Golden Quill competition for books published in 2011. Harlequin purchased the mass market rights for both DEAR KILLER and NO WAKE ZONE for its Worldwide Mystery imprint.
IN THE WORKS--Lovely is plotting the first four books in a humorous "cozy" mystery series set on a goat cheese farm in the South Carolina Upcountry. She has also completed a first draft of an historical thriller set in Keokuk, Iowa, in 1939.

Lovely has served five terms as president of the Upstate South Carolina Chapter of Sisters in Crime. She's also a member of Romance Writers of America (RWA), International Thriller Writers, and the South Carolina Writers Workshop (SCWW). Prior to publication, her manuscripts finaled in 15 contests, including RWA's prestigious Golden Heart and Daphne du Maurier competitions, Deadly Ink, Murder in the Grove and Malice Domestic.

A native of Iowa, Linda has called the South home for more than thirty years. She and her husband live beside a lake in the South Carolina Upstate. The author's hobbies include reading, swimming, kayaking, tennis, and gardening.

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