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on July 30, 2009
I picked up Mary Jane Clark's latest at Union Square on my way home, day before yesterday, thinking I would read it this weekend. I thought I would have a quick look and could barely put it down until I finished! I've been a fan of Mary Jane Clark's work since Do You Want To Know A Secret, but in Dying for Mercy she has truly reached new heights. I loved breathing in the rarefied (and, often deadly) air of Tuxedo Park, New York and immediately engaged with her well-drawn characters, following every twist and turn (hah!) as Eliza and her Key crew race to catch the killer. Clark writes smart, what a pleasure! Great, satisfying summer read!
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on February 12, 2014
I did guess the guilty party before the end of the book, but the reason was the clues. Often authors seem to pull ending out of thin air without laying any groundwork. So, if you want to solve a puzzle you'll enjoy this.
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on July 22, 2012
I had high hopes for this book after reading the book flap. A mystery about a house built with puzzles in the architecture? What's not to like?

A few pages into the book, I realized the author wrote in the clunky style for which I have no patience. Sure, the story is being told, the plot is moving along, but it's at a snail's pace. Also, the author doesn't have an ear for words. It's not like she telling a story, but rather reading a report. She has made an intriguing story completely boring.

If you like authors such as Stephen King, Tana French, even Elizabeth Berg, this book is not for you. You'll be frustrated at the writing style, as well as the plodding story line.
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on May 15, 2015
Reading is like my favorite time of the year___$$$$$$$$$$$$$@@@@@@@fjenkins72@hughes.net
Rebecca Jenkins lives in the one yet to stay high school uniform and dance with the one that I have been in your biggest fan you are awesome in the party by a single entry uniform and the yet another example of the year award for best picture is better than you are awesome and
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VINE VOICEon October 14, 2009
A 20-year-old event in exclusive Tuxedo Park, NY, haunts the newest Eliza Blake mystery, as she and her co-workers, comprising the KEY News group (and the Sunrise Suspense Society), grapple with a series of clues left to unravel why Innis Wheelock committed suicide by stigmata. A scion of Tuxedo Park, well-liked and married to his childhood sweetheart (who became governor of New York and later ambassador to Italy), Innis returned home after their stint in Rome to rebuild and refurbish their home in Tuxedo Park, a fancy enclave 40 miles from New York City.

In working with his architect, Innis insisted on incorporating various features in the estate. When the work was finished, he hosted a party on the Feast of St. Francis, inviting hundreds of persons, during which event he told Eliza she could unravel the mystery. Subsequently, the architect, his secretary and others are murdered, and Eliza and her lover nearly so,

This well-drawn and -researched story progresses with a great deal of information about St. Francis and the stigmata (the five wounds sustained by Jesus upon his crucifixion) and other events surrounding his betrayal and death. This is the third novel in the KEY News series, and it is imaginative and moving. The plot, built around several hidden clues, is intriguing and the writing well-done. Recommended.
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on November 24, 2014
If you like a good mystery without all the gore, this is a good one. I stayed up until 5 a.m. without even realizing it, the morning after I downloaded this book because I just kept turning the pages instead of looking at the clock. First I thought it was this character, then that one. Short chapters make it just fly by. Good characters and good puzzle. I highly recommend, but then I've been a fan of Mary Jane Clark since her very first book.
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on September 3, 2009
I have never been particularly fond of thrillers based on religious elements, so as much as I am a fan of Mary Jane Clark's, this book could never be a favourite of mine.

The mystery which TV presentator Eliza Blake and her colleagues are in for this time, is rather macabre - from eccentric millionaire Innis Wheelock's suicide by stigmata, to the puzzle he has created to be solved after his death. However, apart from the religious theme, the case/puzzle is clevery plotted and leaves the reader entertained and in the dark until the last page.

Fast-paced, as all Clark's books, "Dying for Mercy" is written very much like the puzzle of the book itself, with extremely short chapters which are furthermore divided into even smaller sections. This makes for easy reading but I do miss a bit more "meat" around the skeleton. There is little chance of losing oneself in any part of this story, before being abruptly cut off and served a new key piece in the puzzle. If there is such a thing as "a restless thriller", this must be it. No time to dwell on anything or anyone, apart from Clark's all time heroine Eliza Blake, her colleagues and her daughter Janie.

Clever idea ensuring a few hours of fast-paced - no other word for it - entertainment. But I feel the book lacks something, mainly due to the almost staccato writing style. It failed to fully occupy my attention and draw me into the story as Clark's earlier works have always managed to do.

Three and a half, mainly for clever plotting.
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VINE VOICEon April 11, 2011
Short chapters and multiple point of views make for an interesting compliment to this novel which seems to mix suspense fiction with aspects of both mystery and thriller genres. The story is fast-paced as the author quickly moves you from one head into another. Yet, the puzzle you are trying to get all of the pieces to is very complex. The pages of "Dying for Mercy" are layered with not only slightly obscure, yet auspicious clues, but also a wealth of suspicious characters.

One particular, anonymous point of view----always written in italics--who seems to have everything to lose, lends a deeply enigmatic element as well as a spooky touch. Also, Innes Wheelock, the man whose death the puzzle of this novel evolves around, is an elaborately baffling character. He is an enigma in the best sense of the word. The mix of a life of excess and prestige weaves with his religious ideals and goals of justice. With his death, he begins a puzzle for those connected to him in a mind of forcing repentance.

Mary Jane Clark has a way of making you question everyone. With her omniscient point of view, all that is purposefully left unsaid along with the little hints the reader does get, makes her excel in her craft. I was even questioning the good guys!

Her setting of Tuxedo Park is a wonderful, complimentary backdrop--extravagant--lending wealth, beauty, excess and the illusion of safety. It is rare an author comes up with a setting that so matches the characters, the setting becomes a character in its own right.

Thinking back over the story, for a murder mystery, her characters were well-crafted, circling their personalities around the character Innes and his suicide. The story was really about motivations right to the very end. You find yourself questioning not only what motivated the initial suicide and following murders, but, what keeps you reading, is the goal of finding out what is being covered up.
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on July 16, 2014
I thoroughly enjoy the KEY News Thrillers with Eliza Blake as the protagonist. Eliza is smart and endearing and easy to become invested in as a reader. This was a fabulous whodunit with clues cleverly placed throughout the novel. Clever page turner and perfect beach read!
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on May 28, 2014
As all of Mary Jane Clark KEY News series, this was very good read. This being the last she has written in the series, I'm just wondering if she writes another one who will she kill off. Enjoy it, but had pretty much figured out before the end who it was.
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