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A House to Die For (A Darby Farr Mystery) Paperback – April 8, 2010

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Product Details

  • Series: A Darby Farr Mystery (Book 1)
  • Paperback: 336 pages
  • Publisher: MIDNIGHT INK; 1 edition (April 8, 2010)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0738719501
  • ISBN-13: 978-0738719504
  • Product Dimensions: 8.1 x 5.3 x 0.8 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 12 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (16 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #806,544 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

About the Author

Vicki Doudera's debut mystery A House to Die For, was selected to the Best of 2010 list in Suspense Magazine. She is the author three nonfiction books on real estate and the Darby Farr Mystery Series, starring a crime-solving real estate agent. Doudera's articles have appeared in Parenting, People, Reader’s Digest, Yankee and Down East magazines.

Doudera has been profiled on WCSH-TV’s “207,” and her writing has been favorably reviewed in prominent mystery and book industry magazines, as well as in the Bangor Daily News, Times Record, Kennebec Journal, Lincoln County News and Midcoast Beacon. She belongs to Mystery Writers of America (MWA), is on the board of Sisters in Crime, New England, and blogs regularly for Maine Crime Writers (mainecrimewriters.com).

Doudera lives with her family in Camden, Maine, where she enjoys spending time with her friends, kids and funny pets; hiking, cycling and knitting; and living in a beautiful, old house. Like her protagonist, Darby Farr, Doudera also sells real estate with a busy coastal firm. She is president of her local Habitat for Humanity chapter and is a member of the National Association of Realtors.

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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

4.2 out of 5 stars
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

9 of 9 people found the following review helpful By E. Stanclift on April 7, 2010
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
"A House to Die For" by Vicki Doudera is one of those rare gems in fiction that the reader doesn't want to end. Doudera has done an exceptional job in character development, exciting pace and unexpected twists of plot. Her prose is well written, accessible and at times, very funny. Still lurking below the pockets of grins lies a darker tale...one that draws the reader in further and further, around a labyrinth of interwoven sub-plots. Before the reader knows it, she has followed the writer down the rabbit hole and into the minds of the characters. Far from being one dimensional, or at the other extreme so prevalent in mystery fiction, too frantic a pace, the novel progresses smoothly, arriving at an unexpected, and surprising, climax of action. Readers who enjoyed "Grange House" by Sarah Blake, or the novels by Joanna Challis, will find Doudera's "A House to Die For" to be an intoxicating, delightful and impossible to put down read.

Vicki Doudera is the author of several non-fiction books, as well as worked as a successful real estate agent. She uses both of these previous skills in creating the fabulous character of Darby Farr. I look forward to her next novel with great anticipation!
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10 of 11 people found the following review helpful By S. Horty on March 25, 2010
Format: Paperback
This is a very well written story, fast paced and with detailed descriptions throughout. Great for anyone who loves a mystery, houses, Maine or has a real estate background. When's the next one?
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6 of 7 people found the following review helpful By Alison Dyer on April 6, 2010
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
What a great way to learn about the coast of Maine and have a wonderful mystery too!! I enjoyed this book immensely--I couldn't put it down!!! I'm looking forward to the next Darby Farr mystery!!
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By D. Beverage on July 13, 2011
Format: Paperback
This book NEEDS AN EDITOR! It is downright insulting to read in the same scene about crashing surf and calm water. UGH!
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Jane Doe on June 6, 2012
Format: Paperback
While I indicated in my title that this is a good first book, it has room for improvement. As another reviewer noted, the book is in need of an editor. Inconsistencies, even little ones, drive me crazy. But, since haphazard editing seems to be happening more and more of late, I'm trying hard to ignore this aggravation.
The characters are fairly well-drawn, altho I would have liked more substantial information and descriptions about some of them. The mystery itself is fairly good. However, the credibility of the story suffers when the characters act in a less than logical way. Several times the decisions that these characters make are irrational, dangerous and simply out of character, given that they are supposed to be mature business people. The plot itself was well done, however it was a bit over the top, with some surprises that stretched the imagination just a little.
With all this said, I did enjoy the book. The introduction to the Maine coast was enjoyable (although there could have been more description) and the characters were appealing, if slightly fuzzy. All in all, I am looking forward to reading the next book in the series. As with many new authors, I expect the books to just get better and better.
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Format: Paperback
First Line: The ring of the hospital pager ripped through the quiet night like a gunshot.

Hotshot realtor Darby Farr made a new life for herself in California because she wanted to get away from her controlling aunt and the small island they lived on in Maine. After a phone call from her aunt's assistant, Darby finds herself returning to Hurricane Harbor whether she likes it or not-- she has to fulfill her dead aunt's last wish that she close a deal on a multi-million dollar sale.

Darby doesn't plan on being there long. After all, the sale of Fairview is pretty much a done deal... until a local resident digs up an obscure deed restriction and kills it. Speaking of killing, the back-up buyer for the estate is found hacked to death on Fairview's grounds. Confronted with a desperate buyer, a dangerous local, and a storm making its way up the coast, Darby's time to salvage the sale and prevent additional deaths is rapidly running out.

Have you ever identified the killer early on because one of the characters was just too good to be true? That's what happened to me while I read A House to Die For. Since that's happened to me more than once, I don't let it put me off reading the book as long as something else within its pages is holding my interest. Indeed there were other things holding my interest: the book's setting on a small island off the coast of Maine and the knowledge of real estate that the author shared. Towards the book's end, I also found myself in a small sinking boat out on the open sea in the middle of a storm. Not only were those particular scenes very exciting, I think I'm still a bit seasick.
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Format: Paperback
It is hard to find a good mystery. A mystery where all the clues come together perfectly at the end. It is easy for some people to say afterward that the ending was obvious. In hindsight, everything seems obvious. I'm a die hard mystery reader, and it wasn't obvious to me. The important clues weren't revealed until later in the book.
I found this book in a bookstore. I took a chance. And it paid off. I love looking for new authors. Most authors get a little boring after they've written book after book. I'm always looking for new talent.
I liked all the characters. I thought the main character was a little full of herself. But otherwise, the story was great. I was able to picture the house, its gardens, and the beach.
I have a new author to follow. I wish her the best of luck.
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