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You Only Die Twice: A Novel (Britt Montero Mysteries) Hardcover – March 20, 2001

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Editorial Reviews Review

In her seventh outing for Miami crime reporter Britt Montero, Edna Buchanan (herself an erstwhile journalist for The Miami Herald) serves up a nice twist on a standard plot. The body of a beautiful naked woman floats in on the tide practically at Britt's feet, and it turns out to be that of a woman supposedly murdered a decade before by her wealthy husband. Most of the action focuses on freeing R.J. Jordan, the convicted killer, from his cell on death row. R.J., a handsome but decidedly unpleasant guy who maintained his innocence all along, isn't the slightest bit interested in apprehending his wife's killer. He's just happy her body turned up before he died for her murder. But Britt wants to know where Lily Jordan's been for the last 10 years, and why she came back to Miami just days before her husband was due to die.

To Britt's surprise, her own mother has an important clue, although it's all Britt can do to pry it out of her. Not only did the elegant, socially well- connected Montero matriarch know the victim, she even mentored Lily as she rose through the executive ranks of the Jordan family business. The new explications of the complicated relationship between Britt and her mother is a plus for fans of this bestselling series, who appreciate Buchanan's deft characterizations as well as her love for the city she has called home all her (and Britt's) life. As an extra fillip, there's Britt's growing relationship with the investigator who helped put R.J. away 10 years ago, a nice counterpoint to this ingenious updating of Double Indemnity. Buchanan's pacing is dead-on, as she stays one step ahead of even the most discerning reader right up to the explosive conclusion. --Jane Adams

From Publishers Weekly

When the body of a beautiful woman is found floating offshore, seaweed in her hair, veteran Miami News police-beat reporter Britt Montero gets the call in an engrossing who-was-it that soon becomes an equally intriguing whodunit. Britt senses a good story in the making, and when the body remains unclaimed and foul play is established, she is sure of it. A fingerprint check identifies the well-cared-for mermaid as Kaithlin Jordan of the prominent department store family. One problem: she's been dead for 10 years, and her husband is scheduled to be executed for her murder. Kaithlin flourished at the family's flagship store and was rumored to be the brains of the outfit. Britt's mother, a longtime employee, trained her, but avoids queries about the young woman. Once again Britt enlists staff photographer Lottie Dane and cigar-chomping police detective Emery Rychek, along with News librarian Onnie and the rest of her support network, to uncover the woman's past. Drawing on her own rich experience as a Miami reporter, Buchanan (Pulse) charts Britt's determined pursuit of the truth. The reader is along every step of the way, even if things go a bit over the top as the outwardly tough Britt continually struggles to balance the problems of daily life and possible romance with the horrors she encounters in the all-consuming job she loves. Agent, Michael Congdon.

Copyright 2001 Cahners Business Information, Inc.


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Product Details

  • Series: Britt Montero Mysteries
  • Hardcover: 304 pages
  • Publisher: William Morrow; 1st edition (March 20, 2001)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0380976552
  • ISBN-13: 978-0380976553
  • Product Dimensions: 6.1 x 1 x 9.1 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.3 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (30 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #2,682,735 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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More About the Author

Edna Buchanan was the crime reporter for the Miami Herald for eighteen years, covering more than 5,000 violent deaths, 3,000 of them homicides, as well as kidnappings, riots, fatal fires, and major plane crashes. Amongst her many awards, she won the Pulitzer Prize for her reporting and the George Polk Award for Career Achievement in Journalism, as well as international acclaim for her classic true-crime memoirs, THE CORPSE HAD A FAMILIAR FACE and NEVER LET THEM SEE YOU CRY. Buchanan's first novel of suspense, NOBODY LIVES FOREVER, received an Edgar nomination. The author of eighteen books which have been translated into eleven languages, she has also written numerous short stories, articles, essays, and book reviews. Buchanan lives in Miami Beach, Florida, America's hottest beat.

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

19 of 20 people found the following review helpful By Kent Braithwaite on April 29, 2001
Format: Hardcover
Being a southern California based mystery writer, I am constantly amazed by the output of those mystery writers based in southern Florida. They deal with a territory similar to ours in many ways, yet their works have twists that distinguish the Florida works from our California mysteries.
Edna Buchanan is among the best of the southern Florida mystery writers, and YOU ONLY DIE TWICE is among her best works. I love this book. The body of a woman washes up dead, and Britt Montero, ace crime reporter, is off on her latest adventure. The woman was supposedly murdered ten years before by her wealthy husband. That man was convicted of the crime and is awaiting execution when his supposed victim rides the tide ashore.
All of the usual atypical elements of Buchanan's works are featured here. The plot moves swiftly and veers in odd directions. The dialog is crisp, and Miami continues in its spectacular supporting role. New light is cast on Britt's romantic and family relationships. This book is perfect! Bring on the next!
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8 of 8 people found the following review helpful By Sherrie Martin on May 16, 2001
Format: Hardcover
The death warrant has been signed and R. J. Jordan is days away from execution by the State of Florida for the 10-year-old murder of his beautiful young wife, Kaithlin. Kaithlin's body was never found, but the circumstantial evidence of her demise was so overwhelming that R. J.'s protestations of innocence fell on deaf ears.
Miami crime reporter Britt Montero is on the beach when the freshly murdered body of a young woman washes ashore. Imagine the chagrin of law enforcement officials when the body is finally identified as that of ... Kaithlin Jordan. After an emergency hearing, an understandably surly R. J. Jordan is released from prison and Britt begins her investigation into where Kaithlin Jordan has been for the past ten years and why she suddenly showed up dead in Miami, to say nothing of who killed her.
The answers to these questions and more will shock you and, chillingly, this scenario could so easily actually happen. The pace of this absolutely fabulous thriller is so frantic that I finished it in one evening. Nobody writes 'em like Edna Buchanan, who's been there and done that.
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9 of 10 people found the following review helpful By Gail Cooke HALL OF FAMETOP 500 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on March 25, 2001
Format: Hardcover
Rejoice thriller fans, Britt's back - ace crime reporter Britt Montero, that is, creation of Pulitzer Prize-winning reporter/author Edna Buchanan. The scene is, of course, Miami, where the sun always shines and crime stats. pile high.
Britt hears that the body of a once beautiful young woman has just washed up on the beach. Through fingerprints the woman is identified as Kaithlin Jordan, a member of an important department store family. Evidently, Kaithlin once held sway at the family's flagship store, calling the shots and rasing the revenue.
There are conundrums, as always - a major one being that Kaithlin has been dead for ten years. In fact, her killer is scheduled to be executed for her murder in one week. Where has the woman been for a decade, what has she been doing and who killed her - twice?
Britt needs all her resources to solves this crime that has more twists than a corkscrew.
Edna Buchanan is a pro at devising plots that reel readers in. With "You Only Die Twice" she's hooked us once again.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By Harriet Klausner #1 HALL OF FAME on February 20, 2001
Format: Hardcover
Miami News police beat reporter Britt Montero is at the scene of the floater when Detective Emery Rychek arrives to take charge of the investigation into the death of Jane Doe. Normally, the local police ignore floaters, but this is not the usual drowning victim so the brass decides to make some discreet inquiries among missing persons, etc. However, bets are off when the Medical Examiner informs Rychek that someone killed the victim.
At first, Rychek failed to come up with an identity, but the fingerprints ultimately led to the body being Kaithlin Jordan. The only problem with her being the corpse is that her husbamd Robert, heir to the Department Store, sits on death row for murdering her ten years ago. Though drowned and her corpse impacted by water and sand, the deceased has the look of someone who lived a very good lifestyle. Britt begins investigating more than just who killed Kaithlin and why, but where has she been for a decade while her spouse lingered on death row?
YOU ONLY DIE TWICE is a thrilling investigative tale that uses legitimate twists and turns from the onset to keep the audience off balance. The story line hooks the reader early as everyone wants to learn where Kaithlin has been for ten years. As with her previous starring roles Britt remains a fabulous character and the support cast brings Miami to life as only Edna Buchanan can do.

Harriet Klausner
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By Maslow on March 6, 2002
Format: Hardcover
Having been fortunate to have read over the years Edna Buchanan's books, I can say "You Only Die Twice" was as good as "Contents Under Pressure" and "Miami, It's Murder." That the latest installment in the Britt Montero mystery series was as exciting as those first only showed that Ms. Buchanan had created a formidable character in Britt. Strong dialogue propelled the plot forward. Indeed, through exchanges between Lottie and Britt, it was shown that Britt was becoming insensitive in regards to people, most noticeably in her attitude toward Angel. Ms. Buchanan achieved an impressive balance between the high-octane action in her novel and the deliberately paced development of Britt. Only after Britt finally became enthralled at Angel's child birth did Britt reaffirm her faith in "happy endings." This metaphor for redemption was essential, because there has been implied a nobility in Britt's constitution. After wavering, it was reassuring to see that authenticity we have come to expect. By the end of "You Only Die Twice," Ms. Buchanan had instilled a new hope in Britt. I zipped through this book, and I hadn't been able to finish a book in over a year.
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