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Comment: A well-cared-for item that has seen limited use but remains in great condition. The item is complete, unmarked, and undamaged, but may show some limited signs of wear. Item works perfectly. Pages and dust cover are intact and not marred by notes or highlighting. The spine is undamaged.
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Murder on the Cliffs (Daphne du Maurier, Book 1) Hardcover – November 24, 2009

2.7 out of 5 stars 36 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

At the start of Australian author Challis's U.S. debut, the uneven first in a new series to feature literary icon Daphne du Maurier as sleuth, 21-year-old Daphne, who's visiting Cornwall to research local history, encounters a teenage girl, Lianne Hartley, leaning over a beautiful young woman's body on the beach during a storm. Lianne reluctantly identifies the dead woman as Victoria Bastion, a former kitchen maid who was about to marry Lianne's brother. Daphne soon meets other members of the aristocratic Hartley family, whose complex relationships and great house, an Elizabethan mansion called Padthaway, fascinate her. When Daphne learns that Victoria died by poison rather than accident, she vows to solve the mystery of her murder. Despite a clunky plot and some labored prose (Sea spray foamed at the mouth of the restless sea), Challis (Eye of the Serpent) gives du Maurier fans an appealing vision of the novelist's early womanhood and the inspiration for her classic Rebecca.(Dec.)
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About the Author

JOANNA CHALLIS lives and writes in Australia.

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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 292 pages
  • Publisher: Minotaur Books; 1st edition (November 24, 2009)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0312367147
  • ISBN-13: 978-0312367145
  • Product Dimensions: 5.5 x 0.8 x 8.5 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 13.4 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 2.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (36 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #2,099,624 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Hardcover
Last night I dreamt I went to Padthaway again. And once was more than enough, believe me!

This is dreadfully written. It's thoroughly BAD. Capital letters are intentional here. It's textbook BAD. Here is yet another example of a book that had an absent editor. What on earth do editors do these days anyway? Does the quality of the writing even matter? Is the popular fiction market made up of nothing but this gimmicky drivel? Here are some examples of the atrocious writing you will suffer through should you attempt to read Murder on the Cliffs:

SINS #1, 2, 3 & 4 : POOR PUNCTUATION, AWKWARD SYNTAX, REDUNDANCY and ODD WORD CHOICES
"An impossibility, for the Lady Hartleys of this world did not mix with those considered belowstairs and Ewe, as a former professional nurse, exuded the working tab abhorrent to her ladyship."
[Incoherent. Remove the clauses and it makes no sense. Therefore, badly punctuated. Proof of an absent or lazy (or incompetent?) editor. A "professional" nurse as opposed to an "amateur" nurse? The book is littered with redundancies like this.]

SIN #5: RUN-ON SENTENCE MANIA, OVERUSE OF FANCY VERBS RATHER THAN USING THE WORD SAID
"Oh she's always been willful," divulged Ewe in a confessional manner to her good friend Mrs. Penmark after Ewe had shepherded me out of the cottage for our afternoon visit to a baker's wife."
[Every other line of dialogue in the book is followed by similar run-on sentences rather than making it a completely separate sentence as it should be. Characters don't talk in this book, they "divulge" and "translate" and "squawk" and "summon" and "warn." They "warn" quite often - about every three pages or so.
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Format: Hardcover
I've read a lot of bad mysteries. Often, I abandon them after the first ten pages. This is the first mystery I ever kept reading because I was morbidly fascinated by just how poorly it was written. I can't believe Minotaur published this book! Is the author blackmailing someone at the company? I laughed out loud several times while reading this compilation of basic writing errors. Misplaced modifiers, bizarre word choice, inconsistent and inexplicable behavior by the characters, historical anachronisms, nonsensical dialogue, plot holes--this book has *everything.*

Fortunately, I got this book from a library; I would have felt cheated had I spent a nickel on it at a garage sale.
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Format: Hardcover
I could not get past the first chapter and have learned that if an author can't get it right by then it's time to quit.
Really purple prose, way too many adjectives, "the sacred beauty of the house" (this is the first time she sees it).
Jane Austen it isn't.
Others will love it I'm sure but not me.
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Format: Hardcover
I have read hundreds of crime stories. I have read many, many murder stories set in England but written by people who plainly don't live there, books that are full of (often hilarious) mistakes. I have read most of Daphne du Maurier's books, and many books which take up the story of another work of fiction or a real-life character. Some of these books were good, some were bad.

This book needs a whole new category: It is by far the worst murder story I have ever read. This book is dreadful. It is indescribably bad, but I will try to give some evidence. The writer can't write (she frequently gets words wrong, doesn't know the difference between imply and infer, doesn't know what plethora means, can't construct a sentence), knows nothing about England, Cornwall, the 1920s, etiquette, the system of titles. The names are all wrong - Windemere (sic) in Cornwall. Characters called Ewe and Perony (Perony is a 'school madam'...), while the dead Lord is called Terry. I suppose someone told the author that a Cornish village might be based on fishing. This has been transposed into a 'shipping company', with the young man of the village (Connan) wearing a uniform, and working on a ship, at the docks, which can't be reached by walking or train - the boys from the village are taken there by boat. (All this is completely impossible, in case it isn't clear.) There is an Abbey which has been there since the time of Charlemagne. The religion is not specified (no Catholic convent could have such a history in the UK, but non-Catholic denominations do not have such communities), but apparently the author is unaware of the Dissolution of the Monasteries - there simply are no religious foundations of this kind in England with a continuous history.
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Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
MURDER ON THE CLIFFS by Joanna Challis has all the elements of the gothic and none of the style. Saying the same thing over and over again does not produce suspense, it generates distaste.
I love a good gothic and the writings of Daphne du Maurier, but to apply a fictictional theme to the development of REBECCA and pull in the members of Miss Du Maurier's family is a travisty of writing.
The Kindle edition was put up by someone who haD no conception of digital transfer. It was a mess with letters spaced out to one word sentence, broken words, double spaces between words follow by no space between the next two which with all the other flaws made for difficult reading.
Nash Black, author of SANDPRINTS OF DEATH.
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