"All the best stories in the world are but one story in reality -- the story of escape. It is the only thing which interests us all and at all times, how to escape."
--Author Christopher Benson



Saturday, May 29, 2010

Grace Under Pressure by Julie Hyzy ***** I LOVED IT!!

Paperback Release June 1, 2010

This is the first book in a brand new series by July Hyzy who is also the author of the White House Chef Mysteries.

Grace Wheaton moves back home to nurse her mother in her last days and inherits the family home, which is a Victorian Painted Lady that needs a lot of work.  She ends up living there and finds two roommates, Bruce and Scott, who own a little wine shoppe in downtown Emberstowne.  She also lands her dream job as Assistant Curator at the famous Marshfield Manor.  Her family was always drawn to the manor and she had visited many times as a child.

Her mettle as Assistant Curator is tested as an intruder causes a disturbance at a very important tea being held in the Birdcage Room of the manor.  Security arrives and after a mad chase through the tables, chairs and attendees, the man is apprehended, the staff puts the room back in order and the tea continues.  Grace feels the situation was handled as well as could be expected, but within minutes she learns that the man in the tea room was just a diversion for the real crime that took place elsewhere in the manor. Her boss, the Head Curator, Abe, a lifelong friend of the manor's owner, Bennett Marshfield, is found dead in the private residence, and the killer as disappeared into thin air. 

Grace then finds out Bennett has been receiving threatening letters, and he is the primary witness against one of his former friends who was running a complicated Ponzi scheme that was responsible for many people to loose their family fortunes.  Grace starts to think that the real target was Bennett and Abe was killed by mistake.  Grace steps into Abe's shoes to run the manor and begins to investigate the murder as she has no real confidence in the overworked Emberstowne police force.  She also has to deal with a very unreasonable customer and the roof of her "Painted Lady" is leaking.

I absolutely loved this book!  The story has more twists and turns than any ride in a amusement park!  The story was told so well I felt like I was a bird on Grace's shoulder taking the entire trip right along with her.  The character descriptions were ideal, they came to life right off the page.  The hint of romance, a secondary plot that will continue as the series develops, and a mystery that kept you guessing until almost the final page all make this book a definite MUST READ!  I usually don't like to give my highest praise to the first book in a series, as it sets the bar pretty high for subsequent editions, but this book was excellent!! I can't wait to see what comes next!! 

I always say it takes a very special person to be an author, someone who can tell a story so well that you can forget the world around you and escape into the pages of their book.  Since starting this blog I have cyber-met some wonderful authors, that have the true gift of being great storytellers.  Today I am adding one more author to that list and I hope I am lucky enough to cyber-meet Julie Hyzy soon.  She definitely has the gift.

To find out more about Julie Hyzy and her books be sure to check out her web site http://www.juliehyzy.com/

 Disclosure of Material Connection: I received this book free from The Berkley Publishing Group a division of Penguin Publishing. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255 : “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”

1 comment:

Julie Hyzy said...

Lori/Dollycas ~ Thank you for such a wonderful review! I'm just so happy to know you enjoyed reading the book. I found this post via Twitter and I'm excited to discover such a great blog reviewing books I love (and write)! Thank you for taking a chance on Grace. I really had so much fun writing this one and I'm just delighted to hear that you liked it too!