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Liar Mass Market Paperback – Mar 18 1999


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Product Details

  • Mass Market Paperback: 400 pages
  • Publisher: Harper; Reprint edition (March 18 1999)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0061044407
  • ISBN-13: 978-0061044403
  • Product Dimensions: 10.6 x 2.5 x 17.1 cm
  • Shipping Weight: 181 g
  • Average Customer Review: 3.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (9 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #580,794 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Product Description

From Amazon

As reporter Irene Kelly investigates her Aunt Briana's death, she learns all about the longstanding feuds between several branches of her extended family and becomes the number one suspect in a murder case. Kelly's part of the family split with her Aunt Briana and her husband decades ago for reasons that Kelly has never really understood, but which involve bigamy, murder,illiteracy, and of course, money. Kelly's first task is to locate her cousin Travis, who she hasn't seen since childhood, and inform him of his mother's untimely death. Next, Kelly has to protect him from whoever murdered his mother. While investigating the case, Kelly encounters a violent man in a wet suit, a slightly unhinged inventor, a storyteller named Cosmo, and some unsavory residents of a trailer park - and learns that she is distantly related to most of these odd characters.

This is Jan Burke's sixth book about the adventures of Irene Kelly, a sassy journalist who lives in sunny southern California with her husband (a police detective), drives a Karmann Ghia, and seems to be a magnet for trouble. In this case, the trouble is that everyone is lying, even people with good intentions. Kelly's cousin is a capable and seasoned liar, a skill that comes in handy in several sticky situations. When deceit isn't enough, Kelly's best friend Rachel leaps to their aid with flying fists and tough talk. Fans of mysteries by Sue Grafton and Sara Paretsky are likely to enjoy Jan Burke's writing. Irene Kelly is a likeable, approachable heroine - an ordinary middle-aged woman who manages to get the best of the bad guys by relying on her wits and her friends. -Jill Marquis --This text refers to the Hardcover edition.

From Kirkus Reviews

Who's buried in the grave Irene Kelly's sister Barbara had already picked out for herself in the family plot? Realizing that it's her long-unseen aunt, Briana Maguire, a file clerk who became a hit-and-run victim two weeks ago, leads Irene into only deeper mysteries. Why did Briana disinherit her rolling-stone son Travis in favor of Irene, who hadn't seen her for 25 years? What exactly did the family quarrel that kept Irene and Briana apart have to do with Briana's bigamous husband, Arthur Sperry (ne' Spanning), or the murder 20 years ago of Arthur's first wife, sugar-beet heiress Gwendolyn DeMont? Why is the DeMont murder, so long dormant, now threatening Irene's life via fires and bombs? Who is Harold Richmond, the unscrupulous private eye who's been stalking Irene, working for? And how can the rifts--chasms, really--in the DeMont and Spanning and Maguire families be mended after all the suspicion and distrust over adultery and bigamy and murder have festered for all these years? The questions are reminiscent of Ross Macdonald at his thorniest. But Burke, whose return to straight detection after the imperiled-hostage scenario of Hocus (1997) produces the biggest and most complex of her six novels, has Macdonald's sense of family doom without his control of subplots and clues or his economy in managing revelations. The result is a warmly detailed extended-family portrait that conveys a constant sense of menace without providing a compelling payoff or, in retrospect, a strong central premise. -- Copyright ©1998, Kirkus Associates, LP. All rights reserved. --This text refers to the Hardcover edition.

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I don't want to give the impression that my sister, Barbara, is a liar. Read the first page
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Customer Reviews

3.4 out of 5 stars

Most helpful customer reviews

By "tsm224" on Jan. 15 2003
Format: Hardcover
Still recovering from incidents in Hocus and Irene's injuries from a previous accident, Frank and her are working on having a normal life with no unusual happenings. After her sister Barbara calls ranting and raving about a new grave next to there's parents, Irene goes to talk to Aunt Mary. During this conversation she learns about long lost relatives and family feud that started two decades ago. After some sleuthing at the
deceased' s house she locates her cousin Travis. The rest of the book is about Irene learning the truth about things that happened during her parent's marriage and why her mother and aunt was deceased. At some point I gave up on this plot, it just another tired family saga of who did who wrong. The mystery was just
there to give the book a purpose which it failed miserably. I thought after Hocus Burke was hitting her stride as a writer who spins page turning stories. Sadly she returned to the lackluster style of Remember Me Irene. Many times I found myself thinking why am I still reading this and the answer is Frank. If he in
the forefront of the stories then it has meat and I want to read more. When she sends him off on a wild goose chase the book doesn't hold my interest.
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Format: Hardcover
Jan Burke is a good writer. But here, she has con- structed a so called thriller with a plot that is tied to following a preposterous family tree that can only be called absurd. Imagine if you will, a 16 year old illiterate gardener marrying a 45 year old millionairess and himself becoming a self made millionaire because of his innate brilliance. Then, despite becoming a bigamist , he is depicted as one of the most beloved human beings who have ever lived, based on the recollection of all his friends, relatives and associates. On top of this plotting, there is a subplot involving the strange sign language of "hobos" that is off putting and could'nt be more out of place in a novel of this sort. Strange stuff! In addition to all this, there are numerous allusions to a hostage incident involving the heroine's husband that obviously occured in an earlier book that is not explained at all--unless I missed it trying to keep track of the family tree. I have read many books that involve a series where incidents occuring in earlier books are referred to--usually in a way that explains behavior in the current book--but they are always explained. This seems necessary, whether you have read the earlier book or not. I will read Burke again, hopefully because I am sure she has exhausted the exploration of her boring family history. She can do better
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By A Customer on March 14 1998
Format: Hardcover
Over two decades ago, Irene's family discovered that her aunt was married to a man who also was married, at the same time, to a wealthy, much older heiress. When the rich woman was found murdered, the bigamist was the only suspect. However, testimony from Irene's aunt and their teenage son gave him an air tight alibi. Since that scandal, the Kelly family has had no contact with the Macguires until it was discovered that Irene's aunt was murdered. Irene is assigned the task of finding her deceased aunt's son Trevor and breaking the news to him.
When she finally locates the man and overcomes his resentment towards her and her family for deserting him, she tells him about his mother. A devastated Trevor is unaware that his father is also dead and he is now a wealthy person. Attempts have been made on his life and Irene, who is fond of her cousin, is determined to stop the culprit before Trevor becomes the next victim.
Of all the on-going mystery series on the market today, the Irene Kelly novels are one of favorite of this reviewer. The best book in this wonderful collection is the latest, LIAR which turns me into a fibber because I said that about the previous book, HOCUS. The story line is an action-packed mystery, filled with interesting characters whose traits are explored. The trademark Jan Burke prose makes this a winner that deserves to be the breakout book for the talented author.
Harriet Klausner
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By A Customer on April 6 1999
Format: Mass Market Paperback
If you love Jan Burke's mysteries-and anyone who loves mysteries will love Jan Burke-then you will love Liar. It is her best book yet.
Burke is such a good writer that her characters truly come to life in her books. I feel like I know Irene Kelly, the reporter/sleuth of the series. I am always anxious for the next Irene Kelly book to come out and read about her latest exploits. The wait for this book was well worth it. Liar does not disappoint.
Irene investigates the death of her aunt and meets new and strange relatives as she becomes the prime suspect of what the police now believe is a murder. Burke skillfullly weaves the reader through the cast of well written new and familiar characters. This is a crefully crafted book, with a complicated plot, but it is thoroughly readable and enjoyable. Burke uses great skill to make an intricate plot so easy to follow.
Reading this book is like spending time with good friends. You will love it.
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Format: Mass Market Paperback
While I read Goodnight Irene and enjoyed it, this novel was just a little too long and just a little too confusing. There were too many characters. I had trouble keeping track of brothers, in-laws, nephews, etc. I found myself trying to finish this book as a pain, not a pleasure. I think I will read the next "Bones", hoping that Burke has tightened up her act a little. Don't give me 400 pages when 350 would do just as well. Karen Kirsch - Novi, MI
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