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Missing Marlene [Mass Market Paperback]

Evan Marshall
3.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (13 customer reviews)

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Book Description

May 1 2000 Jane Stuart and Winky Mysteries
The first book in Evan Marshall's Jane Stuart and Winky series of cat-cozy mysteries featuring Jane Stuart, a widowed young mother and literary agent who has a knack for solving mysteries, and Winky, her tortoiseshell cat who has a nose for trouble.
--This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

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Product Description

From Library Journal

A 19-year-old nanny's disappearance forces her employer, widowed literary agent Jane Stuart, to face up to their mutual dislike. Jane feels compelled to look for the girl and soon discovers her disreputable hangout, dangerous ex-boyfriend, and deceitful actions. Meanwhile, Jane's two-faced author-boyfriend, nine-year-old son, and "faithful" business partner contribute their own complications. Jane's na?vet? and guilt fuel plenty of haphazard and sometimes clumsily handled dashing around; a lightweight, marginal purchase.
Copyright 1999 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

From Kirkus Reviews

A deep chasm seems to run through little Shady Hills, New Jersey. On one side live widowed literary agent Jane Stuart, her friends, her cat Winky, her son Nick, and Nick's nanny, Marlene Benson. The other side, which extends from the Roadside Tavern to the fleshpots of nearby Parsippany and far-off Manhattan, is peopled by strange denizens with names like Gil Dapero, who works in a sporting-goods warehouse, and Vernon List, who works in a hardware warehouse. One day, Marlene, instead of picking Nick up at school, crosses over to the other side of the chasm and disappears. Jane is worried and baffled; Marlene's mother back in Detroit is frantic; but Marlene's friends, from Helen Wichowski in Shady Hills to Zena Harmon in New York, seem strangely untroubled. Neglecting her unhappy clients and her up-and-coming assistant to make inquiries, Jane discovers that Marlene had been spending quite a bit of time on the other side of the chasmsome of it with such dangerous charmers as Gil and Vernonand that Jane's own side, the side of Jane's big client Roger Haines and her upscale neighbors Dr. Elliott and Audrey Fairchild, may not be so different after all. Everything is resolved in a finale equally surprising for its welcome ingenuity and its incongruous firepower. Marshall's refreshing debut has all the trappings of a cozy, right down to the detecting cat, but gets a PG-13 for sexual situations, language, pornography, and bimbos. -- Copyright ©1999, Kirkus Associates, LP. All rights reserved. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

Customer Reviews

3.7 out of 5 stars
3.7 out of 5 stars
Most helpful customer reviews
1.0 out of 5 stars Very disappointing April 20 2004
By A Customer
Format:Mass Market Paperback
I was very disappointed with this book after reading the rave reviews it received from other people here. It made me wonder whether the other reviewers were really reading the same plodding and cliche-ridden book I did.
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1.0 out of 5 stars Cloyingly cute March 23 2004
By A Customer
Format:Mass Market Paperback
This book really strains to be cloyingly cute. If marzipan could write, this is the kind of book it would produce.
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1.0 out of 5 stars Deeply derivative and very disappointing July 5 2003
Format:Mass Market Paperback
I found this book extremely disappointing, particularly in view of the favorable reviews posted here. The characters and plotlines seem to have been put together with assorted pieces from a "write your own amateur sleuth mystery story " construction kit. While the author knows how to construct a sentence and shows some skill in painting over the joints, it does little to disguise the lack of originality or the woodenness of the characters, who just don't ring true. Characters are more than just a compendium of idioscynracies and borrowed props (like the inevitable cat). You never get the feeling that the author really believes in what he is writing, and that inevitably makes it difficult for the reader to go along with him or the situations and people he is writing about. Unless the characters have a life of their own, the story - however clever the plot construction - just doesn't work.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Fine Contemporary Cozy July 31 2001
Format:Mass Market Paperback
As a mystery writer with my first novel in initial release, I've heard quite a bit of conversation regarding Evan Marshall at mystery conventions at which I've appeared as an author. Mr. Marshall is a literary agent who launched his mystery series starring a literary agent with this book. Taking place in Shady Hills, New Jersey, Jane Stuart is the sleuth with a cat and several other hangers-on. In MISSING MARLENE, Jane and her people (including her cat)must find a missing person--Marlene. The book has a well-paced plot and enjoyable charcters. It is a thoroughly enjoyable contemporary cozy.
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4.0 out of 5 stars A pleasant surprise from this first time author. Nov. 25 2000
Format:Mass Market Paperback
As somebody who's reading taste leans more towards thrillers and harder-edged mysteries, (Thomas Harris, Jeffery Deaver) I didn't think I would be that interested in a book about a woman and her cat. I was pretty surprised to find myself a few hours later, halfway through the book, and completely immersed in the storyline. Mr. Marshall has a way of describing the characters' personalities in a way that makes you feel like you know them. This book was a pleasant surprise from this first time author, and I looked forward to reading further work of his.
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5.0 out of 5 stars All I can say is WOW! Aug. 28 2000
Format:Mass Market Paperback
I have been an avid mystery reader for years, so when I discovered yet another new author, I wasn't sure what to think. Besides, what kind of dork would name his books using alliteration? An amazing author, that is who! Once I picked up this book, I could not put it down. A+ to Mr. Marshall!
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5.0 out of 5 stars Fast Paced, and FUN!!! Aug. 3 2000
Format:Mass Market Paperback
I don't read a lot of mystery books, but this one was a keeper! This book is fast paced, fun, and full of exciting twists. I recommend it to anyone who likes the suspense of mystery, but doesn't enjoy the darkness of most mysteries.
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