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Stabbing Stephanie [Mass Market Paperback]

Evan Marshall
3.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (10 customer reviews)

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From Publishers Weekly

In another delightful cozy (after 2000's Hanging Hannah), Jane Stuart and her tortoiseshell cat, Winky, are back just in time for a light spring read. After three years of adjusting to her husband Kenneth's death, raising son Nick as a single mom, and building her literary agency, Jane has finally decided to take a vacation. The anticipatory joy of thinking about white sandy beaches is cut short by the arrival of Kenneth's arrogant and snobbish cousin, Stephanie, who announces that she's moving to Jane's small town of Shady Hills, N.J., to work for her Wellesley roommate, Faith Carson. Faith and her husband, Gavin Hart, have relocated their publishing company to Shady Hills. The illustrious Faith, whose fairy-tale first marriage to Prince Ravi of Ananda ended with his tragic assassination, is the talk of the town. Stephanie, however, suspecting something is amiss at Carson and Hart, asks Jane to go undercover to see what she can find out. Jane unearths more than she bargains for as events in Shady Hills escalate from burglary to murder, and Stephanie becomes one of the victims. With the support of her boyfriend, police inspector Stanley Greenberg, and some help from Winky, Jane gets some answers in a startling conclusion. In addition to a congenial cast of diverse characters, a realistic heroine with a vivid sense of humor and a lovable cat, Marshall offers provocative insights into the world of literary agents and vanity publishing.

Copyright 2001 Cahners Business Information, Inc.

--This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

Customer Reviews

3.2 out of 5 stars
3.2 out of 5 stars
Most helpful customer reviews
4.0 out of 5 stars Stabbing Stephanie July 17 2003
Format:Mass Market Paperback
Probably most famous for his helpful book, The Marshall Plan for Novel Writing, Mr. Marshall has also created a very enjoyable series featuring Jane Stuart and her cat, Winky. These characters were first introduced in Missing Marlene, which was followed by Hanging Hannah. As this is the third in the series with a forth novel, Icing Ivy due in November, it isn't possible to review this novel without giving away some background detail. In you have not read the series, I would encourage you to skip this review and instead read the books in order, as you won't be disappointed.
As this novel opens, Jane Stuart is exhausted. Her literary agency is still struggling but seems to have turned the corner financially speaking. Because of the events in the two previous novels as well as the simple strain of being a widow with a small child as well as running a business she needs a vacation. The problem is that Thanksgiving is just a few days away and she plans to be gone by then and still has not decided what sun drenched island she is going to. Not only is the cold weather of winter blowing into New Jersey, but so too is cousin by marriage, Stephanie.
Stephanie was related to Kenneth, (Jane's deceased husband) so she feels a tremendous obligation when Stephanie calls her. Stephanie is moving to the same village as Jane Stuart, Shady Hills. She is moving from Boston after she lost her job there to join a publishing company that also happens to be moving to Shady Hills at the same time. Carson and Hart happens to be run by a quite famous now college roommate of Stephanie's who has helped her out by hiring her. But she needs a place to stay temporarily while she looks for a place of her own and with much reluctance; Jane finally agrees that she can move in with her.
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5.0 out of 5 stars "You won't be disappointed." Jan. 6 2002
By A Customer
Format:Hardcover
Literary agent Jane Stuart is just getting back on her feet. A widow for the past three years, she has her hands full raising her son, keeping her literary agency afloat, and solving the occasional murder. With things finally on track financially, Jane decides it's time for a vacation. But before she can pack her bag, she gets a call from her late husband's cousin Stephanie. It seems that the pretentious and blatantly racist Stephanie is actually moving to Shady Hills, New Jersey to take a job at an upscale boutique publisher, Carson & Hart, Inc., which is run by Faith Hart, a Grace Kelly-like celebrity who was once married to a foreign prince. Stephanie notices that something is not quite right at Carson & Hart, and when murder ensues, Jane goes undercover as an editor to investigate. With the help of her cat Winky, Jane is set to track down a killer, before the killer decides to eliminate her first.
Stabbing Stephanie is the third entry in the delightful cozy series starring Jane Stuart and her cat Winky (See, Missing Marlene and Hanging Hannah). Evan Marshall has a deft hand with dialogue, and his inside look at the life of agents and editors makes for very entertaining reading, indeed. Jane herself is charming, as are her somewhat eccentric neighbors. The small town ambience adds to the intimate feel of the book, and you'll be rooting for Jane every step of the way. If you haven't yet made the acquaintance of Jane, Winky and the inhabitants of Shady Hills, New Jersey, by all means do so. You won't be disappointed.
--Claire E. White
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1.0 out of 5 stars A "Nancy Drew" for Grown-ups? Dec 24 2001
By ViAmber
Format:Hardcover
Sigh. This story was too lame and tame for me. Although parts were amusing (i.e., describing Stephanie's outrageous behavior)I found Jane to be a pain in the butt, to put it mildly. As a matter of fact, as I turned each page during the first two chapters my thoughts were: "I can't STAND her!" Such a holier-than-thou, self-righteous, goody two shoes! So prim and proper with her boyfriend and those around her! So "politically correct." But mainly what I noticed was her utter lack of a sense of humor---she couldn't laugh at herself. And who carries their ticket stubs for the dry cleaners around? Puhleez! As for the male characters, they were very poorly drawn. Sam reminded me of a stereotypical, young, gay man with his arch, coy, bitchy, sarcastic comments. Daniel, Jane's black assistant, didn't feel or sound African-American to me. Her boyfriend was lame. The other really sore point was the fact that the murder doesn't happen until the last 20 pages of the book! Then everything is wrapped up just as neatly as can be...this was not satisfactory. Reading the book, I began to wonder whether this book is geared towards young adults or mature audiences? I wanted more adult substance, more "ummph..." But for that I must read Sandra Brown.
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4.0 out of 5 stars an absorbing read May 31 2001
By tregatt
Format:Hardcover
Things are finally looking up for Jane Stuart, the proud owner of the Jane Stuart Literary Agency. Not only is her relationship with Stanley Greenburg, a police detective, well on course, but her business is also doing well, so that she can finally afford to go on a much needed vacation. And while the unwelcome news that there has been a spate of break-ins in her neighbourhood alarms her, she's not about to allow the news to cramp her good mood. And then Jane receives a 'phone call from her late husband's cousin, Stephanie. Stephanie's best friend from college, Faith Carson, and Faith's second husband, Gavin Hart, have decided to move their new publishing firm to Shady Hills, and Stephanie has been offered a job as an editor. So Stephanie will be relocating to Shady Hills and needs a place to stay until she can find more permanent housing. Although Jane remembers Stephanie as a self absorbed and rather acerbic person, familial obligations force Jane to offer Stephanie temporary housing until Stepahnie can sort herself out. Jane tells herself that she will not have to deal with Stephanie very much especially since she will soon be leaving for her holiday anyway, but Stephanie's snobbishness and racism soon leaves Jane wishing that she didn't have to deal with Stephanie at all!
Soon however events spiral in a way jolts Jane completely. First there is another break-in. This time however, there is an eye witness: the housekeeper observes the whole crime, and not only got a good look at the burglar but also who commissioned the crime. But because she is an illegal alien, she tells the police nothing, choosing instead to confide in Jane's housekeeper, Florence. Florence and Jane try to convince the woman to talk to the police, but even before they can make any headway, the housekeeper is murdered.
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