There Was An Old Woman by Hallie Ephron is a compelling novel of psychological suspense in which a young woman becomes entangled in a terrifying web of deception and madness involving an elderly neighbor. When Evie Ferrante learns that her mother has been hospitalized, she finds her mother’s house in chaos. Sorting through her mother’s belongings, Evie discovers objects that don’t quite belong there, and begins to raise questions. Evie renews a friendship with Mina, an elderly neighbor who might know more about her mother’s recent activities, but Mina is having her own set of problems: Her nephew Brian is trying to persuade her to move to a senior care community. As Evie investigates her mother’s actions, a darker story of deception and madness involving Mina emerges. In There Was an Old Woman, award-winning mystery author Hallie Ephron delivers another work of domestic noir with truly unforgettable characters that will keep you riveted.
Published by: William Morrow
Publication Date: April 2, 2013
Number of Pages: 304
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An award-winning mystery reviewer, Hallie Ephron is the author of Never Tell a Lie (a Mary Higgins Clark Award finalist that was also made into the Lifetime Movie Network film And Baby Will Fall) and the Edgar- and Anthony Award-nominated Writing and Selling Your Mystery. Ephron lives near Boston.
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Thank you to Harper Collins, Hallie Ephron and Partners in Crime Virtual Book Tours for generously offering this book to me for review. If you’d like to join in on an upcoming tour just stop by their sites and sign up today!
Reader review . . .
Evie Ferrante had broken her ties with her alcoholic mother months before, but when she received the call that she had been hospitalized, Evie left her work at the Five-Boroughs Historical Society to deal with the situation. Arriving at her childhood home, she was surprised to see that her mother had suddenly become a hoarder and “crazy cat lady”. While back in the old neighborhood, she became reacquainted with their elderly neighbor, Mina. It became apparent that something doesn’t add up with Mina’s situation, as well as with others in the neighborhood. While Evie is busy with her mother’s declining health, a web of deceit and fraud is spreading all around her. When the story comes to its explosive conclusion, will Evie and Mina survive?
There Was an old Woman is a non-stop suspenseful ride from beginning to end. The subplot of Evie’s work with the Historical Society is a nice touch, with the emphasis on the 1945 B-52 crash into the Empire State Building. One small negative: I would have liked for the secondary mystery of the scar to have been resolved a bit more clearly. I can’t explain it more than that without giving away too much of the plot. But it is a small negative. This novel is more suspense/thriller than mystery, with unlikeable bad guys, possible murder, and fraud. Once I started reading, I could not put it down. I look forward to more suspense thrillers from Ms. Ephron.
Disclosure of Material Connection: I received this book free from the publisher through the Partners in Crime Virtual Book Tours program. 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 <http://www.access.gpo.gov/nara/cfr/waisidx_03/16cfr255_03.html> : “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”