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A Willing Murder

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New York Times bestselling romance author Jude Deveraux makes her debut in the world of mystery with a story of old secrets, deadly grudges and an improbable group of friends who are determined to uncover the truth regardless of the consequences...Sara Medlar is a household name in romance, with millions of books sold. But lately, retirement has been boring her and she's New York Times bestselling romance author Jude Deveraux makes her debut in the world of mystery with a story of old secrets, deadly grudges and an improbable group of friends who are determined to uncover the truth regardless of the consequences...Sara Medlar is a household name in romance, with millions of books sold. But lately, retirement has been boring her and she's found herself back in her hometown of Lachlan, Florida, remodeling the grand old mansion she'd admired as a child. It's much too big for her alone, but she'd die before letting anyone in town know that.Then Sara's niece Kate is offered a job in Lachlan--a start in what could be a very successful career in real estate. She accepts immediately, but with so little saved up, she'll have to approach her estranged yet incredibly famous aunt for a place to stay while she gets herself settled. But when she arrives at Sara's home, she finds she's not the only long-term houseguest. Jackson Wyatt already has his own room, and though it's impossible to deny his good looks and charm--he's clearly got her aunt wrapped around his finger--she's also never met anyone who irritates her quite like Jack does.However, when two skeletons are accidentally uncovered in the quiet town, this unlikely trio is suddenly thrust together by a common goal: to solve a mystery everyone else seems eager to keep under wraps. United by a sense of justice and the desire to right old wrongs, Sara, Kate and Jack will have to dig into Lachlan's murky past to unravel the small town's dark secrets and work to bring the awful truth to light.


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New York Times bestselling romance author Jude Deveraux makes her debut in the world of mystery with a story of old secrets, deadly grudges and an improbable group of friends who are determined to uncover the truth regardless of the consequences...Sara Medlar is a household name in romance, with millions of books sold. But lately, retirement has been boring her and she's New York Times bestselling romance author Jude Deveraux makes her debut in the world of mystery with a story of old secrets, deadly grudges and an improbable group of friends who are determined to uncover the truth regardless of the consequences...Sara Medlar is a household name in romance, with millions of books sold. But lately, retirement has been boring her and she's found herself back in her hometown of Lachlan, Florida, remodeling the grand old mansion she'd admired as a child. It's much too big for her alone, but she'd die before letting anyone in town know that.Then Sara's niece Kate is offered a job in Lachlan--a start in what could be a very successful career in real estate. She accepts immediately, but with so little saved up, she'll have to approach her estranged yet incredibly famous aunt for a place to stay while she gets herself settled. But when she arrives at Sara's home, she finds she's not the only long-term houseguest. Jackson Wyatt already has his own room, and though it's impossible to deny his good looks and charm--he's clearly got her aunt wrapped around his finger--she's also never met anyone who irritates her quite like Jack does.However, when two skeletons are accidentally uncovered in the quiet town, this unlikely trio is suddenly thrust together by a common goal: to solve a mystery everyone else seems eager to keep under wraps. United by a sense of justice and the desire to right old wrongs, Sara, Kate and Jack will have to dig into Lachlan's murky past to unravel the small town's dark secrets and work to bring the awful truth to light.

30 review for A Willing Murder

  1. 5 out of 5

    Madison Warner Fairbanks

    A Willing Murder by Jude Deveraux A murder mystery story. First in a series. A fun read. Quirky character interaction. I actually loved how Sara, Jack and Kate bounce off each other. The three of them sitting on a couch together as they talk to suspects clearly shows how comfortable they are in each other’s space, yet they all find it necessary to go off to their own section of the house and do their own thinking. Intriguing personalities. I’d like to read the next and see how they solve the next A Willing Murder by Jude Deveraux A murder mystery story. First in a series. A fun read. Quirky character interaction. I actually loved how Sara, Jack and Kate bounce off each other. The three of them sitting on a couch together as they talk to suspects clearly shows how comfortable they are in each other’s space, yet they all find it necessary to go off to their own section of the house and do their own thinking. Intriguing personalities. I’d like to read the next and see how they solve the next mystery. I received an early copy of this book from the publisher.

  2. 4 out of 5

    Lesa

    I won't say bestselling romance author Jude Deveraux has written herself into her first mystery, but the wonderful Sara Medlar character sounds familiar. If you read Deveraux' website, she's living in Florida, loves boxing and weightlifting, and drives a Mini Cooper. Sara Medlar is a retired romance writer, lives in Florida, boxes, lifts weights, and drives a yellow Mini Cooper. I hope Deveraux has as much fun writing the character as I did reading about her in A Willing Murder. Sara Medlar bough I won't say bestselling romance author Jude Deveraux has written herself into her first mystery, but the wonderful Sara Medlar character sounds familiar. If you read Deveraux' website, she's living in Florida, loves boxing and weightlifting, and drives a Mini Cooper. Sara Medlar is a retired romance writer, lives in Florida, boxes, lifts weights, and drives a yellow Mini Cooper. I hope Deveraux has as much fun writing the character as I did reading about her in A Willing Murder. Sara Medlar bought a big mansion in Lachlan, her hometown, and hired Jack Wyatt, grandson of her childhood sweetheart, to remodel it. But, she's rattling around in that house. When Jack breaks his leg in a tragic accident, she invites him to move in. Then her niece Kate Medlar accepts a job as a realtor in Lachlan, and Sara is excited to offer her a suite in the house. But, Kate's just a little suspicious of Jack's motives. However, Kate's not there long when the trio finds something they all have in common. They all troop over to check on Jack's properties when a tree goes down. Sara has her camera, but it's Kate who accidentally backs up into a skeleton. Twenty years earlier, someone planted a poinciana over the freshly dug grave of two murder victims. And, Jack knows just who they are, Verna and Cheryl Morris. Although the local sheriff has little interest in opening a cold case when he suspects Jack's father was the killer, Sara, Jack, and Kate feel otherwise. They're all determined to snoop and find justice for the dead women. But, their best intentions go awry when some of their expected sources are killed. Someone is just one step ahead of the trio, someone who is adept at throwing suspicion on others. And, in a town sharply divided by money and class, the community would like to forget the murder of two women with reputations. Deveraux has been praised and won prizes for her romances. Her debut mystery is just as delightful. It's an amusing, witty mystery that never loses sight of the reason for the murder investigation, or the tragedies that arise because of secrets.The characters are well-developed and engaging. It's the banter-filled conversations between the trio that make this mystery shine, though. Kate and Sara are sassy, determined women. And, there's just enough of a romantic spark to add interest. A Willing Murder is a solid, entertaining mystery. I'm looking forward to the February release of the next Medlar Mystery.

  3. 5 out of 5

    Becky

    I had a not-so-nice review typed up, but I’ve deleted it. Here’s the gist: I love OG Jude and am willing to forgive her many things as a result. I was almost on board with this story by the end, but I could NOT get past the protagonist obsessing about food being “sinful”. It just went ON AND ON. Find another way to show how “flawed” your otherwise perfect character is. Maybe don’t have her love interest tease her about needing to go to the gym after she eats a sandwich. So cringeworthy. Food is a I had a not-so-nice review typed up, but I’ve deleted it. Here’s the gist: I love OG Jude and am willing to forgive her many things as a result. I was almost on board with this story by the end, but I could NOT get past the protagonist obsessing about food being “sinful”. It just went ON AND ON. Find another way to show how “flawed” your otherwise perfect character is. Maybe don’t have her love interest tease her about needing to go to the gym after she eats a sandwich. So cringeworthy. Food is amazing. I don’t need this negativity in my life.

  4. 5 out of 5

    Rob Banks

    You can tell this author is usually a romance writer but she wrote a nice mystery. I thought I knew the murderer fairly early but there were some surprises at the end. It’s written with characters and back story that will allow for additional books. I heard Jude talk about her book at ALA and she described a strong backstory to really set this up for a lot of potential future books. It was a fun read.

  5. 5 out of 5

    Kirsten

    Jude Deveraux, one of my favorite authors of historical (and some contemporary) romance, has decided to make a foray into the world of cozy mysteries. A Willing Murder has well thought out characters, complicated family relations, and a town where every seems to be in two camps. While the mystery was a little simple, it was nicely thought out. A fun entry for the genre.

  6. 5 out of 5

    Catherine

    Sometimes I get a little nervous when one of my favorite authors writes a different type of book then they're used to writing; I'm afraid that I won't like it, but I usually do. This is one of those instances. I've read all Jude Deveraux's romances, but was nervous I wouldn't like her new series, mystery books. This a great book. I loved the characters, but would have loved to learn more about Kate's father and his relationship, with his sister, Kate's Aunt Sara. I also wish that Kate and Jack Sometimes I get a little nervous when one of my favorite authors writes a different type of book then they're used to writing; I'm afraid that I won't like it, but I usually do. This is one of those instances. I've read all Jude Deveraux's romances, but was nervous I wouldn't like her new series, mystery books. This a great book. I loved the characters, but would have loved to learn more about Kate's father and his relationship, with his sister, Kate's Aunt Sara. I also wish that Kate and Jack would have gotten together, but there's always the next book. And I guessed who the murderer was!!

  7. 4 out of 5

    Alicia Proctor

    3 Stars - what gives it 3 stars instead of 4? I did enjoy this novel - it was a quick read, there were not pockets of time where the story dragged, and god, I love the relationship between Sara, Kate, and Jack - the sarcastic joking and quips between one another are right up my alley. The one thing that bothered me as I started reading (and obviously still does) was how quick some of the character/relationship building happened - for example, Kate walks into Sara's home for the first time - hasn 3 Stars - what gives it 3 stars instead of 4? I did enjoy this novel - it was a quick read, there were not pockets of time where the story dragged, and god, I love the relationship between Sara, Kate, and Jack - the sarcastic joking and quips between one another are right up my alley. The one thing that bothered me as I started reading (and obviously still does) was how quick some of the character/relationship building happened - for example, Kate walks into Sara's home for the first time - hasn't seen her for 20 plus years - and they don't really acknowledge that they barely know each other. It's hard to put into words exactly what I didn't like about how some of the characters originally meet, but it's almost unrealistic/unnatural to me. But that thought aside, I do look forward to the next installment - I can't wait to experience the relationship between Sara and Kate, and especially Kate and Jack(!) to grow.

  8. 5 out of 5

    Jenea Whittington

    A Willing Murder is the first book I’ve read from Deveraux, and when I finished I was happy that I gave this little murder mystery a try. The story stars shortly after Kate Medlar moves herself to a little town in Florida with her very reclusive and mysterious Aunt. Sara is an author, and wants to keep to her self, that is until she receives a second house guest, Kate. This little town if Lachlan has some secrets that it would like to keep buried. Kate is a real estate agent and has big hopes of A Willing Murder is the first book I’ve read from Deveraux, and when I finished I was happy that I gave this little murder mystery a try. The story stars shortly after Kate Medlar moves herself to a little town in Florida with her very reclusive and mysterious Aunt. Sara is an author, and wants to keep to her self, that is until she receives a second house guest, Kate. This little town if Lachlan has some secrets that it would like to keep buried. Kate is a real estate agent and has big hopes of making her a good career in this little town. I have to say, that I really enjoyed Kate. She is a woman who doesn’t hold back and is quite sassy and very determined. When she first meets her Aunts other houseguest, she doesn’t like him at all. In fact, he just rubs her the wrong way. But after the discovery of a set of bones found on a property that Jackson owns, these three amateur sleuths set out to find out what happened and who they are. Kate, Sara and Jackson find themselves in some sticky situation, and it was clear who ever murdered these two was willing to do just about anything to prevent the truth from coming out. There was plenty of creepy and dangerous situations that the trio didn’t bargained for. I enjoyed following the clues that were sprinkled from start to finish. But while I was on the right track to figuring out who the murderer was, Deveraux threw a monkey wrench in my path and it ended up being a little different than I expected, but man was it good! Overall this was a great read. It had some great characters too, one you love and ones you love to hate too. I thoroughly enjoyed Kate and Jackson with their slow building friendship turn slow burning romance. It was a nice little addition to the story. But at the heart of this was the murder mystery. And if you enjoy unraveling clues and a little bit of romance along the way, this would be a great one to pick up.

  9. 5 out of 5

    Lara

    Well, it's not like her usual style of books at all. It was an OK mystery but I had pretty much figured out the mystery murderer ahead of time. No romance at all, which is odd for a Jude Deveraux book. Maybe the lack of romance is what turned me off? I don't know but I also got annoyed at the lame writing--not sure how to describe it but it came across as if it had been written by a child, with dorky references to romance and other aspects of the characters' relationships. The entire premise of Well, it's not like her usual style of books at all. It was an OK mystery but I had pretty much figured out the mystery murderer ahead of time. No romance at all, which is odd for a Jude Deveraux book. Maybe the lack of romance is what turned me off? I don't know but I also got annoyed at the lame writing--not sure how to describe it but it came across as if it had been written by a child, with dorky references to romance and other aspects of the characters' relationships. The entire premise of Kate going to live with her aunt was because she wanted to find out about her dad. Did we find out about her dad? Nope. And what was the deal with Kate's and Sara's problem with weight? Who cares? Or is it because there are more of these planned that we're left hanging? Now that I think about it, I wonder if she's trying to write books like Janet Evanovich's number series. Personally, I think she should stick to trashy romance novels. I liked those much better. Just one of the annoying passages: ""Immediately, Jack looked guilty. "Get the thick-cut kind." He swallowed. "Maybe Cheryl told me. I'm not sure." "And you're just now remembering that important fact?" Jack gave a weak smile. "Guess so. You want some hot dogs?" "No. They're poison." Kate pulled her cell out of her bag."" What. Was. The. Point of that entire paragraph???

  10. 5 out of 5

    Susan

    While I was reading I wrote a list of my thoughts which is became a list of all the things I found wrong with this book. It includes everything from unnatural dialogue, baffling unfunny jokes, to fat/food shaming. Now that I've finished I realize this long, nit-picky list isn't going to help anyone decide to pick up this book or not. Instead I'm just going to say that this one was not for me. I know Jude Deveraux is a very popular romance writer and this is her first foray into the mystery genre While I was reading I wrote a list of my thoughts which is became a list of all the things I found wrong with this book. It includes everything from unnatural dialogue, baffling unfunny jokes, to fat/food shaming. Now that I've finished I realize this long, nit-picky list isn't going to help anyone decide to pick up this book or not. Instead I'm just going to say that this one was not for me. I know Jude Deveraux is a very popular romance writer and this is her first foray into the mystery genre. This is also the first book of hers I have read. I feel like I'm missing something because it was just straight up bad. The writing, the characters, the story, it was all just done very poorly. I'm assuming this is not true of this author in general. I'm giving it two stars instead of one because I did finish without skimming but I do not recommend it and I will not be continuing this series.

  11. 4 out of 5

    Sue

    Way too slow. It seemed like the entire plot hinged upon people not telling each other things. (view spoiler)[ The simple fact the Jack sat through multiple tellings of how Cheryl sexually assaulted him as an 11 year old and never denied it absolutely stymied me. The statement "nobody would believe me" just doesn't hold water. And all of the times he heard how he was driving drunk when he knew he wasn't. Stupid guilt and self flagellation. (hide spoiler)] Never warmed up to Kate. It was SO STUPID Way too slow. It seemed like the entire plot hinged upon people not telling each other things. (view spoiler)[ The simple fact the Jack sat through multiple tellings of how Cheryl sexually assaulted him as an 11 year old and never denied it absolutely stymied me. The statement "nobody would believe me" just doesn't hold water. And all of the times he heard how he was driving drunk when he knew he wasn't. Stupid guilt and self flagellation. (hide spoiler)] Never warmed up to Kate. It was SO STUPID how she started spewing to Alistair (a perfect stranger) personal information about an aunt she hasn't even met yet within seconds of walking into a new town. It didn't make any sense. And it took her a very long time for the TSTL vibe to start to wear off. And not once did her relatives call her on it. Instead, they apologize to her! I don't get it.....

  12. 4 out of 5

    Susan

    When Kate learns that the father she never knew had a sister who's a famous novelist and living in their home town, she can't resist the urge to move to Florida and meet Aunt Sara. The first thing she learns is that everything she heard about Sara, and about her live-in houseguest Jackson Wyatt, is wrong. The second thing she learned is that the house that Jackson just bought (he's a contractor) has two skeletons hidden in the back yard. As the trio tries to find out how those skeletons got ther When Kate learns that the father she never knew had a sister who's a famous novelist and living in their home town, she can't resist the urge to move to Florida and meet Aunt Sara. The first thing she learns is that everything she heard about Sara, and about her live-in houseguest Jackson Wyatt, is wrong. The second thing she learned is that the house that Jackson just bought (he's a contractor) has two skeletons hidden in the back yard. As the trio tries to find out how those skeletons got there, they find that their possible informants are dying before they can be questioned. The local sheriff just wants them to stop poking around, but that's not going to happen.

  13. 4 out of 5

    Kaitlyn Dunnett

    I liked the characters in this first in a series enough that I'll probably read the next one, if only to find out more of the backstory, but a couple of times I misread a section because a character was being sarcastic and I took their comment seriously, missing the few words that clued in the person she was talking to. The ending was a bit rushed, with a TSTL moment and inadequate explanation for how the "good guys" got to a certain location. I've filed this under "cozy" but it's closer to a "t I liked the characters in this first in a series enough that I'll probably read the next one, if only to find out more of the backstory, but a couple of times I misread a section because a character was being sarcastic and I took their comment seriously, missing the few words that clued in the person she was talking to. The ending was a bit rushed, with a TSTL moment and inadequate explanation for how the "good guys" got to a certain location. I've filed this under "cozy" but it's closer to a "traditional" mystery.

  14. 4 out of 5

    Janie

    The author's move to contemporary mystery is a fun venture. The start is less cohesive than a solid murder suspense, but the plot tightens and moves forward. The witty dialog mentioned by some reviewers seemed to be more awkward than entertaining at the first, but that too smooths out and becomes part of the cohesive story line. A fun read with the murder resolved satisfyingly but not the relationships. More to come? Pub Date: 18 Sep 2018 by HARLEQUIN - MIRA (U.S. and Canada)

  15. 5 out of 5

    Margaret

    I really enjoyed this story. Sarah reminded me of Jude! Some of Jude’s romance books have an element of mystery and thriller which is why she is my favorite! I have been anxiously waiting to read A Willing Murder. This is up there as one of my favorites as the story ties up nicely and has a great ending.

  16. 5 out of 5

    Connie Janzen

    Absolutely loved this book! I can’t wait until book #2. Refreshing characters and storyline. It had me from the first page to the end.

  17. 4 out of 5

    Rebecca Kordesh

    This was a hard pass for me. Way too much in-story narration to explain away the plot points that didn't make sense and the very unrealistic things going on during a murder investigation. I was not engaged, I did not care about the characters (alive or dead) and was especially annoyed that the author felt the need to close the story with a "no the villain is really a bad person" bit instead of allowing the story to rest. I'm also not sure what the tone of this was supposed to be--it was a weird This was a hard pass for me. Way too much in-story narration to explain away the plot points that didn't make sense and the very unrealistic things going on during a murder investigation. I was not engaged, I did not care about the characters (alive or dead) and was especially annoyed that the author felt the need to close the story with a "no the villain is really a bad person" bit instead of allowing the story to rest. I'm also not sure what the tone of this was supposed to be--it was a weird mix of lots of angry people really obsessed with small town family dynamics and playful banter (not well done) plus people with short tempers who did a lot of throwing things or punching things and then quickly returned to playful banter. Plus there was a murder mystery going on in the background with a lot of people being killed in real time and yet the tone never felt serious or ominous. It was just... odd. Do not recommend.

  18. 5 out of 5

    Kristin

    This isn't much different than her romances. I knew who the bad guy was almost from the beginning but I still enjoyed it. She's one of my favorite authors.

  19. 4 out of 5

    Susan Krich

    This book was given to me through Goodreads. There are stories within the main story. I enjoy books by Jude Deveraux but this one was a bit hard to get into the story. There are a lot of characters and it took a bit to keep them and their relationships to each other straight without having to look back at previous pages. Once I was able to remember who was who, the plot moves right along with many twists. There is some good-natured bantering that made me smile. The surprise ending finally explains th This book was given to me through Goodreads. There are stories within the main story. I enjoy books by Jude Deveraux but this one was a bit hard to get into the story. There are a lot of characters and it took a bit to keep them and their relationships to each other straight without having to look back at previous pages. Once I was able to remember who was who, the plot moves right along with many twists. There is some good-natured bantering that made me smile. The surprise ending finally explains the title.

  20. 4 out of 5

    Cheryl Riecke

    I have read many of Jude Deveraux's books. This one was a mystery with constant action and back stories. It started a bit hectic as much happened at the beginning and as it began to unravel things progressed. It is a great read, just different than her other books. I won this book in a Goodreads giveaway, thanks for that!

  21. 5 out of 5

    Evelyn

    Thanks to Mira Books and NetGalley for an ARC of this book in exchange for an honest review. Ok, I admit I was skeptical—one of my all time favorite romance authors writing a mystery? Kate Medlar moves to Florida to sell real estate, staying with her aunt, world-famous romance author Sara Medlar in hopes of learning more about her father who died when Kate was only four. Also staying with Sara is bad boy Jack Wyatt, a local contractor updating her mansion, as well as rehabbing neighborhood homes. Thanks to Mira Books and NetGalley for an ARC of this book in exchange for an honest review. Ok, I admit I was skeptical—one of my all time favorite romance authors writing a mystery? Kate Medlar moves to Florida to sell real estate, staying with her aunt, world-famous romance author Sara Medlar in hopes of learning more about her father who died when Kate was only four. Also staying with Sara is bad boy Jack Wyatt, a local contractor updating her mansion, as well as rehabbing neighborhood homes. But when a large poinciana tree topples during a storm, the three become amateur sleuths, attempting to learn the identities of the pair of skeletal remains found entangled in the roots. This is a great cozy mystery with lots of red herrings and quirky characters. I thought I had things figured out early on, but nope, there was a final twist.

  22. 4 out of 5

    Meg

    What happens when a romance novelist becomes entangled in a mystery? The answer is the book "A Willing Murder". Although a writer by vocation, Sara and her two housemates stumble into a who-dunnit mystery that they cannot leave unsolved. Trying to get information from the tight-lipped townspeople is a herculean task, but the trio manage to do so and solve the mystery. I received this book as part of the Goodreads Giveaway program.

  23. 5 out of 5

    Louise Scholl

    I won this book in a goodreads giveaway. It is an ARC, and due to be released 9/18/18. I really enjoyed this book. I can’t wait for the next one.

  24. 4 out of 5

    Katy

    Romance, intrigue, family trauma and a twenty-year-old murder make this story driven tale one you can settle in with on a dark night. It all began with murder… The dirt had been shifted, moved from beneath. Were one of them still alive? Once the tree was in place and dirt filled in around it, it would all be over. Straight out of college, two years ago, Kate Medlar started selling real estate, a job she loved, however, selling the same suburban type homes left her feeling like she wanted to do mor Romance, intrigue, family trauma and a twenty-year-old murder make this story driven tale one you can settle in with on a dark night. It all began with murder… The dirt had been shifted, moved from beneath. Were one of them still alive? Once the tree was in place and dirt filled in around it, it would all be over. Straight out of college, two years ago, Kate Medlar started selling real estate, a job she loved, however, selling the same suburban type homes left her feeling like she wanted to do more. Life at home too, was becoming more than she could take. Most of her life she had been dealing with her mother’s nerves and fears, as well as her overbearing and interfering Uncles. It was time for a change. In the middle of one her mother’s rants she accidentally mentioned an aunt, her father’s sister, that Kate had never known existed. Sara Medlar was a famous writer who lived in Lachlan, Florida. From what Kate read about the town there was also realtor trying to bring the town back to life. Locating old houses that just needed to be fixed up and put on the market, was just the kind of challenge that Kate needed and a good excuse to finally leave home. After securing a job in Tayla Kirkwood’s real estate office, and an offer of a place to live with her Aunt Sara, all that was left was to tell her mother she was Lachlan, was a town divided by the affluent families on one side and the improvised families on the other. Jack Wyatt had grown up on the wrong side of town and had been tied to the bad reputation of his father for years. It had taken time, help and tough love , but he was determined to make a difference for both him and the town. With Sara Medlar, as his silent partner, he formed a construction company focusing on rebuilding some of the run down homes. But as rumor would have it, talk said, he was living with Sara Medlar, using her, taking money from and sleeping with a woman old enough to be his grandmother. The minute she stepped into town Kate heard all the gossip surrounding her Aunt and Jack Wyatt, while the pillar of society Alistair Stewart found the young woman just the right diversion he needed. After all the years she had taken care of her mother, she would now help Aunt Sara and put a stop to Jack Wyatt using her. She was in for a surprise. Jack and Aunt Sara were nothing like the gossips would have her believe. Cheryl and her mother Verna had lived, in a ramshackle old house years ago, but up and left in the middle of the night twenty years ago, breaking Jack’s young heart. Now Jack was determined to fixed up the old house he had purchased and rebuild it. That is until his crew toppled the old tree the back yard and they found the skeletal remains of two bodies. Kate, Sara and Jack just can’t seem to leave the mysterious death of the two women alone. They go in search of answers, while a murderer tries to stop them. Jack has another problem, he is drawn to Kate who seems to have eyes for the debonair, smooth talking Alistair Stewart. Filled with past family intrigues, heartbreak, half-truths, and love. A light romantic, mystery “The Willing Murder” has characters that can draw you into the story and care about a murder that was 20 years in the hiding. Although the book is written for adults, older teens could also enjoy this murder mystery that started 20 years ago with several of the main characters in their teens.

  25. 5 out of 5

    Kari Marie

    A quirky older lady, a hot man with a reputation and a young woman discovering her history. These are three main characters of Jude Deveraux’s new book A Willing Murder. Kate (the young woman) discovers her aunt is the famed author Sara Medlar (the quirky old lady) and decides to go find out more information about her family. Kate takes a job in the town of Lachlan and asks Sara if she can stay with her. Sara is trying to help her friend Jack who has recently lost somebody. Kate coming to town g A quirky older lady, a hot man with a reputation and a young woman discovering her history. These are three main characters of Jude Deveraux’s new book A Willing Murder. Kate (the young woman) discovers her aunt is the famed author Sara Medlar (the quirky old lady) and decides to go find out more information about her family. Kate takes a job in the town of Lachlan and asks Sara if she can stay with her. Sara is trying to help her friend Jack who has recently lost somebody. Kate coming to town gives the perfect excuse to make Jack move in with Sara and maybe get him to open up. The three of them have no idea how their lives are about to change when they discover two skeletons. When the police won’t do their jobs and find the real murders the trio must solve it themselves. I was in love with this book as soon as I met Sara. I love a quirky character. Right there was three stars. Jude Deveraux has a history of sucking me into her books. The trio and the dialogue between them made for a fast pace and fun read. I did laugh a few times and generally had a smile. Another star for a total of four. The only complaint was I figured out the bad person as soon as I met them. It seemed a little too obvious which is why this is not a five star book. I never felt a threat to any of the characters and there was no real suspense for me. Still this was an enjoyable book and I look forward to reading others in the series. I received a copy from NetGalley for an honest review.

  26. 5 out of 5

    Ashley Hite

    Kate recently discovers that she has a long lost aunt, Sara, that she never knew about, she is the sister of her father she never knew. Hoping to get to know her and her past she moves to her father's home town and while she is getting settled Sara has offered to let Kate stay with her. Sara is a famous romance author worth a lot of money and she has young man living with her. Is Jack using Sara for her money or do they have some other relationship going on. Before Kate can get to the bottom of Kate recently discovers that she has a long lost aunt, Sara, that she never knew about, she is the sister of her father she never knew. Hoping to get to know her and her past she moves to her father's home town and while she is getting settled Sara has offered to let Kate stay with her. Sara is a famous romance author worth a lot of money and she has young man living with her. Is Jack using Sara for her money or do they have some other relationship going on. Before Kate can get to the bottom of their relationship, Jack and Sara take her to a new property they are renovating. While wandering in the back yard Kate literally stumbles on a murder mystery when she finds the shallow grave containing two skeletons. The police are not acting interested in the case so the three team up to try and solve this twenty year old homicide which has ties to Jack's past. Can the trio solve the case before more people are murdered to keep a town's secrets buried? This is a good murder mystery novel as the characters are engaging and have a good dynamic. The relationship and banter between Kate and Jack is fun and flirtatious. There are several twists to this mystery and all though I saw a couple of the turns coming there are still enough surprises that kept me entertained.

  27. 4 out of 5

    J

    “The three of them were close together, tight, bodies mashed side by side, needing the warmth, the sharing of humanness. Needing not tobe alone. It was going to take some time for Jack to come back to now, back to reality. He had to let go of that pull to another world where pain no longer existed. As Kate waited, she watched the fading light illuminate the tree in front of them. The sun lit the red blossoms and seemed to catch fire. It was the magnificent tree's last blaze in her long life. Tom “The three of them were close together, tight, bodies mashed side by side, needing the warmth, the sharing of humanness. Needing not tobe alone. It was going to take some time for Jack to come back to now, back to reality. He had to let go of that pull to another world where pain no longer existed. As Kate waited, she watched the fading light illuminate the tree in front of them. The sun lit the red blossoms and seemed to catch fire. It was the magnificent tree's last blaze in her long life. Tomorrow she'd give up the secrets she'd held inside her for so very long.” A Willing Murder held such early promise and gave pockets of brillant prose that it is almost a shame to give the book only three stars. It seemed that after a slow and steady character build-up, Ms Deveraux realized she had a deadline to meet and sprinted towards the finish line sent by her editor. The second half was filled with disjointed, crude reveals and an awkward finale that made me want to bang my head against the wall in frustration. That being said, I'm hooked on the trio of amateur sleuths and will likely sign up for Medlar Mystery #2.

  28. 4 out of 5

    Heidi

    I struggled with this one. I believe I wanted to Like it more than I did (especially the beginning), but I did finish the last page with a smile on my face. I admittedly am a Jude Deveraux fan, and I usually POUNCE on new books. I feel like her writing style is usually so vivid I’ve visually stepped through the pages and wrap myself in the characters lives. This one, I just didn’t get that vibe til almost the end... maybe it will be a series and fill out more. I would pick it up for a read. I wil I struggled with this one. I believe I wanted to Like it more than I did (especially the beginning), but I did finish the last page with a smile on my face. I admittedly am a Jude Deveraux fan, and I usually POUNCE on new books. I feel like her writing style is usually so vivid I’ve visually stepped through the pages and wrap myself in the characters lives. This one, I just didn’t get that vibe til almost the end... maybe it will be a series and fill out more. I would pick it up for a read. I will say “wow” she writes a good villain. Slightly predicted the outcome and yet a great twist, making it a good mystery read. Some things about the characters remind me of posts I’ve read on social media, and I want to reach out and hug writers who struggle with the negative people out there. They bless us with great creations, and so often it is not true readers that spread the negative reviews, etc. We fans just need to be more vocal about the positives in why we love our books. So, share your favorites! Because even if, like this one, it wasn’t a favorite the next work in progress by the same author could just touch your heart. Happy Reading and Writing!

  29. 5 out of 5

    Leslie

    I read this ebook courtesy of NetGalley. Small town people can have very long memories and that is clearly illustrated in this story. Kate comes to Lachlan, FL to stay with her newly discovered aunt, Sara, when she accepts a real estate job. New town, new family, and a new romance are what Kate finds right away. Sara, a retired famous romance writer, has a young man living with her, but to Kate's relief, Jack is not trying to rip her off or take advantage of her. He is like a grandson to Sara an I read this ebook courtesy of NetGalley. Small town people can have very long memories and that is clearly illustrated in this story. Kate comes to Lachlan, FL to stay with her newly discovered aunt, Sara, when she accepts a real estate job. New town, new family, and a new romance are what Kate finds right away. Sara, a retired famous romance writer, has a young man living with her, but to Kate's relief, Jack is not trying to rip her off or take advantage of her. He is like a grandson to Sara and they are in business together to rehab old houses and sell them. When a large old tree falls over on one of the properties, the trio find a gruesome clue that opens up a mystery from the past and reveals a double homicide. Sara, Kate and Jack set about to solve the murders and manage to stir up enough old memories in the community that they alienate many of the citizens including the Sheriff. More murders, more memories, and a bold approach to investigation leads to a satisfying read. Recommended for fans of cozy contemporary mysteries set in the south.

  30. 5 out of 5

    Sara

    This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here. I really wanted to like this book. The reviews I read beforehand all mentioned that Ms. Deveraux used to write romance, and you could definitely tell. I liked the idea of romance mixed in with my murder mystery. And while it was there, everything else was seriously lacking. I figured out who the murderer was halfway through and spent the remainder of the book thinking about how stupid the characters were to trust this person. Kate drove me insane. She was so whiney, couldn't stick up for herself I really wanted to like this book. The reviews I read beforehand all mentioned that Ms. Deveraux used to write romance, and you could definitely tell. I liked the idea of romance mixed in with my murder mystery. And while it was there, everything else was seriously lacking. I figured out who the murderer was halfway through and spent the remainder of the book thinking about how stupid the characters were to trust this person. Kate drove me insane. She was so whiney, couldn't stick up for herself, and was obsessed with staying thin. You couldn't get through a scene with food without being reminded that X had too many calories or Kate wouldn't eat X because of too many calories or calories, calories, CALORIES. ugh. She was written to be in her early twenties but sounded like she was in her early forties. All in all, I'm glad I finished it, but I won't be looking for any more of Ms. Deveraux's work anytime soon.

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