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A field of darkness : a novel
Cornelia Read
Adult Fiction READ

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From Publishers' Weekly:

Read's impressive debut stars the unusual Madeline Dare, a jumble of contradictions who comes from an old-money Long Island family but is married to Dean, a railroad worker, in Syracuse, N.Y., which our heroine likens in a moment of exasperation to "some mental dust bowl." Dean's job requires frequent travel, while Madeline writes fluff features for the local newspaper. Nothing in her background prepares her for trying to solve the bizarre 20-year-old murder of two young women, a crime that her cousin, Lapthorne Townsend, might have been involved in. Read writes with verve and passion as Madeline sets out to clear her cousin's name, an effort that develops into a much larger, life-changing struggle. Some readers may find Madeline's volatile character less than credible, but the fine supporting cast-notably husband Dean and flaky, flamboyant friend Ellis-consistently delights. The author's sharp social commentary on everything from the idle rich to the environment adds to the pleasure. 5-city author tour. (May) (c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved

From Library Journal:

Madeline Dare, a product of "old money" (but with no money herself) and husband Dean, the son of a farmer, lead a simple no-frills kind of life in Syracuse, NY, just barely getting by. By chance, she discovers a link between a decades-old unsolved murder and her favorite cousin-one of the few wealthy relatives with whom she still has any sort of bond. In hopes of clearing him, this small-time newspaper reporter embarks on an investigation that ultimately endangers herself and just about everyone she knows. First novelist Read offers a great take on the world of the moneyed and the differences between those who have and those who don't. With her hysterically funny dialog and inspired views on life, Read is a delight to, wellread. One hopes this is the first in what will be a very prolific writing career. Recommended for all public libraries. [See Prepub Mystery, LJ 1/06.]-Caroline Mann, Univ. of Portland Lib., OR (c) Copyright 2010. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.

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main characters Madeline Dare
Age: 25
Born into blue-blood; former socialite; came from old money; married out of her social class; misses her husband who travels frequently; investigating a 20-year old murder of two young women that might involve her cousin.
Newspaper reporter

Madeline's husband; grew up as a farm boy; likes inventing things; travels frequently.
Railroad agent

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