Mystery Barbara Lee Dead Man's Fingers

ISBN 13: 9780312205249

Dead Man's Fingers

2.79 avg rating
( 19 ratings by Goodreads )
 
9780312205249: Dead Man's Fingers

Maryland real estate agent Eve Elliott, who has given up her fast-paced life as a successful ad executive in New York City to join her aunt Lillian's real estate business, thinks she has found a peaceful existence in the sleepy little waterfront town of Magothy. But when Eve lists one of the last unspoiled parcels on the Chesapeake Bay, she has no idea what conflicts have been set in motion, and things become as chaotic as the most crowded of subway rides.

Eve is showing a house to a client, politician Vince Darner, and his wife--the former just happens to be in the midst of a heated campaign--when she witnesses a water-skiing accident. It is only the beginning of a nasty war that pits environmentalist against developer, politician against politician, and neighbor against neighbor. The next day Eve accompanies her aunt Lillian to a court hearing to determine if Lillian's neighbor Carl Rainey will get a variance to build a huge house on the property next to hers. When environmentalists and documentary filmmaker Lauren DeWitt shows up with evidence that the house cannot legally be built, the variance is denied. Eve and Aunt Lillian become scapegoats for the animosity that is sweeping through the town over the debate.

As things heat up with a fatal fire and the death of Lauren DeWitt, Eve realizes that the threat is no longer just to the environment. She is forced to team up with her competitor and possible love interest, real estate agent Mitch Gaylin. It seems that a lot of people, including Mrs. Darner, have secrets to hide. Together, Eve and Mitch discover a conspiracy on a much larger scale--but are they too late?

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From Publishers Weekly:

Realtors, developers and an environmentalist make July on the Maryland shore stickier than usual in Lee's third low-key cozy (after Final Closing). Realtor Lillian Weber and her niece, former Manhattan ad agent Eve Elliot, get a surprise client when Maryland Senate candidate Vince Darner asks them to sell his wife's land. At the same time, the two realtors are contesting the project of Carl Rainey, a neighbor's son who wants to build a luxury home blocking Lillian's seaside view. At a public hearing, zealous environmentalist Lauren DeWitt, who's filming a documentary about how the recent glut of development is ruining the coast, puts a kink in Carl's plans by proving that the original land plot hadn't been officially subdivided to include another house. Carl stomps off, threatening revenge. As Eve shows Vince's land to area developers, she's told about an abandoned fuel tank on the property that will delay sale of the land. After she and Lillian report the tank to environmental watchdogs, the pair become pariahs in the region, accused of trying to hold back progress. As July 4th nears, tempers mount. Then, during the holiday fireworks, Lauren is murdered and Lillian's dock is set afire. Adamantly refusing to hide, Eve, working with reticent detective Patrick Simmons, pieces together the murderer's identity. Though the novel boasts only modest suspense, Lee's clean prose and evocative small-town atmosphere will entertain readers while providing an in-depth look at current issues facing seaside communities. (July)
Copyright 1999 Reed Business Information, Inc.

From Kirkus Reviews:

Fortyish Eve Elliott (Final Closing, 1997, etc.)once married, once a New Yorker in advertisingnow lives in Maryland, in the village of Pines on Magothy, working for her widowed aunt Lillian Weber in the real-estate business. Water views, old trees, access to the river are part of almost every sale, and every sale must be passed on by a zoning committee. At present, Lillian's neighbor Carl Rainey is applying to enlarge his house. He's turned down, largely with help from ardent young environmentalist Lauren DeWitt, whose efforts are antagonizing many of the locals. The climax comes at the Fourth of July Festival when Lillian's dock is burned down and Lauren is found dead nearbya homicide according to taciturn Detective Simmons, who makes it plain to Eve that he doesn't need her help. As usual she pays him no mind and goes her inquisitive waygathering gossip about businessman Vince Darner, whose political ambitions and failing business are pushing him to sell his wife's valuable property. There's also slick lawyer Dick Hubbard, along with Nasty Duck Jarvis, who hits his wife Josie. Help is had, though, from sweet young Tim Clayson, who works in the Permit Application Center, where construction and site plans are registered. The unconvincing solution, when it comes, puts Eve's life at riskand one hopes she'll now go back to her romance with Mitch Gaylin and maybe even sell a house or two. -- Copyright ©1999, Kirkus Associates, LP. All rights reserved.

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