Wednesday, April 3, 2013

THERE WAS AN OLD WOMAN: A REVIEW AND GIVEAWAY

 
GIVEAWAY ENDED 
THERE WAS AN OLD WOMAN
BY HALLIE EPHRON

ABOUT THE BOOK:
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.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR:
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.

You can visit Hallie's website HERE to learn more about her.

PRAISE FOR THERE WAS AN OLD WOMAN:
“Intensive, sustaining suspense . . . Ephron ratchets up the suspense by using short chapters and strong characterization, deftly capturing the instability and plight of the elderly. . . A dark, captivating and deliciously creepy tale that’s liable to keep you reading all night long.”— Lansing State Journal
“In portraying the inner life of an aged widow struggling heroically against her limitations, [THERE WAS AN OLD WOMAN] is very good . . . Ephron . . . continues to assert her own thoughtful style."--Kirkus Reviews“Superb suspense and unforgettable characters make this an absolute must-read. THERE WAS AN OLD WOMAN is so good, I devoured this in one ravenous gulp!” --Tess Gerritsen, New York Times bestselling author of Last to Die“Haunting. Compelling. And beautifully written. This insidiously creepy and eerily sinister tale twists and turns with suspense-and a surprise around every corner. Hallie Ephron is the queen of secrets-and the star of suburban noir.”--Hank Phillippi Ryan, Award-winning author of The Other Woman “Hallie Epron has an extraordinary talent for imbuing the ordinary with menace, and for creating wonderful, memorable characters. Mina, the old woman of the title, shines. This is Ephron’s best book yet, and readers won’t be able to put it down.”--Deborah Crombie, New York Times bestselling author “Hallie Ephron’s newest is that thing you almost never see—an utterly fresh story. Evie and her crew will keep you guessing and hoping and teetering between laughter and tears, all the way home.”--Jacquelyn Mitchard, author of The Deep End of the Ocean“Hallie Ephron hits a grand slam with this suspenseful tale of long-held secrets, family foibles and human frailty . . . Her smooth prose paints colorful characters then slowly tightens its grip on your throat until you simply can’t put THERE WAS AN OLD WOMAN down. A stellar novel.—Julia Spencer-Fleming, New York Times-bestselling author of One Was a Soldier “Enjoy [There Was an Old Woman]...for the characterizations--particularly of Mina, still sharp in her tenth decade--and the nicely detailed sense of place.”--Booklist“In this touching novel of suspense...Ephron’s double portrait of the intimate details of the inescapable consequences of age and alcoholism is as gripping as any traditional mystery.”--Publishers Weekly
OTHER BOOKS BY HALLIE EPHRON:
                        


MY THOUGHTS/REVIEW:
THERE WAS AN OLD WOMAN is the first of Hallie Ephron’s books that I have read but it won’t be my last. Lulled into thinking I was reading a fairly simple tale about how some aging people who are living in a quiet New York community are dealing with their problems, I was interested in how they fared. With so many baby boomers heading, or in, this age where living independently is something often to be fought for and/or difficult, this seemed like the theme of an interesting story to explore. However, as I got more involved with the two main characters, Evie and Mina, I saw there was so much more to this story. As Ephron slyly reveals tiny bits and pieces that start to resemble a mystery rather than a simple narrative, I was quite intrigued. THERE WAS AN OLD WOMAN began to take on a bit of an eerie, almost disturbing, feel to it.

Evie has come to check on her mother Sandra who has been taken again to the hospital. Sandra is a widow and also one would believe, an alcoholic. She has an attack of some kind and as she is being wheeled away to the ambulance, pleads with her neighbor, Mina, to call her daughter and give her a message. “Don’t let him in until I’m gone”, Sandra tells Mina who doesn’t really know what to make of it. With her own memory problems, she hopes she can remember what to say. When Evie arrives after not visiting in quite a while, she is taken aback by the squalid mess her mother’s house is in. But as Evie digs her way around Sandra’s, she finds things that are contradictory to the initial look of a down trodden, elderly alcoholic. Expensive liquor bottles, bundles of cash, a new flat screen television, no bills showing balances for any of this…all leaves Evie mystified.

With neighborly Mina from next door, Evie tries to piece together what is going on in her mother Sandra’s life. Mina, with her own problems, actually seems helpful so that Evie is able make out what life in this neighborhood is really like. Mina’s own nephew, Brian, has been trying to talk Mina into moving to a community for seniors. The more that Evie finds our about her mother’s life, the more she realizes that it may be connected to Mina and what appears to be a more dangerous situation. Is Mina who she appears to be or is there more evil than meets the eye?

With today’s frightening look at how the elderly can be scammed in so many ways, even bordering on legal ones, this is an eye opener of a revelation as well as a mystery. When I was well into this page turner, I realized I knew where it was headed and then a twist threw me for a loop. THERE WAS AN OLD WOMAN is old fashioned story telling at its best as it holds your attention and doesn’t let you go until the very end…and even then, the characters stay with you long after you close the book. 
 
 
GIVEAWAY
THANKS TO TRACY AND THE FINE FOLKS
AT WILLIAM MORROW AND HARPER COLLINS,
I HAVE ONE COPY OF THIS JUST RELEASED
THERE WAS AN OLD WOMAN TO GIVE AWAY
 
--U.S. RESIDENTS ONLY
--NO P. O. BOXES
---INCLUDE YOUR EMAIL ADDRESS
IN CASE YOU WIN!
--ALL COMMENTS MUST BE SEPARATE TO
 

COUNT AS MORE THAN ONE!


HOW TO ENTER:


+1 ENTRY: COMMENT ON WHAT YOU READ ABOVE ABOUT THERE WAS AN OLD WOMAN THAT MADE YOU WANT TO WIN THIS BOOK, AND DON'T FORGET YOUR EMAIL ADDRESS 

+1 MORE ENTRY: BLOG AND/OR TWEET ABOUT THIS GIVEAWAY AND COME BACK HERE AND LEAVE ME YOUR LINK 

+1 MORE ENTRY: COMMENT ON SOMETHING YOU FIND INTERESTING AT HALLIE EPHRON'S WEBSITE HERE

 +1 MORE ENTRY: COMMENT ON ONE WAY YOU FOLLOW MY BLOG. IF YOU FOLLOW MORE THAN ONE WAY, YOU CAN COMMENT SEPARATELY AND EACH WILL COUNT AS AN ENTRY

+1 MORE ENTRY: COMMENT ON A CURRENT GIVEAWAY THAT YOU HAVE ENTERED ON MY BLOG. IF YOU ENTERED MORE THAN ONE, YOU MAY COMMENT SEPARATELY FOR EACH TO RECEIVE MORE ENTRIES
 
GIVEAWAY ENDS AT 
6 PM, EST, APRIL 14
 GOOD LUCK!

157 comments:

debbie said...

This sounds like a great book. I love these kind of mysteries. I would like to see how the daughter unravels what is going on in her mother's life. I know alot about what is going on with the elderly. We had a neighbor that my son and I helped for several years. The week before she died, she thanked me and said she wouldn't have been able to spend the last seven years of her life in her own home without us. It was really a wonderful experience that helped shape my son while he was growing up.
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rubynreba said...

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Pamela Keener said...

I absolutely love a good mystery
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Carol N Wong said...

This sounds so eerie and suspenseful and has to be a page turner. I love to read books like this and I especially like books that have older people in them! Crossed fingers for this one!

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traveler said...

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Karen B said...

I hope (as an old woman myself) that I can avoid all the scams, etc that the elderly can get caught up in. Book is on my wishlist.
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Margie said...

This looks like a good mystery with some interesting characters. It will be fascinating to find out what was going on in the old woman's life. Thanks for the giveaway.
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Bethie said...

Sounds like this is a good mystery.

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Linda Kish said...

The story sounds great. I have a lot of friends and acquaintances in that age range and know some of what they have to deal with.

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Sue Farrell said...

This book should scare the HeXX out of me since I just turned 65--and worry about getting old.
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rbooth43 said...

This happens to many old women who live by themselves and have no one to help them.
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