Marcia Talley’s A QUIET DEATH

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Fifty-seven love letters and photographs document a 10-year affair between Lilith Chaloux and her married lover Zan. With gentle assists from her husband, her sister, her sister-in-law’s husband (a Chesapeake County police lieutenant), internet searches and a snooping instinct second only to Miss Marple’s, Hannah not only tracks down the reclusive Lilith, an artist and major-league hoarder, but stakes out the Lynx News headquarters to confront the man formerly known as Zan. In response, her home is burglarized, she’s confronted by a seedy lawyer working for the young man who sat next to her on the train–now laid up for serious rehabbing in a D.C. hospital–and she meets Zan’s wife, who tells her off in no uncertain terms. Meanwhile, a staffer at Lynx, a former college friend of Hannah’s daughter Emily, is murdered, and the seedy lawyer heads for Lilith’s cottage, which winds up ablaze, incinerating those 57 love letters and almost costing Lilith and Hannah their lives. If you’ve a taste for love denied, love reunited and coincidences piled on coincidences, you’ll have plenty to swoon over here. — Kirkus Reviews, July 1, 2011

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