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The Green Remains (The Nora Tierney Mysteries)

Marni Graff
XL’J@Babel Festival.AVI

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American writer Nora Tierney is living at Ramsey Lodge in England’s glorious Lake District, anticipating two life-changing events: the publication of her first children’s book and the birth of her first child. Choosing a name for her son and checking proof pages with her illustrator, Simon Ramsey, fill her days–until a morning stroll along the shore of UK’s largest lake, Windermere, leads her to discover the corpse of the heir to Clarendon Hall.

When Simon is implicated in the death, Nora dives headfirst into the murder investigation to discover the real killer. As the body count rises, Nora and her unborn child will face risks and perils she could never anticipate in this second in a series of Nora Tierney mysteries.

A contemporary mystery series written in the English tradition, the series contain a Cast of Characters, chapter epigraphs, and, new to THE GREEN REMAINS, room layouts of the site of the major action.

Reviewer Jill Franciemont has this to say about the mystery: “I love mysteries. And England. And spunky, plucky heroines who are too curious for their own good and two clever by half. M. K. Graff’s Nora Tierney novels have all those things in spades.

This follow-up to THE BLUE VIRGIN picks up almost literally where the first book left off. Nora once again stumbles into a mystery mystery–this time quite literally, as she comes upon the body of the local landed gentry’s golden child during a walk. Is it suicide? Murder? Loyalty sucks Nora right back into the thick of an investigation as she finds herself caught up in a snarl of secrets and suspicions as Simon becomes a suspect in the death. Complicating matters, the inspector investigating this time is none other than Simon’s sisters’ boyfriend.

Sound convoluted? It’s really not–it’s just deliciously complex, which is one of the ting that make the Nora Tierney books so enjoyable. Chief among the others is the writing, which is engaging and enjoyable, fast-paced yet descriptive enough to evoke vivid mental images of all the main characters and the settings the occupy. The characters are complex and original. Nora is a delight, a sort of grown-up Nancy Drew, full of gumption and unflagging faith in her friends. The supporting characters are colorful and very real. The series is, quite simply, brilliant. It is fun, engaging, clever, twisty, and both plot-and-character-driven in turns. Nora is a fabulous heroine, a busy-body in the best possible sense of the term–and a rather unexpected detective, seeing she’s during the active bits of her “cases” so far. I look forward to seeing where she goes next–both as a new mother and as a detective!

Dorothy St. James, author of the White House Gardener Mysteries, notes: ” … THE GREEN REMAINS will make you fell as if you’ve taken a trip to the idyllic English countryside, but all is not as relaxing as it should be in the Lake District. Just under the surface lurks a mystery that kept me turning the pages and guessing all the way to the very end.”

The author of Coffeehose Meditations and co-author of Writing in a Changing World, Nina Romano states: “Fans of THE BLUE VIRGIN will be eager to see Nora Tierney in action again. Complex characters harbor dark secrets of the soul and vagaries of the human heart. Combine these with dynamic writing and a compelling mystery, and you’ll be hooked–but expect a surprising twist at the end.”

And Dr. Susan Gayle Todd, playwright and director has this to say: “M. K. Graff layers her textured tale with a dead-serious intrigue set amidst everyday concerns. Reflecting the authors sharp wit, murder is set in the dreamy and seemingly innocent English Lake District. Get ready for a delightful British holiday complete with morning tea and aproned cooks, but beneath it all you’ll discover grisly humanity–and heroism.