A Murderer Among Us - Marilyn Levinson, Author

11:57 AM Posted by Martha A Cheves


Blueberry Cake
(This is an easy cake to make with blueberries or apples)

1 stick butter, softened
1 cup sugar
2 eggs
1 cup of flour
1 tsp. baking powder
1 tsp. vanilla
dash of salt
1 pint of blueberries

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.  Mix all ingredients except the blueberries.  Spread dough in a greased 9 x 9 pan.  Top with blueberries.  Bake 40-50 minutes. 


A Murderer Among Us - Review by Martha A. Cheves, Author of Stir, Laugh, Repeat; Think With Your Taste Buds; A Book and A Dish

"You're Warren Mannes, and you've no business handling anyone's money." 

Though she hadn't raised her voice, people sitting at nearby tables sensed something sensational was happening and paused in mid-conversation to gap and listen.  Lydia, usually so in control, was enraged - too outraged - to watch her words.  "You went to prison for stealing millions of dollars from people who gave you their trust.  Innocent people, whose lives you destroyed.  Not to mention that company you took down!" 

He gripped her arm.  "Stop it!  You've confused me with someone else." 

She jerked herself free.  "Oh, no, I haven't!"

"Lydia, get a hold of yourself!"  Peg hissed grabbing her other arm.  "You're spouting nonsense."

"I wish I were."  Her baby sister's face flashed in her mind, causing Lydia to winch in pain.  Here stood Warren Mannes, decked out in expensive clothes and a salon haircut, enjoying a lifestyle paid for with stolen money, while Allison lay dead in her grave!

After the passing of her husband, Lydia Krause moves to Twin Lakes, a five minute drive from her daughter, Merry, and her family.  The gated over-55 community is the perfect place for her to live out her retirement.  She'll be near Merry and her two granddaughters, yet close enough to the city to visit her younger daughter, Abbie.  But out of the blue pops Warren Mannes AKA Marshall Weill.  Six years earlier Lydia attended his trial and heard victims testify that Mannes had stolen their life savings.  Lydia's also convinced he sent her baby sister to her grave.  And here he is, acting as Financial Advisor to the Twin Lakes HOA.

After exchanging angry words with Mannes' wife, Lydia heads to the bathroom to calm down.  She overhears the retching sounds of someone being sick.  Out of a stall comes Barbara Taylor, a woman she met a week earlier.  Lydia helps Barbara to her car, and ends up driving her home and staying the night.  In the morning, Lydia returns home to find her beautiful Lexus has been badly damaged.  The hood is crumpled, a headlight smashed, and the windshield has been cracked in several places.   After calling 911, Lieutenant Detective Solomn Molina shows up and informs Lydia that her car was involved in a serious accident involving the death of a pedestrian.

This turns out to be just the beginning of Lydia's problems.  Now she's Suspect Number One for Claire Mannes' murder.  And where does Merry go those many days Lydia babysits her daughters?  Abbie has a secret of her own that will take her far across the Atlantic.  Another Twin Lakes resident is murdered, an attempt is made on Lydia's life, and all the while she's aware of her growing feelings for Detective Molina.

Now and then I find a writer who gives us, not the super macho main character, but the more down-to-earth, common, everyday main character who you feel you can actually relate to and who just might be your next door neighbor.  This is what I've found in Marilyn Levinson's style of  writing.  Her books are suspenseful but light-hearted at the same time.  I can pick up one of her books and finish it in three or four days.  It only takes that long because I have things to do in between reading.  I can't wait to read more of her work.


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