Traditional, medium-boiled mysteries featuring a smart and savvy real estate agent, making sales and solving crimes, even when deals go deadly.
Murder comes to Manhattan when Realtor-turned-sleuth Darby Farr arrives in the Big Apple and finds big trouble: her boyfriend Miles Porter’s a suspect in the brutal stabbing of a Russian businessman. Setting out to prove his innocence, Darby discovers that Central Park Place – the luxury residence where Miles lives – is a hotbed of wealthy tenants with well-guarded secrets. One of them is Natalia Kazakova, a billionaire’s daughter and the victim’s not-so-distraught fiancée, whose investigative journalism has caught the attention of Russia’s shadowy security agency. With the looming threat of Soviet-era spies and a long list of rich and devious suspects, Darby must work fast to stop a killer who knows no bounds.
Doudera’s well-crafted fifth Darby Farr mystery (after 2013’s Final Settlement) takes realtor Darby to New York City for what is supposed to be a joyous reunion with Miles Porter, an investigative journalist and the current love of Darby’s life. However, soon after arriving, she discovers that Miles is suspected in the murder of Alec Rodin, a Russian businessman whose much younger fiancée, Natalia Kazakova, is taking a journalism class from him. Alec, who believed Natalia might expose Russian state secrets for a class writing assignment, was discovered by Miles breaking into his office soon before being stabbed to death in an alley. Determined to clear Miles’s name, Darby begins investigating the wealthy residents of Central Park Place, Miles’s apartment building. The more she learns, the more the reader will feel compelled to keep turning the pages before reaching the final revelations.– Publishers Weekly
An amiable domestic mystery. — Booklist
Darby’s fifth offers up a twisty mystery, plenty of suspects and a touch of romance. — Kirkus Reviews
Realtor and amateur sleuth Darby Farr is back in her hometown for the highly anticipated wedding of her fellow real estate associate, Tina Ames. But the festive mood on the snow-swept island of Hurricane Harbor is darkened with tragic news. Lorraine Delvecchio — the police chief’s assistant — is found dead, tangled in a lobster trap near the abandoned lighthouse on the Manatuck Breakwater.
Working double duty as Chief Dupont’s realtor and PI, Darby uncovers evidence that the death was more than just a slip on the ice. Lorraine’s history with money is far from innocent, and Darby’s suspect list keeps getting longer. With a prominent islander’s dramatic ex-wife back in town and Tina’s plans to sell a reclusive artist’s waterfront home, it’s up to Darby alone to find the murderer before she becomes the next victim.
Named a “Best Cozy” of 2013 by Suspense Magazine
“A fast, entertaining read with a diverse cast and appealing setting.” — Library Journal
“Murder, mayhem, and the deadliest of hidden motives. A great read!” — Sarah Graves, author of the Home Repair is Homicide Series
Selena Thompson, owner of a boutique winery listed for sale in California’s lush grape-growing Ventano County, is dead in her hot tub, and Realtor Darby Farr doesn’t think it’s an accident. Three buyers — an overly ambitious accountant from back east, the buff owner of a yoga empire, and the patriarch of the powerful mega-vineyard owning Contento family – have offers on the table and motives for murder. Even mild-mannered Dan Stewart, Carson Creek’s wine grower, is a suspect, as is the scheming Harrison Wainfield, a Ventano businessman with buried secrets. Industrial espionage, bottled-up resentment, and a clever killer with nothing to lose threaten Darby and journalist Miles Porter as they fight to find the truth twisted in the vines of a tangled and very deadly offer.
“Vicki Doudera provides a cozy mystery in a beautiful California setting where figuring out the victim’s friends from foes isn’t easy at all. The natural competition between neighboring wineries combine with the appearances of a close-knit community to cast and disperse shadows of suspicion on many and on none. With many point-of-view characters to watch and suspect, the reader finds means, motives, and opportunities everywhere, but the ending is shocking. Although this novel stands alone, DEADLY OFFER is the third Darby Farr mystery. You’ll want to check out Darby Farr’s other mysteries in A HOUSE TO DIE FOR (MIDNIGHT INK April 2010) and A KILLER LISTING (MIDNIGHT INK April 2011)” —Eleanor Anders in “Books…Looks and Takes“
“Darby’s third enlarges on her love life and real-estate skills while providing a complex mystery.” —Kirkus Reviews
“Darby’s third appearance is just the property for those who want a fast, entertaining read with a diverse cast and appealing setting. A winning teen sleuth adds YA appeal.” —Library Journal
“Readers may enjoy the wine country milieu and tense climax.” —Publishers Weekly
Multimillion-dollar listings, hefty commissions, and cutthroat deals are the name of the game for Kyle Cameron, south Florida’s stylish and driven star broker. But her fast-track life ends abruptly when she is fatally stabbed at an open house.
Suspicious of the cops’ haste in blaming the infamous “Kondo Killer,” real estate agent Darby Farr puts her sharp instincts to work. Along with a disputed listing worth a cool forty million, Kyle had a shocking secret—one that could’ve sealed her violent fate. Suspects include Kyle’s estranged suicidal husband; her ex-lover, a ruthless billionaire developer; and his resentful, politically ambitious wife. And Darby’s investigating puts her at the top of the killer’s hit list.
“Sexy, savvy, and entertaining.” —Julia Spencer-Fleming, Author of One Was a Soldier
“Readers beware: though the setting is sunny, there’s a twist around every corner.” —Hank Phillippi Ryan, Anthony, Agatha, and Macavity Award-Winning Author
“A touch of romance, a hint of danger and a mystery that keeps you guessing spice Darby’s second case.” —Kirkus Reviews
“Diverting . . . cozy fans with an interest in high-end real estate will be satisfied.”—Publishers Weekly
“This is a good, southern mystery! Colorful characters abound and mysteries keep you guessing!”—Suspense Magazine
A House to Die For
Red-hot real estate agent Darby Farr has spent years trying to forget her hometown of Hurricane Harbor, Maine—especially the painful memories of being raised by her controlling aunt following her parents’ tragic deaths. Then one morning, she learns her aunt is dying, and the calculating woman has one final demand: clinch the multimillion-dollar sale of Fairview, a breathtaking waterfront estate.
The deal seems simple, but trouble is brewing on the rocky coast. Within hours of Darby’s arrival, an obscure deed restriction scuttles the sale just as the backup buyer is found bludgeoned to death on the property’s grounds. Assisted by handsome journalist Miles Porter, Darby uncovers dark secrets that reveal an ugly scandal . . . and even uglier motives for murder. As a brutal storm surges up the coast, Darby must salvage the deal, find the killer—and somehow stay alive.
Named a Best Read of 2010 by Suspense Magazine
“[Doudera] expertly weaves a tale of suspense on a Maine island, where murder and real estate are an explosive combination.” —Tess Gerritsen, bestselling author of The Mephisto Club
“The cutthroat world of luxury real estate is the perfect setting for a murder mystery, and Vicki Doudera’s A House to Die For doesn’t disappoint. Here’s a fast-paced and well-told story with a smart, savvy real estate agent as the heroine, solving crimes while making sales. Bring on the next one! —Barbara Corcoran, real estate contributor for NBC’s Today Show
“An appealing debut . . . the author does a good job portraying Darby in her efforts to make peace with her childhood past and solve a murder on a picturesque Maine island.” —Publishers Weekly
“A superb prologue, wonderful story, atmospheric with a good plot.” —Crimespree Magazine
“Light and entertaining, A House to Die For is a fun mystery and fantastic way to spend an evening!” –Suspense Magazine