Tuesday, May 04, 2010

A Timely Vision by Joyce and Jim Lavene

It's no secret that I rave about the book covers for the Berkley Prime Crime paperbacks. And, I showcased A Timely Vision by Joyce and Jim Lavene in my recent book chat because I loved Robert Crawford's cover illustration. Fortunately, this first book in a new series lives up to the cover. I hope A Timely Vision marks the launch of a successful, long-running series.

Dae O'Donnell is the Mayor of Duck, North Carolina, a small town on the Outer Banks. She's also the owner of Missing Pieces, a thrift shop. And, that's a very appropriate name because Dae has a special gift, the ability to find lost objects when she holds hands with the person who is looking for their lost item. That's usually a lost key or piece of jewelry. But, this 4th of July, that gift will lead to tragedy.

When ninety-two-year-old Miss Mildred asks her to find her missing watch, Dae humors her. She's done this before for the woman who taught so many of the younger people in town. This time, though, she sees that watch attached to an arm. Since Miss Mildred said she loaned the watch to her sister, Elizabeth, Dae checks out her house. It's the new neighbor, Kevin Brickman, who now owns The Blue Whale Inn, who says he hasn't seen Miss Elizabeth for a few days. Together, they're searching for the missing woman, when Dae stumbles over the body on the beach.

It doesn't take long for suspicion to fall on Miss Mildred since she had a long-running feud with her sister. Dae is determined to keep her friend out of the clutches of the law, and enlists Kevin's help. As a former FBI agent, he might provide the guidance she needs. It's her vision and gift that will provide a path to the truth.

The Lavenes have launched a wonderful series, with a great deal of opportunity for future books. Dae O'Donnell is a strong, independent woman, respected by the community, who has roots there. Her gift for finding missing objects, along with her belief in ghosts, adds the touch of paranormal that is so popular right now. Dae lives with her grandfather, the retired sheriff, a delightful man, still shrewd and interested in women. He's also a matchmaker, trying to fix his granddaughter up with eligible men. All of the characters in this book, from Gramps to Kevin, to the police officer who has been courting Dae for years, are delightful. Duck, North Carolina is a realistic town, with its history, turtle and tourist issues. This is a mystery with strong characters, a vivid sense of place, and touches of humor and the paranormal. A Timely Vision is one of the best traditional mysteries I've read this year.

The Lavenes' website is www.joyceandjimlavene.com

A Timely Vision by Joyce and Jim Lavene. Penguin Group (USA), ©2010. ISBN 9780425234754 (paperback), 304p.

*****
FTC Full Disclosure - I received my copy of the book from the publisher, in hopes I would review it.

30 comments:

Molly said...

OH - this sounds like a wonderful book to add to my list of summer reads! And I agree, the book cover is quite attractive.

Kaye said...

OOh, you are so right about the cover. I love it! It sounds like such a great read.

Mary (Bookfan) said...

I'd buy the book because of the cover and now you've made me want to buy it because of what's inside. Really, it sounds great!

Kay said...

I totally agree that Prime Crime has the best covers. And I am nothing if not a cover junkie. LOL

I'm planning on reading this book right away. It sounds like lots of fun. I'm going to do a cozy carnival for my mystery book group in October and I'm putting together a bunch of suggestions for them and also some books to give them. This one will fit in nicely.

Elizabeth Spann Craig/Riley Adams said...

I blurbed this book and LOVED it!

Elizabeth
Mystery Writing is Murder

Lesa said...

Molly,

I think this will be the perfect summer read for you. It's a nice vacation escape book.

Lesa said...

Kaye,

Do you need one more book for your trip to the beach? This one would go right along, particularly in North Carolina.

Lesa said...

Mary, I have no hesitation in recommending this book. A co-worker reviewed it for Booklist, and she liked it as much as I did.

Lesa said...

I like that phrase, Kay, "a cover junkie!"

I love the sound of your cozy carnival. I can't wait to see the list of books you finally put together for it. This book would be a great fit.

Lesa said...

You weren't wrong, Elizabeth! Terrific book. You started off right, since you don't normally read paranormal mysteries, but this one wasn't really too "woo-woo."

bermudaonion said...

Oh my gosh, a book set in Duck! We used to go there all the time when I was growing up - friends of my parents had a restaurant there.

Lesa said...

I didn't even know Duck was a real town, Kathy! I thought they made it up. You'll have to check out this book since you've been to Duck.

Michele Emrath said...

Fantastic! And I love that it's a place I've actually visited. Duck is a fantastic beach town--quaint and cottagy. It's in the Outer Banks and that is one of the most beautiful places in the U.S.

Michele
SouthernCityMysteries

Lesa said...

So, I bet I sold another copy of A Timely Vision! As I said, I'd never heard of Duck. I should have known, if they were going to make up the name of a town, they wouldn't have chosen Duck. I hope you enjoy the book, Michele.

Kaye Barley said...

We have an awful lot of Kaye/Kay's here!!! Have you noticed?!
very cool.


This book sounds a total delight, and you know it sounds like my kind of book for sure! I have a girlfriend who is at Duck right now as we speak. I've never been, but I'll be planning on going vicariously through Jim and Joyce's book; maybe even while I'm at Topsail! Shoot, what's one more book to add to the pile . . . .

Kaye
http://meanderingsandmuses.blogspot.com/

joyce lavene said...

Thanks for the awesome review, Lesa! We are crazy about Duck, which is why we set the series there! J & J Lavene

Lesa said...

Why is it that I always thought you were the Kaye with the penguin? You're right, Kaye. Lots of Kaye, Kays here. Must be a very good name for readers. You should really like this one, and a paperback is easy to tuck in your luggage.

Lesa said...

I loved this book! I hope Duck and Dae have a successful run, Joyce and Jim. Thanks for a terrific book!

Kay said...

Add this Kay to the list of those who want to read the beginning of what sounds like a great series! And, yes, the cover is so eye-catching.

Bev Stephans said...

Oh Lesa, you keep tempting me and my TBR pile is teetering!

Lesa said...

2 Kays, and 2 Kayes. Love it! Now, I expect everyone to tell every Kay or Kaye you know that this is the place to hang out. I hope you all enjoy this series!

Lesa said...

I know, Bev, I know. First I had them in my closet, then I moved boxes of books under the bed. Now, I have them in two closets, and two bookshelves. Good thing I have a big place.

Bev Stephans said...

Dear Lesa,

I was going crazy with my TBR pile so I started a Word file. I have them listed alphabetically by author. As I read a book, it comes off the TBR list and goes on the author list. If it's an author I like, I note it, but if it is an author I don't like, at least I have it in writing and won't buy that author again. It's a simplified way of keeping track and sure helps if I'm not sure that I've read a certain author. This may not be for everyone, but it really helps me.

Bev

Lesa said...

Ah, organization, Bev. I do mine by months because I do try to read books in the months they come out. But, that doesn't help the books I don't get to in their release month, and still want to read. I can see over 30 books on my May month right now. I know I'm definitely going to get to 3 or 4, and the rest are hit or miss. Then comes June. (sigh) I do my best.

Kaye said...

Hey Lesa, you're always welcome to come hang out with the penguins and this Kaye at Pudgy Penguin Perusals! Anytime. Lol. You could even enter my new contest for Photo, Snap Shot by Joanna Campbell Slan.

Lesa said...

Thank you, Kaye!

Melanie said...

I love Jim and Joyce's and thier books, especially the Peggy Lee garden series. The Peggy Lee series is complete so I'm excited to start this new series.

Lesa said...

I thought this one was terrific, Melanie, so I hope you like it!

Kris said...

I think Kay said it best..I'm a cover junkie too.

Love this cover and the book sounds pretty darn good too.

Lesa said...

It makes it so much easier to "sell" the book to library patrons when the cover is attractive. I'm sure you find the same thing, Kris. Great cover, and enjoyable book.