Ellen Hart is now into her third decade of writing and she’s still picking up new fans. Jerry Wheeler of OutinPrint writes, “I’ve known of Ellen Hart for a long time now and met her more than a few times, but until Bywater Books recently re-released two of her Jane Lawless mysteries, I’d never read her. After diving into The Cruel Ever After, however, I’ve become a fan who can’t wait for the next one.”

If, like Jerry, you’ve not read about Jane Lawless before, don’t worry: “Even though it’s part of a series, [this is] definitely a standalone book.” And one that offers up plenty to enjoy. There’s an Alfred Hitchcock moment he doesn’t want to spoil for you, so instead he’s full of praise for Ellen’s skill at developing characters:”Jane and her friend Cordelia are absolutely marvelous — fully-developed and three-dimensional.” And in Chess “she creates a delightful rogue with a twisted sense of priorities and an inexhaustible supply of falsehoods and half-truths. Obsessive Irina is also well-drawn and attracts your full attention when she’s on stage. You never know what she’ll do next.”

There’s one more important feature that’s got Jerry hooked: Ellen, he says, “keeps the tension ratcheted up until the very last page. . . . And I loved that. No boring last chapter, no words of wisdom from the detective . . . just delicious tension and an unrelenting urge to read the next one. Right now.

To read the full review, click here.

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