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Publisher's Summary

Despite a planned move, the mysterious death of photographer Bryn Wallace keeps American writer Nora Tierney glued to Oxford in order to clear her close friend, artist Val Rogan, who has been wrongfully accused of Bryn's murder. Or has she?
Nora quickly becomes embroiled in the murder investigation, much to the dismay of two men: Detective Inspector Declan Barnes, the senior on the case; and Simon Ramsey, the illustrator of Nora's children's book. Simon's efforts to save Nora from herself become increasingly frantic as Nora is forced to push her way into Declan's case, using her wits and her wiles to prove Val's innocence.
The first in a series of Nora Tierney mysteries based in the UK, The Blue Virgin is a compelling story of love and intrigue. Nothing, Nora learns, is what it seems, and even the most innocent of choices can lead to murder and revenge. Set in the ancient city of golden spires, the setting lends itself to mystery, as any Inspector Morse fan will agree. The novel is written in classic English style, complete with a cast of characters and chapter epigraphs that add to its literary feel.
©2010 Marnette K. Graff (P)2015 Marnette K. Graff
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Critic Reviews

"The Blue Virgin flows like a river, smooth but powerful, with small streams feeding into the story, adding to the depth and richness.... The mystery is solid, and Ms. Graff's knowledge of Oxford comes through in the details without ever slowing the pace." (Author Ellis Vidler)
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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful
3 out of 5 stars
By Natalie @ ABookLoversLife on 03-03-16

Solid mystery.

So book 1 sees Nora Tierney trying to help her friend Val Rogan after Val is accused of murdering her lover. Nora is an American writer living in Britain after her fiance dies in a plane crash. She is in the process of writing a childrens book about faeries which her friend Simon will illustrate. Nora is intent on proving Vals innocence, much to the consternation of Detective Barnes who is lead on the investigation. What can Nora do when all the evidence points to Val.

Having never heard of these before, I went in with no expectations and ended up really enjoying this. I'm a fan of a good murder mystery and am glad to say that this is one.

Nora is a great character. She is resourceful, willing to take risks and unafraid of diving right in. Her loyalty to her friends is what I admired most and her willingness to help anyone. I also liked Simon. He is a good guy and loves Nora, though while he knows she isn't ready for a relationship yet because of her fiance dying and her being pregnant, he is hoping she will come around to seeing him as more than just a friend. Then we have the enigmatic detective Declan Barnes. He is frustrated with Nora's interference but is also drawn to her. I'm so looking forward to seeing if they develop a relationship!!

In all, this is an entertaining and well written mystery. With plenty of suspects, an interesting story line and entertaining characters, this is a must read for fans of the cozy mysteries. I can't wait to dive into the next one.

The audio of this is read by Nano Nagle and while she has a good voice for Nora and plenty of tones for other characters, her biggest downfall is that she seems to take a breath at the wrong time in a sentence and emphases words more than she should. I found myself frustrated while listening and it took away from the story overall. Plus the editing wasn't great on the audio as the narrator repeated parts of sentences twice and stumbled over some words.

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2 of 2 people found this review helpful

4 out of 5 stars
By Mysterybuff on 02-18-18

Engaging story, good plot, but

I'll probably listen to the entire series - this has a compelling plot, and interesting characters.
The reader is good, though the American accent could be spiffed up some. One thing I found consistently annoying was the author's insertion of quotes at the start of each short chapter. At first they were confusing, but they remained a distraction throughout. Wish I could give it a 3+ overall.

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful
5 out of 5 stars
By Amazon Customer on 10-03-15

loved everything about this story

well written and smoothly performed
couldn't stop listening. great narrator sensitive to the story
can't wait for more

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3 out of 5 stars
By san2har on 10-03-15

Not a bad story

Good detective book but the narration let it down badly. Good story line but the characters would never talk like that particularly the main detective.

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