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Midnight in the Garden of Good and Evie    by Marianne Stillings order for
Midnight in the Garden of Good and Evie
by Marianne Stillings
Order:  USA  Can
Avon, 2005 (2005)
* *   Reviewed by Martina Bexte

During his eventful life, Thomas Evanston Heyworth, author of dozens of schlocky mysteries, loved lording it over everyone. He counted few people his friends but had a real gift for making enemies. One week after his mysterious murder, he's still manipulating those close to him. Heyworth's lawyer summons three couples to the author's study at Mayhem Manor and informs them that if they want a shot at Heyworth's millions and the keys to his island mansion, they must participate in a treasure hunt.

Heyworth's ward, Evie Randall doesn't think it's a very good idea that she's teamed with detective Max Galloway. It's no secret that he hated Heyworth for stealing away his mother. Max is not too thrilled about this turn of events either; in fact, he'd rather just get the heck off the island and forget about 'that bastard' Heyworth once and for all. But an attempt on Evie's life changes his mind in a hurry and he agrees to participate in the dead author's hare-brained, posthumous scheme. Max is determined to get his hands on whoever's trying to kill Evie, a woman he finds increasingly hard to resist. And while Evie doesn't really trust Max's intentions, she's glad to have him at her side as death threats continue.

This is Marianne Stillings' second novel, and corny title aside, Midnight in the Garden of Good and Evie hits all the right notes for those looking for a light-hearted, fun-filled story with a touch of mystery. Max and Evie are both very personable leads, who start out disliking each other due to various misconceptions, but soon succumb to the heated chemistry that sparks between them from the moment they meet. Stillings also does a nice job with the secondaries (especially with the reclusive poet whose iambic pentameter stinks), but none of them ever overshadow Max and Evie, as they follow the crumbs along Heyworth's shadowy trail of clues.

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