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Dear Daughter    by Elizabeth Little order for
Dear Daughter
by Elizabeth Little
Order:  USA  Can
Viking, 2014 (2014)
Hardcover, e-Book
* *   Reviewed by Ricki Marking-Camuto

Elizabeth Little's debut novel, Dear Daughter, is unlike any mystery I have ever read. It is fresh and modern, yet different from the popular mysteries of today, and nothing like the mysteries of yesterday.

Having been released on a technicality after serving ten years in prison for the murder of her mother, twenty-seven year old Janie Jenkins is determined to find out what really happened the night her mother died. Going on the only clue she has - an overheard conversation between her mother and an unknown man, in which the unfamiliar names Tessa and Adeline are mentioned - Janie dodges the media, tricks her lawyer, and steals a truck to travel to the small town of Ardelle, South Dakota (twin town to the now-abandoned Adeline). Going under the name Rebecca Parker, Janie hopes to find the mysterious Tessa. What Janie finds, though, will completely blow her mind.

Little sure knows how to throw in the shockers that make a good mystery. Once Janie gets to Ardelle, the story really takes off with these twists and turns around every corner; unfortunately, the sixty-six pages leading up to that moment drag terribly. The ending, though, is killer, and exactly what you would expect from a contemporary work. Dear Daughter may be Elizabeth Little's first work of fiction, but it will hopefully not be her last. Little has proven she has what it takes to be a top-notch mystery writer.

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