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Deadly Kisses (Francesca Cahill Novels) [Mass Market Paperback]

Brenda Joyce
4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (3 customer reviews)

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Book Description

Feb 2006 Francesca Cahill Novels
Called to the home of her fiance's former mistress late one night, Francesca finds her curiosity piqued. But upon arrival, she is shocked to find Daisy Jones's bloodied bodyand even more devastated when the evidence points to one suspect - her fiance, Calder. Francesca cannot - will not - believe that Calder is capable of such an act. Still, she is unable to shake her instinctive sense that Calder is lying about something . The police are far less inclined to believe his innocence, and Calder is arrested for Daisy's murder. But Francesca's heart is not easily swayeduntil a life-altering secret is exposed that could destroy their future together.
--This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.


Product details

  • Mass Market Paperback: 472 pages
  • Publisher: Mira Books (Feb 2006)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0778322688
  • ISBN-13: 978-0778322689
  • Product Dimensions: 3.2 x 10.6 x 16.9 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (3 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 2,304,170 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews
7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
Format:Mass Market Paperback
"Deadly Kisses" is author Brenda Joyce's eighth installment in the historical mystery/romance series featuring New York City debutante Francesca Cahill. Ms. Cahill, society bluestocking and heiress to a considerable fortune, has done remarkably well so far as an amateur sleuth, NYC's first female private investigator and a major novelty in her chosen profession. It is only 1902, after all, and women still have seventeen more years before the United States Congress and Senate approve the 19th Amendment, giving them the right to vote.
Francesca has solved the case of the City Strangler, the heinous Cross Killer mystery, two child kidnappings, several murders, captured a stalker, discovered the ringleaders of a child prostitution ring and had them put behind bars, restoring the young girls to their families, and thus has earned the right to call herself "Crime-Solver Extraordinaire," as printed on her Tiffany embossed business cards. Of course she has had the assistance of her dear friend and former love, police commissioner Rick Bragg, to teach her the ropes. Unfortunately for the nascent romance, Rick's estranged wife, Leigh Ann, returned from a lengthy stay in Europe, and nipped it in the bud.
Francesca's fortuitously met and fell deeply in love with Calder Hart, Rick's half brother, at about the same time Leigh Ann appeared on the scene. So our sleuth is not mourning the loss of Rick's attentions one bit. Calder is a wealthy art connoisseur, rogue and rake, but is bent on reforming his ways now that he is engaged to marry Francesca. However, he has serious misgivings about the marriage as his feelings for his fiancee intensify.
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0 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars DEADLY KISSES 8 Aug 2006
Format:Mass Market Paperback
I THINK DEADLY KISSES BY BRENDA JOYCE IS BRILLIANT WHEN I STARTED READING IT COULD NOT PUT IT DOWN UNTIL I HAD FINNISH THE BOOK IT WAS SAME WITH WHOLE SERIES I CANT WAIT UNTIL THE NEXT ONE COMES OUT
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1 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Kisses...Not To Be Missed! 23 Jan 2006
Format:Mass Market Paperback
Take my word for it this is one story you won't want to miss...AND that's a fact!
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Amazon.com: 4.2 out of 5 stars  22 reviews
26 of 28 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars This 8th installment of the "Deadly" series is another winner! 5 Feb 2006
By Jana L. Perskie - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Mass Market Paperback|Verified Purchase
"Deadly Kisses" is author Brenda Joyce's eighth installment in the historical mystery/romance series featuring New York City debutante Francesca Cahill. Ms. Cahill, society bluestocking and heiress to a considerable fortune, has done remarkably well so far as an amateur sleuth, NYC's first female private investigator and a major novelty in her chosen profession. It is only 1902, after all, and women still have seventeen more years before the United States Congress and Senate approve the 19th Amendment, giving them the right to vote.

Francesca has solved the case of the City Strangler, the heinous Cross Killer mystery, two child kidnappings, several murders, captured a stalker, discovered the ringleaders of a child prostitution ring and had them put behind bars, restoring the young girls to their families, and thus has earned the right to call herself "Crime-Solver Extraordinaire," as printed on her Tiffany embossed business cards. Of course she has had the assistance of her dear friend and former love, police commissioner Rick Bragg, to teach her the ropes. Unfortunately for the nascent romance, Rick's estranged wife, Leigh Ann, returned from a lengthy stay in Europe, and nipped it in the bud.

Fran fortuitously met and fell deeply in love with Calder Hart, Rick's half brother, at about the same time Leigh Ann appeared on the scene. So our sleuth is not mourning the loss of Rick's attentions one bit. Calder is a wealthy art connoisseur, rogue and rake, but is bent on reforming his ways now that he is engaged to marry Francesca. However, he has serious misgivings about the marriage as his feelings for his fiancee intensify. At times he is convinced that he is not good enough for her, a sentiment shared by Andrew Cahill, Fran's father, Rick Bragg, Daisy Jones, Calder's former mistress, and various other members of society. Francesca believes in Calder despite his past, and realizes how much she loves him and wants to make a life with him. Clearly the two are an eccentric match made in heaven. Not only do they share a firm friendship, she is Calder's first and only friend, but sparks fly when they're together.

So if this is a mystery, why am I rambling on about the soap opera aspects of the "Deadly" novels? Well, because I have read every single book in this series - in order - and am much more interested in the characters than in the frequently transparent whodunnits that Francesca's is dedicated to solving. I am not alone in this preference as I have spoken with other Brenda Joyce fans, and their attachment to these characters is similar to mine.

So, while the ever addictive drama of Ms. Cahill's personal life continues in "Deadly Kisses," one of the more interesting mysteries in this series unfolds.

Late one evening, Francesca receives a note asking her to come immediately to the home of Calder's former mistress, Daisy Jones. When she arrives, she finds Daisy dead, stabbed brutally. The woman's former, former lover and dear friend Rose, (Daisy swung both ways), is holding the body in her arms, obviously in shock and grieving. Calder is also in the house, Fran discovers, and all the evidence points to him as the probable murderer.

Obviously, Francesca believes that Calder could never commit such a crime, even though he had threatened Daisy just a few weeks prior to her horrible demise. Throughout the ordeal which follows, Fran never loses faith in him nor doubts his innocence. But her fiance is keeping significant information from her - a terrible secret that could ruin their relationship forever.

When evidence forces Rick Bragg to arrest Calder, Hart decides, unilaterally, to break-off his engagement to spare Francesca's reputation and possible ostracism from polite society. Francesca braves the anger of her father and others in her determination to solve the crime and to stand by her man, no matter what. Her tenacity makes her the murderer's next target.

I must admit I am still hooked on the series, the developing characters and their ongoing, individual stories. If you are interested, I would suggest reading the previous Francesca Cahill novels before "Deadly Kisses," as this is a continuing saga and extremely addictive. I warn you there are many flaws, but I have just finished eight books - so what else can I say?

Come meet these personages, if you have the patience, and become involved in their lives, loves, traumas, and the delightful historical setting of 1902-1903 New York City, with its society balls and glitter, the tenements and roughs, gambling halls and beautiful, exotic call girls. Seth Low, the mayor, was recently elected on a reform platform to fight the Tammany Hall machine, and the police commissioner he appointed took some of the actions the fictional Rick Bragg has taken and faced many of the same difficult issues Bragg faces in attempting to reform the terribly corrupt police department. If Ms Joyce takes the series past 1903, Rick will be out of a job as the next administration is a "Tammany beast." Perhaps, Bragg will use the opportunity to run for Senator. ENJOY!! I am.
JANA
9 of 11 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars fine Cahill historical amateur sleuth 1 Feb 2006
By Harriet Klausner - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Mass Market Paperback
In 1902 New York amateur sleuth Francesca Cahill gets her father to agree to support her marrying notorious businessman Calder Hart, who he fears will break his daughter's heart one day but dad stipulates she wait one year to wed him. Not long after compromising with her caring father, Francesca receives a note from Rose who asks her to come quickly to Daisy Hart's home.

Though she is reluctant to visit Daisy, Calder's former lover, who hates her, Francesca comes anyway. A near hysterical Rose asks Francesca to investigate the homicide of Daisy as she does not trust the police. Francesca would prefer to team up with Commissioner Rick Bragg as she has done several times recently. However, her mind is made up for her when she sees Calder, who was supposed to be in Boston on business, staring at the battered corpse. The evidence points at her fiancé as the killer. Everyone assumes he committed homicide except Francesca who refuses to believe her beloved would kill so viciously though she knows he is concealing something from her.

The latest Cahill historical amateur sleuth tale (though not paid can you remain classified an amateur sleuth after eight or nine investigations?) is a terrific tale as the audience obtains a fine murder mystery and further insight into how Francesca's parents feel about Calder as a son-in-law. The inquiry is interesting because everyone assumes that Calder killed Daisy except Francesca who sets out to prove she is right in spite of her beloved not cooperating. Brenda Joyce freshens up her Cahill capers with this fine who-done-it that also moves forward on the two male fronts that had seemed stagnant in recent books.

Harriet Klausner
3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Enjoyable..................... 23 Feb 2006
By R. Hoover - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Mass Market Paperback
After reading the last couple of books in this series and not enjoying them I decided to give Brenda one more chance. Deadly Kisses was a real good treat for me. This book finally put it all together. Calder is framed for murder and Fran will have to risk everything to save him. Leigh Ann and Rick Bragg have everything on the line to protect their future daughters from harm and finally Evan,Fran's brother throws the Bartello woman out on her butte and dumps her flat. Very enjoyable read and highly recommended read if you have been caught in this series. Now the only problem is waiting for the next book in this series. Now I want Calder and Fran to be together.
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A keeper. Loved it! 5 July 2010
By miragrp - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Mass Market Paperback
I enjoy Brenda Joyce's character development--consistently very well done. This was especially so with the Deadly series. I'm very disappointed that she doesn't have plans to write the sequel. It's really leaving us hanging. In this book I actually fell in love with Calder Hart...a powerful character in whom Joyce lets us see strengths and weaknesses. I empathized with Francesca in her defense of him. Come on, Brenda, one more time with Deadly...PLEASE write the sequel.
5 of 7 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Somewhat far-fetched. 24 Mar 2006
By dolores parsons - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Mass Market Paperback
Set in 1902 New York City, but written with a 21st Century mind, DEADLY KISSES is a fairly good sleuth story. Francesca Cahill, independent young uptown lady, is also a detective. One would think she would have a wall of male disapproval to hit her head against, but fortunately, she had a liason with the chief of police sometime previous, and although he is a married Victorian Era man, he is willing to accept Francesca as an equal. It just so happens that Francesca is engaged to Calder Hart, half-brother to the chief. Calder is a reprobate, albeit an extremely wealthy one. He leaves town on mysterious business without confiding to his fiance his destination or purpose in leaving town, and while he is away his ex-mistress, Daisy Jones, is murdered in a most foul and brutal fashion! Francesca insists that Calder is innocent, and nothing can sway her resolve to clear him, not even when he heartlessly breaks off the engagement and tells her to get out of his life. The plot becomes more and more involved as Daisy's true origins are uncovered, scandals exposed, and finally the murderer unmasked! Unfortunately, there will be no justice for Daisy the prostitute whom Francesca oddly comes to love and admire, even though she was her fiance's mistress and was trying to blackmail him by becoming pregnant. Yikes.

The characterization does not ring true. These are not 19th Century people with their tortured system of ethics, these are modern day Americans on a romp. We might be able to put that criticism aside, but the story line reminded me very much of a real good MONK eposide without the delightful characterization of Mr. Monk, or a LAW & ORDER SVU episode without the compelling characterization of the SVU Squad. The writing was a little too dense and wordy, no doubt in an effort to portray 19th Century writing style and draw the reader in with that hook. The sex was gratuitous and occurred at inappropriate and absurd moments.

For the reader hoping to find a logical (as logical as crime can be) murder mystery, Agatha Christi is still your best hope.
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