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Deadly Love [Mass Market Paperback]

Brenda Joyce
3.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (2 customer reviews)

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Product details

  • Mass Market Paperback: 338 pages
  • Publisher: Saint Martin's Press Inc. (1 Oct 2007)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0312977670
  • ISBN-13: 978-0312977672
  • Product Dimensions: 17.5 x 10.8 x 2.4 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 3.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (2 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 1,385,013 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Product Description


In New York City in 1902, socialite Francesca Cahill teams up with the city's recently appointed police commissioner, Rick Bragg, to find out who kidnapped the youthful heir to the Burton fortune, a mystery that takes her into the underbelly of turn-of-the-century New York.

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Customer Reviews

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews
4 of 5 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars A cutesy piece of fluff! 15 Sep 2005
Format:Mass Market Paperback
Francesca Cahill is a member of New York City's social elite. She lives in a Fifth Avenue mansion, with her parents and older brother, attends glittering society balls and fundraisers, and allows herself, occasionally, to be courted by the town's most eligible bachelors. However, she is a marginal player, at best, in the comings and goings of Manhattan's rich and famous, to her mother's dismay. Francesca is extremely bright and is determined to do something with her mind other than plan dinner parties. Unbeknownst to her mother, she has enrolled in Barnard College with aspirations to become a journalist. Fran is also active in major societal reform movements, especially the Ladies Society for the Eradication of Tenements.

At one of her mother's numerous parties, she is introduced to newly appointed police commissioner, Rick Bragg. As they spar about local politics, he takes note that the lovely young women has the proverbial brains as well as beauty. She notices that he's not so bad himself. Later in the evening, she goes into her father's library to take a breather and finds an unopened note on top of the mail, marked URGENT, but not addressed to anyone in particular. So she opens it and reads, "A is for Ants. If you want to see the boy again, be at Mott and Hester Streets at 1 P.M. tomorrow." Fran is initially intrigued by the note, but then dismisses it as a prank and returns to the festivities. After all, no one she knows is missing.

The next morning when she discovers that her next door neighbors' small son, Jonny Burton, has disappeared, she remembers the note, takes it across the street, and hands it over to....Inspector Bragg, you guessed it. Who else would be in charge of such an important investigation?
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4.0 out of 5 stars enjoyable read! 27 Sep 2013
Format:Mass Market Paperback
I enjoyed reading Brenda Joyce's book, it is well written and easy to read. The plot is interesting as well as Fran's character in the story. This is the third Brenda Joyce book I have read and hopefully there are some more coming our way (translated into Greek)!!
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Amazon.com: 3.7 out of 5 stars  33 reviews
17 of 20 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Best new series of the year 31 Dec 2000
By ShawnaLanne - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Mass Market Paperback
If I could give Brenda Joyce's novel "Deadly Love" a sixth star on the amazon scale I would. This is the best new beginning of a historical series romance that I have ever read. The book itself reads like old fashioned chapter novels and has left me on the edge of my seat waiting for the next installment in this fantastic, yet disturbing book. I say that it is disturbing because it has its characters be human, with the same kind of human foibles that we all have. In "Deadly Love" however, Joyce somehow allows her characters to be heroic and larger then life, despite their humanity, in the way that we want our romance novel characters to be.
Francesca is a woman ahead of her time who wants to both be her own woman (she is attending the first women's college in England) and she wants to keep her family happy so she keeps her endeavor from her mother. Even though it means attending balls to the wee hours of the morning, attending classes a scant few hours after falling asleep, and studying every spare moment.
Of course, it would not be a romance without the flawed hero, a.k.a. Rick Bragg, the head of the police, Francesca's love interest, and her almost nemesis. He is sexy, brooding and mad bad and `dangerous to know."
At the end of the book there are serious personal problems in the love lives of both her brother and her sister, a new mystery for the amateur sleuth, Francesca to solve and budding love for Rick and our heroine. This is both a great ending and a fantastic beginning of a new book and a new series for Brenda Joyce.
12 of 14 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Ambitious Project-- Victorian Mystery 27 Aug 2001
By --corinne-- - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Mass Market Paperback
Brenda Joyce makes a bold choice with the story "Deadly Love". She sets it in 1902 among the New York elite. One young woman from a well-connected, prominent New York family, Francesca Cahill, doesn't want to be married off. She has secretly enrolled herself in Barnard College and works to reform the social ills of New York (somewhat reminiscent of Jude Devereux's Temptation). It makes for an interesting premise that doesn't work so well on paper. I didn't warm to Francesca Cahill-- she was forever crashing into the middle of tense scenes, bungling police operations (although she did ultimately help the investigation). That kind of headstrong naivete is not a pleasure to read, especially in a mystery. And, yes, I think that kind of characterization insults readers' intelligence. But, yes, Francesca might mature in the books to follow. I hope she does.
I also did not like how one woman, who was supposed to be sympathetic, had committed adultry with half the men in New York. Sometimes Brenda Joyce creates characters who are hard to like. Warning: This novel is not a romance, but was marketed as one to pick up Brenda Joyce's romance readership. There are hints of romantic feeling, but that's it. So, Five stars for the interesting setting.
Five stars for the historical detail.
Three stars for the characters.
Plot, eh, three stars. Recommended for a quick one-time, one-night read. For better romantic suspense try Laurell K. Hamilton's Anita Blake series, J.D. Robb's "in Death" series, and Dianne Day's "Fremont Jones" series. Anne Perry also sets her mysteries in the Victorian period in England.
8 of 9 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars an engrossing read 1 Jan 2001
By tregatt - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Mass Market Paperback
I really enjoyed this first book in a series featuring Francesca Cahill, aspiring private investigator. Seldom have I read a book that is brimming with the same kind of raw energy as that of the main character, Francesca. I was so caught with the enthusiasm and energy that this novel possessed that time passed without me realising it until the book was finished. This novel definitely makes for engrossing reading!
Francesca Cahill believes in doing something worthwhile with her life. An ardent reformer, her current ambition is to be the first female newspaper reporter in New York. However, Francesca is also the member of a prominent New York family, where the daughters marry well, have children and partake in the social functions -- they do not attend college and get jobs!
At one of her mothers social dos, Francesca meets the new police commissiomer, Rick Bragg, and is immediately drawn to him. Unfortunately, she also finds herself, to her chagrin, behaving quite awkwardly. Later that same night, she discovers a cryptic unsigned missive, which she dismisses as some kind of prank while she tries to work out her uncharacteristic response to Bragg. The next morning however, the Cahills are shocked to discover that while the party was going on, someone had kidnapped one of their neighbour's sons. Francesca immediately realises the significance of the note and rushes off to inform Bragg. And even though Bragg warns her not to get involved and to leave the matter to the police, Francesca cannot help but become involved. The search for the truth and the little boy is too important to Francesca to give up. And soon she is knee deep in the race to find the missing boy who seems to be in the hands of a mad man bent on revenge rather than a ransome. Francesca's investigations will lead her to the seamier side of New York City, through the slums and into danger; her search will also lead her to discover some rather uncomfortable truths about her own family, truths she may have prefered not to know at all.
This is probably going to be the last book I read this year, and I'm glad that I closed out the year on a high note. Brenda Joyce has created a wonderful protagonist in Francesca Cahill, who is brave and passionate and simply brimming with energy. It is obvious that this charcater is young and a little naive -- in fact her naivety lands her in danger more than once! But we not only overlook this but root for Francesca to somehow come out on top and go on. The plot is clever one and the pacing of the sequence of events is flawless: the tension is palpable as page after page one wonders at what new horror will be uncovered and if the unfortuante little boy will be found alive.
A masterfully written novel. I look forward to the next Francesca Cahill novel eagerly.
7 of 8 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Weak yet Strong 18 Aug 2001
By ACWJ - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Mass Market Paperback
This isn't really a romance book, but hints to be one. This book is more on mystery than romance. While we know that Francesca and Rick are the heroine and hero of this series, I do not feel that Rick feels anything for Francesca, from the beginning to the last page, even after Joel's last comment, which I was like "duh... how did it seem so?"
This book is weak by itself in storyline and definitely in the aspect of romance. However, let us not forget that it is the beginning of a series of romance mystery between Francesca and Rick, and the people around her.
Deadly Love is like a small piece that makes up a big puzzle. While it may not be an enjoyment to read and does not live up to its expectations, Deadly Love, as the first book to the series, introduces and builds a set of characters we need to know for the future stories.
Thus, I think I will appreciate this book more as the story develops when more books are released.
6 of 7 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Waiting for More 5 Mar 2001
By A Customer - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Mass Market Paperback
Deadly Love is the first Brenda Joyce I've picked up, and I enjoyed it tremendously. Although the main character, Francesca, acts a bit ditsy at times, her behavior only added to the humor Ms. Joyce included throughout the book.
The relationship between Fran and Rick has a lot of potential. I hope they make significant progress in the next volume of the series though -- I hate it when writers string us along for ever before allowing characters to move beyond flirtation (Of course Fran's mother Julia may have more to say about this than Ms. Joyce does!).
The secondary characters will also be a force in upcoming volumes. Young Joel Kennedy adds a humorous note, and I'm anxious to learn more about future sister-in-law Sarah. I must say however, that I hope Ms. Joyce dosen't plan on portraying brother-in-law Neil as a sympathetic character. His behavior in this book was awful. In fact, I wanted him to be the bad guy this time around so we could be done with him! This feeling goes beyond a negative reaction to his infidelity -- his whole attitude is obnoxious.
While some of the negative reviews seen here express valid concerns regarding genre and character shortcomings, when you consider that this is the first of what will hopefully be a long series of related novels, and that it needed to set the stage for future volumes, it is an outstanding read.
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