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Shattered Silk [Mass Market Paperback]

B. Michaels
5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1 customer review)

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Mass Market Paperback, 31 Dec 1998 --  
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Shattered Silk + Houses of Stone + Search the Shadows
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Product details

  • Mass Market Paperback: 320 pages
  • Publisher: HarperCollins; Reprint edition (31 Dec 1998)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0061044733
  • ISBN-13: 978-0061044731
  • Product Dimensions: 17.2 x 10.7 x 2.2 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1 customer review)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 7,339,521 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Synopsis

Recovering from the demise of her unhappy marriage and planning to open the antique-clothing store of her dreams in Georgetown, Karen is suddenly confronted with a series of ominous and deadly events that threaten to turn her dream into a nightmare.

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars Fascinating 6 Aug 2013
Format:Mass Market Paperback|Verified Purchase
One of my favourite B.M novels. Gives a fascinating insight into vintage clothing. The main character is recovering from an abusive relationship and seeks refuge by house sitting for the couple Ruth and Pat in 'Ammie come home'.An Old love interest and interesting characters make this a genuine mystery and this unputdownable. 5 *****
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Amazon.com: 4.3 out of 5 stars  29 reviews
40 of 42 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Sheer silken delight 18 Jun 2001
By E. A Solinas - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Mass Market Paperback
Barbara Michaels is at her best in this enjoyable mystery, weaving together all the elements that have made her novels in both pseudonyms so very popular.
The book opens as Karen Nevitt arrives at her Georgetown uncle and aunt's house, as they are leaving on vacation. Karen has just been dumped by her husband of ten years, who is marrying his svelte, efficient, pretty teenage secretary. Karen, who is twenty nine, somewhat overweight, and has been stuck in a doormat routine for many years, feels ashamed to meet the friends (and former boyfriends) who are still in Georgetown. She tries to avoid her old boyfriend Mark (who warned her against marrying her husband), but ends up befriending his sister Cheryl.
She takes a small job looking after a friend's antique shop, but soon becomes sucked into the world of vintage clothing. A distant relative allows her to purchase an assortment of old valuable dresses, and soon old ladies are selling their dresses, veils, and slips to Karen. Soon she and Cheryl are starting their own business, with some very rare items. Additionally, Mark and a handsome cop are both becoming quite attentive.
But someone is after an item among Karen's newly-bought things. One of the crumpled old dresses hides more than mold and dust, a secret that someone is willing to kill to keep hidden.
This book is enjoyable on levels other than just a ripping good murder mystery. It also shows Karen's evolution from a dull housewife with low self-esteem and a stagnant marriage, to an independent woman with newly-found courage and a rising business. Her relationship with her husband starkly contrasts with Mark's, as one is mindless and unemotional and the other is smart and respectful. It can also be seen as Karen's evolution into a more assured person, as she learns to "fight back."
Karen and Cheryl are excellent foils for each other, with enough similarities to make then sisters in all but blood, but different enough that they are not redundant. Mark is vintage Elizabeth Peters/Barbara Michaels: Funny, sweet, sexy, attractive, with just enough crabbiness to make him real. There are also the two socialites, snotty Shreve and dead-eyed Miriam. A couple of creepy widows. And, of course, the rotten little dog Alexander who takes a bite out of any available legs.
This is an immensely enjoyable book, one of my favorite mysteries. I strongly urge anyone to read it.
14 of 15 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Romantic Suspense by the Master 6 Feb 2001
By "mhreader" - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Mass Market Paperback
Perhaps my favorite thing about Barbara Michaels (aka Elizabeth Peters) is her ability to teach as she entertains. She's so sly about this, readers barely realize they are getting mini-lessons with each book. In the instance of "Shattered Silk" we learn about vintage clothing. And the lesson is so entertaining and interesting, we're more likely to soak up the info than if someone handed us a text reference. While Karen Nevitt is house-sitting for her aunt and uncle in Georgetown (and recooping from her broken marriage) she goes to work for an old not-quite-so- friendly friend at an antique shop. Her imagination comes to life in this setting, and knowing her aunt and her aunt's friends have a wealth of vintage clothing, begins to toss around the idea of establishing a shop of her own. And in the midst of acquiring merchandise, she also acquires something of unimaginable importance to someone, and this person will stop at nothing to get it back. The suspense keeps building to an unexpected ending, and with this cast of characters, you're never short on suspects. (On another note: if you've read Michael's "Ammie, Come Home" or "Stitches in Time" you'll recognize some familiar characters. Read "Ammie" the "Shattered" then "Stitches". And could it be that the young man from "Shattered" who goes with Mrs. Mac to Borneo be one of the main characters in "Stitches"?)
6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars This is my favorite Barbara Michaels. 26 Aug 1998
By M. C. Franklin - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Mass Market Paperback
Barbara Michaels books are like peanuts, you can't stop once you start, but Shattered Silk is still the best. Michaels attention to detail when dealing with antique clothing just adds to the delightful story. However, the best element of this book is her character development. I was delighted to become reacquainted with some characters from previous books. It was like getting a letter from a friend I haven't heard from in a long time.
8 of 9 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars It truly is one of her best! 21 July 2001
By A. Y. Smittle - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Mass Market Paperback
After reading the reviews here on Amazon, I was intrigued. I found many similarities between myself and with the author and her characters in the book and outside: The character is a small business owner in the vast DC-Land area. Looking for any area to settle and profit in, mentioning locations and suggestions was amazing. So was the story, by the way! I could so relate to the main character--Ms Michaels sounds like she put a lot of herself and her feelings and interests in this book. The story is about a woman who is dumped by her husband. What to do after being the dutiful wife for so many years? And why was she dumped? She explores the meaning of it all, and rather busily are explorations of friendship and respect, love and deliciously descriptive tales of old clothing. My grammar is horrible, but I hope you get the picture. Its good. Its great! I was very impressed. For those of you exploring similar "quality" Michaels, I suggest Vanish with the Rose, the Wizards Daughter, Buried in the Rain, the Dancing Floor. DO NOT trouble yourself with that new-ish one, the Other Worlds or whatever it is.
3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Sort of a sequel 27 Jun 2008
By egreetham - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Mass Market Paperback|Verified Purchase
"Shattered Silk" is a belated sequel to Ammie, Come Home] which I loved. ("Ammie" was published, I believe, in 1968, and "Silk" is a decade or so later.) Several of the characters from that novel reappear in this one, as does the beautiful and elegant Georgetown town house where the first novel, a ghost story, took place.

While "Shattered Silk" doesn't measure up to the novel that precedes it, it is still an enjoyable book. Karen (whose sister Sara figures in "Ammie") is dumped unceremoniously by her stuffed-shirt, pompous professor husband (who plans to marry his 19 year old secretary!). She takes refuge with her aunt and uncle in Georgetown, and house sits for them when they leave on a trip to Borneo, meanwhile working for her rapacious "friend" Julie in local antique store. As Karen learns about the trade of selling vintage clothing, she is also learning not to be a victim or a doormat--probably more interesting than the simultaneous mystery of who it is who keeps breaking into her house, or why it's happening. Aided by the sister of her old flame Mark, she decides to open her own vintage clothing store. Karen's inevitable victory over her horrid husband Jack is very enjoyable, and her new romance, though absolutely predictable, is just as satisfying. Ms. Michaels must have mastered the arts of vintage clothing care; her research shows to advantage.

It's a pleasure to see some of the characters from "Ammie" again. Ms. Michaels must like them too--they, and some of the characters of this book appear in a third book, "Stitches in Time," written in the mid-90s.
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