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Something Most Deadly (Jane Husted Series, Book 1)

Something Most Deadly (Jane Husted Series, Book 1) [Kindle Edition]

Ann Self
4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (2 customer reviews)

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Product Description

Product Description

Book #1 in the Jane Husted series. Clean romance, mild language.
ROMANTIC MYSTERY/THRILLER series of three large Kindles. Spine-tingling, cat-and-mouse-suspense with a whisper of spectral. It all starts at Springhill Estate in New England, centcom for intrigue and mystery. Top-dollar showhorses and top-dollar people. Drop in for a visit if you dare, everyone’s waiting.
ELLIOT WHITBECK: ‘Grand Poobah’ overseeing his two-thousand-acre estate. Supreme nitpicker and bully of employees.
CECILY WHITBECK: Silver-haired and tanned to leather, running the showhorse operation with an iron fist.
LUCINDA WHITBECK: Wealthy, blonde and vicious, still beautiful despite avoiding most food groups. Always eager to dig up a little trouble to amuse herself.
JANE HUSTED: Show rider and coach, training horses and demanding riders; newly aware of a talent for telepathy that’s bringing the mansion’s murky past out of the woodwork. A childhood on welfare makes Jane an easy target for Lucinda. She’s blindsided when a man from her past appears on the scene.
DYLAN RIPLEY: Head stable boy, fresh out of high school. Handsome, wisecracking, full of jokes and mischief. Secretly refers to Lucinda as ‘Stinkerbell’.
OWEN FLINT: Narcissistic and bad tempered, spooking horses and women alike, strutting around in breeches and long boots.
LARS WALLENBERG: Coach from the Spanish Riding School in Austria; European classy and smooth.
BRIAN CANADAY: Wealthy investor in the Estate’s imported sport horses; a new face around the barn and a big surprise for Jane.
SAM NOONE: Former jockey, now stable manager. He watches the soap opera unfold around him and begins to sense nasty vibes floating in shadows of the monster barn, making the hair stand off the back of his neck and salute. Something’s not quite right.

Excerpt. © Reprinted by permission. All rights reserved.

A large crowd had gathered just in front of wide granite steps leading through the columns into the market building, and Jane kept an eye on Brian as he threaded his way through spectators. They were avidly watching a man spinning five pie plates and another juggling bowling pins. The scarecrow? The tin man? She plowed after him into the long building, jostled and smothered by heavy foot traffic. The center aisle, with its open gourmet and food-specialty markets, was so crowded she could follow Brian more closely, but still felt her nerves twanging the same way she did when she walked behind him in a high school corridor.
See, but don’t be seen.
Stay out of his line of sight.
The aisle they traversed was a jumble of display counters and enticing aromas of food mingling with salty ocean air that flowed right out of the harbor and into the building’s wide open doors. Seagulls attracted by the wafting scents of seafood, roast beef and fresh-baked pastry, were manically swooping and screeching around the building. The aisle ceiling was hung with carved wooden signs, each one struggling to be fancier than its neighbor, and Jane kept busy reading these signs so as not to stare constantly at Brian’s back. She abruptly slowed and turned to the opposite side when he stopped at a bakery to purchase loaves of French bread.
Her anxiety was increasing by the moment, being so dangerously near him. It didn’t help that he was still hyper-alert to his surroundings; eyes snapping around devouring the immediate area just as in high school. Jane found herself staring at lobster salad rolls on display in a glass case belonging to the Boston and Maine Fish Company. She was almost directly across the aisle from the man, but at least her back was to him, and she would appear to be completely involved in food. Not that he’d be likely to recognize her. She took comfort in the fact that she had grown some since high school, and now that she usually had three meals a day, no longer so stick-thin. Her clothes followed the contours of her body, unlike the over-size hand-me-downs that used to billow scarecrow-like on her slight frame. Jane’s masses of dark hair also looked far different than the chopped fright-wig of the old school days; the long fall of satin, blue-black hair now framed her face like a comforting lead shield that defied Superman’s gaze.
Jane occasionally turned her head just slightly, observing Brian in peripheral vision, to be aware of the direction if he left the building. As she stared dumbly at chopped lobster, she mentally berated herself for chasing after a man. What in heck do I think I’m doing? It seemed she was helpless at controlling her own mind, and just letting him disappear into the crowd. I must be overcome with curiosity, Jane decided, and excused her actions that way.
On the move again, struggling through a wall of bodies, Brian and Jane entered the open-air spaciousness of the Great Hall under the rotunda. Brian walked as far as the middle, then turned left down steps leading out to the Bull Market, and then through glass doors back onto the brick mall. Jane rushed to keep up. A small canvas bag was slung on her shoulder, and her shopping bag bounced against her leg. They crossed the busy pedestrian thoroughfare between the long Quincy Market and North Market buildings, weaving around pushcarts, shoppers and granite seats. Jane’s ankles began to wobble—even in low-heeled sandal shoes. The fast walk over ground that changed from brick paving to granite squares, and then to large cobblestones was a challenge for strappy shoes and a short skirt; she was accustomed to living in breeches and riding boots. Jane decided on the spot that civilian clothes were a menace.
When Brian entered an alleyway that had been chopped right through the North Market building—right between fancy plate-glass storefronts—Jane knew he was taking a short cut to Clinton Street and the Dock Square Parking Garage. She followed him into the narrow alley, with its brick walls, brick arches, and brick paving underfoot, and held her breath. The yellow brick road, she thought. At that isolated moment in time, Jane and Brian were the only two people in Boston traversing the alleyway. She was eight yards behind him, but her heels echoed alarmingly in the dark narrow passage, giving away their owner’s eager pace:
Ca-clack ca-clack ca-clack....
Don’t look back, she chanted in her mind.

Product details

  • Format: Kindle Edition
  • File Size: 2010 KB
  • Print Length: 310 pages
  • Sold by: Amazon Media EU S. r.l.
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B003TFESS8
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (2 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #437,717 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Keeps you guessing. 29 Jan 2013
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
Rags to riches are always winners, and this was first past the post by a distance.Lots of twists and turns to keep the reader guessing who the villian is makes this book unputdownable. Anyone interested in horses will love the story, and the authors attention to detail is admirable. To my mind the only tiny fault was that I found myself growing impatient at the many metaphors and adjectives. But a book with a great plot that moves along at an even pace.
Bravo to the author for a great read.
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1 of 7 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars DON'T MISS THIS ONE! 10 Jan 2005
Get a big mug of tea and some cookies, because you won't be able to put this one down, and it's amost 500 pages long. I guarantee the mystery will scare the living daylights out of you, and the romance is very involving and decent. There's a richly entertaining atmosphere of a big US city (Boston) plus a luxurious estate where they raise show horses, and lots of interesting characters that jumped off the page and became very real to me. In fact, I can't wait for the upcoming sequel so I can see what else these unique characters are up to.
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on (beta) 4.2 out of 5 stars  22 reviews
10 of 11 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Suspense, Murder, and Psychotic Terror 26 April 2007
By Richard R. Blake - Published on
While still a young child Jane Husted's parents died in an airplane accident. Jane grew up living with an aunt in near poverty and on public assistance. She reinvented herself and her past to rise above the stigma of poverty. She took a job as a show-rider and trainer at Springhill the estate of wealthy Elliot Whitbeck.

While in Boston on a shopping spree to better fit her new identity, Jane is surprised to see Brian Canaday, a member of the rich and powerful Canady family. Brian had been a classmate during Jane's poverty-ridden childhood.

Jane struggled to disguise her appearance and avoid Brian as much as possible to avoid exposure to the back-stabbing, privileged snobs of Springhill. As Jane gained recognition in the show ring, accidents began to take place in and around the Springhill facilities. Jane sensed an invisible enemy trying to terrorize her. After the suspicious death of the veterinarian in the Springhill barn, it became apparent that the predator is a criminal psychopath. The intricate twists of plot kept me speculating throughout the remaining chapters of the book as to the identity of the crazed killer.

Ann Self writes from experience. She grew up around horses and barns. Ann gives the reader behind the scenes glimpses of training horses and riders, of the bitter rivalry of the participants. Her narrative is filled with careful detail as she describes designer clothes, labels luxury cars and other amenities of the wealthy, to dramatize the snobbery and class consciousness of her socialite characters.

Dialog is skillfully used to create the setting, to build the background material, and to introduce the plot and move it forward to a fast paced climax. All the elements of a strong story are incorporated in the novel: believable characters, conflict, suspense, resolution, romance, action, mystery, and intrigue.

Self's writing is strong, compelling, and absorbing. I am looking forward to her next book, a sequel, "Something Very Ghostly."
5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars I eagerly await the sequel... 9 May 2007
By Reading It All - Published on
While the book is a bit too prosaic (is that a word?) in the beginning, the story quickly develops. Self's characters are likeable and you want to get to know them. Who can't identify with the "ugly duckling" that grows into the beautiful, confident swan? Character development is definately Ann Self's strong suit and there are several "characters" in "Something Most Deadly".

This book has it all - a suspense filled plot and laugh out loud moments...I tell you, I will never look at a barn in the same way.

As a "city girl" and newbie to the field of Dressage I found the scenes involving the horses and the show events fun and educational.

Ann, I can hardly wait to read the next one!!!!
7 of 8 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars I couldn't put it down 'til finished! 4 May 2007
By M. Dorothy Bley - Published on
Ann Self does a splendid job bringing the characters in this thriller to life. We get to know Jane Husted, the primary character, as she reminisced about her humiliating high school days and a crush she still carries for Brian Canady, her prince charming oblivious to her existence.

Plain Jane and her best friend, Fatty Matty, were the object of snickers and cruel jokes. After high school, Madeline Fanning pursued a successful career as a Clinical and Forensic Psychologist while Jane re-invented herself into a long-legged beautiful brunette who experienced blue-ribbon performances in the show ring.

Young affluent, Jane Husted, finds herself living in poverty with an uncaring aunt after the death of both her parents. She works as a show-rider and trainer for Springhill, a luxurious estate south of Boston, that breeds Trakehners. Owners of Springhill constantly remind the employees of their station in life creating animosity and providing numerous suspects for the bizarre happenings around the Springhill barn.

Each of the secondary characters are given distinct personalities. You feel as if you know them personally from the in-depth descriptions and details Self gives to each as her story unfolds.

Sam, the barn manager, who could be anyone's big brother; Reggie, the handyman, the oldest fixture of the group; Dylan, the carefree head stable boy; and Lars, the well know European trainer.

Then the blue-blooded owners of Springhill Estate: Elliot Whitbeck, hungry for power and fame in the horse world; his wife, Cicely, who appears the misfit in this wealthy family; the mother-in-law,who lets no one forget her wealth and all that it commands; and finally, Lucinda, the daughter with no talent or skill with horses and jealous of anyone who has.

This novel has all the elements you would expect to find in a best selling thriller. There is suspense, motive, murder, psychotic terror, suspects, and plenty of surprises. The main surprise being the ending. Not to be revealed here, but not until the final pages did I know the source of the terror at Springhill.

Something Most Deadly, is sure to be the beginning of a marvelous career for Ann Self. This needs to be at the top of your must-read list.
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Deadly Ring 27 Feb 2012
By Nash Black - Published on
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
Ann Self's SOMETHING MOST DEADLY just misses being an exceptional psychological suspense thriller. The reader must work through some long repetive passages that stall the pace of a fine story line which uses the beautiful show ring as a background theme. The story doesn't pick up until about one third of the way into the novel, then it matches the precision work of dressage to echo the suspense of a mental excercise.
One other slight bother was an ending that was simply a rehash of the narriative with little or no information given to extend the story.
A good tale and I will be looking for the sequel, SOMETHING VERY GHOSTLY.
Nash Black, author of SANDPRINTS OF DEATH.
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Starts slow ends HOT!! 6 Oct 2007
By NMS - Published on
I really questioned if this book was worth the time in the beginning, over detailing so it starts out slow. But it gets way better and very addictive by the end!
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