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The Ebony Swan Mass Market Paperback – Aug 1993

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Product details

  • Mass Market Paperback
  • Publisher: SOS Free Stock; Reprint edition (Aug. 1993)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0449221970
  • ISBN-13: 978-0449221976
  • Product Dimensions: 3.2 x 10.2 x 17.8 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1 customer review)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 1,712,745 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Product Description

About the Author

Phyllis A. Whitney is one of the best-known writers of classic suspense in the world all her novels hitting the top 10 bestseller lists in the US. She was named Grand Master by the Mystery Writers of America and received the Agatha Award from Malice Domestic - both awards for lifetime achievement. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

By EA Solinas HALL OF FAMETOP 500 REVIEWER on 24 Feb. 2014
Format: Hardcover
Phyllis A. Whitney's books tend to have certain repeating themes -- you'll have a young woman with a mysterious past, cryptic half-hints, family drama, some sinister relations, a murder or two, a beautiful setting, and a handsome guy.

Don't worry, you'll find all that floating around in "The Ebony Swan." But the focus in this romantic thriller is more on the young woman's grandmother and how the misdeeds of her youth have spread poison into the lives of everyone around her. The current-day romance feels a bit forced, but the rest is powerful and dramatic.

Twenty-five years ago, Susan Prentice's mother Dolores was killed in a fall down the stairs. Her angry father blamed her grandmother, Alex Montoro, and took his child far away.

But after a broken engagement and stalled career, Susan decides to visit her grandmother at long last. But Alex isn't entirely sure she can cope with the old emotions Susan's arrival will stir up -- particularly a painful secret that overshadowed Alex's entire marriage to the novelist Juan Gabriel.

Both Susan and Alex begin dwelling on the past -- Susan investigates the circumstances around her mother's might-have-been-murder, while Alex is forced to face the ugly misdeeds that may be connected to Dolores' death. But someone near them is determined to keep the past buried.

Unlike most of Phyllis A. Whitney's books, "The Ebony Swan" isn't really about the young woman with the mysterious past. Yes, Susan is an important character, but an eighty-something ex-ballerina ends up taking over most of the story -- her love affair, her tainted marriage and her regrets all feel richer and more vivid than any part of Susan's story.

The rest of the story is vintage Whitney, though.
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)

Amazon.com: 11 reviews
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
The dark past of the swan 9 Mar. 2013
By EA Solinas - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Hardcover
Phyllis A. Whitney's books tend to have certain repeating themes -- you'll have a young woman with a mysterious past, cryptic half-hints, family drama, some sinister relations, a murder or two, a beautiful setting, and a handsome guy.

Don't worry, you'll find all that floating around in "The Ebony Swan." But the focus in this romantic thriller is more on the young woman's grandmother and how the misdeeds of her youth have spread poison into the lives of everyone around her. The current-day romance feels a bit forced, but the rest is powerful and dramatic.

Twenty-five years ago, Susan Prentice's mother Dolores was killed in a fall down the stairs. Her angry father blamed her grandmother, Alex Montoro, and took his child far away.

But after a broken engagement and stalled career, Susan decides to visit her grandmother at long last. But Alex isn't entirely sure she can cope with the old emotions Susan's arrival will stir up -- particularly a painful secret that overshadowed Alex's entire marriage to the novelist Juan Gabriel.

Both Susan and Alex begin dwelling on the past -- Susan investigates the circumstances around her mother's might-have-been-murder, while Alex is forced to face the ugly misdeeds that may be connected to Dolores' death. But someone near them is determined to keep the past buried.

Unlike most of Phyllis A. Whitney's books, "The Ebony Swan" isn't really about the young woman with the mysterious past. Yes, Susan is an important character, but an eighty-something ex-ballerina ends up taking over most of the story -- her love affair, her tainted marriage and her regrets all feel richer and more vivid than any part of Susan's story.

The rest of the story is vintage Whitney, though. As usual, she loads down the story with elegant clothes, and lots of loving descriptions of the exotic location du jour (this time: North Virginia and Tangier Island). Whitney slathers the whole story with a feeling of dread, usually by having lots of people saying ominous things with little explanation.

The biggest problem is perhaps the character of Peter, who feels like he was included out of reflex rather than necessity. You could have cut this character completely, and the story would not have suffered.

But then, the most powerful relationships in this are between Alex and the people who have shaped her life, one of whom is already dead. We see her painfully moving forward to the point where she can reconnect with her granddaughter, and deal with the guilt she has toward her passionate late husband. The Peter/Susan relationship feels like it's tacked on by comparison.

"The Ebony Swan" has most of the tropes you'll find in a Phyllis A. Whitney novel, but with the unusual twist of having an old lady as the lead. The only problem is the awkward romantic subplot.
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
The dark past of the swan 26 Dec. 2012
By EA Solinas - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Hardcover
Phyllis A. Whitney's books tend to have certain repeating themes -- you'll have a young woman with a mysterious past, cryptic half-hints, family drama, some sinister relations, a murder or two, a beautiful setting, and a handsome guy.

Don't worry, you'll find all that floating around in "The Ebony Swan." But the focus in this romantic thriller is more on the young woman's grandmother and how the misdeeds of her youth have spread poison into the lives of everyone around her. The current-day romance feels a bit forced, but the rest is powerful and dramatic.

Twenty-five years ago, Susan Prentice's mother Dolores was killed in a fall down the stairs. Her angry father blamed her grandmother, Alex Montoro, and took his child far away.

But after a broken engagement and stalled career, Susan decides to visit her grandmother at long last. But Alex isn't entirely sure she can cope with the old emotions Susan's arrival will stir up -- particularly a painful secret that overshadowed Alex's entire marriage to the novelist Juan Gabriel.

Both Susan and Alex begin dwelling on the past -- Susan investigates the circumstances around her mother's might-have-been-murder, while Alex is forced to face the ugly misdeeds that may be connected to Dolores' death. But someone near them is determined to keep the past buried.

Unlike most of Phyllis A. Whitney's books, "The Ebony Swan" isn't really about the young woman with the mysterious past. Yes, Susan is an important character, but an eighty-something ex-ballerina ends up taking over most of the story -- her love affair, her tainted marriage and her regrets all feel richer and more vivid than any part of Susan's story.

The rest of the story is vintage Whitney, though. As usual, she loads down the story with elegant clothes, and lots of loving descriptions of the exotic location du jour (this time: North Virginia and Tangier Island). Whitney slathers the whole story with a feeling of dread, usually by having lots of people saying ominous things with little explanation.

The biggest problem is perhaps the character of Peter, who feels like he was included out of reflex rather than necessity. You could have cut this character completely, and the story would not have suffered.

But then, the most powerful relationships in this are between Alex and the people who have shaped her life, one of whom is already dead. We see her painfully moving forward to the point where she can reconnect with her granddaughter, and deal with the guilt she has toward her passionate late husband. The Peter/Susan relationship feels like it's tacked on by comparison.

"The Ebony Swan" has most of the tropes you'll find in a Phyllis A. Whitney novel, but with the unusual twist of having an old lady as the lead. The only problem is the awkward romantic subplot.
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
The dark past of the swan 6 Dec. 2012
By EA Solinas - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Mass Market Paperback
Phyllis A. Whitney's books tend to have certain repeating themes -- you'll have a young woman with a mysterious past, cryptic half-hints, family drama, some sinister relations, a murder or two, a beautiful setting, and a handsome guy.

Don't worry, you'll find all that floating around in "The Ebony Swan." But the focus in this romantic thriller is more on the young woman's grandmother and how the misdeeds of her youth have spread poison into the lives of everyone around her. The current-day romance feels a bit forced, but the rest is powerful and dramatic.

Twenty-five years ago, Susan Prentice's mother Dolores was killed in a fall down the stairs. Her angry father blamed her grandmother, Alex Montoro, and took his child far away.

But after a broken engagement and stalled career, Susan decides to visit her grandmother at long last. But Alex isn't entirely sure she can cope with the old emotions Susan's arrival will stir up -- particularly a painful secret that overshadowed Alex's entire marriage to the novelist Juan Gabriel.

Both Susan and Alex begin dwelling on the past -- Susan investigates the circumstances around her mother's might-have-been-murder, while Alex is forced to face the ugly misdeeds that may be connected to Dolores' death. But someone near them is determined to keep the past buried.

Unlike most of Phyllis A. Whitney's books, "The Ebony Swan" isn't really about the young woman with the mysterious past. Yes, Susan is an important character, but an eighty-something ex-ballerina ends up taking over most of the story -- her love affair, her tainted marriage and her regrets all feel richer and more vivid than any part of Susan's story.

The rest of the story is vintage Whitney, though. As usual, she loads down the story with elegant clothes, and lots of loving descriptions of the exotic location du jour (this time: North Virginia and Tangier Island). Whitney slathers the whole story with a feeling of dread, usually by having lots of people saying ominous things with little explanation.

The biggest problem is perhaps the character of Peter, who feels like he was included out of reflex rather than necessity. You could have cut this character completely, and the story would not have suffered.

But then, the most powerful relationships in this are between Alex and the people who have shaped her life, one of whom is already dead. We see her painfully moving forward to the point where she can reconnect with her granddaughter, and deal with the guilt she has toward her passionate late husband. The Peter/Susan relationship feels like it's tacked on by comparison.

"The Ebony Swan" has most of the tropes you'll find in a Phyllis A. Whitney novel, but with the unusual twist of having an old lady as the lead. The only problem is the awkward romantic subplot.
4 of 5 people found the following review helpful
Enjoyable and interesting book 21 Sept. 2006
By Oddzilla - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Unknown Binding
I thought this was an enjoyable and interesting mystery. It kept my interest anyway, and even had some good character development. A couple of things were never explained at the end (what did Juan Gabriel and Lawrence have a fight about?) but overall I liked it.
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
Good Mystery 27 Oct. 2011
By Captola - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Mass Market Paperback
I really liked this book. I finished it in 3 days, couldn't put it down. I read Silversword which I really liked also, in condensed form in a Reader's Digest book, that made me seek some other books by Phyllis Whitney. The ending suprised me, it was not what I was guessing.
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