Circles of Death

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Book 20 of A Hannah Ives Mystery
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Pub Date 05 Mar 2024 | Archive Date 29 Feb 2024

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Hannah Ives uncovers a deadly connection between disturbing discoveries in the past and present in this gripping mystery.

Hannah Ives and her husband are staying at their idyllic vacation cottage on Maryland’s eastern shore when a young friend, Noel Sinclair, stops by for a visit. As Hannah shows Noel around the property, they notice some bald eagles in a neighboring cornfield who look seriously ill.

Could these magnificent birds have been poisoned? Hannah’s investigation soon clashes with powerful commercial agricultural interests. Meanwhile, Noel uncovers some shocking news of her own when she and her sister receive the results of their DNA tests. As Hannah tries to discover who is tormenting the birds while also delving into Noel’s family tree, the last thing she expects to uncover is a deadly connection between the two . . .

Hannah Ives uncovers a deadly connection between disturbing discoveries in the past and present in this gripping mystery.

Hannah Ives and her husband are staying at their idyllic vacation cottage on...

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EDITION Hardcover
ISBN 9781448307975
PRICE $29.99 (USD)

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Average rating from 6 members

Featured Reviews

The future of detection!

The Circles of Death is apparently the 20th book in a series about Hannah Ives, a forensic genetic genealogist. Even though this is the first book I have read in the series, I did not have any trouble keeping up with the characters or the plot line.

The story follows two apparently separate events, that actually turn out to be related. The first involves a young woman who used to babysit for Hannah’s grandchildren and who, through a commercial DNA kit, discovers that she and her sister are not related. She turns to Hannah to help her interpret the results and to find out who she really is.

The second story line involves bald eagles who have apparently been poisoned. Hannah and a colleague begin an investigation to find the poisoner.

I enjoyed this book. I was especially interested in learning how a genealogist goes about building a family tree and finding family matches. I am happy to have been introduced to this series, and plan to read some of the earlier books.

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While spending long winter days before Christmas at their home on the Eastern Shore, Hannah Ives meets Noel Sinclair, her former babysitter who now has a job in security. She invites her for a visit but their tour of the Ives property ends promptly when they notice four eagles acting strangely near a dead fox. Although one eagle dies, the three surviving eagles are taken to a nearby raptor rescue center. The birds have been poisoned by carbofuran, a deadly agricultural pesticide. Hannah suspects a nearby farm and their “Cast and Blast” activity. The owner stocks his streams with fish and field with ducks so that sportsmen can pay to fist and hunt. Naturally the eagles, who feast of the fish and game, are his enemies. As Hannah and her friends try to discover who is responsible for the death of the fox and eagle, Noel has a different problem. Her sister gave them both DNA kits for Christmas. She was shocked to learn that she is not related to anyone in her family (the reader has guessed that from the prologue) and she wants Hannah, who is an amateur genealogist, to find her birth parents. These two plots slowly weave together until a surprising conclusion.

I have read several of Hannah Ives mysteries by the talented Marcia Talley. As usual, Circle of Death is a standalone novel. Hannah is the friend you want to have and the Eastern Shore provides an atmospheric location. I learned a lot about the use of carbofuran and the need for legislation to ban it permanently. The efforts used to save the sick eagles are fascinating. I was as thrilled as Hannah and her friends when the three birds were released in to wild! 5 stars.

Thank you to NetGalley, Severn House and Marcia Talley for this ARC.

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I really enjoyed reading this book, it had the mystery element that I was looking for from this type of book. The characters were what I was hoping for and thought they were realistic and enjoyed how strong everything worked together. Marcia Talley has a great writing style and left me wanting more in this world.

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Circles of Death by Marcia Talley

This is a fun and fast-paced mystery, but there’s also much to ponder. I keep thinking about the interlocking mysteries, moral dilemmas, wildlife threatened by carbofuran and other dangers, and truths unearthed by “just for fun” DNA kits. Hannah and the other Silent Sleuths work so well, uncovering and interpreting surprising clues, lightening the stress with banter, and counseling and comforting those who need it. This is the first I’ve read of this series, but I didn’t feel lost, as enough, just enough, background was included. I’ll be back to catch up with this wonderful crew.

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