Dear Daughter – Elizabeth Little

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Janie owes everything to her mother.
Her looks. Her money.
Her murder conviction.

At 17 celebrity wild child Janie Jenkins was jailed for the murder of her mother. It was no secret she didn’t like her, but did she kill her?

Ten years later and Janie is out, her case overturned due to mishandling of evidence by the crime lab. Hiding from the media who believe she has escaped justice, Janie has travelled to a small town in the Black Hills, looking for the truth behind what happened that fateful night.

Following the tale of rich, pretty and overeducated celebrity Janie Jenkins in the days after her release from prison for the murder of her own mother, Dear Daughter grabs you firmly by the hand and doesn’t let go until you get to the end of this completely engrossing read. It’s a book chock full of contrasts, the socialite in the small town, the celebrity seeking anonymity, the sassy back chat against the quiet unassuming thought through response. It’s best displayed through protagonist Janie, a true wild child, constantly searching for the boundaries in the unlimited lifestyle of the privileged, who in order to find the truth, is forced to become the exact opposite of everything she has ever been.

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Dear Daughter also portrays brilliantly the dynamics of both large families and small communities. In the Black Hills town there are the age old feuds and fall outs amongst the families, the parental misunderstandings of the children, the sibling rivalries, together with the matriarchs that are seen to ‘hold these things together’, even if they don’t. There is some part of familial relationships in there that anyone reading this book will be able to relate to immediately. It shows a delightful amount of insight and only adds to the pleasure of reading this novel.

It’s an excellent debut you won’t want to put down once you have started and with Dear Daughter, Elizabeth Little has well and truly earned her place on my one to watch list.

The Dagger in the Library 2014 – choose the long list

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Dagger-in-the-Library-300x320Together with Dead Good Books, this year the Crime Writers Association is giving UK readers the chance to vote for their favourite author to be added to the long list for their 2014 Dagger in the Library award.

 The Dagger in the Library is one of six highly prized CWA Dagger Awards, which have been awarded to crime writers since 1955. It is a unique literary award in that it offers a chance for readers to nominate their favourite British crime fiction authors. Nominations close on September 1st 2014 and the Dagger winner will be chosen by a panel including previous winners, CWA representatives and UK librarians. The Dagger in the Library is awarded not for an individual book but for the author’s body of work to date and helps emerging authors gain deserved recognition and publicity for their writing. Previous winners of the CWA Dagger in the Library award include Belinda Bauer, Steve Mosby, Mo Hayder, Colin Cotterill, Stuart MacBride and Alexander McCall Smith.

Make sure you vote, your favourite crime author needs YOU! As the award is for a body of work, nominated authors should have published at least three books. To nominate an author, simply fill in the nomination form here Nominations close on September 1st 2014 and the Dagger winner will be chosen by a panel including previous winner Steve Mosby, CWA Director Lucy Santos and UK librarians.

As an added incentive there’s also the chance to win £200 worth of books, just for taking part.