"Everyone who loves a great whodunit and enjoys being a part of the overall solving process should DEFINITELY pick up a copy of this book!"
Reviewed by Lynn Cunningham
Posted June 8, 2010
Kris Langley is an obit writer and editorial assistant at
her local newspaper where she's already starting to feel
as if there has to be something better for her out there
when she runs across a local murder that is 25 years old.
This titillating mystery turns up as Kris is compiling
items for her "25 Years Ago Today" column and she's
instantly hooked. This was the murder of a young girl that
was never solved, which is one reason that Kris is so
fascinated by it. On her own time she sets about trying to
find out more of what happened surrounding this murder
mystery. As she gets to know the dead girl's family, Kris
is even more determined to find closure for them. In the
back of her mind, she's also hoping that by helping this
girl's family put the past behind them that she, too, may
be able to put her own personal tragedy to rest.
She becomes romantically involved with Eric, who is the
dead girl's nephew, and is happier than she's ever been.
However, as the answers to the riddle start to reveal
themselves a little at a time, Kris is the one who becomes
the target. Is it worth risking her life to solve a murder
that may be better off left in the past?
This was a very intriguing and captivating book. I found
myself carrying it with me whenever I thought I may have a
few minutes to read while waiting on something. On top of
that, this book stayed in my head even when I was not
reading it. I loved the characters that Ms. Juba has so
clearly laid out for her readers. The subplots of the book
were also quite fascinating. Kris Langley is a character
that you will remember long after you have completed
reading this book.
With just the right blend of mystery, romance, and danger,
TWENTY-FIVE YEARS AGO TODAY will be thoroughly enjoyed by
anyone who is smart enough to pick up a copy of it. Ms.
Juba takes control and leads her readers the direction she
WANTS them to move in and you won't be able to figure out
the ending until she is READY for you to. All in all, this
is a wonderful book. It was my first book by this author
but I will be watching for more of them in the future.
Kris Langley has always been obsessed with murder. She
blames herself for the violent death of her cousin when
they were kids and has let guilt invade every corner of
her existence. Now an editorial assistant and obit writer
for a Massachusetts newspaper, Kris stumbles across an
unsolved murder while compiling "25 Years Ago Today" items
from the microfilm. She grows fascinated with the case of
a young cocktail waitress who was bludgeoned to death and
dumped in the woods. Determined to solve the case and
atone for the death of her cousin, Kris immerses herself
in the mystery of what happened to Diana Ferguson, a
talented artist who expressed herself through haunting
paintings of Greek mythology. Not only does Kris face
resistance from her family and her managing editor, she
also clashes with Diana's suspicious nephew, Eric Soares -
until neither she nor Eric can deny the chemistry flaring
Kris soon learns that old news never leaves
the morgue and that yesterday's headline is tomorrow's
danger, for finding out the truth about that night twenty-
five years ago may shatter Kris's present, costing her
love, her career, and ultimately, her life.
Langley stared at the bright newsprint lit up on the
The top headline leaped off page one. â€śMissing Barmaid
She squinted over the story of Diana Ferguson, a young
woman found bludgeoned
to death in the woods. In little over a week, it would be
twenty-fifth anniversary. A quarter of a century ago,
dressed and driven out as always. An evening like any
By the end of the night, she was dead, her life
extinguished like the
other victims on fate's hit list.
people had forgotten Diana by now. In the black and white
photograph, she didn't smile. Straight dark hair
serious oval face. Diana had her arms crossed on a table,
fingers too delicate to protect her from a killer.
flipped to a blank page in her notebook, scribbled â€śDiana
and stopped writing. Resurrecting the tragedy in her â€ś25
50 Years Ago Todayâ€ť column would catch readersâ€™ attention,
jumped as Dex Wagner, the seventy-year-old editor-in-chief
Fremont Daily News, slapped a rolled-up newspaper
desk. â€śJacqueline, why the hell didnâ€™t we have this
group feature? The Fremont Community Players are in our
a grin, Kris swung around in her seat. She could use a
right about now. Dex waved the competition paper in the
circles and slashes marking half the page. In her three
as editorial assistant, Kris had enjoyed Dexâ€™s tantrums.
far, none had been directed at her.
Editor Jacqueline McCormack tossed back her blonde
in a tan fabric scrunchie. She owned a world class
ponytail holders that complemented her designer wardrobe.
couldn't help thinking of her as a thirty-five-year-old
ran a story last week in our entertainment section,â€ť
â€śThey got the idea from us. Gosh, Dex, are you trying to
me with that underlining?â€ť
paced to the oak bookshelves and back to Jacqueline's
His stomach bulged under a rumpled gray suit and his wrists
of jacket sleeves a couple inches too short. â€śI think we
me,â€ť Jacqueline said. â€śI put a headline on it myself.
You do read beyond the front, donâ€™t you, Dex?â€ť
under his breath, Dex opened The
Greater Remington Mirror, a large daily that covered
the ten towns
in their readership area and more. Kris saw another
ballooned in red marker.
pressed his index finger against the lead paragraph, his
tie flapping as he stooped forward. â€śWhat about the
of that Miles kid? We should be talking to his family and
even contacted them. For Christ's sake, do I have to
I'm working on that,â€ť Bruce Patrick, the police and
said from the doorway. He swaggered over and hopped onto
of Jacqueline's desk.
just got off the phone,â€ť he said. â€śThe parents are basket
cases, but the siblings said I could come by tonight. And
A 19-year-old college student had murdered his classmate,
in a fight that went too far. Kris had edited the obit,
queasy as she cut â€śbeloved son and brotherâ€ť out of the
Dex insisted such phrases only belonged in paid death
the Diana Ferguson case, there was no mystery to this
Many young people had witnessed the brawl, which started
over a girl.
It had lingered in her memory, though, a teenage boy who
went to a party
and left dead in an ambulance. Another individual singled
by fate, never suspecting he had no future. He picked the
For that, he died.
shuddered despite the heat in the newsroom. The family
must feel like their world had spun out of control. She
the grieving process well: walking around as if in warm
and legs heavy, head difficult to hold up, and crying until
froze the tears. Forgetting had disturbed her the most,
away into the calm relief of sleep, then jolting awake in
ponytail bounced in glee. â€śThey'll talk?â€ť She turned
to Bruce. â€śTerrific. Have you assigned a photographer?â€ť
rested his notebook on his thigh. â€śYou bet. I didn't
the photos, but once we're there, I'm sure
they'll go along with it.â€ť
two or three color shots for the front,â€ť Jacqueline said, a
abandoned her quiet corner of the newsroom and strode over
to the group.
Bruce and Jacqueline had never suffered tragedy in their
lives, or they
wouldn't act so blasĂ©.
one noticed Krisâ€™s presence. She spoke quickly, before she
her nerve. â€śI know you want a good story, but have a
sympathy. Sending a photographer unannounced would be
of these poor people.â€ť
co-workers regarded her with blank expressions.
Bruce asked. â€śThe kids are of age. Itâ€™s not like weâ€™re
they're inviting a reporter into their home, they
should realize we
intend to play up the story,â€ť Jacqueline said.
be emotional,â€ť Kris said. â€śA photographer will make them
worse. The least you could do is prepare them.â€ť
folded her arms, covering a horizontal row of gold buttons
on her biscuit-colored
blazer. â€śI'm sure they expect it, but Bruce was smart
it up this way. If they have doubts, they'll be more
say yes once our staff has had a chance to develop a
If the pictures bother them, the family can always
feel pressured,â€ť Kris said. â€śThey have enough to deal with
now. Youâ€™ve got your exclusive. Why can't you just
photos of the boy who died?â€ť
this is our job, not yours.â€ť Coldness had replaced
lilt. â€śThis paper tells it like it is. If you can't
that, then maybe you shouldn't work in a newsroom.â€ť
you should treat your sources like human beings.â€ť
don't you stay out of things that don't concern
you? As I recall,
you have no news experience. I'm not even sure why you
in the first place.â€ť Jacqueline glared at Dex.
all knew the answer to that. The previous editorial
had quit on Jacqueline's vacation. Dex grew impatient
a classified ad. Kris admitted she preferred the dreaded
shift, and he hired her on the spot. His judgment
enough for Jacqueline, who had reminded him of the three-
for all employees.
shaggy salt and pepper eyebrows curled downward. â€śKris
does fine. She's bright and talented. Give her a
chance to learn.â€ť
He glowered at Bruce. â€śNext time you're working on a
check with me.â€ť
stalked to his desk, leaving the others gaping after him.
Her neck and
shoulder muscles tense, Kris released a deep breath. She
this job. Like it or not, she was stuck working with
â€śSorry if I offended you, Jacqueline. I just wanted to
you another perspective.â€ť
ignored her and gestured to Bruce. â€śCome on, let's
snapped to attention and followed her into the conference
Jacqueline carried herself with the posture of a model, her
and an upward tilt to her chin. Jacqueline and her
Kris had once asked Dex if the paper was in okay shape,
Sheâ€™d assumed Jacqueline was obsessed with the editorial
finances. Dex just laughed and said, â€śThatâ€™s news lingo
others in the newsroom headed out, Kris drifted back to the
machine and her research. Her editors demanded eight
per issue. Dex told her to play up light local fluff as
seeing their names in print, while Jacqueline said to
news. Kris found herself trying to please them both.
first, she had enjoyed exploring the older editions. Fifty
ago, chunky blocks of type took up the front page. Most
came over the wire and staff-written pieces had no
had explained how reporters worked for â€śthe paperâ€ť in those
not for the recognition. But now if Kris spent too much
the machine, the scrolling of the film gave her motion
The focus lever didn't work right, so she'd press
her finger over the
tape, holding it in place.
Kris stared at the bold black headline splashed above the
Found In Fremont State Woods.â€ť For the second time, she
the article about Diana Ferguson.
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