Footprints in the Sand

by Michelle M.


Cover of Footprints in the Sand by Mary Jane ClarkMary Jane Clark has created another Piper Donovan mystery, the third in the series.  Footprints in the Sand features Piper Donovan, a struggling actress who has traveled to Sarasota with her parents for her cousin Kathy’s wedding.  Unfortunately, one of the bridesmaids, Shelley Hart, is missing.

In the five days before the wedding of Dan and Kathy, the mystery deepens.  Shelley’s disappearance is being taken more seriously by the police, and an elderly neighbor who believes she saw a man carry a woman’s body through the vegetation is run off the road and nearly killed.

The book is a perfect beach read, light and fun, and one you can put down without losing the trail of the story or confusing characters.  The chapters tend to be only a few pages, although they pack plenty of action and detail into each one.

The characters may not have incredible depth, but each one stands alone as a unique person and not a shadow of another.  The book abounds with potential suspects for Shelley’s murder, as it is confirmed to be murder once her body is found buried on the beach outside the inn where she had worked and where the wedding is being held.

The book continues with twists and turns, and the true killer is not identified.  Although you can see and hear his thoughts – and know it’s a man – you don’t know who the killer truly is until the end of the book.  There are a surprising array of motives for the murder of the young bridesmaid who is in charge of catering for the Whispering Sands Inn, from the ex-con who sold her younger brother a fatal dose of drugs to her underling who chafes at her pushback on his vision to her aunts beau who owns the inn and seems to potentially be not quite on the up and up.

Though this is the third of the Piper Donovan mysteries, it stands well on its own.  I haven’t yet read either of the two previous books, and their plots weren’t spoiled for me, nor did I need to read them first to make sense of this mystery.  I appreciate that in a series, especially when I discover one and accidentally read a book in the middle.

This isn’t a book that will stick with me and cause me to think in the future, but it isn’t designed to be.  It’s a pleasant and quick read with fun characters who stick with their personalities.  Each has flaws and details that makes them approachable and unique, including Piper with her penchant for nonstop posting of photos to Facebook.

As trite as mysteries can easily be – and you know that Piper is bound to be the next victim of the killer as she conducts her own investigation against her retired cop father’s wishes – Footprints in the Sand does keep the suspense up throughout the book.  It kept me turning pages until the end, with me continually changing my mind over who I thought the killer simply must be.  And that’s all I hope for.

We have a copy of Footprints in the Sand to give to one of you! Just leave a comment if you’d like to win. We’ll announce the winner on January 23.This giveaway is closed.

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In the interest of full disclosure, I receive a copy of this book for review purposes.  I received no other compensation, and all opinions remain my own.

Written by 5 Minutes for Books contributor Michelle who is grateful that the mystery and danger in her life is primarily contained to the books she reads.  See what she’s doing instead of solving mysteries on a gorgeous beach as she shares them on her blog Honest & Truly, and follow her on Twitter where she is also @HonestAndTruly.

Email Author    |    Website About Michelle M.

Michelle is a freelance writer who is happy to not have a commute but still misses her marketing and product development jobs. She keeps busy with her 7 and 9 year old children, who fortunately love to read as much as she does. When she isn't reading or cooking - or doing laundry - you can find her on her blog Honest & Truly! or on Twitter as @Honest AndTruly.

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{ 23 comments… read them below or add one }

1 Sheila K. January 9, 2013 at 11:01 am

I would love to read this book—thanks for the opportunity to win a copy!!


2 latanya January 9, 2013 at 11:54 am

I would like to read this book.


3 June January 9, 2013 at 1:26 pm

Oh, this one sounds really good to me.


4 pearl January 9, 2013 at 2:13 pm

this book sounds compelling. Thanks.


5 Margaret January 9, 2013 at 2:14 pm

An interesting situation. Sounds good!



6 Kim January 9, 2013 at 3:45 pm

I love Mary Jane Clark’s books. This looks like another fun one!
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7 ellie January 9, 2013 at 4:13 pm

An interesting mystery. Great giveaway.


8 Cindi January 9, 2013 at 4:32 pm

I love a good mystery and the setting sounds
Many thanks, Cindi


9 Sandra K321 January 9, 2013 at 4:38 pm

I would like to read this. Thank you for offering it.


10 Annie January 9, 2013 at 5:12 pm

this author writes wonderful unique books.


11 Linda Kish January 9, 2013 at 8:07 pm

I would love to read this book.

lkish77123 at gmail dot com


12 Cindy Brooks January 10, 2013 at 1:52 am

I’d like to read this, thanks for the giveaway!
someluckydog at gmail dot com


13 Staci A January 10, 2013 at 4:43 pm

This sounds like an interesting read!


14 Angel S. January 10, 2013 at 5:47 pm

I would like to read this! I need to check out the series!


15 Stephanie January 11, 2013 at 11:40 am

Sounds like a great vacation read!
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16 Marjorie January 11, 2013 at 3:45 pm

This book has a good storyline and I would like to read it.


17 Jennifer January 22, 2013 at 7:25 pm

You won! Please reply to this email with your shipping address.
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18 riTa January 12, 2013 at 11:57 am

If only I had a beach to sit on and read…;-)
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19 samantha w January 13, 2013 at 12:10 pm

This sounds really good. Thanks for the chance


20 Hailey L. January 13, 2013 at 7:10 pm

I would LOVE to add this book to my collection! I need a light, easy read that I can “put down without losing the trail of the story or confusing characters”. Fingers are crossed that I win!!
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21 Garrett January 14, 2013 at 9:07 am

My girlfriend would like this book.


22 Anita Yancey January 16, 2013 at 9:04 am

Sounds like an excellant murder mystery, and one I would really enjoy reading. Thanks for this chance.


23 Van January 16, 2013 at 9:52 am

I’m pretty sure my girlfriend would enjoy this book.


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