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A Spirited Gift by Joyce Lavene
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This is the third book in the A Missing Pieces series. It's always enjoyable to visit Duck, NC and Mayor Dae and the interesting residents and this was no exception.

Mayor Dae and Duck, NC is hosting the first Mayors' Conference at the Blue Whale Inn. But as everyone is assembling for the weekends activities an unexpected hurricane comes ashore. The next morning as they are surveying the damage, Dae comes across the body of Mayor Sandi Foxx. At first it is thought that she was outside when the storm hit and was killed when a tool-shed was ripped apart. But it is soon learn that she was murdered. This doesn't come as too much as a surprise for Dae, as she had a vision of someone threatening Foxx with a gun.

Mayor Foxx is attending the conference with a male staffer with whom she is having an affair. Supposedly the affair was over. The staffer becomes the prime suspect, but Dae has her doubts. The husband who could have found out about his cheating wife, seems to have a good alibi.

In addition to trying to find the murderer, Dae is also dealing with her father, who she has just found out recently is still alive and living in Duck. In the beginning Dae is meeting with a medium, trying to get in touch with her mother, instead she makes contact with a pirate who had been hanged some two hundred years ago. The pirate, who is a very distant relative of Dae's, wants her to prove that he was wrongly hung. And he can be a pain in her backside.

Needless to say Dae has her hands full trying to bring all three of these important matters to a resolution.

An excellent story and oh what a surprise ending. Can't wait for the next book to see how the ending plays out. ( )
  FredYoder | May 11, 2015 |
A nice paranormal mystery. I like how the main character's political issues (she's mayor of a small town) are wound into the story. ( )
  4hounds | Dec 14, 2014 |
This is the third book in the A Missing Pieces series. It's always enjoyable to visit Duck, NC and Mayor Dae and the interesting residents and this was no exception.

Mayor Dae and Duck, NC is hosting the first Mayors' Conference at the Blue Whale Inn. But as everyone is assembling for the weekends activities an unexpected hurricane comes ashore. The next morning as they are surveying the damage, Dae comes across the body of Mayor Sandi Foxx. At first it is thought that she was outside when the storm hit and was killed when a tool-shed was ripped apart. But it is soon learn that she was murdered. This doesn't come as too much as a surprise for Dae, as she had a vision of someone threatening Foxx with a gun.

Mayor Foxx is attending the conference with a male staffer with whom she is having an affair. Supposedly the affair was over. The staffer becomes the prime suspect, but Dae has her doubts. The husband who could have found out about his cheating wife, seems to have a good alibi.

In addition to trying to find the murderer, Dae is also dealing with her father, who she has just found out recently is still alive and living in Duck. In the beginning Dae is meeting with a medium, trying to get in touch with her mother, instead she makes contact with a pirate who had been hanged some two hundred years ago. The pirate, who is a very distant relative of Dae's, wants her to prove that he was wrongly hung. And he can be a pain in her backside.

Needless to say Dae has her hands full trying to bring all three of these important matters to a resolution.

An excellent story and oh what a surprise ending. Can't wait for the next book to see how the ending plays out. ( )
  yoder | Sep 20, 2013 |
First Line: "I'm nervous."

Dae O'Donnell has good reason to be nervous. As mayor of Duck, North Carolina, she got the bright idea of inviting twenty small town mayors as well as their spouses and assistants to the Blue Whale Inn for her first Mayors' Conference Weekend. Unfortunately a storm got its own bright idea of becoming a hurricane and heading right for Duck, contrary to what every weather forecast predicted. With the power out and trees crashing through windows, there's little time for Dae to keep track of so many people.

The next morning the body of one of the mayors is found in what's left of the inn's toolshed. Although police believe the woman's death was caused by the storm, Dae knows it's not because she found Sandi's ring in the ballroom the night before, and the vision she had showed Sandi being held at gunpoint.

I have really enjoyed the Missing Pieces series up to this point. I love the setting on North Carolina's Outer Banks (incidentally, the town of Duck is a real place), and Dae's ability to touch an object and be able to see parts of its history fascinates me. Dae is a likable and sympathetic character as is her romantic interest, former FBI agent Kevin Brickman. However, from a promising beginning, the series began to sag into complacency a bit. Dae and Kevin's relationship has remained static, and Dae seldom uses her gift to any degree-- especially in solving crimes. Mostly she seems to put on her big mayor's smile and take care of Duck's business, and although I like the place, I don't read these books to find out how to run a small town on the Outer Banks.

The mystery in A Spirited Gift never became anything but lukewarm to me for two reasons. One, the victim didn't generate much interest. She wasn't a particularly admirable person, but I couldn't even work up a good dislike towards her. The second reason the story never really took off for me is the fact that I spotted the killer the very first time the character was described. Many times this does not sound a book's death knell for me, but when I couldn't get interested in other parts of the book, it was tough going here and there.

Fortunately I did read the entire book because at the very end, the authors made it abundantly clear that major changes are in the works for Dae O'Donnell. The timing is fortuitous, and I look forward to seeing what happens in the next book in this series. No, I'm not ready to give up on Dae-- I like her that much! ( )
  cathyskye | Dec 29, 2012 |
In Lavene’s mystery novel, Dae is hard at work hosting the first ever Mayor’s Conference Weekend at the Blue Whale Inn. After an unexpected hurricane leaves everyone stranded, Dae finds an expensive ring belonging to Mayor Sandi Foxx whose body is found later that day. After picking up on a vision through the ring of someone threatening her with a gun, Dae is convinced this is a case of murder. Whatever the cause, Dae is determined to identity the killer regardless the cost.

Dae O’Donnell is a woman with an unusual gift for finding lost things and a great heroine. Lively, fast-paced, and smart. ( )
  debbieaheaton | May 30, 2012 |
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Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Lavene, Joyceprimary authorall editionsconfirmed
Lavene, Jimmain authorall editionsconfirmed
Lavene, Joyce and Jimmain authorall editionsconfirmed
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As the mayor of Duck, North Carolina, Dae is playing host to 20 North Carolina elected officials attending her first Mayors' Conference Weekend at the Blue Whale Inn. When the body of Mayor Sandi Foxx is discovered the morning after a severe storm, Dae receives a vision through the mayor's ring--that there's a killer among the guests who's as deadly as any hurricane.… (more)

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