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Styx & Stone Review

Ellie Stone was a reporter for the New Holland Republic when she found out her father had been brutally attacked in his New York City home and left in critical condition. She was also told that the grave of her deceased brother had been vandalized shortly before her fatherís attack. Her father was a distinguished professor held in high regard as a renowned Dante scholar.

Although Ellie and her father were estranged, she immediately headed to New York. When she arrived at his high rise apartment, she found his books and papers scattered around his study. She also found out his current manuscript was missing and later verified it was stolen. Ellie also learned that a colleague of her fatherís, assistant professor Ruggero Ercolano, was murdered later the same day.

Although the police were actively looking into his attack, Ellie also searched for clues in his study and through contacts with his personal friends and colleagues. The further she delved into her fatherís attack, the more she realized what a cut-throat business academia could be.

With the help of local police detectives, and her own scouting around as she poured through the papers in her fatherís study, Ellie began to put the pieces together. When someone later tried to kill him in the hospital, Ellie picked up the pace as she sorted through numerous clues, dead ends and false leads in order to stop a determined killer.

Styx & Stone: An Ellie Stone Mystery is the debut novel in the new Ellie Stone Mystery series created by James W. Ziskin, a freelance writer and linguist with an impressive resume in academia. Written in first person, the New York City setting provides a distinctive backdrop to this well written, entertaining read. Rife with 1960ís detail, the clever plot entertains at a steady pace through numerous twists and turns providing plenty of action along the way.

It was enjoyable, and a breath of fresh air, to see the local police were on her side rather than the antagonist butting of heads so many authors use to create tension. They didnít seem belligerent when dealing with an intelligent, feisty, independent, concerned female, especially since this novel was set in the 1960ís and could have taken the characters in a different direction. The author understood the period and portrayed the loose, open morality of the times.

This amazing first novel is well worth checking out. Hopefully, the second in the Ellie Stone series will publish soon.

A special thank you goes to Seventh Street Books for providing a complimentary copy of Styx & Stone: An Ellie Stone Mystery for our review. If you are interested in purchasing a copy, it is available at Amazon.com.

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