Stone Cold Dead Review

Stone Cold Dead Review
Ellie Stone was entertaining a young sailor who was on leave on New Year’s Eve. It was 1960, in her home town of New Holland, New York, and in the midst of the late night celebration received a visitor by the name of Irene Metzger. She was the mother of Darlene Hicks who was fifteen-years old.

Mrs. Metzger believed her daughter took off with a young man, but police wouldn’t do anything about it, believing she would come home when she was ready.

Ironically, Ellie remembered meeting the teenager the week before when Ellie got drunk at a local Friday night high school basketball game, and Darlene helped Ellie out. She also stole Ellie’s bottle of whiskey that night.

The next Wednesday afternoon she was seen in the vicinity of her school bus that was idling in the parking lot after school was let out, but for some reason she did not get on the bus. No one had seen Darlene since that time.

Darlene hadn’t had a good life so far. Her step-father beat her, her car brake lines were cut, other men used her, and even the local police mistreated her.

Ellie was given the newspaper assignment she wanted; to look into Darlene’s disappearance. With unexpected help from an older woman in the steno pool, Ellie went to work relentless in the pursuit of the truth. Little did she know how challenging and dangerous that assignment was.

Stone Cold Dead was the third story in the Ellie Stone Mystery series following Styx & Stones and No Stone Unturned written by author James W. Ziskin. All three books were based in the 1960’s giving readers of an age a reminder of how life was during that time, especially as it regards the treatment of women.

Ellie had her hands full as she tried to do the job she loved while also dealing with her own insecurities and struggles.

The author knows his setting and the times well, and brings a unique perspective to this tale. A strong plot keeps the story moving forward at an acceptable pace while also allowing the author to take his time with details and unexpected twists. Just when the reader thinks they have it all figured out, they find out they weren’t even close.

Whether you have read the previous two books or not, Stone Cold Dead holds its own and is well worth the read.

If you are interested in purchasing Stone Cold Dead: An Ellie Stone Mystery (Ellie Stone Mysteries Series Book 3),it is available at

A special thank you goes to Seventh Street Books for providing us with a complimentary copy of this novel for our review.

You Should Also Read:
Styx & Stone Review
No Stone Unturned Review
No Mercy Review

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