All Time Faves: Past Imperfect: crimes from the past that haunt the present

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The Chatham School Affair
By Cook, Thomas H.
1997/10 - Bantam Books
9780553571936 Find It

Winner - 1997 Edgar Awards
From the author of "Breakheart Hill" and "Mortal Memory" comes an Edgar Award-winning tale of betrayal and passion. Destined to cement Cook's reputation as one of crime fiction's most exciting talents, this novel delves into the Chatham School Affair, a firestorm of tragedy that destroyed five lives. Through vivid portraits of a woman, a school, and a town, readers visit a place where a passionate violence isn't only likely--it's unavoidable.
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The Shape of Sand
By Eccles, Marjorie
2005/12 - St. Martin's Minotaur
9780312352325 Find It

A scandal catapults a family into the headlines--and near ruin. Nearly four decades pass, and still the exact events remain a mystery. When an old diary is unearthed, it finally seems answers are within reach--until a mummified corpse is found in the ruins of the estate. ...More

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Waking Raphael
By Forbes, Leslie
2005/04 - Bantam
9780553383416 Find It

La Muta, "the mute woman." Amidst a country rocked by scandal and corruption, inhabitants of the idyllic city of Urbino, Italy, birthplace of Raphael, are more concerned with a sudden outbreak of miracles than with politics. But what unspeakable secret lies hidden in Raphael's enigmatic painting? Its restoration will drive a living mute to a shocking act of violence and spark an investigation into a nearly forgotten war crime and a series of events that will shatter the silence gripping this community forever.
Both a mesmerizing thriller and a passionate exploration of the power of truth to effect reconciliation and restore faith, Waking Raphael spins a tantalizing web of silence and lies to recreate an Italy where the romantic and the violent, the comic and the tragic, are spellbindingly interwoven.

"From the Hardcover edition. ...More

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In Pale Battalions
By Goddard, Robert
2007/05 - Delta
9780385339209 Find It

After her husband's sudden death, Leonora Galloway sets off for Paris with her daughter Penelope. At last the time has come when secrets can be shared and explanations begin. But nothing could have prepared her, or the reader, for the extraordinary story that is about to unfold. ...More

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The Ghost Writer
By Harwood, John
2004/07 - Harcourt
9780151010745 Find It

A BookPage Notable Title
Harwood's tantalizing tale of suspense and family secrets weaves Victorian ghost stories into the present where they start to come true. This astonishing, assured debut shows just how dangerous family skeletons--and stories--can be.
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Lucifer's Shadow
By Hewson, David
2005/07 - Delta
9780385338059 Find It

In an ancient burial ground on an island off Venice, a young woman's casket is pried open, an object is wrenched from her hands, and an extraordinary adventure begins.

From the moment he arrives in Venice, Daniel Forster is seduced by the city's mystery and eroticism. An earnest young academic, Daniel has come for a summer job cataloguing a private collector's library. But when Daniel's employer sends him to buy a stolen violin from a petty thief, a chain reaction of violence and deception ignites. Suddenly Daniel is drawn into a police investigation--and a tempest swirling around a beautiful woman, a mysterious palazzo, and a lost musical masterpiece dating back centuries. With each step he takes, Daniel unwittingly retraces a journey that began in 1733, when another young man came to Venice. ...More

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The House at Riverton
By Morton, Kate
2008/04 - Atria Books
9781416550518 Find It

This gorgeous debut novel is set in England between the two World Wars. The story of an aristocratic family, a mysterious death, and a vanishing way of life is told in flashback by a woman who witnessed it all and kept secrets for more than 50 years. ...More

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The Virgin of Small Plains: A Novel of Suspense
By Pickard, Nancy
2006/04 - Ballantine Books
9780345470997 Find It

BookPage Notable Title
2007 Kansas Notable Book
2006 Agatha Award for Best Novel
Some of the leading citizens of Small Plains, Kansas, are determined to keep the truth buried when a long-ago murder resurfaces with devastating and deadly consequences.
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In a Dry Season
By Robinson, Peter
2000/07 - Avon Books
9780380794775 Find It

After the waters of a reservoir are drained, the ruins of a small Yorkshire village are revealed, along with the bones of a young woman who was murdered at the end of World War II. Detective Chief Inspector Alan Banks must identify the victim and unmask a killer who has escaped detection for a half century. ...More

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The Thirteenth Tale
By Setterfield, Diane
2006/09 - Atria Books
9780743298025 Find It

Alex Award Winner - 2007
A BookPage Notable Title
A biographer struggles to discover the truth about an aging writer who has mythologized her past.
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