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Daughter of the Stars
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Daughter of the Stars

3.63 of 5 stars 3.63  ·  rating details  ·  441 ratings  ·  34 reviews
"Were they all lying? Misleading me for their own purposes?..."
Lacey Elliot has been a woman without a past since the day her mother whisked her off to Charlottesville, refusing for thirty years to speak of her father, her family, or her history.
But when Lacey intercepts a desperate letter from an aunt in Harpers Ferry, West Virginia, Lacey sees her chance to confront the
Paperback, 320 pages
Published December 28th 2004 by Ivy Books (first published 1994)
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❂ Jennifer (reviews on BookLikes)
Window on the Square is an absolute favorite of mine and I think it set a rather high bar for the rest of Ms. Whitney's writings. Still, this was a good read, excellently written in a way I just don't see in cozy/traditional mysteries any more. A very solid murder mystery, albeit a very weak romantic sub-plot. I'll look for more of her books, and hope I find the ones more reminiscent of WotS.

Full review:
Jacqueline O.
I used to read a lot of Phyllis A. Whitney's books in junior high and high school. I eventually stopped reading them because they all seemed the same.
This summer I've been reading some of my "read someday" pile, and I was in the mood for some very light reading. This is the third book I've read in the "light reading/romance" category. I probably got it through book-of-the-month club or The Literary Guild, and it's one of four Whitney novels I found sitting there on a shelf.
The novel starts with
With not much substance this was an easy read. Set in Harper's Ferry it could be considered a historical romance. If it is true, or has some truth, you could learn a lot about John Brown. Lacey Elliot learns about her past, the murder of her father, her great grandmother, great aunt and her half-sister.
Jenn Estepp
2 1/2, rounded up because it seems like Whitney was an interesting, accomplished lady. If anyone has recommended titles let me know please - I've read two so far and am lukewarm, at best, on them, but would like to read something by her that I loved.
Lacey Elliott has grown up with no family other than her mother Amelia, who refuses to reveal any information about their past. Then a letter comes, begging Amelia to return to Harpers Ferry, but Amelia, recovering from a cancer operation, cannot go. Lacey takes her place so she can learn about her family, which turns out to be all shades of surprising, warm, cold, dangerous, and tangled up in old history. As she learns more and meets more members of her family, she is determined to find out wha ...more
This, along with The Golden Unicorn by the same author, are what my grandmother used to call "Woman in Front of the House Books" from the standard cover art of a young woman in flowing garments posed in front of a large, spooky-looking house. The technical name is romantic suspense, and Phyllis A. Whitney was a master of the genre (in fact she was named a Grand Master by the MWA in 1988). When Whitney died recently at age 104, I realized I hadn't read anything of hers since junior high (she als ...more
Boring! Such a slow moving yet convoluted book - much ado about nothing. There is no objective correlative to the actions of the characters. The murder happened 30 years ago, Lacey's mother hides her past from her daughter all of her life and then suddenly sends her off to meet her family when she hears that the alleged murderer of her husband is back in town. Why?? Lacey falls in love with a man who she's just met, but there's no romance. One of Phyllis Whitney's worst books!
I love historical fiction that marries current happenings with situations that played an important part in history. This novel harkens back to John Brown's raid on Harper's Ferry, Virginia and the repercussions of an area that had brothers and friends fighting on opposing side.

I am interested in researching other novels written by this author.
I was raised on Phyllis Whitney since she was a favorite author of my mother.

This is a quick little read, not too much on the mystery but great on local history since I live in the area it takes place.
Barbara Woodford
I really liked the story. It kept the reader guessing all the way to the end. The ending was completely unexpected.
Quaint old mystery but nothing amazing. I did enjoy the facts about Harper's Ferry.
I know.....I read a book by an old author and I am guessing very few or actually not a single teenager like me has probably read her book. Well I must say this book was mind blowing.. I thought it would be boring to death but not that bad... My grandpa and I read it and he explained me at times when the plot made no sense to me... Its a adult book so the vocabulary was hard for me to comprehend. I thought it would be a romantic book but it actually was suspense and I LOVE suspense books.. One of ...more
Dayna Smith
Lacey's mother took her away from her family in Harper's Ferry after the murder of her father. She has never told Lacey anything about her father or the existence of her family. When she intercepts a letter from her aunt to her mother begging her mother to come home, Lacey decides to go herself. Once there, she discovers she has more family than she has ever imagined, and is confronted with the truth about her father's death. If you are a Whitney fan, you will love this book also.
I went through a period of time where I read Phyllis Whitney books back to back - I chain-read her books! Her writing style appeals to me, and these books make a great summer day in the park type read, or a good story to curl up with on a rainy day. The only drawback is the plots are all pretty similar (girl is usually trying to solve a family mystery and finds an attractive yet scary man, etc.) and I can't remember which is which! I liked them all, however.
Not sure how I found Whitney but absolutely love reading her books. They are difficult to find so now I'm on a quest for more of her books (I might have one or two stashed, will have to check). This story had me on the edge from the first few pages. As with the mystery she even threw a bit of romance in the midst. Was surprised at the ending -- especially since I always try to figure out the end as I'm reading along. Another great book by Whitney!
Daughter of the Stars is the meaning of the word shennedoah. The story is set at Harper's Ferry, West Virginia where the Shennedndoah river becomes part of the Potomac. It threads the pre-civial war history of the area through the mystery that makes up the story.

Whitney was a master story teller. I had forgotten how skilfull she was and how wonderfully satisfying it is to read one of her stories.
This was a great mystery that also included some excellent American history and some romance. Definitely kept my attention riveted to every word. She surely deserved 'The Grand Master' award. It made a portion of the early stages of the U.S. civil war easy to visualize. I highly recommend this book. (given to me by my good friend Gail Griffith)
Finally finished this book! I should have listened to myself halfway through and not bothered finishing it!

I went to the Library with out a list of books from "Good Reads", and I have always loved a good romance mystery!
At first I had fun reading especially at the beginning. Then it began to drag a bit, like you’d notice this in a not very long book or long ending. But it challenges to perfection. The kind of writing readers all enjoy.
Christina Reeder
A good story with some historical elements. I enjoyed this book because it left me wondering from chapter to chapter when will Lacey find out about what all her family turmoil is. A short read but worth it.
This wins an award - for sitting on my bookshelf the longest, about 15 years, without being read. Nothing exciting, it probably should have just stayed there.
Has some history of the abolitionist John Brown.
Good book. I enjoyed the modern day connection with the past, and the little bit of history that I picked up. I think this is geared more toward a younger audience, but I still liked reading it.
Not a bad book. Pretty typical, although I never thought the killer was who it turned out to be. The book kinda plodded along til Henry turns up dead and then it just flies to the end.
Rachel Eatherton
This is my second book by Ms. Whitney, and they are not terrible. However, I do feel like the ending has been very rushed and anti-climatic in both books.
I didn't know until the end who the murderer was, that was good. But just felt annoyed with all the characters, so only giving it two stars.
The only thing I loved about this book (why I got it) was because it was based in Harpers Ferry, and told a lot about our little town.
Jun 15, 2010 Barb rated it 4 of 5 stars
Shelves: adult
Part travelogue, part mystery. You feel like you have visited whatever location she has set the book in and it is an informative visit.
Trudged thru it but would not read anything by this author again. Felt like I was reading a Nancy Drew book.
Audra Sigala
I kinda like this book.............very interesting
Good Book!
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From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia -
Phyllis Ayame Whitney (September 9, 1903 – February 8, 2008) was an American mystery writer. Rare for her genre, she wrote mysteries for both the juvenile and the adult markets, many of which feature exotic locations. A review in The New York Times once dubbed her "The Queen of the American Gothics".

She was born in Japan to American parents and spent her ear
More about Phyllis A. Whitney...
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