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Missy's Murder

3.91  ·  Rating Details ·  637 Ratings  ·  46 Reviews
On October 1, 1985, teenager Missy Avila was lured into the woods, beaten, tortured, and drowned. Karen Severson, Missy's best friend, publicly vowed to find the killer and moved in with Missy's family to help. Three years later, a surprise witness exposed the murderers--Missy's two best friends--one of whom was Karen Severson. Photographs. Original.
Paperback, 400 pages
Published November 3rd 1991 by Dell
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Margaret Fraleigh
Dec 07, 2014 Margaret Fraleigh rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: karen-kingsbury
This is one of Karen's books she wrote while a newspaper reporter. This I believe is a true story.

I read one of her other books - Deadly Pretender that she wrote around this same time period.

There are two more - Finals Vows and Snake and the Spider.

After writing these books, Karen chose to be a bearer of light, She began writing redemptive hope-filled fiction. These stores are awesome. I would encourage any and all to read her books.

Marie Nicol
Mar 05, 2015 Marie Nicol rated it it was amazing
Shelves: 2015
great book , amazing story ...very different to my usual kind of read .
Nov 05, 2016 Joan rated it liked it
This is the second one of Kingsbury's true crime stories I've read; but I understand that is was her first novel. It details a fascinating true story, but the flow of the story is pretty rough. Sometimes flashbacks were confusing, and there was much too much long delving into every character's background story. Kingsbury's smooth writing style and facility with language was already evident in this first novel.
Dec 17, 2016 Joy rated it really liked it
Karen Kingsbury wrote these true crime stories at the beginning of her writing career. This story tells of a tragic waste of a life...all because of jealousy.
Terri Moses
Slow but gets better

The book started out slow and jumped around a lot. Once the story settled down the story was very attention stirring.
Lisa Sharrar
Dec 31, 2016 Lisa Sharrar rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition

Intriguing and keeps you wanting more even though you know how it ends. Too bad those ladies only got second degree for such a heinous crime.
As someone who enjoys reading Christian fiction immensely, I'm very familiar with the works of Karen Kingsbury. I've read probably 10 or so of her Christian fiction books, and while a few of them were decent, I finally gave up on her as the Queen of Corn (literally the last book of hers I read I wanted to throw at the wall!). I was intrigued to learn that she got her start writing true crime novels, something I'm also very interested in.

I have been familiar with the case of Missy Avila since se
Jun 29, 2016 Sandy rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Missy's Murder

As I have learned by reading Karen Kingsbury books, she often writes about things that I can relate to on a personal level. This is another of those stories. My grandfather and a cousin were murdered in two separate incidents when I was quite young. I watched my mother years later still grieving for her father and a jury that freed his killers. Then I saw the story from the other side. Two very close relatives in two unrelated incidents thousands of miles apart were the accused, on
Dawn Traylor
Feb 24, 2015 Dawn Traylor rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
couldn't put it down

Karen is not my typical read. I have read several of her books and especially like the series on 9-11. But typically her books involve romantic relationships or family drama. I am a mystery fan and this book lives up to my expectations! The characters are so intriguing and you keep wondering what is the "why" behind what they are doing. This is one that even when you aren't reading you are still thinking about the plot and how it might end. I highly recommend Missy's Murder i
Feb 18, 2015 Becky rated it liked it
Shelves: true-life-crime
Well written. Sad case of betrayal by people who were supposed to be best friends. Missy was 17 when she was killed. For three years her two closest friends got away with murder until another came forward with the truth. In the meantime one of the girls moved into Missy's family home and worked hard at manipulating Missy's family, who never suspected her of being the killer. The two killers are out of prison now, they served 21 years. The jury could not agree it was premeditated murder so they o ...more
Sep 05, 2015 Cora rated it liked it
I'll start by saying this book is not like other Karen Kingsbury books. The introduction also explains that, she started her career writing true crime novels. This book was good but you have to read it with the understand that it is based on a true crime and true facts, it does have some fiction parts in it but for the most part it seems to be based on the actual events. It was a very interesting book, I enjoyed it and the fact that it actually happened just makes it all even crazier.
Kelly Brown
This was Karen Kingsbury's first novel- a true crime novel at that, which is very different from what she writes now. It was pretty good. I picked it for a reading challenge I am doing, for I would not normally read this genre. It was about young girl named Missy that was murdered by her supposed two best friends. The story was interesting and easy to read- it was just so sad. Hard to put down...some of the things I read I could not believe happened to Missy and her family.
Apr 01, 2015 Sherry rated it liked it
A work friend gave me the book to read. I don't usually read true crime, but gave it a shot. The murdered girl, Missy, would have been the same age as me. She lived half the United States away from me in California, but our 1985 lives had been very similar. The story made me very sad. Evil people have been in the world forever. I'm glad the murderers were found, convicted and that Missy's family found some peace.
Helen Beesley
Sep 20, 2015 Helen Beesley rated it liked it
This is one book where the movie was much better than the book. The author writes a little too speculatively about what people were thinking for a an honest account in my opinion. It is a horrific story and one that reminds us that teens can get themselves very involved in things when parents aren't more vigilant.
Jan 22, 2016 Fishface rated it really liked it
Another astonishing case of murder that -- if you hold with that sort of thing -- was solved by the ghost of the victim. She spoke through the shower head to one of the witnesses, urging her to do the right thing, until she broke down and went to the police. Hey, as I always say, do whatever works! Go Missy!
Paula Strome
Nov 24, 2014 Paula Strome rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
My First True-Crime Novel

But not my last. I was engrossed from the beginning. As is often said, "You can't make this stuff up!" I came to feel things about the people involved that I wouldn't have thought myself capable of. This is definitely not a book for children, due to the subject matter. I would give it (at least) a PG-13 rating.
Jun 24, 2014 Missy added it
Interesting read. Shocking that this a real life event and the emotional drawing it brings out is incredible. Sympathy, empathy, ANGER, it all is unbelievable. it does drag a little with a lot of repeating, but still very interesting and worth while story.
Maybe I was too young when I read this book (12 y.o.) that I found what happened to Missy very appalling. I mean I was in High school with bestfriends, and to read that Missy was murdered by her bestfriend did not set well with me.
Jan 15, 2012 Melissa rated it really liked it
Shelves: mmm
Good true crime book.
One of my favorite Lifetime movies as a teen so it was neat to read the real story.
Much more detail about what really went on.
An early example of "mean girls" and what jealousy mixed with instability can do.

Mary Kay Roy
Jul 28, 2016 Mary Kay Roy rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition

After reading about such darkness, I understand why she began writing uplifting Life changing novels. I have read almost all of her novels and always look forward to the next one.
Briana C Kennedy-Kessler

For Karen Kingsbury book this is very different however Karen explains at the end that this is where she got her beginning in writing. In this case the murderer also wrote a book. I much rather Karen get money for a book then the murderer.
Yvonne Webb
Oct 04, 2016 Yvonne Webb rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Issue's Murder is a true story!

I enjoyed this book, if a person can enjoy a horrible story. It's about hate and jealousy. Young lives wasted, thrown away. I promise if you start it you won't want to put it down. Karen Kingsbury is an awesome author.
Linda Duff
Aug 30, 2014 Linda Duff rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Was justice served?

Very engrossing read of a true crime. The author describes the crime in a sense I felt I was there. I also appreciated the fact the story wasn't ruined by offensive language. This story is so sad.
Peggy Bondurant
Jul 20, 2015 Peggy Bondurant rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Great. I like true stories.

The reason I chose to read this book was because I really like legal cases and especially true accounts. This was one of Kingsbury's best books.
Mary Beth
Sep 26, 2014 Mary Beth rated it really liked it
This is an excellent book, that I didn't realize was nonfiction until the end. What a chilling story!
Sundaye Hook
Jan 24, 2016 Sundaye Hook rated it really liked it
Didn't realize it wasn't the Christian author Karen Kingsbury. This was a true tragic and twisted story.
Betty Jo  Drake
Jun 20, 2015 Betty Jo Drake rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Couldn't put it down.

A great book to read and real life crime novel. I couldn't turn the pages fast enough. This is by far Karen Kingsbury best true life crime book.
Debbie Brewer
Crime show in print

Missy's Murder was like reading a 48 hours or unsolved mysteries script. I 'm so glad Kingsbury writes christian fiction now!
Kassie Sanders
May 17, 2014 Kassie Sanders rated it liked it
I enjoyed this book. Very sad but relatable. A lot of characters to keep up with but author did a great job of developing them. Always enjoy Karen Kingsbury books.
Oct 21, 2014 Amanda rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Read it!

Great book to read, I didn't want to put it down. Missy's Murder is a very emotional book and the writer really makes you feel and want justice for the Avilia family.
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Karen Kingsbury, #1 New York Times bestselling novelist, is America’s favorite inspirational storyteller, with more than twenty-five million copies of her award-winning books in print. Her last dozen titles have topped bestseller lists and many of her novels are under development with Hallmark Films and as major motion pictures. In addition, it was recently announced that Roma Downey and MGM Studi ...more
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