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In a Dark Season (An Elizabeth Goodweather Appalachian Mystery #4)
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In a Dark Season (Elizabeth Goodweather Appalachian Mystery #4)

3.94 of 5 stars 3.94  ·  rating details  ·  168 ratings  ·  27 reviews
In a North Carolina winter, new vistas appear through the bare trees. For Elizabeth Goodweather of Full Circle Farm, still a newcomer after more than twenty years, one terrible glimpse ignites a mystery that reaches back years into these hills, drawing together dozens of seemingly unconnected lives. Elizabeth sees a frail old woman on a high porch where dolls hang by twine ...more
Mass Market Paperback, 464 pages
Published May 20th 2008 by Dell (first published January 1st 2008)
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Community Reviews

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Georgiann Hennelly
An inticate plot goes from past to future, and back to past . Nola Barrett,s ancient sprawling house is spewing a dark past: of scandal depravity and murder. Her land is at the center of multiple mysteries, ranging from a suspicious death to a brutal rape of a young women, to the legend of a handsome young man hanged for a murder he didn,t commit. But with Nola recovering from her attempted suicide . its up to Elizabeth to sort through the past of this mad violent drama- while a killer has a pe ...more
Carolyn Hill
Jul 15, 2011 Carolyn Hill rated it 4 of 5 stars
Recommends it for: Kathy Stewart, Randy Maxey
I'm not sure why I had not read Vicki Lane until now, for I love the mountains around Asheville, North Carolina, where she sets her Elizabeth Goodweather series. I was probably under the mistaken notion that her mysteries were dark and gruesome. Yes, there's dark aplenty, but the gruesomeness is kept within limits tolerable to my squeamishness. The emphasis here is on character, and Vicki Lane does a wonderful job of creating sympathetic and believable characters in a rural Appalachian setting. ...more
Sheila Beaumont
Vicki Lane's Elizabeth Goodweather series, set in the North Carolina Appalachians, is truly fascinating, so outstanding in its writing and storytelling that it's hard to do it justice. But I'll do my best. This, the fourth book, takes place in December, leading up to the winter solstice and Christmas. The author does a masterful job of interweaving mysteries in the past and present, with the characters and their interrelationships so vividly portrayed that they come to life.

This intricate tale i
In a Dark Season is the fourth of Vicki Lane's Elizabeth Goodweather series. The books juxtapose stories from the past with present-day mysteries, all set in the mountains of North Carolina. The books also follow the lives of Elizabeth, her two daughters, and other people in their community. This book is set at Christmastime, contrasting the "light in a dark season" with the tragic and complicated interwoven plots, today's crimes having their genesis in troubles of the 19th century. You will onl ...more
Suzanne Moore
This is the first book I've read in the Elizabeth Goodweather Full Circle series. Liz is a middle-aged woman in a relationship with Philip Hawkins, criminal justice professor/detective. They live in the Appalachian mountains, near Asheville. One of the neighbors, Nola Barrett, tries to kill herself by jumping off a cliff, and they are luckily nearby to get help. Liz discovers a mystery surrounding Nola's suicide attempt and uncovers a string of crimes by some local "Bad Boyz." This takes place d ...more
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Enjoyed this fourth outing of the Elizabeth Goodweather series. I love her Appalachian settings and love Elizabeth's family & occupation as a herbal farmer. This time, the historic mystery struck me as less interesting, for whatever reason. It concerned the Drovers Road along which animals were driven to to the coast for slaughtering and an inn or "stand" along the way. One of the drovers is accused of murder. Eventually, I became more interested in his story, but it seemed a more stereotypi ...more
Oct 17, 2008 Susan rated it 3 of 5 stars
Recommends it for: mystery fans and mountain lovers
I am a real fan of Vicki Lane after I discovered her first book on a trip to Hot Springs in the mountains of North Carolina. Her mysteries are set in that area and they always evoke for me that lovely place. In a Dark Season is her latest in the Elizabeth Goodweather series and I think it is her best. The setting is wintertime in the mountains and the bleak story of murder and betrayal parallels the season, as the title suggests. Vicki's portrayal of mountain people and their quaint speech is sp ...more
Courtney Lake
A good small town/amateur sleuth novel. Not earth shattering or page turning, but a well developed mystery spanning a story hundreds of years old. I found the story engaging, even having not ready any of the other books in the series.

Not a bad book for a plane ride or beach bag. You won't mind putting it down if something comes up, but its not so dull as to give you a headache.
I agree with other reviewers that while I love these mysteries, this one was a bit tired to me. I skimmed the flashbacks to the past--they seemed too much like her previous books and bored me. I am also starting to get annoyed with Elizabeth. She is coming across as righteous and holier-than-thou.

I still plan to keep reading, though. In most series I have read, there are a few books here and there that I just don't care as much for... But you keep going and then you remember why you fell in lov
I am beginning to consider Elizabeth Goodweather a friend. I like her. And she has at long last agreed ot marry Philip Hawkins. I loved the back and forth between today and history. She appears to have a perfect pitch for dialect.

This one, set in a very cold December seemed to move slower for me than the others and I am not sure why. I will probably read it again.
Chris Babcock
Lane draws you into the story nicely - quickly, but not obviously setting up the people and places. She manages to include details of daily life that make you understand the characters better than many other mystery writers do. This mystery involves a historical, deserted building that has a dark past that becomes unraveled when the owner dies.
What a fascinating book! Intertwining stories merge to create a thrilling mystery that kept me up too late last night.

What I love about Vicki Lane's series is the complex characters, the sense of place, the completeness of the story in which the mystery is an organic part.

Now, can I wait until 2009 for the next installment?
Julia Spencer-Fleming
I was asked to quote this book, was totally bowled over, and have consumed the series. Vicki Lane has a uniquely lyrical voice that literally cries down from the Appalachian Hill country, like a shriek in the night. The only writer in her league is Sharyn McCrumb, and if you like McCrumb you'll LOVE Vicki's storytelling.
This book has a wonderful dual story line that dovetails perfectly at the end. As a native North Carolinian who spent many summers visiting cousins in Asheville during the 1950/1960's and camping throughout the mountains in other seasons, the memories during this Christmas holiday have been priceless.
Simply mesmerizing. Once again Vicki combines a modern day mystery with an old one and the two stories intertwine so seamlessly you can't put it down. And yet again we are left with a cliff hanger ending that has you eagerly anticipating Elizabeth Goodweather's next adventure!
I like Vicki Lane and her protagonist, Elizabeth Goodweather, but her books are hard to find sometimes, esp. in libraries or used book stores. I ordered two or three on Amazon, and this one had some nice plot twists. I like the Appalachian setting most of all.
Nancy Martin
i like everything about this series: late middle aged main characters, with outside the box occupations, uniquely american setting, plot complexity, interesting and well-developed secondary characters. I like the details of appalachian culture & history too.
I like the interplay of past and present in Vicki Lane's books. The pace was good in this one. I was sorry about that last chapter, though. I decided not to read the teaser at the end for the next novel since I couldn't have any resolution yet.
Loved the writing style (as always) but I supposed I'm tired of Ms. Goodweather and her ability to always have unsolved mysteries in her life. Maybe I'm just not a series book reader...

Now onto another Vicki Lane novel. (new book)
Lisa Bork
Intricate plot with complex character relationships. Has present day and past storylines--past is told in italics but then so is present day protagonist's thoughts. Very satisfying resolution of both storylines.
This one wasn't quite as good as her other mysteries in the series, but I still really enjoyed it. I love that the books take place in the Asheville area, making them great summer reads to keep your mind off the hot.
This one took a long time for me to read. There is a lot going on in the story and it is definitely not a quick read. In the end, it was a good story.
Even though I found the ending distressful, I enjoyed another string of adventures from Elizabeth Goodweather and company.
Enjoyed thoroughly. Excellent depection of Appalachia and a good mystery to boot!
set near Asheville & Marshall NC
Jul 02, 2008 Sue rated it 3 of 5 stars
Shelves: mystery
Fourth in series, good read.
Kimmy Yates
Kimmy Yates marked it as to-read
Feb 22, 2015
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Vicki Lane is the author of THE DAY OF SMALL THINGS and of the Elizabeth Goodweather Appalachian Mysteries from Bantam Dell:IN A DARK SEASON, OLD WOUNDS, ART'S BLOOD,SIGNS IN THE BLOOD. Vicki and her family have lived in western North Carolina on a mountain farm since 1975.

For lots more info, go to or check Vicki's blog
More about Vicki Lane...

Other Books in the Series

Elizabeth Goodweather Appalachian Mystery (6 books)
  • Signs in the Blood (An Elizabeth Goodweather Appalachian Mystery #1)
  • Art's Blood (An Elizabeth Goodweather Appalachian Mystery #2)
  • Old Wounds (An Elizabeth Goodweather Appalachian Mystery #3)
  • The Day of Small Things (An Elizabeth Goodweather Appalachian Mystery #5)
  • Under the Skin (An Elizabeth Goodweather Appalachian Mystery #6)
Signs in the Blood (An Elizabeth Goodweather Appalachian Mystery #1) Art's Blood (An Elizabeth Goodweather Appalachian Mystery #2) Old Wounds (An Elizabeth Goodweather Appalachian Mystery #3) The Day of Small Things (An Elizabeth Goodweather Appalachian Mystery #5) Under the Skin (An Elizabeth Goodweather Appalachian Mystery #6)

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