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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  ·  Rating Details ·  200 Ratings  ·  30 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
Paperback, 464 pages
Published May 20th 2008 by Dell (first published January 1st 2008)
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Georgiann Hennelly
Aug 25, 2011 Georgiann Hennelly rated it really liked it
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
Mar 15, 2017 Amanda rated it liked it
Christmas has come around again in Ransom, NC. This year Elizabeth Fairweather is having a hard time... her friend Nola tried to commit suicide, she and Phillip are grouchy with each other, Ben's new girlfriend is too perfect to be true. And the fact that her late husband died right around Christmas six years previously does not help.

The historical mystery is the story of Lydy Goforth and how he was hung for murders he said he did not commit.

There was some woo-woo stuff going on in this book. No
Mar 23, 2008 Ali rated it liked it
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Suzanne Moore
Jul 21, 2012 Suzanne Moore rated it it was amazing
Shelves: otsp-suggestions
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
Carolyn Hill
Jul 14, 2011 Carolyn Hill rated it really liked it
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
May 16, 2009 Nikki rated it it was amazing
Shelves: mysteries, fiction
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
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
Oct 12, 2011 Lisa rated it really liked it
Shelves: suspense
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
Sep 01, 2008 Susan rated it liked it
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
Janna Zonder
May 13, 2015 Janna Zonder rated it it was amazing
I've read all of Vicki Lane's beautifully written novels, and it would be hard for me to pick a favorite. In a Dark Season is part of her Elizabeth Goodweather series. I love Elizabeth and this series! Like all of Lane's characters, Elizabeth is richly drawn, multi-dimensional, flawed and fascinating. Set in the Appalachian mountains, this is a masterfully woven mystery that takes readers back and forth in time, keeps them in suspense, but never loses them. In a less-gifted writer, dialect can b ...more
Mar 25, 2013 Tammy rated it liked it
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
Courtney Lake
Jul 13, 2014 Courtney Lake rated it it was ok
Shelves: sold
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.
Julia Spencer-Fleming
Mar 26, 2011 Julia Spencer-Fleming rated it it was amazing
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.
Jan 21, 2013 Becki rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
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.
Jul 06, 2008 Debra rated it really liked it
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?
Dec 20, 2008 Joan rated it liked it
Shelves: mystery
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
Jan 30, 2011 Chris Babcock rated it really liked it
Shelves: mysteries
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.
Lisa Bork
Sep 07, 2009 Lisa Bork rated it liked it
Shelves: mystery
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.
Nov 21, 2012 Kitsey rated it it was amazing
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!
Jul 19, 2013 Anna rated it liked it
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.
Jun 18, 2008 Betsy rated it really liked it
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.
Dec 04, 2008 MsEM rated it liked it
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)
Dec 17, 2015 Judy rated it really liked it
Takes place near Asheville, NC. Wonderful descriptions of the area. A cliff hanger! Would read other work by this author. It was recommend to me as I am interested in living in this area. Great characters.
Jan 07, 2009 Andrea rated it really liked it
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.
Nancy Martin
Jun 06, 2010 Nancy Martin rated it really liked it
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.
Jun 13, 2009 Lindig rated it liked it
Shelves: mystery
set near Asheville & Marshall NC
Aug 11, 2012 Sarah rated it liked it
Enjoyed thoroughly. Excellent depection of Appalachia and a good mystery to boot!
Sep 26, 2009 Kona rated it liked it
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.
May 30, 2008 Susan rated it really liked it
Even though I found the ending distressful, I enjoyed another string of adventures from Elizabeth Goodweather and company.
Jul 02, 2008 Sue rated it liked it
Shelves: mystery
Fourth in series, good read.
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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)

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