Goodreads helps you keep track of books you want to read.
Start by marking “Ashes to Water” as Want to Read:
Ashes to Water
Enlarge cover
Rate this book
Clear rating
Open Preview

Ashes to Water

4.1  ·  Rating Details ·  49 Ratings  ·  21 Reviews
Set in Florida in the 1980’s, Ashes To Water is an atmospheric story of a small-town murder, and one woman’s reluctant involvement in its resolution.

Annie Bartlett must choose between her sister and the woman accused of murdering her father. Will she find a way to save them both?
Hardcover, 393 pages
Published June 16th 2010 by Five Star (ME)
More Details... edit details

Friend Reviews

To see what your friends thought of this book, please sign up.

Reader Q&A

To ask other readers questions about Ashes to Water, please sign up.

Be the first to ask a question about Ashes to Water

This book is not yet featured on Listopia. Add this book to your favorite list »

Community Reviews

(showing 1-30)
filter  |  sort: default (?)  |  Rating Details
Sep 18, 2010 galleycat rated it it was amazing
Irene Ziegler likes to tell fans on her website that she's an excellent parallel parker and "the voice you love to hate" on GPS cell phones.
Now we can add her dazzling debut novel, "Ashes to Water," to the list of things to love about this Richmond, Va., actress/playwright.
Ziegler is scary good in "Ashes," a double whodunit riddled with fantastically flawed characters hiding behind all sorts of lies and secrets in a small Florida town where everyone's in everyone's business or back pocket.
Jeffrey Crimmel
Sep 13, 2010 Jeffrey Crimmel rated it it was amazing
Recommends it for: readers who want a good mystery
Recommended to Jeffrey by: Irene Ziegler
I finished Ashes to Water today and I was pleased with the result. The mystery novel takes place in a small, rural community much like most rural towns in the south. Ziegler, has a wonderful way of drawing in the reader to an unsolved murder and at the same time slowly developing all the characters around the story plot. The reader follows along becoming involved in all the different over lapping accounts that each character has with each other and soon it seems like one big unhappy family ...more
John Capecci
Sep 12, 2010 John Capecci rated it it was amazing
Shelves: fiction

I loved Irene Ziegler’s Ashes to Water for many reasons. It’s a tightly crafted page-turner with a murder mystery at its center, as well as an intricate and rich small-town drama, with a large cast of characters whose relationships walk that uncomfortable line between familiar and inbred. The writing is smart, accessible, richly detailed, and occasionally darkly witty. It is cinematic, with vivid characters and dialogue that make me wish I knew someone in the movie bi
Jul 25, 2010 Jessica rated it it was amazing
In a world that is completely filled with books, piled up in multiple warehouses and waiting for a home, it is difficult for an author like Irene Ziegler to shine. As I am sure you all know by now, I am a huge fan of uncovering those hidden shining gems and sharing them with you! Ashes to Water is without a doubt my favorite hidden gem this year. If the following review happens to make no sense and ends up entirely filled with ramblings, it is only because I still cannot seem to wrap my mind ...more
Jan 10, 2012 Jennifer rated it really liked it
From My Blog...[return][return]Ashes to Water by Irene Ziegler is a mystery which reads like a mixture of a Shakespearean tragedy and an Agatha Christie Miss Marple Mystery. In this sequel to Rules of the Lake, which I have not read, Ashes to Water appears to do well as a stand alone book, but the entire time I wondered where in Annie Bartlett’s life the first book left off, as there is a lot of family history such as Leigh’s drug and alcohol problems coupled with Annie seeing and speaking to ...more
Aug 15, 2010 Heather rated it really liked it
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Aug 24, 2010 Crystal rated it it was amazing
Why I read this book: I was offered the book as one I might like from TLC Book Tours. When I read the description it really sounded like something I would like so I signed up.

How is the book driven: Primarily character in my opinion. The main event, Annie's father's death has already happened and the book is about the characters and Annie's investigation into the death of her father.

My Thoughts: Simply amazing. Ms. Ziegler does a wonderful job weaving several story lines together. When I first s
Jul 21, 2010 Robert rated it really liked it
Ashes to Water is the first novel by the author of the really good short story collection The Rules of the Lake, from 1999. While Ashes is billed as a murder mystery, to me the book is less an orthodox whodunit than a character-driven portrait of a small Floridian town seething with intrigue, secret passions, betrayal, and of course, a murder that acts as the catalyst for all the often-violent events that subsequently unfold. At first the novel seemed perhaps overstuffed with incident and an ...more
Jul 07, 2010 Carol rated it it was amazing
Shelves: 2010, first-reads
I love the author’s lyrical description of the part of Florida that she was describing. It was easy to sense that the author loves that area.
She artfully added comic touches and handled great sorrow, the mixed feelings of grief, regret of inadequacies equally as well. She handled a lot of mixed feelings of the main characters with a great deal of ease. The dialogue flowed very well.
Her characters were very well developed. It was great to get inside of their feelings and thoughts. I could unders
Aug 18, 2010 Vanessa rated it really liked it
Shelves: first-reads
My first first-reads book and I am glad that I read this novel. Though there were many characters to follow, it was easy to relate to each of them, especially the complex main character, Annie. Besides the well-developed character descriptions, the murder investigation is well-written. Albeit they both blame their father for their mother's suicide, it was interesting to see how the two sisters cope with it so differently and how it all play a role in this novel. To me, the ending was not that ...more
Becky Everhart
When I received this book for advanced reviewing, I was pleased to find the author was kind enough to write me a little note inside; the matching bookmark was avery nice touch as well. As a little side note, such small, intimate touches do not go unnoticed. I will also note this did not shade my opinion of the work itself.

As far as the book itself, I am giving "Ashes to Water" 4 stars out of 5, but it is closer to a 4.5. The story was imaginative, insightful, hard to put down, but not perfect. I
Zohar -
“Ashes to Water” by Irene Ziegler is a fictional mystery which takes place in pre-Disney Florida. This is a very atmospheric novel involving a small town murder and a resolute woman intending on cracking the mystery.

Annie Bartlett returns to her home, DeLeon, FL to bury her murdered father. Annie also confronts the woman who is charged with his murder, her dad’s future wife. Annie realizes something is not right and fights for the woman’s acquittal – only to find out that there are several stron
Sandy Vaughan
Apr 22, 2011 Sandy Vaughan rated it it was amazing
I obviously had enough time to finish my "patient" book (one you carry around to read while patiently waiting). A perfect book it was too, as the story left such an impression that it was not necessary to go back a page or two to remember what was going on.

What a cast of characters! A young woman preparing for her wedding, talking to her mother who committed suicide. Her intended and his manipulating daughter and, by extenuation, his ex-wife. Her murdered father and his wife (who is accused of h
C.K. Webb
Mar 11, 2011 C.K. Webb rated it really liked it
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Georgiann Hennelly
Jul 11, 2012 Georgiann Hennelly rated it it was amazing
Ashes to Water is a murder mystery as well as an intricate small - town drama- with a large cast of characters whose relationships are familiar yet imbred. When Annie Bartlett returns to her home town Deleon Fl to bury her murdered father. She also confronts the women charged with his murder. Her dad's future wife. Annie realizes something is not right and fights for the women's aquittal-only to find out that there are several strong forces at work in the town including Annie's sister who are ...more
Sep 12, 2010 Noah rated it really liked it
A true page-turner! An instantly engaging mystery novel, with a wonderfully surprising depth to its quirky cast of characters. Ziegler had done a bang-up job creating a world that I would like to visit again!
Jan 20, 2012 Debbie rated it really liked it
Annie returns to DeLeon, FL in the 80's when her father is mysteriously murdered. This amid arsonists' fires, Indians wanting to build, and Annie confronting her past, and her sister's drug addiction.
Alyson rated it did not like it
Feb 07, 2011
Wendy rated it really liked it
Nov 12, 2010
Michelle rated it liked it
Sep 27, 2010
Emily rated it liked it
Nov 24, 2013
Regina rated it really liked it
Oct 30, 2011
Zoe E. Paiva
Zoe E. Paiva rated it really liked it
Mar 13, 2016
Irene Ziegler
Jul 23, 2010 Irene Ziegler rated it it was amazing  ·  (Review from the author)
Chris rated it liked it
Feb 19, 2011
Helen rated it really liked it
May 27, 2011
A.B. rated it really liked it
Jan 09, 2013
Tricia rated it liked it
Oct 26, 2016
Daniel Audet
Daniel Audet rated it really liked it
Nov 30, 2010
Jan 02, 2012 Linda rated it really liked it
The more I read the better it got!
« previous 1 next »
topics  posts  views  last activity   
Hello from the author! 3 23 Jun 24, 2010 06:51AM  
  • Final Target (Graham Gage #1)
  • Sleep No More
  • Asylum City: A Novel
  • Learning to Play With a Lion's Testicles: Unexpected Gifts From the Animals of Africa
  • My Miserable, Lonely, Lesbian Pregnancy
  • With Love from the Inside
  • Du
  • Secrets of State
  • Moonlight Falls: Dick Moonlight
  • Drift
  • Most Likely You Go Your Way and I'll Go Mine
  • The Wes Letters
  • Musings on Minutiae
  • Too Bad to Die: A Novel
  • Signature Kill (Frank Behr #4)
  • Mirror Image
  • Protocol Zero (Joe Rush, #2)
  • Buying Time (Angela Evans #1)
I'm an author, actor, playwright and excellent parallel parker. I'm also the voice you love to hate on your cell phone's GPS. (Seriously.)

I'm the author of Rules of the Lake and Ashes to Water, both set in central Florida, where I grew up. I'm touring libraries, building a readership one booklover at a time.

I created Annie Bartlett and dropped her into the setting of my life. Her story, like mine
More about Irene Ziegler...

Share This Book

No trivia or quizzes yet. Add some now »