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Heart of Stone (Ellie Stone Mysteries #4)
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Heart of Stone

(Ellie Stone Mysteries #4)

3.91  ·  Rating details ·  198 ratings  ·  42 reviews
In the waning days of a lazy August holiday, Ellie Stone is enjoying a bright Adirondack-lake morning. Nearby, two men plummet to their deaths just a few feet short of the water of a dangerous diving pool. A tragic accident, it seems. But the state police quickly establish that the two victims--one, a stranger to the lake and, the other, a teenaged boy from a nearby music ...more
Paperback, 290 pages
Published June 7th 2016 by Seventh Street Books
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3.91  · 
Rating details
 ·  198 ratings  ·  42 reviews

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Chelsea Humphrey
Aug 17, 2016 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: from-publisher
I’m officially caught up on Ellie’s story and I’m slightly not ok with it. While it was a fantastic story, I wasn’t ready to say goodbye until next year, when book #5 (Cast the First Stone) is published. Ellie has become a dear friend; she’s a tough girl who takes crap from no one, holds her liquor better than most men, and is fully confident in who she is and in paving the way for women in the work force during the 60’s. Good luck trying to rein her in and getting her to settle down; however, w ...more
“The important thing is not to stop questioning. Curiosity has its own reason for existing.”

----Albert Einstein

James W. Ziskin, an American author, has penned a riveting thriller in his new book, Heart of Stone which marks as the fourth book in the Ellie Stone Mysteries series. The book opens with the protagonist poking her nosy nose or rather say, investigate the death of a man and a teenage boy, who died apparently from diving off the cliff in Adirondack lake, as per the local sheriff's ini
May 23, 2016 rated it it was amazing
The fourth installment to this mystery series featuring investigative reporter Ellie Stone may be my favorite yet. Set in 1961 Adirondacks, it opens with the chief of police, Tiny Terwilliger, asking Ellie to take photos of two men who have plummeted to their deaths off Baxter Rock. Their deaths are deemed accidental. Meanwhile, Ellie runs into childhood friends at nearby Arcadia Lodge and is drawn to their nights of wine and music, although she’s drawn to charming Isaac the most. The more she l ...more
Lori Rader-Day
Mar 05, 2016 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: read-in-2016
I love Ellie Stone. Long may she nose her way into murder investigations.
Mark Stevens
Intricately plotted and deftly layered with dicey issues of identity and status, "Heart of Stone" is another terrific entry in this spunky, energetic series featuring the likable Ellie Stone and that Cold War in-between-everything era of 1961.

If you’ve read the three books leading up to this one (I've read the last two), you know the intrepid Ellie is a reporter in a small-town newspaper called the New Holland Republic in upstate New York. "Heart of Stone" takes place during summer downtime at a
Kathleen Kelly
Jul 29, 2016 rated it it was amazing
Journalist Eleonora (“Ellie”) Stone is spending some time with her aunt Lena and cousin Max at her aunts Adirondack lake cottage. While on the dock with her aunt who is swimming in the nude, the police chief "Tiny" Terwilliger appears and the first thing he says it "You know that nude bathing is prohibited her on Prospector Lake?" That is how Ellie first gets involved in the deaths of two people, one a man and the other a teenage boy. They have appeared to have jumped from a cliff onto the beac ...more
Jennifer Kincheloe
Heart of Stone, James W. Ziskin’s latest novel in the Ellie Stone mystery series, is everything you hope it would be—gripping, unpredictable, and full of sexual intrigue. In a 1960s retreat for Jewish intellectuals, Ziskin creates a rich community of multifaceted actors—the volatile zealot, the cold beauty with dark secrets, the irresistibly sexy man from Ellie’s past.

A hard drinking, sophisticated, modern girl, Ellie Stone herself is unforgettable. Alternately steely and vulnerable, Ellie sets
Monica Ravreby
Apr 12, 2016 rated it it was amazing
I absolutely LOVE Ellie Stone, hence James Ziskin for creating this intelligent, witty, progressive, strong, yet compassionate heroine. The fourth installment in this exquisite series does not disappoint.
Ziskin's descriptive language, suspenseful plot and top notch character development is superb. Looking very forward to Ellie's next adventure!
Heart of Stone may be the best yet in the Ellie Stone mystery series. I’ve been an enthusiastic fan since the first book, Styx and Stone, and James Ziskin deftly continued the story of my favorite twenty-five-year-old reporter in the next two tales. This fourth entry is special to me because the very first page gobsmacked me with gorgeous writing that I had to read several times before I continued on with the book. When students study creating atmosphere in writing, they should study this page. ...more
Nancy Shelton
Dec 28, 2016 rated it it was amazing
I was surprised to find the location change and then delighted. Not only did I recognize "New Holland" but my family also had a home in the Adirondacks, which I consider my home.

I'm looking forward to the next Ellie Stone book. Thanks to Author James Ziskin for making me feel "at home" when I read.
Kim Fay
Jul 31, 2016 rated it it was amazing
I interviewed James Ziskin about HEART OF STONE for the "Los Angeles Review of Books":
May 13, 2017 rated it really liked it
Heart of Stone by James W. Ziskin is a 2016 Seventh Street Books publication.

It’s summer in the Adirondacks, where Ellie is visiting her delightful aunt for a while. She is instantly drawn into a murder case when the inept and the disgusting chief of police asks her to take photographs of two dead bodies, the victims of a cliff diving accident. However, the circumstances are questionable enough to ping Ellie’s radar.

I enjoyed the change of scenery in this fourth installment of the series, and
Mar 22, 2017 rated it it was amazing
As all the other books in the series before, Heart of Stone is not only a crime novel, but sets you back into a time most readers would not have seen with their own eyes and and tells the story of a woman you would wish to meet yourself. With every book you get to know her better and with every glass of Whisky she drinks you want to sit together with her, not only to have some of the always available booze, but also to discuss the case with her.
But it is not only Ellie Stone who fascinates, but
Feb 10, 2018 rated it liked it
Journalist Ellie Stone is spending a week with her aunt Lena and cousin Max at Prospector Lake in the Adirondacks. Local police chief comes by in his boat, asks her to take photos of two dead men who fell? from a cliff onto rocks along the lakeshore. Story includes the nearby Jewish summer camp where campers play classical music.
Jul 16, 2018 rated it liked it
This mystery is set in the Adirondacks in August 1961. The protagonist/detective, a plucky, hard-drinking young journalist, is on vacation with family and gets drawn into the investigation of two deaths. Ellie is snarky but likable, and the social stratifications of the area and time period are well drawn. A diverting little mystery.
Jan 21, 2018 rated it really liked it
I am in love with this series. The main character Ellie is so strong but yet to see her softer side whether with family or men. It’s a such a great read.
This book was about Ellie on vacation. We anxious to read the next one when our regular characters are back!!
Jul 23, 2018 rated it it was ok
No as good as the previous 3 books in the series in my view. I would have liked to have given it 2-1/2 stars, however, rather than only 2. It became much more exciting at the end.
Marcia Rogers
Can't stop reading his books and just pre-ordered the new one!
Karen Burgess
Feb 27, 2017 rated it liked it
Shelves: edgar-nominees
Rooted in a specific time and place, worth reading this Edgar nominee. More here:
Jill Meyer
Mar 09, 2017 rated it really liked it
James Ziskin's new novel, "Cast the First Stone", is the fourth in his Eleanora Stone novels. (I read and enjoyed the first in the series, but didn't realise there were more til I received this book,). Ziskin sets his novels and character in the early 1960's, a seemingly innocent time in US history. Ellie Stone is a "girl" newspaper reporter in upstate New York and is not exactly treated as the rest of the staff. But in "Cast the First Stone", Ellie is sent out to Los Angeles - on a non-stop jet ...more
Jack Heath
Synopsis: Ellie is enjoying an Adirondack-lake morning when two men plummet to their deaths nearby. She finds some anomalies.
Feb 28, 2017 rated it really liked it
#4 in the Ellie (Eleonora) Stone Mystery series. Finalist 2017 Lefty Award for Best Mystery; Finalist 2017 Edgar Award for Best Paperback. Ellie Stone encounters a mystery in the Adirondacks during the summer of 1961. In an enclave of Jewish culture and classical music, 25 year old Ellie renews acquaintances made 15 years earlier. In trying to find the causes of two deaths and the connection between the deceased, Ellie ingeniously uncovers clues that lead to unforeseen results. A look at post-wa ...more
Dec 12, 2016 rated it it was ok
This was a pretty bad book but I read the whole thing anyway. It was fun until I realized that the tired stereotypes weren't ironic and the "mystery" was just a bunch a red herrings that were never addressed.
Amanda Morgan
Sep 14, 2016 rated it really liked it
Shelves: first-reads
One wild week in the late 1960s on a lake in the Adirondacks, Ellie Stone had an adventure. This former journalist decides to vacation with her aunt and uncle on their family compound at the lake where she spent her childhood summers. The first day she is there, a mysterious tragedy occurs: one man and one teenage boy are found dead at the bottom of the same cliff on the same morning. Busybody Ellie feels the need to investigate these deaths, and will stop at nothing to figure out what happened. ...more
Tony Hisgett
Jul 15, 2016 rated it liked it
This book has a higher rating than the previous books and has had some very good reviews but I’m afraid I found it a bit slow. The investigation hardly moved for two thirds of the book, old assumptions were repeated over and over again even when it was clear they were going nowhere. The last quarter of the book was more exciting and the ending was quite interesting. Overall I enjoyed the book but I still feel it is worth just 3 stars.
Several reviewers commented on the Author trying to create a s
Oct 15, 2016 rated it really liked it
I received this book as part of a Goodreads giveaway.

Young reporter Ellie Stone returns to her childhood haunt of Prospector lake and is quickly caught up in the lives of friends from her childhood and a mystery. Two men, actually a man and a boy have died together plunging from the cliffs above the lake onto the rocky shore. The first question is who are the two? Turns out the man is another childhood acquaintance, who years ago turned his back on his friends and his Jewish heritage for the bri
Apr 24, 2016 rated it liked it
It wasn't my favorite Ellie Stone story but I still enjoyed it. I find it ironic (perhaps the author missing the point in his own life) that the book mocked the Christian faith of a couple of characters, one of whom quotes scripture concerning keeping the marriage bed holy, but if the other characters in the book spent less time hopping in and out of bed with random people, there would have been no drama, no confusion, no betrayal, no sadness etc... Funny.
The other issue I had was that at the c
Apr 05, 2016 rated it it was amazing
There is nothing better than discovering a new author and finding a 5 star read. I found both when I read Heart of Stone by James W. Ziskin! This book is part of the Ellie Stone mystery series. It shares the story of Ellie on vacation from her job as a reporter. But instead of sitting back and relaxing with her relatives, she gets caught up in the mystery of how 2 men met their deaths on nearby Baxter's Rock. Things just don't add up and she won't rest until she figures it out. This story had it ...more
Apr 14, 2016 rated it really liked it
Shelves: publisher-gift
Well, that was just grand. I'm a sucker for well-done historical fiction, especially when there's a sassy protagonist ahead of her time. Throw in some well-drawn characters, a baffling murder, and some solid head fakes and I really enjoyed this. The pacing seemed kind of uneven, though, and Ellie's emotional lability and (view spoiler) strained my credulity just a little (there's a big difference between sassy and stupid).

Thank you to Sevent
Susan Elizabetha
Apr 10, 2016 rated it it was amazing
I received an Advanced Reading Copy of this book through Good Reads Giveaways. A great mystery story. I grew up in the sixties and so reading a book about the 60's was appealing to me and I enjoy a good mystery. This book didn't disappoint me as a mystery. I never suspected the murderer and was surprised by who it was. Ellie Stone is also a good character among many good characters in the book. Read it because it is a mystery, or because it's about the Sixties but read this book because it is an ...more
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2018 Macavity Award finalist for Sue Feder Memorial Best Historical Novel CAST THE FIRST STONE

2018 Anthony Award finalist for Best Paperback Original CAST THE FIRST STONE

2018 Lefty Award finalist for Best Mystery CAST THE FIRST STONE

2017 Anthony Award winner of Best Paperback Original HEART OF STONE

2017 Macavity Award winner of Sue Feder Memorial Best Historical Novel HEART OF STONE

2017 Edgar Awar

Other books in the series

Ellie Stone Mysteries (6 books)
  • Styx & Stone (Ellie Stone Mysteries #1)
  • No Stone Unturned (Ellie Stone Mysteries #2)
  • Stone Cold Dead (Ellie Stone Mysteries #3)
  • Cast the First Stone (Ellie Stone Mysteries #5)
  • A Stone’s Throw (Ellie Stone Mysteries #6)