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Heart of Stone

(Ellie Stone Mysteries #4)

3.92  ·  Rating details ·  235 ratings  ·  46 reviews
Anthony Award Winner 2016
Macavity Award Winner 2016
Edgar Award Finalist 2016
Lefty Award Finalist 2016

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 on the rocks below, just a few feet short of the water of a dangerous diving pool. A tragic accident, it seems. But the state polic
Paperback, 290 pages
Published June 7th 2016 by Seventh Street Books
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Average rating 3.92  · 
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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
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.
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
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
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
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
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
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": ...more
Jack Heath
Synopsis: Ellie is enjoying an Adirondack-lake morning when two men plummet to their deaths off a cliff nearby. She finds some anomalies.
Rusty Dalferes
Feb 08, 2020 rated it really liked it
Another really good entry in this series, which I've grown to enjoy for its plots and great writing. I give a big recommendation of this series to any fans of mysteries, books set in the 1960s, and stories with strong female leads.

The fourth in the Ellie Stone series begins with the title character trying to enjoy a vacation with her aunt and older cousin at the family cabin on Prospector Lake in the Adirondacks, when she's approached by the local sheriff, a corpulent, smelly, drunk, lazy man wh
Vinnie Hansen
Jun 24, 2020 rated it it was amazing
I'm a big fan of this slightly noir-ish series set in the early 1960's. The time period is far enough back to seem historical, and yet it's during my lifetime.

Ellie Stone is a single, 25-year-old, female reporter, qualities that make her fairly remarkable for the time period. She's also Jewish, hard-drinking, and sexually liberated, all characteristics that factor into the books, particularly Heart of Stone.

I like that Ellie is on vacation in this fourth book in the series, providing a differe
Toni Kania
Apr 11, 2020 rated it really liked it
Shelves: 2020
A series that is always a good read. It takes place in the 60's, where they still used phone booths and in which the journalist protagonist had no Internet to work with. And am always amazed that it is written by a male with a very credible female protagonist. I wonder how Mr. Ziskin can do that.
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
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
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
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 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 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
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
Susan Elizabetha
Apr 10, 2016 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: giveaways-won
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
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
Mary Beth
Jun 07, 2016 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
James Ziskin does it again with this latest Ellie Stone mystery.

Ziskin wove another tale about the Adirondacks in a way that you could see yourself traveling the area. He doesn't dumb it down as some authors. He uses the English language as is meant to be used to tell his latest story. I found it hard to put this book down. His strong heroine looked for clues to tie up all of the loose ends. It made you feel you were there as if part of the action. I can hardly wait for his next book.
Lucy Sanchez
Mar 06, 2016 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Ellie finds a summer romance and adventure on an Adirondack lake. Absorbing tale, great cast of quirky characters. We learn more about Ellie through glimpses into her childhood and family history. Aunt Lena and Cousin Max provide a warmth in Ellie's life that has been missing in the previous books. It's so nice to see Ellie truly loved. Set against a rich tapestry of musicians, fellow travelers, and John Birchers, HEART OF STONE is Ellie's best mystery yet. Five stars!
Wendie Barney boucher
Jul 13, 2016 rated it really liked it
I received a free copy of this book through a goodreads giveaway. This is another story in the Ellie Stone mysteries, and while I have not read the other mysteries I really enjoyed the story, and would definitely read other novels from this author and the series. My only complaints with the novel would be the climax of the story, it seemed a little rushed and I wanted more. I would highly recommend this book to anyone who enjoys mysteries.
Nov 09, 2016 rated it liked it
I won this book on goodreads. I found it hard to get into and dull. Ellie is enjoying a vacation when two men fall to their death at a diving pool. She takes pictures and instead of just giving them to the police she gets involved in the case, something that isn't wanted. She endangers her life and her heart.
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2019 Anthony Award finalist for Best Paperback Original A STONE’S THROW

2019 Lefty Award finalist for Best Mystery A STONE’S THROW

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 Pape

Other books in the series

Ellie Stone Mysteries (7 books)
  • Styx & Stone (Ellie Stone, #1)
  • No Stone Unturned (Ellie Stone, #2)
  • Stone Cold Dead (Ellie Stone, #3)
  • Cast the First Stone (Ellie Stone, #5)
  • A Stone’s Throw (Ellie Stone, #6)
  • Turn to Stone (Ellie Stone, #7)

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