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The Summer of Love and Death

The Summer of Love and Death

By Marcy McCreary
Categories: Fiction, Police Procedural, Women Sleuths, Traditional British, General
Series: A Ford Family Mystery
Imprint: CamCat Books
Ebook (EPUB) : 9780744310634, 336 pages, August 2024
Paperback (Large print edition) : 9780744310641, 480 pages, August 2024
Audiobook (Unabridged edition) : 9780744310658, August 2024
Hardcover : 9780744310597, 336 pages, August 2024
Expected to ship: 2024-08-13
Expected to ship: 2024-08-13

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Detective Susan Ford must solve a gruesome murder at a summer stock theater that is eerily similar to a serial killer case her father worked on fifty years ago in the summer of 1969, or else the killer might strike again.


“An addictive and entertaining ride!” —Christina McDonald, USA Today bestselling author

“Fans of Agatha Christie will die for this smart, twisty tale . . .” —Susan Walter, bestselling author of Good as Dead and Lie by the Pool

The summer of ’69: memorable for some, murder for others.

Detective Susan Ford and her new partner, Detective Jack Tomelli, are called to a crime scene at the local summer stock theater where they find the director of Murder on the Orient Express gruesomely murdered—naked, face caked in makeup, pillow at his feet, wrists and ankles bound by rope. When Susan describes the murder to her dad, retired detective Will Ford, he recognizes the MO of a 1969 serial killer . . . a case he worked fifty years ago.

Will remembers a lot of things about that summer—the Woodstock Festival, the Apollo 11 moon landing, the Miracle Mets—yet he is fuzzy on the details of the decades-old case. But when Susan and Jack discover the old case files, his memories start trickling back. And with each old and new clue, Susan, Jack, and Will must narrow down the pool of suspects before the killer strikes again.

For readers who enjoy mysteries by Richard Osman, Stacy Willingham, Charlie Donlea, Benjamin Stevenson, and Shari Lapena.


“An old case has repercussions on a new copycat killing in this excellent police procedural. With juicy twists, an engaging cast, and an intriguing case that’s impossible to predict, The Summer of Love and Death is everything I want in a mystery. An addictive and entertaining ride!” —Christina McDonald, USA Today bestselling author

“A compelling mystery that unfolds in two skillfully woven parallel narratives. McCreary pairs a haunting meditation on intergenerational trauma with an evocative rendering of that famous Summer of Love to deliver a suspenseful and deeply satisfying read.” —Lori Robbins, author of Murder in Fourth Position

“McCreary unspools a lot of threads in The Summer of Love and Death, then masterfully weaves them all together atop the Ford family's compelling dynamic for an ending you won't see coming. It's a fun ride that kept me guessing the whole time!” —Tony Wirt, bestselling author of Just Stay Away

“In the summer of 1969, there was peace and love—but also a serial killer committing bizarre murders. When a copycat killing occurs at the local summer stock theatre, detective Susan Ford must call on her father’s memory of his 1969 investigation to help her solve the present-day murder. The Summer of Love and Death offers page-turning suspense of how the legacy of murder can continue, leaving more than death in its wake.” —Nina Wachsman, author of The Courtesan’s Secret

“Vividly set in the Catskills, The Summer of Love and Death is excellent fun, chock full of murder, theater, and a diverse and devious cast of suspects. Detective Susan Ford is smart and sensitive, and is a delight to follow as she navigates the intricacies of her case and her relationships with her detective father, her fiancée, her new—and younger—partner, and, most poignantly, her aging mother.” —Emilya Naymark, author of Behind the Lie

“Marcy McCreary’s The Summer of Love and Death is a fiendishly smart modern who-dunnit with clever characters and a mystery that keeps you guessing . . . McCreary is a gifted writer who has created a page-turning mystery that will keep you up all night—then just when you think you’ve figured it out–you discover how wrong you are. Bravo!” —Elise Hart Kipness, author of Lights Out

“Fans of Agatha Christie will die for this smart, twisty tale of two parallel murders. Intricately plotted, with a motley cast of characters and dialogue that pops, this is one to savor.” —Susan Walter, bestselling author of Good as Dead and Lie by the Pool

The Summer of Love and Death is an engrossing, clever, and propulsive read guaranteed to keep you turning pages. Gripping without being gory, smart without trying too hard, McCreary's expert character development, web-weaving, and storytelling abilities shine. Add this to your TBRs now.” —Mandy McHugh, bestselling author of Chloe Cates Is Missing and It Takes Monsters

“Past meets present as you’re immersed into the authentic, gritty world of a murder during Woodstock and a copycat killing decades later. With likeable main characters, witty dialogue, and a slew of suspects, expect to be immediately drawn into this compelling whodunnit. Fans of police procedurals should be lining up for The Summer of Love and Death.” —Jaime Lynn Hendricks, bestselling author of I Didn't Do It

The Summer of Love and Death is an intricately plotted mystery loaded with colorful characters, tricky red herrings, and whiplash-inducing twists. McCreary's emotionally resonant mother-daughter subplot adds a satisfying layer of dimension to the deftly crafted police procedural. This book had me guessing until the end!” —K.T. Nguyen, author of You Know What You Did

“A moving exploration of intergenerational trauma and family bonds, wrapped up in a classic whodunnit. The Summer of Love and Death will have you rooting for Detective Susan Ford, trying to unravel knot after knot, feverishly flipping pages right up to the end.” —I. S. Berry, author of The Peacock and the Sparrow

The Summer of Love and Death is a stand out with buried clues and identities that keep the reader turning in giddy circles, and a plethora of viable suspects all concealing secrets. Along with this, we have the drama of the Ford family—three generations full of fierce love and deep wounds that echo through the years and backbone the story. I couldn’t put this one down!” —Erin Flanagan, Edgar Award-winning author of Come With Me

The Summer of Love and Death breaks the mold of the classic whodunit with characters that jump off the pages right into your living room. To solve a recent murder, two detectives are forced to dredge up the facts from a fifty-year-old homicide case. This is a rollercoaster mystery ride that will keep you guessing until the very end.” —J. M. Adams, author of Second Term

“VERDICT: McCreary’s entertaining police procedural stands apart with its rich characterization and exploration of life’s complexities beyond the central crime. This is a series to watch and to suggest to fans of Ellen Hart’s Jane Lawless novels.” Library Journal