Chosen for Death by Kate Flora


Chosen for Death by Kate Flora


A Thea Kozak Mystery

Her little sister is dead, murdered in a picturesque Maine town. The police have no leads. Her heartbroken family wants to put it behind them, but Thea Kozak can’t let it drop. She’s always been a second mother to the child her parents adopted when she was eight. Now there is one last thing Thea can do for her sister: make sure her killer doesn’t go unpunished.

Paperback | ISBN: 978-1-932325-00-3 | 2003 | $13.00

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I feel as though I should begin this review with a disclaimer - Jim Huang, the publisher of Crum Creek Press - is a personal friend. How can I be objective about one of his books? But Chosen for Death is a reprint - before it was one of Jim's books, it was one of my favorites.

Chosen for Death is a rip-snorter of a read, a really crucial first novel in a terrific series. The book opens at the funeral of Thea Kozak's sister, Carrie. Thea is the protagonist of all the Flora novels, and this first one sets up her emotional parameters and the reasons for them. This is one of those really good first novels where all the characters appear to have actually been living their lives when readers stumble across them.

Thea is a consultant for private secondary schools - she tries to expand their market through various strategies. She's at the funeral of her sister who's been assaulted and murdered in a small town in Maine. Before the first chapter is over, we discover that Carrie was adopted and that she had been searching for her birth mother before she died. We also learn what Thea and the rest of her family think about this search. This book is not only the story of Thea's search for Carrie's killer, but of her awakening discovery of what her sister was truly like as a person, and how Carrie felt about her place in the world.

The whole novel proceeds at the breakneck pace of the first chapter. Thea often gets into physically dangerous situations that may make readers grind their teeth - why go to the deserted cabin alone? - but Flora writes with such vitality it's hard to really think about such concerns as she propels us along Thea's path. Reading about Thea may leave you as exhausted as Thea herself - but you'll also feel just as satisfied as Thea at the result of her search.

Robin Agnew, Aunt Agatha's Mystery Bookstore, Ann Arbor, Michigan

"A fast-paced New England mystery, laced with a wry humor and full of insights into fragile human relationships."

J.S. Borthwick

"Flora’s characterization is assured and her plotting is tight and credible."

Publishers Weekly

"Thea Kozak is sexy, witty, and so thoroughly likable even her faults are endearing."

St. Louis Post Dispatch

"Thea is a great character; she has a thoroughly real set of strengths and weaknesses; she is hell-bent on discovering the truth, even while she knows–just as well as the reader–that truth often comes at considerable personal cost."

Mystery News


Kate Flora was raised on a chicken farm in Maine. She left the rural life behind for college and law school, returned to Maine to practice law, and eventually ended up a lawyer in Concord, Massachusetts. She has since abandoned the law to write full-time but has never given up her curiosity about what motivates bad behavior. When she isn’t writing, she’s teaching writing or trying to coax reluctant perennials to behave. She is the current international president of Sisters in Crime. She and her husband, Ken Cohen, have two sons. They now divide their time between Concord and Bailey Island, Maine.

Thea Kozak mysteries by Kate Flora:

Chosen for Death
Death in a Funhouse Mirror
Death at the Wheel
An Educated Death
Death in Paradise
Liberty or Death
Stalking Death

Also by Kate Flora, written as Katharine Clark:

Steal Away

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