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Piper Donovan Books In Order

Publication Order of Piper Donovan Books

To Have and To Kill (2011) Hardcover  Paperback  Kindle
The Bracelet (2012) Hardcover  Paperback  Kindle
The Look of Love (2012) Hardcover  Paperback  Kindle
The Friend (2012) Hardcover  Paperback  Kindle
Footprints in the Sand (2013) Hardcover  Paperback  Kindle
That Old Black Magic (2014) Hardcover  Paperback  Kindle


Piper Donovan is the primary protagonist of Mary Jane Clark’s Piper Donovan series of novels.

+The Story

The Piper Donovan series falls comfortably within the cozy mystery arena. Mary Jane Clark’s series is fairly straightforward, if not a little unintentionally humorous. Piper Donovan is a struggling actress.

With her career failing to avail her any notable prospects for her future, she has little choice but to turn to the family business. With her mother having made quite the career out of baking wedding cakes, it occurs to Piper that she might have all the makings of a wedding cake baker.

Little does she know of all the dangers awaiting her within this seemingly tame arena.

The Piper Donovan series began in 2011. Mary Jane Clark’s books are a relatively fun collection of novels. Many a reader has shown appreciation for the author primarily because of the clean and kid-friendly appearance of her work, the Piper Donovan series of novels typically free of coarse language or sexually explicit material.

Her stories, while simple, place more emphasis on the mysteries than most other cozy mystery series, and if there is one criticism that the novels attract, it is the fact that Piper Donovan doesn’t play as integral a role in the plots of Mary Jane Clark’s books as one might expect from a primary protagonist.

Indeed, she spends so many of the novels as a bystander, merely observing the mysteries unfolding around her that some readers do not understand why the series would be named after her.

Precluding character development flaws, the Piper Donovan series has its fans, mostly because of its simplistic, yet fun and entertaining narratives.

+The Author

Mary Jane Clark is an American author. She officially entered the literary arena in 1998, when her first novel, DO you Want to Know a Secret, was published. With more than a dozen novels under her belt, Mary Jane is a veteran writer who spent more than three decades working at CBS’ New York City Headquarters, at one time producing the news for the Network.

Mary Jane’s life and career have influenced the stories she has written over the years, her dedication towards the Piper Donovan Series manifesting in the fact that she actually enrolled in a cake decorating class, even going so far as to research unique wedding locations in order to gain a better understanding of her protagonist.

Mary Jane’s novels have made an appearance on various bestseller lists, this including USA Today and the New York Times to mention but a few. The Associated Press once compared her work to Agatha Christie’s novels, appreciating Mary Jane’s mysteries for not only providing a hard, contemporary edge that brings an element of fear into her narratives but proving so addictive that readers struggled to adjust to their lives after completing her various series and novels.

A graduate of journalism and political science from the University of Rhode Island, Clark has had to struggle to acquire everything she has achieved over the decades, this including the efforts she injected into rising to the position of a producer at CBS.

According to Mary Jane Clark, her purpose when writing is to lay out clues in such a way that readers do not realize they have already received the answers until they get to the end.

The author has two children.

+To Have and to Kill

Piper Donovan’s life in Manhattan hasn’t been easy. In fact, she’s had little choice but to return to her parent’s small New Jersey town. She must now acclimate to life at her mother’s bakery, a change of career that her close friend, Glenna Brooks, appreciates because she needs a cake prepared for her upcoming wedding.

Determined to undertake this new task with relative gusto, Piper quickly learns that things in Glenna’s life are not as perfect as they seem; when murder comes into play, Piper will do everything in her power to protect her friend.

The first novel in the Piper Donovan series introduces Mary Jane Clark’s heroine in quite the scintillating tale. When Piper agrees to make the wedding cake for her friend, and the star of a daytime television drama, she is unaware of the drama awaiting her arrival.

When events take a deadly turn and it becomes obvious that a nefarious figure is determined to take ruthless steps to stop the wedding, Piper must join forces with Jack, her former neighbor and an FBI agent in order to reveal the truth and find the killer.

Mary Jane’s characters are simple and pretty easy to like, and you quickly grow to care for Piper as she works to solve the mystery surrounding her friend. To Have and to Kill is a very easy read.

Mary Jane provides plenty of pieces and clues for readers to put together and solve the mystery. With very short chapters, the novel is very clean, free of explicit language or uncomfortable scenes. As such, it isn’t likely to alienate any readers.

+The Look of Love

When the owner of an exclusive spa and plastic surgery center offers Piper Donovan an all-expenses-paid trip to Los Angeles to create a unique wedding cake, she accepts with little reservation.

The opportunity provides the wedding cake baker the time she needs to sort out her feelings for FBI agent Jack Lombardi.

Elysium, the luxurious spa, caters to some of the richest and most famous persons in the country. Nestled in the Hollywood hills, the spa is almost picture-perfect, boasting the perfect staff, guests, and facilities.

Piper barely has time to catch her breath upon arriving at Elysium before a guest is brutally murdered. There is a plan to keep Jillian Abernathy, the spa’s beautiful director, from walking down the aisle.

It is up to Piper to discover the truth beneath the idyllic façade of Elysium and foil the plans of a ruthless murderer.

If you liked the first novel in the Piper Donovan series, then you are going to love its sequel. What allows this novel to elevate the stakes is the complexity of the mystery, with Clark throwing an unexpectedly large number of plausible suspects at the audience.

As with the first novel, The Look of Love is a simple book, with very short chapters and a fast-paced narrative.

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