Missing Mandy

Rated 3.00/5 based on 7 reviews
Danny arrives in Ankleton to get away from his past life and start anew. But there's no peace for him here. He is haunted by apparitions, nightmares and strange noises in the basement of his house. And what's with the smell of oranges? There is someone locked up in a dark room. Will the cry for help be heard by anyone? Will there be a way out of this hell? More

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About Shirley S. Simon

Thank you for taking the time out for visiting my profile.

I am a fiction writer, an amateur photographer, an avid book reader and reviewer and a novice artist.

I live in Delhi, India with my family. I love reading mysteries and crime and thrillers. My favorite authors being Agatha Christie, Tami Hoag, Sir A. C. Doyle, L.J. Smith and I have recently fallen in love with the works of Stephen King. I am also partial towards the paranormal, the supernatural, fantasy and everything magical. I enjoy watching movies. I surf the net seeking brain food… something that stimulates the mind and makes you appreciate that god chose to give you life and a place on this planet. My faith keeps me grounded and practical for most part of it.

Follow me on Twitter @ssimonshirley or read my blog superphoenix.wordpress.com

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Reviews

Review by: Mallory Heart Reviews on March 03, 2013 :
Review of Missing Mandy
4 stars

“Missing Mandy” is a novel of suspense and romance, and is wildly mysterious and imaginatively original. At first I wasn’t even certain who the “Mandy” of the title would be, because the author lays background and endears us to the protagonist, Danny, a recently-divorced painter (henpecked by his long-suffering mother). To get away from Mother and to recuperate after the painful end of the marriage, Danny buys a cottage near the tiny village of Ankleton, and nearly immediately odd and even suspicious events occur. Danny has some horrible nightmares—the kind that catch a hold and linger on—and he is bombarded by the bizarre scent of oranges, where no oranges are. As he gets to meet neighbors around the nearby lake, and the villagers, he sees and soon meets a lovely young woman—who turns out to be Mandy. The problem is: Mandy has been missing for months, and Danny is the only one who can see her. Debut Author Shirley S. Simon works this suspenseful mystery out to a satisfying conclusion, leaving the story and characters to linger on in the reader’s mind.
(reviewed within a month of purchase)

Review by: Debra D. on Feb. 25, 2013 :
Missing Mandy
By Shirley S. Simon

Danny is moving on from a failed marriage and strained relationship with his mother. Feeling a desperate need for change, Danny finds for sale a quaint cottage situated on the bank of a lake in the small community of Ankleton. Feeling this is surely the answer to his prayers for peace and solitude, he promptly packs up the pieces and moves to his new home. It doesn't take long for Danny to meet new people and make friends, he quickly settles in feeling comfortable and content.

Danny finds an few annoying complaints relatively soon after he has settled in; such as a scent of oranges which can be mild or quite overpowering and inevitably he wakes to find mess and crumbs in the kitchen every morning from some rodents that have taken up residence in his cottage. While you don't hear any more about the rodents once the exterminator visits the scent of oranges linger throughout the story. Vivid dreams also seem to plague Danny from time to time.

The book was a easy read, though I found the pace to fast at the 3/4 mark. The ending was too abrupt, it seemed very rushed. I would have liked to enjoy the intrigue that the writer had been building surrounding Mandy for a bit longer. Grammar issues throughout, I found myself going back a sentence or two to get the inflection correct. A little rough around the edges still. With some polish this story has some real potential. I liked the characters and wouldn't mind learning more about them....what happens next.

Overall I enjoyed the book and would imagine that with a bit more fleshing out in places; with more attention to grammar and dialect this story has great potential. This was a good Sunday afternoon read!


*This book was a gift from the author in exchange for a honest review.
(reviewed within a week of purchase)

Review by: Dale Ibitz on Jan. 02, 2013 :
Danny is an artist who moves to a very small town after a divorce. He's haunted by an apparition of a girl, a lovely girl, that he doesn't realize is more ghost than human...at first. Who is she? And how can he help her?

This is a relatively short book, and the concept is a good one. The mystery of the girl is one that the reader wants to hang on until the end to find out how it all ends, because all is not as it seems. While the plot was simple and straight-forward, I liked the characters and the setting.

The execution leaves a bit to be desired. For me, I found the dialogue stiff, formal, and unrealistic. There is a lot of description of mundane daily activity, especially in the first half of the book. It takes a long while to set up and get to the heart of the story.

The pacing was off. While the beginning moved too slow, the ending wrapped up too quickly! The whole climatic ending, which I could have enjoyed for pages and pages, was wrapped up in summary form, like a witness recalling events of a crime to the police.

The other issue I had with the book was the punctuation...especially the misplaced commas. Commas were placed where there shouldn't have been any, and missing where they were needed. It caused a little bit of re-reading sentences on my part to get the right inflections.

With some editing, this could be a very good story.
(reviewed long after purchase)

Review by: Staccato Publishing on May 25, 2012 :
This was very short so felt a little hurried. Cute story but could have used some editing (I am sensitive to that as an editor though. Some people might not notice so much).
(reviewed within a month of purchase)

Review by: Karen Reckard on May 07, 2012 :
Danny Deveroux escapes from his former life, and his ex wife, to the small town of Ankleton. Focused on his art and rebuilding himself, he calls a small cottage on the lake home. Danny quickly makes friends with the kind family across the lake, and they fill him in on many of the people around town. But Danny hasn’t asked them about the mystery girl he often sees near his home.

His life in his peaceful home takes a turn towards the bizarre after she makes her first appearance. Danny starts hearing strange noises in the basement, to find no one and nothing out of place. Dreams so eerie he begins to question his decision to move here. And the inescapable, intermittent smell of oranges that sometimes has him sick to his stomach. As Danny starts to put the pieces together, he is shocked to learn the secrets of this small town.

Missing Mandy was a brilliant little story which kept my curiosity throughout. Simon mixed a dash supernatural with a sprinkle of mystery and suspense all into a pleasant package. I thought the story was on the short side; maybe a couple uninterrupted hours for the average reader. With some good character development thorough edit for grammar, I think Simon could polish this story to excellence. If she felt compelled to, she could turn this into a great little miniseries focusing on Mandy and her new found abilities.

Staff Reviewer - Staccato Publishing
3 1/2 Stars
(reviewed within a week of purchase)

Review by: Andrea on March 13, 2012 : (no rating)
I read this one in just a few hours. Danny, who is a painter, has moved to the small town of Ankleton to get away from the stress of living in the city. He has just purchased a cottage that has a view of the lake behind his house, but not long after he moves in he starts to smell the scent of oranges. Sometimes the smell is so strong that it makes it hard for him to breathe. He meets a girl named Mandy and becomes concerned as he thinks she is being abused as there are bruise marks on her. I cannot really tell any more of the story as it would contain spoilers.

I really liked the premise of this book and it could have been developed a lot more. There were a lot of typos throughout the whole story that kind of got a bit bothersome. That being said, I did enjoy the story and was glued to the pages to see what the outcome would be.

I received this ebook free through LibraryThing member giveaways in exchange for an honest review.
(reviewed long after purchase)

Review by: shilpa ruby on Feb. 02, 2012 : (no rating)
Missing Mandy
Author Shirly S. Simon’s Missing Mandy, straddles the line between crime and psychological thriller. Danny Devereux’s chance move to Ankleton seems just what the doctor ordered. His new lake front property is simply perfect, except of course, the inexplicable, sometimes sweet sometimes gag inducing odour of oranges in his basement.
And then there is Mandy, sweet almost ethereal in her beauty, her presence is always difficult to explain. Always tethering on the outer edge of his vision, her voice soothes and burns simultaneously. Almost cajoling Danny to dig deeper into Mandy’s existence, revealing some ugly truths about the humble folk of Ankleton.
This riveting story uses uncommon technique to present multiple points of view without spoiling the suspense. The interplay of Mandy’s reality and the alternate ‘out of body’ experience is incredible. The reader is kept guessing till the very end making this an exhilarating read.
(reviewed within a month of purchase)

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