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Dianne Liuzzi Hagan
Stony Place
As dawn breaks on July 2, 2023, two brothers steal a vintage car, load it with assault weapons and high-capacity magazines, and drive two hours to Cadence, New York, to start a race war. Their fantasy of mayhem and notoriety brings anguish and loss to the multicultural, inclusive community. Seneca Lake, known for millennia as Assiniki, or Stony Place, by the Seneca tribe, dredges up a shameful history of Cadence. Or perhaps it is the Great Serpent who orchestrates the shocking revelation. Once again, Marian and Lester Greene, Enoch Shenandoah, and their family, friends, and neighbors must rise to the challenge or lose everyone they love and the town they’ve committed to keeping safe.
Plot/Idea: 7 out of 10
Originality: 7 out of 10
Prose: 7 out of 10
Character/Execution: 6 out of 10
Overall: 6.75 out of 10


Plot/Idea: Book three of the Cadence Mystery series is a murder mystery that admirably delves deeply into racist ideologies. The author capably weaves together storylines, but, due to the sheer number of plot elements, the flow of the narrative is somewhat choppy.

Prose: The prose is clear and propulsive, with well executed descriptions. Exposition and dialogue can sometimes come across as stiff and heavy-handed.

Originality: Stony Place engagingly integrates well loved tropes, found family being the most clear, while meaningfully addressing violence and hateful ideologies. 

Character/Execution: Hagan has a knack for character development, and ties the characters well into the broader storytelling. While the large cast of characters is charming and diverse, it's difficult to keep track of so many people in one story. The sheer number of characters, in addition to the many elements in the plot, detract from a clean and concise execution. Nevertheless, Hagan crafts an intriguing and multilayered mystery. 

Date Submitted: May 04, 2023


Anita Richter5.0 out of 5 stars More than a murder mysteryReviewed in the United States on June 19, 2023Verified PurchaseWow! What a riveting story! I couldn’t put it down! Stony Place begins with a violent tragedy that shakes the town of Cadence, NY to its core. From that unspeakable act, a mystery is uncovered that ends up affecting not only our friends from this book and its predecessors, but newcomers to this series as well. There are a lot of characters to keep up with, but it is worth it, especially at the end. I loved the gathering of the suspects into one room, such as Poirot did in Agatha Christie’s novels. Ms. Hagan makes her characters come alive on the page. I highly recommend this series.

Amazon and Goodreads

5.0 out of 5 stars Mature, Ethical Mystery

Reviewed in the United States on May 9, 2023

With every book that Ms. Hagan writes in this series, her command over her material deepens and matures. I doubt that has anything to do with the fact that she is using a cast list and premise that she has used before but is due to the fact that her own awareness of the ethical issues she discusses in this hybrid-fiction series is deepening. No doubt, she had her political stance and skill at writing, but with each book her communion with the nuances of her profoundly human characters reaches a new level.
This book begins with an horrific event that clouds the utopian ideals of Cadence, NY, and sorely tests the mettle of all the characters, especially Enoch. Ms. Hagan's development and resolution of not only the plot but also of the inner life of the characters is brilliant. I can't wait to read her next book. I hope it comes soon.


Once again Dianne has put her finger on America’s pulse and offered an all too believable opening scene, an act of violence that echoes all too many news reports. Once again Cadence, her town in much the way Green Town belongs to Ray Bradbury, or Derry to Stephen King, is under siege, this time from two brothers fed bile from "news" organizations and hate spewing pundits, brothers who find it easy to amass guns and ammunition and choose to attack Cadence, the town that aspires to all its citizens living in peace and acceptance of the differences between us all. 

With each novel Dianne becomes more assured as a writer and storyteller. The characters in this novel and their interactions are believable, the setting easily imagined and the solution of the mysteries surrounding Cadence, its founding and its continuance, plausible and satisfying. But what you are most likely to walk away with is less the memory of violence and more the memory of how the people of Cadence rally around one another, how they see themselves as a true community and the pain inflicted on one is cause for all to join together to help and support each other. There is the family you are born into, and the family you acquire, and Dianne uses the town to show how the former can be supported and supplemented by the latter.



I won this book in a Goodreads Giveaway. I loved this book. First time I have read this author. Very well written, captivating and thorough, I could not put it down. There are a lot of characters to keep track of but we'll worth it when it comes to the ending of this book. It also has some reference to American Indians within the pages, which to me being an American Indian of a different tribe was a plus to me. An odd coincidence was that the being of the story starts on July 2nd, 2023. That is the day I began reading it. A very tragic event occurs in the town of Cadence New York, the telling of this event grabs at your heart strings. The characters of the book are so real and human and relatable it helps the story move along. The solving of the mystery at the end is Agatha Christie like so I saw that as a bonus too, I loved it. What happened to the curmudgeon character Jerry Yeager at the end was humorous and well fitting, let's just say he deserved it. And he wasn't even really one of the bad guys. I believe someone should make a viewable mini-series of this book, and that's based on just one of the books from the series I read. I highly recommend this book and this author to anyone who loves mysteries. #goodreadsgiveaway #mystery

Literary Titan

In the transformative year of 2023, we witness an unprecedented leap in various fields, including technology and science. Cadence, New York, a harmonious sanctuary for individuals of diverse backgrounds, suddenly finds its tranquility shattered by an unexpected catastrophe. This tragedy weakens the robust community fabric, posing an urgent question: How far can its citizens go to maintain peace and forestall another devastating incident, particularly amidst adversaries of Cadence’s long-standing ethos?

“Stony Place: A Cadence Mystery #3”, penned by Dianne L. Hagan, is a novel that courageously confronts the seldom-addressed concerns of racism in our contemporized world. From the onset, Hagan expertly enthralls readers with the ideological struggle between supremacy and equality, leading them on an illuminating journey into these opposing worldviews. The narrative serves as a poignant echo of the persistent racial inequalities that persist even in our progressive era, reminding us that societal drawbacks may evolve in tandem with advancement. This riveting tale delivers a stark warning of the potential repercussions of allowing prejudiced ideologies to proliferate unhindered, advocating vigilance to prevent such circumstances from materializing.

The novel presents an initial hurdle with its extensive cast of characters vying for the reader’s focus. Although their narratives eventually merge, the preliminary chapters may seem somewhat labyrinthine, inviting readers to afford sufficient time to familiarize themselves with the expansive ensemble. Notwithstanding this, the author’s unique style, heavily emphasizing dialogue on weighty subjects, ensnares the reader’s interest, propelling them to read on with anticipation. The narrative’s finale delivers a fitting resolution for all its characters, deftly interweaving threads of history spanning decades.

For those who appreciate delving into the past’s reflections in the modern world, this book comes highly recommended. The novel’s spotlight on the 1921 massacre in the United States provides not only an invaluable historical reference but also stimulates introspective discourse on themes of racism, liberty, and love. Hagan’s work sparks profound dialogues that test readers’ ethical perspectives and convictions, establishing it as an essential read for those in pursuit of a stimulating and captivating literary experience.