Cover image for The third heiress
The third heiress
Joyce, Brenda.
Personal Author:
First edition.
Publication Information:
New York : St. Martin's/Griffin, 1999.
Physical Description:
408 pages ; 25 cm
Format :


Call Number
Material Type
Home Location
Central Library X Adult Fiction Central Closed Stacks
Concord Library X Adult Fiction Open Shelf
Grand Island Library X Adult Fiction Open Shelf
Lancaster Library X Adult Fiction Open Shelf
Orchard Park Library X Adult Fiction Open Shelf

On Order



When her mortally injured fiance whispers the name Kate on his deathbed, Jillian Gallagher decides to investigate and uncovers a mysterious woman who died a century earlier and may be the key to the accident.

Author Notes

New York Times bestselling romance novelist Brenda Joyce has won a number of awards for her work, including a Best Western Romance award for her debut novel, a Best Historical Romance award, and two lifetime achievement awards from Romantic Times BOOKreviews.

(Bowker Author Biography)

Reviews 2

Booklist Review

When Hal, her fiance, utters "I love you, Kate" as his dying words, Jill Gallager is devastated. She accompanies his body back to London to be met with hate and suspicion by his family and the woman they say he had planned to marry. Seeking solace in Hal's former bedroom, she finds an obviously cherished antique photo of two women, one his grandmother and the other a woman named Kate Gallager who bears an astonishing resemblance to her. As this modern gothic unravels, Jill doesn't know whom to trust and whom to fear as she researches Kate Gallager, an American heiress who disappeared in 1909. Kate's tale is told through a series of dreams and visions that terrify Jill, who is already spooked by attacks from an unknown source. After proceeding at a stately pace, the action suddenly speeds up as veteran romancer Joyce brings her first hardcover romantic suspense novel to an exciting conclusion. --Diana Tixier Herald

Publisher's Weekly Review

The heroine of romance novelist Joyce's (The Finer Things) hardcover debut thinks she will live happily ever after, and instead unearths a nest of family secrets. Born into a working-class family, talented ballerina-turned-Broadway-dancer Jill Gallagher is ecstatic with her new fianc‚, aristocratic Brit Harold "Hal" Sheldon. But as they drive along a New York highway, he breaks off their engagement, saying he wants to return to his family in London. A devastated Jill turns to confront himÄand wraps the car around a tree. Though Jill escapes unscathed, Hal dies in her arms, his last words, "I love you... Kate." Accompanying Hal's body to London, Jill obsesses: who is Kate? Was Hal leaving her for another woman? Hal's family blames Jill for the accident, except for his cousin Alex Preston, who's just a bit less prickly than the Sheldons. In Hal's old bedroom, Jill discovers a 1906 photo of two young women, Kate Gallagher and Anne Bensonhurst. Anne was Hal's grandmother, but Kate, a nouveau-riche American heiress (with Jill's last name), mysteriously disappeared the year she turned 18. As Jill abandons her life in New York in her single-minded hunt for Kate (whom she believes is her own ancestor), Alex becomes a provocateur, helper and saboteur on the case. The mystery deepens when Jill finds a decapitated cat on her porch and discovers that the brakes on her car are cut. Joyce's occasionally trite prose ("Hal is dead. Ghosts make poor lovers") is easily ignored as she blends the stories of Jill and Kate, piecing together sexual intrigue, betrayals and century-old coverups that connect them. This genealogical thriller is a page turner that should please the readers of Joyce's previous 24 paperback romances (with seven million copies in print) and could perhaps prove her breakout novel. (Sept.) FYI: A rebate coupon will appear in the back of Perfect Secrets, to be released in August, and Joyce's Web site ( is already advertising her hardcover launch. (c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved

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