There Was an Old Woman

by Hallie Ephron, ISBN 978-0-06-211760-1; ebook 978-0-06-211762-5






New York Times best seller!
Globe best seller
Amazon best seller!
USA TODAY best seller!
Mary Higgins Clark Award finalist!


“Ephron is a talented writer and does a splendid job of creating a sense of place with richly drawn characters embroiled in realistic predicaments. We feel it, we recognize it, we understand it. Ephron is writing fiction with a gravitas rooted in reality and that’s why her books are so good.” – Chanticleer Book Reviews & Media


Once upon a time…

There was an old woman who lived in the Bronx…

Ninety-one-year-old Mina Yetner lives in the Bronx neighborhood of Higgs Point where small shotgun houses perch on waterfront with a view marsh grass, birds, and in the distance the Manhattan sky line.

Mina doesn’t like to get into her neighbor’s business, but when Sandra Ferrante, a troubled woman with a drinking problem, is pulled from her home and taken by ambulance to the local hospital, Mina tries to find Sandra’s daughter to convey her mother’s message: “Don’t let him in until I’m gone.”


blood-dropsHow much of the story is based on fact?

Read The Facts Behind the Fiction…

blood-dropsWhere did the ideas for the book come from?

Read Behind the Book: There Was an Old Woman…

blood-dropsBook Lovers Corner, CT Style (WTNH 8)

Hallie on TV, talking about THERE WAS AN OLD WOMAN with Teresa LaBarbera.

blood-dropsTake a PEEK inside

Read the first two chapters.

blood-dropsHallie talks about writing creepy

Read it on Book Club Girl.

blood-dropsPurchase it now!

Order it from Amazon or Barnes & Noble or Indiebound.


  • Finalist for the 2014 Mary Higgins Clark Award!
  • One of 2013’s TOP TEN! Sarah Weinman (Off on a Tangent): “There Was an Old Woman, Hallie Ephron. A terrific example of contemporary domestic suspense that features a fantastic nonagenarian heroine (and a cool thirtysomething co-protagonist, too) determined to keep her Bronx apartment from the grabby hands of developers and the sinister actions of unknown forces.” — 12/21/2013
  • Ellery Queen Mystery Magazine: “In alternating, interrelated narratives, Ephron delivers a suspenseful punch that kept me up all night reading.” “A cleverly plotted, well-orchestrated, and thoroughly engaging novel.” – Steve Steinbock in “The Jury Box”
  • Washington Post: “For those who love Gotham and abhor gore, ‘There Was An Old Woman’ is the perfect thriller lite.”
  • Jordan Rich of WBZ Radio interview with Hallie Ephron. Listen to the podcast,
  • Joe Meyers for Hearst Media: “’There Was an Old Woman’ is the best book yet by the author of ‘Never Tell a Lie’ and ‘Come and Find Me.’ Ephron is fast becoming one of contemporary fiction’s masters of suspense.”
  • Boston Globe: “Ephron’s novels are gripping because her characters are just real and nuanced enough to identify with. Ultimately, it’s compassion that makes us stay up late reading and, nose in book, miss our subway stop the next morning.”
  • Times Record News: “An intriguing tale of suspense;” “Fast-paced and captivating;” “a brilliant offering fans of suspense and intrigue will thoroughly enjoy.”
  • Burlington Times News: “There was an Old Woman” is a well-crafted thriller with compelling characters, an entertaining story and just the right amount of suspense.  … [It] will certainly keep you riveted from the first page to the last.”
  • Bookreporter: THERE WAS AN OLD WOMAN “character-driven,” “engrossing,” “well told,” “Ephron’s best!”
  • Winnipeg Free Press: “DESPITE the bedtime story image suggested by the title, American writer Hallie Ephron’s new novel is no children’s nursery rhyme. There Was an Old Woman is a tightly wrought, expertly written and frighteningly real suspense thriller that will keep you turning pages.” “There is a depth to her characters that is reminiscent of Ruth Rendell‘s probing, often painful characterizations.”
  • Lansing Journal raves: “[THERE WAS AN OLD WOMAN] is a dark, captivating and deliciously creepy tale that’s liable to keep you reading all night long.”
  • TheDay Connecticut:  “[THERE WAS AN OLD WOMAN is] a terrific and instantly engaging plot – but along with the tightening garrote of tension are wonderfully developed characters who deal with poignant problems including alcoholism, fraying sibling and maternal relationships, care for the aging, and the tantalizing hope that, despite evidence and Thomas Wolfe to the contrary, you CAN go home again.”
  • Iron Mountain Daily News: “Ephron treats her reader to interesting tidbits of New York’s history and a clever plot.”
  • Hartford Books Examiner: “Good, old-fashioned storytelling, brilliantly nuanced character portraits, and thought-provoking subtext. More than just a page-turner, this story is a haunting reminder that true terror starts at home…”
  • Carl Brookins on DorothyL: “I could hardly put it down. Creepy, tension filled, elegantly crafted, filled with emotional turmoil and characters that seem to rise from the pages and sit beside you while you read.”
  • Publisher’s Weekly calls it a “touching novel of suspense.” “Ephron’s portrait of the intimate details of the inescapable consequences of age and alcoholism is as gripping as any traditional mystery.” 
  • Kirkus praises its “creepy vibe” and calls it “very good.” 
  • Booklist recommends its “characterization — particularly Mina, still sharp in her tenth decade — and the nicely detailed sense of place.”
  • Sarah Weinman, Editor for Publishers Marketplace:  A terrific novel of contemporary domestic suspense”