Latest Books

There Once Was A Child by Debra Webb

A sexual predator recently released from prison is missing…there’s blood on the floor—but there are two blood types. Is he a victim of revenge or has another of Nashville’s children gone missing?

Joseph Fanning stole and abused seventeen children. Recently released after serving his time, now he’s gone missing. Detective Olivia Newhouse and her partner, Walt Duncan, have a duty to do all within their power to find him—just as they would for any other citizen. The first step is to make a list of possible suspects and the logical names to start with are Fanning’s victims. Those seventeen children are now adults and more than one would like to see Joseph Fanning dead.

As Olivia and Walt dig deeper into the case their own lives begin to unravel. The fragile threads of discovery start to twist and tangle until nothing is as it seems.

When the one victim who knows the whole truth is revealed, no one will be the same.

The Big Thrill caught up to USA Today bestselling author Debra Webb to discuss her latest thriller, THERE ONCE WAS A CHILD:
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The Uninvited Corpse by Debra Sennefelder

By Charlie Cochrane

This spring, Debra Sennefelder joins the ranks of authors who have entered the strange parallel universe that is cozy mystery land, where murder lurks around every seemingly harmless corner and the most innocent of activities can lead to the greatest danger. Her upcoming series launch features a sleuth with an unusual and distinctly modern occupation. In THE UNINVITED CORPSE, food blogger Hope Early sets out on a spring garden tour in the quaint town of Jefferson, Connecticut, only to find herself tracking a killer in order to clear her sister’s name.

The Big Thrill recently caught up with Sennefelder to talk about the unique demands of crafting killers, sleuths, and villains for the cozy mystery market.

THE UNINVITED CORPSE is your debut novel. What does it feel like watching your first book take off?

A debut release brings on many feelings. It’s exciting to see a manuscript I began working on at my dining table turned into a real book. It’s satisfying to see all the work that went into writing, revising, and editing the book pay off. And it’s also scary because I have no idea of how it will be received. It’s definitely a roller coaster of emotions.
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Playing with Bonbon Fire by Dorothy St. James

Chocolate shop owner Charity Penn is at it again-cooking up chocolate treats while trying to keep everyone in the quirky seaside town of Camellia Beach safe.

A threatening note, a dead musician, and decades of secrets put the town’s first beach music festival and its band members in grave danger.

With help from her meddling half-sister and a new flavor of chocolate sweets to ignite the senses, Penn follows the shifting tide of evidence to uncover a forty-year-old secret.

Author Dorothy St. James spent some time with The Big Thrill discussing the second installment of the Southern Chocolate Shop Mysteries, PLAYING WITH BONBON FIRE:
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The God Machine by Ken Newman

By Myles Knapp

The best part about this gig—other than meeting very cool writers—is that your lucky reviewer guy, me, gets assigned a book. This often forces me to read outside my normal genre, which is heroic thrillers—Jack Reacher, Spenser, Caitlin Strong and Doc Ford, to name just a few.

THE GOD MACHINE isn’t a heroic thriller—it’s a heroic, science fiction, thriller, and a romantic comedy. A wild mashup.

Set in the year 2014, a 19-year-old budding novelist, Kieran Nash, is transported to the alien desert world of Adeaa. There he is rescued from certain death by an elite squad of German paratroopers—World War II soldiers who have been yanked straight off the battlefield.

The writing is fresh, sarcastic, funny and wildly entertaining.

Newman says he was inspired by Ray Bradbury, Arthur C. Clark, Frederick Brown, Keith Laumer, Orson Scott Card and Phillip K. Dick. And if you like their work, you’re going to love THE GOD MACHINE.
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The Children’s Game by Max Karpov

By Heidi Ruby Miller

It’s early morning in Florida, that time before the heat really sets in, and Max Karpov, author of the political thriller THE CHILDREN’S GAME, is writing under the canopy of trees in his yard and listening to the canal flowing behind his house. A runner, traveler, and journalist, Karpov always finds inspiration from the outdoors, which is why he initially plans his books at the beach. Some of those books are for HarperCollins as part of the Bowers-Hunter mystery series, which he pens under the name James Lilliefors.

But Karpov tells me the stimulus for his latest novel THE CHILDREN’S GAME “started almost as an investigative story, with an idea. Russia’s disinformation industry and its cyber-warfare capabilities were topics that have long interested me. It seemed pretty clear four years ago, when I started researching the book, that Russia was making preparations for a war against the West that the United States, and other nations, weren’t really ready to fight. We’re in that war now.”

Since Karpov is a career journalist who is used to working with facts, I wondered where the line is between fiction and non-fiction in a novel like this.

“Much of the story is drawn from real events or, in some cases, real ‘fake’ events,” he says. “For example: when the Malaysian Airlines MH17 was shot down over eastern Ukraine in July 2014 (killing 283 passengers and 15 crew members) Russia circulated false ‘news’ stories saying the attack had been a botched attempt by the Ukrainian government to assassinate President Putin, whose plane was returning to Russia from South America that same day. In truth, of course, Russia itself has now been tied to the attack. I used those details and fictionalized them in the novel.”
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Sister in Law by M. R. Morgan

By Azam Gill

Mystery author and academic M. R. Morgan’s research into the operations of escort services and call girls—as he is at pains to point out—was “purely academic and not practical.” But the research blossomed into SISTER IN LAW: VIOLATION, SEDUCTION, AND THE PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES—a gripping thriller of corruption and a sophisticated conspiracy to subvert the American presidency, written with flair, skill, and a lawyer’s focus.

The Review Team of Taylor Jones & Regan Murphy loved it: “The story is fast-paced, the storyline unique, and the characters endearing. This is one you will want to read again and again, just to catch what you missed the time before. Very well done.”

Shadowy conspirators in SISTER IN LAW recruit Suzanne Dahlstrom, an accomplished call girl, to bewitch and marry Adam, the serving president’s brother, so that she can seduce the president himself. The plan is to neuter the president through a sex scandal with his sister-in-law. When she realizes that she has actually fallen in love with Adam and informs her handlers, they change the plan from seduction to assassination. Left with no choice, Suzanne makes the attempt, but loses her nerve just as Adam bursts onto the scene. The drama piles up to a stunning and memorable finale.

Pepper O’Neal, author of the award-winning Black Ops Chronicles series, writes about SISTER IN LAW that “you can’t help rooting for Suzanne, a truly enchanting character. I couldn’t put it down.”

M. R. Morgan is the pen name of a professor of law emeritus. His successful cozy mystery series, and a well-known political thriller have been published by Random House under his real name, Mark Reutlinger. He is also a reviewer for the New York Journal of Books, keeps up a law treatise, is the Executive Director of the Tacoma Concert Band in which he plays and is a partner in an organic tea company. A dedicated writer, he can get immersed in his writing scattered on scribbled notes in his pocket and on his nightstand, and miss an appointment, often to his wife’s ire.

Basically, the ingredients to craft an original conspiracy thriller orbit within Morgan’s own life and lifestyle.
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Lessons in Chasing the Wild Goose by Charlie Cochrane

By John Darrin

As Charlie Cochrane couldn’t be trusted to do any of her jobs of choice—like managing a rugby team—she writes. Her favorite genre is gay fiction, sometimes historical (sometimes hysterical) and usually with a mystery thrown into the mix.

This is Charlie Cochrane’s official brief bio. Anywhere you find something written about Cochrane, you learn that she claims to be basically unemployable, and she thinks she knows something about rugby. In this interview with The Big Thrill, Cochrane tells us why—and also introduces her 29th full-length book, and the 13th in her Lessons series, Lessons in Chasing the Wild Goose.

It’s not clear why Cochrane feels she is unemployable for several reasons. First, she is employed. Second, being a Cambridge graduate and an Applied Biologist she would, at a minimum, be more in demand than an Abstract Biologist. And finally, she has a history of quite impressive employment—such as training school governors. However, she would like to be the first woman to play cricket for the England men’s team—and in that particular instance, she probably is unemployable.

As for rugby, she says, “the sport has the theme of respect running through it, which means you can have women refereeing men’s games and it isn’t a problem. In fact, the best referee in the world is gay and no-one bats an eyelid.”
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Follow You Down by Michael Bradley

New York attorney Neil Brewster has everything he’s ever wanted: an expensive Manhattan apartment, a gorgeous fiancée, a forthcoming partnership in his law firm, and a reputation for winning even the most hopeless cases. His utter ruthlessness and bullying–both in and out of the courtroom–are legendary, and have been since his childhood.

With a new high profile court case looming, a camping reunion with his old high school cronies becomes just the distraction he needs, especially after he discovers a former lover is staying nearby.

But Neil’s weekend plunges into disarray when he’s confronted with the sins of his past. After learning about the suicide of the boy he bullied relentlessly as a teenager, Neil is tormented by ghostly voices and apparitions. Frantic, Neil descends into a frenzied search for answers, only to discover that things aren’t always what they seem.

Author Michael Bradley took time out of his busy schedule to discuss his latest thriller, FOLLOW YOU DOWN, with The Big Thrill:
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City of Sharks by Kelli Stanley

Miranda isn’t sure of anything at first except that Louise Crowley, the blonde who works as an assistant to Niles Alexander, San Francisco publisher, is in trouble. Despite her own preparations for an imminent voyage to a blitzkrieged Britain and a painful farewell to the city she loves, Miranda decides to help Louise and takes on her last case as a private detective in San Francisco…investigating her client, surveying the publishing world of 1940, and stumbling into murder with a trail that leads straight to Alcatraz…an island city of sharks.

Along the way, Miranda explores her beloved San Francisco once more, from Playland-at-the-Beach to Chinatown to Nob Hill and Treasure Island. She encounters John Steinbeck and C.S. Forester, and is aided and abetted by the charming and dapper San Francisco Chronicle columnist Herb Caen. And she also discovers personal truths she’s long denied…

The Big Thrill caught up to award-wining author Kelli Stanley to discuss her latest mystery, CITY OF SHARKS:
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Exacting Justice by TG Wolff

An unknown killer is waging a war on drugs. The murders are horrendous but with a silver lining—now stop signs are the only objects lingering on corners in the city’s toughest neighborhoods. Half the city calls for the police to end the killer’s reign. The other half cheers the killer on, denouncing the tactics but celebrating the progress police haven’t been able to achieve.

The gritty details of Cleveland’s drug underworld are nothing new to Homicide Detective Jesus De La Cruz. Two years earlier, Cruz worked undercover narcotics and was poised for a promotion that would have placed him in a coveted position within the drug organization. The deal went bad. Now he has a new face, a new job, and a new case.

The killer moves through the streets with impunity, identity still unknown. Demands for progress from his superiors, accumulated grief of the victims’ relatives, growing pressure from the public, and elevated stress from his family quietly pull Cruz apart. With no out, the detective moves all in, putting his own head on the line to bait a killer.

The Big Thrill caught up to author TG Wolff to discuss her soon-to-be-released thriller, EXACTING JUSTICE:
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Bluff by Michael Kardos

At twenty-seven, magician Natalie Webb is already a has-been. A card-trick prodigy, she took first place at the World of Magic competition at eighteen and has never again reached such heights. Shunned by the magic world after a disastrous liaison with an older magician, she now lives alone in a New Jersey apartment with her pigeons and a pile of overdue bills. In a desperate ploy for extra cash, she follows up on an old offer to write for a glossy magazine and pitches the editor a seductive topic: the art of cheating at cards.

But when Natalie meets the perfect subject for her piece―a poker cheat who dazzles at sleight of hand―what begins as a journalistic gamble soon becomes a test of everything she thinks she knows about her talent, and herself. Natalie soon finds herself facing a dangerous proposition that could radically alter her fortune―to help pull off a $1.5 million magic trick that, if done successfully, no one will ever suspect happened. With Kardos raising the stakes chapter after chapter, BLUFF is a breathtaking work of suspense from a writer at the top of his game.

The Big Thrill caught up with award-winning author Michael Kardos to discuss his latest thriller, BLUFF:
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Damnation by Peter Beck

Dead clients are bad for business, something that Tom Winter, head of security at a private Swiss bank, knows only too well. When a helicopter explosion kills a valuable client and a close colleague, Winter teams up with the mysterious Egyptian businesswoman Fatima Hakim to expose the truth behind their deaths.

Together they follow the money trail around the world and back into the Swiss mountains, the NSA watching their every move. As they start closing in on the truth, Winter and Fatima turn from being the hunters to the hunted, finding themselves in a deadly, high-stakes race against the clock.

Award-winning author Peter Beck spent some time discussing his latest thriller, DAMNATION, with The Big Thrill:
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Shallow Grave by Karen Harper

The truth won’t stay buried forever…

It’s been four months since forensic psychologist Claire Britten last crossed paths with danger. Finally feeling she can catch her breath, together with her partner, criminal lawyer Nick Markwood, Claire has settled into a new role, volunteering with a support group for children stressed by domestic violence. But a leisurely field trip to a wildlife sanctuary turns deadly, leaving Claire to question whether the death was an accident, suicide—or something far more sinister.

Nick gets the South Shores team on the case, hunting down anyone with a potential grudge against the sanctuary. But their investigation turns wild when other attacks come too close to home. With a hostile predator on the loose, Nick and Claire will have to race to unbury the truth before a killer wipes them from the endangered-species list for good.

New York Times bestselling author Karen Harper joined The Big Thrill to discuss her latest thriller, SHALLOW GRAVE:
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Gone Dark by Kirk Russell

America is under siege as Special Agent Paul Grale exposes a devastating act of domestic terrorism that becomes explosively personal.

When a series of coordinated blasts takes down several Los Angeles power stations, FBI bomb tech Paul Grale is tapped to investigate. That means leaving his vulnerable niece, Julia, behind in Las Vegas. The sole survivor of a homeland bombing that killed her parents, Julia’s still struggling through grief and trauma. An avowed pacifist, she’s being trolled as anti-American. And entangled in an affair with the wrong man, she’s facing the fallout from his crimes: stolen military-grade ammunition found in her car.

But Grale has no choice but to head to L.A. The sabotage is growing more sophisticated, and with assaults on the telecommunication grid itself, the potential for destruction has never been higher. Now, as rolling blackouts sweep across the West, Grale is following clues that point alarmingly close to home. Especially when Julia disappears.

If Grale can’t stop the attacks from escalating, the grid will go down for good, leaving everyone in the dark. But it’s Grale who could be facing the darkest reality of all…

Prolific author Kirk Russell spent some time with The Big Thrill discussing his latest thriller, GONE DARK:
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The Clown Forest Murders by A. C. Brooks and R. R. Brooks

Did clown-colored mushrooms spark the gruesome murders? Will his memories of the murders save him or kill him?

At age eight, Dave Austin witnesses his brother’s savage murder in rural Norwich, New York, but amnesia suppresses the memory, and the killer escapes. Locals suspect an itinerant, a pedophile, or a disturbed friend maddened by psychedelic mushrooms. When Dave starts college, pressures at Princeton and alcohol elicit dreams, each one revealing a bit of memory. Then come visions as Dave senses the killer return. Images of teenagers killed where his brother died precipitate a crisis, and David returns to Norwich to find his dead brother’s friend, a disturbed witness who knows something. Dave’s appearance alarms his psychiatrist, the officers who hadn’t solved the case, and especially the killer, who knows he should not have let the young Dave escape. Now the killer must correct his mistake. When a crazy farmer invites Dave to learn the killer’s name in the Clown Forest at midnight, how can he resist? He may learn what he needs to identify the murderer—if he gets the truth, and survives.

The Big Thrill caught up to the author duo of A. C. Brooks and R. R. Brooks to discuss their latest mystery, THE CLOWN FOREST MURDERS:
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An Engineered Injustice by William L. Myers Jr.

By David Healey

Imagine riding Amtrak’s fastest train, the Acela. Inside, the seats are comfortable and the coaches are well appointed. This is no tired train hauling commuters up and down the East Coast corridor. Your fellow passengers are interesting and you strike up a captivating conversation with the lawyer beside you. Beyond the windows, the landscape—like time itself—passes in a blur because you are so caught up in the train, the trip, the conversation.

AN ENGINEERED INJUSTICE by William L. Myers Jr. is about as close as one can get to such an exciting train ride, short of purchasing a pricey Acela ticket. Considering that this new legal thriller is fast-paced, tightly written, and inspired by a real-life railroad disaster, it’s probably no surprise that Myers’ previous novel, A Criminal Defense, remained in the top 10 list for Amazon’s Kindle sales for much of 2017 and into 2018. Currently, the novel has more than 5,000 reader reviews on Amazon.

His new book is just as much of a thrill ride. Young lawyer Vaughn Coburn finds himself obligated to represent his cousin, Eddy, in the wake of an Amtrak train wreck in which many die and many more are injured. Vaughn has a dark family secret that compels him to help Eddy, even when the job is going to make him very unpopular. A steamy relationship with a lawyer from a rival firm adds further complications.

There’s a lot going on here, and for good reason. Myers called AN ENGINEERED INJUSTICE a plot-driven novel, following the up-and-down fortunes of a trial. There is also what he described as a “sense of peril” because one of the victims of the train crash was the son of a vicious mobster. One of Vaughn’s challenges is to persuade the mobster not to seek his own rough justice until all of the facts are known.

Recently, the author shared some insights into his new book, writing in general, and how he became one of Amazon’s top bestselling authors seemingly overnight with his first novel.
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Murder in the One Percent by Saralyn Richard

By Karen Harper

Locked room mysteries have enthralled readers since Edgar Allan Poe’s “The Murders in the Rue Morgue” effectively launched the modern detective subgenre in 1841. Everyone from Agatha Christie to Japanese mystery master Soji Shimada has tackled the tantalizing setup: someone is murdered in a confined space with no obvious access or means of escape for the killer, and a detective is tasked with unraveling the seemingly impossible crime.

Saralyn Richard pumps fresh blood into the locked room scenario with MURDER IN THE ONE PERCENT, out now from Black Opal Books. Richard, a former teacher and successful children’s book author, transports the familiar premise to an extravagant dinner party at a Pennsylvania horse farm, where a young African-American police detective named Oliver Parrott is called in to investigate the murder of playboy and former Secretary of the Treasury, Preston Phillips.

Richard spoke with The Big Thrill about making the transition from kidlit to adult fiction, the allure of her novel’s posh setting, and the singular demands of writing a locked room mystery in the 21st century.
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A Well-Timed Murder by Tracee de Hahn

Swiss-American police officer Agnes Lüthi is on leave in Lausanne, Switzerland, recovering from injuries she sustained in her last case, when an old colleague invites her to the world’s premier watch and jewelry trade show at the grand Messe Basel Exhibition Hall. Little does Agnes know, another friend of hers, Julien Vallotton, is at the same trade show—and he’s looking for Agnes. Julien Vallotton was friends with Guy Chavanon, a master of one of Switzerland’s oldest arts: watchmaking. Chavanon died a week ago, and his daughter doesn’t believe his death was accidental. Shortly before he died, Chavanon boasted that he’d discovered a new technique that would revolutionize the watchmaking industry, and she believes he may have been killed for it. Reluctantly, Agnes agrees to investigate his death. But the world of Swiss watchmaking is guarded and secretive, and before she realizes it, Agnes may be walking straight into the path of a killer.

Author Tracee de Hahn spent some time with The Big Thrill discussing her latest mystery, A WELL-TIMED MURDER:
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Winner Takes All by Robert Bidinotto

By Terry DiDomenico

Investigative reporter Dylan Hunter is a vigilante, and this time he’s trying to stop a murderous international conspiracy from taking over the presidency of the United States. The stakes are high, and Dylan must make a choice that will forever seal his fate—including his future with the woman he adores. As political violence sweeps the nation’s capital, it’s an all-or-nothing scenario in Richard Bidinotto’s WINNER TAKES ALL, the third installment in the Dylan Hunter series.

WINNER TAKES ALL explores the lust for power in all its forms within a “sweeping, grand-scale political thriller.” When Bidinotto wrapped up the second Dylan Hunter thriller, 2014’s Bad Deeds, all he knew was that two of his characters—billionaire Avery Trammel and hitman Ray Lasher—would conspire to throw the election to a malleable political puppet. When it was time to flesh out his plot, he says he looked no further than what he calls the “crazy” 2016 election cycle.

“I worked into the story such things as the ongoing threat of terrorism; controversies over ‘fake news’ and media bias; scandals over sexual manipulation by the rich and powerful; government harassment of private citizens; worries about border security; leaks of classified material for political purposes; and the quirky, unsavory personalities of today’s political candidates,” Bidinotto says. “But I didn’t toss in all those ingredients willy-nilly, just to spice up the story. They’re integral to the theme and the plot. Real-world events played perfectly into my story world’s theme of power-lust.”

One of the scarier aspects of WINNER TAKES ALL is the means by which foreign interests funnel money into political campaigns—a plot element that was inspired by Bidinotto’s work for a D.C. nonprofit watchdog group.

“[The] machinations I describe in the novel are what is going on in the real world,” he says. “I learned from several years of first-hand research, exactly how this happens.”
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Last Seen by Rick Mofina

By Austin S. Camacho

Not all great thrillers are about global threats. Rick Mofina has created a pulse-pounding nail-biter focused on a single family’s trials in his latest standalone, LAST SEEN.

The story centers on Cal Hudson, a reporter who seems to be living the dream: he’s got a great job, a devoted wife, a loving son, and a home in a tranquil suburban community. That dream becomes a nightmare when the unthinkable happens, and his nine-year-old son is snatched. Hudson is a regular guy and a good man who, as it turns out, has done some terrible things and managed to keep them secret.

“His heart’s in the right place,” Mofina says, “but he’s far from perfect and when all seems lost he’s uncertain he can do the right thing.”

That may not make Cal a hero in the traditional sense, but it certainly makes him interesting. That’s one way this is not your typical thriller. Another is that the reader does not learn who the villain is until late in the narrative.

“We have a lot of suspects and a lot of threads that are tied to all the characters,” Mofina says. “The antagonist is woven into the fabric of the situation and emerges near the end.”

That doesn’t mean that LAST SEEN is totally plot driven. Along with that strong storyline there is no shortage of interesting, engaging people. Mofina clearly feels that a good story must have both: compelling, realistic characters and threatening situations that test them. The author may have a unique perspective on good people in menacing circumstances thanks to his own extensive career as a reporter.
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Holmes Entangled by Gordon McAlpine

By Cathy Perkins

From the Edgar-nominated author of Hammett Unwritten and Woman with a Blue Pencil comes a startling meta-fiction tale told in the voice of Sherlock Holmes. Set in 1920s’ London, Cambridge, and Paris, HOLMES ENTANGLED by Gordon McAlpine leads the infamous sleuth on an adventure through labyrinths of crime and espionage in a mortally dangerous inquiry into the unseen nature of existence itself.

Sherlock Holmes, retired from investigations and disguised as a professor at Cambridge, is shaken when a modestly successful author named Arthur Conan Doyle calls upon him at the university. This Conan Doyle, notable for historical adventure and science fiction stories (but no detective tales), somehow knows the false professor’s true identity, and pleads for investigative assistance. Someone is trying to kill him.

Intrigued by how the “middling scribbler” ascertained Holmes’s identity in the first place, despite the detective’s perfect disguise, Holmes agrees to investigate.

With the assistance of Dr. Watson’s widow, Holmes persists, exploring séances, the esoterica of Edgar Allan Poe, the revolutionary new science of quantum mechanics, and his own long-denied sense of loss and solitude. Ultimately, however, even Sherlock Holmes is unprepared for what the evidence suggests.

At first glance, this story may seem like fan fiction, but HOLMES ENTANGLED can more aptly be described as a mash-up of meta-mystery with meta-biography.
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Vanished by Karen E. Olson

By Terri Nolan

There is a bounty on Tina Alder’s head—and so, she hides within an ordinary life in a small town. She earns cash for watercolor paintings and has no internet footprint, no bank account, no phone, and no permanent address. She doesn’t use computers; not even the anonymous ones at the public library.

So when Tina, a former hacker, needs a fix, she enters the library to peruse books while casting hungry gazes at the bank of computer terminals. To go online would risk exposure and in today’s connected world, safety can’t be taken for granted—even if you live small. Tina’s go-bag is packed and ready.

But when Tina meets an older woman at an art show she is thrown off her game. The woman seems to know more about Tina than she should. The compulsion to know who this woman is leads Tina to a laptop. She knows better. Her safety depends on staying off the grid. But the compulsion is mighty, and Tina does the one thing she shouldn’t do. By the next day she is on the run.

Again.

VANISHED is Karen E. Olson’s fourth novel in the Black Hat series. It is extreme in pace with intense, non-stop action—and it may make one pause next time they log online or use an ATM.
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Death By a Whisker by T. C. Lotempio

By Jaden Terrell

You wouldn’t know it from her lighthearted and clever cozies, but bestselling author T.C. (Toni) LoTempio started out writing horror. After realizing that, with the notable exception of Stephen King, there wasn’t much of a market for horror, she turned her considerable skills toward mysteries.

It seemed a natural progression; while LoTempio neither commits nor solves murders in real life, she has had a lifelong love of mysteries that began with the Nancy Drew classic The Secret in the Old Attic. She began honing her writing skills early as well, changing the endings of her books and comics if she didn’t like how they turned out.

With a bit of uncredited help from her cat ROCCO, she penned the Nick and Nora mystery series for Berkley Prime Crime, followed by the Cat Rescue Mysteries published by Crooked Lane. In true cozy fashion, the books sometimes include recipes, like the one named for Wolverine actor Hugh Jackman and made from horseradish, cheese, and thinly sliced beef on an Italian hoagie bun.

Asked which writers have influenced her writing, she says, “I’ve definitely been influenced from a young age by the Nancy Drew mysteries. I think I’ve read almost every girl sleuth series around, from Trixie Belden to Judy Bolton and everything in between. And I’m a big fan of today’s cozy mystery authors, particularly Laura Childs and Miranda James.”

Toni agreed to chat with The Big Thrill about her new release, a Cat Rescue mystery called DEATH BY A WHISKER.
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Walking the Bones by Randall Silvis

When long-buried secrets come back to the surface…

The bones of seven young girls, picked clean and carefully preserved, discovered years ago… That’s all Sergeant Ryan DeMarco knows about the unsolved crime he has unwittingly been roped into investigating during what is supposed to be a healing road trip with his new love, Jayme.

DeMarco is still reeling from the case that led to death of his best friend months ago and wants nothing more than to lay low. Unfortunately, the small southern town of Jayme’s idyllic youth is not exactly a place that lets strangers go unnoticed—especially strangers who have a history of solving violent crimes. And if there’s anything DeMarco knows, it’s that a killer always leaves clues behind, just waiting for the right person to come along and put all the pieces together…

WALKING THE BONES is a story about things buried—memories, regrets, secrets, and bodies. Acclaimed author Randall Silvis delivers another heart-stopping investigation as DeMarco finds himself once again drawn into a case that will demand more of himself than he may be willing to give.

Randall Silvis, bestselling author of the Ryan Demarco mystery series, spent some time with The Big Thrill discussing his latest installment, WALKING THE BONES:
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Blood Legacy by Gary Williams & Vicky Knerly

An expedition off the Italian coast reclaims a World War II-era German midget submarine. When the two-man sub is opened, it contains a single corpse, and an artifact from Adolf Hitler’s bunker that was thought to be lost to history.

On Long Island, an elderly man and woman are brutally murdered. FBI Agent Link Johnsten is called in to assist local authorities and to maintain the victims’ secret. When six unsent letters are discovered in their home, one piques his interest. It’s addressed to his friend, CIA agent Samuel Tolen.

Chinese-American physicist Dr. Sing Liao is abducted after making an astonishing, yet terrifying, scientific breakthrough. The intersecting lives of Dr. Liao, a rogue FBI agent, and a billionaire shipping magnate collide. With ties to Nazi Germany, Tolen and Johnsten are swept up in a frantic chase to uncover Adolf Hitler’s darkest secret. At stake is the life of an 11-year-old savant–and possibly the end of the world.

The Big Thrill recently caught up with co-authors Gary Williams & Vicky Knerly to discuss their latest thriller, BLOOD LEGACY:
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Testament by Mark P. Dunn

On the surface, it looks like Paul Callahan has it all. The family, the house, the job. But nothing is ever as perfect as it seems, and when a college friend contacts Paul out of the blue, he finds himself reliving his first year of college, when everything went so right, and then so very wrong. The novel skips between the present and the past, tracing what happened to Paul and his friends during college and the effects in the present day.

TESTAMENT is a story of friendship and love and of the terrible evil people are capable of doing to one another. It is the story of a man doing his best to move forward, but struggling with an emotional anchor latched firmly in the past. But more than anything, it is a story about redemption and the unfathomable workings of the human heart.

Author Mark P. Dunn took some time to discuss his latest novel, TESTAMENT, with The Big Thrill:
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The Song of Geneva Chance by Keith Dixon

Paul Storey likes the idea of being a private detective, especially when his first case is to find two missing guitars belonging to a pop group who were big fifteen years ago. How hard could it be?

But he quickly learns the case isn’t really about a petty theft. Pretty soon there’s a murder, and a connection to large-scale drug smuggling, and to a pair of Albanian crooks who are looking to expand their operations and don’t care how they do it. In addition he finds himself drawn to the mysterious singer Geneva Chance, who has secrets of her own.

What seemed straight-forward becomes both complicated and dangerous.

THE SONG OF GENEVA CHANCE author, Keith Dixon, sat down with The Big Thrill to discuss his latest thriller:
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The K Factor by L. J. Martin

When Mike Reardon, known as the repairman for taking jobs outside the law, is invited to a meeting with the CIA, NSA, and DOD, he knows he’s about to be downrange of ka ka hitting the fan.

All they want is for him to go into North Korea and extract three women; a daughter and granddaughters of NK’s ambassador to China, who wants to defect. Since he’s the former head of NK’s nuclear program, the U.S. is more than merely interested in him.

The Big Thrill caught up to prolific author L. J. Martin to discuss his latest novel, THE K FACTOR:
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Rainbirds by Clarissa Goenawan

By Charles Salzberg

Five years is a long time, even longer if you think of it in dog years. For Clarissa Goenawan, that’s how long it took from the conception of her exquisite debut, RAINBIRDS, to publication. And some of that time was actually spent writing it.

If you’re looking for a straight suspense thriller, with murder, mayhem, car chases, stuff blowing up and the world as we know it at stake, RAINBIRDS is probably not for you. But if you’re in the market for an intelligent, well-written, thought-provoking novel, what Goenawan calls “a literary mystery with an element of magical realism set in Japan, a coming-of-age story masquerading as a murder mystery,” then RAINBIRDS is right up your alley.

RAINBIRDS doesn’t read like a first novel. You know the kind: precious and derivative. Instead, it appears to have sprung forth from a talented writer who’s been around longer than 29 years—“I’m turning 30 this year (gasp), but until my birthday in April, I’m going to insist I’m in my twenties”—and who’s carefully developed a plot and characters that grab you from the get-go and don’t let go.

The story is set in motion with the murder of a young woman, Keiko, the older sister of Ren, who visits the fictional small town of Akakawa (inspired by one of the suburban cities in Indonesia Goenawan visited as a child), where his sister moved years earlier to teach. While mourning her death, Ren hopes to find out who murdered her and why, but instead finds what he really wants is to get closer to his late sibling.
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Surgeon’s Choice by Richard L. Mabry

By George Ebey

Author Richard L. Mabry, MD, brings his considerable expertise to his latest medical thriller, SURGEON’S CHOICE.

Dr. Ben Merrick and his fiancée, Rachel Gardner, can’t get her divorced parents to stay in the same room, much less attend their wedding together.

Added to the stress is that Ben is looking over his shoulder, expecting more trouble from a senior surgeon still smarting from a previous dust-up. Ben doesn’t know if a series of mishaps and accidents are caused by a disgruntled patient’s relatives, or represent more drama from his disgruntled co-worker.

Then, Ben’s prospective father-in-law approaches him, needing money for reasons Ben can’t fathom, and Rachel doesn’t want to accept it. But when the deaths begin, Ben and Rachel begin to wonder if they can escape unscathed…and alive.

The Big Thrill recently caught up with Mabry to learn more about his exciting new tale.
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A Cold Day in Hell by Lissa Marie Redmond

Lauren’s job as a cold case homicide detective is her life. And life just got complicated.

Lauren Riley is an accomplished detective who has always been on the opposite side of the courtroom from slick defense attorney Frank Violanti. But now he’s begging to hire her as a private investigator to help clear his client of murder. At first Lauren refuses, wanting nothing to do with the media circus surrounding the case—until she meets the eighteen-year-old suspect.

To keep an innocent teen from life in prison, Lauren must unravel the conflicting evidence and changing stories to get at the buried facts. But the more she digs, the more she discovers that nothing is what it first appears to be. As Lauren puts her career and life in danger, doubt lurks on every corner . . . and so does her stalker.

Join The Big Thrill and author Lissa Marie Redmond as she discusses her thriller, A COLD DAY IN HELL:
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Only the Rain by Randall Silvis

When family man and war veteran Russell loses his job as a quarry worker, his life suddenly seems more like a waking nightmare than a chance to finally live the American dream. Facing bills, a new baby, and a bone-dry bank account, he’s got nothing left to lose. Russell comes to the rescue of a naked stranger dancing in the rain, and what was supposed to be a straightforward good deed turns into a spiral of danger. When Russell finds an enticing stash of money in the woman’s house, he knows the cash could be his only hope. Taking just a handful will save his family’s future.

His “victimless crime” seems to be anything but risky—until the criminals he robbed come looking for their dirty money. Russell’s ready to surrender it, but then his daughter gets sick…and he must choose between saving her or giving the devils their due. Someone’s going to pay. The question is, how much?

The Big Thrill caught up with bestselling author Randall Silvis to discuss his latest thriller, ONLY THE RAIN:
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Death on the Vine by L. Lee Kane

Just before high school graduation, Daisy Murphy returns home from a football game and finds her mother standing over her abusive boyfriend’s body—holding a bloody hammer. In the aftermath, Daisy flees her home and eventually establishes a new life as an expert winemaker in the Central Valley of California. But as hard as she tries to get away from her past, the effects of that horrible night travel with her.

Detective Jake Frisco has unearthed a murder at the vineyard where Daisy is employed as the winery’s expert winemaker. It doesn’t take long to discover that Daisy is haunted by her past and carries a heavy burden. It seems that possible involvement in an unsolved murder is part of her life’s baggage. Does this put Daisy at the top of the suspects list? Can he put aside his growing feelings for her and follow the leads in the case, even if they take him straight to her as the murderer?

Can Daisy finally face her past and trust that the truth she offers the detective will be enough to save her? Will she find the courage to ask for a future beyond the sorrow of her youth—a future filled with love and self-worth?

L. Lee Kane took time out of her busy schedule to discuss her latest novel, DEATH ON THE VINE, with The Big Thrill:
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The Pandora Block by John Hegenberger

The race is on to find the cure for a bloody disease targeting women of color. But a hidden side-effect of the Black Sea Virus might kill us all. Time to call in the 21st Century Robin Hoods to locate, assemble and decode The Pandora Block.

The Pandora Block opens with the world engulfed in a deadly pandemic. Jonathan Boyd reaches out to a team of reluctant colleagues in the search for an ancient puzzle/relic that might hold the key to the cure. From Capetown to Columbia, Busan to Paris, LA to St. Croix, John Hegenberger takes readers on a globe-trotting ride that is part action/adventure, part spy thriller, and part theft caper. Meticulously researched, the book combines the best elements of Clive Cussler and Ian Fleming, with a dash of Dan Brown and Michael Crichton. A fascinating story. — Baron R. Birtcher, award-winning author of Rain Dogs and South California Purples.

Award-winning author John Hegenberger spent some time with The Big Thrill discussing his latest thriller, THE PANDORA BLOCK:
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Sanctuary of Lies by Chad Bishop

There are 4.7 billion searchable sites that make up 10% of the web; the other 90% is dedicated to the “Dark Web.” Within that environment there is a thriving economy where everything is for sale: Sex, Armies and Code for hire. Well-known companies buy and sell for governments and NGO’s (non-governmental organizations). They appear as benign legal boutique companies and consultants, but their true purpose is to be the middlemen/cyber lynchpins for these illicit goods and services.​

Isabella Nunez​ owns a computer firm in Brooklyn with her lover Jacob Costa. Accepting her infertility, they have a blue nose pit bull called Justice as their “child” and live simple lives as techy nerds. Isabella’s idyllic life is shattered when several days after her lover’s ex-wife, Simone Johns’, reported death, Simone sends Jacob an email to come save their child, which he didn’t know they had.

SANCTUARY OF LIES author Chad Bishop took time out of his busy schedule to discuss his latest thriller with The Big Thrill:
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The Kill Wire by Nichole Christoff

Security specialist and PI Jamie Sinclair crosses interstate boundaries—and personal ones too—in this electrifying thriller from an award-winning author who “understands how to keep her readers riveted from beginning to end” (USA Today).

With a long list of high-profile, high-paying clients, Jamie Sinclair has her hands full—and that’s the way she likes it. Still reeling from the brutal investigation that drove a wedge between her and her boyfriend, military police officer Adam Barrett, Jamie is counting on hard work to help her forget her recent history—but then DEA agent Marc Sandoval barges back into her life. The last time they worked together, Jamie almost crossed all kinds of lines. Now Marc doesn’t just want Jamie, he needs her . . . because she’s the only one who can help him—and the little boy he never told her about.

Marc’s ex has vanished, leaving their six-year-old son in his care. Despite a troubled past, Elena never wavered in her duties as a parent, so something must be very wrong now. Teaming with Marc to track Elena through her home state of Colorado and beyond, Jamie finds herself on a cross-country search for the missing mother of Marc’s child, at a crossroads with Adam, and on a collision course with the killers who’ll stop at nothing to find Elena first.

Award-winning author Nichole Christoff sat down with The Big Thrill to discuss the latest installment of her Jamie Sinclair thrillers, THE KILL WIRE:
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Dead Calm by Annelise Ryan

The honeymoon will have to wait for newlyweds Mattie Winston and Steve Hurley…

As deputy medical examiner and homicide detective respectively, the couple are dispatched to a grisly crime scene at the Grizzly Motel, a seedy joint for illicit liaisons on the outskirts of Sorenson, Wisconsin. A man and woman are found dead next to each other in bed in what initially appears to be a grim but straightforward murder-suicide. An affair gone sour?

But as the forensic evidence is gathered and autopsies are performed, Mattie and Hurley realize the scene has been staged. They have a double murder on their hands. The spurned spouses of both victims top the list of suspects, but as more is revealed, the case becomes increasingly complex. Dividing their time and resources between the double homicide and an ongoing investigation involving Mattie’s father, as well as caring for their toddler Matthew and Hurley’s teenaged daughter Emily, the two are stretched to their limits.

After another victim turns up dead, there’s no room for error as Mattie and Hurley stage a scene of their own to back the killer into a corner…

The Big Thrill caught up to author Annelise Ryan to discuss her mystery, DEAD CALM:
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Speed the Dawn by Philip Donlay

Hundreds of white-hot meteor fragments plunge toward Earth near Monterey Bay, California. Huge fires ignite the tinder-dry landscape and, as the sun sets, the power grid collapses and the fires grow, illuminating a nightmare created in hell itself. Donovan Nash realizes he is trapped.

Injured and growing desperate, his options dwindling, Donovan fights to keep himself and a small band of survivors alive until dawn, when they can make one last attempt to escape the inferno.

Meanwhile, Donovan’s wife, Dr. Lauren McKenna, working with the Pentagon as well as the Forest Service, envisions a bold approach to stop the fire from spreading all the way to the Bay Area and the seven million residents living there. She’s terrified that, if not executed perfectly, her plan could cause the death of thousands of people–including Donovan.

Bestselling author Philip Donlay discussed his latest thriller, SPEED THE DAWN, with The Big Thrill and this is what he had to say:
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19 Souls by J. D. Allen

Jim Bean is having a bad day. A bad year, a bad life. Sophie Evers, his latest client, has duped him in the worst possible way. Instead of a straightforward missing persons case, he’s led a serial killer straight to her most coveted prey.

Sophie’s clung to the demented belief that she and Daniel Hodge belonged together. Instead of sleeping her way to the top, she killed her way into a position to create the “perfect life” for the only man she ever loved. Except now she can’t find him. Her plan: kill Daniel’s sister and manipulate a private investigator into flushing out her man.

Despite being told to leave the case alone, responsibility drives Jim to set things straight before Sophie’s delusion shatters and more souls are lost.

Award-winning author J. D. Allen met with The Big Thrill to discuss her latest mystery, 19 SOULS:
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Saving Grace by Simon Wood

By Charles Salzberg

On May 3, 2007, three-year-old Madeleine McCann was on holiday in the Portuguese resort town of Praia da Luz with her parents, her two-year-old twin siblings, and a group of family friends and their children. That evening, the adults dined in a restaurant less than 200 feet away from the ground-floor apartment where Madeleine and the rest of the children slept. But when dinner ended around 10 p.m. and Madeleine’s parents arrived back at the apartment, they found that Madeleine was missing.

Thus began one of the most widely reported missing-child cases since the Lindbergh baby. Even now, almost 11 years later, no one knows what happened to Madeleine.

There was something about this case that caught the attention of novelist Simon Wood—but it wasn’t the unexplained disappearance. Instead, Wood was taken by something that happened to a member of the group of friends accompanying the McCanns.

“It was what we now call a ‘fake news’ story,” Wood says. “Published in Rupert Murdoch’s newspaper News of the World, the article named one of the members of the trip as being involved in the kidnapping. He was referred to as a predator, and when he returned to England the cloud of suspicion still hadn’t lifted and he got the shit kicked out of him. Eventually, the paper admitted they’d made a mistake and compensated him, but the result was that the paper made more than five times the amount of the payment in additional newspaper sales.”
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