By Rick Reed
Mark Pryor is a former newspaper reporter from England, and now an assistant district attorney with the Travis County District Attorney’s Office, in Austin, Texas. He is the creator of the nationally recognized true-crime blog, D.A. Confidential. He has appeared on CBS Newsshow, 48 HOURS, and Discovery Channel’s Discovery ID: COLD BLOOD. As an assistant district attorney in Austin, Texas, he authored the nationally recognized true-crime novel, AS SHE LAY SLEEPING, the true account of a ‘cold’ murder case he helped investigate and prosecuted. PUBLISHER’S WEEKLY gave this novel a starred review and called it “compelling” and “riveting.”
THE BOOKSELLER: THE FIRST HUGO MARSTON NOVEL was his first mystery novel and received a starred review in Library Journal’s Debut of the Month. That book also received 4 ½ stars from RT BOOK REVIEWS, and was listed on Oprah.com as an “unputdownable mystery.”
Now, all of that talent shines in his newest novel, THE CRYPT THIEF: A HUGO MARSTON NOVEL, to be released in May 7, 2013 by Seventh Street Books.
It’s summer in Paris and two tourists have been killed in Pere La Chaise cemetery in front of Jim Morrison’s grave. The killer leaves the bodies untouched but moves deeper into the cemetery, where he breaks into the crypt of a long-dead Moulin Rouge dancer. In a bizarre twist, he disappears into the night with part of her skeleton. One of the tourists proves to be an American and the other a woman linked to a known terrorist; so the U.S. Ambassador in Paris sends his best man, former FBI Agent and embassy head of security—Hugo Marston—to help the French police with their investigation. Hugo cracks the secrets of the graveyard, but soon realizes that old bones aren’t all this serial killer wants: his ultimate plan requires the flesh and organs of the living. And when the crypt thief spots the former FBI agent on his tail, he decides that Hugo’s body will do just fine.
There’s no shortage of excitement in this second Hugo Marston mystery-thriller, set in modern day Paris. So strap in, it’s going to be a ride you won’t forget.
By Derek Gunn
Michael Stanley is actually two people, and no, that is not a reference to Schizophrenia. Michael Sears and Stanley Trollip are the two men involved. Both are retired professors who have worked in academia and business. The detail on their website informs us that Sears is a mathematician, specializing in geological remote sensing, and Trollip is an educational psychologist, specializing in the application of computers to teaching and learning, and a pilot. They were both born in South Africa.
This last fact is more than obvious when you begin to read DEADLY HARVEST. Their numerous visits to the African continent and their knowledge of local history and beliefs make this an intriguing read.
This is the fourth book in the Detective Kubu series and the differences between it and other police procedurals will hit you from the first page. First of all the series is set in Botswana, a long way from CSI NEW YORK I can tell you, and this is where the series comes into its own. The setting is interesting, compelling and so different that you will lose yourself in the pages.
The book begins with a young girl going missing in Botswana. Local police quickly lose interest as many children run away from their lives. There are persistent rumours of muti, a black magic potion that can be made more potent by adding human remains, so the case is passed to Botswana’s first female Dectective, Samantha Khama.
Humor and murder. Oil and water?
Thrillers are supposed to thrill, keep you on the edge of your seat, the world as we know it hanging in the balance, right? So, exactly where is the “funny” in all of that?
If it’s me telling the story, then the funny is everywhere. Sarcasm and irony are tightly wound in my DNA. And I use them both to deflect when things get tense—just ask some of my exes. That’s simply the way it is. I used to fight against the urge to snark … now I’ve learned to roll with it.
And, as an author, if I’m going to open a vein and bleed all over the page, then it’s gonna be funny, or at least snarky (okay, tempered with some tenderness from time to time) cuz that’s where I live these days. Figuratively and literally.
You see, I live in Vegas… the epicenter of weird and wonderfully raunchy mischief.
At eh beginning of my fiction adventure, I was told to write what I know, and I took it to heart … sorta.
Twenty-six-year-old Emily Castles is out of work… again. So when famous romance author Morgana Blakely offers her a job helping out at a conference in London, Emily accepts. Just as eagerly, American blogger Winnie Kraster accepts an invitation from Morgana to attend as a guest, not realizing she has, in effect, accepted an invitation to die.
As a cast of oddball characters assembles at the conference hotel, grievances, differences and secrets begin to emerge. When Winnie goes missing, and then is found murdered nearby, Emily teams up with guest speaker, eccentric philosophy professor Dr. Muriel, to find out.
Offbeat and engaging, this entertaining comic mystery is the first full-length novel featuring amateur British sleuth Emily Castles.
Stephanie Cha’s debut novel, FOLLOW HER HOME, is released this month from St. Martin’s Minotaur. Stephanie is a graduate of Yale Law and a practicing attorney in Los Angeles. PUBLISHERS WEEKLY said of her book “Intriguing…it’s clear that Song, a chain-smoking, hard-drinking, and nourish young woman with a Raymond Chandler fixation is well on her way to being a first-rate investigator.”
She recently took time out of her busy schedule to answer a few questions for the BigThrill:
FOLLOW HER HOME has garnered some impressive reviews. As a debut author, that must make you excited. Has it overwhelmed you?
Yes! I’m thrilled with my early reviews, and yes, the actual process of seeing my book in the world is a bit overwhelming. I sold it almost two years ago, so I spent a long time accustomed to the idea that the release was in the distant future.
By J. N. Duncan
I’d like to welcome Pamela Beason to this month’s The Big Thrill for the release of the third book in her Summer Westin series, UNDERCURRENTS. Pamela writes novels and screenplays and works as a private investigator in the Pacific Northwest. When she’s not hiding behind a computer or a bush, you can find her exploring the wilderness on foot, in her kayak, or in her scuba gear. So let’s get to the good stuff and see what Pamela has to say.
Give us a Twitter version of your newest book, UNDERCURRENTS.
Outdoor adventure writer Summer ‘Sam’ Westin dives into deep trouble when she accepts a dream job reporting on a marine survey in the Galapagos Islands.
This is the third book in your Summer Westin series. How relevant are the first two books to this one? If readers haven’t read them, will they be missing out?
Of course they’d be missing out! Everyone needs to read them! Buy them right now!
No, seriously, readers might understand a bit more about Sam’s background, her developing relationship with her FBI lover, and her penchant for getting into trouble if they read the first two books, but I do my best to write my books so that each one can stand alone (if it has to).
By Brian Knight
A young ski area owner in Flagstaff, AZ is determined to use man-made snow, an energy tycoon has his own reasons for promoting it, environmentalists and tribes may use any means to stop it. But the Hopi spirits of the mountain just might have the last say.
Shannon Baker’s latest mystery novel, TAINTED MOUNTAIN, is available this month, and she’s agreed to spend a little time with me to talk about it.
Tell us about your new novel, TAINTED MOUNTAIN.
Well, Brian, I’m glad you asked. When I moved to Flagstaff several years ago I discovered this huge controversy about pumping treated wastewater onto the ski resort outside of town. That mountain range is sacred to 13 tribes who are not happy about “potty water” sprayed on their holy ground. One of the tribes involved is the Hopi, and let me tell you, that is one fascinating culture. I was hooked and couldn’t wait to write the story.
By Jeremy Burns
Veteran author LJ Sellers is poised to unleash her tenth thrilling novel upon the world – RULES OF CRIME. The seventh in her bestselling Detective Jackson series, RULES OF CRIME combines intriguing characters with riveting plot twists to create another solid police procedural that will appeal to longtime fans and new readers alike. She took time out of her busy writing schedule to sit down with THE BIG THRILL and discuss her writing and her latest book.
Tell us a little about yourself.
I’ve spent most of my life as a journalist and editor, working for newspapers, magazines, and an educational publisher. So I’ve been writing and publishing since college. But I didn’t start writing fiction until I was 30, and it took me 20 years to break in, and I did that by going around the wall and self-publishing. I’m tenacious and don’t take no for an answer.
Personally, even though my vocation is sedentary, I’m energetic and a compulsive exerciser, with biking being my main activity. And the scenery couldn’t be more beautiful because I live in Eugene, Oregon, one of the best places on earth…beside Maui.
Tell us about your new thriller, RULES OF CRIME.
Here’s the short description: His ex-wife is kidnapped for ransom, and a college girl is beaten and dumped at a hospital—disparate crimes that challenge Detective Jackson to dig for the shocking secret they share. As the ransom goes horribly wrong and the suspects refuse to crack under interrogation, Jackson fears that his ex-wife will be lost forever and that their daughter, Katie, may never forgive him.
Gordon MacAlpine has a new novel out. HAMMETT UNWRITTEN, written under his pen name Owen Fitzstephen, is about Dashiell Hammett closing his final case as a private eye. A dangerous maze of events takes Hammett from 1930s San Francisco to the glamorous Hollywood of the 1940s, a federal penitentiary at the time of the McCarthy hearings, and finally to a fateful meeting on New Year’s Eve, 1959, at a Long Island estate. There the dying Hammett confronts a woman from his past who proves to be his most formidable rival. And his last hope.
I interviewed Gordon MacAlpine about his latest release.
Tell us about HAMMETT UNWRITTEN.
I have always been intrigued by the seam where fact meets myth and, even more, by the dynamic exchange between the two, which is sometimes strong enough to rip the seam apart, leaving us unable to discern where one ends and the other begins. That the great mystery writer Dashiell Hammett actually worked in his early twenties as a private detective presents opportunities for such exploration. However, it was not until I came upon the following Hammett quote in a 1934 edition of the NEW YORK EVENING JOURNAL that I conceived a truly original way into his story: “All of my characters are real. They are based directly on people I knew, or came across.” This put me in mind of his classic novel THE MALTESE FALCON, which I admire not only for its craft but also for the audacious revelation at its conclusion that the sought after black bird was still out there. So I wondered: who had been the “real life” models for the Fat Man, Joel Cairo, and Bridget O’Shaughnessy, all of whom must have known Samuel Dashiell Hammett in his P.I. days and may have drifted in and out of his life thereafter, witnessing his transition from gumshoe to bestselling novelist to blocked writer? And, if they were real, might the young Hammett have actually worked a case involving a black statuette, the mysterious nature of which exceeded even the fictionalized jeweled version in his famous novel? And, finally, might that “real” statuette have haunted Dashiell Hammett in unexpected ways long after he achieved fame and fortune, its presence covertly tangled among the known elements of his celebrated and dramatic life? Good questions. So I wrote HAMMETT UNWRITTEN to find the answers.
The Dark Side of Paradise
Neil Plakcy writes a mystery series about an unusual detective in an unusual place: Kimo Kanapa’aka is an openly gay crime-solver, a surfer who trolls the dark side of paradise on the island of O’ahu.
His latest book is NATURAL PREDATORS, with Kimo fighting to bring the killer of an island patrician to justice while protecting his partner and their foster son — and preparing to become a father himself.
PUBLISHER’S WEEKLY praised the series, writing, “Engrossing … a sharp whodunit,” while the HONOLULU ADVERTISER said, “Spotless pace, intriguing plots twists, and an earnest depiction of challenges faced by people transitioning out of the closet.”
Neil Plakcy recently agreed to answer some questions for the BigThrill:
With so many books in the series now, how has your hero changed and grown from the first novel to the latest?
The Mahu Investigations track the coming-out process of Honolulu homicide detective Kimo Kanapa’aka. In the first book, he is dragged out of the closet while investigating a case. At the time, I didn’t realize it was going to become a series – but he kept talking to me, even though I didn’t sell that first book for a few years.
Kimo went through several stages – beginning to make gay friends and understanding what it meant to be part of a community, then meeting a boyfriend and falling in love. Then the inevitable breakup and despair, followed by an angst-laden reunion. Then he and his partner moved in together, creating a household filled with testosterone and a whole new set of issues. And now, as many gay men of their generation are, they are creating a family—first with a teenaged foster son, and now, in NATURAL PREDATORS, by becoming sperm donors to a lesbian couple.
Merry Jones, known for her complex characters, multiple plot twists, and plenty of suspense, is at it again with a new mystery novel, THE TROUBLE WITH CHARLIE.
As the story opens Elle Harrison is preparing to divorce Charlie. A good friend invites her out to help her prepare to rejoin the single world. When Elle returns home she learns the trouble with Charlie: he’s dead. He’s in her den. Her kitchen knife is sticking out of his back. Suddenly, Elle has a murder to solve. So she becomes an amateur sleuth, but not by choice.
“When she finds her soon-to-be-ex-husband murdered in her house, she becomes the logical suspect,” Jones says. “In order to clear herself and prove her innocence, she begins to investigate who else might have wanted to kill Charlie, and one discovery leads to another until she’s over her head in Charlie’s secrets and trouble.”
But even after his murder Elle has more trouble with Charlie. He doesn’t seem to want to STAY dead. Charlie’s ghost appears to her, blaming her for his death. Or does he? It’s never really clear if the apparition is real or just a figment of Elle’s imagination, and the author says that’s no accident.
After his partner is killed and girlfriend takes off, Chicago homicide detective Ryan Doherty has one last chance to save his career with the double murder of two ad executives. He quickly learns that life wasn’t so lush at this agency.
Ryan becomes obsessed with Catharine, the Vice President of this agency. She lures him in with her charm, intelligence, wealth, and abilities even he can’t understand. Catharine draws Ryan into her unconventional world where he will risk the case–and his life–to find out if she’s for real, or if she’s the real killer.
The author recently took time to answer some questions for the BigThrill:
What propelled you to make the leap from your successful Baby Names website to writing a thriller?
I wrote several articles about the internet industry which had been published, and subsequently wrote a non-fiction book as a companion to our website, www.BabyNames.com. I found that I loved writing and wanted to try my hand at fiction. The mystery/thriller genre is my favorite, as a reader, and so that was my natural choice.
By Amy Shojai
What in the world does a math-loving, Ph.D.-toting, doll house miniature-doting author write? Why, anything she wants! with a little murder mixed in for fun, of course.
Ada Madison is the pen name of Camille Minichino, author of 17 mysteries in three series. A FUNCTION OF MURDER is the third book in The Professor Sophie Knowles Mysteries, featuring a college professor.
A story set on a college campus adds up (get it?) since Camille has a degree in math and a Ph.D. in physics from Fordham University, New York City. She is currently on the faculty of Golden Gate University, San Francisco and on the staff of Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory.
With such an illustrious educational background, I couldn’t wait to find out more about the author and her work. I asked Camille about her latest cozy mystery and her multi-book career.
By Andrew Zack
Lori Armstrong knows what it means to be cold. As in bone-achingly cold. You see, she lives in western South Dakota—the “modern West” she calls it—just like her main character, Mercy Gunderson, the “star” of her latest novel, MERCILESS. What’s really neat about Mercy is that she’s former military, and a sniper at that! (Down boys! She’s a fictional character.) And what’s need about Armstrong is that she’s not just writing about a cool character, but she’s also writing well about a cool character, as evidenced by her 2010 Shamus Award for Best Hardcover Novel. Here’s the pitch on MERCILESS.
Newly minted agent Mercy Gunderson is back and ready for action— unfortunately, she’s stuck doing paperwork in an overheated government office building. But she gets more than she bargained for when she’s thrown into her first FBI murder case, working with the tribal police on the Eagle River Reservation, where the victim is the teenage niece of the recently elected tribal president. When another gruesome killing occurs during the early stages of the investigation, Mercy and fellow FBI agent Shay Turnbull are at odds about whether the crimes are connected.
Readers pick up a thriller novel when they feel the urge to explore the dark, sordid depths of human behavior and psychology. Thriller novels allow readers to venture – vicariously – into the dangerous corners of the world and face the most nefarious of villains, all while remaining in the comfort and safety of their favorite reading chair. Given the ominous and bone-chilling nature of thrillers, it might seem there would be no place for humor in these novels. Yet, touches of humor can make a nail-biting read all the more engrossing.
An old proverb says “it is always darkest before the dawn.” Similarly, a dark scene can be even more terrifying when contrasted against an adjacent scene at the other end of the spectrum – light. The movie ZOMBIELAND used this technique perfectly, by juxtaposing light, funny scenes in which one of the main characters is on a quest for the last Twinkie with violent action scenes in which the group of survivors is pursued by undead intent on eating their flesh.
The idea of “humorous noir” is so rife with contradiction that it’s difficult to know what to make of an author who attaches that label to some of his work. But after talking with Vincent Zandri, author of MURDER BY MOONLIGHT, his latest release in the Dick Moonlight series, “humorous noir” starts to make sense.
Moonlight is a cop-turned-private detective who spends an inordinate amount of time making bad decisions in his personal and professional lives and getting into all sorts of trouble. That happens to a lot of us, but Moonlight’s got a pretty good excuse for his shortcomings, a fragment of a .22 caliber hollow point bullet lodged against the cerebral cortex in his brain. The injury affects his memory and compromises his ability to make rational decisions, and, for good measure, keeps him at death’s door.
A near-fatal brain injury that almost guarantees one disaster after another for the detective accounts for the “noir” part of the equation.
By Jeremy Burns
A new year is upon us, and so too is a new literary talent in debut author Lynne Raimondo. Her thriller, DANTE’S WOOD, is set to launch later this month, and Lynne was gracious enough to give BIG THRILL readers a sneak preview into the mind of a rising star.
Tell us a little about yourself.
I grew up in Staten Island, New York, attended college and law school at New York University, and had a twenty-five year career as a lawyer before retiring to write full-time. I live in Evanston, Illinois with my husband, another lawyer. We have three grown children and two truculent cats.
Tell us about your debut thriller, DANTE’S WOOD.
I can’t really come up with a better description than my publisher’s, so here it is:
A troubled psychiatrist turns investigator when his young patient confesses to murder.
Psychiatrist Mark Angelotti knows that genes don’t lie. Or do they?
Back at work after a devastating illness, Mark believes he has put his past behind him when he is asked to examine Charlie Dickerson, a mentally handicapped teenager whose wealthy mother insists he is a victim of sexual abuse. Mark diagnoses a different reason for Charlie’s ills, but his prescription turns deadly when a teacher is murdered and Charlie confesses to the police.
By J.N. Duncan
I would like to welcome Tace Baker (the pen name of author Edith Maxwell), the author of SPEAKING OF MURDER. In the nine-to-five world, she is a technical writer, mother, and transplanted, fourth-generation Californian living in an antique house north of Boston, with her beau and three cats. Let’s get right to the good stuff.
Give us a twitter style (140 character) blurb for SPEAKING OF MURDER.
Quaker linguistics prof with ear for accents tracks down suspicious chairwoman, heroin ring, to find star student’s killer.
Clearly, your background in linguistics, in video editing, and your involvement with the Society of Friends informed your choice of character and story for this novel. This is a fascinating choice for a mystery. Why the interest in using this particular topic within the genre?
I am well acquainted with the world of academia and with the field of linguistics, and I’ve been a Quaker for several decades. Being a linguistics professor informs Lauren Rousseau’s character – she’s smart, she’s lived overseas, she loves languages and dialects. She’s also a Quaker and brings that sensibility into how she proceeds when in danger. Nobody else had written about that kind of character as far as I know. And then her boyfriend’s job as a video forensics expert let me use a really cool software application that police departments employ to help solve the murder.
By Jeff Ayers
In Mike Befeler’s fourth mystery, CRUISING IN YOUR EIGHTIES IS MURDER his octogenarian hero Paul Jacobson becomes involved in a series of crimes while struggling with the problems of his short-term memory loss. He must deal with mayhem, missing people and murder and use all his geezer resources to solve a case of international intrigue.
Mike talked to The Big Thrill about discovering his love of writing later in life, plus his “geezer-lit” books.
What sparked the writing bug?
I started writing late in life at the age of 56. I was sitting in my easy chair in the living room one evening, thinking over things I had really enjoyed over my life, which included painting and writing–creative activities. That evening I made the decision that I wanted to pursue fiction writing as something I could retire into. I negotiated with my boss to work three days a week and took two semesters of fiction writing at the University of Colorado (I had learned that if you’re 55 or older, you can audit any class at CU with the instructor’s permission). That jump-started my writing.
Sydni Simone: A secret avenger delivering justice to those the system has failed – for a price. Her cover is as a gallery assistant to her boss and former lover, Oscar. When his partner is arrested for murder Sydni intervenes, uncovering a massive insurance fraud scheme that the principals will kill to protect. Sydney must reveal her secret identity to protect Oscar. Together they bring down the bad guys and finally resolve their own relationship.
R.F. Sharp recently took time out of his busy schedule to discuss his debut novel.
Your mystery, NO REGRETS, NO REMORSE, was your first novel in print. What was your path to publication?
I had already published two non-fiction books. Consumer guides on divorce and trusts. But publishing non-fiction gives you no credit when trying to publish fiction. I was unpublished as far as the agents and editors were concerned. So I followed the recommended procedure. After writing and rewriting until I felt the manuscript was ready, I read all the books and articles on what to do next. Getting a literary agent was the standard advice. So I ordered the GUIDE TO LITERARY AGENTS by Chuck Sambuchino and Jeff Herman’s GUIDE TO PUBLISHERS AND AGENTS. The advice from both came down to writing a terrific query letter and sending it to agents who represented work in your genre.
By Andy Straka
Timothy Hallinan’s comedic PI novel CRASHED launches what may well be one of the most exciting new private eye series to come along in years. Already optioned for television and film, CRASHED introduces Junior Bender, “the favorite burglar-turned-private-investigator of Hollywood crooks.”
Since he first started breaking into houses when he was fourteen years old, Junior’s never once been caught by the law. In CRASHED he is blackmailed by Trey Annunziato, one of the most powerful crime bosses in LA, into acting as a private investigator on the set of Trey’s porn movie venture, which someone keeps sabotaging. The star Trey has lined up to do all that’s unwholesome on camera is Thistle Downing, America’s beloved child star, who now lives alone in a drug-induced stupor, destitute and uninsurable. Her starring role will be the scandalous fall-from-grace gossip of rubber-neckers across the country. Junior knows what that he should do—get Thistle out and find her help—but doing the right thing will land him on the wrong side of LA’s scariest mob boss. With the help of his precocious twelve-year-old daughter, Rina, and his criminal sidekick, Louie the Lost (an ex-getaway driver), Junior has to figure out a miracle solution.
CRASHED is Hallinan at his comedic best. Not that Hallinan is any stranger to success. A 2011 Edgar Nominee, Hallinan’s ten previous novels, all thrillers, have received high critical praise. In the 1990s he wrote six mysteries featuring the erudite private eye Simeon Grist, a series which made several Ten Best lists, including that of The Drood Review. Now regarded as a cult favorite, the other books in the series were widely and well reviewed, and several of them were optioned for motion pictures.
HAND FOR A HAND – DCI Andy Gilchrist is thrust into a murder investigation when a woman’s amputated hand is found in a golf course bunker, clutching a note addressed to him. The note contains only one word – MURDER. When other single-word clues are served up to Gilchrist with other body parts, he is forced to confront the ghosts of his past. With time running out, Gilchrist must solve the cryptic clues and find the murderer before the next victim, a woman whose life means more to him than his own, is served up to him piece by slaughtered piece.
By J. N. Duncan
Welcome to another ITW Q&A, this time with debut author, Anna Lee Huber, whose historical/mystery novel, THE ANATOMIST’S WIFE comes out next month at a store/site near you. Anna Lee Huber was born and raised in a small town in Ohio. She is a graduate of Lipscomb University in Nashville, TN, where she majored in Music and minored in Psychology. THE ANATOMIST’S WIFE, the first book in the Lady Darby historical mystery series and will be released by Berkley Publishing on November 6th, 2012. She currently lives in Indiana with her husband and troublemaking tabby cat. When not hard at work on her next novel, she enjoys reading, singing, travel, and spending time with her family. Visit her website. And now on to the fun stuff!
By Mary Leo
Last year, Agatha Award-winning author G. M. Malliet charmed mystery lovers, cozy fans, and Agatha Christie devotees with WICKED AUTUMN, the first mystery featuring her captivating protagonist, Max Tudor, and the small English village of Nether Monkslip.
In A FATAL WINTER, Max—Anglican priest, former MI5 agent, and village heartthrob—investigates two deaths at Chedrow Castle. But his growing attraction to Awena Owen complicates his case, as does the recent arrival at Chedrow Castle of a raucous group of long-lost, greedy relatives, any one of whom has a motive for murder. With a cozy setting, intricate puzzles, and a handsome (non-celibate) priest doing the sleuthing, the books in this series are destined to become instant classics in the mystery world.
If you love an English village mystery, G.M. Malliet delivers. Charlaine Harris praised her work on NBC’s Today Show as being “fun, not too serious…a wonderful read.”
Private Investigator Dick Moonlight returns to chase down a cop gone bad in BLUE MOONLIGHT, the next installment of author Vincent Zandri’s clever and cunning Moonlight series.
Moonlight has hit some turbulence. Sure, his bar burned to the ground; his significant other, Lola, left him for another man; the private eye business is slow; and his evenings are now spent with his new pal, Jack Daniels. But this is real turbulence—in a plane, going down fast, and he’s waking up handcuffed to an FBI agent. How he got there is a little fuzzy, thanks to the sliver of a .22 caliber hollow-point bullet lodged in his brain.
Once on the ground, and after a few bumps and bruises, things become clearer and more dangerous. Thinking he’s been brought to FBI headquarters for drunk-dialing the IRS, Moonlight learns that he’s got some unfinished business: his last case, which had him up against Russian mobsters in search of a zip drive loaded with government secrets, isn’t exactly closed. The cop who was supposed to deliver the goods to the FBI went rogue, bringing along a crooked agent and Moonlight’s ex, and now he’s out to sell the hardware to the highest bidder. The FBI wants Moonlight’s help in tracking down the trio—all the way to Florence, Italy—and wooing Lola into handing over the zip drive. He’s just going to have to outwit, outrun, and outshoot the Russian thugs who have their own big plans for the zip drive, and for Moonlight.
By Cathy Clamp
Thefts . . . vandalism . . . murder. Toss in an overly curious reporter and a suspicious cop, then spice things up with a talented, clever woman and a psychic cat and you get the beginning of a great new series. Veteran mystery writer Carolyn Hart has created a terrific new series that readers are going to love. THE BIG THRILL sat down with the author, who has multiple AGATHA, ANTHONY and MACAVITY awards to her credit (along with a RIDLEY PEARSON AWARD for significant contribution to the mystery field!) to find out more about this great new series debut:
This is the first of a new series for you. For readers who may not have read your other books, how would you catagorize it?
WHAT THE CAT SAW is a suspense novel.
Tell us a little more about the book and characters.
After the death of her fiance in Afghanistan, Nela Farley feels an eerie connection when she looks into the eyes of a cat. She convinces herself she is simply avoiding painful memories, but one night she looks into the eyes of a cat and learns more than it is safe for her to know.
By Jamie Rush
Mark, how exciting it must be to see your first book come out! Congratulations! Even more, this is the first in a new mystery series. Tell us what this story is all about and what drove you to write it.
Exciting is an understatement, I’m thrilled to pieces. It’s something I’ve worked so hard for, and hoped so much for, that now it’s happening I can scarcely believe it!
Here’s a summary of the story (forgive me if I use my publisher’s summary): Max—an elderly Paris bookstall owner—is abducted at gunpoint. His friend, Hugo Marston, head of security at the US embassy, looks on helplessly, powerless to do anything to stop the kidnapper.
Marston launches a search, enlisting the help of semiretired CIA agent Tom Green. Their investigation reveals that Max was a Holocaust survivor and later became a Nazi hunter.
By Jeremy Burns
Dogs, cats, and other pets are such a natural part of many of our lives that we often take them for granted. Sheila Boneham, an award-winning author and expert on domestic animals, gives readers a fresh take on Fido as she delves into the world of elite dog shows, pet antics, and, of course, murder most foul in her debut novel, DROP DEAD ON RECALL. I got to sit down with Sheila for this month’s THE BIG THRILL and ask her some questions about her new book.
Each year the residents of Nether Haddon celebrate the village’s founding with performances by their sword dancers. But something new is added to the fancy footwork this year: a team member is murdered. While the CID team investigates, King Roper, a career criminal, has escaped from prison. Free and eager to settle the score for his capture, Roper tracks down the team, ready for revenge…
Deborah Reed, who writes under the pen name Audrey Braun, has followed up her critically acclaimed debut novel A SMALL FORTUNE with FORTUNE’S DEADLY DESCENT, a mystery novel involving the same characters: Celia Hagen, her son Oliver, Benny, Celia’s lover Benicio (and, of course, the bad guys, who kidnap Benny from a train in this book).
Jessica Anya Blau (THE SUMMER OF NAKED SWIM PARTIES) called the first book in this trilogy “a sexy, mysterious romp.” It was praised by Indiereader as “a polished page-turner.” The second book in the trilogy, FORTUNE’s DEADLY DESCENT, opens with Celia on a train with Benny, traveling through the French Provencal countryside. When Benny disappears, the plot shifts into high gear, with Celia to the rescue.