Autumn brings cooler temperatures to the Smoky Mountains. The weather may be cooling down in tiny Park County, Tennessee, but crime is heating up. Weevil Beasley, the county’s loan shark, dies and the body count begins. Sheriff Tony Abernathy is soon up to the top of his bald head in murder and mayhem.
Tony’s wife, Theo, is in the thick of it. Not even the members of her quilting group are immune when she leads them on a thread-filled retreat up at The Lodge. Arriving early for one of the upcoming weddings, a member of their group is murdered.
While dealing with cranky quilters, distraught hotel keepers and unfinished projects, Theo has to keep track of gossip for her husband and barely has time to hand out the pattern for her new mystery quilt (pattern included).
As if Tony didn’t have enough to deal with in his search for answers, murder is not the only crime. Mischief abounds in Park County guerillas, bullet-riddled signs, petty theft, rotting catfish. Heavily armed crackpots are running loose in the county. More crackpots are spying on them. Even the senior citizens can’t be trusted to behave. Tony’s groupie, Blossom Flowers, is almost too busy with her love life to bake him a pie.
“Murder by Music is a contemporary small-town mystery filled with oddball characters.”
Barbara was always a daydreamer. Her early literary efforts centered around her saving the world. Thank goodness it didn’t all fall on her shoulders. She’s a bit of a flake. Born in the Texas Panhandle and unable to remain still, she has lived in places as diverse as Denver, New Orleans and East Tennessee. A former travel agent, mom, and ballet teacher, she resides in Wyoming with her long suffering husband and two dogs.
To learn more about Barbara, please visit her website.
By Derek Gunn
On the same night that Neil Armstrong became the first man to walk on the moon, ten-year-old Charlie Olmstead jumped on his bike to see if there was some way he could get a better look. It was the last anyone ever saw of him. After Perry Hollow Police Chief Jim Campbell found Charlie’s bike caught in the water above Sunset Falls, he assumed the worst. Everyone did—except Charlie’s mother.
Todd Ritter’s next book in the Kat Campbell begins in 1969 when Charlie Olmstead disappears on the night Neil Armstrong steps out onto the moon and continues into the present day as China launches its own mission to the Moon. The past and present continue to be closely interlinked throughout the novel as Kat and Nick Donnelly reopen the investigation into the boy’s disappearance long after everyone had forgotten. Cold Case stories are popular at the moment but this stands above anything I have read before. The writing is crisp, the characters are strong and the story tight. Everything you want in a thriller.
When journalist Mick Murphy runs into his love fantasy in a wintry Harvard Yard, he is soon dragged into a web of brutal killings that began in Boston and end in Southern California. Trying to protect his dream girl, a Filipina named Michelle, Murphy runs afoul of a police friend and his nemesis, a Cuban-American cop, as well as Los Angeles County sheriffs, before he is beaten by a gang of Ameriasians and his Jeep is blown up. Holding onto his romantic dream, Murphy faces loss of friends and his life before the finale.
By Simon Wood
Did Not Finish is a book that is very close to my heart as it’s a mystery centering on the world of motorsport. Twenty years ago, I raced open-wheel cars motorsport in the UK.
In the book, a death threat is circulating around the pits. Derek Deacon says he’ll kill his championship rival, Alex Fanning, unless Alex throws the championship deciding race. Rookie driver, Adrian ‘Aidy’ Westlake, doesn’t put too much stock in the threat. He figures Derek is just playing mind games. That changes when Alex dies on the track after banging wheels with Derek. A cover-up ensues. The police wrap up their investigation without following up on the death threat, TV coverage omits the crash and the racing community seems happy to ignore what they heard. Aidy is the exception. He feels obligated to expose the truth and finds himself dragged into a much larger conspiracy.
By Jamie Rush
I sat down with author Laurie R. King to talk about her career, her life, and her new offering in her Mary Russell & Sherlock Holmes series.
Laurie, I LOVE the cover of PIRATE KING! It’s fabulous and eye-catching and really captures the book’s feel. But of course, we want to know what’s in between the covers. What’s PIRATE KING about and why do you love it?
The cover’s great, isn’t it? It’s always satisfying when a cover catches the book’s essence, and this one does, a combination of drama, color, and silliness.
As the blurb of the “movie poster” says, PIRATE KING is “A Swashbuckling Tale of Love, Murder, Detection, Poetry, Musical Interludes, & Thirteen Blonde Actresses—starring Mary Russell and Sherlock Holmes.”
By Diane Holmes
Sandra Parshall’s latest thriller begins with a feral dog pack under the silver moonlight and half-hidden by dark shadow. They seem to warn that there are some acts even good people cannot control. And there are some things that bad people must pay for.
Under the Dog Star, this fourth book in Sandra’s series featuring Veterinarian Rachel Goddard and Deputy Sheriff Tom Bridger, is superb at doing what thrillers do so well: showing how good people can and do risk their lives to stop innocents from being hurt.
By Gary Kriss
Half-Past Dawn on September 29.
That’s when, despite all efforts to head it off, fate catches up with The Thieves of Legend.
It’s a dark tale that best-selling author Richard Doetsch relates, but that’s because he’s sitting lightless in his New York suburban home, which had its power stolen by Tropical Storm Irene. No problem for Doetsch: he relishes challenges and thrives on the unexpected. Half-Past Dawn, his new stand-alone thriller, is proof of that.
Half-Past Dawn was originally slated to come out this month, and The Thieves of Legend, the fourth book in Doetsch’s uber-popular series featuring former thief, Michael St. Pierre, next year. Atria, Doetsch’s publisher, wanted to alternate his Thieves stories with his stand-alone books. But when 2010’s The Thieves of Darkness became an international success, Atria decided to immediately follow up with another Thieves novel.
By Cathy Clamp
Dandelion Gliver, known to her friends as Dandy, has all the benefits of an upper middle class existence in 1920s Scotland—a loving, but conservative husband, a faithful Dalmatian, and a comfortable life. But not all of Edinburgh is as quiet. Strikes and riots have turned the city into a war zone and Dandy finds herself being contacted by Walburga Balfour, who writes that her husband is going to kill her and “I would rather he didn’t.” Dandy is persuaded to take a position in Walburga’s home as a downstairs maid. She writes to her friend Alec Osborne (the Watson to her Sherlock) to joke about it, saying “Guess who is setting her virgin shoulder to its very first wheel? I am dressed in serge and sensible footwear, sleeping in an iron bed and dining off pickled tongue at six o’clock.” Fortunately, her old police friend, Superintendent Hardy, recognizes her disguise and begins to rely on Dandy to help solve a murder that happens shortly after she arrives.
By Kira Peikoff
Author Ada Madison, a.k.a. Camille Minichino and Margaret Grace, debuts a brand-new series this July with The Square Root of Murder (Berkley), starring math professor Sophie Knowles. In this first installment, Sophie’s colleague—the most disliked professor on campus—turns up dead after a party, and Sophie’s own assistant is suspected of the murder. Sophie is confident that her assistant is innocent, and is determined to get to the bottom of the crime, using her talent for solving puzzles to arrive at the truth.
Madison is an expert in her genre: The Square Root of Murder is her fourteenth published mystery. Her other books include eight novels in the Periodic Table Mysteries series and five novels in the Miniatures Mysteries series. As if that weren’t enough accomplishments for one career, Madison also holds a doctorate in physics; is on the faculty at Golden Gate University, San Francisco; and is a science editor at Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory in California.
By Rick Reed
The newest Midnight Louie mystery novel from Carole Nelson Douglas, Cat in a Vegas Gold Vendetta, revolves around amateur sleuth Temple Barr when she gets her first official private investigator assignment: investigate the death of a rich, dying “cat lady’s” yardman. While murderously greedy heirs and killers circle the human crime-solvers, Temple Barr’s secret weapon—hard-boiled feline PI, Midnight Louie—is working overtime to tip off and protect his humans.
While Temple investigates the death of the yardman, a serial killer known as the Barbie Doll killer threatens homicide lieutenant Carmen Molina’s teenage daughter. When both cases collide, many burning questions find surprising answers . . . and Temple lands dead center in a fiery finale that will unmask the crazed killers. Cat in a Vegas Gold Vendetta will be released by Forge Books in August, 2011.
by Ian Walkley
Willis Gidney needs money because he’s found a girl.
No, no, not that kind of girl. This is an abandoned baby girl.
So he hands the girl to the cops, right? Wrong, because Gidney started life the same way—abandoned. But unmarried private eyes aren’t usually thought of as ideal parents. So now Gidney needs a lawyer, and that means money.
By Rick Reed
The newest graphic novel from mystery and crime writer Gary Phillips revolves around what is believed to be a racially-motivated shooting inside a fancy restaurant/nightclub. The victim is a young black man named Deke Kotto. The suspect is white undercover FBI Agent Tim Brady, and the meeting of the two men is the formula for a heart-stopping race to find the truth. Cowboys will be released by the Vertigo imprint of DC Comics on July 13th.
Gary Phillips is best known for Ivan Monk Mystery series and the Nate Hollis Investigations series set in Los Angeles. He is also the author of the Martha Chainey Mystery series.
Mississippi Delta P.I. Sarah Booth Delaney is called to verify the theft of a priceless necklace for an insurance claim, but before she can file her report, Monica Levert, Natchez, heiress is kidnapped. The ransom is the $4 million from the insurance claim. Sarah Booth and her partner Tinkie are caught up in the Levert family history, which is filled with blackguards, pirates, and murder. Now the past deeds are coming home to roost. Not even Jitty can bully Sarah Booth out of harms way.
by Derek Gunn
People still write letters to Sherlock Holmes every day. What if you had to answer them?
This one was easy. I contacted the author about this piece and within a day a beautifully hardbound edition arrived in the post. Presentation is everything and, as you will see above, the cover is striking. It tells so much about the story in one picture; a man alone, Baker Street and the small note enticing you with the words ‘A Mystery’. This is the second book in this series and, while there are references and updates on what happened in the first book, it is not necessary to have read it, advisable – but not strictly necessary.
by George Ebey
Bill Cameron is the author of the dark, Portland-based mystery series featuring ex-cop Skin Kadash. His latest book, County Line, puts Skin in one of his toughest situations yet.
When the steadfast Ruby Jane Whittaker drops out of sight, Skin sets out to discover what drove her to leave her life behind so suddenly and without explanation.
by Paula Tutman
Another person dead on arrival. Another mystery to be solved. But for Adrian Monk, the finicky gumshoe consultant who never gets it wrong, it’s a no-brainer. Monk’s critical eye is like a calculator adding up everything that fits, and most importantly absolutely everything that doesn’t. Monk announces it’s a wrap. Case closed. The guy died of natural causes, let’s wash our hands and get outta here. But not so fast, according to Monk’s ever faithful, ever present assistant. There’s more to this cold body than meets his cold calculating eye and she wants a crack at solving the unknown. And that’s the first twist in Lee Goldberg’s newest Monk novel, Mr. Monk On The Couch (Penguin/Putam June 2011).
Art expert Hans Bosch’s mentor, Prof. Arnulf Salchenegger, dies myseriously of mushroom poisoning. Famous gallery owner Tobias Tappeiner lies dead in the fish pond at Castle Hellbrunn. Bosch rules out accidental death in both cases, and suspects murder. His investigation takes him to a wealthy art collector’s villa, where he comes upon a faked Medieval Madonna. As his involvement deepens, he blends into the shadowy and dangerous underworld of the art trade—filled with fascinating personalities, including both genuine artists and talented forgers. Hans Bosch’s dramatic and dangerous investigation leads to a harrowing climax.
Ava “Spike” Harrison might be a beautiful, classically schooled woman, but the single, 38 year old construction business owner is also plenty ballsy. Her late father taught her long ago how to handle the rough boys in an industry that’s almost entirely filled with hard-boiled men on the make. But now, with “the business dad built” from the ground up failing due to an unusual series of job-site injuries and just plain bad luck, Spike has no choice but to take on one last project she believes can pull the fledgling commercial firm from the depths of almost certain bankruptcy and family shame: The Renovation of Albany PS 20.
By J. H. Bogran
The Village of Eastpoint, Long Island is suddenly in turmoil after John Hunter, a celebrity romance columnist resident is murdered. But murder is only the beginning of the town’s troubles. Hunter, an outsider, left dark secrets that have surfaced after the chief of police discovers paintings of Hunter and local women in compromising positions. Hank Reed, the chief of police is torn between his allegiance to protect his beloved town and the honor of his shield. As that balance bends toward justice, the townspeople rise against him, including his wife, who Reed suspects might be Hunter’s killer. As the emotional walls begin to crumble, Reed forges ahead without compromise, risking his job, his wife, and the townspeople he so desperately wants to save from the outside world.
by J. H. Bográn
When an ex-cop commits suicide in Miami, his widow turns to her husband’s best friend P.I. Alec Santana for assistance. Soon after, two more ex-cops commit suicide and Santana knows it’s not a coincidence. Alec hits one dead end after another in his search for answers until he discovers a shocking secret from the past…
If your idea of a great murder mystery includes nerve shattering suspense and a plot that will keep you guessing until the very end, you need look no further this spring than Alan Orloff’s latest novel, Killer Routine.
The story revolves around a comedian named Channing Hayes who lost his fiancée in an auto accident. Hayes runs a comedy club and is mentoring his fiancée’s sister Heather, who wants to be a comedian too. When a killer targets Heather’s past lovers, Hayes has to protect her while finding the killer.
It was the call every adult child dreads: “AnnaLise? You should come home. Your mother Daisy went and drained all the blood out of poor Ema Bradenham.”
Well, maybe not every adult child.
While life on Sutherton’s Main Street had often been inexplicably hazardous, the day Daisy Griggs siphoned nearly three pints from Mrs. Bradenham during the annual blood drive seemed to set a new standard, even by the unusual measure of this North Carolina resort town.
Clea Simon is a former journalist whose work has appeared in the New York Times, Boston Globe, American Prospect, and other magazines. She’s written three nonfiction books and her essays have appeared in anthologies. A graduate of Harvard, Clea now lives in Cambridge with her husband and feline companion, Musetta. I recently caught up with her to discuss her two upcoming releases, Dogs Don’t Lie and Grey Zone.
Clea Simon is a former journalist whose work has appeared in the New York Times, Boston Globe, American Prospect, and other magazines. She’s written three nonfiction books and her essays have appeared in anthologies. A graduate of Harvard, Clea now lives in Somerville with her husband and feline companion, Musetta. I recently caught up with her to discuss her two upcoming releases, Dogs Don’t Lie and Grey Zone.
by J. H. Bográn
A letter. A secret. A tragedy. David’s mother told him his father died when he was born. His mother lied.
Now, that’s a hook!
Let the Bermuda Heat make you feel the warmth of the story:
David Eric Laine always believed his father had died in Vietnam before his birth. His mother remarried and he was adopted by his stepfather and grew up knowing Graham Laine as his only father. Forty years later, a letter arrives and David finds out everything he thought was a lie.
Join Pat Brown and I into this journey to know a bit more about her new release.
I have the distinction of being a writer who decided the world was ready for a funny story…in the year of Stieg Larsson. Okay, I was a bit off (timing never was one of my best things). But, being part hambone and part funny bone, it’s what I do. Don’t get me wrong, I firmly believe in death and dismemberment—I simply can’t live there. And since, as a writer, I pretty much live in my story…well, you get the picture.
I didn’t start out wanting to write funny. No, I wanted to be Sandra Brown. Seriously, who wouldn’t? But some wise soul along the way told me, “We already have a Sandra Brown, and she’s doing quite nicely.” Good point. So, now I simply lust after her clothes on the off chance that someday I might make my body tiny enough to fit in them. And I have resigned myself to just being me.
In Lee Goldberg’s newest, Mr. Monk on the Road, with his job secure and his wife’s murder finally solved, Adrian Monk is feeling strangely…satisfied. He’d like his agoraphobic brother Ambrose to feel the same way, so Monk puts a secret ingredient in Ambrose’s birthday cake: sleeping pills. When Ambrose wakes up, he’s in a motorhome on the open road with Monk determined to show him the outside world. more »
By J. H. Bográn
When you think of what you want to leave behind after you’re gone; when you think how you will be remembered, then you are thinking about legacy. Common folks don’t spend much time thinking of what their legacy would be. However, when you think of grandeur, your brain, or at least mine, usually associates the word legacy with something good.
By Milton Toby
Don Bruns faced that question a few years ago when he was the successful bidder for a critique session from noted mystery writer Sue Grafton. She read the manuscript and then sent Bruns a detailed, eight-page critique identifying serious problems with the characters, the plot, the structure of the novel, with just about everything in the book. Grafton thought Bruns had potential as a writer and she suggested that he might want to just throw away the manuscript he had submitted for the critique and start over using her suggestions as a roadmap.