A retired librarian gets back to the books—and into a devilish murder case
A Cryptic Clue
A Hunter & Clewe Mystery Book 1
by Victoria Gilbert
A retired librarian gets back to the books—and into a devilish murder case—in acclaimed author Victoria Gilbert’s new series, the perfect literary adventure for fans of Kate Carlisle and Jenn McKinlay.
Sixty-year-old Jane Hunter, forced into early retirement from her job as a university librarian, is seeking a new challenge to keep her spirits up and supplement her meager pension. But as she’s about to discover, a retiree’s life can bring new thrills—and new dangers.
Cameron “Cam” Clewe, an eccentric 33-year-old collector, is also seeking something—an archivist to inventory his ever-expanding compendium of rare books and artifacts. Jane’s thrilled to be hired on by Cam and to uncover the secrets of his latest acquisition, a trove of items related to the classic mystery and detective authors. But Jane’s delight is upended when a body is discovered in Cam’s library. The victim, heir to a pharmaceutical fortune, was the last in line of Cam’s failed romances—and now he’s suspect number one.
Cam vows to use his intelligence and deductive skills to clear his name—but with a slight case of agoraphobia, rampant anxiety, and limited social skills, he’ll need some help. It comes down to Jane to exonerate her new boss—but is he truly innocent?
Can you, for those who don’t know you already, tell something about yourself and how you became an author?
I always loved to write, but mostly wrote poetry and short stories when I was younger. I also outlined and started several novels, but never completed them. Life – in the form of work and family – then got in the way and I abandoned writing for many years. Finally, when I was 56, I decided to complete one novel just to say I had achieved that life goal. That book, and its sequel, are still on the shelf, but my third completed novel garnered me an agent and publishing deal. My first book was published when I was 58! Which is why I always say it is never too late.
What is something unique/quirky about you?
I can’t really say that I’m a “country girl” or “city person.” I’ve lived in rural areas, small towns, moderately-sized cities, and very large cities (NYC) and actually enjoy all those lifestyles. I think if I was wealthy, I would have a home in each of those areas and alternate between them!
Tell us something really interesting that’s happened to you!
When I was around ten, my family spent 5 weeks traveling in a station wagon and pop-up tent camper. We crossed the USA from the east coast to the west coast and back again, and had many interesting adventures along the way. One evening we set up our camper beside a lake before a huge rainstorm and woke up to find water lapping the bottom of our camper steps. We also encountered a heat wave in the desert – and didn’t have air conditioning in the car! We had to fill a cooler with ice chips and use those to cool down. But it was an amazing trip and I admire my parents so much for taking a 12 year old, 10 year old, and 6-year old on such an adventure.
Where were you born/grew up at?
I was born in Peoria, Illinois, but don’t remember living there as my family moved to Virginia when I was two. I grew up in Loudoun County, Virginia, which is in the northern part of the state, at the foot of the Blue Ridge Mountains. I actually set my first mystery series – the Blue Ridge Library series – there. Although I created a fictional town, it is based on the small towns I knew from living in that area.
What kind of world ruler would you be?
Probably not a very good one, as I have no desire to rule. I don’t care for politics, really don’t enjoy telling others what to do, and like my alone time too much to be a great ruler.
What do you do to unwind and relax?
Of course I love to read! But I also like watching films and TV shows, walking, and gardening.
Describe yourself in 5 words or less!
Intelligent, logical, empathetic, driven, and creative.
Do you have a favorite movie?
I love movies, especially classic and foreign films, so it is impossible for me to pick just one favorite. A few I really enjoy are the 1995 Sense and Sensibility, Babette’s Feast, The Lives of Others, Casablanca, Raiders of the Lost Ark, almost any B&W classic noir film, and most old Hollywood musicals.
Which of your novels can you imagine made into a movie?
I’m not sure any of my books would work as a movie, but I do believe all my mysteries would make wonderful TV shows. So if anyone in the industry is reading this…
Raised in a historic small town at the foot of the Blue Ridge Mountains, Victoria Gilbert turned her early obsession with books into a dual career as an author and librarian. Now retired, she’s worked as a reference librarian, research librarian, and university library director.
Victoria writes the Blue Ridge Library Mystery series, the Booklover’s B&B Mystery series, and the Hunter and Clewe traditional mystery series for Crooked Lane Books. When not writing or reading, she likes to spend her time watching TV and films, gardening, or traveling. A member of Mystery Writers of America, Sisters in Crime, and International Thriller Writers, Victoria lives in North Carolina with her husband, son, and two very spoiled cats.
Above the Fold Corrina Lawson
Published by: City Owl Press
Publication date: June 20th 2023
Genres: Adult, Mystery, Romance
In 1980s New York City, a crime reporter with little to lose risks the only thing that matters to uncover the truth….
Trisha Connell’s journalism reflects her punk rock lifestyle: relentless, confrontational, and bitingly honest. It’s a style that scores front-page headlines but has her forever teetering on the verge of victory or disaster. Now one crime will forever change Trisha’s life.
As she charges into the story of a sensational theft at an art museum, she discovers a murdered guard is someone she knew, a former foster kid who was adopted and supposed to be living a good life. To make it worse, the guard is suspected to be one of the thieves.
Determined to uncover the truth, Trisha bulls her way into the story, risking her life and career on what could be the story of the decade, if her editor doesn’t fire her first. She finds an ally in Edmund Grayson, a security expert assigned to the museum, who’s driven by his own guilt in failing to stop the murder.
Chasing the story will take Trisha from the punk clubs to the high society to the inner workings of newspapers of New York in the 1980s. It will take all her street skills to survive.
TRISHA STAGGERED to her motorcycle just as hangover dizziness hit full force. She dropped to one knee on the slimy blacktop of the narrow alley, clutching the soft leather of the bike’s seat for balance. A deep breath brought a whiff of urine and wet rats into her nostrils.
The rising sun peeked over the far corner of the four-story brick monstrosity that held the punk club where she’d spent the night.
Best time to see the sunrise, when I’m ready for bed.
But the beeper in her jacket pocket vibrated. Her fingers fumbled over a wad of tissues, breath mints, quarters, and subway tokens before she finally clutched the beeper.
Her editor’s number stared at her from the display.
Damn. Phone. Now. Back inside.
As she turned, the sunlight caught the tank of her restored Indian
Chief, making the bike’s Indian head logo seem like it was mocking her. Her sunglasses cut the morning glare enough for her to stumble past the dumpster to the back door of the club from which she’d come. She slapped her hand against the bricks for balance, inadvertently placing her palm right in the middle of the “beware” in the “Beware Out-of-Towners”
message spray-painted on the wall.
She pushed past through the creaky, crooked door into the club, where the smell of smoke washed over her. The darkness, such a contrast to the dawn, nearly blinded her. Oh, right. Sunglasses off.
“Dick!’ she called.
“Jesus, Red, you don’t have to shout,” Dick answered from his post behind the bar. “Thought you’d gone. I’m just about to clear out the refuse.”
Trisha’s eyes adjusted to the light, seeing several people passed out on stage. They’d be in for a rude awakening. Dick wasn’t gentle, she knew by experience.
She made the universal gesture for a phone. “Need to make a call. Now.” She held up her beeper.
“Aren’t we important this morning.” But Dick slammed the club’s phone on top of the bar.
“Hell, yeah, I’m important. The paper can’t run without me,” she shot back, sliding onto the stool. She could ask for water, but who knew what was swimming in it. “How about a Coke?”
Dick rolled up his shirtsleeves, dug into the ice, and tossed her the can he’d found. She caught it with one hand. Jolt. Perfect.
“Nice reflexes after all that tequila,” Dick said.
“Thanks.” She searched her back pants pocket and dropped a five on the bar. It stuck to something. Not her problem. Let Dick peel it off.
She cursed as it took forever to dial the old rotary phone.
“Connell,” she announced as someone picked up.
“Trisha, sorry for taking up your day off—”
City Desk Editor Joe Wilson sounded crisp and businesslike and not the
least bit sorry. An alcohol-induced migraine, centered just above her left eye, made it hard to focus on his words.
“—but I need you to get to City Hall in the next hour, to cover a press conference about the new zoning regulations.”
“Zoning regulations?” It sounded worse when she repeated it. “Joe, I’m a crime reporter. Why am I covering zoning regulations? Put a stringer on it.”
“Cardoza wants it covered, which means a stringer won’t do, and Tony’s in court all day. We need someone who can write something catchy, not boring, about this.”
“Hell.” Cardoza, the publisher of the New York Herald. Joe’s boss.
Trisha cradled the phone in her ear and pulled out the little notebook and pencil she kept in the inside pocket of the black leather jacket. “Exact time. Which room at City Hall. Anything else you got.”
Joe rattled off the information, adding the names of the deputy mayor holding the press conference. Behind her, she heard Dick hauling the remnants of his customers to their feet.
“Got it,” she said. “Anything else?”
“Be aware of any undercurrents. Word is that this is just a money grab by developer friend of the deputy mayor. The rest of the reporters will ask polite questions. You won’t.”
A chance to harass a deputy mayor at City Hall? The assignment was looking up. Some water and aspirin, and she’d be able to focus.
“Oh, and be presentable, Trish. Cardoza is watching this story. He’ll hear if you roll up to the press conference looking like a punk.”
“He wants me to wear a dress, he can buy me a damn car. He wants me to get there on time, I need to use the Indian.”
“Look half-businesslike, at least. Don’t show up looking like one of the Ramones.”
“The Slits are the female punk band.” Trisha took inventory of her clothes. The blue jeans, faded T-shirt, leather jacket, and motorcycle boots weren’t even half-businesslike. Not to mention the smell from the whiskey someone had spilled on her.
Dammit, this was supposed to be her day off.
“Sure. No problem.”
“Every time you say that, there’s a problem. You’re not home, are you?”
A long pause followed, broken by one of Joe’s familiar long-suffering ‘what-the-hell-are-you-doing-with-your-life’ sighs. “Trisha, have you even been to bed?”
“I’ll sleep when I’m dead.”
“You know I’ve got no choice on this.”
That was as close as Joe would get to an apology for putting her in a
tough spot, “I know,” she said. “I’ll be there and get what you need.”
She hung up, fished a couple aspirin out of her inside pocket, brushed off the lint, and washed them down with the Jolt. She pulled out the Celtic cross she wore around her neck and kissed it, wondering how the hell she’d get presentable in an hour. She’d never make it to Midtown, then crosstown to her place in Hell’s Kitchen, and back to City Hall in time for the press conference.
She chugged the rest of the Jolt and dialed another number.
“Hey! Time’s up,” Dick called.
“Just a sec,” she called, putting her back to him. Dick might have
grabbed the phone out of her hand, but the kid stumbling out the front door threw up, drawing his attention.
David, be home, she thought. She was only five blocks from David’s place near the Village.
He answered. Score.
“Hey, I need a favor. I—”
“Hey, Trish, not in position for favors today.”
He shouted in Spanish. A horn sounded. Not his apartment. The call
must have been forwarded to his car phone.
“What’s wrong?” she asked.
“Ah, the damned museum exhibit. It’s been a pain in the ass since day
one. Now there’s some minor deal about the alarm and Grayson’s being fussy about it, so I got dragged out of bed to check it out.”
“You sure everything’s okay?”
Dick slopped a mop at the mess on the floor. She figured she had sixty seconds before he cut off her call.
“It’s fine. Like I said, it’s probably Grayson overreacting.” David shouted again at the other drivers, this time in English. “Look, Trish, what did you want, anyway?”
“I need to get a change of clothes from your place. Is the coast clear?” David’s fiancée wasn’t her biggest fan.
The sound of squealing tires echoed in the background. “Yep, Darlene’s at her mother’s place this week, studying. Take whatever you need,” he said.
“Thanks. Be careful out there, okay?”
“Always am, unlike you,” he said. “Wait, Trish, you’re not in trouble, are you?”
“Not yet. But it’s early.”
“You be careful then, too. Later.”
She hung up, yelled thanks to Dick, received a grumble in response,
and slipped out the back door again.
This could work. If her memory served, David had a blazer she could borrow that would be suitable over one of his T-shirts. Not strictly businesslike but, hey, Miami Vice style jackets with T-shirts were all the rage now. She might even have time for a shower there.
She hadn’t concentrated on what David said because she’d been worried about her own problems. But he’d said his boss rousted him out of bed to answer a possible alarm at the museum. David’s security firm had installed a sophisticated system to protect a high-profile art exhibit at the Museum of Historic Arts. Several anonymous threats had been made against that exhibit, which contained artwork once lost in World War II. (Presumably, the museum had bought the art from Nazis or their heirs.)
An alarm might mean a break-in and that would equal a big story, espe- cially given the Nazi connection. A story that would beat the hell out of some press conference about mind-numbing zoning regulations, even if the developers were paying off the deputy mayor.
Political corruption equaled business as usual.
Nazis and a museum art theft on the other hand? That was a juicy story. An above-the-fold headline story.
Option one: take the sure thing, file the required story, and get in good with Cardoza.
Option Two: Disobey a direct order on a hunch that, if it fizzled, would get her fired.
Her hand hovered over the scars carved into her midsection. Following the rules had never gained her a damn thing. She jerked the gloves out of her jacket and shoved her hands into them, using her boot heel to push the kickstand up.
A bald guy dressed in skinny black jeans and the remains of a T-shirt stumbled into the alley. His eyes widened.
“Well, hey, sweetheart,” he drawled. “You are a damn fine sight this morning.”
Skinhead. Thrash metal dude. The club had been full of them last night, even though the band had been pure three-cord punk. But hardcore fought to replace it. Gah. Another great scene lost.
“Buzz off,” she said.
He stumbled closer, aiming to cut her off. “Aw, c’mon, I saw you in there, redhead, fooling around. Give us a kiss to celebrate the morning.”
With a flick of her wrist, the switchblade appeared in her hand. Another flick, and the blade opened. “Get the fuck out of my way.”
“Shit.” He scrambled backwards. “Jesus, bitch,” he said as he vanished around the corner.
Bitch is right, she thought, as she closed the switchblade and dumped it back into a pocket.
The Indian roared to life, echoing in the alley. Trisha burned rubber as she turned and accelerated onto the street.
Corrina is a writer, mom, geek and occasional superhero. She’s a former newspaper reporter with a degree in journalism from Boston University, she works from home writing romance novels with a geeky twist and as the Content Director of GeekMom.com.
Her novels include The Curse of the Brimstone Contract, a romantic steampunk mystery; the award-winning and USA Today-recognized superhero romance series, the Phoenix Institute, which includes: Phoenix Rising, Luminous, Phoenix Legacy, Ghost Phoenix, Ghosts of Christmas Past, and Phoenix Inheritance; and the erotic Freya’s Gift, a tale of Vikings in North America and a fertility ritual.
A young boy’s apparent accidental drowning, a mysterious drifter, the town
recluse, a deaf boy who can hear the voices of spirits, and the mystery that
connects them all.
Samson Roe comes from a family of fake psychics his mother being the most
recent perpetrator of the con. However, Sam has a secret that he has not
revealed to anyone, he can speak with ghosts. The only problem is that Sam
is deaf, so though he can hear the voices of the dead the living are silent
to him. When a boy named Kip Green drowns in the picturesque town of Heaven
Maine nobody suspects anything sinister; that is until Kip makes a visit to
Samson and reveals that he believes his death to be anything but an
accident. Together they begin to investigate what really happened and in the
process begin to unravel a thirty-seven year old mystery.
About the Author
Anneke Barnard was born and raised in Portland, Maine. She graduated from
Portland High School in 2017 and the University of Southern Maine in 2021.
She lives with her three brothers, mom and dad, and dog Fenway. For updates
on her writing follow her on twitter @barnard_anneke.
Crashers Lindy S. Hudis
Publication date: April 27th 2022
Genres: Adult, Crime, Mystery
How far would you go to get rich?
What if you were desperate? What if you were completely out of options? Would you cut in front of a sparkling, new Mercedes on the busy L.A. freeway and slam on the brakes? What if it were that easy?
Enter the world of Crashers…
The con is simple: Get in a car accident. Collect the insurance blood money. What could go wrong?
That’s what Shari believed when she found herself in dire need of cash. When Shari meets the sexy and mysterious Bryce, he teaches her all about how to be a “capper.”
Soon Shari has more money than she knows what to do with.
But as Shari becomes more and more obsessed with her strange new world, she discovers there’s no such thing as easy money. And what started out as a simple payout soon turns into a deadly game…
For KXXX TV and KXXX AM Radio News, this is Katie Carlson with your mid-morning eye-in-the-sky traffic report, and it’s an easy one: It’s messed up EVERYWHERE! So far, the 405 South is backed up all the way to the 101. So, if you are going into Hollywood this morning, you are going to be late for that audition. Also, there is an injury crash on the Eastbound 10. So, if you are heading into downtown LA, you might want to bring a magazine or get some knitting done. If you are going to LAX, forget it, call mom back east and tell her you will be driving out instead. Just Kidding! Any way, this is Katie Carlson with the Los Angeles mid-morning traffic report. Enjoy your commute everybody, NOT!
* * *
As the blare of the clock radio on the night table jolted her awake, Shari Barnes rubbed her eyes, blew her long brown hair out of her face, and snuggled into Nathan Townsend’s chest. She curled her body around his middle and took a deep whiff of his salty, masculine neck.
But she couldn’t ignore the voice on the radio.
“Monday morning traffic,” she sighed.
Nathan matched the sigh and put his arms around her. “At least you don’t have to drive over the hill.”
“Yeah, I would just die if I had to drive into Beverly Hills every day to work in a beautiful office.” Shari giggled and disappeared under their thick blue comforter for a few more moments of sleepy-headed bliss. She felt Nathan stretch up, and a moment later the radio shut off. Then he slid down next to her in the single bed they shared in their Studio City apartment, a few blocks north of Ventura Boulevard. The constant drone and rumble of another L.A. morning came clearly through the open window: cars honking, rock music blaring, the frantic scurrying sounds of the film shoot a few blocks away. Shari ran her bare feet up the inside of Nathan’s thigh.
He jumped. “Shit, your feet are cold.” He pushed her legs off of him.
“What time is it?” she murmured between kisses.
“Um, seven.” He nuzzled her neck and she felt him becoming erect against her.
“No time for that!” She threw off the covers. “Gotta be at work on time for once; gotta get my asp out of bed.”
“There’s a snake in the bed?” Nathan grabbed her with both hands and gave her belly gentle nips.
“Yeah, of the one-eyed variety.” Shari leaped to the floor and padded naked into the bathroom. She turned the hot water in the shower to high and stepped in, filling the small bathroom with steam.
She had just poured a green drop of shampoo into her palm and was running her hands together when the flimsy yellow and white shower curtain flew back and Nathan grinned in at her. She smiled back, surprised by neither his arrival nor the partial hard-on that preceded him.
“Mind if we join you?” he asked.
“There’s enough shampoo for everybody,” Shari said as she rubbed her hands across her scalp.
He stepped into the stall, pulled the curtain closed and began to lather her hair for her. She put her hands on his back, feeling the taut muscles and the water streaming there, but did not reach down between them. It took him about five seconds to realize it and hold her away.
“Don’t lie; I can always tell when you have something on your mind.”
“You know me better than I know me,” she said.
“You know it.” He pushed her wet hair over her shoulders. “Come on, give.”
“I was thinking maybe I should get a second job.”
“You’re worrying about money again?”
“Well, I have to shoot my student thesis film this year or I won’t graduate. But where am I going to get the money I need?”
“How much do you need?”
“At least five figures.”
Lindy S. Hudis is a graduate of New York University, where she studied drama at Tisch School of the Arts. She is the author of several titles, including her romance suspense novel, Weekends, her “Hollywood” story City of Toys, and her crime novel, Crashers. She is also the author of an erotic short story series, “The S&M Club” and “The Mile High Club”. Her short film “The Lesson” was screened at the Seattle Underground Film Festival and Cine-Nights in 2000. She is also an actress, having appeared in the television daytime drama “Sunset Beach”. She and her husband, Hollywood stuntman Stephen Hudis, have formed their own production company called Impact Motion Pictures, and have several projects and screenplays in development. She lives in California with her husband and two children.
Neptune’s Window: First Glance L.L. Lewin
(Neptune’s Window, #1)
Publication date: November 25th 2020
Genres: Mystery, Young Adult
What if you had a glimpse into what others are oblivious to? According to the zodiac, the planet Neptune represents illusions, mystery, and the unconscious mind. Aries Dade is a teenage medium who has the ability to look inside those illusions and speak to the afterworld. But for some reason, she can’t communicate with her recently deceased mother. With the help of a few spirits, she tries to discover the truth behind her mother’s death. But can she trust the spirits? Aries and her father move to Newport Beach, California to start over. Little do they know they are unlocking a world of lies, betrayals, and deception. And everyone they come in contact with is somehow intertwined with her mother’s death. When the star quarterback and a bad-boy senior vie for her attention, Aries senses something isn’t right. Meanwhile, the rich, popular girls make her life a living hell to keep her from finding out the truth. First Glance is the first novel in the Neptune Window’s trilogy. Do you dare to glance inside the window?
Demanding spirits barged their way into Aries’s mind, each voice trying to outdo the other.
“Please stop,” she said through clenched teeth.
For a moment they went away, allowing her to bask in the silence. But as soon as she took a step toward the school, their clamor started back up.
Aries ran behind a row of palm trees, shielding herself from streams of cars and pedestrians as the high-pitched aggravation attacked her senses.
“Not today…please not today,” she begged no one in particular.
Out of sight, she dropped to her knees and picked at the grass as the noise escalated.
“Dammit. I said stop.”
Giving in, she put her hands in her lap. With her index finger, she wrote the alphabet on her leg. She needed deep concentration to make the connection. She waited for a clear voice to come through, dreading – yet at the same time accepting – communication with the dead.
After tracing a Z on her leg, she started over with A as a faint whisper formed. Unable to make out any words, she slowed her pace and drew the letter B. She kept repeating this action, taking deeper breaths each time, trying to match the frequency of the spirit.
She’d almost given up when a clear voice said, “You need to find out the truth, Aries.”
LL Lewin is the author of Neptune’s Window Trilogy. A native of Southern California, she was born in Los Angeles County and grew up in Orange County. She graduated from the University California, Irvine with a degree in psychology and social behavior, and holds a Masters in Social Emotional Learning. After teaching for several years and interacting with the youth almost daily, she was inspired to write a young adult mystery novel, which morphed into a little more. Since things happen in threes for her (her initials, triple Sagittarius, the third born) the novel turned into a trilogy and reaffirmed her belief that three’s a charm.
She loves all things astrological, metaphysical, and spiritual. With her Sun, Moon, and Rsing all in the sign of Sagittarius, She’s as Sagittarius as they come, optimistic, freedom-loving, and ever so tactless.
Her three passions in life are writing, traveling, and soccer. You’ll either find her writing at the beach, on an island somewhere, or on a soccer field. And her three vices are chocolate, pizza, and champagne, and not necessarily in that order.
For more updates, photos, and videos follow LL Lewin on Twitter or Instagram @LLLewin3
Rory McEntyre is a lonely trusts & estates attorney who plays the hero
inside video games. Then, his old flame, Monica, walks into his office with
a $60 million winning lottery ticket and a world of trouble.
Monica’s husband, Tom, is dead, apparently from a self-inflicted
gunshot. A homicide detective considers Monica a suspect, so Rory must be
her criminal lawyer. Thugs from Tom’s shady business think Monica has
incriminating evidence Tom stole from the company, so Rory must be her
protector. Most importantly, Rory must be Monica’s private detective,
because the winning lottery ticket is missing. As Monica and Rory search for
the ticket, their relationship heats up well beyond attorney and client.
Rory has the chance to win the girl of his dreams, but does he have what it
takes to be a real hero? And is Monica everything he wants to believe she
is? If he’s not careful, Rory could end up like Tom – a Dead
Dead Winner is ON SALE for $0.99 May 15 to May 19!
About the Author
Kevin G. Chapman is an attorney specializing in labor and employment law and an independent author. His Mike Stoneman Thriller series, includes Lethal Voyage, Winner of the Kindle Book Award, and Fatal Infraction, the #1 Police Procedural of the year (Chanticleer Book Review CLUE Award). Kevin’s latest is a stand-alone mystery/suspense/romance called Dead Winner. Kevin has also written a serious political drama, A Legacy of One (2016) and is currently working on two new mystery/thrillers due out in 2022 and 2023. Kevin is a resident of Central New Jersey and is a graduate of Columbia College and Boston University School of Law. Readers can contact Kevin via his website at http://www.KevinGChapman.com.
The town of Marysburg, Indiana, is buzzing with excitement when legendary British blues guitarist Derek Tufnell appears at Marysburg Music to sign autographs and chat with fans the afternoon before a performance at the Marysburg Center for the Performing Arts. The meet-and-greet session is a huge success and record store owner Darcy Gaughan couldn’t be more pleased with how the event went.
Darcy’s glee turns to despair when, only hours later, Derek is found murdered in his dressing room. Fingers are pointed at her, since she was the last one seen with him. In order to keep her freedom, and the record store open, Darcy begins her own investigation and soon finds the number of suspects is exceeded only by the number of hit songs in Derek’s music catalog.
About the Author
J.C. Kenney is the Amazon, Barnes & Noble, and Kobo bestselling author of The Allie Cobb Mysteries and The Darcy Gaughan Mysteries. He’s also the co-host of The Bookish Hour webcast. His debut, A Literal Mess, was a
finalist for a Muse Medallion from the Cat Writers’ Association in mystery fiction. When he’s not writing, you can find him following IndyCar racing or listening to music. He has two grown children and lives in Indianapolis with his wife and a cat. You can find him at http://www.jckenney.com.
In Canyon of Shame, the second part of The Bungalow Heaven Mystery Series,
detective Peter McGinnis from the Pasadena homicide unit has to solve the
murder of a forty-year-old woman whose body was discovered in Eaton Canyon.
What at first appears like a routine investigation, turns into a career and
reputation salvaging operation for the detective, who is not only the main
witness in a prominent Black Lives Matter case, but who becomes more and
more entwined with the case the more facts he uncovers.
About the Author
Faye Duncan is a writer from the San Gabriel Valley, California. She is the
author of Murder on Wilson Street, the first part of The Bungalow Heaven
Mystery Series. She has published several short stories and volunteers as a
script reader for International Film Festivals. Faye has an undying passion
for ballroom dancing and lives with her son Max and her two dogs, Sammie and
An old mansion sits atop of a cliff, overlooking the ocean, in Santa Cruz, CA. A young realtor, Darcy Wainwright, manages to sell the dilapidated old house to Henry Childs, an obese nebbish who is obsessed with the property. In the backyard is a pool. Not an ordinary pool but a giant tide pool. In the tide pool is a siren with an evil agenda for revenge.
Henry Childs led a life of total inconsequence. He had no friends, no hobbies, no guilty pleasures. He had spent his thirty-eight years in the space behind his mother’s aggression, lacking the courage to reach for anything more than this pitiless world deigned to dish to him.
Edith Childs screamed at Henry from the other room, “Henry, I’m bored. I want to go for a drive.”
Henry’s face scrunched in disdain, and the folds in his ample neck turned red. There was no denying her, not that he had ever had the backbone to attempt anything so drastic. Henry Childs had spent his thirty-eight years in the space behind his mother’s aggression, lacking the courage to reach for anything more than this pitiless world deigned to dish to him.
With a stoic exhale, he paused his video game, gulped down his cinnamon roll, lifted his considerable bulk out of the comfort of his reclining chair, and began the routine that would eventually get his mother from her bedroom to her wheelchair and into the car.
He grabbed her yellow sweater to be sure that she would stay warm.
“Henry, I’m not a child. I know if I’m cold or not.”
He held up the cardigan and attempted to help her into it.
“I can dress myself, thank you.”
Then there was the transfer from her sitting chair to her wheelchair.
“For goodness sakes, Henry, you would think this was the first time you’ve ever done this. Move the chair closer. I’m not an acrobat.”
…the parade out to the porch.
“Henry, don’t scrape the wall. You’re always so careless. We have gouges up and down the whole hallway.”
…down the ramp.
“Don’t go so fast. Are you trying to launch me into outer space?”
…across the walkway toward the car.
“Do you have to hit every bump on the walk? Wait, go back, I think you missed one.”
…then finally into the car.
“Be careful of my head. I don’t want to lose what sense I have left.”
By the time the car door was closed, with his disintegrating mother safely ensconced inside, Henry had sweat running down his forehead and was breathing hard. His double chins were dripping from each crevice, and his shirt was beginning to stain from the accumulating moisture. He dropped her chair into the trunk, wiped his brow on his sleeve, and embraced his final moments of silence before he opened the door and plopped behind the steering wheel of his Nissan Murano.
Book Review – 4 stars
The Siren’s Scream will keep you on the edge of your seat. Full of twists and turns, it will keep you guessing. While I did enjoy the story, it took me a bit to get into it. Once I made it through the first chapter, I was eager to see what would happen next. This was my first time reading this author, but I’ll have to check out his other books.
*I received a copy as part of the book tour and have voluntarily left a review. The review above is only my opinion.
About the Author
Thomas White began his career as an actor. Several years later he found himself as an Artistic Director for a theatre in Southern California and the winner of several Drama-Logue and Critics awards for directing. As Tom’s career grew, he directed and co-produced the world tour of “The Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: Coming Out Of Their Shells”. The show toured for over two years, was translated into seven different languages and seen by over a million children. Tom served as President and Creative Director for Maiden Lane Entertainment for 24 years and worked on many large-scale corporate event productions that included Harley Davidson, Microsoft, Medtronic Diabetes, and dozens of others. The Siren’s Scream is Tom’s second novel that follows up Justice Rules which was nominated as a finalist in the Pacific Northwest Writers Association 2010 Literary contest.
Return to the streets and alleys of Victorian London, where the game is
afoot once again! The Great Detective, Mr. Sherlock Holmes, and his
steadfast companion Dr. Watson are back for ten new cases, spanning the
length of the quintessential detective’s illustrious career. Beginning while
Holmes was still a green investigator in Montague Street, this collection
encompasses the 1880s and the 1890s, up to the dawn of the new
century. Walk with Holmes as he puzzles over the problem of a drunken
teetotaler, celebrates an old English Christmas at the Red Lion, tracks down
the Camberwell poisoner, and experiences the horror in King Street. If
you’ve been pining for new traditional, canonical Sherlock Holmes tales, Ten
Steps from Baker Street is the collection you’ve been waiting for.
About the Author
Thomas A. Burns, Jr. is the author of the Natalie McMasters Mysteries. He
was born and grew up in New Jersey, attended Xavier High School in
Manhattan, earned B.S degrees in Zoology and Microbiology at Michigan State
University and a M.S. in Microbiology at North Carolina State University. He
currently resides in Wendell, North Carolina with his wife and son, four
cats and a Cardigan Welsh Corgi. As a kid, Tom started reading mysteries
with the Hardy Boys, Ken Holt and Rick Brant, and graduated to the classic
stories by authors such as A. Conan Doyle, Dorothy Sayers, John Dickson
Carr, Erle Stanley Gardner and Rex Stout, to name a few. Tom has written
fiction as a hobby all of his life, starting with Man from U.N.C.L.E.
stories in marble-backed copybooks in grade school. He built a career as
technical, science and medical writer and editor for nearly thirty years in
industry and government. Now that he’s retired to become a full-time a
novelist, he’s excited to publish his own mystery series, as well as to
contribute stories about his second-most favorite detective to the MX Book
of New Sherlock Holmes Stories.