Emily Littlejohn: Lost Lake Sunday, Nov 18 2018 


Emily Littlejohn’s third Colorado Detective Gemma Monroe mystery, Lost Lake, finds the new mother investigating a missing persons case that soon become so much more.

Four friends are camping at Lost Lake, despite the chilly weather, when they wake in the morning to find Sari Chesney has gone missing in the night. There’s no trace of the young woman, and the timing is most suspect.

Sari has been working on the special gala at the local museum and that night is its gala. As assistant curator, she would never miss this special evening, of great importance to gathering donors.

Gemma is slated to attend and does so, espcially when she’s summoned by the current director who claims a valuable diary, the gem of the museum for attracting donors, is missing.

Then a murder occurs, and Gemma realizes the history of the town and these people are wrapped together in more of a complex way than she’s imagined. Could the secrets of the past we impacting on the present in a deadly way?

Littlejohn’s prose elevates the detective investigation: “…Who was ultimately more authentic: the man who lived in meekness and possibly had a darker side, or the man who walked in darkness and struggled to find the light within?”

With the setting its own intriguing character, this is a strong entry in a compelling series.

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Elly Griffiths: The Vanishing Box Tuesday, Nov 13 2018 

Elly Grifftiths delightful period series, The Magic Men Mysteries, returns with The Vanishing Box, and it’s Auntie M’s favorite yet in a compelling series.

It’s almost Christmas in Brighton, and magician Max Mephisto is headlining a special act at the Hippodrome with his daughter, Ruby. With a television show in the offing, the Vanshing Box trick wows the audience. Things are changing for the magician duo in more ways than one.

An act gaining a lot of interest and controversy in the same show is the “living statues” act, where near-naked women freeze in a strange tableau of historic moments. While some appreciate the stillness of the women and others their strategic feathers and leaves, there are cries of obscenity in the town that pale in comparison when one of the young women is murdered.

Max’s good friend, DI Edgar Stephens, who happens to be Ruby’s fiance, leads the investigation into the death of the lovely young woman. He also must deal with his conflicted feelings for a colleague, with surprising results.

There will be secrets from the past woven into the fabric of the mystery Edgar must solve as the deaths mount up. And when the danger hits close to home, Edgar will realize this is his most important case yet.

A fine entry in the series, with the period details spot on. And don’t miss Griffiths’ new stand-alone Gothic thriller, The Stranger Diaries.

Matt Ferraz: Sherlock Holmes and the Glad Game Monday, Nov 12 2018 

Please welcome Matt Ferraz, to tell readers about his new release based on two very popular figures, Sherlock Holmes, and Pollyanna:

Writing Sherlock Holmes and the Glad Game By Matt Ferraz

The genesis of Sherlock Holmes and the Glad Game was a challenge I made to myself: pick two characters in public domain that apparently have nothing to do with each other, and somehow make them work together.

I’ve been a Sherlockian all my life, and have wanted to write a book with the detective for some time. But who could I match him with? Other writers already had him meeting Jack the Ripper, Mr Hyde, Captain Nemo and so many others. What could I bring to the table that was new and fresh?

I was at a bookshop in my town when I saw brand new editions of Pollyanna and Pollyanna Grows Up, by Eleanor H. Porter. Those were books I had never read, but knew the basic premise: a girl who always sees the bright side of everything no matter what.

I had seen the 1920 movie with Mary Pickford, one of my favourite actresses, but remembered little of it. So I got myself copies of those two books, and while reading them, a novel started to form in my mind. No one had ever had the idea of putting Holmes and Pollyanna Whittier in the same story. After all, they’re so different!

But my mind was made up: I was going to write a book where she comes to London and assists Holmes and Watson in an investigation. People didn’t believe I could pull it off. In fact, my fiancée thought it was a crazy idea to begin with, but decided to give me the benefit of doubt.

I wrote the first draft of this book in a month – which is faster than I had ever worked before! For that whole month, I was completely immersed in the book, having re-watched several Holmes movies for inspiration and re-reading big sections of Porter’s books. My idea wasn’t simply to have Pollyanna ringing at 221b Baker Street offering a case for the detective to solve. I wanted to fit her in the Holmes cannon as organically as possible.

My book starts with Pollyanna becoming a good friend of Dr. and Mrs. Watson while Holmes was considered to be dead after facing Professor Moriarty. Pollyanna is in London to see a special doctor during an injury she suffered in her childhood – which is shown in the first Porter book. She eventually returns to America but shows up in London two years later, when Holmes is already back from the dead, with a brand new husband and a lot of trouble on her back. The best part of writing this story were the comedic possibilities in the interaction between these characters.

I tried to avoid making Pollyanna too annoying and naive – she’s actually pretty smart and kicks some butts. It was also nice to create a more humane Holmes, different from the stubborn and arrogant versions we’ve seen in movie and TV in the past few years. It’s a little, quirky and funny book I’m very proud of.

British sleuth Sherlock Holmes can solve any mystery from a small clue. American traveler Pollyanna Whittier can only see the good side of every situation. The only thing they have in common is their friendship with Dr. John Watson. When Pollyanna shows up in London with a mystery for Holmes to solve, she decides to teach the detective the Glad Game: a way of remaining optimistic no matter what. A dangerous – and hilarious – clash of minds, where these two characters of classic literature need to learn how to work together in order to catch a dangerous criminal.

Amazon: https://www.amazon.com/dp/B07K7W4PQL/
Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/42648425-sherlock-holmes-and-the-glad-game/

Catriona McPherson: Go To My Grave Sunday, Nov 11 2018 

Catriona McPherson’s newest standalone, Go To My Grave,
with a gothic thriller that’s eerie even as it’s a study in characterization.

For Donna Weaver and her mother, restoring Galloway beach house The Breakers and turning it into a posh inn has been the stuff of their dreams. Redecorated, filled with fresh flowers, Donna awaits the arrival of their first guests for a long weekend where she will cook and wait on them.

She’s juggling this alone as her Mum is at a wedding venue getting new clients when the gang of relations arrive for one couple’s tenth anniversary. It’s not long before most of them realize they’ve been at this very house decades before, for a sixteenth birthday party that didn’t end well.

Things soon start to happen that catch them off balance, playing games with their memories and the events of that party. Until the unthinkable happens and a body is found.

At once atmospheric, the tangle of people at this party confound Donna with their interwoven histories that are slowly revealed to her, as are the details of exactly what happpened at the party, when the participants swore to keep the details secret in a vow of silence they would take to their graves.

For some of them, this might just come true.

Disturbing and twisted, this is a deliberately devious mystery with a shocking and unexpected ending.

Ragnar Jonasson: The Darkness Wednesday, Nov 7 2018 

Iceland’s Ragnar Jonasson steps away from his Detective Ari Thor series to bring a stand-alone that will have the hair standing up on the back of your neck in The Darkness.

DI Hulda Hermanndottir is approaching retirement age at the Reykjavik Police when her superior calls her into his office to inform her he’s already hired her replacement. She’s free to leave instead of working her last year.

Stunned, unwilling to let go of the place and job that have been her home and sustained her lonely existence, Hulda pushes to be allowed a few weeks to solve one last cold case. While the widow has developed a new friendship with a fellow hiker, she has secrets of her own she’s hiding.

A Russian asylum seeker had been found murdered in a rocky cove, and the case speaks to her, especially when she starts to investigate and finds the original detective’s sloppy work led to a hasty conclusion of suicide.

Instead, Hulda finds threads of information that point to something else entirely, and don’t add up. The more she searches, the more convinced she becomes the young woman was murdered.

There is a startling conclusion to this grim story as Hulda nears the real story of what really happened to young Elena, one that will shock and surprise readers. Publishers Weekly notes: “Fans of uncompromising plotting will be satisfied.”

Andrew Michael Hurley: Devil’s Day Sunday, Nov 4 2018 


Andrew Michael Hurley’s mines the Lancashire landscape when he brings John Pentecost an his young wife back to the Endlands in Devil’s Day.

Unsettling from the outset, John brings his newly pregnant wife, Katherine, home for the funeral of his grandfather, known as the Gaffer.

Dadda, John’s father, has his own agenda, and the funeral is the backdrop to the local legends and tales that are told and retold as preparations for the ritual to keep the Devil away from the sheep begin. Everything has a superstition behind it, and everyone on the moors is affected. But it’s all just tales and nonsense, isn’t it?

The unsettled landscape comes alive under Hurley’s talented pen, as the gripping tale shows Nature at her finest and her cruelest. The eerie feel to the entire tale had the Daily Mail note: “This impeccably written novel tightens like a clammy hand around your throat.”

With Katherine’s growing apprehension, is John merely failing to see the menace she sees, or does he know something more?

An accomplished followup to Hurley’s award-winning first novel, The Loney.