Kaitlyn Dunnett: Clause and Effect Tuesday, Jun 25 2019 

Please welcome Kaitlyn Dunnett, to talk about her new release, Clause and Effect.

Suspect Everyone
by
Kaitlyn Dunnett

Amateur detectives need an active imagination to put clues together, but that also means they come up with some pretty wild scenarios on the way to figuring out what really happened. In the second “Deadly Edits” mystery, Clause & Effect, retired schoolteacher turned freelance editor Mikki Lincoln is present at the Lenape Hollow Historical Society when a wall comes down during renovations to reveal a mummified murder victim hidden in an old chimney.

What seemed like a simple task—update the script for the historical pageant presented at the town’s bicentennial so it can be reused twenty-five years later—is suddenly much more complicated, especially after the victim is identified as Grace Yarrow, the author of that script. Mikki has taken over where Grace left off with the pageant, but is she also following in her footsteps when it comes to threatening someone’s secrets?

Although she never intended to get involved in solving another murder, Mikki can’t help but speculate about the people she’s met since starting work on the project. Some of them were around a quarter of a century ago and knew the victim, perhaps better than they’re letting on. Before long, Mikki has a full roster of suspects.

Is the killer Roberta “Sunny” Feldman, last owner of the world-famous Feldman’s Catskill Resort Hotel? She sold out years ago, just before the heyday of the Borsht Belt came to an end. She may be in her eighties now, but she’s still a force to be reckoned with. Twenty-five years ago, jealousy might have led her to kill Grace Yarrow.

Jealousy could also have motivated Veronica “Ronnie” North, the classmate who tried her best to make Mikki miserable in high school. She hasn’t mellowed much in the fifty-plus years since they graduated, and she’s been married and widowed three times in the interim. Did Grace try to steal husband number two?

Then there’s Gilbert Baxter, current director of the historical society. He knew Grace back in the day, perhaps better than anyone suspected at the time. Mikki finds a clue in the bicentennial pageant that suggests Grace was willing to fudge on the town’s history to give his family a more prominent role.

And what about Judy, the older sister of Mikki’s best friend Darlene? She knew Grace, too, and the evidence suggests there was a lot of hanky-panky going on at the historical society back in the day. Judy’s not been completely honest about what she remembers, but is she guilty of murder?

With all those suspects to choose from, you’d think Mikki could stop adding names to her list, but the question of whether or not Grace Yarrow might have had a child has her adding one more. She can’t help but wonder about the coincidence of her own distant cousin, Luke Darbee, showing up in town when he does. She knows nothing about him but what he’s told her . . . and that they share that unfortunate physical characteristic, the Greenleigh nose. He’s obviously too young to have killed Grace, but when a second murder occurs, she has to consider the possibility that he might have come to Lenape Hollow looking to avenge Grace’s death.

Past and present collide as Mikki gathers more clues. By the time she figures out whodunnit, she’s attracted the attention of the killer and is in danger of becoming the next victim. Is the murderer one of those people she’s been suspicious of all along . . . or someone else entirely?

The good news is that you don’t have to wait to find out. Clause & Effect is available in hardcover and e-book today.

With the June 2019 publication of Clause & Effect, Kathy Lynn Emerson/Kaitlyn Dunnett will have had sixty books traditionally published. She won the Agatha Award and was an Anthony and Macavity finalist for best mystery nonfiction of 2008 for How to Write Killer Historical Mysteries, and was an Agatha Award finalist in 2015 in the best mystery short story category. She was the Malice Domestic Guest of Honor in 2014. Currently she writes the contemporary Liss MacCrimmon Mysteries and the “Deadly Edits” series as Kaitlyn. As Kathy, her most recent book is a collection of short stories, Different Times, Different Crimes. Her websites are http://www.KaitlynDunnett.com and http://www.KathyLynnEmerson.com and she maintains a website about women who lived in England between 1485 and 1603 at A Who’s Who of Tudor Women.

Dan Fesperman: Safe Houses Sunday, Jun 23 2019 

The dizzying cover of Dan Fesperman’s Safe Houses mirrors the exhilarating pace readers will find inside in this tale of how Cold War Berlin events reach into the present day.

The CIA’s Helen maintains a safe house in Berlin, despite yearning to be the agent she knows she can be. Male power abuse reins her in until a situation occurs that changes everything.

In the present, Anna is determined to find out who murdered her parents in their rural Maryland home, refusing to believe it could be her brother. Both are strong women; both storylines alternate in a seamless way that brings the dual mysteries to life.

There’s a spareness to Fesperman’s prose that adds to the twists and action of the book, whose themes underscore the ideas of loyalty and betrayal in mmany guises that adds to the timeliness of the storyline.

Fesperman’s background as a war correspondent adds to the thorough research he’s done to bring the Cold War to life. With realistic dialogue and believeable characters, this is one chilling novel where a Cold War mystery collides with a present day murder.

Ashley Dyer: The Cutting Room Wednesday, Jun 19 2019 

Ashley Dyer’s debut last year was the wonderful Splinter in the Blood, which had one of the most intriguing openings Auntie M had read in a long time. The writing duo of Margaret Murphy and Helen Pepper return with a second one featuring the detective team of Ruth Lake and Greg Carver in The Cutting Room, every bit as good as the first.

A psychopath has hit on a new way to attract gawkers to his crime scenes: digital invites to the gruesome tableaus he’s set up that he considers art installations.

The plot shows the public’s fascination with reality television and true-crime, as the narcissist behind these disturbing murders uses social media to advertise himself and court popularity.

Soon he’s earned the nickname The Ferryman, and both Lake and Carver are determined to bring his spree to an end. Carver is still recovering from the effects of the head wound that nearly killed him in the first book, with unusual side effects that play into the plot. Lake is hiding her own secrets from her friend and co-worker.

Readers who enjoy shows such as Criminal Minds will enjoy the look into this engrossing procedural, filled with suspense and not for the squeamish, but yet totally believeable as the detectives realize to find this demented killer, they must get inside his mind to anticipate his actions.

Highly recommended.

Allison Montclair: The Right Sort of Man Sunday, Jun 16 2019 

Allison Montclair’s new series starts off with a delightful bang with the charming The Right Sort of Man.

The second World War has just ended in 1946 London, and two young women who couldn’t be more opposite are thrown together. Iris Sparks is the unmarried, savvy woman with an Oxford education and a shady past; Gwen Bainbridge is the war widow with a young son, still grieving the loss of her handsome husband, and subjected to living with her staid in-laws.

The two meet at a wedding and agree to start a new business to cement their independence, and do it in one of the Mayfair buildings that escaped bombing with The Right Sort Marriage Bureau. They approach it in an organized manner, trying to match suitables, and even have had a few marriages from their pairings.

New client Tillie La Salle sets off Iris’ warning bells as someone who might have her own checkered past, but the women set her up with her first date. Then Tillie is found murdered, and the man arrested for the crime is Dickie Trower, the man they matched to Tillie, who claims he never met with her at all.

Now the duo have a two-fold problem: try to rescue Dickie from the hangman’s noose, and try to reclaim the reputation of their new business. The two will ennlist their friend, Sally, a budding playwright who reminded Auntie M of Stephen Fry, to cover the office as they take turns sleuthing Tillie’s life.

The thing that struck Auntie M about these two well-developed characters (make it three if you include Sally) was their snappy dialogue, which hums and zings off the page. The period details are spot on, and the the light-hearted feel is contrasted with moments of the realities of a post-war nation.

An assured start to what promises to be a wonderful and interesting series for fans of historicals, this one will be snapped up and not put down until it’s done.

Doug Johnstone: Breakers Wednesday, Jun 12 2019 

A strikingly rich thriller that shows the pull of family in different directions underlines Doug Johnstone’s stunning Breakers.

A dysfunctional family to the hilt underscores the story, living in one of Edinburgh’s remaining tower estates, home to Tyler and his family of half-siblings, an addicted mum, and a lovely younger sister, Bean, whom Tyler wants more than anything to protect.

Forced to accompany his older siblings on their string of robberies in more affluent neighborhoods, it’s clear Tyler is only making money to put food on the table. Along the way he meets Flick, from another lifestyle entirely. She is the beam of goodness in Tyler’s life, the one who understands his situation and sees his inner strengths.

Then during one of their jobs, the wife of a crime lord interrupts them and Tyler’s brother stabs the woman and leave her for dead. Soon they are all on the run: from the police, from the crime lord, and for Tyler, maybe even from his older brother with the psychotic streak.

This is an unflinching look at a life lived in the squalor of the estates, which is matched by the gang and abusers who people it. Toxic people come in many forms, and the characterizations here are rich and harrowing. It’s a story you can easily imagine on the big screen, unfolding like a movie you can’t stop watching.

John DeDakis: FAKE Monday, Jun 10 2019 

FAKE is John DeDakis’s newest entry in his Lark Chadwick thriller series with a look inside the Beltway that will seem all too believeable.

Auntie M liked Lark as a character, and readers will, too: feisty and smart, she’s nevertheless aware of her own shortcomings and foibles, and still in the midst of deciding what she wants to be when she grows up.

Reeling from a series of losses that would decimate a lesser woman, Lark is currently working as a White House correspondent when First Lady Rose Gannon agrees to a set of interviews that will form the basis for a biography Lark plans to write.

Rose has already told Lark off the record of her pancreatic cancer, with Lark agreeing to hold that news for now. Then during one of her interviews, Rose collapses and dies suddennly, leaving the new President and his two young children dealing with their grief just as a serious international issue springs to light and he must try to avert a nuclear war.

Soon Lark has an interview with a fascinating job offer dangled in front of her with another network owned by a woman she’s considered an idol. When that idol turns out to have clay feet, the aftermath will affect Lark in ways she could never imagine, with tendrils affecting everyone she cares for. Suddenly Lark finds herself on the wrong side of a thirsty media frenzy.

Who’s behind it all and the lengths will they go to to secure the prize they want form the mystery part of this gripping ride.

This is a clear-eyed look at the supposed line journalists walk every day, juggling their personal feelings with fast-breaking news while trying to figure out the truth from the fake news we all hear about these days. Fast-pacing means the reader is in for one quick ride, with surprising results.

DeDakis has a good handle on writing emotions, too, which allows the reader to connect with all of the main characters here. Calling on his own experience as a former White House correspondant and Senior Copy Editor for CNN’s “The Situation Room with Wolf Blitzer,” DeDakis brings a view of reality mixed with tidbits of behind-the-scenes information to the reader that make this mystery a standout.

Helen Fitzgerald: Worst Case Scenario Friday, Jun 7 2019 

Worst Case Scenario by Helen Fitzgerald features one of the most original characters Auntie M has read in a long time.

Set in Glasgow, we meet Mary Shields, an overburdened probation officer whose job is almost impossible. It doesn’t help that Mary is burned out, missing her partner away in Australia, obsessing about her young adult son trying to find himself, and physically unwell. Everything affects her mood and then some.

And now Liam Macdowall is being released onto Mary’s care, after being imprisoned for murdering his wife. He’s published a book that contains a series of letters to the dead woman, and become the poster boy for Men’s Rights Activists.

It’s a case of instant dislike between Mary and Liam, especially when he flounts the rules of his probation, and in an unanticipated twist, her son and Liam’s daughter start a relationship. It’s enough to put a woman on edge, and with Mary already on edge, enough to topple her over.

It’s difficult to describe the plot without spoilers, but suffice it to say that this doesn’t end up where any reader thinks it will at first. There are moments of high humor contrasted with others of dark perception as the story plays out. Readers won’t be able to put it down.

Peter Hanington: A Single Source Tuesday, Jun 4 2019 


BBC reporter Peter Hanington’s second topical thriller, A Single Source, features veteran BBC reporter William Carver, bringing the type of verisimulitude to the story only someone who’s lived it can affect.

This realistic light fills the timely story, as Carver, who’s seen it all, teases out the angle others miss when reporting from the Middle East on the cusp of the Arab Spring.

With Patrick at this side, a young BBC producer determined to win Carver’s approval, the duo ferret out stories of ordinary people in a time of crisis. There’s a fresh look at how the decisions of a removed government affect everyday citizens, while a second storyline overlaps and illuminated the tortuous journey of two brother making their way from Eritrea to Europe.

Having Carver see evidence various government’s would rather he not report grounds the story in today’s world as Carver fights to tell his story, as he looks behind the obvious and isn’t always happy with what he finds.

Well-plotted, with snappy dialogue and at times a dry wit, Carver can carry this atmospheric story with authenticity and with a shift in the various things happening that will defy readers to put the book down.

Ragnar Jonasson: The Island Saturday, Jun 1 2019 

Jonasson’s second Icelandic series with its compelling protagonist, Detective Inspector Hulda Hermansdottir, returns with its second installment in The Island.

The time period is set earlier than in last year’s The Darkness and its startling ending. It’s 1987 when the book opens with the details of a new young couple’s romantic but secret trip to the isolation of the Westfjords, a trip that ends in disaster when the young woman is found dead.

A decade later, four friends have a reunion to honor their dead friend, reconnecting with a trip to an old hunting lodge in an even more isolated area of southern Iceland. Cut off from the outside world for the weekend, only three will survive.

Hulda is determined to find the culprit, which means she must explore the history behind the initial investigation into the young woman’s death. She needs to explore the relationships between all of the principal’s involved, some of which had drastic and tragic results, as well as the way in which the investigation itself was handled by her police colleagues.

What she finds will reveal long held secrets that have ramifications for several families as well as Hulda herself.

With the dark, foreboding setting an adjunct character, Jonasson makes the most of Hulda’s tragic life and frustrations as she finds herself looking into the deepest recesses of the darkness that lurks within us. Masterful look into the human psyche.

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Liz Loves Books

The Wonderful World of Reading

The Life of Guppy

the care and feeding of our little fish

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Reading is a wonderful adventure!

JoHanna Massey

"I tramp the perpetual journey." Walt Whitman

MiddleSisterReviews.com

(mid'-l sis'-tǝr) n. the reader's favorite sister

My train of thoughts on...

Smile! Don't look back in anger.

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interior design student - maker

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My author site--news and other stuff about books and things

The Wickeds

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Some Days You Do ...

Writers & Writing, my own & other people's; movies, art, music & the search for a perfect flat white - the bits & pieces of a writing life.

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