Nicki French: Sunday Silence Wednesday, Jan 17 2018 

This compelling psychological thriller series returns with Sunday Silence, featuring therapist Frieda Klein.

At once strong and resilient, the Frieda who walks London to examine her thoughts is shaken to the core when the body of dead policeman is found under the floorboards of her own living room. At once a person of interest in the case, Frieda is more concerned that appears killer Dan Reeve is making his existence known, to the chagrin of the police commissioner who has refused to take Frieda seriously when she tried to explain that contrary to his own supposed death he’d orchestrated, Reeve was alive and well, and circling Frieda.

She’s already lost a former lover to this maniac who is obsessed with Frieda and vows it won’t happen again to any one close to her.

Then Frieda’s niece is abducted and other horrible events occur to those in her circle. Is this the work of Reeve, confirming he’s alive? Or is there a copycat out there, trying to impress either Reeve? Or even far, far worse: could it be down to both killers at work?

It’s a difficult time for anyone close to Frieda, and soon her friends are staying together as Frieda and the few police who believe her try to flush out the killers. She will use her instinct and keen awareness of body language to figure out who the copycat is, and when and where he will strike again.

The married duo forming Nikki French bring another fascinating installment to readers as Frieda will cross a line even she never thought she would professionally in a bid to save those she loves. Louise Penny calls this series “fabulous, unsettling, and riveting,” with good cause. Highly recommended.


Tony Parsons: Die Last Sunday, Jan 14 2018 

Tony Parsons bring readers the fourth DC Max Wolfe thriller with Die Last. More than a standard police procedural, Max is raising his young daughter, Scout, accompanied by their little dog, Stan.

His newest case brings him a dozen dead young women when a refrigerated lorry breaks down in the snow in London’s Chinatown. The illegal immigrants inside all die of hypthermia, but not before one touches Max.

In the cab of the deserted truck, Max finds 13 passports, and realizes one young woman has escaped. His search for that one survivor takes him into the dark world of human smuggling and the desperate acts people will take to convince themselves they are angling for a better life.

With an eye for the telling detail, Parsons brings readers inside the story with his compelling characters and great plotting. The twists add to the understanding he exhibits of human nature with all of the foibles we exhibit.

And there’s Stan and Scout, two who shall not be ignored and who keep Wolfe grounded.

One of Auntie M’s favrorite series, this is a continued series winner. Highly recommended.

Kate Parker: Deadly Fashion Thursday, Jan 11 2018 

Please welcome Kate Parker, with her newest historical mystery, Deadly Fashion:

A Moment in Time – Deadly Fashion

Deadly Fashion, my newest mystery in the Deadly Series, takes place during a significant time in the lead up to World War II. September and October 1938 encompasses British Prime Minister Chamberlain’s declaration of “Peace in our time.”

This was a case of political wishful thinking seldom topped, since World War II broke out less than a year later.

How does this fit in with the murder mystery or the fashion in Deadly Fashion?

The French fashion designer Mimi Mareau was drawn loosely from the life of Coco Chanel. In the early 1930’s, she was the lover of a British duke who was pro-Nazi. She was a conservative and she designed costumes for Hollywood movies. I kept the duke, but I added the opening of a London fashion house and costuming for a West End play.

On September 22, 1938, four London fashion houses, including Norman Hartnell, presented their fall and winter designs. This must have felt like a relief to see something normal after days of Hitler demanding the German speaking areas of Czechoslovakia be turned over to Germany or face the threat of war. Their shows received little press coverage since shortly thereafter, Hitler gave his ultimatum. Part of Czechoslovakia would be his by October first, or there would be war.

Olivia Denis, my sleuth and society page reporter, writes up a story on the fashion shows, including Mimi Mareau’s, only to see it cut to the bone and replaced by political news. She also knows any hope of finding the murderer of the dead man discovered in Mimi Mareau’s basement shrinks as the country goes on wartime footing. All London seems to hold its breath for the next week, waiting for the madman in Berlin to act.

And then on September 30, 1938, Chamberlain returned from Munich and his meeting with Hitler, waving the document Hitler signed and declaring “Peace in our time.” Everyone around Olivia is relieved. It had only been twenty years since the end of the Great War where millions of Britain’s young men had been mowed down in France. The country wasn’t ready for another war, and the populace didn’t want to lose another generation of men.

Olivia is relieved for another reason, too. Now she can spend time in the fashion salon surrounded by beautiful clothes while she has freedom to hunt for a killer unimpeded by wartime restrictions.

Deadly Fashion, third in the Deadly Series, is available starting today in ebook and paperback at online retailers. Kate Parker is also the author of the Victorian Bookshop Mysteries.

Jan McCanless: Gold, Frankincense and Murrrrder Tuesday, Dec 26 2017 

A funny one for Boxing Day delights!

Humorist Jan McCanless returns with a new murder to hit Beryl’s Cove: Gold, Frankincense and Murrrder.

Chief Nathan Sowinski has to sink his teeth into an investigation when a yacht sinks off the coast, setting off a round of action that has him bothered and bewildered, if not bewitched.

The usual cast of eccentric characters people what McCanless calls her “happy murders,” added to this time by a federal agent, vandals at the campground, and don’t forget the Christmas pageant coming together–or falling apart.

Gold,Frankincense and Murrrder is the eleventh in the Beryl’s Cove Mystery series.

Donna Malane: My Brother’s Keeper Tuesday, Dec 19 2017 

An award-winning writer and producer for television, Donna Malane turned her hand to novels, winning the New Zealand Society of Authors-Pindar Publishing Prize with Surrender, which introduced lead character Diane Rowe.

She returns with the sequel, My Brother’s Keeper, another strong entry in the series captained by the wry voice of Diane and peopled with characters who are fully fashioned and realistic.

It’s an interesting premise: Diane, a missing-persons expert, is asked by an ex-con now out of prison to track down her daughter, Sunny. Karen Mackie fears the girl may be in danger.

Diane doesn’t have difficulty finding the girl, living with her father, stepmother and stepbrother in Auckland, an hour’s plane ride away. But Karen asks Diane to meet the girl first and pave the way for a possible reconcilation.

It’s a tough sell, and the family situation is more complicated than Diane would like. In fact, everything’s a bit complicated in Diane’s life right now, with her friendly ex-husband, Sean, needing their house sold; her current boyfriend, Robbie, becoming friendly with both her dog, Wolf, and her ex; and then there’s the good-looking stepson of Karen’s dead mother she meets in Auckland.

It’s enough to drive a gal to distraction. But fortunately, and despite at one point coming under the Auckland PD radar, Diane manages to put it all together, but with considerable danger to herself and before she can stop a murder.

This is a complex plot and the book, which starts out with a simple premise, rapidly becomes so much more, aided by snippets of memory in flashbacks from a young Sunny, explaining why Karen was in prison.

A chilling twist at the end provides an engrossing climax with a character who will have you hooked with her engaging voice and waiting to read more of Diane Rowe.

More Holiday Gifting Sunday, Dec 17 2017 

More great reads for holiday gifting~ there are goodies to be had for the reader on your list!

Con Lehane introduced NY City Public Library crime curator Ray Ambler in last year’s Murder at the 42nd Street Library. He brings Ray, his colleague Adele, grandson Johnny and detective friend Mike Cosgrove back in the equally engaging sequel, Murder in the Manscript Room.

In an interview Lehane once said someone told him the most interesting person at a library was its archivist, the keeper of everyone’s secrets, and that holds true here when Mike introduces him to Paul Higgins, a former NYPD intelligence detective who has written a few crime thrillers and wants to donate his police files to the library.

With the file boxes stowed in Ray’s office as he mounts a new exhibit, so a few days later is the body of a newly-hired library staffer. Ray has a personal interest in solving the crime, not the least that he’s a suspect, but there are complications in the form of a Syrian researcher who’s arrested and a tie-in to Ray’s son, John, serving time in prison.

The personal angle of little Johnny plus Ray’s relationship with Adele provide added interest as Ray tries to figure out how the secrets of the past and the murder of a union boss have contributed to this recent murder.

An intricate sequel sure to please book lovers and mystery afficionados, with well-drawn characters to boot.

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Arnaldur Indridason's returns to Iceland with the start of a new series in The Shadow District

It’s an interesting mix of present day, with retired detective Konrad is asked to help with the death of a 90-yr old man smothered in his bed and end up investigating the WWII murder of a young woman in the shadow district, the rough neighborhood near where he grew up bordered by the National Theatre.

Alternating between the original detective’s investigation into the girl’s murder and his own follow-up, he soon realizes he must solve the old murder to find the killer for the recent one. Who would bother to kill an old man on the verge of death and for what reason?

Intricate and skillfully woven.

And speaking of the Scandanavian Noir, Kjell Ericksson’s 7th Ann Lindell mystery, Stone Coffin, is now out in paperback if you missed it last year. This one surrounds the hit-and-run deaths of a young woman and her six-year old daughter and becomes a complex mystery.

Peter S. Rush’s debut introduced Steve Logan, Brown graduate whose been affected in 1970 by the Kent State killings to the point where he joins the police force.

But his idealism takes an immediate hit as the rookie gets used to what it means to police Providence. Local mafia, agressive colleagues who heat up situations instead of knowing how to defuse them, detectives who are sadistic–all add up to quickly disillusioning Steve’s idealism.

Mixed in with the mores of the time is his continuing and complicated relationship with pre-med student Roxy, his true love. Both young people have growing to do and learning about life through each other’s actions.

When Steve decides he’s had enough, that change has to come from within, he starts keeping notes about the way things really are going down and finds more than he’s bargained for as he looks into the corruption. But will he have the courage–and the time–do see real change happen before he loses his own life?

A complex and assured debut with a compelling storyline.

Killing Pace is Douglas Schofield’s newest thriller that packs a wallop with its premise.

After a horrific car accident months before, Lisa Green is being nursed back to health by her boyfriend. Roland. The only thing is that Lisa has amnesia and can’t remember the accident or what led to it.

Roland’s close watch on Lisa leads her to believe he’s not her boyfriend and is keeping her prisoner. When she escapes him she enlists a sheriffs deputy to help her find a missing person: herself.

It’s a creative way to tell capture readers as Lisa, who is really Laura Pace, figures out who she really is and why people want her to die. With international repercussions to her case, invovlement from the mafia and US Border Control, it’s no surprise when infant traffiking is at the core.

It’s a wild ride Schofield takes Laura on as she cuts a wide swath in her wake to find the truth. Believeable and all too timely.

Katherine Bolger Hyde’s second “Crime with the Classics Mystery,” Bloodstains with Bronte comes complete with chapter epigrams from Bronte novels, a nice conceit Auntie M enjoyed, as well as plenty of literary references.

Widowed literature prof Emily Cavanaugh has inherited her murdered aunt’s fortune and lovely Oregon home, and her guilt at both has prompted her to turn the large home into a writer’s retreat.

With her housekeeper Katie and her infant daughter, Lizzie, for company, Emily braces for renovations. What she’s not counted on was the two workers, Jake and Roman, openly attracted to Katie. Their boss, on the other hand, is his own kind of enigma.

When Katie and Emily host a murder mystery fundraiser for the local clinic at their house, fiction turns horribly wrong when the supposed victim is actually killed, and Katie is the prime suspect.

It will take all of Emily’s smarts to clear Katie, as she “helps” Windy Corner’s detective Luke Richards in his investigation, despite his misgivings. It doesn’t help that Emily and Luke are romantically involved. And then the deaths multiply and suddenly all bets are off.

A mystery for those who like their literature with a hint of romance.

Holiday Gifting at its Best: Cozy Mysteries Wednesday, Dec 13 2017 

Auntie M continues her thread about books that make great gifts. Let’s use today to bring you new cozy mysteries. Everyone likes a cozy!

Rhys Bowen’s Molly Murphy series continues with The Ghost of Christmas Past. Recovering from depression after a miscarriage, Molly and her husband Daniel, their young son, Liam, and charge Bridie are suddenly invited to spend Christmas with a family who own a mansion along the Hudson River.

It’s a tough time for Molly, mourning the loss of her child, worried she won’t have another. And there’s news that her beloved Bridie is expected to be going home with her own father in the New Year, who wants to return and take her back to Ireland. Another impending loss to mourn.

The friend of Daniel’s mother is insistent having young people around will help the tenor of the house, and Molly soon finds out why: the Von Aiken’s young daughter, Charlotte, was lost a decade ago after wandering out into a snowstorm.

The unusual holiday, which has all of the occupants a bit on edge at the grandness of the house where they are guests, hits a decided snag on Christmas Even when a young girl appears at the door, claiming to be Charlotte.

It will be up to Molly, with Daniel as her accomplice, to figure out what really happened in that elite house ten years ago, and if the child who appear is really Charlotte.

Along the way, Molly heals her heart as the secrets of the family are revealed, even as those secrets take a dangerous and dramatic turn, but she soon finds her own Christmas blessings.

Donna Andrews returns with a new Meg Langslow Christmas Mystery, How the Finch Stole Christmas

Meg’s family goes home for the holidays to stage her husband Michael’s version of “A Christmas Carol,” including parts for Jamie and Josh.

Meg prefers to help behind-the-scenes as stage manager, a position she rues when she mets the aging actor, Malcolm Haver, who will play Scrooge. Besides being an alcoholic, the over-the-hill star isn’t very pleasant and soon needs a minder to keep him sober.

Then a body is found in a snowbank and with Malcolm a suspect, it will be up Meg to find the real killer and save the charity show. With Andrews’ trademark humor, a real holiday pleaser.

Maia Chance’s Prohibition-set capers continue with Gin and Panic. Assisted by hher Swedish sidekick Berta, private-eye Lola Woodby thinks the duo have landed an easy job. They’re hired to retrieve a hunting trophy, a rhinoceros, from Mongtgomery Hall, the mansion belonging to Connecticut big-game hunter Rudy Montgomery.

Things go horribly wrong for Lola when Montgomery is shot soon after their arrival, but that doesn’t stop the humor. There will be episodes with jewels, gangsters and a safari rifle in this screwball comedy before it’s resolution. Caper fun.

And if you missed Auntie M’s review of M C Beaton’s The Witches’ Tree from October, fans of the Agatha Raisin series will enjoy her latest adventure.

Carol Western: Karma and the Singing Frogs AND Stranger and Angels Sunday, Dec 10 2017 

Publishing two new books in two months has been challenging to say the least. I had planned to bring out one book in August and the other in October, in an orderly and sensible fashion. Then my book designer and colleague suffered a bereavement and everything got pushed out of schedule. It may have been wiser to postpone publishing the second book, my first Victorian Murder Mystery, until next year but it is set in December and that would have meant putting it back eight months. Mentally and emotionally I was committed to publishing both of them this year, so I did. Sensible has never really been my major quality but determination – some call it stubborn – always has been.

Karma and the Singing Frogs is a contemporary crime novel featuring archaeologist turned CSI Mia Trent. Strangers and Angels is set in 1850 in the naval town of Gosport and features two determined young women, lady’s maid, Molly Bowman and her mistress, Lady Adelaide.

The two books have a lot in common. Both are set on the south coast of England in mid-December and both have female investigators as the viewpoint character. The major difference is the 157 years that separate them.

Mia is an independent career woman who lives alone. She has friends but also that touch of aloofness that is essential for people who have to separate their professional emotions from their personal life in order to deal with the death and suffering they witness every day.

Molly and Adelaide have no political or economic power and they and those around them would find it unthinkable that they should witness the sort of violence that Mia deals with every day.

I think the hardest task when writing Strangers and Angels was to get into the mind-set of strong, intelligent women who accepted that this limited subservience was their role in life. Adelaide, as the disgraced widow of a brutal man who lost everything through gambling and then committed suicide, is in a far worse position than Molly, the only child of a cooper (barrel-maker). Molly’s father wishes her to marry to ensure her safety if he dies but has promised not to force her into marriage. Adelaide accepts that her aristocratic father will arrange another marriage for her, whether she wishes it or not.

My contemporary crime novels are set in fictional settings, mainly because my son is a CSI and I didn’t wish to embarrass him, partly because cut-backs in UK policing mean that police stations and investigative facilities are disappearing quicker than I can write the books.

The Victorian novel is set in a real place and specific time, which involved a lot of research. The two training ships from the Ottoman Empire were really based in Gosport from late 1850 to early 1851 although there are few documents about this event and I have no evidence whether the majority of residents were hostile to the Turkish sailors or not. Some years after the action in this book, a Turkish graveyard was incorporated into the Clayhall graveyard, the only one in England. The memorial inscription reads, in Turkish and English: “They set sail for eternity met their creator and here they are laid to rest.”

In Karma and the Singing Frogs the victim is a young man who moved from Social Service Care to prostitution and the initial suspects are those who have also been in Care. In Strangers and Angels the immediate and convenient suspect is a young Turkish sailor, a stranger without friends in a foreign land.

For me, the main thing the two books have in common is the ageless theme of justice and how it is too often only for the powerful and privileged.

Carol Westron lives near the south coast of England and it is here that her fiction is set. She writes both contemporary and historical crime fiction, as well as non-fiction articles on the Golden Age of Detective Fiction. She also reviews books and interviews authors for Mystery People. A passionate believer in empowerment through creativity, she teaches creative writing to community classes and writes children’s picture books about a child who is different and ‘sees the secrets behind the darkness,’ which are illustrated by her severely autistic grandson.

Jack Huber: The Pat Ruger Series Wednesday, Dec 6 2017 

Please welcome Jack Huber, who will describe how he came to write the pat Ruger series

About Me
The third time was a charm for me in writing a novel. My first two attempts … well, let’s just say they were poor.

I had written poetry throughout my life, even having two poems published in a literary magazine when my 5th grade teacher submitted them for me. I began self-publishing poetry and my photography in earnest in 2009 and published over 300 poems over a 4-year period. I became a staff writer for Poetic Monthly Magazine and a mentor for novice poets on the on-line writing communities, Ryze and

Soon, my wife asked me to write a novel. As I mentioned, I had tried twice and failed, so I wasn’t so sure I could do it. She is an avid reader and was having trouble finding quality books to buy and devour. She would tell me after each new author she tried, “You can write better than this.” Eventually, I relented and began my first Pat Ruger manuscript.

I wrote a few chapters and suffered from a lack of confidence. I noticed a local event at the Denver Post featuring three best-selling authors and decided to attend. Cornering one of them after their talk, we discussed my process and how in an initial project it might be best to let the characters direct the immediate plotlines.

He recommended I attend a writers conference put on by the Rocky Mountains Fiction Writers (it turned out he was president of the organization), that hosted hundreds of authors for a week-long event, and it was in my own backyard. At the event I signed up for my manuscript to be reviewed by a literary agent and her assessment was eye-opening. I guess my plot had real potential.

My confidence gained, I finished that book and feedback convinced me to make it a series. I’m now working on book number 5. For marketing advice, I’ve been fortunate to have the help of two other best-selling authors in my genre, Nick Russell and Jeff Carson. With their help, I actually had the number 1 crime novel in all of Amazon (for a day).

About the Pat Ruger Mystery Series
Pat Ruger is a retired detective who, with the help of two young call girls, starts up a private investigation firm, later to be joined by his ex-partner, Jimmy Stewart. Pat had lost his wife two years earlier and was still in mourning. Book 1, For Hire, takes place in the Denver area, with a side-trip to Wyoming, and Pat helps one of his soon-to-be business partners locate her missing sister, who had been kidnapped by a large cult. In this book, he meets Amanda, a special agent in the FBI and he becomes involved with her. By the end of the book, he finds the cult’s large bomb and has to decide what to do with the timer running down.

Following the crises in the first book, Pat and Jimmy decide to take a vacation cruise in Caribbean Shuffle. Jimmy brings his wife while Pat is good with going solo. Once on board, a woman he met is murdered and he and Jimmy are asked to investigate. When an earlier quip about pirates comes to life, they must navigate being boarded, a naval standoff and being adrift in the Caribbean Sea.

In the third book, Native Species, several recent brushes with death made Pat determined to rekindle his relationship with Amanda, who had taken an FBI position in New York City. He joins her on a murder investigation at a Native American casino in upstate New York, with tragic consequences.

The fourth book, Children’s Reprise, has the cult in For Hire reemerge to get revenge for Pat’s thwarting their plans for widespread destruction and terror, while possibly putting them back on course. This story takes place almost entirely in the Rocky Mountains, including the team being trapped in a previously abandoned mine.

Book 5 will be released at the end of the year. At this time I plan to make this a 6-book series.

Contact and Social Media
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Ragnar Jonasson: Nightblind Sunday, Dec 3 2017 

Continuing with holiday gift ideas, this one is for those readers who enjoy a dose of noir, in this case, Icelandic noir.

Ragnar Jonasson introduced policeman Ari Thor Arason in last year’s Snowblind, quickly becoming a bestseller. He returns with the sequel Nightblind, which picks up five years after the events of the first book and continues Ari’s story in the small northern Iceland village.

With his mentor and boss, Tomas, given a promotion and living in Rekyakvik, Ari didn’t recieve the hoped-for promotion to Inspector to lead the team and has not gotten close to the man who landed it, Herjolfur. Recovering from the flu, he’s jolted out of bed by the man’s wife, who claims her husband never returned from a call out.

Ari finds his boss severly wounded in a remote location, and as the inspector is flown south for treatment, Tomas is seconded back to Siglufjordur to lead the investigation into who has taken a shotgun to a police officer.

It’s a tense time as the idea of a police officer being shot is unique in Iceland. All of the defenses of the people the two officers investigate come up and it’s difficult to make headway. Other secrets get in their way as the setting for the shooting was an abandoned house that is known as a spot for the local drug trade.

And at home, with a young son he adores, Ari is convinced his relationship with Kristin, his partner, is suffering. It will take him looking outside the box to piece together what really happened that fateful night as the deterioration of his relationship preys on his mind.

In true dark Icelandic noir fashion, the setting adds to the stark feel of the mystery as events from long-ago surface. Excerpts from an old diary add to the tension and heighten the story of domestic abuse in parellels.

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