Monday, August 6, 2012

Mysterious Monday Morning
The only thing hotter than the summers in Phoenix is the temper of a police detective who can't figure out why young girls keep disappearing. Katalina Wimple is that detective. Her obsession with the missing girls makes her the best person for the job, but it also serves as a refuge from the problems in her own life.
Jay Leicester, a retired airline pilot now running his own investigation firm, is sent a client by his old friend Guy Robbins, an attorney on the Gulf Coast of Mississippi. The client is a horribly disfigured young female marine biologist who is Director of a research lab on Cat Island, twelve miles off the coast of Gulfport. Her disfigurement is the result of an attack by a tiger shark during a dive to the wreck of a World War Two German submarine sank during the war by the U.S. Navy off the coast of Chandeleur Island.

During a two year recovery period the scientist becomes convinced the attack was orchestrated by someone who wanted to steal the formula for a shark repellent being developed at the research lab. The repellent, if perfected, would be worth billions of dollars. How a pelagic shark could be used to attack a specific diver in the open ocean becomes the enigma behind the investigation of this mystery thriller.

One of the most enigmatic characters is the marine biologist herself. Annatoo Yillah, a direct descendant of Polynesian parents, is as strange as she is intelligent. A woman who, though educated in the west, believes she is an ancient God of Tiburon - a shark god. Other characters in the work are: Anna Yillah's two research assistants, George Lenoir and Vickey Fourche, brilliant graduate students from Mississippi State University, who worship and learn at the feet of their mentor; Susan Weems, a lifelong friend and former colleague of Anna Yillah, enters the scene with a bizarre tale of love and friendship; a career criminal and shrimp fisherman, Bob Sabado, who is tied to the lab by unrequited love. Then we meet Hebrone Opshinsky, one of those unforgettable characters that linger on in our mind forever. An "in-country" Viet Nam soldier trained as a silent killer and put back on the street after the war without any indoctrination in how to adjust to a peaceful society. A man who is more deadly than all the sharks in the Gulf of Mexico and lives among the underbelly of the shrimp fishermen along the docks of the Mississippi Coast. Finally, we meet a Police Detective and a Chief of Police who could not be more different in their investigative techniques. Both think Jay Leicester may be responsible for three murders and an attempt at a fourth.

After meeting with Anna Yillah and conferring with Guy Robbins, Jay takes the case and accompanies her to Cat Island. Understanding why a brilliant research scientist could believe an attack in the open ocean by a shark could be purposefully accomplished is the first priority. He learned quickly that not only was it possible, but that it was exactly what had happened.With hundreds of visiting scientists rotating on and off the island doing research, the list of possible suspects seems insurmountable, but soon is narrowed to a select few. To expose the antagonist Anna and Jay recreate the original dive on the German submarine. It goes horribly wrong resulting in a ghastly death and failing to reveal a murderer. Starting over, Leicester finds an unlikely ally in an original suspect. This assistance leads to the discovery of the killer, but not before another innocent life is lost, and Jay is confronted with his own mortality.

Pristine offshore islands, coastlines ruined by casino hotels, and Gulf of Mexico waters is the setting for intrigue, horror, and quick death. A must read for any aficionado of the Mystery/Thriller genre.

There is 'noir', and there is 'noir' that is so slick and sly that even Elmore Leonard might be tempted to leap out of bed and look to his laurels.

When five bored rich kids bet each other as to who will be the first to drive an innocent victim of their choice to death, little do they realise that one of those they randomly select in a shopping mall is the Mafia's top West Coast hitman.

How would they know? He is black and without a single fluid ounce of Italian blood in his veins, albeit with gallons of the stuff on his hands.

This hitman may be sad, he may even be ready to die, but he isn't exactly suicidal – more homicidal, definitely more homicidal, you might say.

And he moves at the center of a plot containing a cast of characters which includes Mafia bosses, murderous priests, seedy movie directors, a gay sex-line operator and credulous starlets that brings a wry smile to your face every time a new twist is revealed.

Which is a lot of smiling, and a lot of dying.

A missing girl.
A lost father.
Murder. Mayhem. Tattoos.
Just another day in Venice Beach.

Where The Sun Don't Shine is the story of Marley, a once successful Hollywood player who's tumbled so far down the ladder of success that he’s got almost nothing left. Just a one room apartment on Venice Beach and a fragile relationship with his 16 year old daughter.

Marley’s at the end of his rope when he gets a phone call from an old producing partner who wants to throw Marley some work. Which sounds great until Marley realizes that the “work” is tracking down a missing actress. An actress who may or may not be dead. Every instinct Marley has tells him to walk away. But the lure of easy money is the single thing that everyone in Hollywood has in common.

Marley finds himself thrust into the back alleys of the film industry. Into a nexus of porn, kidnapping, studio politics and the dream-dead denizens of modern Hollywood. Struggling to do the right thing, and to be a father to his daughter, Marley soon finds that everything is at stake: His future, his daughter, even his life…

Short Story

Detective Vincent Perez operates on both sides of the law, and it’s only a matter of time before he endangers not only his own life, but those that he swore to protect.

A young woman searches for her missing twin sister in a foreign country called America. On the road, she encounters a series of strangers who help her navigate its topography, including a cowboy in a pink Cadillac, a sadistic law enforcement agent, a pulp fiction novelist, the regulars at a nuclear bomb-themed dive bar, and a man who befriends mannequins.
A Short Story

Dave Morrison has been driving round London all day, picking up passengers in his black cab, praying they can distract him from the terrible thing he has to confront tomorrow morning.

When he finally parks up for the night and is approached by two men in a dark backstreet, his prayers are answered. Unfortunately for Dave, their brand of distraction could prove fatal.

You don't have to be special to be chosen. Anyone can do or die.

It is an ordinary kind of day and Joe is just an ordinary Joe - Joe Gibson.

But when four hired men break into his house and hold Joe, his wife Denise, and his young daughter Emily, at gun point, Joe is going to have to sharpen his wits.

The deal is non-negotiable: either Joe, a nobody, hits a local Mob boss, or his daughter dies.

Why Joe?

Why not?

And just to sweeten the deal, they are going to shoot his wife anyway. How else would Joe know they are being serious?


An unexplained fire.
A secret buried behind a wall.
And murder.

Stacy Justice did not expect to be set on fire that night, but being raised by witches prepares one for life's little surprises. When her cousin is accused of arson, Stacy is determined to clear her family name--until something cryptic is discovered in the rubble that changes everything. Now, someone wants her dead and she finds herself dodging angry motorists, exploding chickens and a very creepy man lurking in the shadows. As she begins to dig up the past, Stacy learns that even those closest to her have something to hide--and she's about to discover a destiny she never imagined. Suddenly, she finds herself running from a killer that will stop at nothing to keep a secret.
  1. OPAL FIRE, Stacy Justice Book One.   How far would you go to keep a secret?
  2. BLOODSTONE, Stacy Justice Book Two.   What if your whole life was a lie?
TIGER'S EYE, Stacy Justice Book Three.   This time, it's personal. ________________________________________________________

Once Bitten, Twice Dead-----------------------------------mystery novel

“. . .I once was lost, now am found. Was blind, but now I see.”
--Amazing Grace
John Newman (1725-1807)

“. . .and Brutus was an honorable man.”
--Julius Caesar
William Shakespeare

Three equals one.
If rookie cop, Raven Stolle, can understand this equation, she’ll solve her first three cases. These cases involve the deaths of a butcher, a Wall Street trader, and a fashion designer.
Because of department budget cuts, Raven has to go at these puzzles alone. Being orphaned at an early age, she’s accustomed to solo flights, but not with the harassment she gets from her law enforcement peers.
Each time Raven seems to be going toward a solution, she runs into a blind alley. She has plenty of suspects, but no linking evidence. During the course of the investigations, the vulnerable and clumsy Raven loses a love, and maybe gains another, before she makes a guilty mistake.
To solve her cases, Raven must discover that a killer can hide in plain sight. Once she sees this fact, her pursuit leads her into one of the coldest countries on earth to try to freeze a killer. Here Raven will do her best to herself avoid permanent cold storage.

Before Molly Murphy crossed the Atlantic or even had an inkling that she might someday become a much sought after private investigator in New York City, young Molly lived in Ireland in a small cottage with her father, brothers and little else.
While keeping herself and her home together, Molly receives a request from Lady Hartley—the lady of the country estate where Molly lives, and the family that employs Molly’s father and brothers. The Hartleys are hosting a ball at their manor house, and there will be so many fine gentlemen and ladies in attendance that Lady Hartley needs Molly to help some of her guests prepare for the ball.
Beautiful debutantes, dresses of the finest fabrics, and sparkling chandeliers are all on display, as are heirloom jewels like the Amersham rubies—a stunning and priceless ruby necklace that has been in the Amersham family for generations. When the rubies go inexplicably missing from Lady Amersham’s neck in the middle of the party, the high-spirited Molly must rely on her wits to solve her first case in Rhys Bowen’s charming prequel to her beloved Anthony and Agatha Award–winning historical mystery series.

Rainy Sanders gets an unexpected visit from the past when James Sampson appears at her door. The stroll down memory lane will not only resolve issues she’s carried her whole life, but also take her seven states away and straight into the daze and chaos of a southern murder trial.

Rainy slips unwillingly into the roller coaster ride of every emotion and wound she’d felt as a teenager and the nightmare she now faces as an adult. Struggling with an uphill battle, that even her closest friends don’t understand, she wonders about James; just how crazy was he? Just how much did she love him? Just how much does she love him? And just as she thinks she’s finally escaped the lure of James Sampson, she’s forced to face a murderer.

When Callie Patterson roars into Blue Sky, New Mexico, on her Harley
she disturbs more than the quiet of the dying gold mining town. She unnerves the townsfolk who want to reopen a long dead mine that conflicts with her plan to turn her family’s Victorian mansion into a tourist haven and art colony . She stirs up old memories for Mercedes Gunn who fears the discovery of long-held secrets, and for Fernando Moreno, once the love of her now-deceased grandmother. Most of all, she shakes up the mostly well-ordered future that sheriff Luc Moreno has planned to protect his own family and their home. Being on opposite sides of the valley’s future threatens a growing attraction. Will it ultimately destroy any hope for love to blossom? 

The Bard's Daughter is a 22,000 word prequel to the Gareth and Gwen Medieval Mysteries:

As a bard's daughter, Gwen has spent her life traveling from castle to castle and village to village with her family, following the music. In the winter of 1141, Gwen's family is contracted to provide the entertainment for the coming-of-age celebration of a lord's son. But before the celebration can begin, Gwen's father is found over the body of his friend, with a harp string as the murder weapon and blood on his hands.

With the lord of the castle uninterested in finding the true killer, it is up to Gwen to clear her father's name before her father's music is silenced ... forever.

The Gareth and Gwen Medieval Mysteries include The Bard's Daughter and two novels:  The Good Knight and The Uninvited Guest.

Greed, betrayal, two tons of Confederate gold and an odd substance called uranium come together on America's deadliest day. A doctor, his slave and two lawmen with competing loyalties must solve a mystery while surviving the battle of Antietam. Everyone has their secrets, nothing and no one is what they seem and the body count only grows.

Love Strong As Death is set in the Civil War and centers on the deadliest day of that conflict, but it is much more than that. It is a murder mystery with more twists and turns than the Antietam Creek.

Three days before the battle, two men lie dead on the bank of that creek, dueling pistols in their hands. Two lawmen with competing loyalties investigate the case. Albrecht Hiedler is the local county sheriff; John Dingleberry is a federal marshal. They soon discover one of the duelers is black, which is unheard-of.

They call a local doctor in to examine the bodies. Solon Carter is a brilliant physician with an odd secret: he has never learned to read and write. He is an Abolitionist, fundamentally opposed to the institution of slavery, but he owns a slave. Columbia is mentally retarded but can read, and in fact remembers everything she reads. She is Carter's secretary and his ward.

The doctor and the lawmen discover that the white dueler, a local merchant named Peter Kraft, has two tons of gold bars in his storehouse. They can't decide what to do with it, so they lock it in the doctor's storehouse. Columbia then points out an odd fact that the three men confirm: each of the duelers was killed with his own pistol. The case becomes a murder investigation.

The doctor does an autopsy on Kraft's body. He discovers that the dead man's eyes had been removed and replaced with lead balls.

The next day a man and woman arrive at Dr. Carter's home. Hermann von Habsburg is the brother-in-law of the late Peter Kraft and his presumptive heir; he is an exiled member of one of the royal families of Europe; and he is senile and cannot speak. His daughter Maria handles his business affairs. The doctor and the lawmen tell her about the strange circumstances of her uncle's death but not about the gold.

That night the doctor's storehouse catches fire. The gold bars ignite, something gold is not supposed to do, and burn with a furious flame. He is left the next morning to explain to the lawmen what happened.

The three men struggle to make sense of the matter. They learn a few things from a local slave but end up more confused than ever. They discover that the gold bars were not gold at all but a strange substance called uranium. It is a worthless metal but it is one of the few substances that is as dense as gold. And the world supply of the metal is controlled by the von Habsburg family.

Early the next morning, Maria von Habsburg and her father arrive at the doctor's door unexpectedly. A battle was starting and she did not know where else to turn. The doctor puts her, her father and Columbia into his buggy and heads away from the sound of the battle. He unwittingly sends them into the cornfield which is to see the deadliest action of the battle of Antietam. Almost immediately, Doctor Carter and Maria become separated from his slave and her father. For the next few days they must struggle to stay alive and solve a mystery that threatens to consume them.

Love Strong As Death is meticulously researched, bringing the reader through an almost hour-by-hour chronicle of the deadliest single day in American history. It is also a fast-paced thriller and a gripping mystery.

From an exciting new voice in noir . . .

A luckless womanizer visiting Puerto Rico for his cousin’s wedding; a dark, beautiful woman who needs a favor; and a rare Indian artifact people would kill to get their hands on—all of it amidst an approaching tropical storm that may be only the beginning of the violence. That’s the story of “Hurricane”—from dynamite noir writer R. Narvaez, whose work has appeared in Indian Country Noir and Long Island Noir. 

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