Thursday, October 23, 2014

None So Blind by Barbara Fradkin, New on the Mystery Bookshelf during October 2014

None So Blind by Barbara Fradkin

New on the Mystery Bookshelf during October 2014 …

None So Blind by Barbara Fradkin

A Michael Green Mystery (10th in series)

Publisher: Dundurn

None So Blind by Barbara Fradkin, Amazon Kindle format

To see more new paperback titles scheduled to be published this month, visit The Mystery Bookshelf for October 2014. For new hardcover mysteries, visit New Mysteries where for a list of October 2014 mysteries, novels of suspense, and thrillers is provided.

More about our featured title, below …

Twenty years ago, a raw and impressionable Detective Michael Green helped convict a young professor for the murder of an attractive coed. From behind bars, the man continued to hound Green with letters protesting his innocence. Shortly after being paroled, he is found dead. Is it suicide? Revenge? Or had Green made the biggest mistake of his career — a mistake which cost an innocent man his liberty and ultimately his life?

To determine the truth, Green is forced to re-examine old evidence and open up old wounds to stare down a far greater evil hiding in plain sight.

None So Blind by Barbara Fradkin

The Hypnotist, The Reincarnationist Series by M. J. Rose, Now Available at a Special Price

The Hypnotist by M. J. Rose

Omnimystery News is always searching for newly discounted mystery, suspense, thriller and crime novels for our readers to enjoy. Today, we're pleased to present the following title, now available at a special price courtesy of the publisher, Harlequin MIRA …

The Hypnotist by M. J. Rose

The Reincarnationist Series (3rd in series)

Publisher: Harlequin MIRA

Price: $0.99 (as of 10/23/2014 at 1:00 PM ET).

The Hypnotist by M. J. Rose, Amazon Kindle format

Important Note: Price(s) verified as of the date and time shown. Price(s) are subject to change at any time. Please confirm the price of the book before purchasing it.

Haunted by his inability to stop the murder of a beautiful young painter twenty years ago, Lucian Glass keeps his demons at bay through his fascinating work with the FBI's Art Crime Team. Investigating a crazed collector who's begun destroying prized masterworks, Glass is thrust into a bizarre hostage negotiation that takes him undercover at the Phoenix Foundation — dedicated to the science of past-life study. There, to maintain his cover, he submits to the treatment of a hypnotist.

Under hypnosis, Glass travels from ancient Greece to nineteenth-century Persia, while the case takes him from New York to Paris and the movie while the case takes him from New York to Paris and the movie capital of the world. These journeys will change his very understanding of reality, lead him to question his own sanity and land him at the center of perhaps the most audacious art heist in history: a fifteen-hundred-year-old sculpture the nation of Iran will do anything to recover.

The Hypnotist by M. J. Rose

New This Week: Swann's Lake of Despair, A Henry Swann Mystery by Charles Salzberg

Swann's Lake of Despair by Charles Salzberg

Omnimystery News is pleased to present a mystery, suspense, or thriller ebook that we recently found by sleuthing (as it were) through new or recently reissued titles from independent publishers during October 2014 and priced $4.99 or less …

Swann's Lake of Despair by Charles Salzberg

A Henry Swann Mystery (3rd in series)

Publisher: Five Star

Price: $3.99 (as of 10/23/2014 at 12:30 PM ET).

Swann's Lake of Despair by Charles Salzberg, Amazon Kindle format

Important Note: Price(s) verified as of the date and time shown. Price(s) are subject to change at any time. Please confirm the price of the book before purchasing it.

When rare photos, a scandalous diary, and a beautiful woman all go missing at once, the stage is set for three challenging cases for Henry Swann.

It begins with an offer to partner up with his slovenly, unreliable frenemy, Goldblatt. The disbarred lawyer-turned-"facilitator" would provide the leads and muscle, while Swann would do all the fancy footwork. A lost diary by a free-loving Jazz Age flapper is worth enough to someone that Swann takes a beat down on an abandoned boardwalk. Pilfered photos of Marilyn Monroe propel him deep into the past of an alcoholic shutterbug, his wife; and he's hired to search for a lonely writer's runaway girlfriend.

The cases converge and collide in a finale that lifts the curtain on crucial, deadly facts of life for everyone — including Swann himself.

Swann's Lake of Despair by Charles Salzberg

An Excerpt from Smokescreen, a Thriller by Khaled Talib

Omnimystery News: An Excerpt courtesy of Khaled Talib
Smokescreen by Khaled Talib

We are delighted to welcome back thriller writer Khaled Talib to Omnimystery News.

Khaled was with us earlier this year, when we discussed his new suspense thriller Smokescreen (Signal 8 Press — January 2014 trade paperback; and ebook formats via Lightning Originals), and we are pleased today to introduce you to it with an excerpt from the prologue and first chapter.

— ♦ —

Smokescreen by Khaled Talib

Prologue

SMOKE CLOUDED THE MAN'S FACE like Tuareg's desert veil as he exhaled a long, apple-scented plume from the sheesha's looping pipe. It bolstered the disguise he wore in the languid summer afternoon at El Fishawy Café in Cairo's Khan el-Khalili souk district: a fake moustache and a thick goatee that seemed to make his round chin smile more, a pair of dark metal-framed sunglasses, a longflowing brown galabeya, and a white turban.
  He leaned in his wooden chair against the earthen-coloured wall of the alleyway. In his fifties, he was tall and average in weight; he had a contoured nose and could have been taken for a Sudanese or a Nubian but not an African-American. To blend in with the Middle Eastern crowd, he wore a pair of leather sandals instead of American sports shoes. No one would look twice.
  Wrought-iron tables spilled out along both sides of the cramped narrow alley, which a tattered, brownish sailcloth tented to protect patrons from the day's heat. Several European tourists in summer clothing and hats sat on an old L-shaped divan settee behind a partition, having tea.
  The 200-year-old café featured antique mirrors on the walls and was set amid a jumble of shops selling brassware, copper, and trinkets. Farther in, along the same row as the café, the assemblage of items for sale included Horus the Sun Goddess and Tutankhamen in clay and stone, papyrus papers, lapis lazuli, belly-dancing outfits, kilms, and miniature obelisks. Beggars and hawkers strode to and fro.
  An Arabic pop song playing in a music shop somewhere in the labyrinth of the ancient bazaar bounced from wall to wall. Although he was staring straight ahead, he could see everything that took place inside the carved-out section of the café behind him. His CIA-spy sunglasses allowed him to see behind himself as well.
  In the dim interior, cluttered with memorabilia, carved wooden furniture, antique mirrors, ancient lamps, and fading photographs, he stared at each customer. Nothing unusual. Waiters balanced trays of juices and hot beverages as they threaded their way among the tables. Shouted orders resonated off the walls, mixing with the murmur of patrons and the clang of glass. The gentle bubble of water pipes emitted different scents of flavoured tobacco.
  As he watched the scene, he noticed a thin, fair-skinned old man dressed in a white thawb — a traditional full-length loose garment with long sleeves — and a Hajji cap approaching, dragging ship-ships, Arabic leather slippers, on his feet.
  This man was in his seventies, with an age-whitened beard and moustache, and a urrowed brow that intersected at his crooked nose. Broken blood vessels ran around his keratoconic eyes but didn't obscure the alertness that guarded his senses.
  He took his place on the wooden chair beside the black man. For the next several minutes, he meditated with the crystal prayer beads in his right hand.
  His gold-plated watch glimmered. He took a moment before calling out to the waiter.
  "Hatli sheesha farawla wa chai na'na wunaby," the old man yelled in colloquial Egyptian Arabic. The black man listened to his neighbour's humorous order: a strawberry-flavoured sheesha and two cups of mint tea, the second for the Prophet Muhammad. He knew that other Arabs in the region, especially anyone who frequented Cairo, would know the candid expression the Egyptians used, but the black man didn't expect the old man to say it, especially since he wasn't what he appeared to be.
  "Hadr ya Basha," said an old Egyptian waiter who stood some distance away.
  The old man looked at the black man and turned away. "Cairo … nothing changes." He paused. "I'm getting rashes from wearing this fake beard and moustache," he said in a soft voice as he gently worked the prayer beads with his right hand. "I hope that ben zonah will give me a good sheesha, or does he expect a bribe? Excuse my foul mouth, but I prefer the Hebrew word over the English one for son of a bitch. The emphasis is stronger. Everyone has to be bribed in this toilet — and they call themselves Muslims."
  Without turning, the black man replied, "Blame Nasser. Blame socialism. And we've been over this before. Hello, X … how are you, aside from your social grievances?"
  A young, curly-haired waiter carried a bottle of sheesha towards them enthusiastically. He laid the glass base down beside the Arab-speaking man and tended to the embers on the clay bulb. He then handed the tasselled pipe to the black man's neighbour with a smile. When no tip seemed forthcoming, the waiter muttered a curse and walked away.
  "See what I mean?" X growled. "They expect a bribe for everything … they haven't changed a bit. What Islam is this?" He took a deep drag on the tasselled pipe, burning a block of syrupy resin inside the clay bulb. "Hmm … this is real good. I feel much calmer now. Yes, Michael Dexter … long time indeed. How's the world treating you?"
  Dexter smiled. "As the United States ambassador to Singapore, it couldn't be better."
  Another waiter appeared and placed a glass of mint tea on the small table in front of the man in the thawb. When the waiter walked away, a fly landed on the edge of one glass. The old man stared at the glass with suspicion.
  "Have you really achieved spy drones this small?" the old man asked, a sarcastic smile on his face.
  "Why don't you swat it and find out?"
   "Think he spat into my tea?"
  "The fly?"
  "The waiter," the old man groaned. "Egyptians don't like Saudis, and if they knew who I was … should've come as a Pakistani or an Afghan." X stuck out his tongue and licked his chapped lips.
  The fly zinged off as Dexter moved forward to reach the glass of tea on the wrought-iron table. Leaning back after a sip, he replied, "Well, you chose the place. Anyway, I don't think anyone here remembers you or the Lavon Affair. Relax … your disguise has merit. I swear you could play the role of an old shepherd if not Moses himself." Dexter glanced sideways at him. "So why did you drag me all the way from Singapore?"
  "I have a mission for the CIA," X said.
  "Ignoring Mossad?" Dexter drank some more tea.
  A momentary silence. The old man laughed in the back of his throat, his mouth still tightly closed. "My Prime Minister. He's about to undergo the same thing Jesus went through," X said before drawing in the smoke. "When you talk about peace in Israel, it's doesn't mean loving thy neighbour."
  Dexter frowned. "Details."
  X sneered before picking up the prayer beads on the table. "We've been talking to the Arabs secretly." He inhaled the sheesha deeply and blew out the smoke from his nose. "The Prime Minister has held several secret talks with the PLO and Hamas. Concessions in exchange for peace."
  Dexter held his thought back: What kind of concessions? And we weren't consulted? Jesus Christ, you're going to upset my president.
  "The return of all occupied lands as well as — " X drew more smoke before continuing: "East Jerusalem and the Temple Mount." He paused to stroke the beads.
  Dexter leaned nearer to X and whispered in his ear. "Did God sanctify this?"
  X blew another plume. "Not a time for jokes, Dexter. The Arab world is changing. The climate of Islam is hovering above us. The United States can't protect us forever. We know that. So, we have to make the right decision for the survival of our people."
  "I've heard that saying before."
  "Unfortunately, those secret meetings are no longer secret. Some quarters of the Israeli government found out and want the Prime Minister expired."
  "How'd they find out?" Dexter asked.
  "Deal was brokered by the Singapore government. That little island has ambition."
  "Aha, this is getting exciting. This is why I'm here."
  "You know, Canada used to be the diplomatic heavyweight. Then the Norwegians came. Now, Brazil and Singapore have taken over. But someone in Singapore decided that piece of information was too valuable not to be shared.
  Hence, you and I are having this meeting."
  "Who's the Singaporean?"
  "Chan Boon Seng. He's the Singapore foreign ministry's chief protocol officer. He's got a scapegoat, a young Eurasian man named Jethro West, a magazine reporter in Singapore. I'll give you more details about this Eurasian when I meet Chan."
  Dexter nodded. "Who exactly in Israel wants your Prime Minister dead?
  When and where?"
  "Leave internal to us. External is Singapore when our leader makes a stopover via New York after attending the World Jewish Congress." X turned to look at Dexter. "Save him. That's what I'm asking you. Save the Eurasian too."
  "Why bother?"
  "A moral issue," X said, and smirked.
  "When did we become pious?"
  "The Arabs don't want their conscience pricked. The price of Jerusalem shouldn't be paid by the blood of an innocent. This is a very holy thing. Saladin fought for it the right way, and they want to do it right. That's the condition."
  "If it's such a big deal, I'll save the young man. He's your lagniappe."
  "My what?"
  "Back in New Orleans, if we want to sweeten a deal, we'll throw in something extra. A lagniappe."
  "I needn't tell you how quiet we want this to be."
  "As they say in Egypt, my eyes are your eyes."
  X squinted. "Ain efes. The mission mustn't fail. Thank you."
  "No," Dexter smiled. "Don't thank me. This gives us the opportunity to free our nation from bondage. The United States of America will now truly become the land of the free."
  They sat for another hour, in silence, as billows of smoke from their gurgling pipes wafted into the walls.


PART ONE
Chapter One

The military helicopter stuttered across the evening desert at an altitude of six hundred feet. Destination: Sayeret Mat'kal base, headquarters of the main Special Forces unit of the Israeli Defence Force.
  The four passengers on board included three men in desert-coloured uniforms bearing the insignia of the Israeli military, each one handpicked based on personal acquaintances and family relations. The soldiers sat through the journey without a word, rifles between their legs. The fourth man, in a white short-sleeve shirt and dark green utility pants, was Chan Boon Seng, the chief protocol officer of the Singapore Ministry of Foreign Affairs.
  Chan stared down at the desert terrain, the vast emptiness, the stage of so many wars and battles for thousands of years. It made no sense to him.
  He opened the briefcase on his lap and removed a brown file, which he opened to study its contents. He removed an A4 photograph of a young man, mid-thirties, with a face that carried a certain emotional flexibility inside an ethnically ambiguous oblong frame. He had a light skin tone, small hazel eyes, a proportionately sharp nose, and a shaggy hairstyle that drooped over his right temple.
  The folder, marked Classified, also contained a fact sheet accompanied by other support documents: school report cards, medical reports — his entire life story.
  Chan slipped the photograph back into the side folder, closed the file, and slid it back into the briefcase. He closed the case, clutching it tightly.
  The pilot spoke over the intercom to tell all passengers to buckle up. As the helicopter neared its destination, flares made shadows of camouflage tents dotting the ground. Soldiers carried Uzis, Tavor TAR 21 assault rifles, Galils, and CornerShots. Some moved in groups while others walked alone. Dozens of Magach tanks and personnel carriers lined up in rows. In one area, a group of men and women were practicing Krav Maga, an Israeli martial art that combined street-fighting methods and standard dojo moves.
  The helicopter decelerated, hovering. In a matter of minutes, Chan would meet his long-time Israeli friend, Captain Eli Aviram.
  A big, brusque man, Chan didn't give a damn whether people liked or disliked him …

— ♦ —

Khaled Talib
Photo provided courtesy of
Khaled Talib

Khaled Talib is a former journalist with local and international exposure. He has worked full time for magazines including Singapore Tatler and Egypt Today. His articles have been published and syndicated to newspapers worldwide, and his short stories have appeared in literary journals and magazines. Smokescreen was listed "Thriller of the Month" on e-thriller.com in its September 2014 issue. Khaled is a member of the UK Crime Writers Association. He resides in Singapore.

For more information about the author, please visit his website at KhaledTalibThriller.com and his author page on Goodreads, or find him on Facebook and Twitter.

— ♦ —

Smokescreen by Khaled Talib

Smokescreen
Khaled Talib
A Suspense Thriller

At an ancient café in Cairo, two veteran spies plot a covert mission to resolve — once and for all — the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. The pledge: Israel will make a major concession as part of the peace treaty.

In Singapore, Jethro Westrope, a magazine journalist, stumbles onto the scene of a murder: the beautiful Niki Kishwani directs him, in her last breath, to a digital recorder, evidence that puts Jethro's life in serious danger. And, much worse, he is framed for Niki's murder.

Jethro sets out to find Niki's killer and is drawn into a web of deception and intrigue involving officials from the Singaporean, Israeli, and American governments, each with a complex, competing, and potentially deadly agenda.

Against this pulse-pounding backdrop, Jethro races to find answers and save himself — yet nothing is as it seems. He finds himself at the centre of a political plot so diabolical and sweeping in its world implications that he is stunned to discover tomorrow's news headlines today. He is being set up not only as a murderer but as an assassin, and something much larger than his own fate is in his hands.

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A Conversation with Mystery Author and Humorist Leon Shure

Omnimystery News: Author Interview with Leon Shure
with Leon Shure

We are delighted to welcome author Leon Shure to Omnimystery News today.

Leon's new mystery is the second in his City of Brunswik series, Littlemayor (August 2014 ebook formats), an excerpt of which we'll feature later this week.

We recently had the opportunity to spend some time with Leon to talk more about his mysteries.

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Omnimystery News: You are the author of multiple series mysteries. Tell us a little more about them.

Leon Shure: I am currently writing five mystery series: (1) the Tommy Spevak and Kate Wehring mysteries, about an impaired veteran and an investigative reporter; (2), the Vanek mysteries, about a crusty and devious Chicago Police Detective; (3) the Dr. Adam Karl mysteries, about a medical doctor fighting against his fate; (4) the Cal Hodges mysteries, about a law firm investigator who is haunted by his past, and (5) the City of Brunswik mysteries, which are tales of political skullduggery.

My characters vary in age and ethnic backgrounds and each series has its own continuing cast of characters. They run the gamut from good to murderous. My main characters are not extraordinary geniuses and, sometimes, are even bad detectives. They are just people caught up in mysteries they can't avoid. Whatever happens to my main character, he or she must really use all their resources, while trying to keep their objectivity, not to mention their sanity. Each has an unusual and unique way of looking at life. They all have a sense of humor and irony. Sometimes romance is possible, but that is not my main concern.

Probably my most unique character is Dr. Adam Karl, a neurologist who struggles against perceptual problems and a difficult family history. His mysteries have received the best reviews, earning five stars.

Also, I write in another genre, humor. My tweet collections #Conversationstoppers: Puns, Non Sequiturs and Impossible Scenarios have been the most popular of my books.

I don't really see my books of puns as being separate from my other work. All my books have a significant amount of word play, and my book titles sometimes are puns, as in the book, Deep Lucy which is "deep blue sea." My next published book will be entitled Isle of Few.

OMN: All of your books are set in the North Shore area of Chicago. Why is that?

LS: I suppose I'm just fascinated with the North Shore area. It is diverse, but mostly, the North Shore is a place of wealth that has had great impact on the nation as a whole. How the best and the brightest from all ethnic and social backgrounds become part of the North Shore is one of the main themes of my books.

I went to school at Northwestern University, which is in Evanston, Illinois, one of Chicago's North Shore suburbs. The Evanston of my recurring dreams has become the imaginary typical North Shore suburb of Brunswik.

The North Shore is, of course, at the southern tip of Lake Michigan.

OMN: With so many series, have there been any cross-over characters?

LS: Usually the main character stays in his or her own series, but many of my books have characters who have appeared before.

Some of the secondary characters, especially Detective Berringer and his reporter wife, seem to pop up in the various other series and, by popular demand, became the lead characters in Audition for Murder, the first in the City of Brunswik series. Another example is Officer Marcus Smith, who first appears in the Detective Vanek series and becomes the partner of Detective Berringer in Audition for Murder and Littlemayor.

A reader can start with any of my books or with any series. Each book is complete in itself. If information from past books is needed as background for a character, I'm careful to reintroduce these facts. Also, I try to specify in the book blurbs who is returning, so the reader, if he or she wants, can continue reading about a favorite character from series to series.

OMN: The recurring character of your City of Brunswik series is a woman. Do you feature both men and women as leads?

LS: Yes. My female characters are strong, resolute, and intelligent. They are as fully presented as possible and are a combination of the wonderful women I've known in my life. There are always clashes of sensibilities and problems that must be resolved. Romance is not their main concern but sometimes can't be avoided.

OMN: How do you categorize your books within the mystery genre?

LS: I consider my books to be police procedurals with a bit of thriller and cozy thrown in for good measure. The Kate Wehring books and the Dr. Karl books have subplots that often depend on possible, not so far-fetched, scientific discoveries, which may feasibly occur in the near future.

OMN: How much of your own personal or professional experience have you included in your books?.

LS: I have worked as both a reporter and a lawyer. As such, I've met many people, all of whom live on in various ways in my imagination. None of the characters are actual people I knew, but I may have put together some traits from several people to form characters.

OMN: Tell us a little more about your writing process.

LS: I have been writing full time since January 2009. I produce about three books a year. I write a first draft, then put it aside while I write the next book. When I've completed that second book, I edit the first draft and publish.

I am very disciplined about writing each day, seven days a week. I write whether I'm happy or sad, sick or well, in crisis or not. I do not wait for inspiration, but muddle through. Productivity is obviously not one of my problems. I use Scrivener, which, I think, is the best writing program.
My plots are often drawn from the newspapers, after these stories are chewed and spit out by my imagination.

OMN: asdf

LS: I try to alternate series. Since I write so much, the reader can count on my publishing the next book in a series in a little more than a year. I can't promise I won't start new series, but I aim to give the readers some continuity in the others.

My next book, already in first draft, is a new Kate Wehring book, which I expect to publish around Christmas. I'm working now on a first draft of Bursting Baubles, a Cal Hodges mystery.

— ♦ —

Leon Shure is a life-long resident of the Chicago area, and has lived both in the city and in the North and Northwest suburbs. A bachelors and masters graduate of Northwestern University's Medill School of Journalism, Shure worked for the Lerner Newspapers (a chain of weeklies in the city); the Day Newspapers, a suburban daily newspaper chain owned by Field Enterprises, now the Chicago Sun-Times; and Paddock Publications, a chain of daily newspapers in the Northwest suburbs, where he worked as a police reporter. He received the Jacob Sher Award for Outstanding Investigative Reporting.

As a lawyer, Shure served as an attorney for a Federal Agency and has held elective office in local governments.

He is married and has two children.

For more information about the author, please find him Twitter.

— ♦ —

Littlemayor by Leon Shure

Littlemayor
Leon Shure
A City of Brunswik Mystery

Tiny but feisty Mayor Maggie Wellington finds her life and political career threatened when a developer of a shopping mall goes missing and an alderman dies in an arson.

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