Thursday, February 03, 2011

A&E Developing Boston-based Crime Drama Overload

Telemystery: Mystery and Suspense on Television

Deadline|Hollywood is reporting that A&E is potentially adding to its slate of prime time crime series, developing Overload, a crime drama set in Boston and featuring a female detective blessed -- and cursed -- with hyper-acute senses.

John Pogue (Ghost Ship, The Skulls, U.S. Marshals) and Irwin Winkler (The Mechanic, the Rocky films) are behind the project.

USA Network Announces Season Premiere Dates for Law & Order: CI and In Plain Sight

Telemystery: Mystery and Suspense on Television

Mark your calendars! USA Network has announced that the tenth (and final) season of Law & Order: Criminal Intent will premiere on Sunday, May 1st at 9 PM (ET/PT). The legal crime drama stars Vincent D'Onofrio as Detective Robert Green and Kathryn Erbe as his partner, Detective Alexandra Eames.

An hour later the fourth season of In Plain Sight, which stars Mary McCormack as US Marshal Mary Shannon, premieres.

OMN Welcomes William Topek, Author of Shadow of a Distant Morning

Omnimystery News: Authors on Tour

Omnimystery News is delighted to welcome William Topek as our guest blogger. His first mystery, Shadow of a Distant Morning (ireadiwrite Publishing, November 2010 eBook, 978-1-926760-48-3), set in 1934 Kansas City, introduces private investigator Devlin Caine.

Today, William writes about "Bringing the Past to Life Without Killing Your Story." And he's also providing our readers with an opportunity to win a copy of his book. Visit Mystery Book Contests, click on the "William Topek: Shadow of a Distant Morning" contest link, enter your name, e-mail address, and this code (5367) for a chance to win! (One entry per person; contest ends 02/17/2011.)

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There's really only one rule to the art of storytelling: make the audience want to know what happens next. When writing fiction, naturally you should be concerned with such things as character development, story structure, pacing and plot. In the end, though, if the reader wants to keep going with your story, wants to know what happens next, it means you've already done your job addressing these things. A story must flow, and the key here is to keep from jarring the reader out of this flow with flat, dull characters, unbelievable plot points, incoherent writing, plodding description, or anything else that breaks the narrative. Readers will forgive a lot for a good story, but a good storyteller seeks rapt attention, not forgiveness.

Setting a story in the past adds an additional challenge to keeping the flow going. To bring a past era alive and make it relatable to a modern audience, you must authentically and accurately recreate that period. Nothing will jar a reader out of a story faster than a blatant anachronism. If your story includes a doctor in the 1950s who pauses to look at his digital watch, you've just slammed yourself down into the lowest ranks of amateurism. While in some cases only expert historians might catch the mistakes you make, you may be writing about a more recent past, known well by people alive today. And frankly, don't the more knowledgeable among us also deserve to enjoy an engaging, well-written story free of glaring errors?

I decided that for my first novel I wanted to write an old-style, private detective story, a throwback to the hard-boiled, noirish works of Dashiell Hammett and Raymond Chandler. An atmospheric narrative filled with complex characters and surprising, even shocking, revelations. The result was Shadow of a Distant Morning, a novel set in 1934 and featuring Devlin Caine, a WWI veteran and former Pinkerton's operative now working as a private detective in Kansas City. Along with all the usual labors involved in writing a novel, I had to do a great deal of research about the period. I chose 1934 at random. I knew I wanted a Thirties/Forties-era private eye, and figured that if I wanted to write more novels featuring that character (and I do), it might be better to start farther back. As it turned out, 1934 was a particularly eventful year for the world, for America, and for Kansas City.

The first step was to ask myself: what do I need to know about this period to write an authentic, convincing novel? The obvious answer was: everything I could. What local, national, and world events were going on at that time, things that everyday people were talking about? In what media were these events being reported? What technology was in use at that time? How did people dress and speak? Who were the celebrities of the period? What brand-name products were available then? How much did things cost in 1934? What well-known landmarks should be referenced? What were some of the more popular songs and movies of the day? What makes and models of cars were being driven? What was the political and economic climate like in Kansas City a few years into the Great Depression?

This is not an article on how to do research. Research is like writing in that there are as many individual approaches to it as there are researchers. Obviously, the single most helpful resource these days is the internet, and any writer should be supremely grateful to live in a time when such an incredibly powerful tool is available. I have a newfound respect for writers who did this kind of thing using only public libraries, telephones, and legwork (and manual typewriters, while we're at it). Some years ago I attended a lecture given by renowned fantasy author Ray Bradbury. He told us how he wrote his classic novel Fahrenheit 451: by feeding dimes into a coin-operated typewriter in the basement of a library, then taking breaks to head up to the stacks and locate classic literary works he wished to reference. I could have visited a dozen libraries while researching my novel, spent far more time with printed reference material, and still not uncovered as much useful, specific information as I found online.

Not that I relied exclusively on my own internet search skills. I had a friend assist me with general material from the period as well as specific odds and ends I asked for. He was able to provide advertising materials from the time, various historical tidbits, and the make and model of Devlin Caine's favored handgun. From eBay, I acquired a street map of 1934 Kansas City. I contacted a staff member at the Nelson-Atkins Museum of Art (which had just opened the year before my novel takes place) and was able to learn of a specific exhibit being shown at the time. Having lived in the area years earlier, I arranged a return visit to Kansas City and spent a pleasant Sunday afternoon photographing various historical landmarks downtown. I decorated a bulletin board in my office with printed photos to inspire me – the buildings I'd photographed, automobiles mentioned in the novel, and two group photos: one of plainclothes detectives on the KC police force in 1934 and another of the Kansas City Monarchs, a regional baseball team from the Negro National League. While I usually prefer to write in a quiet environment, I sometimes listened to songs from that year that I'd purchased and downloaded from iTunes.

I don't think I've ever wanted to time travel so badly in my life. What I wouldn't have given for just one week in 1934 Kansas City. Sit in the diners, visit the nightclubs, walk the streets and observe how people dressed, spoke, and behaved. So I did the next best thing: I watched films from the period. I sat with a legal pad while viewing the classic 1931 gangster film, The Public Enemy with James Cagney, taking four pages of notes on speech patterns, slang expressions (Yes, people did say “What's up?” back then), technology, and anything else that caught my eye. I reread works from the period (Hammett, Chandler, and James M. Cain among them), keeping an eye toward the same details. One of my goals was to write a novel that actually could have been published in 1934. Also, I didn't want the protagonist looking back on the story as a memory from some future vantage point, desiring instead to give the story a stronger sense of immediacy. For these reasons, I was careful with the language. Nothing too explicit, and I avoided to the best of my ability using expressions that didn't exist back then (“blue-collar” and “for the birds” had to be dropped from the first draft).

Okay, so you have all this information, never enough but more than you should be able to use if you're any kind of researcher. How do you work it into your story? And how much is too much? As my novel is told in the first person, it was natural to have a lot of internal monologue, Caine's thoughts as he goes over the events of the day in his head. As a private detective, he's no stranger to doing research himself. He visits the library, reads the newspapers and magazines of the day, and listens to the radio (I was fortunate to find an article from an October 1934 issue of Time magazine, as well as an article about FDR's fireside chat given the day before the novel opens). And, of course, Caine interacts with other characters. A lot of authentic detail can be given in the natural context of conversations, interviews, etc.

I don't consider Shadow of a Distant Morning to fit the criteria of an historical novel. My protagonist does not participate in well-known, real-world events of the time, nor does he interact with actual historical figures. The events in the novel and the characters who populate it are entirely creations of my imagination. Nonetheless, I needed a sufficient amount of detail to make both the setting and the story accurate and believable. Many people outside Kansas City are unaware of the area's rich mob history, particularly in the Thirties. I was surprised to find that KC's head mobster was assassinated in the very year my story takes place (a fact I was able to work subtly into the plot). Indeed, 1934 was a banner year for public enemies in general. Bonnie and Clyde, John Dillinger, Pretty Boy Floyd, and Baby Face Nelson were all gunned down that year (note to certain filmmakers: and in that order). At that time, Kansas City also had a political boss, one of the most powerful in the nation. This person was instrumental in starting Harry S Truman along a political path that eventually led him to the presidency.

Clearly, a novel should not read like a history thesis. A novel is a story, and in a story, well, things should happen. You don't need to put in every detail of your research, citing specific dates, listing every fact, giving the complete history of an event or person. While occasionally some information is helpful to establish a setting or plot device, or is just interesting stuff to know (people do appreciate learning new things), don't clog down the story in your eagerness to show off how much work you did. That's as bad as using long, cumbersome sentences and esoteric vocabulary just to show off your knowledge of English. Make the story flow naturally. How do you converse with your spouse, friends, or workmates about current events or movies or a new restaurant opening? The characters in your story should do so in the same way.

An interesting side-effect to delving into the past is that you'll begin to notice similarities to life in the present day. At first the differences will manifest themselves. Readers will connect the details you provide with their own images of similarly placed novels, films, and photographs. They'll begin to see the world at that time in which you're writing. But as the old adage says, the more things change, the more they stay the same. Readers will begin to notice the ways in which your past setting reflects their modern world. In 1934, America was still reeling from the Great Depression. Ruthless business moguls and other speculators, unhindered by concepts of responsible use or limitation of any sort, essentially gutted the stock market, and the nation spiraled into an unprecedented economic collapse. A Democratic administration pushed for stricter regulation, establishing large-scale social programs and other emergency measures to keep things from getting worse, while the rich and powerful railed against this veering away from an entirely free market. Sound familiar? And, of course, people in any age work, eat, dream, fall in love, and generally try to make their lives better. Not too surprising that any age starts to feel familiar.

When used judiciously, historical detail will lend authenticity to your novel without slowing down or otherwise taking away from the story. There are several historical details in my novel that I don't expect most readers to notice, or to care about if they do. Kansas City's police force did install two-way radios in their squad cars in 1934. The World Series really did go all seven games that year, and the scores of individual games – where they appear in the novel – are reported accurately. The moon really was waning when Caine looked at it (I checked the NASA records). Apart from the fictitious Maxie's Diner and a bar named Lonnigan's, all other named locations used in the novel are, or were, real ones. Such details may add an extra level of verisimilitude for those in the know, but they won't detract from the action for those unfamiliar or uninterested.

Are there historical inaccuracies in my novel? Almost certainly; a lone researcher can only do so much, and a researcher is only as good as his or her sources. And in this age of instant communication, mistakes are identified and brought to the surface faster than ever. There are hordes of internet users whose very reason for living seems to be the gleeful finding and touting of errors. I don't believe a writer should be daunted by this. For one thing, such scrutiny helps keep us all honest, and reasonable readers will recognize and appreciate the difference between a particularly arcane slip and a writer who was too lazy to get basic facts straight. Apart from all that, there's something inherently flattering about having your work pored over with such attentiveness.

So, the basic formula for authentically recreating the past in a naturalistic way? Figure out what you need to know, find out more than you need to know, and apply such knowledge as necessary to establish and enrich both setting and story. And do so in as realistic and flowing a manner as possible. Like any other aspect of good writing, this is hard work. The result, however, will be a quality piece of fiction that is richly satisfying for both the writer and, hopefully, the reader.

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Shadow of a Distant Morning by William Topek
More information about the book

About Shadow of a Distant Morning: Kansas City, 1934. Devlin Caine, a WWI veteran and former Pinkerton’s operative, is hired by a wealthy industrialist to check out a potential business partner. The job is simple and the money good, but for Caine, it’s a short step from checking public records to being roughed up in a back alley. Clearly there are things the client neglected to mention, such as Caine’s predecessor on the job being found in the Missouri River with a slug in his chest.

When the man Caine is investigating turns up murdered as well, Caine finds himself in the middle of a power struggle between his client, a competing industrialist, and a local underworld boss — all after a coded notebook Caine found in the dead man’s hotel room. Desperate to unlock the mystery of the notebook (and to protect his client’s beautiful young daughter), Caine plays the three men against each other in an effort to buy time. He knows only one of the three rivals can win this battle, and backing the wrong side will cost lives, starting with his own.

Shadow of a Distant Morning is available in popular eBook formats including Kindle Edition and NookBook.

For a chance to win a copy of Shadow of a Distant Morning, courtesy of William Topek, visit Mystery Book Contests, click on the "William Topek: Shadow of a Distant Morning" contest link, enter your name, e-mail address, and this code (5367) for a chance to win! (One entry per person; contest ends 02/17/2011.)

Murder à la Mode by G. A. McKevett is Today's Featured Free Kindle Mystery

MystereBooks: Mystery, Suspense, and Thriller eBooks

MystereBooks is pleased to feature a mystery title that is currently available in Kindle eBook format for free from Amazon.com. We don't know how long it will be offered at this special price (typically only until a certain number of downloads have been completed), so download it today!

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Murder à la Mode by G. A. McKevett
More Information About Murder à la Mode by G. A. McKevett

Murder à la Mode by G. A. McKevett
A Savannah Reid Mystery (10th in series)
Kensington (Kindle eBook)
Download Link

About Murder à la Mode (from the publisher): Voluptuous P.I. Savannah Reid's cravings for tasty treats come second only to her appetite for adventure. Of course, every girl needs a little down time, and when things are quiet, Savannah loves nothing more than to curl up in bed with a box of chocolates, a steaming Irish coffee topped with whipped cream, and an even steamier romance novel -- preferably one with Lance Roman on the cover. He's everything she's ever wanted in a man: hunky, handsome, and oh-so-sexy. But when she gets the chance to compete for a date with Lance on a reality TV show, Man of My Dreams, her dream-come-true quickly turns into a nightmare.

Read the first chapter(s) of Murder à la Mode below. Use the Aa button to adjust the display settings (font size, line spacing, word density).

Wednesday, February 02, 2011

CBS Renews NCIS for 9th Season

NCIS (CBS)

In what can hardly be called news, CBS has officially renewed its hit series NCIS for ninth season. (It would be news if it hadn't done so! This week's episode achieved its highest ratings ever, beating ABC, Fox, NBC, and The CW combined in viewers.)

Mark Harmon, who plays Special Agent Leroy Jethro Gibbs on the show, signed a two-year extension to his contract, which was set to expire this May.

Mercy Kill by Lori Armstrong (Mystery Book Review)

Mercy Kill by Lori Armstrong
More information about the book

Mercy Kill by Lori Armstrong. A Mercy Gunderson Mystery. Touchstone Trade Paperback, January 2011.

This hard-hitting suspense novel is populated with hard-edged characters, the remote South Dakota setting just about ideal. The mystery surrounding the dead man -- why him, why there, why now -- is well-plotted. The most significant drawback (for some readers) will be the pervasive use of R-rated language by most of the characters.

Read the full text of our review at Mysterious Reviews: Mercy Kill by Lori Armstrong.

Purchase Options: Amazon.com Print Edition | Amazon.com Kindle Edition | Barnes&Noble NookBook | Kobo eBook

Read the first chapter(s) of Mercy Kill below. Use the Aa settings button to adjust text size, line spacing, and word density.

Paramount Tries Again with New Screenwriter for Jack Ryan Film

The Jack Ryan Collection
More information about the DVD

We haven't heard too much recently about the reboot of the Jack Ryan series, based on a character created by Tom Clancy and previously played by three actors (Alec Baldwin, Harrison Ford, Ben Affleck) in four films (The Hunt for Red October 1990, Patriot Games 1992, Clear and Present Danger 1994, The Sum of All Fears 2002).

We know that Chris Pine will assume the role if and when a movie is made, but Paramount, which owns the film rights to the character, seems to be having a tough time coming up with a suitable script. Deadline|New York has the latest news (together with a brief summary of previous attempts to get the project going): Steve Zaillian has been brought in to rewrite (maybe even write from scratch) a screenplay that will feature a pre-CIA Jack Ryan. Unlike the previous films, which were all adapted from Clancy novels, this will be an original story.

Zaillian is familiar with the character (he wrote the screenplay for Clear and Present Danger), and most recently completed the script for The Girl with Dragon Tattoo, the English-language adaptation of the popular Stieg Larsson thriller.

The studio hopes to begin production sooner than later as Chris Pine is also committed to the sequel to 2009's Star Trek, which has a tentative 2012 release date.

The Nearest Exit by Olen Steinhauer, A Milo Weaver Thriller

The Mystery Bookshelf: Discover a Library of New Mysteries

The Mystery Bookshelf, where you can discover a library of new mysteries, is pleased to feature a new mystery series title we recently received from the publisher.

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The Nearest Exit by Olen Steinhauer
A Milo Weaver Thriller (2nd in series)
Minotaur Books (Trade Paperback)
Publication Date: February 2011
ISBN-13: 978-0-312-62288-6

The Nearest Exit by Olen Steinhauer
More Information About The Nearest Exit by Olen Steinhauer

About The Nearest Exit (from the publisher): Now faced with the end of his quiet, settled life, reluctant spy Milo Weaver has no choice but to turn back to his old job as a “tourist.” Before he can get back to the CIA’s dirty work, he has to prove his loyalty to his new bosses, who know little of Milo’s background and less about who is really pulling the strings in the government above the Department of Tourism — or in the outside world, which is beginning to believe the legend of its existence. Milo is suddenly in a dangerous position, between right and wrong, between powerful self-interested men, between patriots and traitors — especially as a man who has nothing left to lose.

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About Olen Steinhauer: Raised in Virginia, the two-time Edgar Award finalist has since lived in Georgia, Mississippi, Pennsylvania, Texas, California, Massachusetts, and New York. Outside the US, he's lived in Croatia (when it was called Yugoslavia), the Czech Republic and Italy. He also spent a year in Romania on a Fulbright grant, an experience that helped inspire his first five books. He now lives in Hungary with his wife and daughter. Visit his website at OlenSteinhauer.com.

Read the first chapters of The Nearest Exit below. Use the Aa settings button to adjust text size, line spacing, and word density.

Bantam Acquires Comic Book / Graphic Novel Rights to A Song of Fire and Ice Novels by George R. R. Martin

A Game of Thrones by George R. R. Martin
More information about the book

HBO is doing a made-for-television series adaptation of A Game of Thrones, the first in the "A Song of Ice and Fire" fantasy thrillers by George R. R. Martin. Now Entertainment Weekly is reporting that Bantam has acquired the graphic novel/comic book rights to the books. Dynamite Entertainment will issue the comic books, to be collected later in a volume to be published by Bantam.

Adapted by Daniel Abraham (who has also written graphic novel adaptations of Martin's "Wild Cards" anthology series) and illustrated by Tommy Paterson, the first issue is due out later this spring.

Set in a land where summers span decades and winters can last a lifetime, the struggle for the Iron Throne has begun. It will stretch from the south, where heat breeds plots, lusts and intrigues; to the vast and savage eastern lands; all the way to the frozen north, where an 800-foot wall of ice protects the kingdom from the dark forces that lie beyond. Kings and Queens, knights and renegades, liars, lords and honest men ... all will play the Game of Thrones.

We've previously posted a trailer for the HBO series, which begins April 17th. You can read the first chapter(s) of A Game of Thrones below. Use the Aa settings button to adjust text size, line spacing, and word density.

Warner Bros. Options Series of Fletch Novels by Gregory Mcdonald

Fletch by Gregory Mcdonald
More information about the book

The Hollywood Reporter is reporting that Warner Bros. has picked up the film rights to the Fletch series of mysteries by Gregory Mcdonald. The first book in the series, Fletch, originally published in 1974, served as the basis for the 1985 Chevy Chase film Fletch and its 1989 sequel.

The studio is looking to "reimagine" the series, not remake the movies.

In the first book, Irwin "Fletch" Fletcher is an investigative reporter, whose methods are a little unorthodox. Currently he's living on the beach with the strung-out trying to find to the source of the drugs they live for. He's taking more than a little flack from his editor. She doesn't appreciate his style. Or the expense account items he's racking up. Or his definition of the word deadline. So when multimillionaire Alan Stanwyk offers Fletch the job of a lifetime, which could be worth a fortune, he's intrigued and decides to do a little investigation. What he discovers is that the proposition is anything but what it seems.

In 1975, Fletch won the Edgar Award for Best First Novel. Two years later, its sequel, Confess, Fletch, won for Best Paperback Original.

You can read the first chapter(s) of Fletch below. Use the Aa settings button to adjust text size, line spacing, and word density.

NBC Cuts The Cape to 10 Episodes

The Cape (NBC)

NBC has cut its order of its struggling crime drama The Cape from 13 episodes to 10, clearly signalling the end of the series. The last episode is now scheduled to air on Monday, February 28th.

David Lyons stars as Vince Faraday, an honest cop on a corrupt police force, who becomes "The Cape" -- his son's favorite comic book superhero -- and takes the law into his own hands when he finds himself framed for a series of murders and presumed dead.

The conspiracy thriller The Event will return from its long hiatus -- the most recent first-run episode aired last November -- the following week in its timeslot.

The CW Orders Crime Drama Pilot Featuring Two Best Friends Forever

The CW

The CW cable network announced yesterday it had ordered four series pilots, one of which (given our interest in crime dramas) is Cooper and Stone, described as featuring two young women, best friends, adept at discussing fashion, music, and pop culture, and -- oh by the way -- are homicide cops on Chicago's north side.

The other pilots are for Awakening (two sisters face off during a zombie uprising), Hart of Dixie (young doctor inherits a medical practice in a small Southern town), and Heavenly (attorney works with an angel in a legal aid clinic).

Tuesday, February 01, 2011

Summit Acquires Film Rights to Soon-to-be-Published Thriller This Dark Endeavor by Kenneth Oppel

This Dark Endeavor by Kenneth Oppel
More information about the book

Deadline|New York is reporting that Summit Entertainment has picked up the film rights to This Dark Endeavor by Kenneth Oppel. Subtitled "The Apprenticeship of Victor Frankenstein", the thriller is scheduled to be published this August.

In a nod to Mary Shelley's classic book Frankenstein, This Dark Endeavor acts as prequel. Victor and Konrad are the twin brothers Frankenstein. They are nearly inseparable. Growing up, their lives are filled with imaginary adventures ... until the day their adventures turn all too real. They stumble upon The Dark Library, and secret books of alchemy and ancient remedies are discovered. Their father forbids that they ever enter the room again, but this only piques Victor's curiosity more. When Konrad falls gravely ill, Victor is not be satisfied with the various doctors his parents have called in to help. He is drawn back to The Dark Library where he uncovers an ancient formula for the Elixir of Life. Determination and the unthinkable outcome of losing his brother spur Victor on in the quest for the three ingredients that will save Konrad's life.

Harlequin Worldwide Mystery Titles for February 2011

Harlequin Mysteries

eHarlequin.com has announced the February 2011 titles for their Worldwide Mystery imprint, your partner in crime. Amateur sleuths, traditional cozies, police procedurals and private-eye fiction, written by award-winning authors. For more information or to purchase any of the books below, click on the book title or book cover. (Previous months titles can be found on the backlist page.)

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A Deadly Hand by Carol Costa
Buy the Book!

A Deadly Hand by Carol Costa
A Dana Sloan Mystery (1st in series)

When a retired Chicago reporter dies under mysterious circumstances in a nursing home, investigative journalist Dana Sloan takes it personally. Dana's editor—who'd considered the ex-newswoman both a mentor and friend—believes the woman had stumbled upon a big story just before her death. So Dana decides to go undercover as a desk clerk at Peaceful Pines to find out what the elderly lady knew that got her killed.

What she discovers is big—and shocking. Not only does the posh seniors' facility have a connection to a powerful politician with a dirty little secret, but Dana also finds clues that seem to be related to a wave of serial murders. Could the deadly figure known as the Royal Flush Killer be roaming the halls of Peaceful Pines?

Dana might just have the scoop of a lifetime—if it doesn't get her killed first.

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The Montauk Steps by Diane Sawyer
Buy the Book!

The Montauk Steps by Diane Sawyer
Non-series

Photojournalist Lilli Masters is hired to do a photo shoot for the Labor Day festivities in the Long Island resort town of Grayrocks. When checking into the Baywatch Inn, she learns two female guests have gone missing. Immediately intrigued, and using her eye for detail, Lilli begins to follow their trail—into danger.

The historic area is home to an old Indian ceremonial site called the Montauk Steps, where ancient ways and new perils are about to merge. Lilli starts piecing together clues using her photos of this hauntingly beautiful locale, even as acts of violence and sabotage follow her. Though she finds an unexpected ally in a vacationing police detective, not even he can keep her safe from a dangerous mind with an eye for murder. Lilli must make a choice—run, hide or move in for a close-up with the killer.

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Double Deception by Dorothy P. O'Neill
Buy the Book!

Double Deception by Dorothy P. O'Neill
A Liz Rooney Mystery (1st in series)

A medical examiner's assistant with a passion for crime solving, Liz Rooney is fascinated by the sensational murder of a rich playboy. Someone poisoned the handsome aristocrat in his lavish penthouse apartment. The police swiftly arrest the man's longtime butler, suspecting he hastened his employer's demise—and his own sizeable inheritance—with a deadly cup of coffee.

Liz, though, wonders about a gorgeous woman who was seen leaving the victim's apartment. It seems the mystery lady was not the billionaire's current girlfriend, but a model he'd dallied with while away on business. Did the scorned beauty refuse to accept "it's over" by killing her lover? Liz suspects so. Until she makes a bizarre discovery on a gurney in her morgue that changes everything. Liz must piece together a crime of lust and betrayal—where passion can be lethal.

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The Baker Street Letters by Michael Robertson, A Reggie Heath Mystery

The Mystery Bookshelf: Discover a Library of New Mysteries

The Mystery Bookshelf, where you can discover a library of new mysteries, is pleased to feature a new mystery series title we recently received from the publisher.

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The Baker Street Letters by Michael Robertson
A Reggie Heath Mystery (1st in series)
Minotaur Books (Trade Paperback)
Publication Date: February 2011
ISBN-13: 978-0-312-65064-3

The Baker Street Letters by Michael Robertson
More Information About The Baker Street Letters by Michael Robertson

About The Baker Street Letters (from the publisher): In Los Angeles, a geological surveyor maps out a proposed subway route — and then goes missing. His eight-year-old daughter, in her desperation, turns to the one person she thinks might help — he writes a letter to Sherlock Holmes.

That letter creates an uproar at 221b Baker Street, which now houses the law offices of attorney and man about town Reggie Heath and his hapless brother, Nigel. Instead of filing the letter like he’s supposed to, Nigel decides to investigate. Soon he’s flying off to Los Angeles, inconsiderately leaving a very dead body on the floor in his office. Big brother Reggie follows Nigel to California, as does Reggie’s sometime lover, Laura — a quick-witted stage actress who’s captured the hearts of both brothers.

When Nigel is arrested, Reggie must use all his wits to solve a case that Sherlock Holmes would have savored.

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About Michael Robertson: The author works for a large company with branches in the United States and England. He lives in Southern California, where he attended law school and worked in educational publishing. The television rights to The Baker Street Letters, his first novel, have been sold to Warner Bros.

Read the first chapters of The Baker Street Letters below. Use the Aa settings button to adjust text size, line spacing, and word density.

 

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