Tuesday, May 01, 2012

Firsts on the 1st: New Series Characters Being Introduced in May 2012 Mysteries

New Hardcover Mysteries from the Hidden Staircase Mystery Books

The Hidden Staircase Mystery Books recently updated its list of May 2012 hardcover mysteries as well as shelved new May paperbacks on The Mystery Bookshelf.

In this series of monthly posts, which we call Firsts on the 1st, we're introducing readers to new series characters who will make their mysterious American debut in print during May.

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Vultures at Twilight by Charles Atkins
Print and/or Kindle Edition

Title: Vultures at Twilight
Author: Charles Atkins
Series Characters: Lil Campbell and Ada Strauss
Format: Hardcover

What we know about the characters: Lil Campbell and Ada Strauss are long-time friends and neighbors in Grenville, Connecticut.

Their first case: Something wicked has come to Grenville Connecticut, a town famous for antiques and the systematic fleecing of its well-heeled elders as they down-size, sicken and die. Clearly, someone is unhappy with the status quo as high-end antique dealers are being murdered in gruesome — yet fitting — ways.

When a severed finger shows up at the Friday night auction, unlikely heroines Lil Campbell and Ada Strauss have to wonder — where's the rest of the body? A question that leads to festering small-town secrets, and the unraveling of a mystery that shows all is not well in a town famed for its postcard perfect New England charm.

For Lil and Ada the murders take a personal turn as unspeakable accusations are raised against Lil's dead husband and she becomes the focus of the killer's rage. And to make things worse — or better — the two friends are forced to confront powerful feelings for one another that threaten their idyllic lives.

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Brownies and Broomsticks by Bailey Cates
Print and/or Kindle Edition

Title: Brownies and Broomsticks
Author: Bailey Cates
Series Character: Katie Lightfoot, Magical Bakery
Format: Mass Market Paperback

What we know about the character: Katie Lightfoot is a professional baker in Savannah (Georgia).

Her first case: Katie Lightfoot's tired of loafing around as the assistant manager of an Ohio bakery. So when her aunt Lucy and uncle Ben open a bakery in Savannah's quaint downtown district and ask Katie to join them, she enthusiastically agrees.

While working at the Honeybee Bakery — named after Lucy's cat — Katie notices that her aunt is adding mysterious herbs to her recipes. Turns out these herbal enhancements aren't just tasty — Aunt Lucy is a witch and her recipes are actually spells!

When a curmudgeonly customer is murdered outside the Honeybee Bakery, Uncle Ben becomes the prime suspect. With the help of handsome journalist Steve Dawes, charming firefighter Declan McCarthy, and a few spells, Katie and Aunt Lucy stir up some toil and trouble to clear Ben's name and find the real killer.

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Frozen Moment by Camilla Ceder
Print and/or Kindle Edition

Title: Frozen Moment
Author: Camilla Ceder
Series Character: Christian Tell
Format: Trade Paperback

What we know about the character: Christian Tell is a Swedish police inspector.

His first case: One December morning in a small rural town on the Swedish coast, Ake Melkersson is on his way to work when his car breaks down. He spots a garage nearby, but as he approaches he realizes something is wrong. The owner of the garage lies dead, sprawled on the ground, his lower body crushed where a car has repeatedly driven over him.

The murder investigation is led by Inspector Christian Tell, known as something of a lone wolf, but he has very few clues to go on and the deceased's wife is out of the country on holiday.

Cut to 10 years earlier — Maya Granith is living at a college for troubled teenagers after escaping her shattered home and her neurotic mother. But when an older student takes an overbearing interest in her things begin to go wrong. Back in the present, another murder occurs when a man is shot in the head; again his body is driven over several times. Tell is becoming increasingly involved with a reporter but their relationship is complicated — especially when aspects of the case remind the reporter of someone she knew who went missing 10 years earlier.

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Rally 'Round the Corpse by Hy Conrad
Print and/or Kindle Edition

Title: Rally 'Round the Corpse
Author: Hy Conrad
Series Character: Amy Abel
Format: Trade Paperback

What we know about the character: Amy Abel owns a travel agency specializing in adventure.

Her first case: It's two years since her fiancé's death. Amy Abel needs to start over. And what better way for a shy, risk-averse woman to start than to sink all her savings into a travel agency specializing in adventure. Her first project? A mystery road rally through the European countryside.

At the starting line in Monte Carlo, Amy finds herself attracted to Marcus Alvarez, the most mysterious of her two dozen game-loving clients. But the rally gets off to a rocky start when an eccentric writer, the only person who knows the game's solution, is himself murdered back in New York.

So who would kill a harmless mystery geek? And why are weird accidents beginning to happen along the way? To her horror, Amy discovers that this fictional mystery was based on a real, unsolved case, one that Marcus knows too much about. Now she has no choice but to join forces with Fanny, her domineering mother, and solve this on her own, before the killer strikes again.

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The Big Kitty by Claire Donally
Print and/or Kindle Edition

Title: The Big Kitty
Author: Claire Donally
Series Character: Sunny Coolidge
Format: Mass Market Paperback

What we know about the character: Sunny Coolidge is a former New York City newspaper reporter, now living in Maine with her cat Shadow.

Her first case: Sunny Coolidge left her New York City newspaper job to go back to Maine and take care of her ailing father. But there's not much excitement — or interesting work — in Kittery Harbor. So when Ada Spruance, the town's elderly cat lady, asks for help finding her supposedly-winning lottery ticket, Sunny agrees. But when she arrives at Ada's, with a stray tomcat named Shadow tagging along, they discover the poor woman dead at the bottom of her stairs. Was it an accident — or did Ada's death have to do with that missing lottery ticket, which turns out to be worth six million dollars?

Town Constable Will Price suspects the worst. And Sunny's reporter instincts soon drive her to do some investigating of her own. Even Shadow seems to have a nose for detective work. Following the trail of the purrloined ticket, Sunny and Shadow try to shed some light on a killer's dark motives — before their own numbers are up …

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Flat Spin by David Freed
Print and/or Kindle Edition

Title: Flat Spin
Author: David Freed
Series Character: Cordell Logan
Format: Hardcover

What we know about the character: Cordell Logan is a flight instructor with dwindling savings and a shadowy past.

His first case: Based in sunny Rancho Bonita — "California's Monaco" as the city's moneyed minions like to call it — Cordell Logan is a literate, sardonic flight instructor and aspiring Buddhist. When his beautiful ex-wife, Savannah, shows up out of the blue to tell him that her husband has been murdered in Los Angeles, Logan is quietly pleased. Savannah's late husband, after all, is Arlo Echevarria, the man she left Logan for.

Logan and Echevarria were once comrades-in-arms assigned to a top-secret military assassination team known as "Alpha." The only problem is, the LAPD can find no record of Echevarrias ever having toiled for Uncle Sam. Savannah wants Logan to tell the police what he knows. At first he refuses, but then, relying on his small, aging airplane, the "Ruptured Duck," and the skills he honed working for Alpha, Logan doggedly hunts Echevarria's killer.

His trail takes him from the glitzy Las Vegas Strip to the most dangerous ghettos of inner-city Oakland, from darkened, Russian Mafia haunts in West Los Angeles to the deserts of Arizona. But that's the least of his problems. It is his love-hate relationship with Savannah, a woman Logan continues to pine for in spite of himself, that threatens to consume him.

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Don't Ever Get Old by Daniel Friedman
Print and/or Kindle Edition

Title: Don't Ever Get Old
Author: Daniel Friedman
Series Character: Buck Schatz
Format: Hardcover

What we know about the character: Buck Schatz is a retired Memphis cop.

His first case: When Buck Schatz, senior citizen and retired Memphis cop, learns that an old adversary may have escaped Germany with a fortune in stolen gold, Buck decides to hunt down the fugitive and claim the loot. But a lot of people want a piece of the stolen treasure, and Buck's investigation quickly attracts unfriendly attention from a very motley — and murderous — crew.

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The Lighthouse Society by Jerry Graffam
Print and/or Kindle Edition

Title: The Lighthouse Society
Author: Jerry Graffam
Series Character: Jack Chandler
Format: Trade Paperback

What we know about the character: Jack Chandler is an amateur investigator.

His first case: Sixteen years after Jack Chandler awoke in a hospital bed after a two week long coma, he still longed for the truth concerning his parents' deaths. The explanation of the ferryboat accident may have sufficed for a 12-year-old, but as he grew older, so did his suspicions. Over the years, his amateur investigations offered no new insight. Now 28, Jack has decided to return to his boyhood home on Carroll Island. He and his girlfriend, Kendra, have opted for the quiet island life, but when news of Jack's return spreads across the island; two groups urgently seek to get to Jack before his homecoming.

Just as Jack and Kendra prepare for their down east trip, Jack receives an anonymous phone call, which bears credence to his former beliefs and re-introduces him to an organization he had long forgotten, The Lighthouse Society.

The Society would like nothing more than to silence Jack forever, to keep him from uncovering their deadly plot. Little do they know, one of their own has other ideas. The Society's oldest member, Kyle Foster, had thought long and hard about his role in the cover-up surrounding the deaths of Jack's parents. Along with the island Sheriff and the enlisted help of a framed recluse, Foster provides Jack with clues, which enable him to bring the secret organization to justice.

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The Yard by Alex Grecian
Print and/or Kindle Edition

Title: The Yard
Author: Alex Grecian
Series Characters: The Murder Squad
Format: Hardcover

What we know about the characters: The Murder Squad are the only 12 detectives in Scotland Yard of Victorian London.

Their first case: Victorian London is a cesspool of crime, and Scotland Yard has only twelve detectives — known as "The Murder Squad" — to investigate countless murders every month. Created after the Metropolitan Police's spectacular failure to capture Jack the Ripper, The Murder Squad suffers rampant public contempt. They have failed their citizens. But no one can anticipate the brutal murder of one of their own … one of the twelve …

When Walter Day, the squad's newest hire, is assigned the case of the murdered detective, he finds a strange ally in the Yard's first forensic pathologist, Dr. Bernard Kingsley. Together they track the killer, who clearly is not finished with The Murder Squad … but why?

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A Deadly Grind by Victoria Hamilton
Print and/or Kindle Edition

Title: A Deadly Grind
Author: Victoria Hamilton
Series Character: Jaymie Leighton, Vintage Kitchen
Format: Mass Market Paperback

What we know about the character: Jaymie Leighton is a vintage cookware and cookbook collector.

Her first case: When Jaymie Leighton spies an original 1920s Hoosier brand kitchen cabinet at an estate auction, it's love at first sight. Despite the protests of her sister that the 19th-century yellow-brick house they share in Michigan is already too cluttered with Jaymie's "junk," she successfully outbids the other buyers and triumphantly takes home her Hoosier.

But that night on the summer porch where they've left the Hoosier to be cleaned up, a man is murdered, struck on the head with the steel meat grinder that is part of the cabinet. Who is this stranger — and what was he doing on their porch? Does his death have anything to do with the Hoosier?

As the police struggle to determine the man's identity, Jaymie can't help doing a little digging on her own, accompanied by her three-legged Yorkie Poo, Hopalong. But in her bid to uncover the truth about the hidden secrets of the Hoosier, Jaymie may be the one who ends up going, going … gone.

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Fixer by P. F. Lennon
Print and/or Kindle Edition

Title: Fixer
Author: P. F. Lennon
Series Character: Charlie Blanco
Format: Hardcover

What we know about the character: Charlie Blanco solves problems, corporate assignments that nobody else will take.

His first case: When Charlie Blanco arrives in Paris to locate a missing businessman, he finds a young supermodel in fear of her life, and a global business that takes no prisoners. Suddenly a quick PR fix has turned into something much more sinister. Who is hunting Charlie from London to the back streets of Paris? What kind of ruthless corporation is he up against? And as the body count rises, who can he really trust?

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Ice Fire by David Lyons
Print and/or Kindle Edition

Title: Ice Fire
Author: David Lyons
Series Character: Jock Boucher
Format: Hardcover

What we know about the character: Cajun-born Jock Boucher is a U.S. District Judge for the Eastern District of Louisiana.

His first case: Jock Boucher has overcome modest beginnings to assume the prestigious position of U.S. District Judge. One of his first cases on the bench involves a scientist who has been hiding in mortal fear for more than twenty years. The fugitive claims that another judge accepted bribes and helped a relentless global energy company steal his intellectual property: a way to recover energy from below the subsea bed that could end America's dependence on foreign oil.

Boucher takes on the company and its powerful founder, risking not only his judicial career but his life. He follows a trail of cryptic clues to the bottom of the ocean, and soon finds himself the target of killers — and too far from the law to ever return.

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The 90s Club and the Hidden Staircase by Eileen Haavik McIntire
Print and/or Kindle Edition

Title: The 90s Club and the Hidden Staircase
Author: Eileen Haavik McIntire
Series Character: Nancy Dickenson
Format: Trade Paperback

What we know about the character: Senior amateur sleuth Nancy Dickenson lives at the Whisperwood Retirement Village.

Her first case: The 90s Club at Whisperwood Retirement Village discovers a simmering brew of thefts, murders, and exploitation bubbling beneath its luxurious and active lifestyle.

Nancy Dickenson and fellow club members pile up clues like tricks in a bridge game to uncover the culprits and almost lose their lives. The menace grows into a bloody climax and even Nancy's suspiciously wild kitty cat Malone takes part, turning the murderer's confidence into terror.

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Don't Die Under the Apple Tree by Amy Patricia Meade
Print and/or Kindle Edition

Title: Don't Die Under the Apple Tree
Author: Amy Patricia Meade
Series Character: Rosie O'Doyle Keefe
Format: Mass Market Paperback

What we know about the character: Rosie O'Doyle Keefe is a riveter in New York City's World War II shipyards.

Her first case: Life is definitely not easy for 32-year-old Rosie O'Doyle Keefe, but she can handle working in New York City's World War II shipyards — until her foreman winds up dead — right after she rebuffed his "requirements" for a promotion. Never one to sit back and hope for the best, Rosie discovers that everyone who knew the foreman had good reasons to kill him off. She also finds that she has a surprise ally in the darkly handsome police lieutenant Jack Riordan. But Jack also has to produce a viable suspect for his captain in five days — even if it has to be Rosie. Before long, the mystery spirals onto the streets of wartime New York. With the clock ticking and her freedom on the line, Rosie and Lieutenant Riordan will need to join forces to find the truth and catch the now very desperate killer … who may be much closer then they think.

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Brighton Belle by Sara Sheridan
Print and/or Kindle Edition

Title: Brighton Belle
Author: Sara Sheridan
Series Character: Mirabelle Bevan
Format: Hardcover

What we know about the character: Mirabelle Bevan is a retired secret service agent in post-World War II England.

Her first case: 1951. Brighton. With the excitement of the war over and the Nazis brought to justice at Nuremberg, Mirabelle Bevan thinks her skills are no longer required. After the death of her lover she moves to the seaside to put the past behind her and takes a job as a secretary at a debt collection agency run by the charismatic Big Ben McGuigan. But when confronted by the case of Romana Laszlo, a pregnant Hungarian refugee, Mirabelle discovers that her specialist knowledge is vital. With enthusiastic assistance from the pretty insurance clerk down the corridor, Vesta Churchill, Mirabelle follows a mysterious trail of gold sovereigns, betting scams and corpses to a dark corner of Austerity Britain where the forces of evil remain alive and well.

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The Poisonous Seed by Linda Stratmann
Print and/or Kindle Edition

Title: The Poisonous Seed
Author: Linda Stratmann
Series Character: Frances Doughty
Format: Trade Paperback

What we know about the character: Frances Doughty is a private detective in 1880s London.

Her first case: When a customer of William Doughty's chemist shop dies of strychnine poisoning after drinking medicine he dispensed, William is blamed, and the family faces ruin. William's daughter, 19-year-old Frances, determines to redeem her ailing father's reputation and save the business. She soon becomes convinced that the death was murder, but unable to convince the police, she turns detective. Armed only with her wits, courage, and determination, and aided by some unconventional new friends, Frances uncovers a startling deception and solves a 10-year-old murder. There will be more deaths and a secret in her own family will be revealed, before the killer is unmasked and Frances finds that her life has changed forever.

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For a list of more hardcover mysteries scheduled for publication during May, please visit our New Mysteries home page. If you're interested in new paperbacks, visit The Mystery Bookshelf, where you can discover a library of new mysteries, also updated with May 2012 releases. See also our regularly updated eBook site for new mysteries, suspense novels and thrillers, MysterEbooks.com.

Please also visit the Hidden Staircase Mystery Books where we are committed to providing readers and collectors of mystery books with the best and most current information about their favorite authors, titles, and series.

Please Welcome Clark Hays and Kathleen McFall, Authors of the Cowboy and Vampire Thrillers

Omnimystery News: Guest Author Post

We are delighted to welcome back mystery authors Clark Hays and Kathleen McFall as our guest bloggers today.

The second title in their "Cowboy and Vampire" thriller series is Blood and Whiskey (Pumpjack Press April 2012 Trade Paperback and eBook editions).

Today Clark and Kathleen tell us about blood and whiskey, love and lust, and other weird cocktails. And they're giving one of our readers a chance to win a free copy of their new book; details below.

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Welcome to LonePine, Wyoming, population 438 — soon to be 439 (there's a half cowboy, half vampire baby on the way). Rugged, rural and hardscrabble, LonePine is a long way from happily ever after. It's damn beautiful country to live in though, or — more likely for a broke cowboy and a newly turned vampire — to die in.

Clark Hays and Kathleen McFall
Photo provided courtesy of
Clark Hays and Kathleen McFall

Blood and Whiskey, the second book in "The Cowboy and Vampire Thriller Series", picks up where The Cowboy and the Vampire: A Darkly Romantic Mystery left off. After narrowly surviving a vampire apocalypse, Tucker, a down-on-his-luck cowboy, and Lizzie, a newly-turned vampire with a growing thirst for blood, have hightailed it back to LonePine to settle down and start a family. But nothing ever comes easy for these two lovers.

The vampire world is in disarray and the undead are facing the prospect of mortality for the first time in, well, forever. Without a blood savior to turn the willing, the Royal vampire line faces extinction. The mysterious Council of Nine is headed to LonePine to determine if Lizzie has the power; if not, they'll lay waste to the tiny town. But the Reptilian vampires, conveniently able to reproduce the old-fashioned way, have other plans.

Chafing under thousands of years of brutal oppression at the hands of the Royals, the Reptilians see their chance to finally alter the balance of power by assassinating Lizzie. They've sent their own "ambassador" to LonePine, a cowboy killer straight from the old west.

The long-simmering ethnic undercurrents — and what they mirror in the "real" world — are captured nicely by a Kirkus reviewer: "Introducing racial issues isn't the only adjustment the authors have made to the vampire mythos, but it's more than just the details that set this series apart. Rather, it's the way the authors utilize those details to create meaningful conflicts and world-altering choices for the characters." (Thank you, Kirkus!)

Meanwhile, Rose, the niece of Tucker's best friend Lenny — a quirky conspiracy theorist and improvised weapons expert — has disappeared from the streets of Portland. When Tucker and Lenny investigate, they uncover a horrible, depraved mystery centered in the sagebrush-soaked isolation of remote Plush, Oregon.

But all roads eventually lead back to LonePine.

But enough about the plot
Rather than dig too deeply into the plot, we thought it might be interesting to excavate the tension between the "opposites attract" theme in Blood and Whiskey. Like the beverages themselves, tension is always best when shaken and served on the rocks.

Love is blind, and irrational
A cowboy and a vampire in love? It makes sense if you share our belief that love is a function of conveniently matching neuroses. Their differences brought Tucker and Lizzie together, but that might be why they fit together so well. She is an intellectual, a voracious reader and a closet anarchist who geeks out on political theory. The simpler things in life — cold beer, rodeos and watching the sunrise — are enough to satisfy Tucker. Despite this, or perhaps because of it, they carve out a relationship founded on a heart-stopping passion that initially bridges their differences. But like any couple, as lust wanes they struggle to find ways to connect on deeper levels. They have their share of quotidian arguments. He flosses too loudly and she has to kill humans to survive. But they're working through their problems and would probably make real progress if the fate of the world wasn't in their hands and a band of murderers on their trail.

Beyond evil and good
There's possibly no better way to have fun with the concept of good versus evil than by bottling up cowboys — icons of strength, courage and all that's right in the world — in the same remote western town with vampires, a timeless symbol of corruption, decay and decadence. It's a pressure cooker set on high and left unattended, luckily for readers.

In Blood and Whiskey, the evil isn't just black and white. Vampires from the Royal line have a centuries-old religious edict to feed only on the blood of evil humans, and there seems to be a never-ending supply. The Reptiles have no such moral imperative. Elita, the fierce, sexy Reptile vampire who now serves Lizzie, is grudgingly re-learning how to sense true evil and control her dark thirsts. It's a slow and painful process, but at least she has the beautiful Virote, a human woman offered up by the Russian vampire Rurik, upon which to slake her sexual frustrations.

Big city meets wide-open country
Aside from the obvious differences between humans and vampires (she dies every dawn but arises again at night, sunlight is terminal and she is strong enough to bend steel), their backgrounds have shaped Lizzie and Tucker in fundamental ways. Tucker grew up in the middle of Wyoming in a tiny town surrounded by sagebrush and mountains. Lizzie grew up in New York surrounded by skyscrapers and millions of people. Their worldviews, understandably, are radically different.

The urban versus rural tension doesn't stop there. The vampires, by and large, are sophisticated, amoral and completely perplexed — especially Elita — by anyone who willingly chooses to live in a small town. The people of LonePine, on the other hand, are proud to live on the edge of civilization and while they may be simple in some regards, they are certainly no less complex. Lenny, for example, is ex-military, possibly an alien abductee and incredibly well read on the latest conspiracies (like how the government killed Michael Jackson).

Life and death simultaneously (at least for some)
Our vampires are very hard to kill, but they are quite familiar with death. They die themselves, every dawn, like clockwork. That means their long undead lives are characterized by an endless cycle of near death, and then post death, experiences. We wondered how conscious beings, even those motivated by such dark impulses, could survive death — the biologic shut down of the brain and all body functions — and then resurrect mere hours later with memories intact.

We came up with the concept of the Meta— a giant energy field that surrounds, contains and sustains all life. It's the opposite of the individual embodied consciousness. When vampires die, their sense of self rushes off down the tunnel of light and exists in the Meta until nightfall. Human consciousness exists there too, but only when we die with more finality. A few lucky humans have returned from the Meta with scant memories but a new sense of purpose and belonging. Even for vampires who can remember the Meta, the experience is a jumbled mass of sensory experiences. But vampires with the power to turn, like Lizzie, also have the ability to make sense of the Meta. As the Kirkus reviewer observed, the Meta "has all sorts of ramifications for human spirituality."

Blood and Whiskey
Love and lust, life and death, good and evil; these are just a few of the contradictions we smash together in Blood and Whiskey and the nuclear energy released makes the book a real page turner. We think Blood and Whiskey has strong existentialist underpinnings that set it apart from the sparkly vampire world, but first and foremost, it's just pure, unadulterated fun.

Smart and fun — opposites really do attract!

Learn more at CowboyAndVampire.com, Facebook.com/cowboyandvampire, or by following us on Twitter: @cowboyvamp. We'd love to hear from you.

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Blood and Whiskey by Clark Hays and Kathleen McFall

Amazon.com Print and/or Kindle Edition

Barnes&Noble Print Edition and/or Nook Book

Indie Bound: Independent Bookstores

About Blood and Whiskey:

Wanted: Lizzie Vaughan, Dead or Alive.

Relationships are always hard, but for a broke cowboy and a newly turned Vampire, true love may be lethal. After barely surviving an undead apocalypse in The Cowboy and the Vampire, Tucker and Lizzie hightail it back to quirky LonePine, Wyoming (population 438), to start a family. But she's got a growing thirst for blood and he's realizing that mortality ain't all it's cracked up to be when your girlfriend may live forever. With a scheming Vampire nation hot on their boot heels and a price on her head, how far will Lizzie and Tucker go to protect their unlikely love?

Blending evolution, religion and an overly sensitive cow dog named Rex, Blood and Whiskey drags the Vampire myth into the modern west, delivering double-barreled action, heart-pounding passion and wicked humor.

For a chance to win a copy of Blood and Whiskey, courtesy of the authors, visit Mystery Book Contests, click on the "Clark Hays and Kathleen McFall: Blood and Whiskey" contest link, enter your name, e-mail address, and this code (6285) for a chance to win! (One entry per person; contest ends May 8th, 2012.)

PBS's The Mystery of Edwin Drood, New on DVD and Blu-ray Disc

The Mystery of Edwin Drood (PBS)

PBS's adaptation of Charles Dickens's unfinished novel The Mystery of Edwin Drood is released today on DVD and Blu-ray disc … a disturbing tale of obsession, addiction, and the darkness that lurks in men.

Matthew Rhys stars as John Jasper, a man haunted and restless. Unhappily settled as choirmaster in the provincial cathedral town of Cloisterham, Jasper finds himself striving for the divine in his music even as he struggles against madness brought on by ennui and opiates. Aware of his unraveling, Jasper believes his salvation may be found in the arms of Rosa (Tamzin Merchant), his prized pupil. His only obstacle is her fiancé, Edwin Drood — Jasper's nephew (Freddie Fox).

The Penguin Classics edition of the book (shown above) includes a critical introduction that assesses the evidence to show whether the mystery can truly be solved, as well as a chronology, illustrations, and appendixes.

The Mystery of Edwin Drood aired earlier this month on PBS's Masterpiece Classic. Watch a 30-second preview below:

Cut, Crop & Die by Joanna Campbell Slan is Today's Fifth Featured Free MystereBook

MystereBooks: Mystery, Suspense, and Thriller eBooks

MystereBooks is pleased to feature Cut, Crop & Die by Joanna Campbell Slan as today's fifth free mystery ebook.

This title was listed as free as of the date and time of this post. Prices are subject to change without notice. The price displayed on the vendor website at the time of purchase will be the price paid for the book. Please confirm the price of the book before completing your transaction.

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Cut, Crop & Die by Joanna Campbell Slan

Cut, Crop & Die by Joanna Campbell Slan
A Kiki Lowenstein "Scrapbooking" Mystery
Publisher: Midnight Ink

This is the second mystery (of five to date) in this cozy series.

About Cut, Crop & Die (from the publisher): All it took was one scone. When the hot-tempered (and widely hated) hobbyist Yvonne Gaynor eats a tainted pastry at Kiki's scrapbooking crop party, it triggers an allergy that leads to Yvonne's death. Even worse, the police suspect foul play when they realize that someone tampered with the treats and swiped the victim's allergy medication.

An expert at stealing design ideas, Yvonne had enough enemies to fill a memory album. Soon, the scrapbooking community pins her murder on Kiki's friends and our ace scrapper finds herself dealing with anti-Semitic threats at the shop, a quarrelsome pre-teen daughter at home, a meddlesome mother-in-law, and constant financial pressure. Despite help from the handsome yet annoyingly coy Detective Detweiler, Kiki has her work cut out for her in solving the crime.

Important Note: This book was listed for free on the date and time of this post. Prices can and do change without prior notice. Please confirm the price of the book before completing your purchase.

Download Link(s):

Amazon Kindle Book Amazon Kindle Edition Download Link.

For more free mystery ebooks, visit our Free MystereBooks page.

Solomon vs. Lord by Paul Levine is Today's Fourth Featured Free MystereBook

MystereBooks: Mystery, Suspense, and Thriller eBooks

MystereBooks is pleased to feature Solomon vs. Lord by Paul Levine as today's fourth free mystery ebook.

This title was listed as free as of the date and time of this post. Prices are subject to change without notice. The price displayed on the vendor website at the time of purchase will be the price paid for the book. Please confirm the price of the book before completing your transaction.

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Solomon vs. Lord by Paul Levine

Solomon vs. Lord by Paul Levine
A Solomon vs. Levine Legal Thriller
Publisher: Bantam/Nittany Valley

This is the first (of four) books in this series.

About Solomon vs. Lord (from the publisher): Steve Solomon is the sharpest lawyer ever to barely graduate from Key West School of Law. Victoria Lord is fresh from Yale, toiling for an ambitious D.A., before Solomon gets her fired. And Katrina Barksdale is a sexy former figure skater charged with killing her very wealthy, very kinky husband. With all three tangled in Miami's steamiest trial of the century, the case is sure to make sparks fly, headlines scream … and opposites attract.

Important Note: This book was listed for free on the date and time of this post. Prices can and do change without prior notice. Please confirm the price of the book before completing your purchase.

Download Link(s):

Amazon Kindle Book Amazon Kindle Edition Download Link.

For more free mystery ebooks, visit our Free MystereBooks page.

The Valley of Shadows by Mark Terry is Today's Third Featured Free MystereBook

MystereBooks: Mystery, Suspense, and Thriller eBooks

MystereBooks is pleased to feature The Valley of Shadows by Mark Terry as today's third free mystery ebook.

This title was listed as free as of the date and time of this post. Prices are subject to change without notice. The price displayed on the vendor website at the time of purchase will be the price paid for the book. Please confirm the price of the book before completing your transaction.

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The Valley of Shadows by Mark Terry

The Valley of Shadows by Mark Terry
A Derek Stillwater Mystery
Publisher: Oceanview Publishing

This is the fourth thriller to feature the troubleshooter for Homeland Security.

About The Valley of Shadows (from the publisher): A raid on a Pakistan Al-Qaeda cell recovers two laptops. When the computers' booby-traps are defused and the computers decrypted and translated, they indicate that Al-Qaeda has planned a series of simultaneous attacks in five U.S. cities involving potential dirty bombs, biological weapons and maybe even a nuclear weapon-on Election Day. Derek Stillwater is assigned to a multi-jurisdictional Special Terrorism Activity Response Team (START) to locate the weapon and terrorists in Los Angeles and prevent the attack. They have two days. But as they close in on their targets, Derek begins to think that the intelligence they gathered is a sideshow to distract them from the real target-one of the two candidates for President of the United States.

Read our review of The Valley of Shadows by Mark Terry.

Important Note: This book was listed for free on the date and time of this post. Prices can and do change without prior notice. Please confirm the price of the book before completing your purchase.

Download Link(s):

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Deadly Aim by Patricia H. Rushford is Today's Second Featured Free MystereBook

MystereBooks: Mystery, Suspense, and Thriller eBooks

MystereBooks is pleased to feature Deadly Aim by Patricia H. Rushford as today's second free mystery ebook.

This title was listed as free as of the date and time of this post. Prices are subject to change without notice. The price displayed on the vendor website at the time of purchase will be the price paid for the book. Please confirm the price of the book before completing your transaction.

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Deadly Aim by Patricia H. Rushford

Deadly Aim by Patricia H. Rushford
An Angel Delaney Mystery
Publisher: Revell

This new crime series is set in the cozy coastal hamlet of Sunset Cove, Oregon, and features a determined young police officer.

About Deadly Aim (from the publisher): When a police shootout results in the death of a 12-year-old boy, Officer Angel Delaney is blamed, convicted, and condemned by the media and the Sunset Cove community before the case even goes to trial. Angel will have her day in court, but before she has the chance to defend herself, the situation spirals out of control. Key evidence is missing, evidence that could have verified her claim of firing only one shot in self-defense. In short order, the body count rises, and suddenly Angel is a suspect in more than one murder investigation. Heartsick about the young boy's death, and questioning her judgment as a police officer, Angel joins forces with Detective Callen Riley to fight the mounting charges against her.

Important Note: This book was listed for free on the date and time of this post. Prices can and do change without prior notice. Please confirm the price of the book before completing your purchase.

Download Link(s):

Amazon Kindle Book Amazon Kindle Edition Download Link.

For more free mystery ebooks, visit our Free MystereBooks page.

The Black Stiletto by Raymond Benson is Today's Featured Free MystereBook

MystereBooks: Mystery, Suspense, and Thriller eBooks

MystereBooks is pleased to feature The Black Stiletto by Raymond Benson as today's free mystery ebook.

This title was listed as free as of the date and time of this post. Prices are subject to change without notice. The price displayed on the vendor website at the time of purchase will be the price paid for the book. Please confirm the price of the book before completing your transaction.

— ◊ —

The Black Stiletto by Raymond Benson

The Black Stiletto by Raymond Benson
A Judy Cooper "Black Stiletto" Mystery
Publisher: Oceanview Publishing

This is the first mystery in this series.

About The Black Stiletto (from the publisher): Could Martin Talbot's elderly, Alzheimer-stricken mother, Judy, really have been the Black Stiletto? When Martin discovers several volumes of her diaries hidden by his mother, he is stunned beyond all imagination. His mother, the underground heroine of yesteryear? The famed, still unidentified woman who battled Communist spies, took on the Mafia, and preyed on common crooks? The woman who exacted punishment on evildoers without mercy?

But it is all described, in great detail, in the diaries. What caused her to begin her quest for justice. Her decision to act outside the law. Her feats as the famed and feared vigilante. How her reputation exploded. In short, how it all played out.

Could it be true? Talbot is filled with doubt and disbelief. But the reappearance of one of the Stiletto's old enemies with a thirst for merciless revenge makes the story more than real and could imperil the life of not only the Stiletto, but her son and granddaughter as well.

Important Note: This book was listed for free on the date and time of this post. Prices can and do change without prior notice. Please confirm the price of the book before completing your purchase.

Download Link(s):

Amazon Kindle Book Amazon Kindle Edition Download Link.

For more free mystery ebooks, visit our Free MystereBooks page.

 

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