Tuesday, February 01, 2011

Harlequin Mira Mystery and Suspense Titles for February 2011

Harlequin Mysteries

eHarlequin.com has announced the February 2011 titles for their Mira imprint, the brightest stars in women's fiction. From all titles available, we've only listed those that are mystery, thriller, or suspense on this page. 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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Kiss the Moon by Carla Neggers
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Kiss the Moon by Carla Neggers

Lost in the frozen woods of New Hampshire, Penelope Chestnut discovers the wreckage of a small plane. An aviator herself, she sees clues to a conspiracy in the rusted-out remains.

Rumors of her discovery bring Wyatt Sinclair to Cold Spring, determined to put to rest a family scandal and learn what really happened to his legendary uncle, who had disappeared with his adventuress lover years earlier.

As Wyatt and Penelope investigate, old motives are uncovered and new ones created, including a growing attraction between the pair. But when an unknown enemy emerges with a violence rooted in desperation, uncovering the truth will be far less problematic than surviving it.

Also available: Kiss the Moon by Carla Neggers (Kindle edition)Kindle edition; Kiss the Moon by Carla Neggers (NookBook)NookBook

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Midnight Caller by Leslie Tentler
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Midnight Caller by Leslie Tentler
Chasing Evil Trilogy (1st in series)

Late-night radio-show psychologist Rain Sommers is used to the crazies who call in to rage from the back alleys of the French Quarter and the shadows of the bayou. But one caller's chilling obsession with her and her long-ago murdered mother—an iconic singer beloved among the city's Goth community—has even the jaded Rain running scared as a sadistic serial killer known as the Vampire prowls New Orleans.

FBI agent Trevor Rivette is convinced her midnight caller and the killer are one and the same. As it becomes disturbingly clear that the Vampire has a sick bloodlust only Rain can satisfy, she allows Trevor to get closer and closer. But he soon discovers that his secretive past and troubled present are intertwined—and that he may die trying to keep Rain's fate out of a madman's control.

Also available: Midnight Caller by Leslie Tentler (Kindle edition)Kindle edition; Midnight Caller by Leslie Tentler (NookBook)NookBook

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Blood Stains by Sharon Sala
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Blood Stains by Sharon Sala
Searchers Trilogy (1st in series)

At the reading of her father's will, Maria Slade receives shocking news—as a four-year-old, she'd witnessed her prostitute mother's murder and been taken into hiding by the well-meaning preacher who'd raised her as his own.

Maria remembers none of that. But now she's determined to flush her mother's killer out of hiding and discover the identity of her birth father. She heads to Tulsa, Oklahoma, where she meets Detective Bodie Scott.

Empathizing with this beautiful woman looking to find out who she really is, he opens the decades-old case file. Their investigation leads them down a dangerous path, where no one is what they seem. Where a father does not want to be found. And a murderer has "like mother, like daughter" in mind for Maria.

Also available: Blood Stains by Sharon Sala (Kindle edition)Kindle edition; Blood Stains by Sharon Sala (NookBook)NookBook

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Firsts on the 1st: New Series Characters Being Introduced in February 2011 Mysteries

New Hardcover Mysteries from the Hidden Staircase Mystery Books

The Hidden Staircase Mystery Books recently updated its list of February 2011 hardcover mysteries as well shelved new February 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 debut during February.

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Ghost Ship by P. J. Alderman
More information about the book

Title: Ghost Ship
Author: P. J. Alderman
Series Character: Jordan Marsh, Port Chatham
Format: Mass Market Paperback

What we know about the character: Jordan Marsh is an amateur sleuth living with ghosts in Port Chatham, Washington.

Her first case: A recent transplant to Washington State's charming seaside town of Port Chatham, Jordan is still getting used to sharing her slightly run-down but historic lodging with ghosts. As if living with the long-deceased isn't enough of a challenge, she's just found a corpse: The town's notorious womanizer Holt Stillwell is lying on the beach with a bullet in his head.

Before Jordan can reel in a suspect, another victim surfaces. And this one isn't taking murder lying down. Holt's ancestor Michael Seavey, the Pacific Northwest's most infamous shanghaier, has materialized in Jordan's house, seeking to solve his own death in a suspicious shipwreck in 1893. With two murders to solve and a killer on the loose, Jordan faces yet another equally terrifying prospect: her growing attraction to the very alive and criminally attractive pub owner Jase Cunningham.

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A Crafty Killing by Lorraine Bartlett
More information about the book

Title: A Crafty Killing
Author: Lorraine Bartlett
Series Character: Katie Bonner, Victoria Square
Format: Mass Market Paperback

What we know about the character: Katie Bonner manages Artisans Alley, the main attraction in the quaint Victoria Square shopping area.

Her first case: The last thing Katie wanted was to become the manager of Artisans Alley. But when her business partner, Ezra Hilton, is found bludgeoned to death, she has no other choice. Business under Ezra has been faltering — but was it enough to provoke someone to murder? Only Kate can find the answer.

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First Grave on the Right by Darynda Jones
More information about the book

Title: First Grave on the Right
Author: Darynda Jones
Series Character: Charlotte Davidson
Format: Hardcover

What we know about the character: Charlotte "Charley" Davidson is a private investigator who helps the departed solve the mysteries of their deaths so they can cross.

Her first case: Charley sees dead people. That's right, she sees dead people. And it's her job to convince them to "go into the light." But when these very dead people have died under less than ideal circumstances (i.e. murder), sometimes they want Charley to bring the bad guys to justice.

Complicating matters are the intensely hot dreams she's been having about an Entity who has been following her all her life ... and it turns out he might not be dead after all. In fact, he might be something else entirely.

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Curiosity Thrilled the Cat by Sofie Kelly
More information about the book

Title: Curiosity Thrilled the Cat
Author: Sofie Kelly
Series Character: Kathleen Paulson
Format: Mass Market Paperback

What we know about the character: Kathleen Paulson is a librarian in Mayville Heights, Minnesota. Her magical cats are Owen and Hercules.

Her first case: When Kathleen moved to Mayville Heights, she had no idea that two strays would nuzzle their way into her life. Owen is a tabby with a catnip addiction and Hercules is a stocky tuxedo cat who shares Kathleen's fondness for Barry Manilow. But beyond all the fur and purrs, there's something more to these felines.

When murder interrupts Mayville's Music Festival, Kathleen finds herself the prime suspect. More stunning is her realization that Owen and Hercules are magical-and she's relying on their skills to solve a purr-fect murder.

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Devil-Devil by Graeme Kent
More information about the book

Title: Devil-Devil
Author: Graeme Kent
Series Character: Ben Kella
Format: Hardcover

What we know about the character: Ben Kella is a sergeant in the Solomon Islands Police Force, and as an aofi, a hereditary spiritual peacekeeper of the Lau people.

His first case: It's not easy being Ben Kella: he is viewed with distrust by both the indigenous islanders and the British colonial authorities. In the past few days he has been cursed by a magic man, stumbled across evidence of a cargo cult uprising, and failed to find an American anthropologist who had been scouring the mountains for a priceless pornographic icon. Then, at a mission station, Kella discovers an independent and rebellious young American nun, Sister Conchita, secretly trying to bury a skeleton. The unlikely pair of Kella and Conchita are forced to team up to solve a series of murders that tie into all these other strange goings-on.

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Force of Habit by Alice Loweecey
More information about the book

Title: Force of Habit
Author: Alice Loweecey
Series Character: Guilia Falcone
Format: Trade Paperback

What we know about the character: Giulia Falcone is a former nun, now an assistant to PI Frank Driscoll of Driscoll Investigations.

Her first case: Giulia is convinced she's going to Hell. First, because she left the convent. Second, her new job with a private investigator has her sneaking around and lying. Adjusting to life in the outside world isn't easy. Makeup, dating, and sex are all new to her. And despite a crush on her boss Frank Driscoll — a foul-mouthed, soft-hearted ex-cop — Giulia is sure he'd never fall for an ex-nun.

Her first case involves drop-dead handsome Blake Parker, a man with immense wealth and an ego to match. He and his fiancée are getting disturbing "gifts" with messages based on biblical verses. When Giulia is drawn into the stalker's twisted game, salacious photos of her appear, threatening her job and her friendship with Frank. No one imagines — least of all naïve Giulia — the danger ahead, when following the clues turns into a fight for her life.

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Gideon's Sword by Douglas Preston and Lincoln Child
More information about the book

Title: Gideon's Sword
Author: Douglas Preston and Lincoln Child
Series Character: Gideon Crew
Format: Hardcover

What we know about the character: Gideon Crew is a trickster, prodigy, and master thief.

His first case: At twelve, Gideon Crew witnessed his father, a world-class mathematician, accused of treason and gunned down.

At twenty-four, summoned to his dying mother's bedside, Gideon learned the truth: His father was framed and deliberately slaughtered. With her last breath, she begged her son to avenge him.

Now, with a new purpose in his life, Gideon crafts a one-time mission of vengeance, aimed at the perpetrator of his father's destruction. His plan is meticulous, spectacular, and successful.

But from the shadows, someone is watching. A very powerful someone, who is impressed by Gideon's special skills. Someone who has need of just such a renegade.

For Gideon, this operation may be only the beginning ...

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Instruments of Darkness by Imogen Robertson
More information about the book

Title: Instruments of Darkness
Author: Imogen Robertson
Series Character: Harriet Westerman
Format: Hardcover

What we know about the character: Harriet Westerman is an English gentlewoman in this series set in the 18th century.

Her first case: In the year 1780, Harriet finds a dead man on the grounds of her country manor in Sussex, with a ring bearing the crest of Thornleigh Hall in his pocket. Not one to be bound by convention or to shy away from adventure, she recruits a reclusive local anatomist named Gabriel Crowther to help her find the murderer, and historical suspense's newest investigative duo is born.

For years, Harriet has sensed the menace of neighboring Thornleigh Hall, seat of the Earl of Sussex. It is the home of a once-great family that has been reduced to an ailing invalid, his whorish wife, and his alcoholic second son, a man haunted by his years spent as a redcoat in the Revolutionary War. The same day, Alexander Adams is slain by an unknown killer in his London music shop, leaving his children orphaned. His death will lead back to Sussex, and to an explosive secret that has already destroyed one family and threatens many others.

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One Rough Man by Brad Taylor
More information about the book

Title: One Rough Man
Author: Brad Taylor
Series Character: Pike Logan
Format: Hardcover

What we know about the character: Pike Logan is a US special forces operative.

His first case: They call it the Taskforce. Their existence is as essential as it is illegal. Commissioned at the highest level of the U.S. government. Protected from the prying eyes of Congress and the media. Built around the top operators from across the clandestine, intelligence, and special forces landscape. Designed to operate outside the bounds of U.S. law. Trained to exist on the ragged edge of human capability.

Pike Logan was the most successful operator on the Taskforce, his instincts and talents unrivaled-until personal tragedy permanently altered his outlook on the world. Pike knows what the rest of the country might not want to admit: The real threat isn't from any nation, any government, any terrorist group. The real threat is one or two men, controlled by ideology, operating independently, in possession of a powerful weapon.

Buried in a stack of intercepted chatter is evidence of two such men. The transcripts are scheduled for analysis in three months. The attack is mere days away. It is their bad luck that they're about to cross paths with Pike Logan. And Pike Logan has nothing left to lose.

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Season of Evil, Season of Dreams by J. C. Weeks
More information about the book

Title: Season of Evil, Season of Dreams
Author: J. C. Weeks
Series Character: Ben Logan
Format: Hardcover

What we know about the character: Ben Logan is the police chief of a small town in the Black Hills, South Dakota.

His first case: Nine skulls litter a remote clearing in the Black Hills outside Gold Hill, South Dakota, presenting Ben with the crime of his life. The skulls form an incomplete circle, leaving the chief with one conclusion: more deaths must occur to complete the pattern.

Ben chases rumors and reports, fending off the mayor's animosity and the barely suppressed enmity of a fellow officer, but his efforts can't prevent his suspension on a trumped-up charge. Unfettered by a badge, he follows his instincts, even when they flaunt the law.

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The Dangerous Edge of Things by Tina Whittle
More information about the book

Title: The Dangerous Edge of Things
Author: Tina Whittle
Series Character: Tai Randolph
Format: Hardcover

What we know about the character: Tai Randolph owns a gun shop in Atlanta.

Her first case: Tai thinks inheriting a Confederate-themed gun shop is her biggest headache — until she finds a murdered corpse in her brother's driveway. Even worse, her supposedly respectable brother begins behaving in decidedly non-innocent ways, like fleeing to the Bahamas and leaving her with both a homicide in her lap and the pointed suspicions of the Atlanta PD directed her way. Suddenly, she has to worry about clearing her own name, not just that of her wayward sibling.

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For a list of more mysteries scheduled for publication during February, 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 February 2011 releases.

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.

Film Rights Optioned for the Swedish Thriller Three Seconds by Anders Roslund and Börge Hellström

Three Seconds by Anders Roslund and Borge Hellstrom
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Deadline|New York is reporting that New Regency has optioned the film rights to Three Seconds, the fifth mystery in the Sundkvist and Grens series by Anders Roslund and Börge Hellström.

The novel, published in 2009 under the title Tre Sekunder in the authors' native Sweden, is just the second of the series to be published in the US. It was recognized with the Swedish Academy of Crime Writers’ Award 2009 for "Best Swedish Crime Novel of the Year".

In the book, a man is forced to seize control of one of Sweden’s maximum security prisons ... from the inside. It's an operation assigned by the police force. And by the Polish mafia. He realizes he is on his own, can trust no one, and that from the moment his double play is revealed he will become a huge liability for police and mafia alike. He calls himself Paula and he knows he could be dead in just three seconds.

OMN Welcomes Sharon Henegar, Author of the Willow Falls Mysteries

Omnimystery News: Authors on Tour

Omnimystery News is delighted to welcome Sharon Henegar as our guest blogger. Sharon's first book in her Willow Falls series is Sleeping Dogs Lie (Saturday Books, August 2010 Trade Paperback, 978-0-9840648-4-7).

Today, Sharon writes about Slow Book Cookery.

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Readers sometimes ask me how long it takes to write a book. I blush to admit that the initial idea for Sleeping Dogs Lie, the first in my Willow Falls series, occurred to me over thirty years ago.

You don’t want to rush into these things. Really.

I sat in the car one night waiting for my husband to come out of the grocery store. The place: Eugene, Oregon; the year: 1977. I thought, what if Steven came out and got into another car and drove away? Would he be a spy who’d been leading a double life during the five years we’d been married? Had someone for some unknown reason handed him their car keys and begged him to drive the car somewhere? Had he robbed a cashier, stolen the car keys from another shopper, miraculously found that person’s car without hesitation, and made his getaway? I played idly with several scenarios. A few minutes later Steven came out of the store, got calmly into our car, and drove us home.

I was a little disappointed.

The years flew by. I wrote this and that, and sometimes I'd think about that what-if. It stubbornly refused to leave my head—or get any further. What I needed (and didn’t know I needed) was a writing group.

Part of my philosophy of life (if I can give it so grand a name) is that things happen when they are supposed to. I moved to Southern California in 2001, where I knew no one except my husband. I saw a notice for an evening class at one of the local universities on getting started as a writer. Maybe this was what I needed. But I felt intimidated at going by myself—and I had no idea where the campus was. So I dropped by the office of one of my new colleagues. Though I barely knew her I asked if she’d like to take this writing class with me. To her own amazement she said yes.

The class turned out to be okay but not great. I'm unimpressed by teachers who begin a session with the words, “So what do you guys want to know about?” (My translation: “I'm completely unprepared and hope you won’t notice I'm winging it.”) We both enjoyed the process of free writing as a kick start, but the lasting benefit of the class was that we met two other writers we liked. We started a writing group. And we were off.

We agreed that we’d each bring something we’d written to our first meeting, and you know what I pulled out of mothballs. I knew that an idea I hadn't been able to shake for thirty years was compelling. I began to write in the first person, and discovered someone named Louisa had been hanging around waiting for me to tell her story. Unfortunately Louisa and I were equally clueless about what happened next. Fortunately I had three creative plotters in my group.

We brainstormed. They asked questions about the two characters in the scene. Answers at the time: I don’t know—but this time I knew I'd be able to find out. We all made wild guesses about who these people were and what might happen next. I made notes and wrote another section in time for our next meeting. Each month I got further. I wrote myself (and Louisa) into corners. The group helped us out again. We surged forward, backtracked, sidestepped, tripped once or twice, and kept writing. And then something magical happened.

I got to type the words “The End” on my page. (They come right after Louisa explains what she’s learned on her journey through the book, which is “I bite.”)

Of course it wasn’t really the end. It was the beginning of learning about rewriting, and the realization that Sleeping Dogs Lie was the first in a series. Louisa had a lot more to say, which I wanted to find out about because quite frankly the woman cracks me up. Luckily for me I'm not the only one who’s found her funny, or who enjoys a cozy thriller.

So far I've felt the incomparable thrill of “The End” three times. Sleeping Dogs Lie is available now; In Dogs We Trust will be published in early 2011 (“The End” comes after “Rollo barked”) and The Dog Prince still faces those rewrites. But Louisa insists I get busy on it, and with the help of my writing group I will.

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Sharon Henegar is a children's services librarian, living in Southern California with her husband, mixed breed dogs Lizzie and Edward, and cats Noll Baxter and Mrs. Wilberforce. Visit her website at SaturdayBooks.com/SharonHenegar.

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Sleeping Dogs Lie by Sharon Henegar
More information about the book

About Sleeping Dogs Lie: On a rainy October night, Louisa McGuire waits in the car while her friend Bob makes a dash into the grocery store. Soon he comes out again—but with him is a woman in a sleek red suit. She leads him to her Mercedes and they drive away. Has Louisa been ditched, or has Bob been kidnapped?

She enlists the help of her cousin Kay, owner of an antique store, and two intrepid canines, Jack and Emily Ann, to follow the scant clues to find Bob. Find him they do—but when they learn who he really is, they find out that the stakes are high. Will they avoid being the next victims of a cold-blooded murderer?

Sleeping Dogs Lie is available in trade paperback and popular eBook formats from Saturday Books.

Production on Burn Notice Prequel Underway

Burn Notice (USA Network)

Last November, we reported that a made-for-television film prequel had been greenlighted for the popular USA Network series Burn Notice.

Now we're learning (via TV|Line) that production is underway in Bogota, Columbia. Directed by Jeffrey Donovan (who plays burned spy Michael Westen in the series) and starring Bruce Campbell (who plays Westen's friend Sam Axe), the film takes place in 2005 and feature's Axe's last mission as a Navy SEAL.

Other cast members include Chandra West (The Gates) as Sam's girlfriend, RonReaco Lee (Let's Stay Together, The Good Guys) and Kiele Sanchez (The Glades) as Americans providing humanitarian aid in Columbia, and John Diehl (The Shield, Point Pleasant) as Sam's commander.

The (apparently still untitled) Burn Notice prequel is expected to air on USA later this spring.

Tyler Perry Cast as Alex Cross in Film Adaptation of I, Alex Cross by James Patterson

I, Alex Cross by James Patterson
More information about the book

The Hollywood Reporter is reporting that Tyler Perry will reprise Morgan Freeman's role as Alex Cross in a film adaptation of I, Alex Cross, the 16th book in this long-running series of mysteries by James Patterson. Rob Cohen will direct a screenplay, originally drafted by Patterson and Kerry Williamson.

Freeman played the homicide detective with a background in forensic psychology in two previous adaptations of Patterson's novels, Kiss the Girls (1997) and Along Came a Spider (2001). In a separate project, now apparently shelved, Idris Elba had been cast as Alex Cross in a film adaptation of the author's 12th book, simply titled Cross.

In I, Alex Cross, the detective is pulled out of a family celebration and given the awful news that a beloved relative has been found brutally murdered. Alex vows to hunt down the killer, and soon learns that she was mixed up in one of Washington's wildest scenes. And she was not this killer's only victim. The hunt for her murderer leads Alex and his girlfriend, Detective Brianna Stone, to a place where every fantasy is possible, if you have the credentials to get in. Alex and Bree are soon facing down some very important, very protected, very dangerous people in levels of society where only one thing is certain -- they will do anything to keep their secrets safe.

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

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