Thursday, October 30, 2014

Cherry Picking by Tim Heath is Today's Second Featured Free MystereBook

Cherry Picking by Tim Heath

Omnimystery News is pleased to feature …

Cherry Picking by Tim Heath

A Novel of Suspense

Publisher: Tim Heath

… as today's second free mystery ebook.

Cherry Picking by Tim Heath, Amazon Kindle format

This title was listed for free as of October 30, 2014 at 7:10 AM ET. Prices are subject to change without notice. The price displayed on the vendor website at the time of the purchase will be the price paid for the book. Please confirm the price of the book before completing your transaction.

For a summary of all of today's featured titles, plus any that may have appeared before and are repeat freebies, visit our Free MystereBooks page. This page is updated daily, typically by 8 AM ET.

More on today's free book, below.

Nigel Gamble is a man with everything — including a dark past. He took his name from his early business successes, but in reality none of it was based on risk — only certain success. Every decision Nigel has ever made in business, people, sport or life had been based on some prior knowledge. When a stranger appears it shakes his rich world to the core.

But Nigel has been waiting for him — and preparing. Now it's a fight to the death — there can be only one winner.

Cherry Picking by Tim Heath

The Avenger by Jo Robertson is Today's Featured Free MystereBook

The Avenger by Jo Robertson

Omnimystery News is pleased to feature …

The Avenger by Jo Robertson

A Bigler County, Romantic Thriller

Publisher: McKay Lewis

… as today's free mystery ebook.

The Avenger by Jo Robertson, Amazon Kindle format

This title was listed for free as of October 30, 2014 at 7:00 AM ET. Prices are subject to change without notice. The price displayed on the vendor website at the time of the purchase will be the price paid for the book. Please confirm the price of the book before completing your transaction.

For a summary of all of today's featured titles, plus any that may have appeared before and are repeat freebies, visit our Free MystereBooks page. This page is updated daily, typically by 8 AM ET.

More on today's free book, below.

A clandestine government organization called Invictus "recruits" outstanding athletes for secret projects. But their top agent Jackson Holt has special, almost preternatural, qualities not even the Organization can explain.

Olivia Gant, professor of Ancient Studies at a private college in California, was once Jack's childhood sweetheart. But when he deserted her, he left her alone to combat her stepfather's drunken attentions and her mother's careless neglect.

Nearly twenty years later, their paths cross in a mission to fight a bizarre religious serial killer whose methods include crucifixion and burial alive. Olivia and Jack battle for happiness against years of secrecy and distance as they use Olivia's expertise in Latin and Jack's special gifts to track a brutal killer.

Can Olivia forgive Jack for his long-ago betrayal? Can Jack allow Olivia to witness the terrible Change that makes him such an effective killing machine?

The Avenger by Jo Robertson

Cut To the Bone by Jefferson Bass is Today's Kobo Daily Deal

Cut To the Bone by Jefferson Bass

Omnimystery News is pleased to feature Cut To the Bone by Jefferson Bass as today's Kobo Daily Deal.

The deal price of $1.99 is valid only for today, Thursday, October 30, 2014, and has been price-matched by Amazon.com.

Cut To the Bone by Jefferson Bass

A Bill Brockton, Body Farm Mystery (8th in series)

Publisher: William Morrow

Price: $1.99 (as of 10/30/2014 at 6:40 AM ET).

Cut To the Bone by Jefferson Bass, Amazon Kindle format  Cut To the Bone by Jefferson Bass, Kobo format

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

In the summer of 1992, Arkansas Governor Bill Clinton and Tennessee Senator Albert Gore begin their long-shot campaign to win the White House. In the sweltering hills of Knoxville at the University of Tennessee, Dr. Bill Brockton, the bright, ambitious young head of the Anthropology Department, launches an unusual — some would call it macabre — research facility, unlike any other in existence.

Brockton is determined to revolutionize the study of forensics to help law enforcement better solve crime. But his plans are derailed by a chilling murder that leaves the scientist reeling from a sense of déjà vu. Followed by another. And then another: bodies that bear eerie resemblances to cases from Brockton's past.

But as the body count rises, the victims' fatal injuries grow more and more distinctive — a spiral of death that holds dark implications for Brockton … and everyone he holds dear.

Cut To the Bone by Jefferson Bass

Today's Mystery and Suspense Update from Big Fish Games (141030)

Big Fish Games

Here is today's mystery and suspense update from Big Fish Games …

• The New Release is Blue Tear.

• The current Catch of the Week is Silent Scream II: The Bride, just $2.99 through Sunday, November 02, 2014 only.

Visit the Omnimystery Entertainment Network for more games of mystery and suspense!

— ♦ —

Blue Tear

The New Release is Blue Tear

Jessica Loraine was a typical twenty year old when she inherited an old abandoned estate. By then the house had been vacant for many centuries, and rumors swirled that an ancient curse dwelt inside. Conquering her fears, Jessica and her friends set out to face the adventure head-on. However, as soon as the group crossed the threshold, the dormant evil inside the estate awakened! Now all of Jessica's friends are prisoners in the realm of phantoms. To rescue them, travel to Africa and enlist the help of a kind sorcerer and old ancestral spirits. Under their guidance, help the spirits haunting the estate to find peace, assemble the Voodoo talisman and defeat an evil sorcerer who schemes to gain possession of Jessica's body. Explore the estate, solve puzzles and find the enigmatic Blue Tear diamond. Can you help break the curse?

A sample version is available to download and play for free for one hour.

— ♦ —

Silent Scream II: The Bride

The current Catch of the Week is Silent Scream II: The Bride

Jessica would never imagine that her big day would turn out to be a nightmare; they had an accident and Jonathan McNealy, her husband, is missing. Things just got more and more bizarre when she encountered a mysterious girl who seemed to be leading her to Jonathan. Jessica had a feeling that the girl was connected to Jonathan. Did she cause the car accident in the first place? Return to the abandoned mansion and search for clues.

A sample version is available to download and play for free for one hour. Also available for  Mac.

Wednesday, October 29, 2014

Review: Proof Positive by Archer Mayor

Mysterious Reviews: Reviews of New Mysteries, Novels of Suspense, and Thrillers

A Mysterious Review of Proof Positive by Archer Mayor. A Joe Gunther Mystery.

Review summary: A satisfyingly complex storyline, with multiple plot twists and turns that are impossible to predict, characters that are engaging and well developed, and an ending that is completely unexpected, this is a strong entry in this series, maybe not among the very best, but right up there. (Click here for text of full review.)

Our rating: 4 of 5 stars

Proof Positive Archer Mayor

Proof Positive
Archer Mayor
A Joe Gunther Mystery
Minotaur Books (September 2014)

Publisher synopsis: Ben Kendall was a troubled man. Coming back from Vietnam with PTSD and scars that no one else could see, he hid away from the world, filling his house with an ever-increasing amount of stuff, until finally, the piles collapsed and he was found dead, crushed beneath his own belongings. But what at first glance looks to be a tragic accidental death of a hoarder, may be something much more — and much deadlier. Ben's cousin, medical examiner Beverly Hillstrom, unsettled by the circumstances of his death, alerts Joe Gunther and his Vermont Bureau of Investigation team.

Ben, it seems, brought back something else from Vietnam than personal demons — he also brought back combat photos and negatives that someone else wants desperately to keep from the public eye. When Beverly's daughter Rachel made her cousin Ben — and his photos — the subject of her college art project, some of those photos appeared on the walls of a local art gallery. This in turn resulted in the appearance of a two man hit squad, searching for some other missing negatives. With Joe Gunther and his squad trailing behind the grisly research results of the hit team, and the deadly killers closing in on Rachel, Gunther has little time to find and protect Rachel before she ends up in the same grisly state as her cousin before her.

Available from Amazon.com  Available from Barnes & Noble  Available from iTunes  Available from Kobo

Just Desserts, A Savannah Reid Mystery by G. A. McKevett, Now Available at a Special Price

Just Desserts by G. A. McKevett

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

Just Desserts by G. A. McKevett

A Savannah Reid Mystery (1st in series)

Publisher: Open Road

Price: $1.99 (as of 10/29/2014 at 4:30 PM ET).

Just Desserts by G. A. McKevett, Amazon Kindle format

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

Private detective Savannah Reid isn't your average crime-fighting heroine. Middle-aged and overweight — at least by society's skinny-winnie standards — Savannah has the audacity to love herself anyway. If there's anything the sassy Dixie belle enjoys more than cooking soul-satisfying food for her friends and family, it's nabbing bad guys and plopping them on the scales of Lady Justice.

Having relocated to Southern California, this unconventional Georgia peach and the equally eccentric members of her Moonlight Magnolia Detective Agency live to take a tasty bite out of crime in the sleepy, seaside town of San Carmelita.

Just Desserts by G. A. McKevett

Black Out, A Frederick Troy Thriller by John Lawton, Now Available at a Special Price

Black Out by John Lawton

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

Black Out by John Lawton

A Frederick Troy Thriller (1st in series)

Publisher: Grove Press

Price: $1.99 (as of 10/29/2014 at 4:00 PM ET).

Black Out by John Lawton, Amazon Kindle format

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

London, 1944. While the Luftwaffe makes its final assault on the already battered British capital, Londoners rush through the streets, seeking underground shelter in the midst of the city's black out. When the panic subsides, other things begin to surface along with London's war-worn citizens. A severed arm is discovered by a group of children playing at an East End bomb site, and when Scotland Yard's Dective Sergeant Frederick Troy arrives at the scene, it becomes apparent that the dismembered body is not the work of a V-1 rocket.

After Troy manages to link the severed arm to the disappearance of a refugee scientist form Nazi Germany, America's newest intelligence agency, the OSS, decides to get involved. The son of a titled Russian émigré, Troy is forced to leave the London he knows and enter a corrupt world of bloody consequences, stateless refugees, and mysterious women as he unearths a chain of secrets leading straight to the Allied high command.

Black Out by John Lawton

New This Week: The Lemur's Cry, A Hannah Lilly, Zoo Mystery by Linda Lombardi

The Lemur's Cry by Linda Lombardi

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

The Lemur's Cry by Linda Lombardi

A Hannah Lilly, Zoo Mystery (2nd in series)

Publisher: Wombatarama

Price: $3.99 (as of 10/29/2014 at 3:30 PM ET).

The Lemur's Cry by Linda Lombardi, Amazon Kindle format

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

Even for zookeepers, some animals are more equal than others. Don't get Hannah started on pandas — all the attention they get makes the Small Mammals staff feel a little second-class.

But sometimes playing favorites can be a deadly game: After a lemur falls ill and dies, the lemur-feeding study being conducted by Marshall, the zoo nutritionist, comes to an abrupt end when he's found bludgeoned to death in the halls of the Small Mammal House. Did the lemur's keeper kill Marshall in revenge, believing he accidentally poisoned her favorite animal?

At a place like the zoo, that motive seems plausible, till a second lemur gets sick in the same way. And when it's suggested that something might have been deliberately added to medication that Hannah administered herself, now it's personal, and she's determined to figure out who's to blame.

The Lemur's Cry by Linda Lombardi

Be Buried in the Rain, A Novel of Suspense by Barbara Michaels, Now Available at a Special Price

Be Buried in the Rain by Barbara Michaels

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

Be Buried in the Rain by Barbara Michaels

A Novel of Suspense

Publisher: HarperCollins

Price: $3.99 (as of 10/29/2014 at 3:00 PM ET).

Be Buried in the Rain by Barbara Michaels, Amazon Kindle format

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

There are terrible secrets from generations past buried at Maidenwood …

Medical student Julie Newcomb has returned to her family's decaying plantation — the site of so many painful childhood memories — to tend to her tyrannical grandmother, felled by a stroke. The fire of malevolence still burns in the cruel, despotic matriarch's eyes — yet, for Julie, a faint spark of redemption and second chances flickers in this hated, haunted place.

But her hope — and her life — are seriously threatened by a nightmare reborn … and by the grim discovery on the lonely road to Maidenwood of the earth-browned skeletons of a mother and child.

Be Buried in the Rain by Barbara Michaels

Ho-Ho-Homicide by Kaitlyn Dunnett, New in Bookstores during October 2014

Ho-Ho-Homicide by Kaitlyn Dunnett

Today's featured new hardcover mystery, suspense, or thriller title scheduled to be published during October 2014 is …

Ho-Ho-Homicide by Kaitlyn Dunnett, a Liss MacCrimmon Mystery (8th in series)

Publisher: Kensington

Ho-Ho-Homicide by Kaitlyn Dunnett, Amazon Kindle format  Ho-Ho-Homicide by Kaitlyn Dunnett, Nook format  Ho-Ho-Homicide by Kaitlyn Dunnett, iTune iBook format  Ho-Ho-Homicide by Kaitlyn Dunnett, Kobo format

For a list of more new hardcover titles to be published this month, visit our New Mysteries page for October 2014. For new paperback mysteries, visit The Mystery Bookshelf where a selection of October 2014 mysteries, novels of suspense, and thrillers are shelved.

More about our featured title, below …

Business is booming at the Scottish Emporium in Moosetookalook, Maine, and Liss MacCrimmon Ruskin couldn't be happier — or busier. A romantic getaway at a rustic Christmas tree farm is just what she needs. But the property's mysterious past has her feeling less than merry …

Liss is surprised when an old friend from high school asks her to spend a week at the Christmas tree farm she recently inherited from a great-uncle. Realizing it would be the perfect chance for her and her husband Dan to get away from work, Liss happily accepts the offer and packs her bags for the tiny town of New Boston.

Upon their arrival, Liss and Dan are greeted by a ramshackle farmhouse and unfriendly townsfolk. It's hardly the idyllic vacation locale they'd hoped for, especially when needling neighbors start raising questions about the farm's dark history. Who was the man whose body was found neatly netted in a shipment of Scotch pine? Why did the owner vanish into thin air? And why are the trees growing so close together, forming a maze more twisted than a Celtic knot?

The rumors pile up faster than snowdrifts in a blizzard, and as Liss starts un-wrapping the truth, she discovers something even more scandalous than murder hiding beneath the town's humdrum façade. When a series of "accidents" strikes the farm, she'll have to spring into action faster than a Highland Fling to find the killer who's been lurking among the pines — before she ends up in a pine box herself …

Ho-Ho-Homicide by Kaitlyn Dunnett

A Virtuous Death by Christine Trent, New on the Mystery Bookshelf during October 2014

A Virtuous Death by Christine Trent

New on the Mystery Bookshelf during October 2014 …

A Virtuous Death by Christine Trent

A Violet Harper Mystery (3rd in series)

Publisher: Kensington

A Virtuous Death by Christine Trent, Amazon Kindle format

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

More about our featured title, below …

Queen Victoria, still mourning her long-dead husband Prince Albert, has found solace in John Brown, an enigmatic palace servant who dabbles in the occult and keeps the grieving queen entertained with his tarot card readings. Undertaker Violet Harper is invited to attend one of Mr. Brown's infamous readings, during which he implies that Buckingham Palace will soon be shrouded in death's dark veil. Well acquainted with death, Violet shrugs him off as a charlatan — until his sinister divinations begin to prove true …

Violet wonders if something foul is in the cards when the aristocratic young friends of the queen's daughter begin to die under mysterious circumstances. Her suspicions only grow when one of London's "moralists," a group bent on repealing the law that forces prostitutes into hospitals, suffers a similar fate. The deaths merely buttress the queen's enthusiasm for Mr. Brown's ominous talents, and, concerned by the fortuneteller's influence, Violet races against time to unearth the truth before the killer strikes again. But as she closes in on a murderer with an unearthly motive, Violet realizes she may be digging her own grave …

A Virtuous Death by Christine Trent

Breach of Duty, A J. P. Beaumont Mystery by J. A. Jance, Now Available at a Special Price

Breach of Duty by J. A. Jance

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

Breach of Duty by J. A. Jance

A J. P. Beaumont Mystery (14th in series)

Publisher: William Morrow

Price: $3.99 (as of 10/29/2014 at 1:00 PM ET).

Breach of Duty by J. A. Jance, Amazon Kindle format

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

The Seattle that Beau knew as a young policeman is disappearing. The city is awash in the aromas emanating from a glut of coffee bars, the neighborhood outside his condo building has sprouted gallery upon gallery, and even his long cherished diner has evolved into a trendy eatery for local hipsters. But the glam is strictly surface, for the grit under the city's fingernails is caked with blood.

Beau and his new partner Sue Danielson, a struggling single parent, are assigned the murder of an elderly woman torched to death in her bed. As their investigation proceeds, Beau and Sue become embroiled in a perilous series of events that will leave them and their case shattered — and for Beau nothing will ever be the same again.

Breach of Duty by J. A. Jance

An Excerpt from A Place To Call Home, a Novel of Suspense by Amy Schisler

Omnimystery News: An Excerpt courtesy of Amy Schisler
A Place To Call Home
by Amy Schisler

We are delighted to welcome author Amy Schisler to Omnimystery News today.

Amy's debut book is the suspense novel A Place To Call Home (Sarah Book Publishing; August 2014 trade paperback and ebook formats), and we are pleased to introduce you to it with an excerpt from the first chapter.

— ♦ —

A Place To Call Home by Amy Schisler

THE SOUND OF THE POWER TOOLS above them lulled both girls to sleep. Cassie's dream took her back in time to a week ago when they were still living in their foster parents' home. The girls were playing hide and seek in the house.
  Cassie counted, her eyes closed.
  "One hundred. Ready or not, here I come," she opened her eyes and called.
  Cassie looked in all of Ellie's usual hiding places — behind the living room curtains (no, they were called draperies in this house), in the hallway powder room (she had no idea why it was called that), inside the foyer closet amid fur and cashmere coats. Cassie nervously swallowed and peered into her foster father's office.
  "Ellie, Ellie, where are you?" she called in a hushed voice. "I saw you go downstairs, and I've looked everywhere. You'd better not be in Mr. Moore's office."
  "Cassie," the housekeeper hollered. "Senor Moore es home. I am leaving."
  "Si, Senora. We're just playing. Hasta mañana."
  Cassie ran into the office as soon as she heard the servant's door close. She spied her sister under the desk. Ellie giggled.
  "What are you doing in here, Ellie? Do you want to get us in trouble? We have to get out of here. You know we're not allowed..." The front door opened causing Cassie to jump. She squeezed under the desk with Ellie.
  "Do you think he'll know we're here?" Ellie whispered.
  "You better hope not, Ellie. Now, shush!"
  They saw the door to the office swing open, and watched as Mr. Moore's feet came closer to the desk. They held their breath as he stopped just inches from the front of the desk, their wide eyes looking down at the tips of his shoes staring up at them from the below the front panel of the desk. They listened as Mr. Moore pushed the button on the answering machine.
   "Alex, we've got problems," said a familiar voice. "Reynolds has gone nuts. He's on his way over to your place. His wife is leaving him, and he's blaming us. He says he's not covering for us any more. Says he's going to the press with what he knows about Cassie and Ellie and about the company. All the money in the world won't keep them from running with this story, Alex. If he talks, nobody can stop this, not even your people."
  Cassie and Ellie looked at each other in alarm. Mr. Moore started to come around the desk but was stopped by a loud pounding on the front door.
  "Open up Moore," someone yelled. "If you don't let me in, I'll blow the door handle off."
  Mr. Moore hesitated for a moment then started across the room toward the front hall. The girls huddled down so that they could peek out from under the desk. They watched him go into the foyer and both jumped when they heard the gunshot and the sound of the front door flying open. They saw shards of wood rain down in the office doorway.
  Ellie started to cry, but Cassie put her arms around her and held her tight. She clamped her hand over Ellie's mouth.
  "Don't cry, Ellie, please don't cry," she whispered to her frightened sister.
  A strange voice echoed through the house. "Don't move, Moore, or I'll blow your head off."
  Mr. Moore knew him. "Okay, Eddie, take it easy. We can talk about this."
  The girls listened as the man yelled at their foster father. He was using words they weren't allowed to say or hear, and he was even crying. He said his wife had found out something, that he should have told her, that he had ripped up some checks. Cassie was confused by what he was saying and what it all meant. She heard him say his wife and boys were gone. She was trying so hard to concentrate so she could remember what he was saying. She was trying to understand what he was talking about and what was happening.
  Mr. Moore was attempting to get the man to calm down, but he only got angrier. They listened to him threaten to go to the police, but Mr. Moore said the man would be the one in jail and his wife would be more determined than ever to leave him.
  "Shut up," the man yelled. "Don't you ever talk about my wife."
  Suddenly the girls saw a quick movement in the foyer, but both men were out of their line of sight through the only partially open door. They grabbed their ears as the sound of the gun echoed through the house. Ellie tried to scream, but Cassie slapped her hand back over her sister's mouth.
  They heard a loud scuffle in the entrance hall, another bang, and then a loud thump. They felt the rush of air as the office door swung all the way open, listened to the sound of something being dragged across the floor, and sat frozen as the room filled with an eerie silence after the front door slammed shut. Outside, a car started and then rolled down the gravel driveway, but Mr. Moore never came back in.
  Cassie and Ellie waited under the desk for what seemed like hours. When they ventured out, Ellie was still shaking.
  "Come on, Ellie. Let's get out of this room before he gets back." Cassie led her sister to the front hall.
  When they reached the doorway, Ellie screamed at the sight of the blood that fanned out across the floor running in dozens of little streams through the grooves in the marble. Ellie fainted, just missing the red sea and its many tributaries.
  "Ellie, no," Cassie screamed as she lunged but failed to catch her.

— ♦ —

Amy Schisler
Photo provided courtesy of
Amy Schisler

Amy MacWilliams Schisler of Bozman, Maryland has been writing all of her life for fun and as a freelance writer. A graduate of University of Maryland College Park with a Masters of Library and Information Science, Amy has resided in Talbot County for 21 years. She was employed as a school library media specialist at White Marsh Elementary and Chapel District Elementary and a reference librarian at Chesapeake College. For the past seven years, she has operated her own computer tutoring service working primarily with senior citizens while spending as much time as possible writing.

No stranger to politics, Amy is the wife of former State Delegate Ken Schisler. They have brought up three daughters on the Eastern Shore and are very involved in their local community. Amy is the leader of Girl Scout Troop 453, Director of Summer Roundup Girl Scout Camp, part of the Liturgical Ministry for Saints Peter and Paul Parish, leader of the Women of Faith Prayer Group, and volunteers at Saints Peter and Paul Elementary and High Schools.

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

— ♦ —

A Place To Call Home by Amy Schisler

A Place To Call Home
Amy Schisler
A Novel of Suspense

Susan O'Neil, young, single entrepreneur and owner of her own computer consulting business, is shocked to discover runaways Cassie and Ellie eating out of her trash. Thus begins a dangerous journey, both figuratively and literally, for Susan, the children, and childhood friend and undercover FBI agent, Jim Russell.

Racing against the clock to find the true paternity of the supposed orphans pits Susan and Jim against a ruthless killer who will stop at nothing to protect his empire. From the Baltimore City Government to the Caribbean Islands and the Las Vegas Casinos, the unearthed secrets about Cassie and Ellie's past threaten all of their futures.

Amazon.com Print/Kindle Format(s)  BN.com Print/Nook Format(s)  iTunes iBook Format

A Conversation with Mystery Author Jeffrey Siger

Omnimystery News: Author Interview with Jeffrey Siger
with Jeffrey Siger

We are delighted to welcome author Jeffrey Siger to Omnimystery News today.

Jeffrey's sixth mystery in his Andreas Kaldis series, Sons of Sparta (Poisoned Pen Press; October 2014 hardcover, trade paperback, audiobook and ebook formats), was published earlier this month and we recently had the opportunity to spend some time with him talking about his books.

— ♦ —

Omnimystery News: Tell us a little more about what inspired you to write this series. And how has your central character, Chief Inspector Andreas Kaldis, changed from his first appearance in Murder in Mykonos to the present book?

Jeffrey Siger
Photo provided courtesy of
Jeffrey Siger

Jeffrey Siger: Back when I started writing about Andreas Kaldis, I didn't intend on becoming a chronicler of Greece's trials and tribulations. My original goal was to write a stand-alone novel telling the story of an island I knew intimately. I wanted to talk about its people, culture and politics and only settled upon the mystery format because it struck me as the best vehicle for exploring how a tourist island society might respond to a threat to its newfound economic glory. That's when I decided to drop a serial killer into the midst of Mykonos' Mama Mia-style setting and turn the place into something more resembling No Country for Old Men.

When that book, Murder in Mykonos, became Greece's #1 bestselling English language novel and hit The New York Times' "radar list" of best selling hardcovers, I figured I better stick with my characters, because a lot of people liked them — and I did too, particularly the easy way serious issues, political and otherwise, could be expressed around them.

On the subject of change, my characters' lives move forward through the series, never static, always growing, hopefully bringing me along in the process.

OMN: Into which mystery subgenre would you place your books?

JS: Many call my Andreas Kaldis novels "fast-paced police procedurals," though some in the series have thriller aspects and others suspense. At one point I wondered whether any of those labels accurately reflected my use of the "crime" format as a means for categorizing my goal of addressing serious issues confronting contemporary Greece in a manner that touched upon its ancient roots. But I no longer have that misgiving. Why? Because I came to appreciate that the underlying purpose of virtually all crime fiction is to restore order to a fractured society; and that is precisely what I seek to achieve in exploring the vagaries of Greece's culture amid a land of awesome natural beauty. In other words, now I don't care how my work is labeled … as long as it's read.

OMN: Tell us something about Sons of Sparta that isn't mentioned in the publisher's synopsis.

JS: Readers of Sons of Sparta will learn a great deal about contemporary Greek culture and some may find substantial links to ancient Greek mythology — even though I may not have consciously realized the latter when writing it.

OMN: Give us a summary of the book in a tweet.

JS: #SoS turns a true-life, century-old honor killing into a chilling study of a contemporary Greek family's struggle between faith in law and blood-vendetta roots.

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

JS: Friends tell me that my primary character, Andreas Kaldis, and I share the same sense of humor and the same way of addressing problems. I never intentionally set out to do that but I think ultimately a writer cannot help but put part of himself into many of his characters.

I'm also flattered so many think my books are about real people and real places. I take that to mean I've made it all seem real to them. Of course, the geography and historical data about Greece is meant to be accurate — with a modest bit of poetic license added in at times — and perhaps that is what makes the novels seem so real.

But by and large the people are the product of some alchemy lurking within each of us waiting to artfully turn an unformed sense of beings we never knew into characters as unique as we are to each other. Yes, sometimes we consciously model a character on someone we know well, but mostly we assemble a new being from disparate physical and emotional elements stored in our individualized spare parts warehouses. Bottom line: Writers are body snatchers.

As for the influence of real events, in most instances a real event sparks an idea that sends me off and running. For example, in my latest novel, Sons of Sparta, a fan approached me with a century-old story about her family that I used in the first scene of the book. That scene launched all that followed, but not a subsequent word was based on real events.

OMN: Describe your writing process for us.

JS: When I begin to write a book I always have a theme, but never a plot. My themes arise from an epiphany-like moment of inspiration and since I never know when to expect such a moment, I always carry a tiny notebook in my back pocket and a pen up front. I scribble down ideas, random thoughts, rarely anything more than a possible general direction to take the story. It's nothing remotely resembling an outline, never a biography of a character, nor as I've learned, close to how the book ultimately turns out.

So, how do I come up with a plot? Damned if I know.

I have no more specific idea of where I'm headed than does a fellow who one day decides to "Go West, Young Man." And though each day I may start out thinking I know where my writing is going, by the end of that session it generally bears no more resemblance to where I began than does a flower to its seed.

What drives me forward are instinct, glimpses of the Promised Land, and tenacity for overcoming inevitable obstacles. Some days it's an easy stroll across wide-open plains in soft summer breezes, others are a bare-knuckle struggle up a cliff face in an ice storm. But if I keep heading west, I'll find fresh, exciting characters along the way and plot shifts jumping out of trees. And every once in a while my characters might even trust me enough to let me write a bit of the story myself.

OMN: Where do you usually find yourself writing?

JS: I write anywhere I can set up my Macbook Air and NOT be disturbed by people talking to me. But absolute silence in a locked room is best — provided I hold the key to get out.

OMN: How do you go about researching the plot points of your stories? Have you come across any particularly challenging or exciting topics?

JS: I spend approximately six months immersed in research and in verifying details of the venues, events, and characters I describe. Much of my "insider" insight comes amid Mykonos' fabled 24/7 nightlife from conversations with persons possessing first-hand knowledge of the issues, experiences, and intrigues I describe, and with visitors from around the world willingly sharing their private thoughts and confidences in relaxed beachside chats or pre-dawn whispered conversations in a club or bar. I know, it's hard work.

My most challenging topic … which hopefully will not turn into my most exciting … is shaping up to be an element in the book I'm finishing for 2015 publication. It explores the world of "bomba" or counterfeit booze. Everyone of my friends in the bar business that I approach to talk about bomba — so named for the "bomb" that goes off in your brain when you drink it — gives me a blank stare and an answer along the lines, "I know nothing about that."

Prior to that, I guess you could say the most exciting came in researching the habitats of violent anarchists in Athens for Assassins of Athens. The taxi I traveled in to study Athens' worst neighborhoods got caught up in traffic and we found ourselves surrounded by eight masked-men demanding the camera they'd seen me using taking photographs of their neighborhood. When I refused, the taxi driver almost had a heart attack, but we were able to convince the leader I was a writer, not a cop, and they let us go. I ran into the taxi driver on Mykonos two years later and he was raving on about that being the "most frightening experience" of his more than twenty years of driving a taxi in Athens. Obviously he'd not grown up in Pittsburgh.

OMN: How true are you to the setting in your books?

JS: Location is seminal to my stories; it makes them come alive. Abandoned island mines, ancient ruins, island churches, village lanes, modern big city neighborhoods (sordid, elegant, and in between), even places beyond Greece (such as relatively unknown Sardinian locales) are as important as the characters in my books.

I believe readers deserve the unexpected and I concentrate great effort on bringing surprises to them in an utterly believable way. The stories may be fiction, but you want to be honest with your readers on the verifiable details such as locations so that when the moment arrives to leap on to the imagined they'll come along with you.

OMN: What advice might you offer aspiring authors?

JS: My advice to aspiring authors is always the same: "Writing is a lousy way to make a living but a wonderful way to make a life."

So have fun at it.

OMN: Tell us more about the book's cover design. And was Sons of Sparta always your intended title?

JS: My series' book cover design has been completely redone in what I (modestly) consider one of the best series depictions anywhere. The folks at Poisoned Pen Press did it with dedication and a commitment to expressing the essence of each book within the overall vision of the series.

As for titles, I inadvertently alliterated the title of my first book, Murder in Mykonos, and it just seemed natural that the second book should be called Assassins of Athens. That labeled me an "alliterist" and I've been expected since then to keep up the practice. At least I'm not limited to twenty-six letters of the alphabet.:)

OMN: What's next for you?

JS: I am writing a new book (as I do every year), doing my weekly Saturday blog for Murder is Everywhere, posting another blog on the 19th of each month for Poisoned Pen Press, using my best efforts to serve effectively as a national board member of Bouchercon, and keeping track of my growing grandkids. I'm sure there's something I'm missing … but am also sure the lady in question will remind me of precisely what that may be.

— ♦ —

Born and raised in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, Jeffrey Siger practiced law at a major Wall Street law firm and while there served as Special Counsel to the citizens group responsible for reporting on New York City's prison conditions. He left Wall Street to establish his own New York City law firm and continued as one of its name partners until giving it all up to write full-time among the people, life, and politics of his beloved Mykonos, his adopted home of thirty years. When not in Greece, he enjoys his other home, a farm outside New York City.

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

— ♦ —

Sons of Sparta by Jeffrey Siger

Sons of Sparta
Jeffrey Siger
A Chief Inspector Andreas Kaldis Mystery

Did the warriors of ancient Sparta simply vanish without a trace along with their city, or did they find sanctuary at the tip of the mountainous Peloponnese? That stark, unforgiving region's roots today run deep with a history of pirates, highwaymen, and neighbors ferociously repelling any foreigner foolishly bent on occupying this part of Greece. Less well recorded are the Mani's families' strict code of honor and their history of endless vendettas with neighbors and with their own relatives. No wonder their farms look like fortresses.

When Special Crimes Division Detective Yiannis Kouros is summoned from Athens to the Mani by his uncle, Kouros fears his loyalty to his boss, Chief Inspector Andreas Kaldis, is about be to be tested by family pressure on the detective to act in some new vendetta, for this uncle once headed the Mani's most significant criminal enterprise. Instead, Kouros learns the family is about to become rich through the sale of its property — until the uncle is killed, and thus the deal. Acting swiftly to head off a new cycle of violence, Kouros satisfactorily solves the murder. Or so it seems until, back in Athens, Kaldis' probe into deeply entrenched government corruption leads straight back to the Mani. Both cops now confront a host of unexpected twists, unanticipated players, unanswered questions — and people yet to die.

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Everybody Wants an Oscar by Peter S. Fischer is Today's Third Featured Free MystereBook

Everybody Wants an Oscar by Peter S. Fischer

Omnimystery News is pleased to feature …

Everybody Wants an Oscar by Peter S. Fischer

A Hollywood Murder Mystery

Publisher: The Grove Point Press

… as today's third free mystery ebook.

Everybody Wants an Oscar by Peter S. Fischer, Amazon Kindle format

This title was listed for free as of October 29, 2014 at 7:20 AM ET. Prices are subject to change without notice. The price displayed on the vendor website at the time of the purchase will be the price paid for the book. Please confirm the price of the book before completing your transaction.

For a summary of all of today's featured titles, plus any that may have appeared before and are repeat freebies, visit our Free MystereBooks page. This page is updated daily, typically by 8 AM ET.

More on today's free book, below.

After six long years, Joe Bernardi's novel is at last finished and has been shipped to a major publisher. But even as he awaits news, fingers crossed for luck, things are heating up at the studio. Soon production will begin on Tennessee Williams' "The Glass Menagerie" and Jane Wyman has her sights set on a second consecutive Academy Award. Jack Warner has just signed Gertrude Lawrence for the pivotal role of Amanda and is positive that the Oscar will go to Gertie. And meanwhile, Eleanor Parker, who has gotten rave reviews for a woman's prison picture called "Caged" is sure that 1950 is her year to take home the trophy.

Faced with three very talented ladies, all vying for his very best efforts, Joe is resigned to performing a monumental juggling act. Thank God he has nothing else to worry about or at least that was the case until his agent informed him that a screenplay is floating around Hollywood that is a dead ringer for his newly completed novel. Will the ladies be forced to take a back seat as Joe goes after the thief that has stolen his work, his good name and six years of his life …

Everybody Wants an Oscar by Peter S. Fischer

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