Tag Archives: historical mystery

A day in the life of Slim Moran, detective for the lost, by Kate Moira Ryan

When I was a schoolgirl at the Convent of The Sacred Heart in New York City, I lived with Maps, my governess, in an enormous apartment overlooking Central Park. My father, Tyrone Moran, was a movie star who was rarely home and when he was, he was out with a string of women, one younger than the next. On Sundays, Maps and I would venture into the park with our drawing pads and crayons. She was an amateur artist and in my view, a very bad one, however, I was even worse. She used to say to me, “A good artist notices every detail. It’s in the details that great art comes.”

As a detective for those lost in World War Two, I’ve always taken that lesson to heart. I spend hours pouring over my notebooks scouring the details. Sometimes one pops up that may seem insignificant, but really is the most important clue of a case. Take this morning for instance, I was sitting in La Silhouette, the bar I own with Marlene Dietrich’s ex-lover, Françoise, going through my notebook for my latest case, a missing Polish boy, Karol, kidnapped by the Nazis and Germanized. His mother Lena, had given me a photo of both of them shortly before they were separated by the SS in the town square of Zamość in 1942. Something caught my eye, it was a gold watch on Lena’s wrist shaped like a heart. Where had I seen that watch before? Before I could think, Françoise came over with a bowl of café au lait and then barked at Remy, her assistant, to mop the floors. Then the door opened and a deliveryman came in with the liquor delivery. He nodded to me and went straight to Françoise who lit her ubiquitous Galouise and moved her wrist to glance at her watch. The watch face was turned on the back of her wrist and then it hit me. The German nurse I had interviewed in Ebensee wore a watch identical to Lena’s except it was facing backwards as if she was hiding it from me. The nurse had professed not seeing Karol when she ran her infamous children’s home which had warehoused the children kidnapped from Poland.

Why did the nurse have Lena’s watch? And how did a poor Polish maid get a watch like that in the first place?

Françoise sat down. She stubbed out her cigarette. “You’re stuck,” she noted looking at me staring at my notebook. “Remy, after the floors are done wipe down the bar.” She caught my look at disapproval, rolled her eyes and then said, “Please.”

“I am stuck.” I said. “Look at this watch this woman is wearing in this photograph. It’s gold in the shape of a heart with diamonds around the face. The thing is, she’s a maid, so how did she get this watch in the first place?”

Françoise studied the photo and then said. “There are two ways someone like that gets a watch; either it’s stolen or it’s from a lover. And since she’s wearing it so blatantly, it must be from a lover. Trust me I know.”

She got up and left. I studied my notebook. Françoise was right, but who was Lena’s lover? Had she given the nurse her watch or had it been taken? Sometimes, it’s the smallest detail that opens a case wide. Other times, it’s a red herring that leads me into a maze with a dead end. The watch was more than a clue, it was a metaphor for the case, time was running out. I had three weeks to find this boy or his mother would be gone forever to Chicago. Then something else occurred to me; the watch was more than a clue. It was probably used to save the boy’s life. I knew had to find that nurse again and ask her what she had done with he lost boy. I slammed by notebook shut. It was time to travel back to Germany.

You can read more about Slim in The Lost Spy, the first book in the “Slim Moran” historical series.

It is Paris, 1949. 27-year-old American detective and heiress, Slim Moran, is hired by a British spymistress to find Marie-Claire, a spy long presumed dead. Slim soon realizes that scores from the last war have not been settled. She races to find out what happened to this deeply troubled lost spy because if Marie-Claire is not dead, she will be soon.

Buy Link

# # # # # # # # # # #

About the author
Kate Moira Ryan is an award-winning playwright. Her work was been produced nationally and internationally. She is recipient of two GLAAD Media Awards. Her first book in “The Slim Moran” Mystery Series, The Lost Spy won a Kindle Scout campaign and is published by Kindle Press.

Five-Year Anniversary Giveaway from Seventh Street Books

Before Seventh Street Books’ Five-year anniversary comes to a close, they are giving away a copy of their first book published, The Bookseller by Mark Pryor, along with a “special surprise gift” to FIVE lucky readers.

Leave a comment below for your chance to win. U.S. entries only, please. The giveaway ends December 6, 2017. Good luck everyone!

Anna Blanc’s Morning by Jennifer Kincheloe

I roll over on my feather bed and moan, feeling vaguely hysterical, only mostly awake from a Detective Joe Singer dream. We were trapping a criminal together— a man who did unspeakable things. In the dream, the only way to catch the maniacal fiend and save our own lives was if Joe and I got perfect scores in ring toss.

But I woke up before we got to play, which is regrettable. I would love to play with Joe Singer, and I love catching criminals. I’m the smartest, bravest man on the force.

I catch my breath and pull myself to a sitting position, my lashes sandy, my bounteous bun sliding down my cheek like a melting scoop of ice cream. The alarm clock by my bed is alarmingly silent. I’d forgotten to set it. I’m due at the police station in fifteen minutes and just putting on my underwear will take that—corset, corset cover, chemise, drawers, petticoats, garters, stockings.

Adrenaline surges through the sludge of my sleepiness. I will need an excellent excuse. I’ll say I found orphaned children in the street. Twelve of them. That I instructed them in goodness and fed them Cracker Jacks. That I gave them my own clothes to wear. Even the boys.

Amendment. Not the boys.

I swing my feet off my giant oak canopy bed—which is only in the living room because it would not fit in the bedroom—and contemplate the daunting race to the kitchen. When my obscenely wealthy father cast me out, my mother’s heirlooms went with me into my dilapidated new apartment. By necessity, I crammed my belongings so close together, traversing the apartment now requires squeezing, climbing, and some vaulting. I crawl as fast as I can across an 18th century Louis the XV table and down onto a pouf upholstered in silk velvet, accidentally catching my toe on the cart where I keep my spirits—or rather spirit. My only bottle of whiskey topples to the floor and shatters. The amber liquid splashes across the planks of the floor, leaving them sticky and treacherous. Now I must climb over the baby grand piano to avoid the glass.


There would be no more whiskey. Not for at least a month, as I owe money to a dress maker and a purveyor of guns.

I dump a tin of kippers out onto a Wedgwood plate and gobble them daintily with a silver fork, even as a rat scuttles across the counter. I throw a box of Cracker Jacks at it and peg it squarely in the bottom. It squeaks and disappears into a hole in the wall.

On my “to do” list for the day: hawk gold hatpins, complain to landlord about rats, wash ugly police matron uniform in the communal bathtub, and lastly—if Detective Wolf lets me—trap a criminal.

You can read more about Anna in The Woman in the Camphor Trunk, the second book in the “Anna Blanc” mystery series, coming November 14, 2017.

Los Angeles, 1908. In Chinatown, the most dangerous beat in Los Angeles, police matron Anna Blanc and her former sweetheart, Detective Joe Singer, discover the body of a white missionary woman, stuffed in a trunk in the apartment of her Chinese lover. If news about the murder gets out, there will be a violent backlash against the Chinese. Joe and Anna work to solve the crime quietly and keep the death a secret, reluctantly helped by the good-looking Mr. Jones, a prominent local leader.

Meanwhile, the kidnapping of two slave girls fuels existing tensions, leaving Chinatown poised on the verge of a bloody tong war. Joe orders Anna to stay away, but Anna is determined to solve the crime before news of the murder is leaked and Chinatown explodes.

Buy Link

# # # # # # # # # # #

About the author
Jennifer Kincheloe is the author of The Secret Life of Anna Blanc and The Woman in the Camphor Trunk. The Secret Life of Anna Blanc is the winner of the Colorado Gold Award for mystery and the Mystery and Mayhem Award for historical mystery. The novel was also a finalist for the Macavity Sue Feder Historical Mystery award, Left Coast Crime “Lefty” Award, and Colorado Authors’ League Award for genre fiction. Formerly, Dr. Kincheloe was the principal of a health consulting firm and a member of the research faculty for the UCLA Center for Health Policy Research. She currently does research on the jails in Denver, Colorado. Visit jenniferkincheloe.com for more information.

All comments are welcomed.

A day in the life with Elizabeth Miles by Victoria Thompson

When you make your living conning people out of their money, you have to expect good days and bad days. Today was one of the bad ones. A really bad one, in fact. It all started when my partner, Jake, made a stupid mistake and the mark we were working realized he’d been cheated. The mark had his two goons beat Jake up and then sent them after me. I didn’t stand a chance, but luckily, I remembered those women who were marching in front of the White House, which was only a few blocks from the hotel where we were staying. I figured I could blend in with them and the goons wouldn’t dare bother me. And it worked. I got away from them.

But out of the frying pan and into the fire, as somebody once said. Those women were marching to get the vote, which seems like a waste of time to me, and they’d made President Wilson so mad he was having them arrested. A night or two in jail was fine with me, since I’d be safe there, but this time the demonstrators got sentenced to three months of hard labor at a workhouse! This was not at all what I’d had in mind.

They shipped us to Virginia and threw us in jail. Literally. They hit us and dragged us and tossed us into the cells. It was so awful, this night will become known as the Night of Terror. So here I am, in a filthy workhouse with a bunch of crazy females who think they can convince men to let them vote. To make matters even worse, the food is awful, rancid and full of maggots, so now they’re talking about going on a hunger strike.

As if all of this weren’t bad enough, Oscar Thornton (the mark) and his goons know exactly where I am, and they’re working to get all of us released because they still want to kill me.

You’re probably wondering how I’ll get out of this. I don’t know yet, but I’m sure I’ll figure out something. That’s what grifters do.

You can read more about Elizabeth in City of Lies, the first book in the NEW “Counterfeit Lady” mystery series.

Every woman plays a part — but some are more dangerous than others. . .

Like most women, Elizabeth Miles assumes many roles; unlike most, hers have made her a woman on the run. Living on the edge of society, Eliz uses her wiles (and wits) to make a living from the ill-gotten gains of so-called respectable men. But brutal and greedy entrepreneur Oscar Thornton has lost a great deal of money and is not going to forgive a woman for outwitting him. He’s out for blood. With his thugs hot on her trail, Elizabeth seizes the moment to blend in with a group of women with an agenda of their own. Even when they’re arrested, she still counts herself lucky; after all, jail is the safest place she could be.

She never expects to like or understand these privileged women, but she soon comes to respect them and realizes that there may be more to life than chasing other people’s fortunes. As Elizabeth forms an unlikely bond with the matriarch of the group and realizes her son Gabriel is the rarest of species, an honest man in a dishonest world, her new life begins to take shape. But Oscar Thornton hasn’t forgotten her and is biding his time in this gilded orbit, waiting to strike. Will Elizabeth’s new life be cut short by this vicious shadow from her past?

“Don’t miss City of Lies, an exciting story of intrigue, deception and love”
–Catherine Coulter
Author of Insidious

“Suffragists, socialites, grifters, and goons at the last gasp of the Gilded Age. This is how to start a series! Thompson brings an irresistible heroine onstage, backs her up with a terrific cast of sidekicks, and delivers a rattling good plot. There’s rich thread of US history skillfully woven in too. I loved it.”
–Catriona McPherson
bestselling author of the multi-award-winning Dandy Gilver series.

“Completely captivating! Clever, engaging and romantic, this unlikely suffragette will have you cheering her courage–and eagerly awaiting her next adventure. Loved it.”
–Hank Phillippi Ryan
Agatha, Anthony and Mary Higgins Clark award wining author

“Victoria Thompson gives us a fresh new series with clever Elizabeth Miles, a con artist on the run. City of Lies is the real deal, a genuinely different series. Buy this book. You’ll love it — and that’s no lie.”
— Elaine Viets
author of Fire and Ashes, an Angela Richman, Death Investigator mystery

Buy Link

# # # # # # # # # # #

Giveaway: Leave a comment below for your chance to win a print copy of City of Lies. U.S. entries only, please. The giveaway ends November 8, 2017. Good luck everyone!

# # # # # # # # # # #

About the author
Edgar® and Agatha Nominated author Victoria Thompson writes the Gaslight Mystery Series, set in turn-of-the-century New York City and featuring midwife Sarah Brandt. Her latest, Murder in the Bowery, was a May 2017 release. City of Lies is the first book in her new Counterfeit Lady series, a November 2017 release from Berkley. She also contributed to the award winning writing textbook Many Genres/One Craft. Victoria teaches in the Seton Hill University master’s program in writing popular fiction. She lives in Illinois with her husband and a very spoiled little dog. Find out more at www.victoriathompson.com.

All comments are welcomed.

A day in the life with Miss Evangeline Barnum by Casey Daniels

late of Bethel, Connecticut, currently residing in the city of New York

I have been asked to report on the activities of a day in my life, but I must admit, that is not a simple thing to do. When you are the sister of that most famous man, Phineas T. Barnum, and you work as his assistant at the American Museum, no day is typical.

There are days I deal with those eager to sell items to my brother for display at the museum, and days I am in charge of making sure that what do have on exhibit (there are tens of thousands of items!) are neat and orderly. This, of course, includes our extensive collection of automatons, wax figures, Egyptian mummies, and the live animals that live here in our five-story building at the corner of Ann Street and Broadway, including a whale in an aquarium.

Then of course, we have our oddities. Do not judge my brother harshly for displaying the people so many call “freaks.” Yes, here at the museum, we regularly exhibit a Bearded Lady, the Lizard Man of Borneo, a Tattooed Man, the famous General Tom Thumb, and many other oddities. But unlike other showmen who treat these people abominably, my brother provides these people with luxurious housing and pays them more than a living wage. I am glad of this, for in the time I’ve worked here at the museum, I have come to consider them my friends. I look forward to the days I pay them their wages and visit with them, just as I look forward to having lunch with Bess, our bearded lady, every Monday.

The museum is teeming with all that is intriguing and provocative, so much so that more than 15,000 people pass through our doors each and every day! The American Museum has surely made my brother famous. It has also made him very, very rich.

Of course the most famous of all my brother’s attraction is the Feejee Mermaid, a specimen purported to have been discovered in the South Pacific many years ago. It was there in the gallery where the Mermaid resides where I recently and quite unexpectedly met an old friend from home, Andrew Emerson. Poor dear Andrew. He came from Connecticut most specifically to seek my help and I . . .

It is a very long story, and I cannot divulge the details at this date. I can say that Andrew’s visit propelled me into a most peculiar mystery and that if my brother knew the dangers I faced, he would most surely be displeased.

No, there is no day here at the American Museum that is like any other. But that is fine with me. Such a fabulous place keeps me busy and engaged and that helps keep my past–and my secrets–at bay.

You can read more about Evangeline in Smoke and Mirrors, the first book in the NEW “Miss Barnum” mystery series.

Introducing museum curator and amateur sleuth Miss Evie Barnum in the first of a deliciously quirky new historical mystery series.

Evie Barnum is in charge of her brother’s museum, a place teeming with scientific specimens and “human prodigies” including a bearded woman and the lizard man. In this weird and whacky workplace, Evie hopes she can bury her secrets.

But when an old friend shows up and begs for her help, she does all she can to stay away. The next time she sees him, he is dead in front of the exhibit of the Feejee Mermaid. Suspicion for the murder falls on Jeffrey, known as the Lizard Man, but Evie knows it isn’t possible.

When Jeffrey also goes missing, Evie becomes determined to solve the mystery of her friend’s murder, even if it brings her face to face with her past. . .

Buy Link

# # # # # # # # # # #

About the author
Once upon a time, a very long time ago and under another name, Casey Daniels began her career writing historical romance. She has long since switched to mysteries because, she says, these days she would rather kill people than have them fall in love. She is the author of ten Pepper Martin mysteries and as Kylie Logan, the League of Literary Ladies and the Ethnic Eats mysteries.

With Smoke and Mirrors she returns to her historical roots. The book is set at Barnum’s American Museum in New York City in 1842 and features a (fictional) sister of PT Barnum, Evie, who works at the museum as his assistant. Casey is grateful for the chance to once again immerse herself in the past, though she admits she forgot how much research was involved! You can find her on Facebook (both as Casey and Kylie) and at www.kylielogan.com and www.caseydaniels.com.

All comments are welcomed.

A day in the life of Edwina Davenport by Jessica Ellicott

Life for me in the small English village of Walmsley Parva used to run along a rather predictable pattern. Most days I woke up to a nagging series of thoughts concerning my overdue accounts at the local greengrocer or a disturbing patch of damp growing ever larger in the corner of my sitting room. I spent my day in the company of my beloved terrier, Crumpet, and my irksome jobbing gardener Simpkins with whom I have an ongoing quarrel on the subject of tuberous begonias. Evenings I spent playing games of Patience or knitting small jumpers and pairs of booties to be sold in support of the church roof fund. One day was very much like another. It was not a bad life but it was not a particularly exciting one either.

All that changed when my old friend from our days together at Mdm. DuPont’s Finishing School for Young Ladies, Beryl Helliwell, arrived in response to an advertisement I had placed in the newspaper for a lodger. You see, as much as I find it distressing to admit it, the economic downturn in the aftermath of the Great War left me badly in need of funds. The upkeep on my home, the Beeches, required far more than the paltry income from my stock shares provided. Beryl’s arrival was an answer to my prayers.

At least I thought it was until Beryl took the notion to put a story about the village that she had arrived for a visit after receiving a coded message from me stating I needed her help to uncover some dark doings in Walmsley Parva. She told the local postmistress the two of us worked for a covert intelligence agency. Her bald-faced lying to the most dedicated gossip in all the village resulted in someone attempting to strangle me with my own scarf that very night as I walked Crumpet one last time before bed.

One would expect that an attempt on the life of an old dear friend would dampen the spirits and quell any thirst for adventure. Unfortunately, one does not generally expect someone like Beryl. She took the attempted murder as encouragement that there were in fact nefarious activities roiling under the placid surface of village life. She somehow managed to convince me to see things her way and before I knew it, my typical day filled only with arguing with my gardener, walking my dog and knitting for charity were but faint memories. When Beryl and I stumbled over a body in a fallow field we were suddenly right in the thick of things following clues and generally stirring up trouble all over the village.

As much as it would make my dearly departed mother spin furiously in her grave to hear me say it, I’ve rather enjoyed the novelty of my new life and the adventurous turn it has taken since Beryl’s arrival. You won’t find me sitting quietly alone in my parlor playing Patience every evening anymore. You’re far more likely to see me rattling down country lanes in Beryl’s motorcar, at ferocious rates of speed or questioning suspects and verifying alibis. Please don’t tell Beryl, but I don’t miss my old life one little bit.

You can read more about Edwina in Murder in an English Village, the first book in the NEW “Beryl and Edwina” historical mystery series, coming October 31, 2017

As friends, the boisterous and brash American Beryl couldn’t be less alike than the prim and proper British Edwina. But as sleuths in an England recovering from the Great War, they’re the perfect match . . .

1920: Flying in the face of convention, legendary American adventuress Beryl Helliwell never fails to surprise and shock. The last thing her adoring public would expect is that she craves some peace and quiet. The humdrum hamlet of Walmsley Parva in the English countryside seems just the ticket. And, honestly, until America comes to its senses and repeals Prohibition, Beryl has no intention of returning stateside and subjecting herself to bathtub gin.

For over three decades, Edwina Davenport has lived comfortably in Walmsley Parva, but the post–World War I bust has left her in dire financial straits and forced her to advertise for a lodger. When her long-lost school chum Beryl arrives on her doorstep—actually crashes into it in her red motorcar—Edwina welcomes her old friend as her new roommate.

But her idyllic hometown has a hidden sinister side, and when the two friends are drawn in, they decide to set up shop as private inquiry agents, helping Edwina to make ends meet and satisfying Beryl’s thirst for adventure. Now this odd couple will need to put their heads together to catch a killer—before this sleepy English village becomes their final resting place . . .

Buy Link

# # # # # # # # # # #

Meet the author
Jessica Ellicott loves fountain pens, Mini Coopers and throwing parties. She lives in northern New England where she obsessively knits wool socks and enthusiastically speaks Portuguese with a shocking disregard for the rules of grammar.

As Jessie Crockett she’s the author of the nationally bestselling Sugar Grove Mysteries, and the Daphne du Maurier Award winner, Live Free or Die. She also is the author of the books in the Change of Fortune mysteries as Jessica Estevao.

Visit Jessica at jessicaellicott.com.

All comments are welcomed.

A day in the life with Verity Kent by Anna Lee Huber

I pressed a hand to my temple, closing my eyes as the beat of the drums grew ever louder, synchronizing with the pounding in my skull. I silently willed my man-of-all-work to hurry, praying I wasn’t already trapped. That it wasn’t too late.

I’d originally planned to attend the Trooping the Colour, the first since the war had ended. As such, it was to be the largest ever, and consequently would be held in Hyde Park to accommodate all of the soldiers. But when I’d woken to the sounds of drumming and marching only a few short blocks away from my Berkeley Square residence, panic gripped my chest.

I simply couldn’t do it. I couldn’t sit in my flat and listen to all that pomp and circumstance. And I certainly couldn’t stand among the other spectators and pretend I wasn’t a wreck inside. What if I should fail to hold it in? What if I should break down?

I inhaled sharply at the horrifying thought. No, it was best, for all, if I left.

I would weave my way north if I had to before doubling back to the southwest. I’d planned to leave tomorrow anyway and make my way down to the Derby at Epsom before traveling on to Winchester and then Umbersea Island. What did it matter if I left a day early? There was so little demand on my time anymore.

Not so long ago, I would’ve woken early to hurry off to my job, grateful for the warmth of the sun on my cheeks even though I knew such clear skies could mean zeppelin raids in the evening. Ostensibly, I worked for a shipping company who helped supply victuals to the troops at the front, but in actuality my work took me to Whitehall Court and into the domain of the Secret Service, where my days were filled with exhausting, but important work, with purpose. In my more reflective moments, I recognized my job had been the only thing to keep me on my feet after my husband, Sidney, died in early 1918.

But then the war had ended, and soon enough, so had my usefulness. I’d been released from service to wander our empty, echoing flat. I’d volunteered where I could, frantic to fill my hours during the day, while at night I frequented parties and nightclubs with friends equally desperate to stifle their pain, to dance and drown themselves into forgetfulness.

I suspect my life would have continued in that vein had the letter not arrived.

I know the secrets you hide. Why shouldn’t I also know your husband’s?

Then I couldn’t go on ignoring it all. I couldn’t continue to banish the memories. Not when my anonymous letterwriter had made such terrible accusations against Sidney. So I’d followed his instructions. I’d telephoned and told one of my husband’s oldest friends I’d had a change of plans and would be able to attend his engagement house party on Umbersea Island after all. What would happen when I arrived, I couldn’t guess. But I certainly wasn’t going to allow this mysterious correspondent’s claims about Sidney to go unchallenged.

I heard the engine of my late husband’s Pierce-Arrow before I saw it, and stepped through the door to meet my man-of-all-work as he brought the current-red motorcar to a stop. The sleek little Runabout had been Sidney’s pride and joy, and had since become mine.

“She’s all ready for ye, Mrs. Kent,” Rufus declared as he hopped out, holding the door for me.

I climbed in behind the driving wheel, wondering why men always referred to motorcars as females. Not that I disagreed, for I thought the same of this lovely girl. Especially when she was so keenly complicit in my escapes.

I checked the mirrors and resisted the urge to fidget as I waited impatiently for him to load my luggage.

“All set.” Rufus’s head turned to the side so he could gaze down the street, eager to catch a glimpse of the proceedings at Hyde Park.

“Go on,” I told him. Let someone enjoy the spectacle. “I won’t return until Monday, so you’ve your ease until then.”

He nodded, careful concern banked in his eyes. It simply wouldn’t do for a man of his station to be telling me what to do, even if he had served under Sidney. “Take ‘er easy through the acceleration. The clutch is stickin’ a tad. I’ll take another look when ye return.”

I couldn’t tell whether this was true or if it was simply his way of urging me to be safe, but I offered him an artless smile. “Don’t fuss, Rufus. We’ll return in one piece.”

I sped away oblivious to what was to come.

You can read more about Verity in This Side of Murder, the first book in the NEW “Verity Kent” mystery series.

The Great War is over, but in this captivating new mystery from award-winning author Anna Lee Huber, one young widow discovers the real intrigue has only just begun . . .

England, 1919. Verity Kent’s grief over the loss of her husband pierces anew when she receives a cryptic letter, suggesting her beloved Sidney may have committed treason before his untimely death. Determined to dull her pain with revelry, Verity’s first impulse is to dismiss the derogatory claim. But the mystery sender knows too much—including the fact that during the war, Verity worked for the Secret Service, something not even Sidney knew.

Lured to Umbersea Island to attend the engagement party of one of Sidney’s fellow officers, Verity mingles among the men her husband once fought beside, and discovers dark secrets—along with a murder clearly meant to conceal them. Relying on little more than a coded letter, the help of a dashing stranger, and her own sharp instincts, Verity is forced down a path she never imagined—and comes face to face with the shattering possibility that her husband may not have been the man she thought he was. It’s a truth that could set her free—or draw her ever deeper into his deception . . .

Buy Link

# # # # # # # # # # #

About the author
Anna Lee Huber is the Daphne award-winning author of the national bestselling Lady Darby Mysteries, the Verity Kent Mysteries, and the Gothic Myths series, as well as the forthcoming anthology The Jacobite’s Watch. She is a summa cum laude graduate of Lipscomb University in Nashville, Tennessee, where she majored in music and minored in psychology. She currently resides in Indiana with her family and is hard at work on her next novel. Visit her online at www.annaleehuber.com.

All comments are welcomed.

A day in the life of Ruby Proulx by Jessica Estevao

Only a few weeks ago I could never have predicted my day-to-day life would change so completely. Which presents some degree of difficulty as I profess myself to have psychic abilities. One could reasonably argue that I should have had some inkling I would soon find myself settled into sumptuous accommodations at my aunt’s hotel in Maine rather than rattling the roads working with my father on a Canadian medicine show. It seems like one moment I was living the life of an impoverished wanderer with nowhere to call home and a list of aliases so long I hardly remembered my real name. The next moment I had a luxurious bedroom all to myself complete with a fireplace and a sweeping view of the sea.

Perhaps I should explain. After a harrowing incident involving an electrified medical device I found myself in dire need of sanctuary. Preferably some place where the Canadian police would be unlikely to look for me. Just before abandoning me to my own devices my father suggested it was a fortuitous time to introduce myself to my Aunt Honoria who happened to live across the border from where we hawked miracle medicines and I read tarot cards for rubes that visited the medicine shows.

I took his advice and caught the first train from New Brunswick to Old Orchard, Maine. As the miles slipped by I considered the dangers of my way of life and I vowed to go straight. That is until I arrived at the Hotel Belden only to discover that Honoria ran an establishment that catered exclusively to metaphysical practitioners. Despite my good intentions, before I knew it, I found myself employed as the hotel medium.

While it is true that I do not have the exact skill set I purport to possess I should not like you to think less of me for stretching the truth concerning my abilities. I assure you I really do have otherworldly experiences. I do hear a voice from the other side that advises me; I just don’t always hear the things I share with my clients. I do, however, pride myself in delivering the sorts of messages that encourage the sitter to follow courses of action they wish to pursue but do not feel sure they should take.

Most days I give readings for guests at the hotel. Sometimes I use my trusty tarot cards with sitters and other times I rely on small twitches and squeezes I feel when linking hands in a séance circle. It is exhausting work but Honoria assures me it has been a boon to the hotel. I also help my aunt and the hotel housekeeper with various jobs around the hotel like arranging the seating and welcoming the new arrivals. I host a table in the dining room every evening. From time to time I organize and lead outings for some of our long-term guests. Recently the hotel has become a hub of the suffrage movement and that has kept me busier than ever attending rallies and marches.

I also use my position to assist a local police officer in solving some cases that have come his way. I have found that many people are far more likely to share confidences with those they believe are in touch with the world of spirit and although I say it myself, my contribution to thwarting the criminal element in my new hometown has been of considerable value. It has been surprisingly satisfying to find myself on the opposite side of the law from where I usually have operated. I intend to continue to do so as long as Officer Yancey does not uncover the secrets of my past. I very much doubt even help from the spirit world will save me from an upright officer like him.

You can read more about Ruby in Whispers of Warning, the second book in the “Change of Fortune” mystery series.

Ruby Proulx’s new life in Orchard Beach, Maine, faces some sinister complications in the next Change of Fortune Mystery by Jessica Estevao. . .

Free from the clutches of her con artist father, Ruby Proulx is starting to settle in at the Belden, her aunt Honoria’s seaside hotel. She loves finally being rooted in one place and also feels a sense of purpose as she helps Honoria keep her business afloat by acting as a psychic medium for the hotel’s metaphysically inclined guests.

When one of the guests, renowned Spiritualist and outspoken suffragist Sophronia Foster Eldridge, checks into the hotel for a monthlong stay, Ruby finds her sense of purpose expands outside the confines of home and family. Sophronia takes Ruby under her wing and mentors her in the mediumistic abilities, encouraging her to fight for women’s rights.

But not everyone is as happy with Sophronia’s appearance in Old Orchard. When a dangerous act of sabotage is carried out and a body is found floating in the pool of a local bathhouse, Ruby takes it upon herself to find answers— and in the process learns that her new friend has been hiding some deadly secrets of her own. . .

Buy Link

# # # # # # # # # # #

Giveaway: Leave a comment below for your chance to win a print copy of Whispers of Warning. U.S. entries only, please. The giveaway ends September 21, 2017. Good luck everyone!

# # # # # # # # # # #

About the author
Jessica Estevao writes the Change of Fortune Mysteries. She loves the beach, mysterious happenings and all things good-naturedly paranormal. While she lives for most of the year in New Hampshire with her dark and mysterious husband and exuberant children, she spends summers on the coast of Maine where she keeps an eye out for sea monsters and mermaids.

As Jessie Crockett she’s the author of the nationally bestselling Sugar Grove Mysteries and the Daphne du Maurier Award winner, Live Free or Die.

Connect with Jessica at jessicaestevao.com.

All comments are welcomed.

A scene from THE MYSTERY OF HER by Patricia Catacalos

Mayfair Section of London – Saturday, September 1, 1888

“I am Noah Zane and this is my brother Evan.” Noah mimed for Kiera to sit on the ladder-back chair positioned in front of his desk. “Please have a seat, my Lady. And we extend our condolences at the loss of your father. If I recall correctly, he died a little over a year prior.”

Kiera complied with Noah’s suggestion and gracefully sat on the wooden chair while Noah resumed his cushioned seat. She clasped her gloved hands together on her lap as, out of the corner of her eye, she caught a slight moment of the curtain behind and to the right of the desk. She suddenly realized that someone was hidden behind those drapes and she surmised who that someone might be. The right side of her mouth slightly lifted hinting of a mischievous smile.

“Yes, you are correct, Mr. Zane. My beloved father died thirteen months prior.” She paused as the mention of her father caused fissures of pain to spread across her heart and was the reason for today’s visit. But she firstly needed to feel perfectly comfortable with these brothers before broaching the possibility of hiring the detective agency. And her humor was always her chosen means of establishing rapport. She tilted her head, closely inspecting Noah’s face. “I do not believe that you are both identical as I clearly seeing distinguishing differences.”

“You do?” Evan appeared incredulous at her statement. “Not even our brother’s butler Mortimer can tell us apart on most occasions.”

Kiera’s right eyebrow rose in silent questioning. “I doubt that very much.”

Noah laughed as he concurred, “I have long since suspected that our brother’s dutiful butler has been playing us the fools. He is perfectly capable of identifying one brother from the other.”

“Well, I can certainly tell you apart.” She continued to scrutinize Noah’s face. “You, Mr. Noah Zane, have a dimple on your upper right cheek and when you smile or laugh, it deepens.”

Noah unconsciously touched his right cheek as a slow grin graced his face.

Kiera angled her head toward Evan before observing, “And you, Mr. Evan Zane, have waver hair than your brother has and I dare say, it probably slightly curls in damp weather.”

Evan grinned, obviously pleased with Kiera’s powers of observation. “You are correct.”

“Your brother is Zachery Zane, the Earl of Belfry, is he not?” She thought she sensed slight movement behind the curtain and that confirmed her earlier supposition as to who hid from view. . .the third brother.

“Yes, he is. Are you acquainted with him, my Lady?”

Kiera shook her head. She knew that she could not let this opportunity for levity pass her by. She possessed an incurable penchant for playful teasing. “No, no, I have never met his lordship. Does he look like the both of you?”

“Yes, he does but alas, he is the least handsome of the three brothers,” Noah jokingly commented.

She nodded her head and an errant blonde curl, escaping her bonnet, bounced with the movement, kissing her smooth forehead. “No offense intended, as I have never met your brother but. . .” She paused dramatically. “I would tend to agree with you as your brother has a reputation for being rather. . .how shall I put this delicately?”

“Brooding. . .?” Noah chimed in.

“Yes, yes, that is the word I sought to use. He has a reputation for being both brooding and rather intimidating.”

“And therein lies the major differences between us. . .our personalities,” Noah laughingly stated.

“Ah, yes. . .your personalities. If I may make a candid observation, I would describe you, Mr. Noah Zane, as the prankster whose eyes sparkle with mischief and whose attitude toward life is generally rather cavalier.”

Evan stepped forward into Kiera’s line of vision, negating the need to angle her head when speaking to him, and laughingly complimented, “You have characterized Noah perfectly.”

“And you, Mr. Evan Zane, possess a grounded sense of responsibility but also easily follow your impish brother’s lead and enjoy a bit of naughtiness.”

“You have just aptly described Evan. But please address us by our given names.”

“Very well, Noah. I assume that the brooding and intimidating nature displayed by your elder brother, Lord Belfry, is indicative of his innate seriousness.”

“Oh, yes, he is overly serious and staidly duty-bound,” Noah groaned.

“And I surmise that he is extremely intelligent and awfully clever.”

“Intelligent, yes, but as to clever, what do you mean?” Evan interjected.

“He is most likely acting sullen and intimidating to ward off the marriage-minded mamas who seek an affluent lord for their marriageable daughters.”

Both Noah and Evan laughed heartily.

“That is a very logical assumption, sincerely holding merit, were it not for the fact that our brother Zachery is a very intense personality not only in public but also in private,” Evan explained.

“He perpetually scowls and that is why he is the least attractive brother,” Noah added while raising his voice to ensure that everyone present, be he visible or not, could hear.

She knew full well that the two brothers were thoroughly enjoying the teasing of their elder brother who obviously wished to remain hidden, negating his ability to respond to their jesting. She lowered her head and hid a burgeoning smile behind a gloved hand before innocently adding, “Oh, dear, a scowl could detract from one’s attractiveness. But perhaps his lordship has weighty issues on his mind. Does he take an active part in your detective agency?”

“No, not exactly, as his involvement would not be viewed as politically correct,” Evan diplomatically responded.

“But as our agency is titled ‘The Zane Brothers Detective Agency’, he helps us behind the scenes with research and finances.”

“Ah, as a silent partner?” Kiera innocuously asked.

“Yes, yes, as a silent partner,” Evan volunteered. “However not quite as ‘silent’ as Noah and I would wish.” He, too, raised his voice so that all might clearly hear his mocking comment.

“Then his presence would not be required for you to take on my case?” Her smile quickly faded as she mentally prepared herself to discuss business.

“His presence is not necessary but we would seek his counsel regarding your case before agreeing to accept the assignment. Which brings me to a pointed question. Why are you here, Lady Everett?” Noah bluntly asked. “How can we be of service to you?”

The moment of frivolity was over and she could no longer procrastinate in seeking their help. She liked both men and now felt comfortable baring her soul and stating a belief that they may find improbable and even ludicrous as others had when she had previously shared her suspicions and voiced allegations.

Suppressing her sudden self-consciousness, she lifted her chin and clearly stated, “I wish to hire you to prove that my father was. . .murdered.”

You can read more about Zane Brothers in The Mystery of Her, the first book in the “Zane Brothers Detective” historical mystery series.

London, 1888. . . Two serial killers, Leather Apron (Jack the Ripper) and the Torso Killer are mutilating women in the slums of Whitechapel. But even in the bedchambers of the peerage, a killer is claiming lives. A determined Lady Kiera Everett wishes to hire the Zane Brothers Detective Agency to prove that her sickly father, and two other ailing members of the peerage, were murdered by their attending nurse, named in each man’s Will. But only if Kiera can be involved in the investigation, much to Zachery Zane’s chagrin. And soon the murders of Whitechapel intersect with the investigation conducted by the Zane brothers.

Buy Link

# # # # # # # # # # #

About the author
Patricia Catacalos holds a BA in Theatre from Seton Hill University and a MA in Theatre from the University of Denver. Years ago, when still single, she acted in and directed plays in the Philadelphia area but suffered the fate of many artists, struggling financially. So, she entered a career in sales but her creative spirit needed to express itself. So approximately eight years ago, she started writing historical romances. Many of the historical romances have a subgenre of mystery and/or the paranormal. She discovered that writing historical romances and ultimately, mystery/intrigue is her passion. Currently, she has written twenty novels and novellas and is currently working on Book 4 in The Zane Brothers Detective Series.

She has been happily married for over twenty-eight years to a loving and supportive man with a Greek heritage (which influenced a couple of her novels) and they live in southern New Jersey.

All comments are welcomed.