Tag Archives: traditional mystery

My Musing ~ What Doesn’t Kill You by Aimee Hix

What Doesn’t Kill You by Aimee Hix is the first NEW book in the “Willa Pennington” mystery series. Publisher: Midnight Ink, coming January 8, 2018

Favors are for suckers, especially when they lead you straight to a dead body

Willa Pennington thought that becoming a PI would be better than being a cop. She thought she’d never have to make another death notification or don a bulletproof vest again. She thought she’d be safe.

But she couldn’t have been more wrong, because Willa’s real problem is that she’s always sticking her nose where it doesn’t belong. And people really don’t like that.

Now, agreeing to do a simple favor has netted her a dead body, a missing person, and an old friend who just may be a very bad guy. If whoever is trying to kill her would lay off she could solve the murder, find the missing girl, and figure out if the person she’s trusted with her life is the one trying to end it.

What starts out as a simple request turns into something precarious and Willa who is struggling with her own self-being, is caught up in multiple intensifying situations, that had me enraptured as I followed her story in this riveting debut novel.

The author did a great job in creating a flawed, gutsy, stubborn, pain in the butt protagonist and a narrative to support said heroine, that kept pulling me in deeper and deeper into this action-packed and suspenseful tale with each page turned. There were some tense moments that gave me pause, but once again, the author pulled it off with great aplomb.

Headstrong, you betcha. Personable, yes. Professional, yes. And yet, Willa continues to thwart those in command as her search for a killer puts her in the crosshairs of a much larger case which could jeopardize others. I enjoyed this tightly woven, multi-plot drama that had my adrenaline pumping and at the same time embracing the dynamics of Willa, her friends and family.

This book is a great beginning to what I hope will be a long-running series and I look forward to the next exploits with Willa and her friends.

Pre-Order Link

FTC Full Disclosure – I received an Advanced Reader Copy (ARC) from the publisher.

A day in the Debra Gallagher by Dawn Eastman

Hello! Debra Gallagher here. I’ve been asked to tell you all about a day in my life. I have to say, I’m thrilled. No one has ever wanted to know all about my day, even my husband. I work as a receptionist at the Baxter Family Medicine Clinic. My husband is a police officer and he thinks his job is much more exciting. Hah! Ever since Dr. LeClair started working here, things have become very exciting indeed.

She worked with us while she was a resident in Ann Arbor (just a fifteen minute drive away) and we all really liked her. The Drs. Hawkins made the excellent choice of hiring her. They are a father-son team and used to get along really well, but something has been causing tension lately. Don’t worry, I’ll figure it out eventually. Anyway, back to Dr. LeClair.

She tells me she doesn’t want to hear gossip, but lately that’s all she’s been interested in. Ever since her patient committed suicide, she’s been on a tear to learn everything she can about the town and all of its citizens. It’s true, I do know a lot about everyone here. I grew up in Baxter and anything I don’t know, my friend at the Clip ‘n Curl picks up just by listening to her clients. Between the two of us, I’ll bet we could write the whole history of the town.

A day in my life is never the same twice. I don’t just answer the phones. I have to schedule the appointments and each doc has their own preferences, so I have a different kind of schedule for each one. I have to be a bit of a therapist on the phone, especially when parents call. Sometimes they even ask me what they should do! I tell them, I just work for the docs, I don’t know how to treat the patients. (Although, honestly, some of it is pretty easy to figure out. If you were walking in the woods and now you have an itchy rash it doesn’t take four years of medical school to know you have poison ivy, but I’ll give you an appointment).

Some days I also have to wrangle kids and I feel more like a pre-school teacher than a business-like receptionist. Some parents have to bring their whole family in for just one kid’s appointment and it can get a little hectic in the waiting room. I also have to sneak to the back to grab charts for add-on patients and to deliver messages. And, recently, I’ve been fielding questions about Dr. LeClair. As the new doc in town everyone wants to know as much as they can about her. She’s not as free with her personal details as I would like, but I do know this much: she lives in town with her younger brother, she did her residency in Ann Arbor, and her patients seem to love her. That last one might be because she talks to them and doesn’t focus on the clock, which is a bad thing according to our nurse. Dr. LeClair does seem to run behind schedule quite a bit.

Recently, the questions have been more about Ellen Riley and how she died. I wish I had answers for them. In fact, I have a few questions of my own. . .

You can read more about Debra in Unnatural Causes, the first book in the NEW “Dr. Katie LeClair” mystery series.

Katie LeClair has finally settled down as the new doctor in Baxter, MI. After years of moving, schooling, and training, she wants nothing more than to find a place she can call home, and a small town outside of Ann Arbor seemed perfect.

Katie quickly gets to work in building a life for herself in Baxter, and beyond reviving her love life, she also finds a pair of business partners in a team of father and son family practitioners. But that idyllic dream is immediately shattered when one of her patients is found dead. That wouldn’t be the worst thing, except the death is ruled a suicide, and as evidence has it, the suicide was a result of the medication Katie had prescribed. But she doesn’t remember writing it.

When a closer investigation reveals it was murder, Katie is catapulted into an off-the-books investigation that leads her down a dark path of past secrets. But someone is willing to kill to keep part of the town’s history in the shadows, and Katie must race to find out who before it’s too late in nationally bestselling author Dawn Eastman’s riveting series debut Unnatural Causes.

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About the author
Dawn Eastman lived in Michigan for many years, in a house full of animals, unusual people, and laughter. After attending medical school in New York City, she returned to Michigan to complete her training in Family Medicine. Much of that time was spent in a small-town practice. She now lives in Iowa with her family and one extremely bossy small dog. She is the national bestselling author of The Family Fortune Mystery Series, which features psychics, quirky characters and murders. This is her first Dr. Katie LeClair mystery.

All comments are welcomed.

Another day in the life of Cait Morgan by Cathy Ace – NEED BUY LINK

I’ve been away from my post at the University of Vancouver – where I am a professor of criminal psychology – for several months now, and I hate to admit it, but I’m missing the work! Here I am, sunning myself in the Caribbean, a few steps from a sugary-white beach, my hair tousled by the cooling sea-breeze that carries within it a hint of the turquoise sea’s saltiness. . .and I’m missing grading papers, arguing with students about the marks they’ve received, and avoiding my peers in the warren-like corridors where our offices are located.

Explain that, if you can. I’m a psychologist, for goodness sake, and I can’t even begin to understand it!

Maybe I’m missing it because I know I can’t return to that life for at least another nine months or so, and I don’t like being told what I can or cannot do. That said, I know I have to give myself time; I have to recover fully from the after-effects of a near-fatal run-in I had in Budapest late last year. (No, I can’t tell you about that now. . .that’s a whole different story.)

I’m not missing the work because I’m unhappy; I’m really enjoying spending all my time with Bud – I was a little worried that being with each other 24/7 might become a strain, but it’s all been wonderful. He’s popped back to our comfy little whitewashed bungalow to get some more sun-cream – I need an extra bit on my nose, because I don’t want to burn, but I also don’t want to leave the poolside yet. I’ve moved my lounger so I’m shaded by a palm tree; that will help too – and this drink with a little umbrella in it is keeping my insides cool. I gave in to these lovely Piña Coladas when we got here – I can only manage a couple each day, because even I think they’re a bit rich, but, oh my word, they’re yummy! And the fruit allows me to convince myself they’re good for me. You know what I mean.

To be honest, I can still hardly believe how lucky I am to be married to Bud. Did you know that we almost didn’t meet? Given my eidetic memory, it’s not surprising I can remember the first time I saw him, but if I tell you that my clearest impression of him after that first encounter was of his nose-hairs, you might be intrigued. I suppose you could say we met “online”, because he was on-camera at a crime scene, and I was in a cavernous room at my university, delivering a lecture on victim profiling to a group of law enforcement officers; Bud couldn’t see me, but I could see him. He even “kissed me” that day – weeks before we met in person, and a very long time before our lips met in real life. As I think back, I can see it’s a long story. Or maybe several shorter ones, it’s hard to know.

Once Bud understood my theories about victim profiling, he began to retain my services on the odd case or two – cases encountered by the Integrated Homicide Investigation Team he used to run in British Columbia’s Lower Mainland. And, then, of course, his poor wife – Jan – was tragically murdered, while I was away in the south of France trying to talk myself out of a murder charge. But there, I’m running ahead of myself…or am I running backwards?

Whichever way around you view it, meeting Bud was the best thing that ever happened to me professionally, because I got the chance to use my theories on real cases. As for Bud becoming a widower? So dreadfully sad, and it’s such a shame our happiness had to have that loss for him at its foundation…but, as he’s said so many times since we got together, we didn’t choose it, but it’s how we had the chance to have this new beginning – for the both of us.

Yes, that was what meeting Bud was for me – even before his wife’s death – a new beginning.

You can read more about Cait’s adventures in Murder Keeps No Calendar, a compilation of short stories and novellas.

In Murder Keeps No Calendar author Cathy Ace finally tells how Cait Morgan met Bud Anderson, and how the women of the WISE Enquiries Agency set up in business together. Eight novellas and four short stories (each connected with one month of the year) also give her the chance to introduce two new recurring characters – Detective Inspector Evan Glover, of the Glamorgan Police Service in South Wales, and his wife Betty – as well as a host of other murderous “one shot wonders”, so to speak.

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About the author
Cathy Ace’s criminal psychologist, overindulgent-foodie sleuth, Cait Morgan, has stumbled upon Corpses with a Silver Tongue, Golden Nose, an Emerald Thumb, Platinum Hair, Sapphire Eyes, a Diamond Hand, a Garnet Face and Ruby Lips during her globetrotting. Ace’s WISE Enquiries Agency series features four softly-boiled PIs (one is Welsh, one Irish, one Scottish, one English) who solve quintessentially British cases from their stately home-based office in rural Wales. Ace won the 2015 Bony Blithe Award for Best Canadian Light Mystery, was shortlisted again in 2017 when she was also a finalist for the Arthur Ellis Award for Best Short Story. Visit Cathy at cathyace.com.

All comments are welcomed.

A day in the life of Meg Harris by R.J. Harlick

Several days before

“Time to get up, sleepyhead,” drifted a male voice through the haze. “You’ve been sawing away loudly enough to wake the dead.”

Where did he come from? I blinked, but could only see the icy blue eyes of a white-haired old woman glowering at me. She looked too much like my dead mother.

Something touched my shoulder.

I swatted it away as hard as I could and woke up.

Eric, my husband, rubbed his hand as he backed away from the bed. “Sorry, I forgot.”

“No, no, please, don’t, it’s my fault.” I tried to quell the revulsion sweeping over me and failed. Usually I could. “I’m sorry. I shouldn’t have reacted like that. Did I hurt you?“

I pushed myself up and leaned against the pine backboard of the narrow bed with the duvet still tucked firmly around me. My skin burned where he’d touched me.

He shook his head. “It’s my fault, Meg. I know better.”

I tensed, worried he would break the gnawing silence that was now an unspoken part of our marriage.

He peered down at me through eyes glistening with both love and pity.

I glanced away. I couldn’t bear the pity.

Instead he changed the topic. “It looks like you got some sleep last night. It’ll do you good.”

“I guess. What about you?”

We no longer shared the same bed. I’d moved into one of the spare rooms, while he remained in our bedroom. We’d argued over it initially. Though he reluctantly accepted the need for separate beds, he felt he was the one who should move. But I’d insisted that I was the one with the problem, therefore I should be the one to move. And so we’d lived ever since.

“Big day today.” His smile didn’t touch the sadness in his soft grey eyes. “You better get packing. Will’s coming to drive us to the airport in a couple of hours.”

My stomach clenched.

“I brought your suitcase up.” He wheeled the hard-sided, purple bag into the room and turned it over to unzip.

“Just leave it, okay? I’ll do it myself.” I’d been ignoring the suitcase waiting in the kitchen, where Eric had left it after retrieving it from the shed.

“You are coming?”

“I said I would, didn’t I?” I could feel the fear crawl over my skin. I didn’t know how many months it had been since I’d dared to travel beyond my Three Deer Point property. No, that wasn’t true. I knew exactly when.

“A visit to Yellowknife will do you a lot of good. And you’ll be able to have a nice visit with Teht’aa.”

“I know.” It had been many months since his daughter had tried to help me pull my life together. Once suspicious of each other, we had become good friends. Given the ten-year age difference we were more like sisters than step-mother and daughter.

“Look, I know this will be difficult for you, but you need to get away from this house, these woods and all the. . .” He paused and ran this fingers through his mane of grey-streaked black hair as if trying to decide if he should continue. “This place has too many bad associations. You’ll feel a lot better once you are away. Remember, that’s what the therapist said.”

“I know.” In the early days, right after The Nightmare, Eric had persuaded me to see a psycho-therapist. I’d lasted two visits.

“So come on, get out of bed. I have breakfast waiting for you downstairs. Your favourite, poached eggs on toast with smoked salmon.”

He gave me one last thoughtful glance before heading out the door and down the stairs.

I didn’t think I could eat. My stomach was too tied up in knots.

Poor Eric. My one and only love. I didn’t deserve such a wonderful and caring man.

If only I could break the silence. But I can’t. I’ve tried. But I’m afraid. If he knew everything that had happened, he wouldn’t want me anymore. And if he left, my life would be over.

I heard a running patter up the stairs and along the hall floor. A rippling ball of grey curls rushed through the door and onto my bed.

“Oh Shoni.” I buried my face in the dog’s soft fur. “I don’t know what to do. If I keep acting like a frigid ice queen, he’s going to leave me anyway.”

You can read more about Meg in Purple Palette for Murder, the 8th book in the “Meg Harris” mystery series.

With her husband under arrest for murder and Meg desperate to prove his innocence, she flies to Yellowknife, where a tangled web of family secrets and greed awaits her.

Meg Harris is forced to leave the sanctuary of Three Deer Point and fly to Yellowknife, where her stepdaughter lies near death and her husband is in jail for killing a man. Expecting to find Eric shouting his innocence, she instead finds him cowed and willing to do hard time. But Meg doesn’t believe he’s guilty.

Convinced that there’s more to the murder victim — and the attack on her stepdaughter — than the police think, Meg finds herself on a sordid trail of family secrets and greed, hoping she can prove her husband’s innocence. Fragments of an ancient embroidery lead her to a remote Dene hunting camp, where all is not what it seems.

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Giveaway: Three lucky readers (U.S. and Canadian entries only, please) selected at random will receive a print copy of Purple Palette for Murder. Leave a comment below for your chance to win. The giveaway ends November 17, 2017. Good luck everyone!

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About the author
Called “the queen of Canadian wilderness fiction” R.J. Harlick, writes the popular Meg Harris mystery series set in the wilds of West Quebec. Like her heroine Meg Harris, R.J. loves to roam the forests surrounding her own wilderness cabin or paddle the endless lakes and rivers. But unlike Meg, she doesn’t find a body at every twist and turn, although she certainly likes to put them in Meg’s way. While most of the action takes place close to her century old Victorian cottage, occasionally Meg travels to other Canadian wildernesses. In the eighth and latest book, Purple Palette for Murder, Meg travels to Canada’s Far North in a desperate attempt to prove her husband innocent of murder.

Connect with R.J. at www.rjharlick.ca, on Facebook and on Twitter

All comments are welcomed.

A day in the life of Tara Winton by Clea Simon

More coffee. That would be a start. Maybe I should just mainline it. Tara laughs at herself, at the truth of it. If I can just get through this one page…

She closes her eyes for a moment, just to give them a rest, and she’s back once more at the club. No, she shouldn’t have gone out last night. She’s not a kid any longer, and her job – manager of corporate communications for Zeron – requires regular, wide-awake hours. But, oh, the band sounded good last night! Phil, the singer, still had it – that rock-star presence – that drew every eye as he grabbed the mike. As he lifted the stand up and wailed. And Joey, the drummer, kept them all moving. Got them all up on what passed as a dance floor in that rundown pub, shaking it as if it had been twenty years before.

“If we had world enough, world enough and time. . .” She’s humming, but at least it keeps her from dozing off. Mornings like this one, she regrets taking this gig. If she were still writing about music, she’d be raring to go. Struggling with how to capture the energy of the night, how to describe the thrust and pull of the music. Failing, most likely, but having fun doing it. What was the old saw? Writing about music is like bicycling about architecture. And what is she doing now? She stares at the computer screen, at the page before her. Priority One: Client conference update. . . Yawn.

She sighs, and makes herself sit up. She’s got to read this report. Coffee. That’s her drug these days, and she’s probably an addict. Well, at least it’s a harmless drug – and legal. Not like all the other stuff that was going through the clubs, back in the day. She didn’t partake of that – nothing harder than the occasional line – back when she was a rock critic, writing about something that really mattered. Seeing the old crowd last night, she couldn’t help but remember. Was it really twenty years? And now Frank was gone. Clean and sober, but just as dead as that singer, the one from that band – the Aught Nines? – who should have been a star, all those years before. . .

You can read more about Tara in World Enough, a Boston-based noir mystery.

This intriguing, hardhitting, intricately-plotted mystery set in Boston’s clubland marks an exciting new departure for cozy author Clea Simon.

The Boston club scene may be home to a cast of outsiders and misfits, but it’s where Tara Winton belongs; the world she’s been part of for the past twenty years. Now, one of the old gang is dead, having fallen down the basement stairs at his home.

With her journalist’s instincts, Tara senses there’s something not quite right about Frank’s supposedly accidental death. When she asks questions, she begins to uncover some disturbing truths about the club scene in its heyday. Beneath the heady, sexually charged atmosphere lurked something darker. Twenty years ago, there was another death. Could there be a connection? Is there a killer still at large . . . and could Tara herself be at risk?

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Giveaway: Leave a comment below for your chance to win a World Enough/Aught Nines t-shirt (the band in the book). U.S. entries only, please. The giveaway ends November 4, 2017. Good luck everyone!

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About the author
After three nonfiction books and 22 cozy/amateur sleuth mysteries, Clea Simon returns to her rock & roll past this fall with World Enough (Severn House), an edgy urban noir. She is also the author of four mystery series with cats in them, the most recent being the black cat-narrated As Dark As My Fur (Severn House) and the “pet noir,” When Bunnies Go Bad (Poisoned Pen Press). A recovering journalist, Clea lives in Massachusetts. She can be reached at cleasimon.com.

All comments are welcomed.

A day in the life of Ashley Grant by Vicki Delany

Oh. It looks awfully small from up here.

I’m looking out the window of the plane as it circles over my new home. I guess I didn’t realize just how small Grand Victoria Island is. Or that, being an island, it’s surrounded by water.

Unlike most Canadians, I don’t much care for water. Not in quantities larger than can be found in my bathtub or the average swimming pool, anyway.

Still, I’m sure it’s going to be fine.

I’ve come to the Victoria and Albert Islands almost on a whim. I got sick at work one day and came home early to find my fiancé in bed with his best friend’s wife. Yeah, same old story.

So I yelled and threw things and ordered him out of the house. It was his house, so I was the one who found herself on the street. One of my co-workers let me stay with her for a while, but not for long as she was moving to take a new job. Nice job, too. She’d been hired to work as a paramedic on Grand Victoria Island and was really looking forward to it. Sun and sand, rich people on vacation, she said. She couldn’t wait to get there.

Then she broke her leg skiing and the job was suddenly open.

I’m a paramedic in Toronto. I love the job, love the city. But somehow I found myself agreeing to take her place.

And now I’m here, in this plane, circling a county with a smaller population than can be found at some concerts I’ve been to. Surrounded by water. Lots of water.

It’ll be fine. An easy job in a beautiful, relaxing tourist place. They told me my new boss will be at the airport to meet me, so I went to some trouble to look nice in a new dress and expensive sandals.

I’m sure nothing bad ever happens here.

Meet Ashley Grant as she starts her new life in White Sand Blues, the first in a new series from Orca Press. This is a Rapid Reads novella, written for adults with literacy difficulties, ESL students, reluctant readers, and those just wanting a quick, fast-paced read.

When paramedic Ashley Grant finds her boyfriend in bed with another woman, she moves out of her house (okay, his house), quits her job and takes a new one in a tiny Caribbean country, the Victoria and Albert Islands. Ashley is thrown into the deep end when she arrives. Her new colleague picks her up at the airport in the island’s only ambulance, which is called to the discovery of a body floating off the beach at the exclusive Club Louisa.

The body is that of a man vacationing with his daughter and glamorous new wife. Coincidentally, Sally, the daughter of the dead man, recognizes Ashley from high school. She is convinced that her stepmother killed her father and begs Ashley to help her prove it. Before she can even unpack her bags or enjoy the view from her ocean-side apartment, Ashley is unwittingly dragged into a murder investigation.

First in a new series from award-winning author Vicki Delany.

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Giveaway: Leave a comment below for your chance to win a print copy of White Sand Blues. U.S. and Canadian entries only, please. The giveaway ends November 1, 2017. Good luck everyone!

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About the author
Vicki Delany is one of Canada’s most prolific and varied crime writers and a national bestseller in the U.S. She has written more than twenty-five books: clever cozies to Gothic thrillers to gritty police procedurals, to historical fiction and novellas for adult literacy, including White Sand Blues. Under the name of Eva Gates, she writes the Lighthouse Library cozy series for Penguin Random House. Her newest novel is Body on Baker Street, the second in the Sherlock Holmes Bookshop series from Crooked Lane.

Vicki is the past president of the Crime Writers of Canada. Her work has been nominated for the Derringer, the Bony Blithe, the Ontario Library Association Golden Oak, and the Arthur Ellis Awards.

Visit Vicki at www.vickidelany.com. On Facebook and on Twitter @vickidelany

All comments are welcomed.

My Musing ~ Unholy City by Carrie Smith

Unholy City by Carrie Smith is the third book in the “Claire Codella” mystery series. Publisher: Crooked Lane Books, coming November 7, 2017

Despite their rocky history, Detective Claire Codella and Precinct Detective Brian Haggerty come together when senior churchwarden Philip Graves’s bloody body is found lying in the herb garden of historic St. Paul’s Episcopal Church on Manhattan’s Upper West Side just two days before Good Friday. Upon first glance, it looks like a random act of big city violence, but it soon becomes clear churchwarden Philip’s death was the result of a meticulously calculated ploy by someone who knew him.

There are five vestry members and a choir director in addition to the ten homeless men asleep in the church basement. Any one of them could have done it, but what did Philip Graves do to warrant such a merciless death? Struggling to share the case and salvage their personal relationship, Claire, Brian and trusted Detective Eduardo Munoz work around the clock to uncloak the desires, secrets, and resentments that find home through the iron gates and into the hidden beauty of one historic Romanesque church in Unholy City, the haunting third installment in Carrie Smith’s Claire Codella mysteries.

So many secrets among the church member of St. Paul’s Episcopal Church where multiple murders took place and no one is telling a soul. It’s up to Claire, Brian and Eduardo to dig deep into the suspected parishioners’ consciousness to shine a light on a murderer hiding in plain sight.

This was a well-written drama that captured my attention immediately and I could not put this book down until it was all said and done. The pacing was on par with the ease in which this tightly woven story was told. The author did a great job in keeping all the suspects involved throughout giving each one a voice that was heard amidst all that was happening as the detectives worked their case. I liked the way the author directed the storyline so that systematically those secrets were exposed and would eventually lead to the revelation of the killer’s identity. Bonus to me was the outcome with her Lieutenant. This was one of the best in the series and I can’t wait to see where we go next with Codella and her friends.

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FTC Full Disclosure – I received a digital ARC of this book from the publisher via NetGalley.

My Musing ~ Purple Palette for Murder by R.J. Harlick

Purple Palette for Murder by R.J. Harlick is the 8th book in the “Meg Harris” mystery series. Publisher: Dundurn, coming November 7, 2017

With her husband under arrest for murder and Meg desperate to prove his innocence, she flies to Yellowknife, where a tangled web of family secrets and greed awaits her.

Meg Harris is forced to leave the sanctuary of Three Deer Point and fly to Yellowknife, where her stepdaughter lies near death and her husband is in jail for killing a man. Expecting to find Eric shouting his innocence, she instead finds him cowed and willing to do hard time. But Meg doesn’t believe he’s guilty.

Convinced that there’s more to the murder victim — and the attack on her stepdaughter — than the police think, Meg finds herself on a sordid trail of family secrets and greed, hoping she can prove her husband’s innocence. Fragments of an ancient embroidery lead her to a remote Dene hunting camp, where all is not what it seems.

Meg has to leave her self-cocoon to help her husband and what an adventure she finds herself involved in when trying to clear his name. From concerns about her husband and her step-daughter, to stepping into family issues, and to missing embroidery, they all seem connected and the question is how?

I found this drama to be both intriguing and full of suspense as I didn’t know what was going to happen next. The mystery was well-written where greed, cultural betrayal, secrets and the past all play heavily in this tightly woven tale. The twist and turns were done in a manner that enhanced how well this story was being told. The visually descriptive narrative gave me a sense of time and space as the words and dialogue put me in the middle of all the action as I navigated through streams of emotions from Teht’aa to Gloria to Uncle Joe to Eric and to Meg, to name a few. This fast-paced drama held my attention from beginning to end and when it was all said and done, I was not ready to let go of Meg and her journey. A terrific read and I look forward to reading more stories with Meg Harris in this wonderful series.

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FTC Full Disclosure – I received a digital ARC of this book from the publisher via NetGalley.

A day in the life of Jimmy Vega by Suzanne Chazin

I’m a homicide detective. Well, I was a homicide detective. Until I shot an unarmed man who I thought was fleeing a robbery. I had eighteen unblemished years with the county police and it all fell apart in two fateful seconds.

I got kicked down to desk duty. My grown daughter became ashamed of me. My girlfriend, Adele, almost left. She’s a Harvard-trained attorney and head of an outreach center for immigrants.

The man I shot was an immigrant. You can imagine how that went over between us.

Even before the shooting, Adele and I were different people. I’m a Bronx kid who drifted so far from my Puerto Rican roots, I have a Jewish ex-wife and a daughter who can recite the Torah better than she can speak Spanish. I became a cop because I believe in the law. I believe that right and wrong aren’t conditional. For Adele, it’s a little different. Her parents were undocumented immigrants from Ecuador. She grew up in fear of cops.

Our jobs put us at odds with each other sometimes. Plus, we live in a county an hour north of New York City that’s picture-postcard pretty but full of extremes. We’ve got Wall Street bankers and immigrants who sleep six to a room. It’s not easy keeping the peace in a place where wealth and want keep bumping up against one another.

Since the shooting, I’ve been trying to pick up the pieces of my life. Music was my first love and it’s still my salvation. I play guitar and sing lead vocals in a rock band. “Armado,” we call ourselves. That’s Spanish for “Armed,” a little inside joke. All five band members are in law enforcement. Which means half the gigs we play expect us to double as unpaid security and the other half think we’re going to narc them out.

Telling someone you’re a cop never elicits a neutral reaction.

The other thing that soothes me these days is my dog, Diablo. Adele gave him to me after one of her clients couldn’t keep him anymore. He’s a total space hog. Share a bed with him and by the morning, he’s in the middle and you’re sleeping in one corner.

Adele, my music and my dog were doing a pretty good job of keeping me sane. Until one bitterly cold January night when all that wealth and want collided. It happened in the pretty little village of Lake Holly. A seventeen-year-old girl from a prominent local family went to Adele’s outreach center to tutor English to immigrants—and vanished. The last people to see her were the men she tutored, some of whom are in this country without papers.

Tensions are escalating by the minute, fanned in part by our new county supervisor, a man with strict views on immigration and a hunger for higher office. The town wants their pound of flesh. The immigrants are scared. If I don’t find out what happened to this girl soon, it won’t just be my future going down in flames. Or Adele’s.

It will be the entire town of Lake Holly.

You can read more about Jimmy in A Place in the Wind, the fourth book in the “Jimmy Vega” mystery series.

The disappearance of a teenage girl in upstate New York sets off a powder keg of accusations, bigotry, and fear—with deadly results—in Suzanne Chazin’s stunning new mystery featuring Hispanic police detective Jimmy Vega . . .

On a frigid, January night, a blond, blue-eyed high school girl walks out of an English class she tutors for immigrants—and vanishes. Suspicion quickly falls on the men she was teaching, many of whom are undocumented. As disturbing evidence trickles in, news of the incident spreads beyond the scenic town of Lake Holly, New York, unearthing deep-seated fears and enflaming cultural tensions.

For county police detective Jimmy Vega, the situation is personal. His girlfriend, Harvard-educated attorney Adele Figueroa, heads the immigrant center where the teen volunteer disappeared. If Vega can’t find the girl soon and clear Adele’s clients, the place of refuge may be forced to shut its doors. Still reeling over his own recent career missteps, Vega does his best to run interference between Adele and the local police. But when Vega’s boss assigns him a grunt detail working for the new county supervisor, the man’s political ambitions clash with Vega’s deepest convictions. Vega can’t imagine a worse turn of events—until he uncovers even darker forces at play. Someone wants to destroy far more than Vega’s career. And no matter which way he turns, every step will put him and his family in the killer’s cross-hairs.

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About the author
Suzanne Chazin is an award-winning novelist and author of seven mysteries, including her fourth and newest Jimmy Vega, A Place in the Wind (Oct. 2017). Her novels have received praise from USA Today, People Magazine, The Chicago Tribune, The Philadelphia Inquirer, and such authors as Lee Child, Hallie Ephron, Robert Dugoni, Jeffrey Deaver, and William Kent Krueger. Suzanne’s first Jimmy Vega mystery, Land of Careful Shadows, was chosen as one of the five best genre mysteries of the year by the American Library Association. Her third Jimmy Vega, No Witness But the Moon was named one of the ten best books of the year by the New Jersey Star-Ledger. Visit Suzanne on Facebook or at suzannechazin.com.