Fiction Review

Unforgettable Characters and Crime

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Because author Archer Mayor questioned The Poisoned Pen’s owner, Barbara Peters, about the Crime column for The New York Times just before Marilyn Stasio’s column appeared on Sunday, it’s the perfect time to discuss it. As Peters answered, the column now runs just twice a month. The current column covers some well-known characters in crime novels, Louise Penny’s Armand Gamache, Ann Cleeves’ Vera Stanhope, Stuart Nevill’s Gerry Fegan. Ariana Franklin’s “Mistress of the Art of Death” was well-known before the author’s death. Now, her daughter, Samantha Norman, finishes the series. You can read about the characters’ latest adventures here. https://nyti.ms/36NFSuZ

Then, check the Web Store for the books you would like to order. https://store.poisonedpen.com/

Isabella Maldonado’s Distractions

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Isabella Maldonado, author of the Veranda Cruz mysteries, now launches a new series with The Cipher. Release date for The Cipher is Nov. 1, but if you’re interested, it always helps the author if you pre-order the book. You can order Maldonado’s books, including The Cipher, through the Web Store. https://bit.ly/2GSYMWr

But, before we talk about The Cipher, Isabella Maldonado agreed to talk about her book “Distractions” this year. First, here’s an introduction to Maldonado.

ISABELLA MALDONADO wore a gun and badge in real life before turning to crime writing. The first Latina to attain the rank of captain in her department, she retired as the Commander of Special Investigations and Forensics. During her career, her varied assignments included hostage negotiator, department spokesperson, and precinct commander. Selected to attend the prestigious FBI National Academy in Quantico, she uses her extensive law enforcement background to bring a realistic edge to her writing. THE CIPHER, the first book in her new series featuring FBI Special Agent Nina Guerrera, will be published on November 1, 2020. www.isabellamaldonado.com

Here’s Isabella Maldonado talking about her “Distractions”. I think you’ll enjoy this piece.

******

GOING ON A BOOK FLIGHT

by Isabella Maldonado

Back in the pre-Covid days of yore, I enjoyed going to restaurants to try a “wine flight,” preferably accompanied by a “cheese flight,” in which I could try out wonderful new flavors to stimulate my palate and discover a new favorite. After putting the final touches on a new manuscript, I decided to celebrate by taking a “book flight.” This four-book tasting menu, all authored by women of color, provided both an escape and much needed intellectual stimulation (sorry, TV reruns) that is otherwise sadly lacking and—bonus—no calories!

After enjoying these delectable varietals (a wine term I learned a few years back) I’m excited to share them. Along with my comments, I am recommending wine and cheese pairings to enjoy with each title. Bon appétit and happy reading!

LITTLE SECRETS by Jennifer Hillier

This delightful book is a masterful stemwinder of a tale. From the first few lines, Hillier gives you the sense that a freight train is headed straight at you, and there’s no way to jump off the tracks. I barreled along, turning the pages quickly, unable to stop. The mysteries behind the complex characters are gradually revealed in a series of twists, making me thrilled that Hillier did what she does best: Pull the wool over my eyes!

Recommended pairing: Chardonnay and Gouda

BLUEBIRD, BLUEBIRD by Attica Locke

My favorite thing about this extraordinary work is the gorgeous use of language by an incredibly talented author who knows how to weave time and place into a riveting story. When a black Texas Ranger takes on the local chapter of the Aryan Brotherhood of Texas, bullets are bound to fly, and Locke creates such richly drawn characters that her mystery-thriller transcends the genre.

Recommended pairing: Port and Stilton

LAND OF SHADOWS by Rachel Howzell Hall

Howzell Hall has a strong voice that is a pleasure to read. I found myself drawn to the sassy attitude and persistence of LAPD detective Elouise “Lou” Norton, who investigates a murder that might be related to the disappearance of her sister thirty years earlier.

The back story behind the case is slowly revealed in carefully placed flashbacks that enrich the depth of the tale. The emotional ending lends resonance to a story that brings many disparate threads and mysteries to a satisfying close.

Recommended pairing: Pinot Noir and Camembert

TINY IMPERFECTIONS by Alli Frank and Asha Youmans

This wonderful, fun-filled romp was a great way to round out my four-book sampler. If you enjoyed Crazy Rich Asians and The Devil Wears Prada, you’ll love this smart, funny rom com. I fell in love with Josie Bordelon’s loving, interfering family and friends. Her emotional journey is peppered with laughs and poignant moments. This one HAS to become a movie!

Recommended pairing: Champagne and Brie

Thank you for joining me on my “book flight.” Oh, and if you decide to delve into THE CIPHER, I recommend pairing it with Cabernet and Manchego. Cheers!

*****

So, break out the Cabernet and Manchego, and prepare for The Cipher.

To a cunning serial killer, she was the one that got away. Until now…

FBI Special Agent Nina Guerrera escaped a serial killer’s trap at sixteen. Years later, when she’s jumped in a Virginia park, a video of the attack goes viral. Legions of new fans are not the only ones impressed with her fighting skills. The man who abducted her eleven years ago is watching. Determined to reclaim his lost prize, he commits a grisly murder designed to pull her into the investigation…but his games are just beginning. And he’s using the internet to invite the public to play along.

His coded riddles may have made him a depraved social media superstar—an enigmatic cyber-ghost dubbed “the Cipher”—but to Nina he’s a monster who preys on the vulnerable. Partnered with the FBI’s preeminent mind hunter, Dr. Jeffrey Wade, who is haunted by his own past, Nina tracks the predator across the country. Clue by clue, victim by victim, Nina races to stop a deadly killer while the world watches.

Victoria Laurie & Vicki Delany in Conversation

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Cozy mystery authors Victoria Laurie and Vicki Delany, who also writes as Eva Gates, recently made a joint virtual appearance for The Poisoned Pen. Laurie’s latest Cat & Gilley Life Coach Mystery is To Coach a Killer. Delany’s latest mystery written as Eva Gates is her fortieth book. A Death Long Overdue is the seventh Lighthouse Library Mystery. Both authors talked with John Charles about their backstory and their latest books. You can order them through the Web Store. https://store.poisonedpen.com/

Here’s the summary of To Coach a Killer.

Soaking up a luxurious new chapter alongside her saucy bestie, Cat Cooper plans on emerging as the premier life coach in East Hampton by summertime. All she has to do is survive an offseason replete with desolate beaches, slow business, and murder . . .
 
As the Hamptons drags through early spring, Cat’s shot at becoming the toast of the town in time for Memorial Day is dwindling—and fast. The only client she can find has been housebound for decades and claims to be the victim of a devasting curse. Then there’s the matter of Detective Shepherd’s intense jealousy over Maks Grinkov, the handsome bad boy who approaches Cat with an unusual offer she can’t stop thinking about. Havoc finally breaks loose when a string of murders rocks the coastal community, landing Maks on the hook as the culprit . . .
 
While the body count rises, Cat goes from life coaching to sleuthing for the truth about Maks’s less-than-wholesome background. But after digging deeper, she questions if Detective Shepherd had an unwitting hand in a related homicide case after tangling with the wrong people. With a storm approaching shore and no one to trust, Cat and her sharp-tongued best friend, Gilley, must solve a client’s curse and a series of violent deaths before a killer sends them all sailing to their doom . . .

*****

Check out the description of Vicki Delany’s (Eva Gates’) A Death Long Overdue.

When her former director is found dead in the water, librarian Lucy Richardson will have to get to the bottom of the mystery before the killer ends her tale.

It’s summertime in the Outer Banks of North Carolina and Bertie James’s college class is having their 40th anniversary reunion. The opening night reception is held at the Lighthouse Library and Lucy and her colleagues have assembled an exhibit of library artifacts showing how libraries have changed over the years. After the reception, some of the women take a walk down the boardwalk to the pier, using flashlights to illuminate the dark path, but what’s scarier than the dark is finding the former director of the Lighthouse Library floating lifeless in the water.

Helena Sanchez, the former director, wasn’t much loved and spent the party being rude to almost everyone there. As a result, Lucy finds herself in deep water as she rocks the boat, questioning several suspects. But she’ll have to batten down the hatches and fast before she’s left high and dry…and right in the killer’s crosshairs.

*****

Now, you can enjoy the conversation, including the comments about cozy mysteries.

Archer Mayor & His 31st Book

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Archer Mayor has a bizarre publishing history, but he has continued to write his Joe Gunther novels. The Orphan’s Guilt, his thirty-first book is available through the Web Store. There might even be a few signed copies left. http://bit.ly/357hQrz

Here’s the description of The Orphan’s Guilt.

In Archer Mayor’s intriguing new Vermont-based mystery, The Orphan’s Guilta straightforward traffic stop snowballs into a homicide investigation after Joe Gunther and his fellow investigators peel back layer upon layer of history and personal heartbreak to learn a decades-old hidden truth.

John Rust is arrested for drunk driving by a Vermont state trooper. Looking to find mitigating circumstances, John’s lawyer hires private eye Sally Kravitz to look into the recent death of John’s younger brother, purportedly from a childhood brain injury years earlier. But what was the nature of that injury, and might its mechanism point more to murder than to natural causes? That debate brings in Joe Gunther and his team.

Gunther’s efforts quickly uncover an ancient tale of avarice, betrayal, and vengeance that swirled around the Rust boys growing up. Their parents and the people they consorted with—forgotten, relentless, but now jolted to action by this simple set of circumstances—emerge with a destructive passion. All while the presumably innocent John Rust mysteriously vanishes with no explanation.

*****

If you live away from Vermont, you might not have had the chance to hear Archer Mayor. Enjoy the virtual event!

Lee Child & His Biographer, Heather Martin

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Oh, this is a virtual event that Lee Child or Jack Reacher’s fans will want to watch. Barbara Peters, owner of The Poisoned Pen, kicks off the conversation between Lee Child and Heather Martin, author of The Reacher Guy. They talk about Child’s memory, and the witnesses to his life, and what is actually true. There are signed copies of this biography available through the Web Store. https://bit.ly/3lx7Nnj

Here’s the background of The Reacher Guy.

An exquisitely written and nuanced biography of an exceptional individual and writer who has created the # 1 international bestselling hero Jack Reacher, revered by dedicated and loyal readers worldwide. 

Lee Child has a great public persona: he is gracious and generous with readers and fans. But Jim Grant is a reticent and very private man. 

This rags-to-riches literary and social biography is based principally on disarmingly frank personal conversations and correspondence with the author since 2016 and privileged access to archival materials. It consists almost entirely of original material, and is the nearest thing the world is likely to get to the autobiography he does not intend to write. 

There are a handful of great Lee Child/Reacher stories that have been recycled over and over again. They are so good that no one has bothered to look beyond them. This book revisits (and sometimes revises) those irresistible stories, but goes back further and digs deeper. The emphasis on chronology, accuracy and specificity is unprecedented.  

The Lee Child origin myth is much loved. But mostly it sees him springing fully formed from the brow of Granada Television. There are glancing references to Aston Villa and the schoolyard, but no one has examined the social and historical detail or looked closely at where Lee really came from: the people, places and period.

This is the first time someone has described the Lee Child arc: from peaceful obscurity in the Yorkshire Dales and Upstate New York to cult figure, no. 1 in America, rock star, celebrity and publishing institution through to backlash, the changing zeitgeist, and intimations of retirement. The analysis of the emotional power and significance of Lee’s work in the final chapters—the themes of happiness, addiction, dependency, loneliness, and existential absurdity—and the first-hand retrospective accounts of his life and second-act career are all exclusive to this definitive biography.

*****

You’ll want to watch this virtual event.

Val McDermid and Still Life

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Val McDermid’s latest Karen Pirie book, Still Life, is The Poisoned Pen’s October British Crime Novel of the month. McDermid spoke to Barbara Peters, owner of the bookstore, from Edinburgh, on the occasion of the 31st anniversary of the store. Peters said Val McDermid has been with them almost from the beginning. You can order copies of her books, including Still Life, through the Web Store. http://bit.ly/2AHVqg1

Here’s the summary of Still Life.

Val McDermid is the award-winning, international bestselling author of more than thirty novels and has been hailed as Britain’s Queen of Crime. InStill Life, McDermid returns to her propulsive series featuring DCI Karen Pirie, who finds herself investigating the shadowy world of forgery, where things are never what they seem.

When a lobster fisherman discovers a dead body in Scotland’s Firth of Forth, Karen is called into investigate. She quickly discovers that the case will require untangling a complicated web—including a historic disappearance, art forgery, and secret identities—that seems to orbit around a painting copyist who can mimic anyone from Holbein to Hockney. Meanwhile, a traffic crash leads to the discovery of a skeleton in a suburban garage. Needless to say, Karen has her plate full. Meanwhile,the man responsible for the death of the love of her life is being released from prison, reopening old wounds just as she was getting back on her feet.

Tightly plotted and intensely gripping,Still Life is Val McDermid at her best, and new and longtime readers alike will delight in the latest addition to this superior series.

*****

Now, you can watch the virtual event with Val McDermid.

Alice Henderson’s Wildlife Series – The Backstory

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A Solitude of Wolverines is the first in Alice Henderson’s new wildlife series. It’s released on Tuesday, October 27, but you can pre-order it now through the Web Store. https://bit.ly/2SwEKDF You might want to read the story behind the book, and the new series. Then, you might be even more interested in A Solitude of Wolverines.

First, let me introduce Alice Henderson. In addition to being a writer, Alice Henderson is a wildlife sanctuary monitor, geographic information systems specialist, and bioacoustician. She documents wildlife on specialized recording equipment, checks remote cameras, creates maps, and undertakes wildlife surveys to determine what species are present on preserves, while ensuring there are no signs of poaching. She’s surveyed for the presence of grizzlies, wolves, wolverines, jaguars, endangered bats, and more. 

This time, it’s about wolverines.

POISONED PEN GUEST BLOG

by Alice Henderson

            I’ve always loved to read thrillers that incorporate science. From the settings of Nevada Barr’s work to the novels of Douglas Preston, Lincoln Child, and James Rollins, plots steeped in nature and science have long thrilled me.

            Since my youth, I’ve been split down the middle between science and the arts, and I’ve always cared deeply about conservation and wildlife. From the time I was six, I had devised creative ways for a kid to earn money for conservation-minded non-profits. I sold crafts I’d made and did chores for my neighbors. At the same time, on the creative side, I was writing private detective stories on an old manual Underwood typewriter my dad had given me.

            But throughout the years, as I became a wildlife researcher and a published author, I hadn’t joined the two worlds together. Then one night, while on a research trip in Montana, hoping to record wolves on bioacoustic equipment, I had the inspiration to merge my love of writing with my love of wildlife.

            I wanted to write something both engaging and informative about the plight of wildlife. But I knew if I wrote a non-fiction book about a struggling species, I might only reach a few readers who were already interested in preservation. But if I wrote an engaging thriller about a species, I had the possibility of attracting readers for the story and characters, too.

            And so I devised a new suspense series. For my protagonist, I created a wildlife biologist who would study a different endangered species in each book. I wanted her to be female and tough, a resilient character who was able to think and fight her way out of dangerous situations. And I wanted her to have real heart, a compassionate attitude toward the wildlife she was trying to save.

            So that just left choosing a species for the first book. I knew I wanted a species that was facing extinction and that few people knew about. I’d spent a lot of time in the Rockies, and had long been fascinated with wolverines. I’d set out camera traps on species presence surveys in the hopes of capturing an image of one.

Photo credit – Hans Veth on Unsplash

            These hardy creatures are the largest members of the weasel family, and they are formidable. Though weighing only thirty-five pounds, they’ve been known to drive off grizzlies from kills and take down moose. They’re largely scavengers, though, relying on the kills of bears and wolves. They used to range as far south as New Mexico and as far east as New York State, but between trapping, anthropogenic climate change, habitat fragmentation, and government-run “predator control” programs, they’ve been extirpated in much of their habitat, and now number less than 300 in the lower 48. These individuals struggle to survive in a few fragmented populations in the Cascades and Rockies. While researching the book, I was lucky enough to see a wolverine in Glacier National Park, Montana, which is incredible considering how few there are.

            A Solitude of Wolverines, the first novel in my new series, features Alex Carter, a wildlife biologist who takes a job on a remote wildlife sanctuary in Montana. Tasked with determining if wolverines are present on the preserve, she encounters danger when she stumbles on a secret that locals will kill to protect.

            It comes out October 27, 2020, in hardcover, ebook, and audiobook, and I hope readers will be captivated not only by the atmosphere and suspense, but by the amazing, resilient creatures who call the setting home.

*****

Here’s the summary of A Solitude of Wolverines.

“Both a mystery and a survival story, here is a novel written with a naturalist’s eye for detail and an unrelenting pace. It reminded me of the best of Nevada Barr…It’s so fraught with excitement and wondrous details that it demands to be read in one sitting and savored afterward. Don’t miss it.” —James Rollins, #1 New York Times bestselling author of The Last Odyssey  

The first book in a thrilling series featuring a wildlife biologist who courts trouble as she saves endangered species . . . and a mysterious killer who buries his dead in the land she helps preserve—a fast-paced, action-driven tale of suspense with the atmosphere and propulsive tension of works by Jane Harper, Craig Johnson, William Kent Krueger, and Nevada Barr.

While studying wolverines on a wildlife sanctuary in Montana, biologist Alex Carter is run off the road and threatened by locals determined to force her off the land.

Undeterred in her mission to help save this threatened species, Alex tracks wolverines on foot and by cameras positioned in remote regions of the preserve. But when she reviews the photos, she discovers disturbing images of an animal of a different kind: a severely injured man seemingly lost and wandering in the wilds.

After searches for the unknown man come up empty, local law enforcement is strangely set on dismissing the case altogether, raising Alex’s suspicions. Then another invasive predator trespasses onto the preserve. The hunter turns out to be another human—and the prey is the wildlife biologist herself. Alex realizes too late that she has seen too much—she’s stumbled onto a far-reaching illegal operation and now has become the biggest threat.

In this wild and dangerous landscape, Alex’s life depends on staying one step ahead—using all she knows about the animal world and what it takes to win the brutal battle for survival.

Anna Lee Huber’s Verity Kent Mysteries

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Anna Lee Huber is the author of the Lady Darby Mysteries. She also wrote one of the stories in the interconnected book, The Deadly Hours. But, because I totally missed the link to ruins in the latest Verity Kent mystery, A Pretty Deceit, I’m bringing up that book today, on release date. You can order copies of Huber’s books, including A Pretty Deceit, through the Web Store. https://bit.ly/34kIxta

Huber points out the inspiration for her books in a recent article for CrimeReads.com. If you’re interested in her books and the inspiration for them, check out the article, “On Drawing Inspiration From a Rich History of Ruins”, found here, https://bit.ly/2GJpfWf

Here’s the summary of A Pretty Deceit.

“A historical mystery to delight fans of Agatha Christie or Daphne du Maurier.”
Bookpage


In the aftermath of the Great War, the line between friend and foe may be hard to discern, even for indomitable former Secret Service agent Verity Kent, in award-winning author Anna Lee Huber’s thrilling mystery series.

 
Peacetime has brought little respite for Verity Kent. Intrigue still abounds, even within her own family. As a favor to her father, Verity agrees to visit his sister in Wiltshire. Her once prosperous aunt has fallen on difficult times and is considering selling their estate. But there are strange goings-on at the manor, including missing servants, possible heirloom forgeries, and suspicious rumors—all leading to the discovery of a dead body on the grounds.
 
While Verity and her husband, Sidney, investigate this new mystery, they are also on the trail of an old adversary—the shadowy and lethal Lord Ardmore. At every turn, the suspected traitor seems to be one step ahead of them. And even when their dear friend Max, the Earl of Ryde, stumbles upon a code hidden among his late father’s effects that may reveal the truth about Ardmore, Verity wonders if they are really the hunters—or the hunted . . .
 
Praise for Anna Lee Huber’s Penny for Your Secrets

“Stellar mystery . . . a great read for fans of the series and all who enjoy
Downton Abbey-era fiction.”
Booklist

Lisa Unger with Special Guest Host Karin Slaughter

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Here’s Lisa Unger signing copies of Confessions on the 7:45. You’ll want to pre-order your signed copy now before the Poisoned Pen’s virtual event on Friday, October 9. Guest host Karin Slaughter will interview her at 4 PM MT, 7 PM ET. You can pre-order through the Web Store. https://bit.ly/2WQJrKs

Of course, you want information about the event and the book.

Virtual Event: Lisa Unger discusses Confessions on the 7:45 with special guest host Karin Slaughter. Watch the program on Facebook Live!

Lisa Unger. Confessions on the 7:45 (Park Row, $27.99 Signed). From master of suspense Lisa Unger comes a riveting thriller about a chance encounter that unravels a stunning web of lies and deceit.

Be careful to whom you tell your darkest secrets…

Selena Murphy is commuting home from her job in the city when the train stalls out on the tracks. She strikes up a conversation with a beautiful stranger in the next seat, and their connection is fast and easy. The woman introduces herself as Martha and confesses that she’s been stuck in an affair with her boss. Selena, in turn, confesses that she suspects her husband is sleeping with the nanny. When the train arrives at Selena’s station, the two women part ways, presumably never to meet again.

But days later, Selena’s nanny disappears.

Soon Selena finds her once-perfect life upended. As she is pulled into the mystery of the missing nanny, and as the fractures in her marriage grow deeper, Selena begins to wonder, who was Martha really? But she is hardly prepared for what she’ll discover.

Expertly plotted and reminiscent of the timeless classic Strangers on a TrainConfessions on the 7:45 is a gripping thriller about the delicate facades we create around our lives.

*****

There may still be signed copies of Karin Slaughter’s The Silent Wife available as well. You can order them here. http://bit.ly/2A5kDpY

Karin Slaughter. The Silent Wife (Morrow, $28.99 Signed). The New York Times bestselling author of Pieces of Her and The Last Widow returns with another electrifying thriller.

Investigating the killing of a prisoner during a riot inside a state penitentiary, GBI investigator Will Trent is confronted with disturbing information. One of the inmates claims that he is innocent of a brutal attack for which he has always been the prime suspect. The man insists that he was framed by a corrupt law enforcement team led by Jeffrey Tolliver and that the real culprit is still out there—a serial killer who has systematically been preying on women across the state for years. If Will reopens the investigation and implicates the dead police officer with a hero’s reputation of wrongdoing, the opportunistic convict is willing to provide the information GBI needs about the riot murder.

Only days ago, another young woman was viciously murdered in a state park in northern Georgia. Is it a fluke, or could there be a serial killer on the loose?

As Will Trent digs into both crimes it becomes clear that he must solve the cold case in order to find the answer. Yet nearly a decade has passed—time for memories to fade, witnesses to vanish, evidence to disappear, and lies to become truth. But Will can’t crack either mystery without the help of the one person he doesn’t want involved: his girlfriend and Jeffrey Tolliver’s widow, medical examiner Sara Linton.

When the past and present begin to collide, Will realizes that everything he values is at stake . . .

Karin Slaughter’s novels have been published in 37 languages, with more than 35 million copies sold across the globe, her nineteen novels include the Grant County and Will Trent books, as well as the Edgar-nominated Cop Town and the instant New York Times bestselling novels Pretty Girlsand The Good Daughter. Her most recent novel, The Last Widow, features Sara Linton and Will Trent. A native of Georgia, Karin currently lives in Atlanta. Her novels Cop Town, The Good Daughter, and Pieces of Her are all in development for film and television.

The Mysterious Outdoors

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The Poisoned Pen recently hosted a virtual event with two authors whose mysteries are set outdoors, Margaret Mizushima and Scott Graham. Mizushima’s latest Timber Creek K-9 mystery is Hanging Falls. Graham’s books are set in the National Parks. His new book is Mesa Verde Victim. You can order copies of books by both authors through the Web Store. https://store.poisonedpen.com/

Here’s the summary of Mizushima’s Hanging Falls.

Murder stalks the rugged Colorado high country–and sends Mattie Cobb on a quest to uncover the darkest secrets from her past in the sixth gripping installment of Margaret Mizushima’s Timber Creek K-9 mysteries

A deluge has flooded the high ground near Hanging Falls–but heavy rains aren’t the only menace descending on Timber Creek. While on a scouting mission to pinpoint trail damage, officer Mattie Cobb and her K-9 partner Robo stumble upon a body floating at the edge of a lake. Robo catches human scent, which leads to an enigmatic forest-dweller who quickly becomes suspect number one.

With help from veterinarian Cole Walker, Mattie identifies the victim, and discovers an odd religious cult whose dress and manners harken back to the 19th century. As the list of suspects grows, an unexpected visit from members of Mattie’s long-lost family sheds new light on her childhood as they help Mattie piece together details of the fateful night when she was abducted at age two.

The tangled threads of the investigation and family dynamics begin to intertwine–but darkness threatens to claim a new victim before Mattie and Robo can track down the killers.

*****

Check out the description of Scott Graham’s Mesa Verde Victim.

“An absorbing archaeological mystery, rich in historical detail and local atmosphere. With its colorful characters and fast–paced plot,Mesa Verde Victim is a fascinating find.”
—AUSMA ZEHANAT KHAN, author ofA Deadly Divide

Hounded by false accusations of murder, archaeologist Chuck Bender and his family risk their lives
 to track down an unknown killer on the loose in a rugged canyon on the remote western edge of Mesa Verde National Park, where ancient stone villages and secret burial sites, abandoned centuries ago by the Ancestral Puebloan people, harbor artifacts so rare and precious they’re worth killing over.

SCOTT GRAHAM is the National Outdoor Book Award–winning author of the six–volume National Park Mystery Series for Torrey House Press, including Canyon Sacrifice, Mountain Rampage, Yellowstone Standoff, Yosemite Fall, and Arches Enemy, and five other books. He is an avid outdoorsman who lives with his wife, an emergency physician, in southwestern Colorado.

*****

You can listen to both authors talk about their books via the video.