Featured Mysteries Spring 2014

KILL TWO BYRDS by Steven Lockett

Sometimes home is the last place you want to be, even if it is sunny south Florida. Returning to D.C. from an overseas assignment, Bernard Byrd finds two separate letters summoning him back to Delray Beach.  Palm trees and sandy beaches are the furthest things from his mind—he still has nightmares about his involvement in an old tragedy that occurred there, and it’s been years since he's shown his face.  

But while he isn't itching for a homecoming, he finds the letters too intriguing. One is from a stranger named Kayla Chalmers, who claims to be a friend of his late Uncle Marvin, and who seems to know all about him. The other is from a lawyer representing his uncle's estate and calling on Bernard and Kayla to come and claim their inheritance, together. Bernard was estranged from his uncle his last years, and it was common knowledge that Marvin had died disgraced and penniless. 

What could he possibly have to leave anybody, least of all him? Bernard decides to go home, if only to validate his skepticism. But connecting with family and the seedier side of his hometown proves both bittersweet and violent—long after a man is dead and buried, he can still tell secrets, secrets that some would gladly kill to know.  Buy: AMAZON   BARNES & NOBLE


MURDER AT CAPE THREE POINTS By Kwei Quartey

t Cape Three Points on the beautiful Ghanaian coast, a canoe washes up at an oil rig site. The two bodies in the canoe—who turn out to be a prominent, wealthy, middle-aged married couple—have obviously been murdered; the way Mr. Smith-Aidoo has been gruesomely decapitated suggests the killer was trying to send a specific message—but what, and to whom, is a mystery. The Smith-Aidoos, pillars in their community, are mourned by everyone, but especially by their niece Sapphire, a successful pediatric surgeon in Ghana's capital, Accra.

She is not happy that months have passed since the murder and the rural police have made no headway. When the Ghanaian federal police finally agree to get involved, Detective Inspector Darko Dawson of the Accra police force is sent out to Cape Three Points to investigate. Pretty as the coast is, he is not happy to be sent away from his wife and two sons, the younger of whom is recovering from a heart operation. And the more he learns about the case, the more convoluted and dangerous it becomes. Three Points has long been inhabited by tribal villages of subsistence fishers, but real estate entrepreneurs and wealthy oil companies have been trying to bribe the tribes to move out. Dawson roots out a host of motives for murder, ranging from personal vendettas to corporate conspiracies. Buy: AMAZON BARNES & NOBLE

LOUISIANA BIGSHOT by Julie Smith

Meet the hottest detective duo in New Orleans--she’s Queen Latifah. He’s Danny DeVito. Or they would be if this were a movie--in print, they’re Talba Wallis and Eddie Valentino. Talba’s got the beauty, the brains, the computer savvy, the poetic soul,the youth, the right demographic, and the sass. Eddie’s got the detective agency. Also a short fuse and yes, wisdom. Not only do they make it work, they’ve got chemistry.

And they need every skill and ounce of courage they can summon in this intricate tale of a decades-old conspiracy only now coming home to roost, with the murder of Talba’s friend Babalu Maya. Babalu is actually Clayton Robineau, daughter of the local banker in a small Louisiana town that bears her name, a town buried under the weight of its own malevolent past.

Something terrible happened to Clayton as a child, but it was far from the usual “something terrible”. As Talba and Eddie investigate, they find it was an injury—both pscyhic and physical--so bizarre, so shameful and damning that almost anyone in town would kill to cover it up. Or so it seems to the New Orleans duo as they dodge bullets and what passes for the law in this malignant enclave, fetid with the rot of its corruption, yet determined to keep its sordid skeletons buried. Buy: AMAZON 

IN STRICT CONFIDENCE By Dwayne Joseph

Fans of John Grisham and Mary Higgins Clark will love this suspenseful rollercoaster ride that doesnt let up until the very end… Psychiatrist Allen Kline is forced to make the agonizing choice of life over death when a killer approaches him with the horrific news that he has abducted Allen's two sons. Who the killer is and why he has chosen Allen to victimize is a question the doctor struggles to answer. What he discovers just may haunt him forever. Things aren’t always what they seem… 

Detective Ben McCallum is on a mission. Someone is viciously murdering little boys and Ben knows the pain all too well. His son was one of the victims and now, it’s up to Ben to bring the killer to justice . . . before two more young boys die. 

As Ben struggles to put aside his personal demons to track a killer hellbent on revenge, he’ll discover the killer’s motives hit close to home and everyone will discover things aren’t always what they seem. In Strict Confidence is an intense, harrowing tale that will shock, surprise and satisfy readers with each suspenseful word and doesn’t let up until the very last page. 

NOWHERE TO GO AND ALL DAY TO GET THERE BY Gar Anthony Haywood

Two short mysteries featuring amateur sleuths Joe and Dottie Loudermilk. 

Buy: AMAZON 

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