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These Crime-Solving Sleuths Will Keep You Captivated For Days

Discover Stellar Sleuths in These Mind-Bending Mystery NovelsFrom international conspiracies to celebrity crime scenes, discover the truth behind these fictional fatalities.

 

The day Anna McDonald’s quiet, respectable life exploded started off like all the days before: Packing up the kids for school, making breakfast, listening to yet another true crime podcast. Then her husband comes downstairs with an announcement, and Anna is suddenly, shockingly alone.

Reeling, desperate for distraction, Anna returns to the podcast. Other people’s problems are much better than one’s own—a sunken yacht, a murdered family, a hint of international conspiracy. But this case actually is Anna’s problem. She knows one of the victims from an earlier life, a life she’s taken great pains to leave behind. And she is convinced that she knows what really happened.

Then an unexpected visitor arrives on her front stoop, a meddling neighbor intervenes, and life as Anna knows it is well and truly over. The devils of her past are awakened—and they’re in hot pursuit. Convinced she has no other options, Anna goes on the run, and in pursuit of the truth, with a washed-up musician at her side and the podcast as her guide.

On a quiet August morning, Judge Deborah Knott’s father Kezzie makes a shocking discovery on a remote corner of his farm: the body of a man bludgeoned to death. Investigating this crime, Deborah’s husband, Sheriff’s Deputy Dwight Bryant, soon uncovers a long-simmering hostility between Kezzie and the slain man over a land dispute. The local newspaper implies that Deborah’s family may have had something to do with the murder-and that Dwight is dragging his feet on the case.

Meanwhile, Deborah is given a cigarette lighter that once belonged to her mother. The cryptic inscription inside rekindles Deborah’s curiosity about her parents’ past, and how they met. For years she has wondered how the daughter of a wealthy attorney could have married a widowed, semi-illiterate bootlegger, and this time she’s determined to find the answer.

But why are Deborah’s brothers so reluctant to talk about the dead man? Is the murder linked to Kezzie’s illegal whiskey business? And could his courtship of Deborah’s mother have something to do with the bad blood between the two families? Despite Deborah’s promise not to interfere in Dwight’s work, she cannot stop herself from doing everything she can to help clear her brothers and her father from suspicion . . .

The spunky sleuth from Decked returns. A pantyhose convention in Miami takes a deadly turn as someone tries to kill the inventor of run-less pantyhose. Murder is afoot and Regan Reilly is on the case; the clues are opaque and the plotting is seamless.

The smart and gutsy crime writer Bailey Weggins returns for a case set against the glossy pages of a celebrity rag where somebody is about to give Bailey’s new boss a lethal deadline. Talk about rapid turnover-in a matter of days Bailey Weggins gets axed from one New York magazine and hired by another. Her new job at Buzz, a weekly filled with sizzling gossip, has Bailey covering celebrity crime, including the starlet who got caught stuffing Fendi purses down her pants and the aging hunk who shot his lover with a Magnum.

Bailey doesn’t have to look far for her next story: she finds her boss, Mona Hodges, gasping her last breath after being bludgeoned with a blunt object. A raging tyrant, Mona made Buzz a top ‘zine but racked up an impressive list of enemies along the way. Everyone from a chubby singer she dubbed “Fat Chance” to a mail guy she once reamed out would be glad to see Mona six feet under. And Bailey Weggins intends to get the scoop on whodunit even though one of her closest friends is at the top of the suspects list.

With her strappy sandals in one hand and her cell phone in the other, Bailey’s out hunting for clues everywhere from the mean streets of Brooklyn’s Little Odessa to a posh company picnic in the Hamptons. In just about a New York minute she’s got a crush on a sexy filmmaker-and some scary insight into her boss’s murder. The first can give her the hot summer fling she’s itching to have. The second can get her killed…

Joe Talbert, Jr. has never once met his namesake. Now out of college, a cub reporter for the Associated Press in Minneapolis, he stumbles across a story describing the murder of a man named Joseph Talbert in a small town in southern Minnesota.

Full of curiosity about whether this man might be his father, Joe is shocked to find that none of the town’s residents have much to say about the dead man-other than that his death was long overdue. Joe discovers that the dead man was a loathsome lowlife who cheated his neighbors, threatened his daughter, and squandered his wife’s inheritance after she, too, passed away—an inheritance that may now be Joe’s.

Mired in uncertainty and plagued by his own devastated relationship with his mother, who is seeking to get back into her son’s life, Joe must put together the missing pieces of his family history—before his quest for discovery threatens to put him in a grave of his own.

In the sweltering summer of 1915, Pin, the fourteen-year-old daughter of a carnival fortune-teller, dresses as a boy and joins a teenage gang that roams the famous Riverview amusement park, looking for trouble.

Unbeknownst to the well-heeled city-dwellers and visitors who come to enjoy the midway, the park is also host to a ruthless killer who uses the shadows of the dark carnival attractions to conduct his crimes. When Pin sees a man enter the Hell Gate ride with a young girl, and emerge alone, she knows that something horrific has occurred.

The crime will lead her to the iconic outsider artist Henry Darger, a brilliant but seemingly mad man. Together, the two navigate the seedy underbelly of a changing city to uncover a murderer few even know to look for.

It’s a cold Cleveland November day when forensic trace evidence expert Evelyn James is summoned to the scene of a bizarre crime. A young woman has been forcibly drowned, her feet chained and sunk in cement. When a second young victim is connected to a prominent family, all hell breaks loose, and the police—and Evelyn—are up against it to find the murderer. Evelyn just wants to get the job done, but is pulled into a web of conflicting loyalties, unexpected relationships, and professional betrayal. When Evelyn suspects that her own teenage daughter has become a pawn in the killer’s plans, she must remain true to herself and her skills and follow the evidence to the murderer’s door.

After a year of marriage, Judge Deborah Knott and Sheriff’s Deputy Dwight Bryant are off to New York City for a long-delayed honeymoon. January might not be the perfect time to take a bite of the Big Apple, but Dwight’s sister-in-law has arranged for them to stay in her Upper West Side apartment for a week.

Deborah had been asked to deliver a package to Lieutenant Sigrid Harald of the NYPD from Sigrid’s Colleton County grandmother. But when the homicide detective comes to pick it up, the package is missing and the building’s super is found murdered.

A Columbine-style shooting at a high school in the San Fernando Valley has left a community shaken to its core. Two students are identified as the killers. Both are dead, believed to have committed a mutual suicide.

In the aftermath of the shooting, LA Special Trials prosecutor Rachel Knight teams up with her best girlfriend, LAPD detective Bailey Keller. As Rachel and Bailey interview students at the high school, they realize that the facts don’t add up. Could it be that the students suspected of being the shooters are actually victims? And if so, does that mean that the real killers are still on the loose?

When a knock on the door in the middle of the night wakes Sharon, she’s wholly unprepared for the horrifying news: her father has been the victim of a vicious, racially-motivated attack.

A nationally recognized Shoshone artist, Elwood had been visiting Sharon for the holidays, browsing for gifts in San Francisco’s exclusive Marina district when he was set upon by a mob of angry young men. Now he lies in a coma, hovering between life and death.

With little progress on the investigation from the overworked, short-handed police, Sharon resolves to track down Elwood’s attackers herself. But when Sharon begins receiving hate-filled, racist threats from a shadowy group, it becomes clear that her pursuit of justice may be putting her own life in jeopardy…

When Judge Deborah Knott is summoned to her ailing Aunt Rachel’s bedside, she assumes the worst. Thankfully when she arrives at the hospice center she learns that Rachel hasn’t passed; in fact, the dying woman is awake. Surrounded by her children, her extended family, and what seems like half of Colleton County, a semi-conscious Rachel breaks weeks of pained silence with snippets of stories as randomly pieced together as a well-worn patchwork quilt. But the Knott family’s joy quickly gives way to shock: less than an hour later, Aunt Rachel is found dead in her bed, smothered with a pillow.

Who would kill a woman on her deathbed? Was it an act of mercy, or murder?

Soon Deborah and Dwight realize that the key to solving this case is hidden in Rachel’s mysterious final words. Her mixed-up memories harbored a dark secret-a secret that someone close to them is determined to bury forever.