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Book Giveaways
April 15th Giveaway

The Cold NowhereBrian Freeman
The Cold Nowhere (Quercus 2014) begins when 16-year-old Catalina Mateo shows up unannounced one night in Detective Jonathan Stride’s home, dripping wet from a desperate plunge into the icy waters of Lake Superior. Her sodden clothes stained with blood, Cat spins a tale of a narrow escape from a shadowy pursuer. Stride decides to trust this girl, but his judgment may be clouded by memories of Cat’s mother. Ten years earlier, Cat hid under the porch of her family home while her mother was brutally butchered by her ex-con father. Stride still blames himself for not preventing the slaughter. But is Cat telling the truth? Stride’s police partner, Maggie Bei, doubts the homeless girl, who has been living rough on the streets of Duluth since her mother’s death—and now sleeps with a knife hidden under her pillow. As Stride investigates Cat’s story, more violence trails in the teenager’s wake—and Maggie’s suspicions about her deepen. Now a single question haunts the void between them: Should Stride be afraid for — or of — this terribly damaged girl? Thanks to Jessica Bromberg, Quercus Publishing Associate Director of Publicity, we have five hardcover copies of this 6th in the series to give away.

To enter the drawing, us with the following subject line: Win Freeman. Please include your mailing address in your message. The deadline for entries is midnight April 22, 2014. Finnegan will select the winner using the Random Number Generator. Good luck!


Calamari CrimeCalamari Crime Book Bag + a Mystery Book
In celebration of surviving co-chairing Left Coast Crime 2014: Calamari Crime, two lucky winners will receive a Calamari Crime Book Bag containing a mystery book. We promise not to include any squid! (Giveaway ended 4/8/14. Our lucky winners were Denise W. from Indiana and Ted L. from Illinois.)

Sudden ImpactWilliam P. Wood
Sudden Impact (Turner 2014)
Officer Tommy Ensor is no ordinary cop. He’s a hero, winner of the Medal of Valor, devoted family man and coach, helping at-risk kids. But the driver who struck him down and didn’t stop isn’t ordinary either. He’s Judge Frank Stevenson, up-and-coming member of the bench, also devoted to his wife and daughter, involved in charities and good works. Terry Nye is a couple of weeks from retirement as a detective, head of Major Crimes. He’s trying to pack thirty years of bloody experiences and hard lessons into those two weeks for his new partner, Rose Tafoya. Rose is a young detective, smart, more than a little ambitious, but also insecure. Together she and Nye are a powerhouse team. He’s determined to find Ensor’s assailant and he’s going to make sure Rose doesn’t make the same mistakes he did, especially the unforgivable one that has come back to darkly haunt him after Ensor’s accident. The city is in turmoil when Ensor dies and the hunt for a cop killer rushes ahead relentlessly, moving from Nye and Tafoya to Stevenson and his wife. The guilty and innocent are sucked randomly into the intense, high-powered investigation. Thanks to the author and June Clark of Get There Media, Inc., we have five copies of this thriller to give away. (Giveaway ended 3/22/14. Our lucky winners were Bekke H. from California, Bill L. from Texas, David F. from Pennsylvania, Jon G. From Arizona, and Kenny T. from New York.)

A Measure of BloodKathleen George
A Measure of Blood is the seventh in the Richard Christie series. Nadal watches for weeks before he first approaches the boy. No matter what Maggie Brown says, he’s sure Matt is his son, and a boy should know his father. After their first confrontation, Maggie should have run. She should have hidden her child. But she underestimated the man who was once her lover. With self-righteous determination, Nadal goes to her house. He demands to spend time with the boy. When she refuses, he reaches for a knife. By the time Pittsburgh homicide detective Richard Christie arrives on the scene, all that remains of Maggie Brown is a bloodstain on the floor. The killer has vanished, and Matt is too scared to remember anything but his mother’s fear. As Christie looks for the killer and Maggie’s friends fight to keep Matt out of the hands of Child Services, Nadal watches the news and waits. A boy should be with his father. He’s going to get his son. Thanks to Grace Wright of JKSCommunications, we have two trade paperback copies to give away. (Giveaway ended 3/8/14. Our lucky winners were Carole S. from North Carolina and Gloria D. from Illinois.)

The ProfessorRobert Bailey
The Professor (2014) introduces Thomas Jackson McMurtrie, a longtime law professor at the University of Alabama. Forty years after giving up a promising career as a trial lawyer to teach law students at the request of his mentor, Coach Paul “Bear” Bryant, McMurtrie retires to his farm an angry and bitter man, betrayed by both a Board member he mistook for a friend and his own failing health. Meanwhile, the young family of one of Tom’s oldest friends is killed in a tragic collision with an 18-wheeler. Believing his career is over, Tom refers his friend to a brilliant, yet beleaguered, former student, Rick Drake, who begins to uncover that the truth behind the tragedy is buried in a tangled web of arson, bribery, and greed. When a key witness is murdered on the eve of trial, the young attorney, in over his head and at the end of his rope, knows he needs help — and there’s only one man who can help him. Thanks to Grace Wright of JKSCommunications, we have two trade paperback copies to give away. (Giveaway ended 2/22/14. Our lucky winners were Anders O. from Minnesota and Rita R. from Wisconsin.)

RunnerPatrick Lee
Runner (Minotaur 2013) introduces Sam Dryden, a retired special forces agent who lives a quiet life in a small town on the coast of Southern California. While out on a run in the middle of the night, a young girl crashes into him on the seaside boardwalk. Barefoot and terrified, she’s fleeing from a group of heavily armed men with one clear goal—to kill the escaping child. After Dryden helps her evade her pursuers, he learns that the eleven-year-old has been kept in a secret prison by forces within the government or as long as she can remember But she doesn’t know much beyond her own name: Rachel. She only recalls the past two months of her life—and that she has a skill that makes her very dangerous. Dryden, who lost his wife and young daughter in an accident five years ago, agrees to help her try to unravel her own past and make sense of it, and to protect her from the people who are moving heaven and earth to find them both. Although Dryden is only one man, he’s a man with the extraordinary skills and experience—as a Ranger and a Delta with five years doing off-the-book black ops with an elite team. But, as he slowly begins to discover, the highly trained paramilitary forces on their heels is the only part of the danger they must face. Will Rachel’s own unremembered past be the most deadly of them all? Thanks to Cassandra Galante, Minotaur Books Marketing, we have 10 copies to give away. (Giveaway ended 2/8/14. Our lucky winners were Bill G. from New York, Charles B. from Massachusetts, Craig C. from Maryland, Denise D. from Ontario, Dick M. from Missouri, Frederick G. from New York, Lisa B. from Alberta, Marsha C. from New York, Michelle S. from Alberta, and Wally C. from Illinois.)

Inside PassageBurt Weissbourd
Inside Passage (Rare Bird Books 2014) is the first in a thriller trilogy featuring Corey Logan. Corey Logan was set up, and she knows Nick Season’s terrible secret. Coming home from prison, all Corey wants is to be with her son. To get him back, she needs to make a good impression on the psychiatrist evaluating her. But Dr. Abe Stein doesn’t believe she was framed until his well-heeled mother falls for the charming state attorney general candidate, Nick Season. As the dogs of war are unleashed, Corey and her son run for their lives, taking her boat up the Pacific Northwest’s remote Inside Passage. Thanks to publicist Samantha Lien, we have one copy to give away. (Giveaway ended 1/22/14. Our lucky winner was David M. from Massachusetts.)

JP KinkaidDeborah Grabien
The JP Kinkaid Chronicles are mystery novels that chronicle the coming of age of guitarist and MS patient John Peter “JP” Kinkaid in the rarified world of rock and roll. Beginning in the summer of 2005 (Rock and Roll Never Forgets) with the murder of a muckracking biographer writing a sleazy tell-all of JP’s band Blacklight, the Chronicles follow JP, his longtime love Bree, and job-jumping homicide detective Patrick Ormand as the money, fame and high stakes of rock superstardom attract the inevitable parasites, hangers-on and profiteers. From an arson fire in a Marin County club to the slashing death of a royal equerry in Arabia, perennial sideman JP, who narrates the series, finds himself forced to take center stage. There are now eight Chronicles in print; thanks to the Publicity Department at Plus One Press, we have a set of Chronicles 5, 6, 7, & 8 (Book of Days, Uncle John’s Band, Dead Flowers, Comfortably Numb) to give away. (Giveaway ended 1/8/14. Our lucky winner was Thomas U. from Illinois.)

In RetrospectEllen Larson
In Retrospect (Five Star 2013) is an old-fashioned whodunit set in a compelling post-apocalyptic future. Former elite operative Merit Rafi suffered during her imprisonment at the end of a devastating war, but the ultimate torment is being forced to investigate a murder she would gladly have committed herself. In the year 3324 the Rasakans have attacked the technologically superior Oku. The war is a stalemate until the Oku commander, General Zane, abruptly surrenders. Merit, a staunch member of the Oku resistance, fights on, but she and her comrades are soon captured. An uneasy peace ensues, but the Rasakans conspire to gain control of the prized Oku time-travel technology. When Zane is murdered, the Rasakans exert control over Merit, the last person on Earth capable of Forensic Retrospection. Thanks to Tiffany Schofield, Acquisitions Editor at Five Star, we have five hardcover copies to give away. (Giveaway ended 12/22/13. Our lucky winners were Betty B. from New York, Carol S. from South Carolina, Claudia G. from Arizona, Joy D. from Florida, and Steve K. from New Jersey.)

Lying with StrangersJonnie Jacobs
Lying with Strangers (Five Star 2013) is the story of two very different women and the tragic event that brings them together, opening the door to second chances. Against her better judgment, Chloe Henderson becomes the unwitting accomplice to a murder committed by her boyfriend. The victim’s grief-stricken wife is shocked to discover the lies and secrets her husband has kept from her. When her young son plows into Chloe with his bike, the women’s lives become entwined in ways neither of them could have imagined. Joel Richards, an enthusiastic young journalist covering recent developments in an old murder, has his own reasons for being interested in the victim, and in Chloe. Thanks to Tiffany Schofield, Acquisitions Editor at Five Star, we have five hardcover copies of this stand-alone thriller to give away. (Giveaway ended 12/8/13. Our lucky winners were Audrey B. from California, Bekke H. from California, Gayla J. from Arizona, Marianne D. from New York, and Nancy K. from Colorado.)

JapantownBarry Lancet
Japantown (Simon & Schuster 2013) follows American antique dealer-turned-P.I. Jim Brodie on a trail from California to Tokyo as he struggles to unravel a major murder in San Francisco. Late one night Brodie receives a call from a friend in SFPD’s homicide division: an entire family has been senselessly gunned down in San Francisco’s Japantown. With the assistance of a shadow powerbroker, a renegade Japanese detective, and the elusive telecommunications tycoon at the center of the murders, Brodie moves from the crime scene to Tokyo to a remote Japanese village. He soon finds himself at the center of a deadly secret that not only threatens to take his life, but also the lives of his entire circle of family and friends — including his six-year-old daughter. In Japantown, Lancet depicts a rich mixture of art and violence, the past and the present, east and west, while bringing San Francisco to life in all its layers. Thanks to Andrea DeWerd, Simon & Schuster Marketing Manager, we have three copies to give away. (Giveaway ended 11/22/13. Our lucky winners were Diana R. from Ohio, Jean S. from Colorado, and Jim J. from Ontario.)

Never Laugh as a Hearse Goes ByElizabeth J. Duncan
Never Laugh as a Hearse Goes By (Minotaur 2013) finds spa owner and habitual amateur sleuth Penny Brannigan at a clerical conference at Gladstone’s Library in North Wales. Also attending as a guest speaker is her boyfriend, DCI Gareth Davies, there to give a talk on theft prevention. But behind the ornate red sandstone façade of this most respectable of Victorian buildings, Penny encounters deception, marital and financial infidelity, a sham marriage scam, blackmail for beginners, and someone bent on murder. When the bishop’s secretary dies of a suspicious case of food poisoning, Davies leads the investigation. At Penny’s suggestion, Florence Semble, a friend from Penny’s adopted hometown, is invited to the Library to decode the secretary’s shorthand notebook in the search for clues. As the conference continues, another body is found in the beautiful library itself, and Penny must once again search for a killer. Thanks to the author and St. Martin’s Press, we have a hardcover copy of this fifth in the series for a Canadian and an American winner. (Giveaway ended 11/8/13. Our lucky winners were Luigina L. from Ontario and Melinda D. from Idaho.)

Circle of ThirteenWilliam Petrocelli
The Circle of Thirteen (Turner 2013) is set in 2082, when a catastrophic explosion rocks the dedication ceremony of the new United Nations in New York City. Security Director Julia Moro is on the job, chasing after the misogynistic leader of Patria, a long-disbanded international terrorist organization now being whispered about again on the streets. This dangerous, shadowy figure has been linked to several bombing attempts and vicious attacks on women, including the Women of Peace—an organization headed by thirteen bold women who have risked their lives to restore worldwide peace. As Julia’s investigation unfolds, a deep secret from her past threatens to strip her of everything she cherishes and plunge her into unrecoverable darkness. Thanks to publicist Wiley Saichek we have two hardcover copies to give away. (Giveaway ended 10/22/13. Our lucky winners were Linda P. from New Brunswick and Ron C. from Minnesota.)

Sutton PlaceLouise Gaylord
Sutton Place (Little Moose Press 2013) is the story of Julia Fairchild. The Fairchilds were a happy family of wealthy New York stock, with two loving daughters until the secrets started to surface. The first secret was revealed when Julia was told the truth about her father. Her reaction to the revelation sent her spinning out of control. The second secret concerned the parentage of Julia’s sister, Ariel. How Ariel responded to the revelation astounded the rest of the family. Now Julia is building a reputation as a clinical psychologist at one of New York’s finest hospitals. The future looks bright until a romantic weekend turns into a disaster. Fleeing home and family, she moves to New Mexico and starts to pull her life together. Just when it looks like things are heading toward happily-ever-after, events in New York draw Julia back to Sutton Place, where she learns of Ariel’s secret life and finds herself facing her worst nightmare. Thanks to publicist Grace Wright, we have three copies of this second in the series to give away. (Giveaway ended 10/8/13. Our lucky winners were Dodie S. from Arizona, Jan C. from Mississippi, and Theresa H. from California.)

Plum DeadlyEllie Grant
Plum Deadly (Gallery Books 2013) introduces Maggie Grady, who returns to North Carolina after being accused of stealing from her workplace. Her former boss Louis unexpectedly appears at her aunt’s pie shop and tells Maggie that he knows the truth. Someone framed her and Louis helped. But before Louis can set things straight in a press conference, he turns up dead on the doorstep of Pie in the Sky. Not only is Maggie’s secret about why she left the big city out, but now she and her aunt are suspects in Louis’s murder. With the help of Ryan, a hunky journalist, Maggie tries to figure out who set her up and killed Louis. But just as she and Ryan get closer to the truth, the killer steps up his game. Thanks to author Ellie Grant (Joyce & Jim Lavene pseudonym), we have a paperback copy of this first in the Pie in the Sky series to give away to five lucky winners. (Giveaway ended 9/22/13. Our lucky winners were Betsy D. from New York, Katherine I. from North Carolina, Lorene L. from Washington, Marcia G. from Arkansas, and Sherrie W. from Washington.)

Middle ManDavid Rich
Middle Man (Dutton 2013) features Lt. Rollie Water, whose expertise is going undercover to solve complex crimes involving powerful military officials and unknown enemies who are prepared to kill for stolen fortunes. Recruited into SHADE, an elite, covert group formed by the U.S. military, Rollie Waters must locate and retrieve the millions taken from Saddam’s cache during the Iraq War and shipped home in the coffins of dead soldiers. When a sniper attacks the team, Rollie is forced to go undercover to solve the riddle of the graves and to apprehend the puppet master behind the whole plot. Rollie’s own father, inveterate liar and charming con artist Dan Waters, was killed attempting to steal the first $25 million after stumbling across the conspiracy involving powerful military officers, including the general who nearly destroyed Rollie during his last tour in Afghanistan. Rollie’s undercover quest takes him from Houston and the self-proclaimed king of Kurdistan, to the treacherous streets of Erbil, Iraq, and into the arms of a stunning, enigmatic woman whose motives he can’t discern. As a confirmed citizen of the fog, now more spy than soldier, Waters must uncover the man pulling the strings behind a backdrop of murder, deceit, and stolen fortune — before he disappears forever into the mist. Thanks to publicist Cassandre Mandel we have one hardcover copy to give away. (Giveaway ended 9/8/13. Our lucky winner was Mary C. from Wisconsin.)

NephilimÅsa Schwarz
Nephilim (Stockholm Text 2013) is the American debut of Swedish author Åsa Schwarz. When young and driven “Eco Warrior” Nova decides to take action against environmentally dangerous corporations, little does she know that a shadowy organization shares in her goal. Soon Nova finds herself framed for a string of unusual and gruesome murders and is on the run from Swedish authorities. Left to her own device, Nova is forced to explore crawling biblical clues in order to unravel the mysteries of past and present and to figure out how she got herself in the middle of it. This fast-paced suspense novel blends biblical mythology with global conspiracies to create a convincing and effective story. In-depth characters and quickly unravelling plot, full of dramatic twists and turns, has made it a major success throughout Europe. Thanks to publicist Tricia van Dockum, we have one paperback copy to give away. (Giveaway ended 8/22/13. Our lucky winner was Joyce F. from Illinois.)

RestrikeReba White Williams
Restrike (Delos 2013) introduces cousins Coleman and Dinah Greene who moved from North Carolina to New York after college to make their mark on the art world. Coleman is now the editor of an influential arts magazine and Dinah is the owner of a print gallery in Greenwich Village. But their challenges are mounting as one of Coleman’s writers is discovered selling story ideas to a competitor and The Greene Gallery is in the red because sales are down. When billionaire Heyward Bain arrives with a glamorous assistant, announcing plans to fund a fine print museum, Coleman is intrigued and plans to get to know Bain and publish an article about him. Dinah hopes to sell him enough prints to save her gallery. At the same time, swindlers, attracted by Bain’s lavish spending, invade the print world to grab some of his money. When a print dealer dies in peculiar circumstances, Coleman is suspicious, but she can’t persuade the NYPD crime investigator of a connection between the dealer’s death and Bain’s buying spree. After one of Coleman’s editors is killed and Coleman is attacked, the police must acknowledge the connection, and Coleman becomes even more determined to discover the truth about Bain. Thanks to publicist Marissa Curnutte of JKSCommunications we have three paperback copies of this debut mystery to give away. (Giveaway ended 8/8/13. Our lucky winners were Barbara S. from New Jersey, Jane N. from Washington, and Pam W. from Missouri.)

Lucky BastardDeborah Coonts
Lucky Bastard (Forge 2013) finds Lucky O’Toole enjoying her job as the newly promoted vice president of Customer Relations for the Babylon, Las Vegas’s primo Strip property. But when a young woman is found dead, sprawled across the hood of a new, bright red Ferrari California in the Babylon’s on-site dealership, a Jimmy Choo stiletto stuck in her carotid, Lucky’s skills are maxed out. But then Lucky’s life is already on overload. Her mother, Mona, is pregnant, hormonal, and bored. A song that Teddie, Lucky’s former lover, wrote for her is getting national airplay as he hits the talk shows, pleading for her forgiveness. Lucky is less than amused by the high-powered “infotainment” spotlight on her personal life. She’s having enough trouble fending off Chef Jean-Charles Bouclet, the Babylon’s tasty new dish. The Smack-Down Poker tournament, the second-largest poker tournament in the world, is holding its final round at the Babylon. Hookers, thieves, players, cheaters, media, and hangers-on descend, looking to win or to score. When one of the players turns up dead, Lucky starts to make connections between the two murders, putting her in the crosshairs of the killer. Thanks to publicist Grace Wright of JKSCommunications, we have three hardcover copies of this 4th in the series to give away. (Giveaway ended 7/22/13. Our lucky winners were Debi L. from Texas, Kathie M. from Ohio, and Susan H. from Minnesota.)

ColdwaterDiana Gould
Coldwater (Gibraltar Road 2013) is the story of Brett Tanager, the writer/producer of a hit TV detective show until the mistakes of one dreadful night send her life skidding out of control into a downward spiral that takes her job, family, savings and self-respect. At her lowest ebb she is approached by Julia, her sixteen-year-old former stepdaughter whose best friend Caleigh has disappeared. Seems Julia’s classmates, young daughters of Hollywood’s elite, were “partying” with high rollers for a thousand bucks a night, and now Caleigh is missing, her parents are lying, and Julia is terrified. But not as terrified as Brett when Caleigh’s naked corpse turns up and Julia goes missing. Brett’s attempt to find Julia plunges her into a dark, disturbing journey through moneyed Hollywood and its sinister undersides. Now she must find resources other than drink to overcome her fears, as she is pitted against cunning of a ruthless killer, and a web of deceit in which the darkest secrets may be her own. Thanks to Julia Callahan of Rare Bird Lit we have five paperback copies of this debut thriller to give away. (Giveaway ended 7/8/13. Our lucky winners were Bruce B. from North Carolina, Diana F. from New Jersey, Hannah H. from Rhode Island, Mary L. from Georgia, and Shirley C. from British Columbia.)

Hiding GladysHiding Gladys (Midnight Ink 2013), by Lee Mims, introduces geologist Cleo Cooper. Discovering a granite deposit of epic proportions is geologist Cleo Cooper’s dream come true. Not only will she be famous for discovering the easternmost deposit in the United States, she’ll also be rich. And so will Gladys Walton, the owner of the rural North Carolina property that sits atop the bounty of valuable rock. When Gladys goes missing and a murder victim turns up in the well, Cleo works extra hard to keep her test drilling above board and on schedule. But a near-fatal accident convinces Cleo that someone is dead set on killing her, too. With support from a hot fellow geologist, Cleo races against the clock before another body is found and her dreams of fame and fortune are crushed. Thanks to publicist Grace Wright of JKSCommunications, we have three paperback copies of this debut mystery to give away. (Giveaway ended 6/22/13. Our lucky winners were Ellen M. from New Jersey, Georgia B. from Wyoming, and Lenora C. from Oregon.)

Marseilles TrilogyJean-Claude Izzo
The Marseilles Trilogy (Total Chaos, Chourmo, and Solea), featuring Fabio Montale — a cop who goes out on his own in Marseilles, France — is a classic of European crime fiction. Its publication was the catalyst for the foundation of an entire literary movement, Mediterranean noir, and made its author an overnight celebrity in the late 1990s. The trilogy has just been reissued in new trade paperback editions with an introduction by Massimo Carlotto. Thanks to Michael Reynolds and Drew Schnoebelen of Europa, we have one set to give away. (Giveaway ended 6/8/13. Our lucky winner was JoAnn O. from Colorado.)

The Killer’s ArtMari Jungstedt
The Killer’s Art (Stockholm Text 2013; Sweden 2010) is the fourth in the series featuring Anders Knutas, a police inspector on Gotland Island, Sweden. On a cold Sunday morning a man is found murdered and hanged on the old city wall that surrounds Visby, capital of Gotland. The victim is art gallery owner Egon Wallin. When the famous painting “The Dying Dandy” is stolen in Stockholm, disturbing links to the murder of Egon Wallin slowly start to surface, taking Knutas into the exquisite Swedish art world and underworld of prostitution and drugs. In this hair-raising story, superintendent Anders Knutas is facing one of the toughest investigations in his career. Thanks to Tricia van Dockum, Stockholm Text publicist, we have one paperback copy to give away. (Giveaway ended 5/22/13. Our lucky winner was Gloria K. from Wisconsin.)

SunriseAl Lamanda
Sunrise (Five Star due August 7, 2013)
John Bekker, the downtrodden hero of Sunset, returns to face his greatest challenge yet. When Bekker’s old friend and state prosecutor Carly Simms wakes up next to murdered young man in a motel room after a night of drinking, she doesn’t remember a thing, especially stabbing the young man in the heart. Although all the evidence points to her guilt, Simms hires Bekker to prove her innocence. Bekker soon finds himself ensnared in a deadly game of cat and mouse. The murder victim was raised in an orphanage in Utah, and Bekker makes the startling discovery that other young men from the same orphanage are being murdered around the country. As he closes in on a suspect, Bekker and his family become targets as well. Thanks to Tiffany Schofield, Five Star Acquisitions Editor, we have five paperback Advance Readers Copies to give away. (Giveaway ended 5/8/13. Our lucky winners were Dave H. from North Carolina, Jeanette L. from Oregon, Jim P. from Missouri, Patrice G. from New York, and William M. from Rhode Island.)

that Old Flame of MineJ.J. Cook
That Old Flame of Mine (Berkley 2013) is the first in a new cozy series. After knocking the lights out of her boyfriend when she catches him cheating on her, Chicago fire fighter Stella Griffin hops on her Harley and heads for Sweet Pepper, Tennessee, where she ends up becoming the small town’s new fire chief. When her dear friend Tory Lambert dies after her gingerbread-style house is set ablaze, Stella suspects arson. As Stella investigates, she gets help from a most unlikely source — the ghost of Eric Gamlyn, Sweet Pepper’s old fire chief. And if that isn’t enough to rattle her, attractive police officer John Trump seems to have taken an interest in her. But Stella’s got to stay focused if she hopes to smoke out a killer before her own life is extinguished. Thanks to author J.J. Cook (Joyce and Jim Lavene), we have a paperback copy of this first in the Sweet Pepper Fire Brigade series to give away to five lucky winners. (Giveaway ended 4/22/13. Our lucky winners were Elaine N. from Kansas, Fran W. from Virginia, Helen T. from Minnesota, Pam N. from Pennsylvania, and Winota I. from California.)

No Safe GroundJulia Pomeroy
No Safe Ground (Five Star 2013) is the story of Reynolds Packard, a limo driver who lives in a run down house in the back woods of upstate New York, with no family or ties other than his cousin, Millie. Into his dreary and uneventful life barrels a girl he had never expected to see again — the daughter he gave up fifteen years before. Vida, now a twenty-one year old veteran, is AWOL and running for her life. Recently wounded in Iraq, she has no where else to go and has come to her father for help. She believes someone from her old unit is trying to kill her. Instead of helping her, Packard ignores the pleas of the girl he barely knows. After second thoughts, and with the help of his ex-state trooper cousin Millie, Packard decides he must find Vida before a brutal killer tracks her down first. Thanks to Tiffany Schofield, Five Star Acquisitions Editor, we have five hardcover copies of this stand-alone thriller to give away. (Giveaway ended 4/8/13. Our lucky winners were Barbara S. from Illinois, Gary A. from Illinois, Nanette W. from Massachusetts, Thomas D. from California, and Tony G. from Indiana.)

Cat Trick MysterySofie Kelly
Cat Trick (Signet 2013) finds Kathleen Paulson enjoying her life as a small-town librarian with her two extraordinary cats, Owen and Hercules. The local businesses of Mayville Heights hope to convince Chicago-based company Legacy Tours to sell a vacation package for their town. Legacy Tours partner Mike Glazer grew up in Mayville Heights, but he’s no longer the small-town boy people once knew. Even the local bootlegger has an issue with the bossy loudmouth Mike has become—until someone shuts him up for good. When Kathleen discovers Mike’s body on the boardwalk, she can’t help but get involved in the investigation—even if her beau, Detective Marcus Gordon, would rather she didn’t. Now, with a little help from Owen and Hercules, it’s up to Kathleen to make sure the killer is booked for an extended stay in prison before someone else takes a permanent vacation. Thanks to the author, we have paperback copies of this 4th in the Magical Cats series to give away to four lucky winners. (Giveaway ended 3/22/13. Our lucky winners were Betty J. from Iowa, Katherine G. from Massachusetts, Marie K. from New Hampshire, and Patricia H. from Kansas.)

SunsetAl Lamanda
Sunset (Five Star 2012) is the story of Police Detective John Bekker. Becker had it all: a beautiful wife‚ a five-year old daughter and a job he loved… but all of that changed in the blink of an eye. Assigned to a special task force investigating organized crime‚ Bekker got a little too close to mob boss Eddie Crist. As a message to back off‚ Bekker’s home is invaded‚ his wife murdered and all this witnessed by his five-year-old daughter. A decade later Bekker‚ a drunk with an institutionalized daughter‚ comes face to face with Eddie Crist‚ now near death from cancer with a final wish — to go to his grave with a clear conscience. In an ironic twist of fate‚ the man Bekker believed responsible for his wife’s death hires him to solve the decade-old murder. Thanks to Tiffany Schofield, Five Star Acquisitions Editor, we have five hardcover copies of this Edgar nominated first in a series. (Giveaway ended 3/8/13. Our lucky winners were Ed H. from California, Evelyn G. from Washington, Lynn D. from Michigan, Mike M. from Michigan, and Nancy A. from Virginia.)

A Friendly Game of MurderJ.J. Murphy
A Friendly Game of Murder (Signet 2012) finds Dorothy Parker wondering why her friends are the only ones making “enviable names” in “science, art, and parlor games”? Dorothy can play with the best of them—as she sets out to prove at a New Year’s Eve party at the Algonquin Hotel. Since the swanky soiree is happening in the penthouse suite of swashbuckling star Douglas Fairbanks, some derring-do is called for. How about a little game of “Murder”? Each partygoer draws a card to be detective, murderer, or victim. But young Broadway starlet Bibi Bibelot trumps them all when her dead body is found in the bathtub. No one knows who the killer is, but one thing is for sure—they won’t be making gin in that bathtub. When more partiers are put in peril, it becomes clear the game is indeed on, and it’s up to Dorothy, surprise guest Sir Arthur Conan Doyle, and the members of the Round Table to stay alive—and relatively sober—long enough to find the killer. Thanks to the author we have a paperback copy of this witty third in the series to give away. (Giveaway ended 2/22/13. Our lucky winner was Sue H. from Illinois.)

Cover of SnowJenny Milchman
Cover of Snow (Ballantine 2013) is the story of Nora Hamilton, who wakes up one wintry morning in her old farmhouse nestled in the Adirondack Mountains of New York, sure that something is wrong. When her fog of sleep clears, she finds her world is suddenly, irretrievably shattered: Her husband, Brendan, has committed suicide. The first few hours following Nora’s devastating discovery pass for her in a blur of numbness and disbelief. Then, a disturbing awareness slowly settles in: Brendan left no note and gave no indication that he was contemplating taking his own life. Why would a rock-solid police officer with unwavering affection for his wife, job, and quaint hometown suddenly choose to end it all? Having spent a lifetime avoiding hard truths, Nora must now start facing them. Unraveling her late husband’s final days, Nora searches for an explanation—but finds a bewildering resistance from Brendan’s best friend and partner, his fellow police officers, and his brittle mother. It quickly becomes clear to Nora that she is asking questions no one wants to answer. For beneath the soft cover of snow lies a powerful conspiracy that will stop at nothing to keep its presence unknown… and its darkest secrets hidden. Thanks to Grace Wright of JKSCommunications, we have one hardcover copy of this debut thriller to give away. (Giveaway ended 2/8/13. Our lucky winner was Shelia M. from Texas.)

The Pot Thief who Studied Billy the KidJ. Michael Orenduff
The Pot Thief Who Studied Billy the Kid (Aakenbaaken & Kent 2013) finds Hubert Schuze, owner of a shop selling Native American pottery in Albuquerque, New Mexico, illegally digging for Anasazi pots in a cliff dwelling. Hubie is startled when he grasps a human hand. He was hoping for an artifact, not a handshake and is puzzled by his discovery since the Anasazi did not bury their dead in their living quarters. A more pressing problem confronts him when he hears his truck drive away from the plain above the cliff. The rope he was planning to use to return to the surface was attached to the truck’s winch. After a bizarre escape from the cliff dwelling, he is convinced to return by his sidekick Susannah, who suspects the body was not a mummy but a contemporary person. But when Hubie descends a second time with her help, what he discovers defies all logic. It takes Hubie, Susannah, a coyote, and Billy the Kid to finally figure out who was dead and why. Thanks to the author, we have five trade paperback copies of the sixth in this funny series to give away. (Giveaway ended 1/22/13. Our lucky winners were Anne E. from North Carolina, Chris A. from Alabama, Helen F. from California, Jenni O. from Kentucky, and Leeta M. from Missouri.)

Sign of the Weeping VirginAlana White
Sign of the Weeping Virgin (Five Star 2013) takes place in 1480, when celebrated Florentine lawyer Guid’Antonio Vespucci and his nephew Amerigo return home to Italy from a government mission to find their dreams of peace shattered. Marauding Turks have abducted a beautiful young girl and sold her into slavery. Equally disturbing, a revered painting of the Virgin Mary is weeping in Guid’Antonio’s family church. Angry and fearful Florentines interpret these stunning events as signs of God’s wrath for their support of the city’s leader, Lorenzo de’ Medici, and Lorenzo’s refusal to end his war with the Pope. Faced with losing control of the city, Lorenzo enlists Guid’Antonio, his friend and staunch political ally, to investigate the tears. Following a seemingly unrelated trail of clues — a name whispered in the marketplace by a hooded monk, a secret message painted by Sandro Botticelli on the wall of the Vespucci family church — Guid’Antonio and Amerigo chase across Florence to the workshops of Leonardo da Vinci and Sandro Botticelli, to churches where frescoes seem to fly off the walls, from Florence to the village where the girl disappeared, and, finally, to the hilltop of Vinci itself. Thanks to Tiffany Schofield, Acquisitions Editor at Five Star, we have five hardcover copies of this debut historical mystery to give away. (Giveaway ended 1/8/13. Our lucky winners were Cecile L. from Virginia, Cheryl G. from Florida, David D. from Texas, Julie T. from Pennsylvania, and Nancy T. from Missouri.)

Night BlindMichael W. Sherer
Night Blind (Thomas & Mercer 2012) is the story of Blake Sanders, who lost his job, his only son to suicide, and his marriage in the space of a few months. A year later, it’s gotten so bad that he can only face the world at night, working menial jobs washing dishes and delivering newspapers, lost in depression and grief. Blake’s world is turned upside down again on a cold November night, when an elderly woman on his newspaper route is brutally stabbed to death and Blake is charged with her murder. Faced with life in prison, his only hope is to find the real killer. In a desperate attempt to unravel the mystery, Blake learns that his friend stumbled onto secrets that have been buried beneath Capitol Hill for 150 years. Secrets that are now being disturbed by the construction of the new light rail tunnel. Secrets that will shake the government of Seattle. Secrets that foreign agents will kill for. On the run from the police and murderers, Blake finds a chance to heal his grief and reclaim his life—if he can stay alive long enough to unearth the truth. (Giveaway ended 12/22/12. Our lucky winner was Lesley P. from Washington. Our thanks to Thomas & Mercer for providing the book.)

Stalking SeasonMaryann Miller
Stalking Season (Five Star 2012) finds Dallas Homicide Detective Sarah Kingsly and her partner, Angel Johnson, pitted against an uncanny killer while still struggling to feel like real partners. Neither wanted the pairing in the first place, and it isn’t getting any better. A young girl is killed in a cheap motel, and when her identity is discovered, an influential businessman brings the heat down on the department. It isn’t easy to work under the thumb of the mayor and the police commissioner, and it doesn’t help that Lieutenant McGregor has his own issues with the brass. The investigation takes the detectives inside an exclusive gentlemen’s club, a prestigious private school, and leads to a killer that surprises them all. Thanks to Tiffany Schofield, Five Star Acquisitions Editor, we have five hardcover copies of this second in the series to give away. (Giveaway ended 12/8/12. Our lucky winners were Evelyn L. from Michigan, Jane L. from Mississippi, Ruth D. from Ohio, Sheldon P. from California, and Suzanne VN from Ohio.)

The Prodigal SonColleen McCullough
The Prodigal Son (Simon & Schuster 2012) begins when a lethal toxin, extracted from a blowfish, is stolen from a laboratory at Chubb University in 1969. The toxin kills within minutes and leaves no trace behind, so worried biochemist Dr. Millie Hunter reports the theft at once to her father, Medical Examiner Dr. Patrick O’Donnell. Patrick’s cousin, Captain Carmine Delmonico, is forewarned and quick off the mark when the bodies start to mount up. A sudden death at a dinner party followed by another at a gala black-tie event seem at first to be linked only by the poison and the presence of Dr. Jim Hunter, a scientist on the brink of greatness and husband to Millie. A black man married to a white woman, Dr. Jim has faced scandal and prejudice for most of his life, so what would cause him to risk it all now? Is he being framed for murder—and if so, by whom? Carmine and his detectives must follow the trail through the university town’s crowd of eccentrics, no matter how close to home it may lead. Thanks to Alicia Samuel of Simon & Schuster, we have a hardcover copy of this fourth in the series to give away. (Giveaway ended 11/22/12. Our lucky winner was Janet M. from Ontario.)

Swann Dives InCharles Salzberg
Swann Dives In (Five Star 2012) finds retired Henry Swann drawn back into the detective game by a millionaire, a missing heiress, evasive college professors, rare book dealers, and ten thousand dollars a week. Swann thought he was done with skip tracing — finding missing deadbeats and losers for a few bucks — but working as a cable service guy was a bit on the dull side, though not risking life and limb is a welcome relief. Millionaire lawyer Carlton Phillips has lost track of his daughter Marcy. Her last known whereabouts were at her school, Syracuse University. While trying to track down Marcy and/or her geeky boyfriend Sean Loomis on a quick trip upstate, Swann follows the clues to a sorority house, a pizza joint, and the office of a literature professor who is clearly hiding something. Armed with more questions than leads, Swann flies up to Boston where he narrowly avoids the arms of a seductive and secretive librarian. Finally back in New York City, Swann tries to sort out the details of the case. Is Marcy Phillips a victim? What is the nature of her relationship to the sexy and cagey Elizabeth Lawson? Is Carlton Phillips somehow involved in this story? How are all of these people connected to the rare book world, and who is really trying to get away with something? Thanks to the author and publicist June Clark, we have a hardcover copy of this second in the series to give away. (Giveaway ended 11/8/12. Our lucky winner was Chris J. from Maine.)

Invisible MurderLene Kaaberbøl & Agnete Friis
Invisible Murder (Soho 2012, Denmark 2010) finds Nina Borg, a Red Cross nurse in Copenhagen, Denmark, struggling to stick to her bargain with her husband Morten — no secret work for the Network, providing health care for undocumented immigrants. But she is unable to resist the plight of desperately ill Roma children living with an impoverished group in an old mechanics’ workshop in Valby. Nina assumes the children have picked up a stomach bug, or perhaps were exposed to a chemical in the workshop, and treats them for dehydration. But the sickest child grows weaker, and Nina herself develops a pounding headache. A second storyline follows Sándor, a half-Roma student in Budapest who receives a surprise visit from his step-brother Tamás, who uses his Internet connection and then disappears along with Sándor’s passport. Sure that Tamás is up to no good, Sándor returns home and discovers that Tamás has taken off for Denmark to sell something he found in the ruins of a Russian military hospital in Szikla. Tamás has also left behind a huge dept to Alexisz Bolgár, a powerful Roma leader. To protect his family from Bolgár, Sándor follows Tamás and the money to Valby. A third storyline tracks the progress of a Security and Intelligence Service (PET) investigation, led by Søren Kirkegaard, into possible terrorist activity targeting Copenhagen. To the horror of Nina’s husband, these separate events converge upon Nina and their daughter, endangering their lives and the safety of everyone around them. This compelling thriller is a followup to The Boy in the Suitcase. Thanks to Michelle Cullen, Soho Press Marketing Assistant, we have a hardcover copy to give away. (Giveaway ended 10/22/12. Our lucky winner was Jackie S. from Arizona.)

Whiskey IslandLes Roberts
Whiskey Island (Gray & Company 2012) finds Cleveland private investigator Milan Jacovich working for councilman Bert Loftus. An oversized appetite for fine dining, flashy suits, and Las Vegas call girls has made Loftus the target of media scrutiny and an FBI investigation that may end his career. Now he says someone is trying to kill him. Eager to identify his attacker but not so eager to work with the cops, Loftus turns to Milan for help. Milan takes the job even though he’s not inclined to take Loftus’s story seriously. At least it will be an opportunity to break in his new employee, young powder-keg Kevin “K.O.” O’Bannion. Milan and K.O. quickly notice that something smells fishy—and it isn’t just the Whiskey Island Marina, where local power brokers down pricey drinks in front of Lake Erie sunsets. Loftus and several Cleveland landlords appear to be involved in something much darker than a typical cash-for-favors trade. After a kinky call girl is found dead near the Cleveland Zoo and secret sex tapes are discovered in her downtown high-rise, Milan and K.O. must follow a trail of bribes, bullet casings, and debauchery to find the killer and uncover the true menace amid the muck of local government corruption. Luckily they have the help of Cleveland police detective Tobe Blaine, a tough-as-nails officer recently relocated from Cincinnati. She and Milan team up in their search for clues and discover they have much more in common than crime. Thanks to Jane Lassar of Gray & Company, we have two hardcover copies of this 16th in the series to give away. (Giveaway ended 10/8/12. Our lucky winners were Colleen R. from Ohio and Helen V. from Pennsylvania.)

The Other WomanHank Phillippi Ryan
The Other Woman (Forge 2012) introduces Jane Ryland, recently fired by a Boston TV station when her refusal to reveal a source resulted in a suit against the station and Jane herself. Now the award-winning investigative journalist finds herself working in the uncomfortable role of newspaper reporter for a boss who has no reason to trust her instincts on stories that aren’t nearly as exciting. Jane keeps hoping that her missing source will finally come forward and tell the truth so she can get her real job back. Assigned to write the usual puff piece about the wife of senate candidate Owen Lassiter, Jane notices that the same woman’s face appears in campaign photos taken all over the state, and suspects that she may have stumbled across Lassiter’s “other woman.” Meanwhile, Jane’s friend Detective Jake Brogan is investigating the death of two unidentified young women found near bridges. Jake is feeling the pressure of the media stories of a “Bridge Killer” stalking Boston women, and both Jake and Jane know that their budding relationship is a career-killer. Jane can’t cover the crime beat if she is dating a cop, and Jake would never be trusted not to leak case details to the press. As they pursue their separate investigations, Jane and Jake both begin to suspect that their seemingly distinct inquiries connect with a ruthless killer who will do just about anything to cover up a scandal with political repercussions. Ryan, an much-awarded investigative reporter for Boston’s NBC affiliate, uses her insider experience to create a believable series protagonist whose reporter instincts won’t let her abandon an investigation despite the dangers to herself, her love life, or her career. Thanks to the author, we have two hardcover books to give away. (Giveaway ended 9/21/12. Our lucky winners were Barbara C. from Maryland and Linda L. from Colorado.)

SimpleKathleen George
Simple (Minotaur 2012) finds Cassie Price thrilled when she’s hired to work at one of Pittsburgh’s most prestigious law firms. Young, pretty, and from a sheltered background, Cassie’s new life as an adult now includes meeting rich and powerful people, and she may even be having a mysterious affair. But when her lifeless body is discovered, the police are stumped. Suspicion falls on a neighborhood handyman, but Detective Colleen Greer and her boss, Commander Richard Christie, are not sure. The detectives discover that what seem like the easiest cases are actually the most complicated. We are giving away a hardback copy of this 6th in the series. (Giveaway ended 9/8/12. Our lucky winner was Lois G. from California.)

Broken HarborTana French
Broken Harbor (Viking 2012)
Mick “Scorcher” Kennedy plays by the book and plays hard. That’s what’s made him the Dublin Murder squad’s top detective—and that’s what puts the biggest case of the year into his hands. On one of the half-built, half-abandoned “luxury” developments that litter Ireland, Patrick Spain and his two young children are dead. His wife, Jenny, is in intensive care. At first, Scorcher and his rookie partner, Richie, think it’s going to be an easy solve. But too many small things can’t be explained. The half dozen baby monitors, their cameras pointing at holes smashed in the Spains’ walls. The files erased from the Spains’ computer. The story Jenny told her sister about a shadowy intruder who was slipping past all the locks. And Broken Harbor holds memories for Scorcher. Seeing the case on the news sends his sister Dina off the rails again, and she’s resurrecting something that Scorcher thought he had tightly under control: what happened to their family one summer at Broken Harbor, back when they were children. Thanks to Angela Messina of Viking, we have hardback copies of this new thriller for two lucky winners. (Giveaway ended 8/21/12. Our lucky winners were Joseph L. from Washington and Michele L. from Kansas.)

CriminalKarin Slaughter
Criminal (Delacorte Press 2012) finds Will Trent, a brilliant agent with the Georgia Bureau of Investigation, newly in love and beginning to put a difficult past behind him. Then a local college student goes missing, and Will is inexplicably kept off the case by his supervisor and mentor, deputy director Amanda Wagner. Will cannot fathom Amanda’s motivation until the two of them literally collide in an abandoned orphanage they have both been drawn to for different reasons. Decades before—when Will’s father was imprisoned for murder—this was his home. Flash back nearly forty years. In the summer Will Trent was born, Amanda Wagner is going to college, making Sunday dinners for her father, taking her first steps in the boys’ club that is the Atlanta Police Department. One of her first cases is to investigate a brutal crime in one of the city’s worst neighborhoods. Amanda and her partner, Evelyn, are the only ones who seem to care if an arrest is ever made. Now the case that launched Amanda’s career has suddenly come back to life, intertwined with the long-held mystery of Will’s birth and parentage. And these two dauntless investigators will each need to face down demons from the past if they are to prevent an even greater terror from being unleashed. Thanks to Marketing Director Wiley Saichek, we have hardback copies of this July release for two lucky winners. (Giveaway ended 8/7/12. Our lucky winners were Pat A. from Georgia and Bob B. from British Columbia.)

Not My BloodBarbara Cleverly
Not My Blood finds Scotland Yard Detective Joe Sandilands caught off guard one night in 1933 by a phone call from a distressed boy named Jackie Drummond, who just might be the illegitimate son Joe never knew he had. Jackie is in trouble at his Sussex boarding school, where a teacher has been murdered. When Joe gets himself assigned to the investigation, he learns the boarding school case is more complicated than it appears. A frightening number of boys, all from wealthy families, have gone missing over the school’s history, and by some coincidence none of the families have followed up on their sons’ whereabouts. (Giveaway ended 7/22/12. Our lucky winner was Sheryl J. from Texas.)

The Joy BrigadeMartin Limón
The Joy Brigade (Soho 2012) finds US Army Sergeant George Sueño on a mission of extreme importance to the South Korean government, as well as the US Army. Kim Il-Sung has vowed to reunite North and South Korea into one country before he hands control of the government over to his son, which means North Korea is planning to cross the DMZ and overpower the American-allied South Korean government. Sueño’s mission is to prevent this by sneaking into North Korea and obtaining an ancient map detailing the network of secret tunnels that run underneath the DMZ. To do so, he will have to go undercover and infiltrate the North Korean Communist inner sanctum. Aware of the often dubious nature of the US Military’s tactics, Sueño is skeptical about his assignment. But he has other things on his mind. The keeper of the map is Doc Yong, a former lover of Sueño’s who was forced to flee South Korea the year before — and she has a son. Before they can be happily reunited, the plan falls to pieces, and Sueño is captured. Can he rely on the enigmatic Hero Kang, his sole contact in the hostile country? Will the lovely Rhee Mi-Sook, the leader of the North Korean secret police, be too much to handle? And who are the mysterious group of women known as the Joy Brigade? (Giveaway ended 7/8/12. Our lucky winner was Richard M. from Wisconsin.)

The Fear ArtistTimothy Hallinan
The Fear Artist (Soho 2012) finds Poke Rafferty emerging from a paint store in Bangkok, Thailand, with two cans of paint to spruce up the apartment while Rose and Miaow are away in the country visiting Rose’s family. Poke collides with a large middle-aged American man who collapses on top of Poke, gasping three words before dying from gunshot wounds. The police insist that the man wasn’t shot, close off the street, and confiscate the camera of a reporter. After a hard night of drinking, Poke is taken in for questioning by Major Shen, who demands to know what the man told him. The hungover Poke can only remember one of the words, and is finally released under a cloud of suspicion. Poke gets in touch with a group of semi-retired spies, and discovers that his interrogators have something to do with the Phoenix Project, a Vietnam-era program resurrected by the Pentagon after 9-11, now being used to wipe out suspected Muslim terrorists in southern Thailand. Poke narrowly escapes arrest, goes into hiding, and discovers that the dead man had proof of gruesome atrocities committed by Murphy, the Phoenix Project leader known as the Fear Artist in Vietnam. With the help of a charming but untrustworthy Russian spy, and Ming Li, Poke’s half-sister raised as an expert in duplicity by their father, Poke desperately tries to track down Murphy before Murphy finds him. The deadly impact of Murphy’s power to induce fear is poignantly demonstrated with his family: the nearly comatose wife who lives in a daze of codeine and alcohol and the virtually feral daughter who hides behind curtains and blackens her teeth so she can’t be seen in the dark. The chilling portrayal of the soul-killing effect on those waging the war on terrorism make this 5th in the series hauntingly effective. (Giveaway ended 6/22/12. Our lucky winner was Cameron B. from Alaska.)

The Gingerbread HouseCarin Gerhardsen
The Gingerbread House (Stockholm Text 2012) is the first in the Hammarby series, five crime novels that take place in the southern parts of Stockholm. The novel deals with the issue of schoolyard bullying among young children and the effect it has on them when people look the other way, which is based on some of Gerhardsen’s own childhood experiences. In a short space of time, several beastly murders occur in central Sweden. Criminal investigator Conny Sjöberg and the Hammarby police discover that there’s a link between the murders. There is a killer out there whose motives appear to be very personal, and who will not be deterred by anyone. Thanks to publicist Tricia van Dockum, we are offering a paperback copy of this thrilling first in the series. (Giveaway ended 6/8/12. Our lucky winner was Carol S. from North Carolina.)

Cop to CorpsePeter Lovesey
Cop to Corpse
PC Harry Trasker is the third policeman in the Bath area to be shot dead in less than twelve weeks. The assassinations are the work of a sniper no one has been able to pin down. The younger detectives are no match for this murderer and his merciless agenda. This is a job for Chief Superintendent Peter Diamond, and it might be the most dangerous investigation of his life. (Giveaway ended 5/22/12. Our lucky winner was Julie F. from Indiana.)

Curse of the Jade LilyDavid Housewright
Curse of the Jade Lily (Minotaur 2012) is the story of a stolen gem with a tragic history, a curse, and a million dollar ransom. Several years ago, Rushmore McKenzie became an unexpected millionaire and set about doing not much of anything. Now, showing up at his doorstep is the insurance company that paid the settlement that made him rich — and they want a favor. Someone has stolen a very expensive gem from a local art museum and is willing to ransom it back. The only condition is that McKenzie has to be the go between. And this is no ordinary gem — it is a jade with a history going back to the Qing Dynasty and a reputed curse that has ruined or killed everyone who has ever owned it. McKenzie agrees to help but what starts out as a simple ransom quickly becomes complicated. Suddenly other parties — including the State Department and a mysterious woman named Heavenly — start showing up, wanting McKenzie to turn over the gem to them. When the murdered body of one of the thieves turns up in a snow drift, it looks like the cursed Jade Lily has claimed its latest victim. (Giveaway ended 5/8/12. Our lucky winner was Wayne D. from Georgia.)

GetawayLisa Brackmann
Getaway (Soho 2012) is the story of Michelle Mason, who takes a brief vacation to the Mexican resort town of Puerto Vallarta while trying to figure out her next move after the unexpected death of her banker husband, who’s left behind a scandal and a pile of debt. The trip was already paid for, and it beats crashing in her sister’s spare room. When a good-looking man named Daniel approaches her on the beach, the margaritas have kicked in and she decides: why not? But the date doesn’t go as either of them planned. An assault on Daniel in her hotel room, switched cell phones, and an encounter with a “friend” of Daniel’s named Gary enmesh Michelle in a covert operation involving drug runners, goons, and venture capitalists. Michelle already knows she’s caught in a dangerous trap. But she quickly finds that running is not an option. If she’s not careful, she’ll end up buried in the town dump with the rest of the trash. Now she needs to fight smart if she wants to survive her vacation. (Giveaway ended 4/22/12. Our lucky winner was Cynthia B. from Massachusetts.)

ViralJames Lilliefors
Viral (Soho 2012) is the story of a deadly virus that is quietly sweeping through impoverished Third World farming villages and shanty towns with frightening speed and potency. Meanwhile, in Washington DC, a three-word message left in a safe-deposit box may be the key to stopping the crisis—if Charles Mallory, a private intelligence contractor and former CIA operative, can decipher the puzzle before time runs out. Mallory discovers the traces of a secret war, with a bold objective—to create a new, technologically advanced society. With the help of his brother Jon, an investigative reporter, Mallory works to break the story to the world before it is too late—before a planned “humane depopulation” takes place. As the stakes and strategies of this secret war become more evident, the Mallory brothers find themselves in a complex game of wits with an enemy they can’t see: a new sort of superpower led by a brilliant, elusive tactician who believes that ends justify means. (Giveaway ended 4/8/12. Our lucky winner was Carl S. from Arizona.)

The FallenJassy Mackenzie
The Fallen (Soho 2012) begins with when private investigator Jade de Jong invites Superintendent David Patel on a scuba diving holiday in St. Lucia, she hopes the time away will rebuild their conflicted relationship. Jade’s dreams are soon shattered when David calls off their affair, pushing her into the arms of environmentalist Craig Niewoudt. But the next morning, romantic issues are put aside when a scuba diving instructor, Amanda Bolton, is found brutally stabbed to death. Amanda is a most unlikely candidate for murder—a quiet and intelligent woman who until a few months ago pursued a high-powered career as an air traffic controller. She had few acquaintances and no lovers. The only loose end is a postcard in her room from Jo’burg-based Themba Msamaya, asking how she is doing “after 813 and The Fallen.” Jade and David put their differences aside and start the deadly hunt. (Giveaway ended 3/31/12. Our lucky winner was Joyce P. from Colorado.)

ClawbackMike Cooper
Clawback (Viking 2012) is the story of black ops vet Silas Cade, who becomes an “accountant” — the go-to for financiers who need things done quickly, quietly, and by any means necessary. Silas is hired by a major player to pay a visit to a hedge fund manager to demand clawback: the mandatory return of compensation paid on a deal that goes bad. But before Cade can tell his client that he got his ten million back, the guy turns up dead. And he’s not the first. Someone’s killing investment bankers whose funds have gone south. Silas’s scrubbed identity, and his insider’s perspective, makes him the ideal shadow man to track down whoever’s murdering some of the most hated managers on Wall Street. With the aid of a beautiful financial blogger looking to break her first big story, Silas tracks a violent security crew who may be the key to the executions. But as paranoia and panic spread, he begins to wonder: is the threat coming from inside the game — or out? (Giveaway ended 3/7/12. Our thanks to Langan Kingsley of Viking for providing the book for our lucky winner, Bob H. from British Columbia.)

Restless in the GraveDana Stabenow
Restless in the Grave (Minotaur 2012) teams up Aleut private investigator Kate Shugak and Alaska state trooper Liam Campbell for the first time. Alaska aviation entrepreneur Finn Grant died in the fiery crash of his Piper Super Cub. Someone sabotaged his engine, and virtually everyone in southwestern Alaska has a motive, including his betrayed wife, his bullied children, and Liam’s wife, bush pilot Wyanet Chouinard. With few places to turn, Liam asks his former mentor Niniltna post commander Sergeant Jim Chopin, for help, and Jim quickly brings Kate into the case. Working undercover as a waitress at Bill’s Bar and Grill, Kate learns over beer and burgers that Grant’s business had greatly expanded over the last two years. After buying the closed Air Force base south of town from the federal government at a bargain-basement price, Grant became a fixed-base operator running his fishing, hunting, and flight-seeing business, servicing planes flying through the area, and most interestingly and lucratively, getting into the air freight business. But what kind of freight was he moving, and where? (Giveaway ended 2/21/12. Thanks to Laura Clark of Minotaur, we had ten lucky winners: Anderew L. from Wisconsin, B.D. G. from British Columbia, Don H. from Washington, Jan J. from Ontario, Joan R. from Washington, Josette N. from Nebraska, Loretta H. from Virginia, Norm O. from California, Roxane F. from California, and Steven S.C. from Québec.)

No Mark Upon HerDeborah Crombie
No Mark Upon Her (William Morrow 2012) finds Scotland Yard superintendent Duncan Kincaid heading an investigation that begins when a K9 search-and-rescue team discovers a woman’s body tangled up with debris in the river. The victim, Rebecca Meredith, was a talented but difficult woman with many admirers, and just as many enemies. An Olympic contender on the verge of a controversial comeback, she was also a high-ranking detective with the Met, a fact that raises a host of political and ethical issues in an already sensitive case. To further complicate the situation, a separate investigation, led by Detective Inspector Gemma James, Kincaid’s wife, soon reveals a disturbing—and possibly related—series of crimes, widening the field of suspects. But when someone tries to kill the search-and-rescue team member who found Rebecca’s body, the case becomes even more complex and dangerous, involving powerful interests with tentacles that reach deep into the heart of the Met itself. Surrounded by enemies with friendly faces, pressured to find answers quickly while protecting the Yard at all costs, his career and reputation on the line, Kincaid must race to catch the killer before more innocent lives are lost—including his own. (Giveaway ended 2/7/12. Our lucky winner was Tricia J. from California.)

Erin KellyErin Kelly
The Dark Rose (Pamela Dorman Books/Viking 2012) is a story of secrets and guilt set among the ruins of a sixteenth-century English garden. Paul was led into a life of crime by his boyhood protector, a bully named Daniel. Now, at nineteen, Paul must bear witness against his friend to avoid prison. Louisa’s own dark secrets led her to flee a desperate infatuation gone wrong many years before. Now she spends her days steeped in history, renovating the grounds of a crumbling Elizabethan garden. But her fragile peace is shattered when she meets Paul; he’s the spitting image of the one person she never thought she’d see again. These two, scarred and solitary, begin a secret affair, and Louisa starts to believe she can again find the happiness she had given up on. The Poison Tree (Penguin reissue 2012) begins when Karen and her nine-year-old daughter, Alice, pick up Rex from a ten-year stint in prison for murder. A flash back takes us to the sultry summer in 1990s London when Karen, an excellent student on the verge of college graduation, first meets the exotic, flamboyant Biba and joins her casual life in a crumbling mansion in Highgate. Karen begins a relationship with Biba’s enigmatic and protective older brother, Rex, and falls into a blissful rhythm of sex, alcohol, and endless summer nights. Naïvely, Karen assumes her newfound happiness will last forever. But Biba and Rex have a complicated family history—one of abandonment, suicide, and crippling guilt—and Karen’s summer of freedom ends badly. (Giveaway ended 1/22/12. Thanks to Sonya Cheuse, Publicity Manager at Viking/Penguin, we had three lucky winners: Cecilia H. from Kansas, Patty D. from Ohio, and Sylvie N. from Minnesota.)

A Trick of the LightLouise Penny
A Trick of the Light (Macmillan Audio 2011), finds Armand Gamache, Chief Inspector of the Sûreté du Québec, attending the opening of Clara Morrow’s solo show at the Museé d’Art Contemporain in Montréal. Gamache falls into a conversation with François Marois, a powerful art dealer, who wonders if one of Clara’s portraits, Still Life, is truly great art, or if it’s just a trick of the light. Still feeling awkward about arresting Three Pines bistro owner Olivier for a murder he didn’t commit, Gamache doesn’t attend the party afterwards at Clara and Peter’s home in Three Pines. The next morning Clara finds the body of a murdered woman in her garden, and Gamache and his team move back into their usual headquarters in the old train station. The woman is identified as Lillian Dyson, a childhood friend of Clara’s who cruelly betrayed her when they attended art college. Lillian went on to become an art critic, known for her keen eye and occasional devastatingly brutal reviews: “He’s a natural, producing art like it’s a bodily function.” And since most of the art world attended Clara’s party, Gamache has plenty of motives, like envy and revenge, and plenty of suspects, with Clara and Peter at the top of the list. Penny’s books just keep getting better, as she continues to explore threads from earlier books: the residents of Three Pines struggle to forgive Olivier for his greed and dishonesty, Jean-Guy Beauvoir and Gamache try to cope with the after effects of their wounds and the deaths in the abandoned factory, Ruth waits for Rosa to return, and Clara and Peter finally face the reality of their disintegrating marriage. We are giving away the unabridged audio edition of this engrossing 7th in the series, beautifully narrated by Ralph Cosham, whose use of accented English and flawless French bring Penny’s characters and setting to life. (Giveaway ended 1/8/12. Our lucky winner was Pat J. from Oklahoma.)

Miss DimpleMignon F. Ballard
Miss Dimple Disappears (Minotaur 2010) introduces Miss Dimple Kilpatrick, a beloved first-grade teacher for almost 40 years in Elderberry, Georgia. For young teacher Charlie Carr, life and love aren’t going exactly as planned—her head dictates loyalty to the handsome corpsman, Hugh, but whenever she thinks of her best friend’s beau, Will, her heart does the Jersey Bounce. When Miss Dimple disappears one frosty November morning in 1942, Charlie is doubly troubled. She is positive Miss Dimple would never just skip town in the middle of the school year, and determines to find the truth. Miss Dimple Rallies to the Cause (Minotaur 2011) finds Miss Dimple Kilpatrick and the town of Elderberry planning for the Bond Rally to support the troops fighting the war abroad. Miss Dimple’s friend, Virginia Balliew, has agreed to chair the big event, with the help of Buddy Oglesby. But when children discover a skeleton at the edge of a field, and Buddy disappears along with the war bond money, it’s clear that something is amiss in the little town. Miss Dimple, with the help of her fellow teachers, is soon on the case. (Giveaway ended 12/22/11. Thanks to publicist Tooraj Kavoussi and Bridget Hartzler from Minotaur we had three lucky winners: Cathi S. from Maryland, Carol H. from British Columbia, Nonie H. from Nevada.)

Slash and BurnColin Cotterill
Slash and Burn (Soho 2011) finds Dr. Siri hoping to finally be allowed to retire (again). Although he loves his two morgue assistants, he’s tired of being Laos’s national coroner, a job he never wanted in the first place. Plus, he’s pushing eighty, and wants to spend some time with his wife before his untimely death (which has been predicted by the local transvestite fortune teller). But retirement is not in the cards for Dr. Siri after all. He’s dragged into one last job for the Lao government: supervising an excavation for the remains of U.S. fighter pilot who went down in the remote northern Lao jungle ten years earlier. The presence of American soldiers in Laos is a hot-button issue for both the Americans and the Lao involved, and the search party includes high-level politicians and scientists. But one member of the party is found dead, setting off a chain of accidents Dr. Siri suspects are not completely accidental. Everyone is trapped in a cabin in the jungle, and the bodies are starting to pile up. Can Dr. Siri get to the bottom of the MIA pilot’s mysterious story before the fortune teller’s prediction comes true? Thanks to Michelle Rafferty of Soho Press, we have a hardcover copy of the 8th in this quirky series to give away. (Giveaway ended 12/8/11. Our lucky winner was Sally B. from New Jersey.)

Damage ControlDenise Hamilton
Damage Control (Scribner 2011), by critically acclaimed author Denise Hamilton, weaves an engrossing story of teenage friendship and adult betrayal, featuring a high-powered crisis consultant who gets swept up in murder and scandal involving a wealthy political family. Maggie Silver is solidly middle class, with a mortgage to pay and an ill mother to support. She is doing her best to scramble up the ladder at an elite PR firm in Southern California whose clients include movie stars and famous athletes. Now, Maggie tackles her toughest client yet: Senator Henry Paxton, a distinguished statesman who also happens to be the father of Anabelle, Maggie’s estranged best friend from high school. Senator Paxton’s young female aide has been found murdered, and Maggie must run damage control to prevent the scandal from growing. Thrown back into the Paxtons’ glamorous world, Maggie is unexpectedly flooded with memories from the stormy years in high school when her friendship with Anabelle was dramatically severed after a tragedy that neither of them has been able to forget. As Maggie gets further embroiled in the lives of the Paxtons, she realizes that the ties of her old friendship are stronger than she thinks. Riveting and suspense-filled, Damage Control examines our craving for celebrity and spectacle, and how far the bonds of friendship can stretch before they break forever. (Giveaway ended 11/22/11. Thanks to Darlene Chan we had three lucky winners: Ellen B. from New Jersey, Jan G. from Texas, and Judy F. from South Carolina.)

When Elves AttackTim Dorsey
When Elves Attack: A Joyous Christmas Greeting from the Criminal Nutbars of the Sunshine State
Just imagine Santa’s big belly protruding over a neon Speedo and you’re already picturing Christmas in Florida — Tim Dorsey-style! Yes, for this year’s holiday season, that lovable psycho-killer Serge Storms, and his doped-up side kick Coleman, are bringing their trademark mayhem to your local shopping mall in this short, hilarious novel that takes everything about Christmas in Florida for a wild ride. If Serge has his way, the office Christmas party will never be the same and there has to be some reward for sitting on Santa’s lap. So grab a six-pack, spike the egg nog, and hit the dunes of South Beach on a sleigh ride with Serge and Coleman. Even the reindeer are getting out of the way! (Giveaway ended 11/8/11. Thanks to Chelsey Emmelhainz of William Morrow we had 10 lucky winners: Barbara G. from North Carolina, Claudia W. from California, Christopher W. from California, Gale M. from Texas, James M. from Alabama, Jim E. from California, Leanna C. from Arizona, Mike G. from Colorado, Nancy S. from Ohio, and William H. from Hawaii.)

V is for VengenceSue Grafton
V Is for Vengeance (Putnam 2011) finds private detective Kinsey Millhone shopping for underwear when she spots an older woman dropping some expensive lingerie into an oversized handbag. Kinsey reports the shoplifter to store security, and watches as the woman is detained. Later, Kinsey runs into the security guard later, and learns that the woman, who was identified as Audrey Vance, broke down in tears when she was taken away by the police. When a death notice appears in the paper a few days later, Kinsey is startled to see that Audrey’s body was found under a bridge, an apparent suicide. Coerced by a funeral-addict friend into attending the service, Kinsey meets Marvin Striker, Audrey’s fiancé, who hires her to find Audrey’s family and maybe even figure out why Audrey would want to commit suicide. Unfortunately Kinsey discovers that Audrey was a professional shoplifter, perhaps connected with a ring responsible for millions of dollars of stolen goods, not what Marvin was hoping to learn. But by the time he fires Kinsey, she is too immersed in the investigation to let go, despite the dangerous connection with organized crime. All of which results in Kinsey celebrating her 38th birthday with two black eyes and a broken nose. We are giving away a paperback advance uncorrected proof of this 22nd in the series. (Giveaway ended 10/22/11. Our lucky winner was Nerissa H. from Texas.)

The Boy in the SuitcaseLene Kaaberbøl and Agnete Friis
The Boy in the Suitcase
Nina Borg, a Red Cross nurse, wife, and mother of two, is a compulsive do-gooder who can’t say no when someone asks for help, even when she knows better. When her estranged friend Karin leaves her a key to a public locker in the Copenhagen train station, Nina gets suckered into her most dangerous project yet. Inside the locker is a suitcase, and inside the suitcase is a three-year-old boy: naked and drugged, but alive. Is the boy a victim of child trafficking? Can he be turned over to authorities, or will they only return him to whoever sold him? When Karin is discovered brutally murdered, Nina realizes that her life and the boy’s are in jeopardy, too. In an increasingly desperate trek across Denmark, Nina tries to figure out who the boy is, where he belongs, and who exactly is trying to hunt him down. We are giving away a paperback advance uncopyedited edition, signed by the authors at Bouchercon in St. Louis; this thriller is due for US release on November 8th. (Giveaway ended 10/8/11. Our lucky winner was Robert C. from California.)

McCoyJudi McCoy
Hounding the Pavement (Obsidian 2009) introduces Ellie Engleman, who wants a fresh start after her divorce. She adopts a Yorkie mix named Rudy and discovers she can communicate telepathically with dogs, the perfect qualification for her new dog-walking business on Manhattan’s posh Upper East Side. When Ellie arrives to walk Buddy, a prize-winning Bichon, she discovers his owner murdered in the entryway. Buddy is missing, but no one except Ellie seems to care about a mere dog. NYPD detective Sam Ryder at first views Ellie as the prime suspect, but she continues her search for the dog, hoping the trail will also lead her to the real murderer. The author donates all royalties earned on sales of this book to Best Friends Animal Society. Heir of the Dog (Obsidian 2009) finds Ellie walking Rudy in Central Park. After finding the body of a troubled but harmless park dweller, Ellie again finds herself the prime suspect in a murder, since Rudy is the sole beneficiary of the murder victim’s inheritance. With Detective Sam Ryder’s help, Ellie follows a trail of clues to a safety deposit box that might point to the real killer. Thanks to author Judi McCoy we have a signed copy of each book to give away this week. (Giveaway ended 9/22/11. Our lucky winners were Jean F. from Ohio, and Monica C. from Florida.)

A Bitter TruthCharles Todd
A Bitter Truth (William Morrow 2011)
Already deservedly lauded for the superb historical crime novels featuring shell-shocked Scotland Yard inspector Ian Rutledge (A Lonely Death, A Pale Horse, etc.), acclaimed author Charles Todd upped the ante by introducing readers to a wonderful new series protagonist, World War One battlefield nurse Bess Crawford. Featured for a third time in A Bitter Truth, Bess reaches out to help an abused and frightened young woman, only to discover that no good deed ever goes unpunished when the good Samaritan nurse finds herself falsely accused of murder. (Giveaway ended 9/8/11. Thanks to Chelsey Emmelhainz of William Morrow we had 10 lucky winners: Becky T. from Delaware, Brenda M. from Georgia, Diana B. from Georgia, Elizabeth K. from Oregon, Janice G. from Wisconsin, Joyce N. from New Jersey, Kay R. from Illinois, Nancy C. from Massachusetts, Randi D. from Wisconsin, and Toni G. from Connecticut.)

In Search of the Rose Notes Emily Arsenault
In Search of the Rose Notes (William Morrow 2011) is the story of Nora and Charlotte, two 11-year old girls who are best friends until their baby sitter Rose disappears under mysterious circumstances. They decide to investigate, but their lack of success leaves the girls frustrated and angry with each other. When Rose’s bones are found nearly 20 years later, Nora and Charlotte are drawn back together by their need to figure out what really happened. It seems that Rose was probably murdered, and Nora, the last known person to see Rose alive, is forced to reexamine her memories of that fateful day. (Giveaway ended 8/22/11. Our lucky winners were Johanna A. from California, and Pat W. from New Mexico.)
Every Secret Thing Laura Lippman
Every Secret Thing (William Morrow 2011) is a reissue of the 2003 stand-alone novel. Alice and Ronnie are two little girls who find an infant in an abandoned stroller after being banished from a neighborhood birthday party. What happens next nearly destroys three families. Seven years later, the two girls, now 18, are released from juvenile detention, still haunted by the secrets surrounding the crime. Then another child disappears under similar circumstances, causing everyone to relive that terrible time. (Giveaway ended 8/22/11. Our lucky winners were Megan H. from Florida, and Sol T. from Virginia.)
Love Lies Bleeding Jess McConkey (aka Shirley Damsgaard)
Love Lies Bleeding (William Morrow 2011) is the story of Samantha Moore, whose perfect life is destroyed by a random act of violence resulting in a three-month coma. When Samantha awakes, she is bitter and in terrible pain, and fears that the inhabitants of the small town she is recovering in have a deadly secret. (Giveaway ended 8/22/11. Our lucky winners were Bob M. from Colorado, and Anita N. from New York.)

The Red Velvet TurnshoeCassandra Clark
The Red Velvet Turnshoe (Minotaur 2009) finds Sister Hildegard on her way to Italy on a secret mission in search of a precious relic, the cross of Constantine, which is believed to hold great power. Disguised as a pilgrim, Hildegard begins her journey with a guarded shipment of wool from Yorkshire. When the ship docks in Flanders, the decomposing body of a clerk is found hidden in a bale of wool. Pierrekyn, the clerk’s protegée and the last person seen in his company, is suspected of the murder, and Hildegard takes him with her to escape the mob clamoring for his head. Protected by a tournament knight, who works as a body guard in the off season, Hildegard and Pierrekyn begin an arduous trek across the Alps in the dead of winter in search of the cross. It’s dangerous in 1383: murderous thieves prey on travelers, England is in the middle of the Hundred Years’ War, Europe is divided between rival popes, and the Black Death is claiming new victims every day. The political intrigue leaves Hildegard unsure whom she can trust, especially after someone tries to kill her, but she is determined to complete her quest and clear Pierrekyn’s name. We are giving away a hardcover copy of this compelling historical mystery, the 2nd in the series. (Giveaway ended 8/8/11. Our lucky winner was Dorothea B. from Colorado.)

Baker Street LettersMichael Robertson
The Baker Street Letters (Minotaur 2009) introduces Reggie Heath, a high-powered London solicitor whose new suite of rooms includes 221B Baker Street. A clause in the lease requires the tenant to answer all letters addressed to Sherlock Holmes with a form response. Reggie’s younger brother Nigel, recently released from a “health and recreation center” is given the task of responding to the letters while waiting for a hearing about restoring his solicitor’s license. In the process, Nigel discovers a letter written 20 years earlier by 8-year-old Mara Ramiriz from Los Angeles, asking Sherlock Holmes to find her missing father. Two recent letters, supposedly from the same author, request the return of documents enclosed with the original letter. Nigel, using his burgeoning Sherlockian powers of observation, notices that the signature is exactly the same as the first letter, strangely missing the normal changes two decades makes in a signature. When Nigel doesn’t show up for his hearing as expected, Reggie discovers that Nigel has departed for Los Angeles, leaving a dead body in his ransacked office. The file of letters to Sherlock Holmes is also missing. Reggie follows Nigel to California, and discovers that a series of current crimes may be linked to the letter Mara wrote to Sherlock Holmes 20 years before. We are giving away a tradepaperback copy of this light-hearted debut novel. (Giveaway ended 7/21/11. Our lucky winner was Susan B. from Massachusetts.)

FallenKarin Slaughter
Fallen (Delacorte Press 2011) includes both Will Trent, an agent with the Georgia Bureau of Investigation in Atlanta, and Dr. Sara Linton, a pediatrician and coroner in Grant County, Georgia. There’s no police training stronger than a cop’s instinct. Faith Mitchell’s mother isn’t answering her phone. Her front door is open. There’s a bloodstain above the knob. Her infant daughter is hidden in a shed behind the house. All that the Georgia Bureau of Investigations taught Faith Mitchell goes out the window when she charges into her mother’s house, gun drawn. She sees a man dead in the laundry room. She sees a hostage situation in the bedroom. What she doesn’t see is her mother. When the hostage situation turns deadly, Faith is left with too many questions, and not enough answers. To find her mother, she’ll need the help of her partner, Will Trent, and they’ll both need the help of Dr. Sara Linton. But Faith isn’t just a cop anymore—she’s a witness. She’s also a suspect. The thin blue line hides police corruption, bribery, even murder. Faith will have to go up against the people she respects the most in order to find her mother and bring the truth to light—or bury it forever. Thanks to Wiley Saichek of AuthorsOnTheWeb, we have two hardcover copies of this thriller to give away. (Giveaway ended 7/8/11. Our lucky winners were Frances D. from Massachusetts, and Marie P. from Manitoba, Canada.)

The Cleveland CreepLes Roberts
The Cleveland Creep (Gray & Company, Publishers 2011) is the 15th book in a series featuring Slovenian American private investigator Milan Jacovich, a former Kent State University football player and ex-cop with a taste for klobasa sandwiches and Stroh’s beer — and a knack for finding trouble on the streets of Cleveland. A simple missing-person case gets complicated when Milan investigates the disappearance of 28-year-old Earl Dacey who left behind a strange collection of voyeuristic videos in his mother’s West Side Cleveland house. Was Earl just a pervert shadowing Catholic schoolgirls in Northeast Ohio shopping malls with his hidden camera? Or had he become entangled with unsavory characters in the local adult film business? Thanks to Jane Lassar of Gray & Company, Publishers, we are giving away a hardback copy of this mystery. (Giveaway ended 6/22/11. Our lucky winner was Jim F. from Ohio.)

Heart of IceLis Wiehl and April Henry
Heart of Ice (Thomas Nelson 2011) is the third in the series featuring federal prosecutor Allison Pierce, FBI special agent Nicole Hedges, and TV crime reporter Cassidy Shaw. At the Portland Fitness Center, Cassidy joins the boot camp class run by the beautiful instructor Elizabeth Avery, a beautiful, charismatic, and twisted killer. At the age of 13, when she was known as Sissy Hewsom, Elizabeth committed two horrific crimes and served time in a juvenile facility. When Elizabeth ruthlessly disposes of a young reporter, Allison, Nicole, and Cassidy know they are after a cold blooded killer. What they don’t know is that they’ve already met her. We are giving away a hardcover copy of this Triple Threat thriller. (Giveaway ended 6/8/11. Our lucky winner was Barbara L. from California.)


To Have and To KillMary Jane Clark
To Have and To Kill (William Morrow 2011) introduces Piper Donovan, a struggling actress who returns home to live with her parents in Hillwood, NJ. Piper’s father is obsessed with preparing for disaster, and her mother, who owns a bakery, has just discovered that her failing eyesight is caused by macular degeneration. Piper volunteers to make and decorate a wedding cake for her friend Glenna, the star of a soap opera Piper worked for. When Glenna’s fiancé is arrested for murder, Piper, with the help of her former neighbor Jack, an FBI agent, sets out to uncover the real killer. We are giving away a hardback copy of this cozy mystery, the first in a new series: The Wedding Cake Mysteries. (Giveaway ended 5/22/11. Our lucky winner was Doris L. from Illinois.)

SilencerJames W. Hall
Silencer (2010) finds Thorn, an eco-avenger private investigator, working with Earl Hammond, who is about to donate his Coquina Ranch to the state to preserve the land. Hammond is shot, and Thorn is kidnapped and imprisoned in a sinkhole from which there is no escape. Frisco Hammond, the dark sheep of the family, suspects that the murder of his father and the disappearance of Thorn are connected, and begins an investigation with his brother’s wife, Clare. The two uncover a sinster cabal of rich and powerful men whose evil deeds stretch back to the 1930s. We are giving away a trade paperback of this 11th in the series. (Giveaway ended 4/22/11. Our lucky winner was Lee G. from Indiana.)

Once Was a SoldierJulia Spencer-Fleming
Once Was a Soldier (Minotaur 2011) finds Reverend Clare Fergusson making the difficult adjustment back to civilian life after a tour flying helicopters in Iraq. Clare returns to her duties as priest of St. Alban’s Episcopal Church while struggling to cut down on her drinking and reliance on a mixture of pills left from her Army medical kit. Clare joins a community support group for veterans, and is shocked when a young member of the group dies, an apparent suicide. Clare doesn’t believe Tally killed herself, and pressures police chief Russ Van Alstyne to investigate her death as a murder. We are giving away a paperback advance readers’ copy of this powerful 7th in the series. (Giveaway ended 4/22/11. Our lucky winner was Carolyn N. from Kentucky.)

Soul TrapperF.J. Lennon
Soul Trapper (Atria 2011) is the story of Kane Pryce, a Hollywood slacker who also hunts ghosts using a soul trap, a powerful supernatural treasure that allows him to hunt down, capture, and send ghosts from the earthly realm to the afterlife. A priest’s request to rid his church of a ghost leads Kane to the ghost of six-year old Ollie Lonzi, who was killed with Kane’s mother in a car crash 50 years earlier. We are giving away a hardback copy of this debut thriller by computer game designer Lennon, the first novel to be adapted from an iPhone app. (Giveaway ended 4/8/11. Our lucky winner was Jeri S. from Kansas.)

Now You See HerJoy Fielding
Now You See Her (Atria 2011) is the story of Marcy Taggart, who lost her 21-year-old daughter Devon in a canoeing accident two years earlier. Her husband and sister are convinced that Devon, who suffered from bipolar disorder, committed suicide. But Devon’s body was never found, and Marcy is haunted by the idea that her daughter may have run away to start a new life. Now in Ireland, on a trip that was to be a celebration of their 26th wedding anniversary, Marcy struggles to accept the end of her marriage after her husband left her for another woman while seeing her daughter’s face in that of strangers in the street. We are giving away a hardback copy of this suspense thriller. (Giveaway ended 3/22/11. Our lucky winner was Kathryn W. from Michigan.)

Don’t Sweat the Small StuffDon Bruns
Don’t Sweat the Small Stuff (Oceanview 2010) finds Skip Moore and James Lessor working their first official private investigator gig at a traveling carnival show, whose owner suspects someone is sabotaging the rides. The process by which More and Less Investigators became licensed won’t hold up to close scrutiny, but James is sure that they are on their way to fame and fortune despite their less than stellar first day on the job. The carnies are unfriendly, the attractions are scary, and Skip worries that they may not be cut out to be investigators after all. We are giving away a hardback copy in this 4th in the series featuring two bumbling best friends since grade school. (Giveaway ended 3/8/11. Our lucky winner was John M. from Florida.)

The Eagle CatcherMargaret Coel
The Eagle Catcher (1995) introduces John Aloysius O’Malley, a Jesuit missionary and recovering alcoholic exiled to the Wind River Reservation in Wyoming. When tribal chairman Harvey Castle is found murdered in his tent at a Arapaho ceremony, and his nephew Anthony is charged with the crime, Father O’Malley is sure that Anthony is being framed and works with Arapaho lawyer Vicky Holden to clear his name. We are giving away a paperback copy of this first in a long-running series that features interesting characters and fascinating insights into the Arapaho culture. The Spider’s Web, 15th in the series, is a finalist for the Hillerman Sky Award for the mystery that best captures the landscape of the Southwest. Margaret Coel will be one of the Guests of Honor at Left Coast Crime 2011: The Big Chile, held in Santa Fe, New Mexico, March 24–27, 2011. (Giveaway ended 2/21/11. Our lucky winner was Kitty W. from Louisiana.)

The Talented Miss HighsmithThe Talented Miss Highsmith: The Secret Life and Serious Art of Patricia Highsmith (St. Martin’s Press 2009, Picador 2010), by Joan Schenkar, is the compelling story of a woman who once said perversion was her guiding principle. Patricia Highsmith, one of the great writers of the 20th century, lived a bizarre life rivaling that of her best-known creation, Tom Ripley. This nearly 700 page biography includes 16 pages of black and white photographs. We are giving away a trade paperback copy of this finalist for the 2010 Edgar Award for Best Critical/Biographical Work. (Giveaway ended 2/8/11. Our lucky winner was John S. from Maryland.)

Alone in the CrowdLuiz Alfredo Garcia-Roza
Alone in the Crowd (Brazil 2007, Picador 2010) is the 7th mystery featuring Inspector Espinosa of Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. An elderly woman collects her pension from the bank and then travels to the police station, asking to speak to Chief Espinosa. Espinosa is unavailable and she becomes tired of waiting and leaves. Two hours later she is killed by a bus, but the witnesses can’t agree if she fell or was pushed. Espinosa suspects Hugo Breno, a bank clerk who has been secretly following Espinosa around the city. Then Espinosa discovers a past connection between himself and Breno and tries to bring his childhood memories of a murder to the surface in this complex psychological thriller. (Giveaway ended 1/22/11. Our lucky winner was Marsha C. from New York.)

The Demon’s ParchmentJeri Westerson
The Demon’s Parchment (Minotaur 2010) finds disgraced knight Crispin Guest in debt and desperate for a client in the cold of winter in 1384 London. The Sheriff of London promises Crispin a reward if he can help track down whoever is strangling, sodomizing, and eviscerating young boys. Then Jacob of Provencal, a court physician, offers Crispin a hefty purse for the recovery of some stolen documents. The Jews were expelled from England a century earlier, but Jacob and his son have special dispensation to provide medical care for the Queen. Crispin advises Jacob to go to the authorities for help, but when Jacob hints that the stolen parchments may have something to do with the murders, Crispin overcomes his distrust of Jews and foreigners to take the case. Crispin suspects that the missing documents may have been used to create a Golem, a demon with a taste for blood molded from clay. The news that the Guest ancestral home has finally been sold intensifies Crispin’s sense of loss and despair, and he vacillates between bouts of drunkenness and throwing himself headlong into the investigation. Determined to find the serial killer before he can strike again, Crispin reluctantly accepts the help of his apprentice Jack Tucker and John Rykener, a cross-dressing male prostitute. Unbelievable as it seems, both John Rykener, who used the name Eleanor while dressed as a woman, and the blood-thirsty serial killer are based on historical characters, adding an extra dimension to this intense historical mystery. We are giving away a signed hardcover copy. (Giveaway ended 1/8/11. Our lucky winner was Eileen M. from Virginia.)

Death on the Holy MountainDavid Dickinson
Death on the Holy Mountain takes place in 1905, when Lord Francis Powerscourt sets off to Ireland to investigate a series of art thefts from country houses. The puzzling thing about the thefts is that old family portraits of the Protestant gentry were stolen while valuable Old Masters were left behind. Then people begin to vanish and Powerscourt’s own life is threatened. Powerscourt’s aristocratic English family was originally from Ireland, and he spent much of his youth there, so the local people trust him, but not quite enough to share their secrets. This deft portrayal of the unrest in Ireland at the time is populated with vivid characters. We are giving away a trade paperback copy of this book, the 7th in the series. (Giveaway ended 12/22/10. Our lucky winner was Kathy K. from New York.)

While My Guitar Gently WeepsDeborah Grabien
While My Guitar Gently Weeps (Minotaur 2009) finds JP Kinkaid, guitarist for a legendary British rock group, at home in San Francisco, California, playing with a local group who are scrambling to fulfill a CD contract after their founder died suddenly. The rehearsals are going well except for the egotistic and abrasive vocalist Vinny Fabiano, who seems to thrive on conflict. JP doesn’t care much for Vinny’s vocal style, but he does covet his pearl-top Zemaitis guitar, similar to one stolen from Ron Wood of the Rolling Stones. Vinny has also commissioned a new custom-made guitar from local luthier Bruno Baines. When Vinny is found dead, with his head bashed in by his new guitar, Bruno is charged with his murder since he delivered the guitar that evening. But JP can’t believe that Bruno would use his incredible creation as a murder weapon. The murder investigation at times takes a back seat to the details about guitars and their creation and the tensions and triumphs of session recording, but that doesn’t detract from the appeal of the book, ably narrated by the charming JP, still battling the symptoms of multiple sclerosis while trying to cope with the cancer diagnosis of long-time live-in girlfriend Bree. We are giving away a hardover copy of this book. (Giveaway ended 12/7/10. Our lucky winner was Leah H. from California.)

The Black DoveSteve Hockensmith
The Black Dove (2008), the third in the Holmes on the Range series, features cowboy brothers Otto “Big Red” Gustav “Old Red” Amlingmeyer. Finding themselves down on their luck and out of a job in 1893 San Francisco, the Sherlock Holmes-loving pair join forces with Diane Corvus to investigate the death of Dr. Chan, whose luggage was thrown from the train the brothers were patrolling. Chinatown tongs, Barbary Coast thugs, and shady San Francisco police give the brothers more than enough to worry about as they try their hand at “deducifying” in the big city. We are giving away a signed trade paperback of this funny historical mystery. (Giveaway ended 11/21/10. Our lucky winner was Collette B. from Washington.)

Monster in MiniatureMargaret Grace
Monster in Miniature (Berkley Prime Crime 2010) is the 4th in the series featuring Geraldine Porter, a retired high school English teacher in a small northern California town, whose hobby is building dollhouses and miniature scenes. To celebrate Halloween, Geraldine and her granddaughter Maddie are busy creating a multi-storied dollhouse haunted by witches, ghosts, and ghouls. While taking a break to admire the decorated neighborhood houses, they discover that a scarecrow is actually the body of Oliver Halbert, who was investigating city officials and builders he suspected of taking bribes and shortcuts. This cozy mystery has just the right amount of scary elements for the season. (Giveaway ended 11/8/10. Our lucky winner was Meredith V. from Michigan.)

Devil’s TrillGerald Elias
Devil’s Trill (Minotaur 2009) introduces Daniel Jacobus, a blind, reclusive, crotchety violin teacher living in self-imposed exile in rural New England. Jacobus emerges from his seclusion to attend the Grimsley Competition at Carnegie Hall in New York City, held every 13 years to select the best violinist age 13 or younger. The violinist chosen by the Grimsley Competition wins the honor of performing a concert on the Piccolino Stradivarius, a 3/4 size violin with a long and unfortunate history. Jacobus, a former competitor, firmly believes that the Grimsley Competition is destructive to young violinists, harmful to both their development as artists and to their mental well-being. When the Piccolino Stradivarius is stolen during the competition, Jacobus, who made no secret of his distaste for the competition, is the prime suspect. With the help of friend Nathaniel Williams and student Yumi Shinagawa, Jacobus begins a search for the missing violin through a maze of self-serving philanthropists, shady musical instrument dealers, competitive music teachers, ruthless parents, and fragile students. Fascinating insights into the world of violin players and the destructive industry of producing child prodigies enliven this debut mystery. Danse Macabre, the second in the series, was just released. (Giveaway ended 10/22/10. Our lucky winner was Joyce T. from Colorado.)

Serpent in the ThornsJeri Westerson
Serpent in the Thorns (Minotaur 2009) is the 2nd in the series featuring Crispin Guest, a disgraced knight in 1384 London, now known as Tracker for his ability to find the truth. A simple-minded girl working at a tavern comes to Crispin confessing to a murder of an unknown man. In her room Crispin discovers the body of a man killed with a crossbow, but the confused girl insists she must have killed him since no one else was there. With the body Crispin finds a golden box containing a crown of thorns, a holy relic sent to King Richard from the French king as a peace offering. Sure that returning the relic along with the identity of the assassin will convince the king to restore his lands and title, Crispin hides it in his room and sets out in search of the killer. Unfortunately Crispin’s prime suspect is Miles Aleyn, the king’s Captain of the Archers, a powerful man above the reach of a disgraced knight without definite proof. Assisting Crispin is young Jack, a thief Crispin has rescued from the streets. Jack can’t quite leave his thieving ways behind, but he is determined to help his master find the truth. Crispin’s struggle to adapt to his new circumstances is enhanced by his developing relationships with lower class people like Jack and friends who own a tavern, people below the notice of a titled knight, people who like him for the person he is rather than what he owns. We are giving away a trade paperback of this action-packed mystery, a finalist for the 2010 Bruce Alexander Award for Best Historical Mystery. (Giveaway ended 10/8/10. Our lucky winner was Tina B. from Indiana.)

The Hidden ManDavid Ellis
The Hidden Man (Putnam 2009) introduces Jason Kolarich, a grief-stricken lawyer in Chicago, Illinois. Jason is struggling to get his life back on track after losing his wife and baby daughter in a car accident four months ago, when a man who calls himself “Mr. Smith” presents him with a briefcase full of cash to take on the defense of Sam Cutler. Jason and Sammy were best friends as children and through high school, when football and a college scholarship for Jason separated them. Sam is now in jail, accused of killing Griffin Perlini, the pedophile suspected of kidnapping Sam’s two-year old sister Audrey nearly 30 years earlier. While searching for someone else with a motive against Perlini, Jason uncovers new evidence of Perlini’s crimes against children, but nothing to tie him to Audrey’s disappearance. Mr. Smith provides a witness who is willing to testify he saw someone else fleeing the murder scene, and pushes Jason to expedite the trial as much as possible, making Jason wonder if it is possible that Sammy didn’t murder Perlini after all. Jason is an engaging protagonist, desperately trying to pull himself out of his emotional coma in order to help his boyhood friend. Layers of the past are slowly stripped away, revealing uncomfortable truths in this compelling and complex legal thriller, a finalist for the 2010 Barry Award for Best Novel. We are giving away a paperback Advance Readers copy of this book. (Giveaway ended 9/22/10. Our lucky winner was Donna H. from Arizona.)

I’d Know You AnywhereLaura Lippman
I’d Know You Anywhere (William Morrow 2010) examines the life of a woman who was kidnapped in 1985 at age 15 (then Elizabeth Lerner), and held for nearly six weeks by Walter Bowman, now on death row in Virginia for the rape and murder of Holly, his final victim. Now Eliza Benedict has fashioned a comfortable, relatively trouble-free life as a homemaker in Maryland, with her supportive husband Peter, challenging 13-year-old daughter Iso (NOT Isobel!), and endearing 8-year-old son Albie. Walter’s execution date is drawing near, after 22 years on death row, and with some outside help he has tracked Eliza down and wants her help. This is most unwelcome to Eliza, but reminiscent of her behavior when she was kidnapped, she seems almost unable to resist communicating with Walter. Why didn’t she escape? And could she have saved Holly? The story alternates between 1985 and the present, and we see things from Eliza’s and Walter’s perspectives, as well as other characters. Lippman tells a compelling story, building unrelentingly step by step. As one would expect, the writing is superb, and even though we’ve grown tired of serial killer books, this one is an exception and not to be missed. Thanks to Megan Traynor of HarperCollins we have a paperback Advance Reader Copy of this book to give away. (Giveaway ended 9/8/10. Our lucky winner was Kathy L. from Maryland.)

Murder Suicide WhateverCrazy Fool Kills FiveGwen Freeman
Murder… Suicide… Whatever… (2007) introduces Fifi Cutter, a feisty, bi-racial, unemployed, twenty-something who is surprised when her free-loading half-brother, Bosco, appears on her front porch moaning that Uncle Ted has just been murdered. Though unsure she even had an Uncle Ted, Fifi is soon partnered with Bosco pretending to be private investigators disguised as grief counselors. They stumble over bodies, but all the violence happens off screen in this goofy thriller. Fifi and Bosco have real personalities and the minor characters are classic Los Angeles. We have two copies of this book plus one copy of Crazy Fool Kills Five, the next book in the series, to give away. (Giveaway ended 8/21/10. Our lucky winners were Stephanie C. from Nevada, Caryn S. from Illinois, and Catherine P. from Iowa.)

Stained GlassRalph M. McInerny
Stained Glass (Minotaur 2009), is the 28th Father Downling mystery. St. Hilary’s is threatened with closure because of shrinking numbers and tough economic times. Father Dowling tries to drum up support from church officials and parishioners, including the Deveres, a wealthy family who wants to protect the beautiful stained glass windows they donated to St. Hilary’s years ago. But then members of the Deveres family start turning up dead and Father Dowling finds himself embroiled in both church politics and long-hidden family secrets. We are giving away a hardback copy of what is probably the final book in this series, published just before Ralph McInery’s death earlier this year. (Giveaway ended 8/8/10. Our lucky winner was Lester S. from Illinois.)

The TerroristPeter Steiner
The Terrorist (2010), the third book in the Louis Morgon series, is a continuation of the tight, introspective, and wonderfully brief and thoughtful writing in the first two titles. Here, we focus on the start of the series, because they need to be read in order: Le Crime (2008) [originally published as A French Country Murder (2003)] opens with Louis Morgon finding a dead body on the doorstep of his refuge in a rural French village. He quickly determines it is a message telling him it will be harder to escape his past than he’d thought. Morgon was a brilliant and rising young thinker in the US State Department, eventually liaison with the CIA, and an operative in the Middle East. Two decades before, when his rapid rise was terminated mysteriously and without good cause, and as his marriage and family fell apart, Morgon headed to France to sort things out. While following an old pilgrimage route, he stumbles on the small village whose environment and people captivate him: among them, neighbors Solesmne, a graceful, intriguing woman with a spinal deformity, and Renard, the local gendarme, and his family. As events develop, Morgon’s past sweeps his new friends into his former world of intrigue, lies, and death. Steiner’s writing is careful and concise, with unexpected philosophical ruminations and complex character development. Travelogue is balanced with spy stuff, and Morgon, the gentle, philosophical, amateur painter, shows he still has the skills of a master CIA operative. L’Assassin (2008) continues the story of Morgon’s attempts to find peace in rural France, followed by The Terrorist, which was released in late May. Thanks to Rita Marcus and Hector DeJean at Minotaur, we have three signed hardcover copies to give away. (Giveaway ended 7/22/10. Our lucky winners were Susan D. from Texas, Judy E. from California, and Rita S. from Pennsylvania.)

Among the MadJacqueline Winspear
Among the Mad (Henry Holt 2009) begins on Christmas Eve 1931 when Masie Dobbs, a private investigator and psychologist in London, walks by an ex-soldier missing a leg. Sensing the man is desperate, Masie reaches out to him, but he detonates a grenade and kills himself. The next day the Prime Minister receives a letter threatening violence unless the government does something to help the impoverished, especially unemployed veterans. Since the letter mentions Masie by name, Inspector Stratton of Scotland Yard request her help with the investigation. Masie suspects that the threat comes from a man haunted by experiences in the war, who feels abandoned rather than supported by society upon his return home. A former war nurse, Masie has great sympathy for the veterans suffering emotional damage who are ineligible for the pensions, services, and benefits provided for physically injured veterans. Some of the darkest images in this historical mystery come from Masie’s visits to insane asylums, as she learns about the uncertain outcomes of the treatments provided to patients. Contrasting Masie’s exploration of the psychological trauma of war is the story of her assistant Billy’s wife, who is unable to escape the melancholia that overcame her at the death of their youngest child. Masie continues to confront her own war ghosts in this mesmerizing 6th in the series, a finalist for the 2010 Macavity Award for Best Historical Novel. (Giveaway ended 7/7/10. Our lucky winner was Susi P. from California.)

Baby SharkRobert Fate
Baby Shark (2006) introduces Kristin Van Dijk, a teenager who travels around with her father hustling pool in 1950s Texas. Dad is killed in the first few pages, and Baby Shark is raped, beaten, and left barely alive. But she comes back with a vengeance that could fuel a spaghetti Western. This is a fast-paced read, with a good feel for the time and place, and a regular dose of violence. Kristin returns a few years later as a PI in the next two in the series: Baby Shark’s Beaumont Blues and Baby Shark’s High Plains Redemption. We are giving away a set of trade paperbacks of all three books. (Giveaway ended 6/22/10. Our lucky winner was Dick M. from Wisconsin.)

Face of BetrayalLis Wiehl with April Henry
Face of Betrayal (Thomas Nelson 2009) introduces crime reporter Cassidy Shaw, federal prosecutor Allison Pierce, and FBI special agent Nicole Hedges, nicknamed The Triple Threat after a favorite dessert they often share at their frequent lunch meetings. Each of the three women struggles with a personal issue — trying to get pregnant, coping with life as a single mother, an inability to sustain a lasting relationship — but all three are passionate about their jobs. When Katie Converse, a 17-year-old Senate page, disappears while home in Portland, Oregon for Christmas break, Nicole is assigned to the case. Katie’s parents present their missing daughter as an innocent who doesn’t date yet, but Katie’s blog reveals that she was involved with an older man, perhaps a senator. Allison begins to unravel the threads of Katie’s life with the help of Nicole, and Cassidy, who sees the investigation as a career-maker. (Giveaway ended 6/8/10. Our lucky winner was Melanie B. from South Dakota.)

the Little SleepPaul Tremblay
The Little Sleep (Henry Holt 2009) introduces Mark Genevich, a severely narcoleptic private investigator in South Boston, Massachusetts. Not only does he fall asleep in mid-conversation, but he also has serious hallucination problems, making it difficult to run a detective business properly. Jennifer Times hires him to find her stolen fingers — or did she? Mark isn’t too sure, and Jennifer denies it. He finds compromising pictures of her in an envelope on his desk, so it must be true, but her father, the Suffolk County District Attorney, denies that the pictures are Jennifer. With Mark as the protagonist, the story can go about anywhere. He wants to be a tough, wise-cracking PI, but with his tenuous grip on reality, it is a hard act. Mark also finds he has to depend on his mother Ellen, if for no other reason than she owns his apartment and his office. Readers prone to nervous anxiety probably shouldn’t read this one — Mark insists on smoking (being a hard-boiled kind of guy), but tends to fall asleep with burning cigarets, and of course, he shouldn’t drive! But you have to give him credit for trying, and he is somehow endearing. (Giveaway ended 5/22/10. Our lucky winner was Barbara H. from South Carolina.)

Margarita NightsPhyllis Smallman
Margarita Nights (Canada 2008, US: McArthur & Company 2010) introduces Sherri Travis, self-proclaimed "white trash" and a bartender in the small beach town of Jacaranda, Florida. Sherri is separated from her well connected but unreliable husband Jimmy, but hasn’t gotten around to divorcing him. When she is informed by the police that Jimmy’s boat exploded with him on it, Sherri is convinced that Jimmy is running a scam to escape yet another gambling debt. Unfortunately Sherri is the recipient of Jimmy’s life insurance, and thus the prime suspect when evidence of foul play is discovered. Sherri is a bit too inclined to suspect everyone she knows of playing a part in Jimmy’s disappearance/murder, but the self-deprecating wry humor of her narration makes this light mystery an enjoyable read. A finalist for the 2009 Arthur Ellis Award for Best First Novel, the Florida setting is lovingly portrayed by this Canadian writer. (Giveaway ended 5/5/10. Our lucky winner was Lois R. from Pennsylvania.)

Gone TomorrowLee Child
Gone Tomorrow (Delacorte 2009) is the 13th book in the Jack Reacher series. Reacher is riding the Manhattan subway very early one morning when his suspicions are aroused by a woman he suspects might be a suicide bomber. Confronting the woman leads Reacher into an investigation that takes him on a wild ride from the war in Afganistan in the 1980s to the current war on terrorism. We are offering two paperback copies of this book. (Giveaway ended 4/21/10. Our lucky winners were Don S. from Illinois and Michelle S. from Alberta, Canada.)

Cut ShortLeigh Russell
Cut Short (No Exit Press 2009) introduces Geraldine Steel, a detective inspector who relocates from London to the small town of Woolsmarsh, England, after the unhappy end of a long-term relationship. Hoping for a fresh start, Geraldine buys a flat and settles into her new job and her first case: the brutal murder of a young woman in the local park. A second murder of another young girl in the same park ups the ante as everyone confronts the realization that there may be a serial killer preying on young blond women. Geraldine’s investigative strengths are her instinct and her ability to remember all the facts, so she throws herself into long hours of poring over all the evidence. Meanwhile, the disturbed killer, growing increasingly less balanced and more violent, prowls the park. Geraldine is a complex and compelling protagonist, totally devoted to her job yet wanting more out of life. This well written debut psychological thriller maintains the suspense to the final chapter. (Giveaway ended 4/6/10. Our lucky winner was Pat L. from Arkansas.)
City of DragonsKelli Stanley
City of Dragons (Minotaur 2010) introduces Miranda Corbie, a former Spanish Civil War nurse, ex-escort, and now private investigator in San Francisco. During the 1940 Rice Bowl Party in Chinatown to raise money to send to China for war relief, Miranda stumbles over young Eddie Takahashi, dying of a gunshot wound. When Eddie dies in her arms, Miranda feels compelled to find his killer but everyone else seems to want to sweep the whole thing under the rug. Meanwhile, a well-paying client hires Miranda to investigate the death of her husband, presumed dead of a heart attack while enjoying the favors of a prostitute. The wife is sure her husband was murdered, and that his death has something to do with the disappearance of her drug-addicted step-daughter. Living mainly on whiskey and Chesterfields, Miranda juggles both investigations while trying to cope with her loneliness after the death of her lover in Spain. Syncopated prose echoes the jazz lyrics that punctuate Miranda’s journey from nightclub to tenement to bordello in this intense series opener. (Giveaway ended 3/22/10. Our lucky winner was Shirley N. from Ohio.)
Trace of SmokeRebecca Cantrell
A Trace of Smoke (Forge Books 2009) introduces Hannah Vogel, a 32-year old crime reporter in 1931 Berlin. As part of her weekly routine, Hannah is examining the new photographs in the Hall of the Unnamed Dead in the Alexanderplatz police station when she is horrified to see the face of her beloved younger brother, Ernst. But Hannah is trapped in silence — she can’t identify her brother since Hannah has lent both her own and Ernst’s identity papers so that her Zionist friend Sarah and her son could flee Germany. So Hannah begins to investigate on her own by visiting the club where Ernst, a cross-dressing cabaret singer, worked. Here she meets both Ernst’s much older lover and his young Nazi boyfriend, who tells Hannah Ernst also had a secret lover high in the Nazi power structure. When a small boy named Anton, who claims she is his mother, is abandoned on her doorstep, Hannah’s life grows even more complicated and dangerous. The endearing Anton, clutching his stuffed bear for comfort, imagines himself an Indian brave from the western tales of Karl May in order to deal with his reality of hunger and pain. The portrait of Berlin’s gay community, valiantly maintaining a carefree facade while on the verge of Nazi persecution, is vivid and painful. This well-researched and unforgettable debut mystery melds an intricate plot with complex characters, and just won the Bruce Alexander Award for Best Historical Mystery. (Giveaway ended 3/7/10. Our lucky winner was Judy W. from Pennsylvania.)
Short SqueezeChris Knopf
Short Squeeze (Minotaur 2010), the 5th in the Sam Acquillo series, focuses on Sam’s friend Jackie Swaitkowski, a real estate lawyer in the Hamptons. When a new client turns up dead, things take a sudden and dangerous turn for Jackie. In the client’s pocket is an envelope that contains a shocking piece of evidence that suggests that the death was anything but an accident. Jackie has bigger fish to fry—like her old flame Harry’s surprise return to town—until a late-night car chase changes her priorities. Now she has every reason to believe that the next name on the killer’s list is her own. (Giveaway ended 3/7/10. Our lucky winner was Mary P. from Ohio.)
No MercyLori Armstrong
No Mercy (Touchstone 2010) introduces Mercy Gunderson, a former Army sniper who is one-quarter Minneconjou Sioux, returning home to South Dakota on medical leave. While Mercy is dealing with the death of her father and the responsibility of her younger sister, the body of a Sioux boy is discovered on her ranch. Mercy is pulled into the investigation of a killing spree targeting local Native American teens, and realizes that South Dakota may not be any safer than Iraq. Thanks to Kelly Bowen and Stacy Lasner of Touchstone Books and Simon and Schuster, we have two hardcover copies of this first in a new series to give away. (Giveaway ended 2/21/10. Our lucky winners were David F. from Pennsylvania and Barbara S. from Florida.)
Shadow of the WolfBrent Ghelfi
Shadow of the Wolf (Picador 2010) is the 2nd in the Alekei “Volk” Volkovoy series. Volk, an ex-army colonel with a prosthetic leg, a covert agent for the Russian army, and a major player in the Moscow underworld, is lured back to the mountains of Chechnya by an international cabal. The assignment seems simple, find a missing Fabergé egg, but nothing is simple in this complex and often violent thriller that revels in the dark side of contemporary Russia. We are offering a trade paperback of this novel, originally published by Henry Holt in 2008 as Volk’s Shadow. (Giveaway ended 2/7/10. Our lucky winner was Julie S. from California.)
Fatal FebruaryBarbara Levenson
Fatal February (Oceanview 2009) introduces Mary Magruder Katz, a half Jewish, half Southern Baptist criminal defense attorney, in Miami, Florida. A fender bender at the carwash results in a new romance with the charismatic and mysterious Carlos Martin that inspires Mary to break her engagement, leave her ex-fiancé’s law firm, and open her own practice. Her first client is Lillian Yarmouth, the prime suspect in the Miami high society murder of the year. While looking for proof that Lillian is innocent, Mary also has to defend herself from an ethics claim brought by her former fiancé. We are offering a hardback copy of this debut mystery. (Giveaway ended 2/7/10. Our lucky winner was Deanna S. from Massachusetts.)
Mixed BloodRoger Smith
Mixed Blood (Picador 2009) follows the travails of Jack Burn, an American whose gambling addiction and some serious crimes start him on a slippery slope to Cape Town, South Africa, where he hides out with his wife and young son. Not a good choice, in Jack’s case, because a chance home invasion by some local drugged-out gangsters draws him and his family ever deeper into a sea of inescapable violence. The poverty, hopelessness, and turmoil of Cape Town is portrayed frankly and unapologetically, and also with sympathy, but in this brutal noir world, almost no characters can escape. Smith creates memorable characters, including “Gatsby” Barnard, a vicious lone-wolf Afrikaaner cop, Disaster Zondi, a neat-freak Zulu detective from the new order, Benny Mongrel, an ex-con gang killer trying to turn things around, and Carmen Fortune, a crack addict surviving day to day with her damaged son and her Uncle Fatty. Smith’s writing is direct, clear, and compelling; the book is highly recommended for those who can stomach the violence. (Giveaway ended 1/22/10. Our lucky winner was Val V. from Texas.)
Veil of LiesJeri Westerson
Veil of Lies (Minotaur 2008) introduces Crispin Guest, a disgraced knight reduced to living by his wits on the mean streets of 1384 London. Now known as “Tracker,” Crispin is hired by a wealthy London cloth merchant who suspects his wife is unfaithful. Crispin is reluctant to take that sort of case, but a severe shortage of funds persuades him to go against his principles. The next day the merchant is found murdered in a room locked from the inside, and the wife hires Crispin to find the killer and a missing religious relic. Crispin is soon caught up in a mesh of conflicting interests: the sheriff who wants the relic for the king, a mysterious Saracen working for an equally mysterious cartel, and a gang of ruthless Italians. Crispin falls for the girl, uses his knightly skills to fight for his life, and relentlessly pursues justice in this thoroughly enjoyable Medieval Noir. (Giveaway ended 1/22/10. Our lucky winner was Robert H. from Alberta, Canada.)
Trial by FireJ.A. Jance
Trial by Fire (Touchstone 2009) is the 5th in the Ali Jennings series. A former television journalist, Ali has joined the Yavapai County Police Department as a media relations specialist. When an unfinished new Arizona subdivision goes up in flames, a naked and nearly dead woman is rescued from the fire. She is burned beyond recognition, and when she awakens from a coma months later has no memory of who she is or who might want to kill her. Sister Anselm, the hospital’s advocate for unidentified patients, asks Ali for help and the two soon realize that searching for the woman’s identity may expose her to danger once more. (Giveaway ended 1/8/10. Our lucky winners were Mary M from Nevada and Mary Jo A from Tennessee.)

Many and Many a Year AgoSelçuk Altun
Many and Many a Year Ago (2008) [Telegram Books 2009; trans. from Turkish by Ruth Christi & Selcuk Berilgen] is more of a mysterious literary quest for answers, than a mystery, not that there’s anything wrong with that. Kemal Kuray has vaulted to high rank in the Turkish Air Force, but his life changes dramatically when he crashes his F-16 in a test flight. Things take a strange turn when we receives a $5,000 monthly allowance from a friend who has disappeared. His friend was obsessed by Edgar Allen Poe, and Kemal is launched on an international search, following ephemeral clues, that eventually takes him to the Poe Museum in Baltimore. The book’s title is taken from Poe’s poem “Annabel Lee”, and the Poe element provides some sidelight interest as we wind down the bi-centennial of Poe’s birth. This is an intriguing, well-written, if off-beat book, full of literary references, but not overwhelmingly so. It is also refreshing to read of modern day Istanbul from the perspective of a native Turk. (Giveaway ended 12/22/09. Our lucky winner was Deb T from Idaho.)
Swan for the MoneyDonna Andrews
Swan for the Money (Minotaur 2009) is the 9th in the Meg Langslow series. Meg’s parents have become fanatic rose growers and have coerced Meg into organizing the Caerphilly Garden Club’s First Annual Rose Show, hosted by Philomena Winkleson at her ritzy estate farm. Everything on the Winkleston estate is monochromatic including the livestock: black and white Belted Galloway cows, black Frisian horses (kept inside during daylight to prevent reddening), fierce black swans, and a hilarious herd of Tennessee belted fainting goats that do exactly that when surprised or excited. Mrs. Winkleson is sponsoring a special prize for the blackest rose, and Meg’s father has thrown himself wholeheartedly into rose hybridization while her mother grooms the entries with tiny tools. When a friend of Mrs. Winkleson is found dead near the security fence surrounding the Winkleson rose garden, everyone asumes it is the eccentric and nasty hostess herself because of the monochromatic outfit, and Meg finds herself in the middle of another murder investigation. The mystery is not as interesting as Meg’s family and friends, but the quirky humor is more than enough to carry this amusing book. (Giveaway ended 12/22/09. Our lucky winner was Ellen M from New Jersey.)
DeKokA.C. Baantjer
DeKok and the Mask of Death (Dutch 1987, Speck Press 2009] is the 27th title in the long-running Dutch police detective series featuring Inspector Jurriaan DeKok (in English translations) and his loyal sidekick Inspector Dick Vledder, homicide detectives at Amsterdam’s Warmoes Street station. Women are going to Slotervaart Hospital and disappearing, their existence later denied by the hospital staff. There are enough suspicions surrounding the women’s lovers and associates to completely confuse investigators, but with DeKok and Vledder on the case, it is only a matter of time. This book is quite entertaining, with a compelling story and enjoyable characters. (Giveaway ended 12/6/09. Our lucky winner was Nick K from Texas.)
Holidays Can Be MurderConnie Shelton
Our second offering is a signed trade paperback of the novella Holidays Can Be Murder (anthology 2002, book 2009) . Charlie Parker, accountant and partner in a private investigation firm, is worried when her husband invites his mother to spend Christmas week with them in Albuquerque, New Mexico. Charlie doesn’t know her mother-in-law well, but she is relieved to discover that she is nothing like Paula, the mother-in-law from hell who is visiting her neighbor. When Paula is found dead and her neighbor is charged with the crime, Charlie steps in to investigate. Lots of details about celebrating Christmas in New Mexico plus two very tasty regional recipes. (Giveaway ended 12/6/09. Our lucky winner was Rose Alice H from New Jersey.)
Prime TimeHank Phillippi Ryan
Prime Time (2007) introduces Charlotte “Charlie” McNally, a TV investigative reporter, in Boston, Massachusetts. At age 46, workaholic Charlie, whose strongest relationship seems to be with her Emmy Award, worries that her news director is about to replace her with a younger model. Charlie is sent to interview the wife of a man killed in an auto accident and learns that the dead man recently emailed her about some mysterious papers. While searching through her SPAM, Charlie finds some intriguing messages that she hopes will result in a block buster news story just in time for Sweeps Week. Charlie meets the first man who has interested her in ages, but her instinct to investigate everything causes her to suspect he may not be one of the good guys. This debut novel won the Agatha Award for Best First Novel. The next books in the series are Face Time and Air Time. Drive Time, the 4th in the series, will come out in February 2010. (Giveaway ended 11/21/09. Our lucky winners were Sylvia M from Alaska, Bruce B from North Carolina, and LeAnne C from Texas.)
Starvation LakeBryan Gruley
Starvation Lake (Touchstone 2009) introduces reporter Gus Carpenter who has returned to his hometown of Starvation Lake, Michigan, after leaving the Detroit Times in disgrace. On top of that failure, everyone in town remembers that he was the goalie who gave up the winning goal to lose the town’s only chance at the state hockey championship ten years earlier. After that season, beloved hockey coach Jack Blackburn died in a snowmobile accident and the town’s economic health took a turn for the worse. Now working as editor for the Pilot, whose motto is “Michigan’s Finest Bluegill Wrapper,” Gus plays hockey with his boyhood teammates, rehashing aggressions and alliances on the ice. When the remains of a snowmobile emerge from a different lake with a bullet hole in the hood, the police and the press wonder if Blackburn was murdered. Most of the town, including the owner of the paper, would prefer that the past stay buried, but Gus and cub reporter Joanie McCarthy sink their teeth into the investigation and can’t let go. Gruley’s depiction of small town life is pitch perfect: the long group memory, the importance of hockey in a small northern town, and the difficulty of becoming an adult in a town who knew you as a kid. (Giveaway ended 11/8/09. Our lucky winners were Tena W from Texas and Ed F from North Carolina.)
AppraisalJane K. Cleland
Deadly Appraisal (2007), the 2nd in the series, finds Josie Prescott, an antiques dealer in a small town in coastal New Hampshire, feeling good about the growth of her new business. Then a woman is poisoned at the gala Prescott Antiques is sponsoring to raise money for the local Women’s Guild. Everyone who had access to the poisoned wine is under suspicion, but the police suspect that Josie may have been the intended victim. The theft of a valuable antique that was one of the fundraising auction items adds to the confusion as Josie and Wes, an untrustworthy yet talented investigative reporter, try to figure out what is really going on. Cleland is chair of the Wolfe Pack’s literary awards, and spotting references to Nero Wolfe (Saul Panzer and Fred Durkin appear on a list of car owners) adds to the fun, as does the inclusion of interesting information about antiques. (Giveaway ended 10/22/09. Our lucky winner was Danielle W from Michigan.)
The AmateursMarcus Sakey
The Amateurs (Dutton 2009) is Sakey’s fourth non-series thriller, this time following the spiraling fates of four 30-something friends who have gravitated together seemingly through a shared sense of failure: Jenn, a travel agent who can only dream of taking a vacation like the ones she arranges; Mitch, a hotel doorman, with major insecurity issues; Ian, a cokehead financial trader waiting to repeat his big score, who also has a gambling problem; and Alex, a divorced bartender with child support and custody problems, who once wanted to be a lawyer. Meeting as the Thursday Night Drinking Club where Alex tends bar, one night the sleazy owner, Johnny Love, puts the moves on Jenn, insults Mitch, and threatens Alex, who learns that Johnny has a large pile of money as middleman in some nefarious deal. The group finds a common purpose fantasizing about robbing Johnny’s safe. After all, they are smart and above suspicion. The plan takes on a life of its own, and the amateur crooks predictably find themselves involved in murder, pursued by scary professional killers, and with a lot more than money to worry about. The protagonists will resonate with some readers more than others, but the writing is compelling as the four losers struggle to cope with their unraveling lives and plans, with some ennobling theatrics to round out the plot. (Giveaway ended 10/7/09. Our lucky winner was Norm O from California.)
Hot Buttered’Jeffrey Cohen
Some Like It Hot-Buttered (2007) introduces Elliot Freed, a recently divorced writer who has just re-opened an old movie theater in New Jersey. Elliot shows nightly double features at Comedy Tonight: a classic comedy followed by a new one. When a patron is killed with a box of poisoned popcorn during Young Frankenstein, and the young projectionist/film student disappears, Elliot decides to help investigate. The characters are unique and presented with sympathetic humor. Elliot, who prefers wit over jokes, is continually working on his snappy comebacks, and Sophie the snack/ticket girl tries to be Goth but can’t quite pull it off. Loaded with classic movie references, this clever and funny book is a winner. (Giveaway ended 9/17/09. Thanks to Jeffrey Cohen who generously donated two extra books we had three winners: Radine N from Arkansas, Rose M from Wisconsin, and Joyce K from Illinois.)

Note: All email entries will be deleted immediately after the drawing deadline. Only the winner’s address will be used, to send the book. We will not use any other name, email address, or mailing address for any purpose.