Riley Ellison has taken a great leap of faith by giving up her comfortable job at the Tuttle Corner library for the exciting world of print journalism. Except that so far it hasn’t been very exciting. All that changes when Riley’s former co-worker Tabitha finds her soon-to-be father-in-law dead, and Riley is asked to write his obituary. And when they discover Tabitha’s fiancé’s knife sticking out of his father’s chest, Riley finds herself with a murder investigation to cover as well.
With mounting pressure from her boss, the mayor, and a bridezilla facing the possibility of a conjugal visit honeymoon, Riley is desperate to prove she can handle the increasing demands of her new job. She ends up blurring the line between reporter and investigator and winning the attention of a very dangerous criminal. Will Riley’s rookie mistakes lead to more than just her byline ending up on the obituary page?
Author of THE BAD BREAK, Julie Orr, recently spoke with The Big Thrill regarding her latest installment in the Riley Ellison mystery series:
Miranda isn’t sure of anything at first except that Louise Crowley, the blonde who works as an assistant to Niles Alexander, San Francisco publisher, is in trouble. Despite her own preparations for an imminent voyage to a blitzkrieged Britain and a painful farewell to the city she loves, Miranda decides to help Louise and takes on her last case as a private detective in San Francisco…investigating her client, surveying the publishing world of 1940, and stumbling into murder with a trail that leads straight to Alcatraz…an island city of sharks.
Along the way, Miranda explores her beloved San Francisco once more, from Playland-at-the-Beach to Chinatown to Nob Hill and Treasure Island. She encounters John Steinbeck and C.S. Forester, and is aided and abetted by the charming and dapper San Francisco Chronicle columnist Herb Caen. And she also discovers personal truths she’s long denied…
The Big Thrill caught up to award-wining author Kelli Stanley to discuss her latest mystery, CITY OF SHARKS:
By Karen Harper
Locked room mysteries have enthralled readers since Edgar Allan Poe’s “The Murders in the Rue Morgue” effectively launched the modern detective subgenre in 1841. Everyone from Agatha Christie to Japanese mystery master Soji Shimada has tackled the tantalizing setup: someone is murdered in a confined space with no obvious access or means of escape for the killer, and a detective is tasked with unraveling the seemingly impossible crime.
Saralyn Richard pumps fresh blood into the locked room scenario with MURDER IN THE ONE PERCENT, out now from Black Opal Books. Richard, a former teacher and successful children’s book author, transports the familiar premise to an extravagant dinner party at a Pennsylvania horse farm, where a young African-American police detective named Oliver Parrott is called in to investigate the murder of playboy and former Secretary of the Treasury, Preston Phillips.
Richard spoke with The Big Thrill about making the transition from kidlit to adult fiction, the allure of her novel’s posh setting, and the singular demands of writing a locked room mystery in the 21st century.
At age eight, Dave Austin witnesses his brother’s savage murder in rural Norwich, New York, but amnesia suppresses the memory, and the killer escapes. Locals suspect an itinerant, a pedophile, or a disturbed friend maddened by psychedelic mushrooms. When Dave starts college, pressures at Princeton and alcohol elicit dreams, each one revealing a bit of memory. Then come visions as Dave senses the killer return. Images of teenagers killed where his brother died precipitate a crisis, and David returns to Norwich to find his dead brother’s friend, a disturbed witness who knows something. Dave’s appearance alarms his psychiatrist, the officers who hadn’t solved the case, and especially the killer, who knows he should not have let the young Dave escape. Now the killer must correct his mistake. When a crazy farmer invites Dave to learn the killer’s name in the Clown Forest at midnight, how can he resist? He may learn what he needs to identify the murderer—if he gets the truth, and survives.
The Big Thrill caught up to the author duo of A. C. Brooks and R. R. Brooks to discuss their latest mystery, THE CLOWN FOREST MURDERS:
Swiss-American police officer Agnes Lüthi is on leave in Lausanne, Switzerland, recovering from injuries she sustained in her last case, when an old colleague invites her to the world’s premier watch and jewelry trade show at the grand Messe Basel Exhibition Hall. Little does Agnes know, another friend of hers, Julien Vallotton, is at the same trade show—and he’s looking for Agnes. Julien Vallotton was friends with Guy Chavanon, a master of one of Switzerland’s oldest arts: watchmaking. Chavanon died a week ago, and his daughter doesn’t believe his death was accidental. Shortly before he died, Chavanon boasted that he’d discovered a new technique that would revolutionize the watchmaking industry, and she believes he may have been killed for it. Reluctantly, Agnes agrees to investigate his death. But the world of Swiss watchmaking is guarded and secretive, and before she realizes it, Agnes may be walking straight into the path of a killer.
Author Tracee de Hahn spent some time with The Big Thrill discussing her latest mystery, A WELL-TIMED MURDER:
The bones of seven young girls, picked clean and carefully preserved, discovered years ago… That’s all Sergeant Ryan DeMarco knows about the unsolved crime he has unwittingly been roped into investigating during what is supposed to be a healing road trip with his new love, Jayme.
DeMarco is still reeling from the case that led to death of his best friend months ago and wants nothing more than to lay low. Unfortunately, the small southern town of Jayme’s idyllic youth is not exactly a place that lets strangers go unnoticed—especially strangers who have a history of solving violent crimes. And if there’s anything DeMarco knows, it’s that a killer always leaves clues behind, just waiting for the right person to come along and put all the pieces together…
WALKING THE BONES is a story about things buried—memories, regrets, secrets, and bodies. Acclaimed author Randall Silvis delivers another heart-stopping investigation as DeMarco finds himself once again drawn into a case that will demand more of himself than he may be willing to give.
Randall Silvis, bestselling author of the Ryan Demarco mystery series, spent some time with The Big Thrill discussing his latest installment, WALKING THE BONES:
On the surface, it looks like Paul Callahan has it all. The family, the house, the job. But nothing is ever as perfect as it seems, and when a college friend contacts Paul out of the blue, he finds himself reliving his first year of college, when everything went so right, and then so very wrong. The novel skips between the present and the past, tracing what happened to Paul and his friends during college and the effects in the present day.
TESTAMENT is a story of friendship and love and of the terrible evil people are capable of doing to one another. It is the story of a man doing his best to move forward, but struggling with an emotional anchor latched firmly in the past. But more than anything, it is a story about redemption and the unfathomable workings of the human heart.
Author Mark P. Dunn took some time to discuss his latest novel, TESTAMENT, with The Big Thrill:
From the Edgar-nominated author of Hammett Unwritten and Woman with a Blue Pencil comes a startling meta-fiction tale told in the voice of Sherlock Holmes. Set in 1920s’ London, Cambridge, and Paris, HOLMES ENTANGLED by Gordon McAlpine leads the infamous sleuth on an adventure through labyrinths of crime and espionage in a mortally dangerous inquiry into the unseen nature of existence itself.
Sherlock Holmes, retired from investigations and disguised as a professor at Cambridge, is shaken when a modestly successful author named Arthur Conan Doyle calls upon him at the university. This Conan Doyle, notable for historical adventure and science fiction stories (but no detective tales), somehow knows the false professor’s true identity, and pleads for investigative assistance. Someone is trying to kill him.
Intrigued by how the “middling scribbler” ascertained Holmes’s identity in the first place, despite the detective’s perfect disguise, Holmes agrees to investigate.
With the assistance of Dr. Watson’s widow, Holmes persists, exploring séances, the esoterica of Edgar Allan Poe, the revolutionary new science of quantum mechanics, and his own long-denied sense of loss and solitude. Ultimately, however, even Sherlock Holmes is unprepared for what the evidence suggests.
At first glance, this story may seem like fan fiction, but HOLMES ENTANGLED can more aptly be described as a mash-up of meta-mystery with meta-biography.
Jim Bean is having a bad day. A bad year, a bad life. Sophie Evers, his latest client, has duped him in the worst possible way. Instead of a straightforward missing persons case, he’s led a serial killer straight to her most coveted prey.
Sophie’s clung to the demented belief that she and Daniel Hodge belonged together. Instead of sleeping her way to the top, she killed her way into a position to create the “perfect life” for the only man she ever loved. Except now she can’t find him. Her plan: kill Daniel’s sister and manipulate a private investigator into flushing out her man.
Despite being told to leave the case alone, responsibility drives Jim to set things straight before Sophie’s delusion shatters and more souls are lost.
Award-winning author J. D. Allen met with The Big Thrill to discuss her latest mystery, 19 SOULS:
Just before high school graduation, Daisy Murphy returns home from a football game and finds her mother standing over her abusive boyfriend’s body—holding a bloody hammer. In the aftermath, Daisy flees her home and eventually establishes a new life as an expert winemaker in the Central Valley of California. But as hard as she tries to get away from her past, the effects of that horrible night travel with her.
Detective Jake Frisco has unearthed a murder at the vineyard where Daisy is employed as the winery’s expert winemaker. It doesn’t take long to discover that Daisy is haunted by her past and carries a heavy burden. It seems that possible involvement in an unsolved murder is part of her life’s baggage. Does this put Daisy at the top of the suspects list? Can he put aside his growing feelings for her and follow the leads in the case, even if they take him straight to her as the murderer?
Can Daisy finally face her past and trust that the truth she offers the detective will be enough to save her? Will she find the courage to ask for a future beyond the sorrow of her youth—a future filled with love and self-worth?
L. Lee Kane took time out of her busy schedule to discuss her latest novel, DEATH ON THE VINE, with The Big Thrill:
As deputy medical examiner and homicide detective respectively, the couple are dispatched to a grisly crime scene at the Grizzly Motel, a seedy joint for illicit liaisons on the outskirts of Sorenson, Wisconsin. A man and woman are found dead next to each other in bed in what initially appears to be a grim but straightforward murder-suicide. An affair gone sour?
But as the forensic evidence is gathered and autopsies are performed, Mattie and Hurley realize the scene has been staged. They have a double murder on their hands. The spurned spouses of both victims top the list of suspects, but as more is revealed, the case becomes increasingly complex. Dividing their time and resources between the double homicide and an ongoing investigation involving Mattie’s father, as well as caring for their toddler Matthew and Hurley’s teenaged daughter Emily, the two are stretched to their limits.
After another victim turns up dead, there’s no room for error as Mattie and Hurley stage a scene of their own to back the killer into a corner…
The Big Thrill caught up to author Annelise Ryan to discuss her mystery, DEAD CALM:
In a Wall Street Journal interview, bestselling thriller author Lee Child describes Belfast as “perfect noir.” Perhaps that explains why the past decade has seen an unprecedented surge of crime fiction authors writing in and about Northern Ireland. Among the most recent of these is musician and songwriter Simon Maltman, whose debut novel, A Chaser on the Rocks, launched in September of 2016. Its sequel, A KILL FOR THE POET, uses dark humor and haunted characters to provide a stark contrast to the beauty of the Northern Irish setting.
A fan of the original film noir movies, Maltman is heavily influenced by Raymond Chandler. This “Chandler effect” is noticeable in sharp, gritty dialogue and an economy of prose. Even the structure of Maltman’s series is an homage to his noir roots. A Chaser on the Rocks juxtaposes the exploits of modern-day private detective Brian Caskey with those of Billy Chapman, a “fiction-within-a-fiction” P.I. in 1940s Belfast.
A KILL FOR THE POET adds yet another layer to the mix, as writer Henry Flynn picks up Billy’s tale as filtered through Brian’s persona. Or so the reader is led to believe. Maltman’s authorial sleight of hand keeps the reader guessing.
Ginny Fite is an award-winning journalist who has covered crime, politics, government, healthcare, art, and all things human. She’s done communications for a governor, a member of Congress, a few colleges, and a robotics R&D company. With degrees from Rutgers University and Johns Hopkins University, she also studied at the School for Women Healers and the Maryland Poetry Therapy Institute. As with her first two murder mysteries in the Detective Sam Lagarde series, Cromwell’s Folly and No Good Deed Left Undone, her new mystery, LYING, CHEATING, AND OCCASIONALLY… MURDER, is set in the rolling hills of Jefferson County, West Virginia.
Ginny took time out of her busy schedule to sit down with The Big Thrill and discuss her latest novel, LYING, CHEATING, AND OCCASIONALLY… MURDER:
Nick Forte has a hard time leaving well enough alone. He seriously injures a man for slapping a woman Forte has never seen before, so when Becky Tuttle comes to him with disconcerting letters sent to her author alter ago Desiree d’Arnaud, he does more than a cursory investigation. Following the thread of Becky’s problem leads through a local cop who takes the situation too lightly for Forte’s taste and into the disturbing world of men’s rights activists, for whom he has no use at all.
Becky’s case isn’t the only thing going on in Forte’s life. A chance meeting with Lily O’Donoghue, a former prostitute whose mother’s death Forte feels responsible for, leads to a blackmailer who has videos of Lily’s former occupation. Forte takes care of the blackmailer with minimal fuss, but learns (again) that no good deed goes unpunished. Forte’s innocent intercession brings him back into the sphere of Chicago gangster Mickey Touhy, who has interest in both Lily and Forte.
Forte’s usual cast of Sharon, Goose, Delbert, Sonny, Jan, and, of course, his daughter Caroline, do what they can to keep him on an even keel. The problem is that Forte’s keel may be permanently damaged and the only resolutions he can arrive at satisfy no one, least of all himself.
Two-time Shamus Award nominee Dana King spent some time with The Big Thrill discussing his latest mystery, BAD SAMARITAN:
By Basil Sands
Thriller fans, let me introduce to you one outstanding writer. Micki Browning is a retired cop who has taken her lifetime of experience chasing the bad guys, and turned it around to create some amazing capers of her own…on paper, that is.
Her latest novel, BEACHED, is the second in her series following marine biologist–turned-divemaster Meredith ‘Mer’ Cavallo. BEACHED is a non-stop mystery thrill ride as Mer finds treasure she isn’t looking for—and enemies she doesn’t want.
This month, Browning took some time out of her busy schedule to chat with The Big Thrill about the inspiration behind the characters—and plot—of her new release.
What can you tell us about BEACHED?
Mer’s life unravels after she finds a plastic-wrapped bundle floating on the waves off Key Largo. Curious, she pulls it aboard her dive boat and lands in the middle of a storm of intrigue involving an obscure legend, an eighteenth-century shipwreck, and a modern pirate who’ll resort to murder to claim the booty first.
By E.M. Powell
Every good thriller needs an intriguing protagonist. So it is with Dominic, the titular hero of Mark Pryor’s latest release. Dominic is a prosecutor, a musician, and an Englishman living in Texas. But banish any thoughts of an upright crime fighter, for Dominic is also a psychopath—and one that got away with murder in his first outing in Hollow Man. In DOMINIC, a smart homicide detective starts digging up that past murder, leaving Dominic no option but to come up with a carefully-orchestrated plan that has deadly consequences.
The result is an intriguing psychological thriller, with many twists, turns, and blind alleys to keep the reader guessing right to the very end. And despite Dominic’s psychopathy, the reader ultimately roots for him and wants him to succeed.
Pryor admits that creating an anti-hero was quite a challenge, especially since he ensured that the protagonist of his mystery series, Hugo Marston, is very much in the likeable category. But Pryor also admits that writing Dominic was so much fun. “I could really drop the shackles, as it were,” he says. “I knew from the get-go that Dominic wasn’t going to be likeable, so I had to find other ways for the reader to stay engaged with him. My focus, then, was making him interesting. Making him relatable, too, so the reader has empathy for what he’s going through. I hope, too, that there’s a certain amount of admiration for him—not his moral compass, of course, but his sense of humor and his intelligence.”
A lot of research was needed to really get under the skin of a psychopath and to make Dominic’s behavior credible. Pryor found a wealth of fascinating written material and he spent time talking with a psychologist whose job is diagnosing psychopaths. He also consulted with a female author who has written a book about being a sociopath. “For the record,” he adds, “I’ve learned that there’s essentially no difference between the two.”
Blackchurch is not the sort of place where folks are inclined to be up in each other’s business, and strange house guests at a neighbor’s pad are not likely to be noticed, let alone remarked upon. So on a day in early October, when two beat-up-looking crackers, a pregnant teenage whore, and a small, androgynous Japanese woman in a large-brimmed sombrero, sunglasses, and wrapped in a patchwork down comforter came to call on D’antre Philips with heads full of prophetic visions and tales of the apocalypse already in progress, nary an eye was blinked. When the end times do come to Blackchurch, it’ll be a day like any other day. And the next day will be too.
BLACKCHURCH FURNACE is a scathing satire of faith, family, and all that we hold dear, where the only thing you can believe in are the voices in your own head…and they are every bit as crazy as you are.
The Big Thrill recently caught up with author Nathan Singer to discuss his latest novel, BLACKCHURCH FURNACE:
Jack Pellum has spent two years searching for the man who he believes murdered his wife — a man he last saw wearing a peacoat and a fedora. Then a local writer commits suicide, and he leaves a bewildering message that may be the first breadcrumb in a winding trail of unsolved murders: There’s a killer, and he wears a crooked hat.
Michael Underhill’s life is finally coming together. He has a sweet and beautiful girlfriend, and together they’re building their future home. The problem is, Underhill has a past that’s shrouded in darkness, and it’s coming back to haunt him.
These two men are inexorably drawn together in a mystery where nothing can be taken for granted. Filled with devious reversals and razor-sharp tension, THE MAN IN THE CROOKED HAT is a masterwork from “one of America’s best new crime writers” (Lansing State Journal).
The Big Thrill recently caught up with Harry Dolan to discuss his latest mystery, THE MAN IN THE CROOKED HAT:
Among the Irish Travellers living in the Appalachian Mountains of Tennessee, no one forgets and no one forgives. And as former Marine MP Brynn Callahan finds out when she returns home, it’s hard to bury the past when bodies keep turning up . . .
After an IED explosion abruptly ends her tour of duty, Brynn arrives stateside with PTSD and her canine partner, Wilco—both of them bearing the scars of battle. With a mix of affection, curiosity, and misgivings, she goes back to Bone Gap, Tennessee, and the insular culture she’d hoped to escape by enlisting in the Marine Corps.
Marginalized and wary of outsiders, the Irish Travellers keep to themselves in a secluded mountain community, maintaining an uneasy coexistence with the “settled” townspeople of McCreary. When Wilco’s training as a cadaver dog leads Brynn to discover a body in the woods, the two worlds collide. Soon it’s clear that Brynn and Wilco are in danger—and they’re not the only ones.
After the police identify the dead woman, Brynn is shocked to learn she has a personal connection—and everything she’s been told about her past is called into question.
Forming a reluctant alliance with local sheriff Frank Pusser, Brynn must dig up secrets that not only will rattle her close-knit clan to its core, but may forever change her perception of who she is . . . and put her back in the line of fire.
Bestselling author Susan Furlong sat down with The Big Thrill to discuss her latest novel, SPLINTERED SILENCE:
When Lewis Wilkins, a physician with a vacation home in Jarrett Creek, is attacked by vicious dogs, and several pet dogs in the area around Jarrett Creek disappear, Police Chief Samuel Craddock suspects that a dog fighting ring is operating in his territory. He has to tread carefully in his investigation, since lawmen who meddle in dog fighting put their lives at risk. The investigation is hampered because Wilkins is not a local.
Craddock’s focus on the investigation is thrown off by the appearance of a new woman in his life, as well as his accidental acquisition of a puppy.
Digging deeper, Craddock discovers that the public face Wilkins presented was at odds with his private actions. A terrible mistake led to his disgrace as a physician, and, far from being a stranger, he has ongoing acquaintances with a number of county residents who play fast and loose with the law.
The Big Thrill caught up to Terry Shames to discuss the latest installment in her Samuel Craddock mystery series, A RECKONING IN THE BACK COUNTRY:
Katie LeClair has finally settled down as the new doctor in Baxter, MI. After years of moving, schooling, and training, she wants nothing more than to find a place she can call home, and a small town outside of Ann Arbor seems perfect.
Katie quickly gets to work in building a life for herself in Baxter, and beyond reviving her love life, she also finds a pair of business partners in a team of father and son family practitioners. But that idyllic dream is immediately shattered when one of her patients is found dead. That wouldn’t be the worst thing, except the death is ruled a suicide, and as evidence has it, the suicide was a result of the medication Katie had prescribed. But she doesn’t remember writing it.
When a closer investigation reveals it was murder, Katie is catapulted into an off-the-books investigation that leads her down a dark path of past secrets. But someone is willing to kill to keep part of the town’s history in the shadows, and Katie must race to find out who before it’s too late.
National bestselling author Dawn Eastman spent some time with The Big Thrill discussing her latest novel, UNNATURAL CAUSES:
Cait Pepper, owner of the Bening Estate vineyards, and navy SEAL Royal Tanner return to help friends who recently acquired a vineyard in Livermore, California. Sadie, an Amish girl, and her husband, Danny Lord, are excited about their new adventure of owning their own vineyard until agents from the Drug Enforcement Agency knock on their door. When Danny bought the property, he neglected to check the previous owners’ background and didn’t know about their drug connections. Desperate to save her friends from danger and embarrassment, Cait is torn between helping the Lords or the actors in her Shakespeare Festival. Will Cait’s cop skills be enough to save the Lords from the drug dealer—and the DEA—while avoiding another tragedy that could put her Shakespeare Festival in peril?
The Big Thrill caught up to author Carole Price to discuss her latest novel, VINEYARD PREY:
After proving his innocence as a murder suspect, taking down an assassin, and being an instrumental part in solving a high profile murder, Calvin Watters believes he can finally move on—until Ace Sanders’ prison escape catapults him into action.
Something has always bothered Detective Dale Dayton about the arrest of Ace Sanders. Call it police intuition, but his inner ‘cop alarm’ keeps twitching. When Dale reopens the case, he’s introduced to new evidence that leads him into a political nightmare.
While Calvin tracks Sanders across continents and into unknown, unfriendly surroundings, Dale remains in Vegas to uncover the truth behind police corruption, prison escapes, and hired assassins. But Calvin and Dale must be vigilant, because there’s a deadly new player in town.
International bestselling author Luke Murphy spent some time with The Big Thrill discussing his latest novel, WILD CARD:
What do you hope readers will take away from this book?
I hope that they are entertained, and satisfied that questions they still had from book one are revealed in WILD CARD.
When a long-hidden safe unlocks clues about why his father was kicked off the police force twenty-seven years ago and then spiraled into an early drunken death, Rick scratches to find the truth even if it proves the one thing he’s always feared.
But as he grapples with his father’s past, the woman he’ll always love begs him to find out if her husband is having an affair, or is involved in something much more sinister.
Rick may never discover either truth as killers who will do anything to protect their secrets lurk in the shadows.
Author Matt Coyle met with The Big Thrill to discuss his latest mystery, BLOOD TRUTH:
A blond-haired, blue-eyed teenager from a prominent family vanishes after teaching English to a group of immigrants. Suspicion soon falls on the men she was tutoring, inflaming tensions in the close-knit, picturesque community of Lake Holly, NY. For Detective Jimmy Vega, more is at stake than just keeping the peace. His girlfriend, Adele, heads the community center where the girl was last seen.
When a risky surrender goes awry, Vega gets tossed into a grunt detail that hides a political minefield: a person who will stop at nothing to cleave the town in two. He can’t imagine a worse turn of events—until he uncovers even darker forces at play. And no matter which way he turns, every step could cost him his job, his town, his family—even his life.
Award-winning author Suzanne Chazin stopped by The Big Thrill to discuss her upcoming novel, A PLACE IN THE WIND:
Bliss needs to rethink her “anything for a buck” approach to life. Lockport’s mayor from hell has her scouting the back roads on her motorcycle, searching for abandoned cemeteries. Her mission: locate, evaluate, and report. Easy money. First day out, she falls into a grave and lands on a pile of bones. Shock turns to outrage when she realizes the skull is missing.
She expects her boyfriend, Police Chief Neil Redfern, to throw everything he has at the crime, but Neil is in the middle of a serious investigation and can’t spare the resources. In his job, missing firearms trumps the desecration of a century-old burial. Bliss won’t accept this decision, and their relationship founders when she senses he’s also keeping personal secrets from her.
Despite Neil’s insistence she leave police work to him, Bliss continues her quest to find the graverobber. She discovers more headless skeletons in the far reaches of the township and stumbles across a dying man poisoned by Jimsonweed.
Not until she narrowly escapes death by the same toxin does Neil concede there may be a link between the gun thefts and the violated graves. On Midsummer’s Eve, Bliss faces their adversary alone. Will Neil find her in time? Or will she join the ranks of the long-dead she has so fiercely championed?
By Wendy Tyson
Mark Bacon’s second novel in his popular Nostalgia City mystery series, DESERT KILL SWITCH, takes readers back to the Arizona retro theme park, Nostalgia City—only this time former cop Lyle Deming is in a race to clear the name of his almost-girlfriend Kate Sorensen when she’s accused of murder.
Bacon recently took time out of his schedule to sit down with The Big Thrill and talk about the inspiration behind his new release.
Congratulations on the recent release of DESERT KILL SWITCH. The first book in the Nostalgia City mystery series, Death in Nostalgia City, introduced readers to ex-cop turned cab driver, Lyle Deming. What elements from Lyle’s past have made him the man he is today?
Lyle actually has a reasonably happy life, but one he can’t always fully enjoy due to his anxiety disorder. Hard to tell whether the anxiety was the cause or effect of things that befell him.
As a child, he was constantly in the shadow of his much older brother, and Lyle received the majority of the parental criticism his overbearing father dished out. As a young child, he soaked up much of his brother’s focus on rock ’n’ roll and hot cars, and thus his interests were different from other kids his age.
Reeling from her recent divorce, Kate Fox has just been sworn in as Grand County, Nebraska Sheriff when tragedy strikes. A railroad accident has left engineer Chad Mills dead, his conductor Bobby Jenkins in shock. Kate soon realizes that the accident was likely murder.
Who would want to kill Chad Mills? Kate finds that he made a few enemies as president of the railroad workers union. Meanwhile his widow is behaving oddly. And why was his neighbor Josh Stevens at the Mills house on the night of the accident?
While her loud and meddling family conspires to help Kate past her divorce, State Patrol Officer Trey closes in on Josh Stevens as the suspect. Kate doesn’t believe it. She may not have the experience, but she’s lived in the Sandhills her whole life, and knows the land and the people. Something doesn’t add up—and Kate must find the real killer before he can strike again.
The Big Thrill caught up with Shannon Baker to discuss her latest novel, DARK SIGNAL:
Reeling from family betrayal and tragedy, Gabe McKenna charts a new course as historical consultant on a motion picture filming in New Mexico. Before you can say “Action!” he is entangled in a web of illusion and deceit, where death plays a starring role. With the help of The Onion, a private investigator and long-time friend from New York, Gabe peels away layer after layer of dishonesty, battles brutal drug cartels, is accused of murder, and must unmask a mysterious, seductive woman to reveal the truth in a world full of lies.
The Big Thrill caught up with author Robert D. Kidera to discuss his latest novel, CUT. PRINT. KILL.:
Down in Key West, Sherri Travis and her best friend Marley are looking for a little fun in the sun. Promising to be back for last call, Marley leaves the Rawhide Saloon with an Elvis impersonator. She doesn’t return. With Hurricane Alma turning toward Key West, and the police saying Marley must be missing for seventy-two hours before they start searching, Sherri and Lexi Divine, a six-foot tall drag queen, hunt for Marley amidst the chaos of the evacuation.
LAST CALL author Phyllis Smallman spent some time with The Big Thrill discussing her latest novel:
What do you hope readers will take away from this book?
I want readers to understand how someone can drown in their own home. In LAST CALL I was writing my worst fears, which makes a great basis for a thriller. We owned a home on the west coast of Florida for two decades. When hurricane insurance became too expensive, we dropped the coverage. From May until November we worried.