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A New Scots Detective

You can add Dundee to the list of Scots cities with an interesting detective to follow. McNee (no first name, only the initial J, never used) describes Dundee as the city of jam, jute and journalism down on its luck like the detective himself. As with so many fictional hard-boiled types, McNee started as a policeman, but left under a cloud. His fiancée was killed in the car accident that left him with a bum leg. Mothers of the Disappeared (Severn House, 8/2014) is the third novel in the series. McNee is facing an enquiry by the Association of British Investigators into alleged misconduct. But he is drawn into reopening a case when the mother of a missing girl asks him to review the evidence. Author Russell D. McLean is a Dundonian. His first book was shortlisted for the Shamus Best First PI novel of 2009.

–posted 6/25/2014

Posted June/25/2014

Mary Balogh

baloghThe Escape (Dell, 7/2014) is the 3rd book in the 15th series by Mary Balogh. And she’s only been writing since 1985. How’s that for prolific? Calling them series may be overstating the case, however, because they are only loosely connected with characters from one novel often turning up in another. But her publishers (Dell and others) usually list the series name. The novels are romances with interesting characters and period flavor: Regency England, c.1811-1820. The Escape is the third book in the “Survivors’ Club” series in which seven friends recover from physical and mental wounds suffered in the Napoleonic Wars.  Balogh was born in Swansea, Wales and emigrated to Saskatchewan where she was a teacher and school principal.

–posted 6/15/2014

Posted June/15/2014

New Jennifer Hillier

Thriller fans loved Jennifer Hillier’s first book, Creep (Gallery, 2011). Its plot–being stalked by a spurned lover—is a fear that resonates with many women. Psychology professor Sheila Tao is being stalked by Ethan Wolfe, her teaching assistant. Sheila reappears in the second book, Freak (S&S/Gallery, 2012) where she meets Ethan’s girlfriend Abby Maddox who is a terror in her own right. The Butcher, to be published by Gallery in July, 2014, is just as scary as the two earlier books. Like them, it takes place in Seattle, but may not concern the same characters. The story is about a serial killer cold case and a retired policeman. If anyone reads it and can tell me for sure, please let me know (

–posted 6/11/2014

Posted June/11/2014

Geezer-Lit mysteries

You don’t have to be over 70 to enjoy this “Geezer-Lit” mystery series featuring octogenarian Paul Jacobson. His short-term memory loss doesn’t stop Paul from living life to the fullest or getting involved in mysteries. One thing he has learned to do is keep a journal that he reads every morning to remind him of the day before. The first book takes place in Paul’s retirement home in Hawaii. When his family comes to visit, he forms a loving bond with his granddaughter Jennifer who helps him investigate crime. Nursing Homes Are Murder (Five Star, 5/2014) is the sixth book in the series. The Honolulu police have asked Paul to go undercover at the Pacific Vista Nursing Home where female residents are being robbed and assaulted late at night. Author Mike Befeler turned to writing after a career in technology marketing. His mysteries have been very well-received: the second book in the series was nominated for the Lefty Award for the best humorous mystery of 2009.

–posted 6/5/2014

Posted June/5/2014

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