Britain between the wars provides the backdrop for murder and an engrossing look at women’s place in society.

MURDER IS IN THE AIR

A muddle at a Yorkshire brewery in 1930 forces two private detectives to venture above and beyond their normal activities.

It’s not immediately clear what William Lofthouse, owner of the Barleycorn Brewery, wants of Kate Shackleton. To be sure, his nephew James, groomed as his successor, has been away in Germany longer than he ought. What’s really worrying William, though, is having the business in tiptop shape when James does return. To that end, he asks Kate’s fellow detective Jim Sykes to come to the brewery and uncover the reasons for a lot of minor problems that add up to big trouble. The establishment is supporting wages clerk Ruth Parnaby, whose brother and troubled father also work there, in a Brewery Queen contest. William’s secretary, Miss Crawford, knows everything there is to know about the business, but before she can disclose something important to William, she’s run over and killed in a hit-and-run that’s clearly no accident. Kate and Jim soon discover that someone’s been working against the brewery’s interests, and they fear that William will be shocked and disappointed. Taking over as mentor to Ruth after Miss Crawford’s murder, Kate realizes that Ruth’s mother has been hiding away from her husband for years in fear for her life. The murder of a second brewery employee starts to weave the strands that finally come together in a surprising denouement.

Britain between the wars provides the backdrop for murder and an engrossing look at women’s place in society.

Pub Date: Oct. 6, 2020

ISBN: 978-1-64385-466-3

Page Count: 336

Publisher: Crooked Lane

Review Posted Online: Sept. 2, 2020

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Sept. 15, 2020

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Britain teeters on the brink of scandal and war in this charming combination of history and mystery.

GOD REST YE, ROYAL GENTLEMEN

Christmas 1935 finds murder stalking the British royal family.

Lady Georgiana Rannoch is settling into married life with dashing Darcy O’Mara, who for once isn’t off on some secret government mission. When the house party she’s planned falls apart because almost no one she’s invited can come, she accepts an invitation of her own. Darcy’s eccentric aunt Ermintrude asks the newlyweds to Wymondham Hall, on the edge of the royal Sandringham estate, and hints that Queen Mary especially wants Georgiana to come. There are enough rooms on offer to allow the inclusion of Georgie’s brother, Binky, the Duke of Rannoch, his annoying wife, Fig, their children, and Georgie’s mother, the dowager Duchess, who’s suddenly arrived from Germany. Georgie even brings along Queenie, her cook, who has a reputation for causing problems. The biggest surprise is the arrival of Wallis Simpson, whom Georgie’s cousin David, the Prince of Wales, wants close by his side while he visits his ailing father. The British press has been keeping Mrs. Simpson, who’s about to divorce her husband, a secret from the public, but the scandal she’s caused is well known among the aristocracy. David is almost shot during a hunt; Mrs. Simpson is knocked out; and Georgie’s ride with the prince’s friend results in his death. Are these all accidents or cleverly concealed murder attempts? Queen Mary asks Georgie, who has a track record of successful sleuthing, to discover the truth.

Britain teeters on the brink of scandal and war in this charming combination of history and mystery.

Pub Date: Oct. 5, 2021

ISBN: 978-0-440000-08-2

Page Count: 304

Publisher: Berkley

Review Posted Online: July 28, 2021

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Aug. 15, 2021

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Proficient but eminently predictable. Amid all the time shifts and embedded backstories, the most surprising feature is how...

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THE A LIST

A convicted killer’s list of five people he wants dead runs the gamut from the wife he’s already had murdered to franchise heroine Ali Reynolds.

Back in the day, women came from all over to consult Santa Clarita fertility specialist Dr. Edward Gilchrist. Many of them left his care happily pregnant, never dreaming that the father of the babies they carried was none other than the physician himself, who donated his own sperm rather than that of the handsome, athletic, disease-free men pictured in his scrapbook. When Alexandra Munsey’s son, Evan, is laid low by the kidney disease he’s inherited from his biological father and she returns to Gilchrist in search of the donor’s medical records, the roof begins to fall in on him. By the time it’s done falling, he’s serving a life sentence in Folsom Prison for commissioning the death of his wife, Dawn, the former nurse and sometime egg donor who’d turned on him. With nothing left to lose, Gilchrist tattoos himself with the initials of five people he blames for his fall: Dawn; Leo Manuel Aurelio, the hit man he’d hired to dispose of her; Kaitlyn Todd, the nurse/receptionist who took Dawn’s place; Alex Munsey, whose search for records upset his apple cart; and Ali Reynolds, the TV reporter who’d helped put Alex in touch with the dozen other women who formed the Progeny Project because their children looked just like hers. No matter that Ali’s been out of both California and the news business for years; Gilchrist and his enablers know that revenge can’t possibly be served too cold. Wonder how far down that list they’ll get before Ali, aided once more by Frigg, the methodical but loose-cannon AI first introduced in Duel to the Death (2018), turns on them?

Proficient but eminently predictable. Amid all the time shifts and embedded backstories, the most surprising feature is how little the boundary-challenged AI, who gets into the case more or less inadvertently, differs from your standard human sidekick with issues.

Pub Date: April 2, 2019

ISBN: 978-1-5011-5101-9

Page Count: 352

Publisher: Gallery Books/Simon & Schuster

Review Posted Online: Feb. 19, 2019

Kirkus Reviews Issue: March 1, 2019

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