A tense, engaging entry in a long-running regional mystery series.


From the Owen Mckenna Mystery Thriller series , Vol. 18

A long-ago crime lies at the heart of this latest novel featuring Lake Tahoe, California–based private eye Owen McKenna.

In this 18th book in Borg’s mystery series, the former San Francisco police detective gets pulled into a case with a Shakespearean quality. As a special courtesy to rich summer resident and hedge fund exec Carston Kraytower, local police sergeant Jack Santiago recruits Owen to take a look at the mysterious death of Kraytower’s close associate James Lightfoot at a party on the finance mogul’s estate. Owen and his dog, Spot, find little that’s suspicious other than the fact that Kraytower and Lightfoot had received several threatening emails. Sebastian Perry, another of Kraytower’s executives, also died, in an apparent biking accident, and it turns out that he and Lightfoot were poisoned with a potent veterinary tranquilizer. A teacher connects the quotes in the emails to the play Hamlet, which leads Owen to unearth a 22-year-old scandal. Then Joshua, Kraytower’s introverted, naturalist son, gets kidnapped in an effort to lure the wealthy man into a trap. Owen and his significant other, entomologistStreet Casey, along with police sergeant Diamond Martinez, find themselves in a race against time to save both Kraytowers. As always, Borg takes readers on an enjoyable trip to Lake Tahoe, bringing the western resort town to life by emphasizing its quirks and offering Owen’s wry observations on the locals and the summer folk. Owen, Street, local lawmen Santiago and Diamond, and especially Spot, the Great Dane with the large personality, remain likable companions, and Joshua and his only friend, the extroverted Sky Kool, are standout new characters. It’s obvious early on that Kraytower has secrets, but Borg effectively hides what they are until well into the volume. Owen puts the solution to the mystery together while playing things close to the vest, and there are additional surprises at the end when the villains are finally revealed.

A tense, engaging entry in a long-running regional mystery series.

Pub Date: July 28, 2020

ISBN: 978-1-931296-28-1

Page Count: 352

Publisher: Thriller Press

Review Posted Online: Oct. 13, 2020

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Dec. 1, 2020

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A compelling portrait of a marriage gone desperately sour.


In December 1926, mystery writer Agatha Christie really did disappear for 11 days. Was it a hoax? Or did her husband resort to foul play?

When Agatha meets Archie on a dance floor in 1912, the obscure yet handsome pilot quickly sweeps her off her feet with his daring. Archie seems smitten with her. Defying her family’s expectations, Agatha consents to marry Archie rather than her intended, the reliable yet boring Reggie Lucy. Although the war keeps them apart, straining their early marriage, Agatha finds meaningful work as a nurse and dispensary assistant, jobs that teach her a lot about poisons, knowledge that helps shape her early short stories and novels. While Agatha’s career flourishes after the war, Archie suffers setback after setback. Determined to keep her man happy, Agatha finds herself cooking elaborate meals, squelching her natural affections for their daughter (after all, Archie must always feel like the most important person in her life), and downplaying her own troubles, including her grief over her mother's death. Nonetheless, Archie grows increasingly morose. In fact, he is away from home the day Agatha disappears. By the time Detective Chief Constable Kenward arrives, Agatha has already been missing for a day. After discovering—and burning—a mysterious letter from Agatha, Archie is less than eager to help the police. His reluctance and arrogance work against him, and soon the police, the newspapers, the Christies’ staff, and even his daughter’s classmates suspect him of harming his wife. Benedict concocts a worthy mystery of her own, as chapters alternate between Archie’s negotiation of the investigation and Agatha’s recounting of their relationship. She keeps the reader guessing: Which narrator is reliable? Who is the real villain?

A compelling portrait of a marriage gone desperately sour.

Pub Date: Dec. 29, 2020

ISBN: 978-1-4926-8272-1

Page Count: 288

Publisher: Sourcebooks Landmark

Review Posted Online: Sept. 30, 2020

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Oct. 15, 2020

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Crave chills and thrills but don’t have time for a King epic? This will do the job before bedtime. Not that you’ll sleep.

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Horrormeister King follows a boy’s journey from childhood to adolescence among the dead—and their even creepier living counterparts.

Jamie Conklin sees dead people. Not for very long—they fade away after a week or so—but during that time he can talk to them, ask them questions, and compel them to answer truthfully. His uncanny gift at first seems utterly unrelated to his mother Tia’s work as a literary agent, but the links become disturbingly clear when her star client, Regis Thomas, dies shortly after starting work on the newest entry in his bestselling Roanoke Saga, and Tia and her lover, NYPD Detective Liz Dutton, drive Jamie out to Cobblestone Cottage to encourage the late author to dictate an outline of his latest page-turner so that Tia, who’s fallen on hard times, can write it in his name instead of returning his advance and her cut. Now that she’s seen what Jamie can do, Liz takes it on herself to arrange an interview in which Jamie will ask Kenneth Therriault, a serial bomber who’s just killed himself, where he’s stowed his latest explosive device before it can explode posthumously. His post-mortem encounter with Therriault exacts a high price on Jamie, who now finds himself more haunted than ever, though he never gives up on the everyday experiences in which King roots all his nightmares.

Crave chills and thrills but don’t have time for a King epic? This will do the job before bedtime. Not that you’ll sleep.

Pub Date: March 2, 2021

ISBN: 978-1-7890-9649-1

Page Count: 256

Publisher: Hard Case Crime

Review Posted Online: Dec. 26, 2020

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Jan. 15, 2021

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