Tag Archives: mystery

Girls of Yellow – Blitz

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Mystery,
Thriller
Elise
De Jong/Sami Ali Book 1
Publisher:
Penwood
Published:
May 2018
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Imagine
a world where modern governments failed their citizens and long-simmering
conflicts escalated into global war. Imagine if its survivors migrated toward
those who share the same faith. Imagine the continents are ruled by religions.
When
the mysterious death of a teenage girl triggers memories of a similar childhood
event, police Detective Sami Ali becomes consumed with solving her murder.
Persecuted by the shame of his past, Ali will stop at nothing to find the
killer, even if his investigation puts his wife and daughter at risk.
As
he follows the clues, Ali collides with another lost soul – a foreign spy.
Elise De Jong’s official mission in Eurabia involves the acquisition of a
priceless item that could shift the balance of power among the theocracies. But
she also has a personal objective – to find her last living relative, the
little sister whom she hasn’t seen since her birth.
To
succeed in their missions, Elise and Ali must find common ground despite their
religious differences, for they can depend only on each other.
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Excerpt
Major
Sami Ali knew he’d been assigned the dhimmi’s murder because he was the worst
detective on the Budapest police force. And he understood exactly what his boss
expected him to do – use minimal departmental resources to conduct a basic
investigation, find no evidence of religious cleansing, and bury the case.
Ali
knew such a weak effort rendered him a fraud and he didn’t care. Pride didn’t
pay his daughter’s tuition. His job was to follow orders and provide for his
family. Also, his father had made him take an oath as a child to hate
Christians and Jews for the rest of his life. He didn’t give a damn about the
dhimmis.
The
body had been found at the Matthias Catholic Church, one of only three
remaining Christian churches in the section of the city known as Dhimmi Town.
Gothic  spires decorated with gargoyles
towered above a diamond-patterned roof, green and brown ceramic tiles
glittering in the sun. Ismael, the crime scene technician, was kneeling beside
the corpse near the altar when Ali arrived inside. His friend reminded Ali of a
mongoose – unassuming at first glance, but pity the snake who dared to test his
mettle.
“First
comes Saturday,” Ismael said.
“Then
comes Sunday,” Ali said.
The
salutation had originated in the Middle East during the early twentieth
century, long before the third world war, the collapse of governments and
economies, and the migration of survivors toward people who shared the same
faith.
First
we’ll take care of the Jews, who pray on Saturday, and then we’ll take care of
the Christians, who pray on Sunday.
The
old prophecy had been fulfilled in Arabia. Then, after Muslims flooded Europe,
Sharia law had been enacted throughout the continent. Only the dhimmis
prevented the prophecy from being true in what was now known as Eurabia, too.
And
now there were one fewer dhimmis.
Ali
couldn’t see the corpse. Ismael was hovering over it, blocking his view.
“What
are we celebrating?” Ali said.
“Death
by strangulation,” Ismael said.
“What?
No machete?”
“No
blood. He strangled her with his hands.”
“No
blood. You’ve got to be kidding … Wait. Did you say her?”
“Bruising
on both sides of the neck but no actual prints. He must have worn gloves.”
“Signs
of struggle?” Ali said.
“None
that I can see.”
Ismael
stepped back to reveal a girl’s corpse, a lithe figure with hair the color of
sun-drenched wheat. “Look, A. She can’t be more than fourteen or fifteen.”
“Ish,”
Ali said. The first syllable of his friend’s name was the only sound he could
muster because the sight of the girl had taken him to the place he hoped to
never revisit.
“What
a waste,” Ismael said.
Ali’s
childhood memories were secured in an impenetrable vault protected by imaginary
barbed wire, steel walls, and padlocks. Whenever something or someone prodded
the vault, its protective devices tightened. This time, however, its defenses
disintegrated and the locks sprang open. Out streamed the vision he loathed so
much it made him long for sudden death.
It
was all in the past, Ali tried to tell himself, but no one could detect a lie
more easily than a cop, even a lousy one. A similar-looking girl was lying
before him. And she, too, was dead.
“The
eyes,” Ismael said. He reached over and lifted the dead girl’s eyelids.  “You see the eyes?”
They
looked like aquamarine jewels.
Of
course Ali had noticed the eyes, as surely as he’d noticed the girl’s oval
face, alabaster skin, and golden locks. It wasn’t their beauty that shocked Ali
and Ismael, but rather their presence in their sockets, because the typical
religious cleansing involved their removal. Lower your head – submit to Islam –
lest your eyes be snatched.
Ismael
nodded for Ali to come closer, then glanced in both directions to make sure the
other two technicians taking pictures of the church interior couldn’t hear him.
“She
wasn’t killed here,” Ismael said. “She was brought here after the fact.”
“How
can you be sure?”
Ismail
lowered his voice further. “Because there was a witness.”
Ali
lost his breath. “A witness?” There were never any witnesses in Dhimmi Town, at
least none brave or stupid enough to come forward.
“The
caretaker who called it in. He was here when the killer brought in the body.
Point of entry, front door. Point of exit, front door.
“He
saw the killer?”
“He
was taken to headquarters to give his statement and for his own protection. But
I don’t think it’s his protection your boss will be worried about. Especially
not with the world leaders in town for that conference. Think about it. The
heads of all four kingdoms – the Buddhists, Hindus, Christians and us – all in
the same place. Can’t have religious cleansing when the religions are trying to
find a way to get along, can you?”
Ali
heard the question and understood Ismael’s point. His boss wanted the case buried
quickly. But that mattered less to Ali than Ismael’s previous implication, that
the higher-ups would do everything necessary to make sure the witness was
silenced. To Ali’s own amazement, something compelled him right there and then
to do everything in his power to make sure the witness was heard.
But
was he too late?
Ali
told Ismael he’d be in touch and rushed out of the church.  As he ran toward his car, the call to prayer
sounded. It was the second such call of the day which meant it was just past
noon. The sound of the Muezzin’s mellifluous voice always slowed Ali’s pulse,
drained him of angst and sorrow, and lifted his spirits. The thought of not
stopping whatever he was doing to contemplate the substance of his Islamic
beliefs five times a day was unthinkable.
Yet
that’s exactly what he considered doing the moment the initial call sounded.
The image of the dead girl from his youth gripped him so tightly that he wanted
– no, he needed  – to begin a thorough
investigation of this girl’s murder immediately. One death bore no relation to
the other. More than twenty-five years had past since the first girl had died.
The victims merely resembled each other.
Ali
realized this but it made no difference to him. To say that he’d failed the
first girl was a gross understatement. He couldn’t contemplate repeating the
mistake. Did he even have the skills to solve a murder? Ali wasn’t sure
himself. The other cops called him the Dhimmi Lover precisely because he had no
love for them. It was a joke well-known throughout the force. What would they
say if the worst detective in Eurabia started acting like a real police? The
Dhimmi Lover actually trying to solve the murder of a dhimmi? They’d all get a
laugh out of that one.
When
the second call came for prayer to begin, Ali didn’t stop to face Mecca.
Instead, he climbed in his car, hammered the gas pedal and raced toward the
station. Never before had he thought of the streets of Dhimmi Town as his own.
Who in his right mind would want them?
But
they were his, he realized, whether he liked them or not, just as surely as he
was among the few Muslims not prostrating themselves before Allah in the
capital city of the central region of the Eurabian Caliphate.
Ali
hoped like hell no one recognized him behind the wheel.
 
About
the Author


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Orest
Stelmach is a mystery and thriller writer and the author of the Nadia Tesla
series. His novels have been Kindle #1 bestsellers, optioned for film
development, and translated into numerous foreign languages. Prior to becoming
a full-time writer, Orest was an institutional investment portfolio manager for
twenty-five years. He is a graduate of Dartmouth College and the University of
Chicago Booth School of Business.
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The Cleansing by Richard Luciano Publication Date: June 2, 2019 Genres: Adult, Contemporary, Suspense, Thriller
The Cleansing by Richard Luciano Publication Date: June 2, 2019 Genres: Adult, Contemporary, Suspense, Thriller
  Mystery, Thriller Date Published: March 2019 Publisher: Black Rose Writing "The Last Van Gogh"
  Mystery, Thriller Published: December 2018 Publisher: BookBaby   An Hmong “story cloth,” the Gadsden

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The Scopas Factor – Blitz

 

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Mystery,
Thriller
Published:
December 2018
Publisher: BookBaby
 
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An
Hmong “story cloth,” the Gadsden flag, forged Picassos and a Russian drug
dealer.
How
these disparate elements are linked, is Mike Hegan’s latest challenge in The
Scopas Factor.
Now
on sabbatical from the Chicago Police Department, Hegan will travel from
Chicago to California – where he’ll “meet” his girlfriend’s parents – before
being drawn to the South of France.
Gradually,
each component of his quest will fall into place.
As
if facing down a gang who have committed atrocious crimes in Southeast Asia and
a drug dealing oligarch is a walk in the park – there are the women.
Three
– the traditional one, the aggressive one and the love of his life.
What
about Scopas?  It’s all Greek to Hegan.
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RABT Book Tours & PR
The Cleansing by Richard Luciano Publication Date: June 2, 2019 Genres: Adult, Contemporary, Suspense, Thriller
  Mystery, Thriller Date Published: March 2019 Publisher: Black Rose Writing "The Last Van Gogh"
  Mystery, Thriller Elise De Jong/Sami Ali Book 1 Publisher: Penwood Published: May 2018 Imagine

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The Reaper – Blitz

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Thriller/Mystery
Date
Published:
Spring 2019
Publisher
Hawk Hill Literary
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Against the backdrop of the Spanish Civil War and the rise of the Third Reich, powerful and dangerous interests compete for possession of The Reaper, a painting by Spanish artist Joan Miro. The painting disappears in 1937 at the end of the Paris Exposition, leaving the art world and law enforcement authorities with an unsolved mystery.
Decades later, Magnolia Kanaranza—the gorgeous rags-to-riches estranged mother of struggling artist Hamilton Blethen—contrives to atone for abandoning him as a toddler and covertly arranges to have Blethen offered a million dollars to paint a copy of the vanished Reaper. But Hamilton is convinced he is being asked to paint a forgery, which poses an ethical and ultimately dangerous dilemma for the artist whose career is finally becoming established as a gifted painter of the old masters.
Magnolia’s scheme takes a violent turn in her rise to power as an international media magnate, and a shattered Blethen is forced to seek answers, and redemption, in the mysterious world of The Reaper.



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I’m a storyteller.

Sometimes, I put those stories on paper.

That makes me a writer.

When they get published, I become an author.

But, essentially, I’m a storyteller.

My stories are about people whose lives are altered because of some fissure in the fabric of history; seemingly random occurrences that send ripples through time.   A work of art that disappeared seventy years ago, the reappearance of a white-skinned tribe from the time of the Incas, a treasure hidden by the first witch of Ireland, a hundred-year-old broken covenant: each of them brought tribulation and transformation to contemporary lives.

There are many such historical aberrations.

When one collides with you, I’ll be here to tell your story.
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RABT Book Tours & PR
The Cleansing by Richard Luciano Publication Date: June 2, 2019 Genres: Adult, Contemporary, Suspense, Thriller
The Cleansing by Richard Luciano Publication Date: June 2, 2019 Genres: Adult, Contemporary, Suspense, Thriller
  Mystery, Thriller Date Published: March 2019 Publisher: Black Rose Writing "The Last Van Gogh"
  Mystery, Thriller Elise De Jong/Sami Ali Book 1 Publisher: Penwood Published: May 2018 Imagine
  Mystery, Thriller Published: December 2018 Publisher: BookBaby   An Hmong “story cloth,” the Gadsden

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Surf and Sand – Blitz

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The
Girl In The Seaside Hotel
Literary
Fiction, Mystery
Published:
February 2019
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Surf
And Sand: The Girl In The Seaside Hotel is the story of a young girl and her
family living in Hermosa Beach during the late 1950s, the so-called
“Gidget Era” of surfing.  A
formerly grand old hotel becomes the setting for the girl’s growing obsession with
solving the mysterious disappearance of another girl 21 years earlier in the
hotel’s basement swimming pool.  After a
friend goes missing too, the detective from the original case, now nearing
retirement, is called in to help solve the two cases, which may or may not be
connected.
 
Excerpt
…There
had been a large crowd in the ballroom that Saturday night, as a well-known
jazz orchestra had been playing.  As many
as 300 people.  None of the girl’s
friends reported any suspicious incidents or encounters before the girl went
missing.  Irene Young did not have a
steady boyfriend or local family, and lived with another young woman in
Hollywood, a woman who hadn’t been at the hotel or ballroom that evening.
Irene’s
friends had tried to report her missing much earlier that morning, just after
2AM, with a mildly frantic phone call, but the police had just assumed she’d
just probably gone home in a taxi-cab or with a friend or someone else she’d
met there at the hotel.  And besides she
hadn’t been missing the required 72 hours for a formal report.  Still, a police officer was eventually sent
over just after daybreak, really just to placate her friends. It was all more
or less routine until the shoes and necklace were found.  Then detectives had arrived to ask questions.
There
were no obvious signs that any physical violence had occurred down in the pool
area, but it couldn’t be ruled out either.
Eventually every room in the hotel had been searched for any sign of
violence or evidence that Irene Young had been there.  Nothing was found to indicate she had.  She had simply vanished.
But
one of the newspaper stories that Nell found had included a few of the
witness’s first names and last name initial.
These were the names of Irene’s companions that had been interviewed by
the police. There was a Joey F, a Clark S., and a Lois J.  And one of those names was a Virginia W.  That’s just like mother’s maiden name, she
thought.  Worsham!  Nell had never heard of a Joey F., but there
was Uncle Clark and Aunt Lois.  How could
this be?   It couldn’t be coincidence,
could it?  Sherlock Homes didn’t believe
in coincidence.  Nell didn’t know what to
think.  Or what to do.
About
the Author

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W.B.
Edwards is a retired telephone employee, who took two years of college as an
English major at Rio Hondo in Whittier, California, from 1966 to 1968.  Edwards is a Vietnam era Navy veteran, a
motorcycle enthusiast, surfer, taiji practitioner, and dreamer.  He is an Indie author with two novels
completed, and working on a third.
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  Marni Graff writes two award-winning mystery series: The Nora Tierney English Mysteries and The
  Coming of Age / Mystery / Humor Date Published: June 8, 2019 Publisher: Acorn
Mystery Date Published: March 30, 2019 Publisher: Black Opal Books Research assistant Sarah Mackenzie enjoys
  Mystery, Thriller Date Published: March 2019 Publisher: Black Rose Writing "The Last Van Gogh"

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The Golden Hour – Blitz

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The Lady Evelyn Mystery Series, Book 4
Mystery, Historical Mystery
Date Published: March 26, 2019
Publisher: BookBaby
 
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Lady Evelyn Carlisle has barely arrived in London when familial duty calls her away again. Her cousin Gemma is desperate for help with her ailing mother before her imminent wedding, which Evelyn knew nothing about! Aunt Agnes in tow, she journeys to Scotland, expecting to find Malmo Manor in turmoil. To her surprise, her Scottish family has been keeping far more secrets than the troubled state of their matriarch. Adding to the tension in the house a neighbor has opened his home, Elderbrooke Park, as a retreat for artistic veterans of the Great War. This development does not sit well with everyone in the community. Is the suspicion towards the residents a catalyst for murder? A tragedy at Elderbrooke Park’s May Day celebration awakens Evelyn’s sleuthing instinct, which is strengthened when the story of another unsolved death emerges, connected to her own family. What she uncovers on her quest to expose the truth will change several lives forever, including her own.
With the shadow of history looming over her, Evelyn must trust in her instinct and ability to comb through the past to understand the present, before the murderer can stop her and tragedy strikes again.
Other Books in the The Lady Evelyn Mystery Series
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A Poisonous Journey
The Lady Evelyn Mystery Series, Book 1
Publisher: BookBaby
Published: August 2015
The year is 1925, a time that hovers between two catastrophic wars, a time of jazz and sparkle, and a time of peace and reflection. For Lady Evelyn, struggling to outrun the ghosts of her tragic past, it is a time of transformation.
Left orphaned after a fire when she was only four, Lady Evelyn Carlisle was raised in London by her stern aunt and uncle. Now, twenty years later she has grown restless and is keen to escape her chaperone’s grasp. A letter from her cousin, Briony, living with her husband on Crete, comes at just the right time. Packing what she can, Lady Evelyn makes off for foreign shores.
Welcoming her are not only Briony and her husband, Jeffrey, but also his handsome and mysterious friends, Caspar Ballantine and Daniel Harper. Though the latter carries with him tragic memories of the Great War, Evelyn is glad to be in their company. With the sun warming her back and the dazzling sea in her sights, this fresh start seems destined for happy days ahead. Little does she know . . .
What starts off as a sunny holiday quickly turns into a sinister nightmare, when Evelyn stumbles across the corpse of one of her cousin’s houseguests. Drawn into the mystery surrounding the murder, Evelyn embarks on a mission to discover the truth, forcing her to face her own past as well as a cold-hearted killer. With the help of her cousin, the handsome local police detective, and the mysterious Daniel Harper, will she uncover the truth, before another life is claimed?
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A Darker Shore
The Lady Evelyn Mystery Series, Book 2
Publisher: BookBaby
Published: December 2016
1926: A year has passed since the events of “A Poisonous Journey” and Lady Evelyn has made a home for herself in Greece, living with her cousin, Briony, her husband, Jeffrey and Daniel Harper. Disturbing this island idyll is a letter, which arrives from France with troubling information about the Daniel’s long-believed-dead brother, Henry. A new journey awaits! With the shadows of the Great War reaching out, Lady Evelyn and Daniel voyage to Amiens in Northern France with the aim of discovering the truth behind the ominous letter. Upon their arrival, they are met not with clarity but rather with crime. Murder, to be precise. Is it linked to their presence in France, or even worse, to Henry himself? Evelyn and Daniel must confront their history as they try to make sense of the present before the killer can strike again, and the secrets of the past are lost forever.
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The Study of Silence
The Lady Evelyn Mystery Series, Book 3
Publisher: BookBaby
Published: February 2018
Lady Evelyn Carlisle has returned home to England, where she is completing her degree at St. Hugh’s, a women’s college in Oxford. Her days are spent poring over ancient texts and rushing to tutorials. All is well until a fateful morning when her peaceful student life is turned on its head. Stumbling upon the gruesome killing of someone she thought she knew, Evelyn is plunged into a murder investigation once more, much to the chagrin of her friends and family, as well as the intriguing Detective Lucas Stanton. The dreaming spires of Oxford begin to appear decidedly less romantic as she gathers clues, and learns far more than she ever wished to know about the darkness lurking beyond the polished veneer. Can she solve the crime before the killer strikes once more, this time to Evelyn’s own detriment?
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 Excerpt
Prologue
 
 
 
“The water is wide, I can’t cross o’er.
 
And neither have I the wings to fly.
 
Build me a boat that can carry two,
 
And both shall row, my love and I.
 
 
 
There is a ship and she sails the seas.
 
She’s loaded deep, as deep can be;
 
But not as deep as the love I’m in
 
And I know not if I sink or swim.
 
 
 
I leaned my back up against a young oak
 
Thinking it were a trusty tree
 
But first it bent and then it broke
 
Thus did my love prove false to me.
 
 
 
O love is sweet and love is kind
 
The sweetest flow’r when first it’s new
 
But love grows old and waxes cold
 
And fades away like the morning dew.”
 
A song dances through the valley, bouncing from crag to crag, across the placid surface of the loch. Emerald hills caress the edge of the water as it laps gently against time-worn stones. The day is drawing to a close, the sky a hazy purple where it meets the peaks. The sun’s reflection, an orange orb dipping into a western descent sets the water aflame. A sudden burst of ripples, spreading a fire. The tell-tale plop of a sinking stone. A satisfied chuckle. The crunch of feet flattening the dewy grass.
         It is the way of the young to walk and laugh and stomp about, beauty taken for granted. But youth is not forever, and the performer of the lilting melody, the thrower of the stone, cheerily, blindly trampling across the green, is not immortal.
            A sudden change in the atmosphere, almost imperceptible, the mere beating of a butterfly’s wings.
            Four feet now move along the path; two leisurely and two slowly, furtively, unrhythmic in their gait, stalking, preying. The rustle of a bush to hide behind, the quick dart towards a tree might tell of this new arrival. However, those who are happy rarely fear. Those who are good, rarely anticipate the evil lurking within another.
            The sun touches the lowest peak, resting, it seems, upon that precarious perch.
            A sudden start.
            Silence.
            Two voices.
            A Scream.
            Only two feet leave the glen. Two feet and their owner with blood dripping from trembling hands.
Malia Zaidi
About the author:

 photo The Golden Hour Author Malia Zaidi_zpspqunxxp5.jpg

Malia Zaidi is the author of The Lady Evelyn Mysteries. She studied at the University of Pittsburgh and at the University of Oxford. Having grown up in Germany, she currently lives in Washington DC, though through her love of reading, she resides vicariously (if temporarily) in countries around the world.
Contact Links
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RABT Book Tours & PR
  Marni Graff writes two award-winning mystery series: The Nora Tierney English Mysteries and The
  Coming of Age / Mystery / Humor Date Published: June 8, 2019 Publisher: Acorn
Mystery Date Published: March 30, 2019 Publisher: Black Opal Books Research assistant Sarah Mackenzie enjoys
  Mystery, Thriller Date Published: March 2019 Publisher: Black Rose Writing "The Last Van Gogh"

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