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Ladies of the Law

Try one of these titles and meet those wonderful policewomen who blend their powers of detection with their intuitive abilities to solve crimes.ladies of the law

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Trevor Barnes. A Pound of Flesh.

Scotland Yard Detective Superintendent Blanche Hampton investigates the gruesome murder of a government minister’s daughter and that of another woman killed in exactly the same manner.

Eleanor Taylor Bland. Windy City Dying.

Marti MacAlister, Eleanor Taylor Bland’s popular African American heroine, is forced to confront some extremely personal demons from long ago – her husband, Johnny MacAlister, is long buried, but now someone from Johnny’s past is back, looking for him, and Marti fears she knows who it might be. In the meantime, her work as a suburban Chicago homicide detective has taken her back in time in another way, to a group of children she once counseled, each now four years older and with four more years’ worth of problems. There’s LaShawna, now seventeen and with her own four-year-old daughter; Padgett, all grown up at twelve but still living with his alcoholic mother; and then Jose, fifteen, who’s in the most trouble of them all. He’s been accused of murder, but the Jose whom Marti remembers could not have committed such a terrible crime. Her first step is to find out what could have happened in the past four years to lead Jose to such a desperate act, and she hopes her second step will be to prove his innocence. It won’t be easy, though; just what’s going on with this tight group of kids, and how does it relate to the increasingly foreboding sense of doom Marti gets about the mystery man who’s nosing around the remnants of her distant past? She’s not sure, but she knows she must figure it all out, and soon, before another of the children, or even Marti herself, falls into grave danger.

P.M. Carlson.  Gravestone.

A pre-dawn phone call reporting a brush fire leads Marty to a shallow grave…to charred bits of a wooden cross and a corpse that had once been David Goldstein. Goldstein, a musician, was married to a black woman, and Marty is afraid the killing means the Ku Klux Klan is on the prowl again in the southern Indiana hills. She wants to follow up on the case – but the sheriff has other ideas for his old friend’s little girl. He wants her to investigate Judge Denton’s claims that someone is trying to kill him – and since the judge is dying from natural causes, a series of brain tumors that have made him all but incoherent, Marty feels she’s been fobbed off on a politically motivated dead end. But then the judge indicates that the threat comes from his long-lost daughter, Phyllis, who disappeared when she was thirteen. On a cryptic hint from the judge’s wife, Marty seeks help from Professor Wolfe, an enigmatic biologist specializing in cave fauna. From their first meeting, she gives Marty a unique perspective… startling insights into cycles of deep time and the nature of things that live in darkness. Wolfe’s answers direct Marty to a cave, deep in the Indiana limestone, where a shocking discovery reveals links to the still-unsolved murder of David Goldstein.

Deborah Crombie. Leave the Grave Green.

When a body is found floating in a Thames river lock one morning, Superintendent Duncan Kincaid and Seargeant Gemma James are summoned from Scotland Yard to take on the case.

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Susan Dunlap. Sudden Exposure.

Stripped of her rank as a police detective by a higher-up in the department, Jill is back on the beat again, working patrol. Her most recent assignment? Trying to stop the naked protesters running through the Berkeley hills, decrying the recent city ordinance against nudity. Flagging one of them down, she runs smack into Bryn Wiley – ex-Olympic diver, owner of a thriving neighborhood health club, and local legend. Bryn knows a cop when she sees one, and she distracts Jill from the matter at hand by immediately issuing a vandalism complaint. The likely suspect? Hostile sixties radical Sam Johnson. Along with his old grudges, Sam now has a competing gym of his own. And a $400,000 house in the hills next door to Bryn’s that he’s noisily renovating. But fellow neighbor Karl Pironnen – a reclusive loner with a passion for chess and large dogs – is not exactly a friend to the cops either. And there are all those angry nudists, streaking around au naturel. The stakes turn unexpectedly serious when someone is shot at close range. On the heels of her unearned demotion, Jill now must seek a murderer as bitter and burned out as she sometimes feels herself.

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Tess Gerritsen. The Apprentice.

It is a boiling hot Boston summer. Adding to the city’s woes is a series of shocking crimes in which wealthy men are made to watch while their wives are brutalized. A sadistic demand that ends in abduction and death. The pattern suggests one man: serial killer Warren Hoyt, recently removed from the city’s streets. Police can only assume an acolyte is at large, a maniac basing his attacks on the twisted medical techniques of the madman he so admires. At least that’s what Detective Jane Rizzoli thinks. Forced again to confront the killer who scarred her – literally and figuratively – she is determined to finally end Hoyt’s awful influence…even if it means receiving more resistance from her all-male homicide squad. But Rizzoli isn’t counting on the U.S. government’s sudden interest. Or on meeting Special Agent Gabriel Dean, who knows more than he will tell. Most of all, she isn’t counting on becoming a target herself, once Hoyt is suddenly free, joining his mysterious blood brother in a vicious vendetta.

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Leslie Glass.  Stealing Time.

New mother Heather Rose Popescu had been found battered and unconscious on the kitchen floor of her luxurious Central Park South apartment. Her newborn son is missing, and Anton Popescu, her high-profile attorney husband, seems determined to control the inquiry – and his Chinese wife.  For newly appointed Detective Supervisor April Woo, it’s a case of potential political dynamite. An outraged community is demanding answers. The mayor is pressuring the department to step up the investigation. April’s hostile boss is just waiting for her to fail. And now an examination of the traumatized mother reveals an astonishing fact: Heather Rose never gave birth. If Heather Rose is not the baby’s mother, where did the infant come from – and disappear to? April’s search for the truth leads her from the high-rent districts of Manhattan to the sweatshops and tenements of Chinatown. Here, back in her old precinct, she will be drawn into a maze of deception and violence as she probes the lives of the mysterious Popescu family and Heather Rose’s Chinese kin. But for April the case has yet another layer of significance as it forces her to face the varying degrees of abuse against women, and examine her own role as a Chinese-American female in a white male world.

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Jean Hager.  The Redbird’s Cry.

“The redbird is the daughter of the Sun. And if she had been brought home safely, the people could have brought back their friends from the ghost country…” The tale of the redbird explains the origin of death in Cherokee myth, and it is a story intricately woven into the rich fabric of this remarkable new Molly Bearpaw mystery. Following the acclaimed debut work in this series, Ravenmocker, The Redbird’s Cry solidifies the reputation of Jean Hager, a veteran writer drawing upon a unique contemporary setting and featuring a resilient new heroine. It is autumn in Oklahoma. The woods are strewn with hackberry leaves, and a chill is in the air. For Molly Bearpaw, an investigator for the Native American Advocacy League, it is a lovely time of year, while for her elderly grandmother, it is a time of foreboding. When a terrible crime is committed at the Cherokee National Museum, it fulfills the old woman’s worst premonitions and plunges Molly into a struggle for the truth. At the museum, amidst looms and basket weavings, a bright young lawyer is struck down in a crowd, the victim of a poisoned dart. Is the killer a troubled teenager? If so, was he the pawn of someone more powerful? Molly Bearpaw and Deputy D. J. Kennedy strongly suspect the involvement of the hot-headed leader of the True Echota Band, a group involved in lawsuits against the Cherokee Nation of Oklahoma. Soon Molly is trying to solve not just a murder, but a whole string of crimes. Then when priceless, ancient wampum belts, relics whose powers frighten many traditional Cherokees, are stolen from the museum following the murder, she is sure the murder was caused by something far greater than a personal vendetta.

David Handler. The Cold Blue Blood.

Mitch Berger, a top film critic with a major New York newspaper at a surprisingly young age, has become almost a recluse since his wife died one year ago. He spends his time secluded in his apartment or in the dark recesses of a screening room. Although he continues to dazzle moviegoers and the film elite with his criticism, his editor and good friend, Lacy Mickerson, is alarmed about him. As a scheme to pull him out of the doldrums of his grief, she gives him a nonfilm assignment – to do a color story on the wealthy and social home owners on Connecticut’s Gold Coast. It takes some doing, but in the end Mitch agrees. He is fortunate to find a cottage to rent on Big Sister, the absolute top-of-the-line private island outside the town of Dorset. His landlady, Dolly, is pleasant and friendly, but some of the other inhabitants of this small piece of land, although too well bred to come right out and say it, are not happy to have Mitch – born of parents only one generation away from Eastern Europe and raised on the city’s pavements – arrive in their backyard. But Dolly, whose husband has recently left her, needs the money, and at least she is more than gracious. The discovery of a body during a bout of optimistic gardening in Dolly’s backyard brings on the other main player – Lieutenant Desiree Mitry, one of only three women on the Connecticut State Police major crimes squad, the youngest of the three, and the only black. A dedicated officer, she is the terror of everyone who doesn’t really want to give a home to one of her stray cats. She is, as well, a closet artist and a complicated and beautiful woman, and she intrigues Mitch from the start.

Joan Hess. The Maggody Militia.

Chief of police Arly (that’s short for Ariel) Hanks makes sure there’s law and order in Maggody, Arkansas (pop. 755), which isn’t too difficult considering the only weapon she needs to tote around is a radar gun. Aside from Raz Buchanon’s moonshine still up on Cotter’s Ridge, Maggody is a peaceful little Ozarks town snuggled in the heartland of America, until a group of camouflage-clad patriots march in with maneuvers – and murder. It all begins when a pretty widow named Kayleen opens a pawnshop over the hardware store and buys an old farm out on County 102. The widow is letting a group of survivalists use her back pasture for paint-ball war games during the first weekend of hunting season when bourbon-swigging good ol’ boys with deer rifles shoot at anything that moves…and that might include make-believe soldiers in fatigues. Suddenly Arly has her hands full: burglars are breaking into remote homes throughout the county; Mayor Jim Bob is a missing person, and his wife is having a hissy fit; the very pregnant Dahlia Buchanon is behaving more bizarrely than usual; and Estelle, of Estelle’s Hair Fantasies, gets a surprise inheritance that has the residents of Maggody running for cover. So when a survivalist gets killed, Arly is hunting for a motive, a means, and a murderer.

Tami Hoag. Night Sins.

Every once in a while a thriller comes along that stretches the limits of the genre and takes readers places they have never been before. There are the fears we hide deep inside where the real world isn’t supposed to touch us. In the night – any night – these fears, terrors, and emotions can drive us to commit the darkest sins. Now there is an author who knows these secrets and has woven them into a relentlessly compelling thriller, a book of such page-turning power that it is time to declare there is a new modern master of suspense – and her name is Tami Hoag. Deer Lake is a small Minnesota town where people know their neighbors and crime is something that happens on the evening news. But the illusion of safety is shattered when eight-year-old Josh Kirkwood disappears from a hockey rink as he waits for his mother to pick him up after practice. The only thing the police find is his duffel bag with a note stuffed inside: ignorance is not innocence but SIN. With each passing hour the search for Josh takes on a more ominous intensity. For Megan O’Malley, the new regional officer of the state criminal investigative unit, it is the first test of whether she can cut it in the all-male world of local cops. For police chief Mitch Holt, it is a frightening reminder of the big city crime that devastated his life before he fled to Deer Lake. All the while someone watches, preparing the next move in a deadly game to which only he knows the rules, a game of terrifying clues leading to one final twist of the trail – and a snare set by a warped mind as black as death, as guilty as sin….

J.A. Jance. Dead to Rights.

As the daughter of a local lawman, Joanna learned early about the world’s evils, and felt uniquely prepared for even the worst cards life could deal her. But when her young husband, an Arizona policeman, was murdered – leaving her a widow and the single mother of a nine-year-old girl – it was time to fold or play, and Joanna played to win. Not only did she expose the criminal conspiracy that had robbed Andy Brady of his life, but she bluffed her way into the position that, by rights, should have been his: Sheriff of Cochise County. Attempting to put her pain on the back burner, Joanna struggles daily to find the strength to go on – as mother to Jenny…and as the leader of her silently doubting deputies. Those doubts have become considerably more vocal now that Joanna has placed herself out on a limb as the only believer in ex-cop Hal Morgan’s innocence. On the day when Bonnie Morgan should have been celebrating a joyous nineteenth wedding anniversary, she was fatally mowed down by a drunk driver while crossing a street in downtown Phoenix. Her husband Hal has never stopped protesting the wrist-slap of a sentence that passed for justice. So when the driver is found almost a year to the day later, baked to a crisp in his smoldering barn, all fingers point to still-grieving widower Hal. All fingers, that is, except Sheriff Joanna Brady’s. Refusing to accept the easy answer to a seemingly open-and-shut case of murder – battling the predictable charges of sympathy-run-amok that have been lowered by her seasoned underlings – Joanna is suddenly caught in a maelstrom of danger and deception. As she trails the truth from a ghostly mining camp to the rocky spires of the Chiricahua National Monument, gut instinct quickly evolves into the will to survive when Joanna finds herself not only upholding the law but, instead, battling for her own life. Because now a killer is turning his sights on her.

H.R.F. Keating. Dreaming Detective.

“Who killed the preacher?” Harriet Martens is taken aback. This is her first face-to-face meeting with the new Chief Constable, and he shot the question at her the moment she took the seat in front of his desk. Why is he setting out to antagonize her? He must be talking about the famous Boy Preacher, who was murdered there thirty or more years ago. “He’s bringing it up now because the old hotel that was the scene of the crime is about to be torn down.” And he is giving Harriet the mystery to solve because he wants her out. The media has made so much of how young he is, he has to establish himself and doesn’t want a much publicized female detective to steal any glory from him. The preacher’s murder has been unsolvable for more than thirty years: Harriet’s inevitable failure to solve it now will take care of her… Harriet was still at school when the murder happened. As she remembers, there were six or seven people, avid disciples, in a position to have killed the wildly popular young figure. But no one had ever been able to point out the killer – or killers – from that list. How in the world could she do it now? DNA, the chief told her. Find out whose DNA was on the boy’s body, and get the confession out of him. Oh, certainly, easy as pie. But Harriet has more than earned her title of The Hard Detective. She is determined to turn the tables on the chief, so determined that the case takes over her dreams. And it is, indeed, a dream that pries open the door leading her to the answer.

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Marne Davis Kellogg. Nothing But Gossip.

In Marne Davis Kellogg’s fourth mystery featuring Lilly Bennett, the intrepid marshal of Bennett’s Fort, Wyoming, and president of Bennett Security, finally makes it to the altar – but not before stopping a one-man crime wave, being abducted in the trunk of a Cadillac, and confronting a murderer over a rose-strewn casket.

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Joe Konrath. Whiskey Sour.

Lieutenant Jacqueline ‘Jack’ Daniels is having a bad week. Her live-in boyfriend has left her for his personal trainer, chronic insomnia has caused her to max out her credit cards with late-night home shopping purchases, and a frightening killer who calls himself ‘The Gingerbread Man’ is dumping mutilated bodies in her district. Between avoiding the FBI and its moronic profiling computer, joining a dating service, mixing it up with street thugs, and parrying the advances of an uncouth PI, Jack and her binge-eating partner, Herb, must catch the maniac before he kills again….and Jack is next on his murder list.

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Margaret Maron. Fugitive Colors.

Losing a fellow officer in a shoot-out is enough to rattle Sigrid’s cool, controlled demeanor. Discovering that her lover, famous artist Oscar Nauman, has also been killed devastates her. She withdraws from her colleagues, her police career, her life. But it is art she cannot escape: Oscar has left her his paintings worth millions, and galleries are clamoring to sell them. Just as the early Italian masters painted a wash of vermilion over green to produce the warm flesh tones of their Madonnas – only to have time fade the red to leave a deathlike tint behind – Sigrid begins to see through the vibrant surface of New York’s art world to the interplay of revenge, greed, and power beneath. These are motives she recognizes from her police work as catalysts for murder. And when a shocking homicide occurs, it hits close to home for Sigrid, implicating Oscar’s friends and fellow artists in the crime. Her desire to find the killer now puts Sigrid back on the job and out on the street. More than justice is at stake: whether she can still cut it on the force and whether she will ever again dare to love hangs in the balance. Fugitive Colors goes beyond the whodunit genre to combine a top-notch mystery with a portrait of a woman cop indelibly changed – able to notice the background details, the subtle shades, and the feelings that ultimately damn or save us all.

Francine Mathews. Death in a Mood Indigo.

For two small children playing on Sconset beach, it was the stuff of nightmares…digging in the damp sand, hoping to unearth buried treasure, only to uncover instead a human skeleton. But for Detective Merry Folger, who’s investigating the case, the real horror isn’t revealed until she learns that the bones belonged to a woman who was apparently murdered anywhere between two and ten years ago. Who was she, and who could have hated her enough to strangle her and bury her deep in Sconset dunes? Faced with the daunting task of trying to put a name to the remains, Merry begins sifting through Nantucket’s missing persons file…and turns up several possibilities. The most compelling prospect is Dr. Elizabeth Osborne, a beautiful, Harvard-educated psychiatrist who mysteriously vanished from the beach eight summers ago. Merry doesn’t know if Elizabeth is her victim, but looking through her records she knows that the woman got a raw deal. The detective who handled her case never followed up, never questioned her husband’s role in Elizabeth’s suspicious disappearance. Angered by the negligence of a fellow cop, Merry decides to reopen the case…only to have her attention diverted by a shocking piece of news that changes everything. The Massachusetts police have just arrested a man who can be linked to the grisly unsolved murders of five young women found in various parts of Boston and its suburbs, five young women who were strangled to death…like a certain unidentified woman from Nantucket. Suddenly, as Merry ponders the fact that her Sconset beach skeleton could have been a serial killer’s first victim, the FBI and the media descend on the crime scene like bees on a Nantucket daffodil. But something doesn’t add up, and just as Merry is beginning to wonder where this case is leading, another young woman is found brutally murdered on the island. And it isn’t long before the dedicated cop finds herself defying her police chief father to play cat and mouse with a killer intent on making her the next target.

Carol O’Connell.  Mallory’s Oracle.

At the novel’s center is Kathleen Mallory, an extraordinary wild child turned New York City policewoman. Adopted off the streets as a little girl by a police inspector and his wife, she is still not altogether civilized now that she is a sergeant in the Special Crimes section. With her ferocious intelligence and green gunslinger eyes, Mallory (never Kathleen, never Kathy) operates by her own inner compass of right and wrong, a sense of justice that drives her in unpredictable ways. She is a thing apart. And today, she is a thing possessed. Although more at home in the company of computers than in the company of men, Mallory is propelled onto the street when the body of her adoptive father, Louis Markowitz, is found stabbed in a tenement next to the body of a wealthy Gramercy Park woman. The murders are clearly linked to two other Gramercy Park homicides Markowitz had been investigating, and now his cases become Mallory’s, his death her cause. Prowling the streets, sifting through his clues, drawing on his circle of friends and colleagues, she plunges into a netherworld of light and shadow, where people are not what they seem and truth shifts without warning. And a murderer waits who is every bit as wild and unpredictable as she….

Lilian O’Donnell.  Blue Death.

Forty-one-year-old Norah Mulcahaney’s star is on the rise. Not only has she passed the rigorous NYPD captain’s exam, thus achieving a long-held career goal, but she’s also succeeded in adopting a baby boy, whose presence fills her with a joy she never could have imagined. But her happiness is shattered when, within a month’s time, four fellow officers die, apparent suicides. When Chief James Felix, Norah’s longtime friend and mentor, asks her to pay a visit to one of the grieving widows, she is immersed in a controversial case that hits much too close to home. To complicate matters, Norah faces every working mother’s nightmare when her nanny suddenly leaves, forcing her into a child-care crisis. When her superior refuses to approve her makeshift home office, Norah enlists the help of Chief Felix – until her beloved friend very nearly becomes the fifth policeman to die. Spurred by the personal turn the case has taken, Norah must prove the deaths were murders, not suicides.

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Barbara Paul. Fare Play.

Who said life as a lieutenant in the New City Police Department was easy? Three weeks into her new promotion, Lieutenant Marian Larch faces one of the most puzzling cases of her career: how did someone commit a murder, with no witnesses, on a crowded crosstown bus? Retired businessman Oliver Knowles got on the Thirty-fourth Street bus at Second Avenue. A few blocks later he was dead, shot in the chest, a copy of Newsweek temporarily hiding his wound from his fellow passengers. None of them spotted the assassin. Nor did the trained operative who was following Knowles for a private investigative agency. These are high-profile cases that Marian must solve if she’s to prove to the doubting men above and below her in the department that she deserves her new rank. And just to complicate matters, former lover Curt Holland reappears in Marian’s life, both helping and hindering Marian’s investigation. From the opening page to the diabolical Barbara Paul twist at the end, Fare Play will delight readers with its authentic detail and wicked wit.

Clyde Phillips.  Blindsided.

Jane and her partner on the force, Kenny Marks, are moving in together, making a go of something they’ve been circling for years. That’s when Skip Lacey, an ex-cop turned junkie, is found at the rail yard with his eyes gouged out. Then, six fellow cops at the precinct are murdered in the same gory fashion, shot in the eyes, one by one. Most chilling of all, the killer is coldly efficient, leaving behind no clues, no motives, no evidence. Jacques Carpenter, a man once arrested and imprisoned for possession of a single ounce of marijuana, is bent on revenge. Recently paroled after fifteen years of hard time, Carpenter has returned to San Francisco with a clear, pure intention – to kill those responsible for sending him away. And as their friends at the precinct fall victim to Carpenter’s relentless brutality, soon only Jane and Kenny are left to take down this vicious, remorseless madman. They don’t know it yet, but Carpenter has already chosen his next target – Jane.

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J.D. Robb. Naked in Death.

It is 2058, New York City. Technology completely rules the world, but for New York cop Eve Dallas, one irresistible impulse still rules the heart: passion. New York police lieutenant Eve Dallas is hunting for a ruthless killer. In more than ten years on the force, she’s seen it all – and she knows that her survival depends on her instincts. Still, she’s going against every warning telling her not to get involved…with Roarke, an enigmatic Irish billionaire – and a suspect in Eve’s murder investigation. But passion and seduction have rules of their own, and it’s up to Eve to take a chance in the arms of a man she knows nothing about – except the addictive hunger of needing his touch.

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Lisa See.  Flower Net.

In the depths of a Beijing winter, during the waning days of Deng Xiaoping’s reign, the U.S. ambassador’s son is found dead – his body entombed in a frozen lake. Almost simultaneously, American officials find a ship adrift in the storm-churned waters off Southern California. No one is surprised to find the fetid hold crammed with hundreds of undocumented Chinese immigrants – the latest cargo in the Chinese mafia’s burgeoning smuggling trade. What does surprise Assistant U.S. Attorney David Stark is his discovery that among the hapless refugees lies the corpse of a Red Prince, a scion of China’s political elite. The Chinese and American governments suspect that the deaths are connected, and in an unprecedented move they join forces to solve this cross-cultural crime. Stark heads for Beijing to team up with police detective Liu Hulan, whose unorthodox methods are tolerated only because of her spectacular investigative abilities. Their investigation carries them (and the reader) into virtually every corner of today’s China – from its glitzy karaoke bars, where the nation’s new elite cuts deals, to the labyrinthine hutongs, where ordinary Beijingers have lived and died for centuries. Stark and Liu’s search leads them from the Chinese capital to Los Angeles’s thriving Asian community and turns up a bloodthirsty murderer at the very apex of China’s power structure. Their work together also ignites their passion for each other – a passion forbidden by their respective governments and one that plays right into the hands of a serial killer.

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Sheldon Rusch. For Edgar.

The crime scene was a work of art: a blanched human skull impaled to a tree in a public park and trailing a brightly colored ribbon. The brilliant twist was the delicate scarab, hand-painted a lustrous gold. State Police Special Agent Elizabeth Taylor Hewitt recognizes the grim tableau – only the first in a series of slayings that pay tribute to the tales of Edgar Allan Poe, committed by a madman known only as The Raven. Trying to anticipate the murderer’s next move, Hewitt seeks the help of Professor Scott Gregory, her former lover and an expert on Poe. Struggling to understand the ghoulish motives of the killer – by delving into the twisted imagination of literature’s macabre genius – they are quickly caught up in a race against time, as Hewitt herself becomes a pawn in The Raven’s triumphant endgame.

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Julie Smith. Crescent City Kill.

Who or what is The Jury? To her horror, NOPD detective Skip Langdon discovers it is a new, national, fast-growing, and very volatile organization headquartered in New Orleans. Its mission: to execute those who have “escaped” prosecution. What’s more, Skip perceives that behind this deadly, clandestine group lies the evil brilliance of her old adversary, charismatic con man and cold-blooded killer Errol Jacomine. She’s been waiting for Jacomine to orchestrate his twisted plan for revenge. The time is now. However, with a new, honest police superintendent, Skip feels there’s hope for the city she loves. But no sooner does Chief Albert Goodlett take office than he is gunned down. The Jury claims credit for this brazen act of vigilante justice. Does anyone care? Not in New Orleans. But the feds do and so does Skip.

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Aimee Thurlo. Blackening Song.

Promising young FBI agent Ella Clah is shocked to learn that her father has been ritually murdered – and that her brother, a tribal medicine man, is the prime suspect. The elder Clah believed that the Dineh, the Navajo, needed to take advantage of more of the white man’s ways to survive in the modern world. He was vigorously opposed by those who believed that only by embracing traditional ways and beliefs could the tribe stay strong and vital. But that opposition had never been violent before – even the most heated arguments between father and son had never come to blows – and Ella finds it impossible to believe that her gentle brother, who strives to protect and heal those around him, could have killed their father. Breaking FBI rules and jeopardizing her entire career, Ella returns to the reservation to investigate.

Charlene Weir. Up in Smoke. 

Reunions: something to look forward to, something to be afraid of. Police Chief Susan Wren was a relative newcomer to Hampstead, Kansas; fate had led her from her native San Francisco and put her down in this prairie town. When the news came that the governor would kick off his campaign for the presidential nomination with a homecoming rally in Hampstead, Susan was not surprised that it brought together not only old friends, but also old enemies. They had all known one another back when the world was a challenge; now the only one who still had stars in his eyes was the governor. One woman arrives intending to murder the governor; she blames him for a tragedy many years before. Another woman returns to town playing, not for the first time, with the idea of suicide. When a Hampstead woman is kidnapped, thrust into the trunk of a car and spirited away, Susan doesn’t know whether the kidnapping is related to the governor, but she does know that it’s the most urgent, at least at the moment, of her many concerns. The governor’s homecoming party is filled with anger, jealousy, and long-nursed animosities. In the cold, stormy days that follow, Susan encounters tougher challenges than ever before as the emotions build to a firestorm. Danger rises on every side, and in the center is Police Chief Susan Wren, desperately trying to tamp down the flames and hoping that no bodies will be discovered when the smoke finally drifts away.

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Inger Ash Wolfe. The Calling.

Detective Inspector Hazel Micallef has lived all her days in the small town of Port Dundas, Ontario and is now making her way toward retirement with something less than grace.  Hobbled by a bad back and a dependence on painkillers, and feeling blindsided by divorce after nearly four decades of marriage, sixty-one-year-old Hazel has only the constructive criticism of her mother (the former mayor) and her own sharp tongue to buoy her. But when a terminally ill woman is gruesomely murdered in her own home, Hazel and her understaffed department must spring to life. And as one terminally ill victim after another is found, Hazel finds herself tracking a truly terrifying serial killer while everything around her spins out of control. Through the cacophony of her bickering staff, her unsupportive superiors, a clamoring press, the town’s rumor mill, and her own nagging doubts, Hazel can sense the dead trying to call out. Will she hear them before it’s too late?

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Stuart Woods. Orchid Beach.

Smart, attractive, and fiercely independent, Major Holly Barker, the army-brat daughter of a master sergeant, has been forced into early retirement at the age of thirty-seven as the result of a scandalous sexual harassment case. With the help of her dad she makes the move to civilian life, becoming deputy chief of police in Orchid Beach, Florida. But below the calm, sunny surface of this sleepy, well-to-do coastal island town lies a web of evil and deceit that escalates when a colleague and another associate are brutally gunned down. Alone, an outsider with no clues to go on, finding the killers won’t be easy for Holly, and her seemingly low-key new career soon thrusts her into a dangerous game of cat and mouse. Surrounded by a staff of officers she neither knows nor trusts, Holly finds help in a most unexpected source – Daisy, a Doberman of exceptional intelligence and loyalty who quickly becomes her inseparable companion and protector. The closer she gets to unraveling the mystery of Orchid Beach, however, the nearer Holly comes to danger darker and more deadly than any she could ever have anticipated.