Murder Circle


February 13th, 2009

Left Coast Crime is just around the corner and here are some of the attendees I hope to hook up with!

A Canadian who writes about Los Angeles, Pat Brown creates a little LA MISCHIEF. LAPD homicide detective David Laine has trouble coming out of the closet. What’s worse is that a potential significant other is either the prime suspect in the investigation of a sadistic killer or the next victim. If you want to see Detective Laine’s hot ride, go on Brown’s website and take a gander at the ’56 Chevy sport coupe.   

A Hawaii Five-O nominee at LCC Hawaii is DEATH OF A COZY WRITER. In her debut novel, G.M. Malliet takes us to England where a millionaire mystery writer rewrites his life by announcing his elopement to a possible murderess. An heir falls when smashed with a medieval mace, and Detective Inspector St. Just is called in to break through the English reserve of the wealthy to solve the crime.

ANGEL FALLS, the third Mike Travis mystery by Baron R. Bircher, is also in the running for the Hawaii Five-O award. What can draw Travis away from his scuba charter business and back to being a detective? The disappearance of a teenage girl. Designer drugs, violent sex and his own demons turn paradise into a tropical hell. Bircher, who lives in Hawaii, is tempting LCC attendees to try two Kona lethal brews: Killer Coffee and Tropical Noir.

Where there’s A TRACE OF SMOKE, there’s fire. We’ll all have to wait until May to get copies of Rebecca Cantrell’s novel of 1931 Berlin, a crime reporter with a cross-dressing brother and an orphan who thinks they are both his parents. Hannah Vogel, devastated by her brother’s murder, conducts an investigation that goes to the top ranks of the Nazi party.

Fast forward 7 years to Jerusalem in 1938. WWII is on the horizon, but American graduate student Lily Sampson is busy with an important archeology dig. When murder, theft of artifacts and no help coming from British authorities, Sampson must conduct her own investigation. A FLY HAS A HUNDRED EYES and Aileen Baron has a terrific mystery.

Attorney Ken Isaacson makes his fiction debut with SILENT COUNSEL. When a wealthy man commits a hit-and-run, he contacts attorney Scott Heller. Keeping the man’s identity secret while negotiating a plea agreement brings in the question of attorney-client privilege.

Out just in time for Left Coast Crime is Sue Ann Jafferian’s latest, BOOBY TRAP. In the fourth outing, plus-size Odelia Grey is after the Blond Bomber, a serial killer who targets busty blonds. She would never suspect the plastic surgeon except that the info came straight from the doctor’s mother. Can she “bust” the killer? A titillating read (I did NOT just say that!).

Final note: Congrats to Murder Circle favorite Julie Hyzy for the Lovey win for STATE OF THE ONION, as well an award in the Thriller category with Michael Black for DEAD RINGER. Good show!

Allin Vexes Vancouver; Fradkin Chases Dreams; Dietz’ Big Strangle

February 4th, 2009

O Canada! I’m devoting the Murder Circle to Canadian authors I hope to meet in Hawaii next month.

Author Lou Allin relocated to Vancouver Island, Canada, and set a new series in the region. Royal Canadian Mounted Police Corporal Holly Martin works the Fossil Bay beat with Sikh sidekick Knox Singh. Methamphetamine is the scourge of the island in AND ON THE SURFACE DIE.

Heroin is the source of murder in the sleepy village of Trafalgar, BC. Constable Molly Smith and Sgt. John Winters are on the case in this second book of the series by Vicki Delany. VALLEY OF THE LOST is coming out this month and hopefully will find its way to Left Coast Crime, Hawaii. 

Drugs are also involved with a teen’s murder in DREAM CHASERS. In the 6th book of her award-winning series, Barbara Fradkin’s Ottawa Police Inspector Michael Green deals with the nightmare of people protecting a suspect. The Inspector’s own daughter is at risk!  

THE RIVER RUNS ORANGE in R.J. Harlick’s latest Meg Harris mystery. During a whitewater trip, Meg finds skeletal remains that stuns the archaeological world. However, her friends, the Migiskan Algonquin, claim rights to the find as part of their ancient beliefs. New blood is shed and Meg faces raging waters and a forest fire in her search of a killer. 

By the time Denise Dietz returns from LCC, the large print version of STRANGLE A LOAF OF ITALIAN BREAD should be ready to hit the shelves. Pass the flavored dipping oil!

With three series from Mary Jane Maffini to choose from, it’s hard to decide which to feature on the Murder Circle. I’m going with the latest Charlotte Adams mystery (my sister’s name is Charlotte). Love the title: THE CLUTTERED CORPSE. Charlotte is a professional organizer who is forced to come out of the closets when murder messes up her life. This is the second in the series that brings a new meaning to “Law and Order.”

Alex Brett manages to straddle the line at the LCC Hawaii convention. COLD DARK MATTER has sleuth Morgan O’Brien traveling from Ottowa to Big Island when an astronomer is found hanging from a telescope. Colleagues don’t care if it’s suicide or murder–just where the hell are the research diaries?

Ditto with ALOHA, CANDY HEARTS. The official book launch isn’t until May, but I’m hoping Anthony Bidulka has copies at LCC. Russell Quant is a PI I think I’d like to get to know. He’s on a treasure hunt in this latest adventure, but I think the real treasure is the colorful character from Saskatoon.

Look for photos of these authors and more when I return from the convention. Life’s a beach, isn’t it? ALOHA!

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