Mags, recently widowed, has retired to tiny Buck’s Gap off the Big Sur coast, content to work her crosswords and discuss mysteries with her book club. Then she discovers the body of a murder victim, a professional puzzle-maker, and is drawn into the investigation. Soon a glamorous FBI agent arrives in town trying to find some stolen diamonds from a long-ago heist that she thinks may be connected. Mags is happy to help the police chief, but she may have bitten off more than she can chew. Fortunately, she has the Buck’s Gap Women’s Auxiliary by her side.
There are several puzzles in the book which can be worked by the reader, including a hybrid cryptic crossword, a Sudoku, and two cryptograms. These provide clues to the murder. The crossword and Sudoku are available online where they can be worked interactively or downloaded and printed out to be worked on paper. Details on how to do so are available in the Appendix. Find this book at The Cryptic Crossword Caper.
The end of times hadn’t been the end of times. It wasn’t even the end of Pittsburgh. But what else to call it? Heaven and Hell and all the other planes had opened up on Earth and the battle was fought. But then it ended, and everything was still here, albeit with more than a few new additions to the taxonomy. If the end of times had come and gone, had God gone too? The Creative had given no sign, renewing the faith of some, destroying that of others. One question prevailed. Whether or not God was still around, what would be the place of mankind in the order of things? As this story begins, Del Ballantine, monster hunter, arrives in a small mountain town to help with the infestation. He soon learns it won’t be as easy as the last ten or so places. One mountain is home to a witch. Another mountain, home to a primordial beast only one man ever lived to speak of. That man hadn’t been able to say much before he went insane though. Ariana, Jeremy, and Reggie make up the house band at the Foothill Hotel and Bar. Though Reggie is content to go with the flow, his band mates are becoming frustrated with their situation. Jeremy, too talented to stay where he is, must care for his nightmare plagued mother. Ariana, who hasn’t yet found herself, finds that the thrills she once easily extracted from her middle-of-nowhere town are beginning to lose their luster. Along the way, Ballantine meets the curmudgeon taxidermist and his uncommonly attractive wife, the no-nonsense hotel owner and her mute husband, a cocksure world traveler come to try his hand at hunting game from Hell, wood devils, shug monkeys, hunner dyers, hellcats, a ghost, and Jessica among many others. There’s action and suspense, magic and mayhem, sex and violence, mixed emotions and questionable deeds. Can the people take their mountains back? And whether or not they succeed, will they find their place? Find this book at The Rogue Mountains.
Rob’s “Year of Culture” gave him purpose last year: to perform and blog about a cultural activity each week. This year he’s at a loss until a mix-up at his ex-girlfriend Marianne’s laboratory leads to limited superpowers. He resolves to win the local tennis tournament, the Hampshire Cup. His best friend, Paul, and his physio, Kate—who can’t resist a superhero on the books—help him. Meanwhile, a supervillain stalks Winchester stealing cultural artefacts—all of which, oddly, have featured in Rob’s blog. Nicknamed the Velvet Vandal by the local press, the crimes become more ambitious and Rob is drawn in.
Soon he, Paul, Kate and Marianne are entangled in a summer of mystery and adventure. Who is the Velvet Vandal? What role does Marianne’s sinister professor play? And can Rob’s powers lead him to discover his true calling? Amongst the rooftop battles, daring raids on an Oxford laboratory, hopes of romance, an escaped anteater, and the morally dubious attempt to win the Hampshire Cup, a thrilling climax approaches. Find this one at Culture Man.
On a cold, misty night in Eugene, Oregon Hazel Reed disappears from outside her ex-husband’s home. Hazel is stunningly beautiful, intelligent and unfaithful. So when she vanishes without a trace a jealous ex-husband is the natural suspect. Alex says she came to reconcile but, the DA thinks otherwise and Alex is convicted and imprisoned for Hazel’s murder. His sister, Alice, refuses to believe that he is a capable of such an act.
Three years pass and the last appeal fails. Alex is in jail and Alice is desperate and alone; until a chance meeting gives her hope.
As her new friend, Steve, helps her peel away the hidden truths and fragile lies holding the prosecution case together they realise that they are revealing a deeper and more sinister mystery.
Without them knowing, finding out what happened to Hazel has become a race against time. You can find this book at Dreams of a Broken Man.