Tag Archive | Crime

Electric Eclectic Book Blatt Day

Electric Eclectic

Today is Electric Eclectic Book Blatt Day.

If you see a post anywhere, can you please share it.

All books are novelettes and quick reads.

Visit the website to find out more.

 

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A Cry in the Night Φ Distant Time Φ Down by The River Φ One Christmas

 

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The Chaconne Φ Seed Money

 

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Miriam’s Hex Φ North to Maynard Φ Mechanical Mike Φ The Orb Φ Three Floors Up

 

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Chantilly Lace Φ Phantom Footprints Φ Operation Debt Recovery

 

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Old Habits Φ Ain’t She Sweet Φ April Showers Φ Burned Toast Φ Dark at the Top of the Stairs

 

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Loysa’s Carabao Φ Morris Morris

 

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Liberty Φ Ambergris Φ Maggie’s Gravy Train Φ Mark of The Hyena

 

 

Electric Eclectic BooksBooks & Authors
Seven Days of Electric Eclectic Novelettes
Murder Monday
Take a Trip Tuesday
Way Back in Time Wednesday
Thriller Thursday
Family Friday
Supernatural Saturday
Scary Sunday

 

 

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Five on Friday

5onFriday

 

Five Books – One Series – One Author

Looking for a good, clean and easy to read mystery series?
Try the Charlie McClung Mysteries by Mary Anne Edwards

 

Brilliant Disguise

Book 1

Brilliant DisguiseAre you sure you could tell the difference between murder and suicide?

Having had more than enough of the big city, Detective Charlie McClung moves to a small town looking for a simpler life. Turns out his first case is the most complicated of his career.

A young woman is found shot and while everyone is telling him suicide, his gut, and the dead woman’s beautiful neighbor, are telling him something quite different.

How far can he dig before he uncovers secrets never meant to be unearthed? Throw in a shady police chief and an unexpected love interest and McClung quickly finds himself with more trouble than he ever imagined.

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My review:

Mystery and romance rolled up into one story.

The characters are well developed and colourful.

The descriptions and detail drew me in.

The book was intriguing, well-written, and kept me guessing until the end.

 

A Good Girl

Book 2

A Good GirlFor Charlie McClung, going home to Virginia with Marian was supposed to be a joyous occasion, but upon arrival at his childhood home, he’s met with a note instead of his family. “Don’t worry, Love, we’re all okay. Come to the shop. A dead girl was found in an armoire delivered just now. Huggies, Ma”

Charlie is quickly recruited to help solve the murder of a young girl who was on the path to becoming a nun. The suspects begin to mount as Charlie delves deep into the girl’s life revealing a sordid and ugly side of the town’s good girl.

“Is there anything more fun to read than a book that’s equal parts captivating mystery and charming romance? A GOOD GIRL will keep you on the edge of your seat guessing and will warm you to your bones as Marian and Charlie, meant for each other, race to the end.

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My review:

The second book in the series picks up soon after the first, with another crime and another mystery.

It introduces us to Charlie’s extended family who were fun and likeable. The introduction of so many new characters was done in such a way as to not overwhelm you.

Another well-written mystery, although this time I did have the suspect pegged before the end. 😉

 

Criminal Kind

Book 3

Criminal KindIt’s the perfect setting for a romantic getaway at sea: Caribbean breezes, clear blue skies, passionate nights, and murder? Not exactly what Detective Charlie McClung and Marian had in mind for their honeymoon.

When one of their fellow passengers is murdered on her 35th wedding anniversary, Charlie and Marian get pulled into the investigation. Who would want to kill poor Tammy Ferguson in such a brutal way?

As Charlie uncovers more sordid details about Tammy and her husband, Peter, it becomes clear that someone else has found the same skeletons in the Ferguson’s closet and Tammy has paid the price. Is Peter next?

Trapped on the ship with an insidious killer, shadows seem more ominous and even the most innocent faces seem sinister. Has Charlie inadvertently put Marian in harm’s way? How long does Charlie have before the hunter becomes the hunted?

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My review:

I felt like I was holidaying with some good friends in the third book in the series. I joined Charlie and Marian, on their honeymoon cruise, which included an unexpected, and mysterious death.

Marian and Charlie are well-developed characters and there is a wonderful chemistry between them.

The murder ‘weapon’ in this story was quite creative and well thought out.

I had no idea who the murderer was this time, or their motive, until near the end.

 

Sins of My Youth

Book 4

Sins of My YouthSecrets, lies, and revenge. What a deadly combination!

When the owner of a local strip club is found with his throat slit, Detective Charlie McClung has only one obvious suspect: his wife’s best friend, Joan.

Even though Charlie finds her clutching a bloody knife while standing over the body, he has been around long enough to know that crime scenes aren’t always as they first appear. But as other suspects become victims themselves, Charlie must delve deeper into Joan’s dark and seedy past to prove her innocence.

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My review:

Reading these books is like joining a group of old friends and helping them unravel the mystery.

The characters are well developed and colourful, and the descriptions and detail draw you in to the story.

Along with the new murders this book also continues the mystery of the paper hearts.

 

Flirting With Time

Book 5

Flirting With TimeDo you know what it’s like to feel someone stalking you, shadowing every move you make?

For months now, Detective Charlie McClung and his wife have been tormented by an elusive figure, toying with them, almost daring the detective to catch him.

Any hopes that this is the work of a harmless prankster vanish when an innocent man is found brutally murdered.

McClung will go to any lengths to protect his family, but how far is too far?

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My review:

Another wonderful and entertaining mystery in the Charlie McClung series.

Mary Anne Edwards’ books go from strength to strength. The characters continue to develop and the mysteries get more intriguing and suspenseful.

I’ll be looking forward to the next instalment in Charlie, Marian, and their friends lives.

 

Note:

Each book could easily be read as a stand-alone mystery because you are not left hanging, but you wouldn’t have the background or see how Charlie & Marian’s relationship has evolved since the start of the first book and also the developing mystery of the paper hearts.

 

If you do pick up one of these books and read it, please leave a review.
It doesn’t have to be long and detailed, a few words will do 🙂

 

Thriller Thursday

Seven Days of Electric Eclectic Novelettes – Day 4

Operation Debt Recovery.jpg

 

Operation Debt Recovery

by Ian Welch

A short novelette. Brandon is meandering through life. His dreams of a big house, a modern car, and a lovely girl to share it with, is a fantasy. It’s not happening, his job is boring, and his bank account is dismal. Something has to change. Perhaps a holiday in Las Vegas might provide some inspiration, a kick start to a new future.

Or maybe it’s the start of a trip to Hell. Brandon never foresaw the can of worms an exciting week in vibrant Vegas would unlock.

Amazon

 

Review:

Brandon is not satisfied with his mundane life and boring job, he wants more… more money, more excitement.

His trip to Vegas proves not to be as positive as he intends, and the repercussions send him into a downward spiral of debt and despair. Losing his job could be the final straw, but fate has a way of intervening.

Operation Debt Recovery is an interesting read, with a wonderful twist, or two, and you can’t help but root for Brandon, at the same time as berating him for his folly!

Ian Welch is a ‘new-to-me’ author, and I will definitely be adding a couple of his books to my to-read list!

 

Ian Welch:

db57d37e9e079e18c63bf783cad3beb0LIKE most authors I write what I like to read. I blame Wilbur Smith for igniting the passion in me. After being introduced to one of his novels after many years of being ‘too busy to read a novel’ a strange thought entered my brain. ‘Could I write like that?”

I’d like to think my writing is like a good vintage of wine. Every year that ticks over my masterpieces, like the wine, get exponentially better. I’m just hoping I reach perfection before father-time taps me on the shoulder.

Writing about yourself is always hard. I’m a KIWI, after travelling extensively, I’ve come to the conclusion I’m blessed to live in NZ. Brilliant scenery, little crime by world standards (the police don’t carry guns), and a laid-back small population.

I flirted with studying criminal law and accountancy before the lure of the land claimed me. I farmed for many years, owned several city-based businesses, moved to the idyllic Bay of Islands and started writing. And a little fishing.

When I think about my writing credentials my mind immediately moves to a book writing by Sir Bob Jones, a local with an outspoken persona. A bit like an early Donald Trump. Bob’s book was titled ‘The Achievements of the Fourth Labour Government.’ It consisted of 250 blank pages.

My writing resume is slightly better, I dabbled with writing small articles for a local newspaper, my job description was ‘reporter.’ I now have 6 published novels and a few bubbling away in a vast melting pot. I love writing, I’m addicted, it’s my drug of choice. And an occasional bottle of wine.

My first contribution to Electric Eclectic was Chantilly Lace, it was born after a reunion with a group of friends from my teenage years.

They said. “when are you writing A Fifty Shades of Grey?”

Not being one to back down I replied, “I’m starting tomorrow, and you guys have starring roles.”

Website • Facebook • AmazonGoodreads

 

Other Electric Eclectic Novelettes by Ian Welch:

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Chantilly Lace
Phantom Footprints

 

Books by Ian Welch:

Ian Welch

Conspiracy
Broken Wings
Vendetta
Circumstantial Truth
Target
Firestrike

 

 
Seven Days of Electric Eclectic Novelettes

 

Murder Monday

Seven Days of Electric Eclectic Novelettes – Day 1

Dark at the Top of the Stairs

Dark at the Top of the Stairs

by Elizabeth Horton-Newton

In true crime noir style, two hard-boiled detectives investigate the apparently accidental death of a wealthy older man. Found lying dead at the bottom of the stairs in his expensive home, the only other person at home was his wife. While it looks like an accident, the detectives smell a rat. But, even when the crime is solved and the bad guys are wrapped up in neat packages, the story isn’t over.

Amazon

 

Review:

Was it an accident or was it murder? Follow the investigation with detectives, Lou and Joe.

Dark at the Top of the Stairs is told from Lou’s point of view in classic noir detective style.

With dark humour, unforgettable characters and an unexpected twist at the end, this is a great read and ‘would be’ an excellent introduction to Elizabeth Horton-Newton writing.

I say would be, as I’ve previously discovered and read two of Elizabeth’s books!

 

Elizabeth Horton-Newton:

4a30718c591be466e799810f03ae6cfeWhen I was seven years old my father gave me his copy of The Complete Edgar Allan Poe and The Complete Sherlock Holmes. I fell in love. I made up my mind when I grew up I would write horror and mystery books.

Then I hit puberty and decided I needed to toss a bit of romance into the pot. This was possibly a result of my sneaking peeks at my mother’s romances and rather naughty Victorian books, as well as Daphne du Maurier and Harold Robbins novels.

I write in every genre, but particularly enjoy stories with a solid suspenseful plot and characters that step off the page.

Most of the reviews of my writing have complimented my character development. In fact, I have been asked if they are based on real people. Let’s just say, maybe… I live in a hundred-year-old house with my husband, writer Neil Douglas Newton, and my pet familiar, Scout, with frequent visits from our four grown children, six grandchildren, and great-grandson.

Many of my story ideas come to me as I indulge my biggest extravagance, world travel. Next to traveling, my second hobby is photography.

I enjoy penning novels and short stories. Electric Eclectic provides the perfect “vehicle” to share my novelettes, longer than shorts and shorter than longs. These economical and quick reads give readers the opportunity to discover new authors.

What can be better than a short book that doesn’t break the pocketbook?

Website • FacebookTwitter • Google+Pinterest • AmazonGoodreads

 

Other Electric Eclectic Novelettes by Elizabeth Horton-Newton:

Elizabeth Horton-Newton_EE
Ain’t She Sweet
April Showers
Burned Toast
Old Habits

 

Books by Elizabeth Horton-Newton:
Elizabeth Horton-Newton

Riddle
View From the Sixth Floor
Carved Wooden Heart

 

 
Seven Days of Electric Eclectic Novelettes

Five on Friday
Books I Read In January 2016
Books I Read in August 2015

Throwback Thursday

Throwback Thursday

Todays throwback is to my very first interview.  Thanks again to Markie for being my guineapig!

Since this interview Markie has written another four books and a novella in The Undead Unit series; Souls of the Reaper, Blood Lust, Siren Song, Ashes to Ashes, and Undead Christmas: An Undead Unit Novella.

Markie has also released a historical romance set in ancient Egypt, The Pharaoh’s Destiny.

On top of that, she also has short stories in a number of anthologies and a couple of novellas.

• • •

Originally Published: September 14, 2015

An Interview with Markie Madden

Hi Markie, thank you for joining me and agreeing to take part in my first interview.Markie
Firstly can you tell us a little about yourself?

Hi there, I’m glad to be here. I was born in Midland, Texas, though I moved to the small town of Flushing, Michigan, when I was 10. I grew up and went to high school there. Then I married my husband 21 years ago, and we now have 2 daughters. We live in small farm town Fisk (population 326) in southeast Missouri with our three rescue dogs and my horse, Athena, who’s pictured on the front of my Amazon best-selling book Keeping a Backyard Horse.

When did you start writing for publication, what made you decide to put your work out there to be read by others?

My first novel, Once Upon a Western Way was actually written while I was still in high school, though it’s been reworked and edited many times since. But my classmates had a great time reading what I’d come up with the previous night (shh, the teachers aren’t supposed to know we passed these around in class!) and everyone mentioned how I should try to publish it. I solicited publishers on my own (back when some did still accept unsolicited manuscripts), and I even hired an agent for a year when publishers would no longer accept books other than from a literary agent. It wasn’t until 2012 that I became aware of the self-publishing trend, and after that, it’s all history!

Who or what has helped you become a better writer over time?

I have to give kudos to several people here, first to my beta readers (and authors) Claire Plaisted, Sharon K. Miller, and Gary Seaton. All three have offered wonderful advice and helped my writing to become as good as I can get. Also, to writer’s group Scribophile (www.scribophile.com) where you earn karma points by reading and critiquing the work of others until you get enough karma to post work of your own for critique. It’s a wonderful place that all writer’s should check in to. Membership is free, although if you pay for membership you get a few more perks.

How has writing and self-publishing changed the way you read?

It’s funny you should ask that. I don’t read as much as I used to (never seem to find the time, curse that social media that sucks in so much of my daily minutes…!) but when I do read, it seems that I look at the book formatting a lot more than I used to. Or, at least I notice it now. You know, that occasional ‘someone stuck an extra line space in here’ or whatever. I’ve been called Grammar Nazi numerous times and I guess that goes for formatting as well. I’m of the opinion that as indie authors, we can compete with big name authors only by putting out the most professional looking product

What is that one moment you have had as a writer that made you realize you were actually a real author?

I published Once Upon a Western Way on Smashwords in April of 2012. But it seemed as if I was only partly an author, since it wasn’t available in print. I think that moment came when I got my first print book in my hands. That was Keeping a Backyard Horse, just about one year ago now. I’ll never forget that moment of opening the box and seeing the books inside with my name on them.

Tell us about your favorite memory related to reading or writing?

It’s not necessarily related to writing specifically, but it was in English class. ;p In 8th grade we were having trouble remembering prepositional phrases. So Mrs. Sharp, the teacher, began to throw chalkboard erasers around the room. Not purposely at people but I think she came close to boinking one or two. Wherever those erasers landed, she would say it’s under her, or over his head, and so on. As long as I live, I’ll never forget a prepositional phrase!

When you consider your future, what would you like to make happen for you?

I have the first book of my new series out, and I think at the moment I have 6 more books outlined, and ideas for several more, so I think I have enough to keep me busy for a while. I’m disabled from cancer now, so I get to spend my time doing something that I love to do. Couldn’t ask more than that.

What are the hardest and easiest parts about being a writer?

For me, the hardest parts are definitely editing and marketing. I hate to edit so much that I even invented a new word for it: fediting (we used to make up curse words like this when our kids were small, so you get the idea behind that one!), and it seems like I always end up rewriting when I edit, though I’ve hopefully developed a routine with it now after 5 books published. And marketing is just tough for anyone, I think. I’m not much of a social butterfly anyway, and I’m certainly no salesperson! I hate it when I go to the auto parts store for X and they try to tell me that I need to buy Y to go along with it. You know, if I wanted Y I would have picked it up already (and yes, I worked in auto parts for almost 2 years and am guilty of doing this myself, but only when they made me!). But the other side of that coin is if you don’t market, you won’t see any sales.

What is the name of your latest book and what inspired it?

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Fang and Claw is available for Pre-Order at 50% off. Visit Metamorph Publishing for a full list of retailers and formats.

My newest book is called Fang and Claw, and it’s out in paperback now. The e-book is releasing October 4, 2015. The idea for this series came to me in that twilight moment between sleep and wakefulness, and I think it was after a marathon of Supernatural season DVDs! When the inspiration struck, I had the ideas for the first 3 books. Fang and Claw is a crime/paranormal story and the first book in The Undead Unit series. It’s a bit of a future world where Immortal beings (Vampires, Werewolves, Zombies, and more) are known and accepted (at least as much as any minority) by society. They live and work among humans, after taking an Oath not to harm any humans and to abide by all their laws. The Dallas police department has set up and elite new squad dedicated to solving crimes among these Immortals. Lieutenant Lacey Anderson is a Vampire whose entire family was massacred by a pack of Werewolves. Detective Colton Scarber, assigned as Lacey’s partner and second in command, is a descendant of that pack, but Lacey isn’t aware of this from the start. When she finds out the Colton was keeping this to himself, it threatens the fragile beginning of their partnership. And in the meantime, a mysterious suspect and strange physical evidence leads them to solve a case spanning decades, and leaves Lacey with no other choice than to rely on her enemy when her very life is in danger!

And for those of us who are thinking of reading your book, could you tell us what to expect?

One of my beta readers told me after reading Fang in full, “You’re going to be the next JD Robb.” Now, I don’t really care about fame or fortune, but if in being like JD Robb I can leave my readers with the same sense of satisfaction at the end of reading my books as I get at the end of reading hers, then I have to say “Mission accomplished.” That’s all I truly want, for my readers to enjoy the story. After all, I don’t write for myself, though I love to do it. I write for my readers!

Can you tell us anything about any of your current work(s)-in-progress?

Right now I’m about 15,000 words into Souls of the Reaper, which is book two in The Undead Unit series. It involves a rogue Reaper who is stealing the souls of people who are not yet due to pass on. His victims then run around town with no soul or inhibition (you can imagine the havoc this would cause!), and the Reaper himself finds it difficult to hold onto that much extra energy. So he grows more and more psychotic with each steal. It’s up to Lacey and Colton to find him, and stop him, before he graduates to something even worse than stealing souls: stealing lives!

What about your previous books, tell us a bit about them and how we can get our hands on them.

My three other books are Once Upon a Western Way, a dystopian romantic fantasy set in a time of handsome princes, beautiful princesses, an evil foe, and an epic quest. In the end, you’ll never guess who the bad guy really is! No spoilers though!
Kindle EditionPaperback or for other retailers or formats, visit Metamorph Publishing.

Keeping a Backyard Horse is a simple and fun horse care guide aimed for the average horse owner who knows nothing of how to care for these animals (maybe the parent whose daughter says daddy, I want a horse!). The guide is laid out with simple terms, with a glossary included defining horse terms that cannot be avoided. Best of all, it’s narrated by my horse, Athena, who is also featured on the cover!
Kindle EditionPaperback or for other retailers or formats, visit Metamorph Publishing.

And last of all, My Butterfly Cancer is my memoir. It’s an uncensored look at a year in the life of a cancer patient. This book is purposely short (after all, it was just a year) and purposely unedited to an extent; I wanted reader to be able to see and feel just how poorly my brain function was; this was not even a full year post-chemotherapy when I wrote it, and much of the information came from my family members, and there were large chunks of time during treatment that I’m still (blissfully?) unaware of. A portion of the proceeds from the sale of this book goes to cancer charities.
Kindle EditionPaperback or for other retailers or formats, visit Metamorph Publishing

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What do you like to see from your fans, followers, readers, and supporters on your social media sites?

I love it for fans and readers to engage with me after reading my books. One reader even messaged me while she was reading, to discuss questions she had as she made her way through the book. It pleased her as well, because she said she’d never had the opportunity to talk with an author about a story and have the chance to ask all the questions that come to her while she’s reading.

Where can we find you to tell you how amazing we think you are?

Among other places you can find me on FaceBook, Twitter, Goodreads and Pinterest.

And finally… If you were ever stranded on a deserted island what would you miss and which three books would you take along?

If I were stranded on an island I would miss a bathroom! LOL My dad always wants me to go camping. IN A TENT! I don’t mind sleeping on the ground in a tent, but please don’t take away an actual REAL bathroom with a functioning toilet! I don’t think I’d survive! Ha, ha!
My three books if stranded on a desert island? I can’t name three, just let me have my phone! Lol No, really, um…
1) The Black Stallion and Satan,
2) The Mammoth Hunters (Clan of the Cave Bear Series), and
3) Anything by Kay Hooper out of the Special Crimes Unit series!

Thanks again, Markie. I wish you the best of luck on your forthcoming release.!

Secrets? by Christer Tholin

SECRETS BANNER

 
Series: Stockholm Sleuth Series
Author: Christer Tholin
Genre: Mystery Crime Thriller

 

Secrets?

Book 2

“Dammit! She’d made a huge mistake. She’d never make it out of here – they were going to kill her.”

ebook_375x600In the crime novella SECRETS?, fledgling private investigator Elin Bohlander takes on what looks like an easy assignment — at first: to determine if her client’s boyfriend is having an affair with another woman. To do this, Elin follows him to a secluded cabin in the woods, where she soon discovers that what’s actually transpiring is stranger than anyone thought. Having ventured too far, she’s stumbled upon a hornet’s nest and put her life at risk. But it’s too late. Can Elin win the unequal fight against a gang of brutal child molesters?

SECRETS? is the second, standalone book from Christer Tholin’s Stockholm Sleuth Series. In the previous novel VANISHED?, Elin and her colleague Lars solve their first case together.
If you like fast-paced action and surprising twists and turns, then you will love Christer Tholin’s sleuth series.

Amazon * Goodreads

Excerpt:

      “I was attacked,” she finally gasped.
      “What? Are you hurt?” Elin couldn’t believe it. Maja was extremely well trained—she could perform any self-defense move in her sleep. And what did this have to do with the car?
      “No. They only threatened me.”
      “That’s lucky.” Elin breathed a sigh of relief. At least, Maja was unharmed. “But who threatened you? Now please! Tell me the whole story from the beginning.” Elin gave her a penetrating look. “All right, Maja?”
      Maja blew her nose once more and leaned back. “Yeah, OK. So I was walking out of the studio on my way to the underground. Since it was still so light out, I took the shortcut through the park. There was no one in sight other than that guy who’s been following me for the past few days. He was sitting on a bench in the middle of the park. I was trying to decide whether to turn around. But then I thought, ‘This is my chance to find out what this is all about,’ and I walked right up to him. He immediately stood up, and it was only then that I noticed he was wearing a mask. I wanted to go back right away, but when I turned around, there were three other guys standing before me, all with masks as well. I tried to escape to the right, but these guys already had a knife at my throat, and they were restraining me on all sides. Then they pulled me off the path and down into the bushes, and one of them whispered that I should keep my trap shut. I was sure they were going to rape me, and I was desperately trying to figure out how to break free. But then one of them—a tall guy, definitely over six feet—said that they just wanted to talk to me. I didn’t really believe that, but I waited to see what they would say.”
      Elin stared at her, spellbound.
      “I need something to drink,” Maja said.
      Elin rose and went to the kitchen. She had an uneasy feeling for some reason. Four guys, of all things, and one of them very tall. That was surely no coincidence. But why?
      Elin handed Maja a glass of water. Maja drank eagerly. “And what did they want?” asked Elin.
      “They claimed I’d followed them in my car. And that they didn’t like having someone sneaking around behind them. This would be their first and final warning. If they saw either me or the car nearby again, our next meeting would proceed without a lot of talking. They said they’d make short shrift of me.” Maja had tears in her eyes again, and she let out several sobs. “I had to confirm that I understood. I obviously said yes. After that, one of them hit me in the stomach full force, and I blacked out. When I came to again, the four of them were gone.”
      “God, how awful! I’m so sorry—I’m sure they were the same guys I was observing. I just don’t understand why they reacted so viciously. I’ve already put the whole thing to rest. Honestly, Maja, I didn’t want to pull you in. I’m sure it was me they were after.”
      “Yeah, that much was clear to me by then. But did you go back to the cabin another time? You only told me about two surveillances. And the men didn’t see you at all, did they?”
      “Well, yes, they did. The second time, they stopped briefly next to my—I mean, your car. I ducked right away, but they might have written down or photographed the license plate number. I’m sorry—that was my mistake. The first time, I did better and parked around the corner. I’m sure they didn’t see the car that time. Then the day before yesterday, I was there again for the third and last time because I just couldn’t get the whole business out of my head. I wanted to get through the surveillance quickly, so I drove the car down the dirt road to the fork where it turns off to the cabin. On their way back, they obviously drove by your car, but I was hoping they didn’t see it.”
      Maja sighed. “But they did. Did you find anything out?”
      “No, that’s why I put the whole thing to rest. The assignment is done. I just wanted to make sure one more time that nothing new had come up. But it was the same game as the other times: working together on their computers, four guys in two cars—nothing more.”

 

Vanished?

Book 1

“He could only hope he’d get out of here in one piece.”

Cover_final_engl_400x600To come to terms with his recent divorce, Martin, an attorney in Berlin, plans a peaceful vacation – two weeks in a Swedish summer house seem to be the solution. It won’t be peaceful, however, and those two weeks will change his life forever. He takes a liking to Liv, a Swedish woman whom he meets in the neighborhood. Unfortunately, they don’t get to have their first date – Liv disappears under mysterious circumstances. Martin begins his search but soon realizes he can’t find Liv in a foreign country by himself. He hires two private investigators, and their discoveries make everything seem even stranger.

The complexities in this suspenseful criminal case lead to a hunt across Sweden. Martin comes close to finding answers, but his search lands him in very real danger, eventually leading to the first deaths. Soon he‘s wondering if he can get Liv and himself out of this situation alive.

Amazon * Goodreads

Excerpt:

      They left the house and ran to the driveway. There they heard the sound of an engine rapidly approaching.
      “Damn, somebody’s coming. Quick, into the woods!”
      They rushed behind the house and into the trees, where before them was a narrow path. Martin tried to keep his voice muted: “We’ll cut through the woods to my car. Follow me!”
      He followed the wooded pathway for a short stretch, then veered to the right through the trees. It was muddy and difficult to negotiate; that meant they weren’t going to make headway very quickly. “We have to try not to make any noise.”
      Liv nodded.
      They moved slowly around the house. The vehicle had now arrived; it was the black pickup.
      “Shit.” Martin cursed. Liv held on firmly to his shirtsleeve. “Shouldn’t we try to escape through the woods instead?”
      “Do you know your way around here?”
      “No.” Liv looked around. “How far is it to my summerhouse?”
      “Liv, we’re in Dalarna, really close to your husband’s summerhouse.”
      “What?” Liv opened her eyes wider and pressed her hands to her mouth.
      Martin looked at her: “To my car?”
      She nodded.
      They kept moving cautiously through the woods, able to hear the driver getting out and going up to the house. It couldn’t be much longer until he noticed that Liv’s things were missing; then he would go into the cellar and…
      Gradually they put more distance behind them and approached the driveway. Martin looked back and believed they could now leave their cover without risk. It went faster on the driveway; Martin’s shoulder ached with every step, but now was the time to keep his teeth clenched. Just as he unlocked the car, he heard a sound from the house. The man had come out the door and roared something that Martin didn’t understand. Liv looked at him with horror. As fast as they could, they climbed into the car. Martin started it; unfortunately, he still had to turn it around, and there was very little space to do so. Twice he backed up until he could finally drive off. At that very moment, the engine of the pickup revved behind them. He looked in the rear-view mirror; the truck was already approaching them. He hit the gas. The car reacted and lurched forward with a jerk. Martin drove as fast as he could; Liv was frightened; she held on to the armrest and looked around from back to front.
      “Faster! Please!”
      “I’m trying to.”
      Martin pushed the pedal harder. The main road lay in front of them – he knew he wouldn’t make the curve at that speed. Even so he kept driving at the same velocity; a brief glance revealed the pickup directly behind them. The engine was loud, and the black steel fenders in front of the hood were coming dangerously close. At the intersection to the main road, Martin braked slightly, hoping to make it onto the dirt road without landing in the ditch. Gripping the steering wheel with all his strength, the Audi swung around, and it looked like they would make it. But the pickup had other plans. It didn’t intend to make the curve. The driver swerved slightly to the right and rammed the Audi from the side just as they reached the bend. The Audi’s rear end slung around towards the woods. Liv screamed, both airbags deployed and Martin braked with everything in his power. The car came to a stop diagonally across the road.

 

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About the Author:

ChristerThe author grew up in the North of Germany, Schleswig-Holstein. Today, he lives together with his family in Stockholm, Sweden, where he works as management consultant.

Already for ages he has been a great fan of crime stories and therefore, had the desire to write his own crime story with the characters acting in Sweden. This crime-fiction is available under the title “Vanished?”.

The crime novel starts at a slower pace – like Martin’s holidays, but the tension goes up more and more. It comes to a number of surprising turns giving new impulses to the story. Apart from that, the lovely country Sweden is described with the view of a foreigner.

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Organized Crime Queens: The Secret World of Female Gangsters

OCQ--Final Front_424x600From the bizarre world of female Japanese motorcycle gangs to the historic rise and fall of London’s Forty Elephants, the history of female organized crime is both fascinating and strange. These are the stories, both true and legendary of the female crime bosses that broke the mould of feminine gentility. This is The Secret World of Female Gangsters.

Most of society thinks of women as the gentler sex, the sex with more compassion and empathy, not prone to violence. The truth is history, and current events, are littered with stories of violent women who do whatever it takes to get what they want; women who either revel in, or accept as needed, whatever acts of torture, murder and depravity that are required to achieve their goals. We’re not talking about mundane psychopaths that kill their children and their husbands; or homicidal maniacs that kill randomly without purpose, other than for some sexual or psychological gratification. We’re talking about female organized crime bosses, leaders of highly structured, often successful criminal organizations.

Most everyone knows about the high profile male mobsters; people like Lucky Luciano, Myer Lansky, Bugsy Segal, Arnold Rothstein, and Al Capone: men who became legends, rightly or wrongly, due to the public’s insatiable appetite for literature, movies, and television stories based on their lives. But what about their female counterparts, they definitely existed and still exist. Their stories are both fascinating and cautionary. Their histories provide an alternative perspective on the equality of the sexes; everything has a price. We are talking about smart, capable, talented, ruthless women who under other circumstances might have become leaders in either business or politics; women who demanded respect, loyalty and a big payday; or else.

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Forty Elephants

The Female Gang That Terrorized London

The idea of a gang of highly intelligent, dangerous, wild living, independent criminal women led by an extraordinary individual who thought she was the reincarnation of some Amazon Queen is unusual, if not unique. In today’s society Alice Diamond might have become the CEO of a major multinational corporation, or perhaps the Prime Minister of England, but in the early twentieth century, ruthless women of ambition, strength, and intellect were not given access to the educational and leadership avenues available to men.

If there’s a lesson to be learned from the tale of the Forty Elephants it’s that denying access to opportunity based on bias, prejudice, or preconception will ultimately bite society in the ass, extracting a larger price than if opportunity was provided to all. On the other hand, there are individuals and groups of males and females who refuse to work within the confines of society to create change and prefer a self-indulgent, nihilistic pursuit of self-gratification and interest.

The Forty Elephants, also known as the Forty Thieves, were an all-female gang of criminals that operated in London from the 1700s up until the 1950s. They reached their heyday in the years between WWI and WWII under the leadership of twenty-year old Alice Diamond, also known as Diamond Annie, due to her penchant for wearing diamond rings that she often used as a weapon. More than one assailant lost an eye or suffered severe physical injury from one of her namesake fashion statements.

 

 

What’s Your Poison? How Cocktails Got Their Names

WYP-Final FrontWhy do we call mixed alcohol drinks “cocktails”? How do they get their exotic names: names like the Singapore Sling, Screw Driver, the Alamagoozlum, the Angel’s Kiss, the Hanky Panky, the Harvey Wallbanger, Sex On The Beach, the Monkey Gland, the Brass Monkey, the Margarita, the Japalac, the Lion’s Tail, and many, many more? Who makes up these names, where are they invented, why, and how do you make them? These questions will be answered in “What’s Your Poison?” by exploring the incidents, people, and places that prompted the creation of these exotic concoctions.

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The Jack Rose

A Bald Gambler, A Corrupt Police Detective, A Murdered Casino Owner, And A Dash of Applejack


New York City, July 16, 1912, it’s a hot steamy afternoon. Four men wait under the awning of the Hotel Metropole located at 147 West 43rd Street. The hotel is a five story brick building on the corner close to Times Square. A sign above and to the side of the canopy over the entrance tells visitors they’ve arrived at the famous Metropole, the first hotel in New York City with running water in every room, home to gambler Nicky Arnstein, Fanny Brice’s lover and ultimate second husband, Bat Masterson, ex-western lawman, now New York City sports’ writer, and Herman Rosenthal, bookmaker and illegal casino owner.

The four men milling about outside the hotel are not out of place on the busy street. They’re wearing summer weight suits suitable for the weather. Jacob, Whitey Lewis, Seidenschner wears his usual cloth flat-cap, while Francisco Cirofici, aka Dago Frank, Harry Horowitz, aka Gyp the Blood, and Lefty Louie Rosenberg, all wear straw boater’s, a popular male fashion statement of the time.

These men are all members of the Lennox Avenue Gang led by Harry Horowitz and controlled by Zelig Harry Lefkowitz, aka Jack Zelig, head of the Eastman Gang. The Lennox Avenue group could be considered the prototype of the more famous criminal gang known as Murder Incorporated.

As Herman Rosenthal exits the front door of the Metropole the four men surround him, draw their guns and fire. Gambler Herman Rosenthal is shot dead in broad daylight on a crowded New York street. As Rosenthal lies bleeding on the pavement the four men scramble to the waiting car provided by Baldy Jack Rose, the man who hired them to murder Rosenthal on orders from crooked NYPD Lieutenant Charles Becker.

Baldy Jack Rose was born Jacob Rosenzweig in Poland in 1876. His family immigrated to America and at the age of four Rosenzweig was stricken with typhoid leaving him with alopecia universalis, a condition causing all his hair to fall out. Cruel classmates teased Jacob giving him the nickname Baldy, an apparent prerequisite for a life of crime as all the gangsters in this tale seem to have colourful monikers, and Baldy Jack Rose seemed appropriately fitting for a hairless young criminal.

Baldy spent his early years in Connecticut where he grew up to be a gambler, boxing promoter, and founder of a minor league baseball team, The Rosebuds, not the toughest sounding name for a sports team owned by the man that became embroiled in one of America’s most infamous murders. If not for being overshadowed by Lucky Luciano’s bloody rise to power, the Rosenthal murder might be regarded as New York City’s most infamous gangland murder.

After moving to New York City, Rose opened an illegal casino called The Rosebud. It wasn’t long before it became an underworld hangout, especially favored by the Eastman Gang headed by Selig Harry Lefkowitz, and its offshoot the Lennox Avenue Gang led by Harry, Gyp The Blood, Horowitz.

 

 

Beating the System

BTS-Final Front_402x600It’s been said that gambling is a tax on the dumb; that may be overly harsh, but the fact is, most gambling venues are designed to guarantee you lose. It doesn’t matter if it’s horseracing, lotteries, casinos, or the annual state fair. As soon as you plunk down your dollar you’re a loser. Those milk bottles at the bottom of the pyramid you’re trying to knock down are filled with lead, and that basketball net that looks so close you can’t miss, is actually oval not round, and barely big enough for a ball to pass through.

Most people like to take a chance every once in a while; maybe they’ll get lucky. It’s a kick, a lark: an afternoon’s entertainment. They know when to walk away… others don’t… some can’t. For them it’s a drug, a search for an unattainable high. Deep down they don’t even want to win. It’s sad. It’s pathetic is what it is.

You see these sorry souls at the track, at the casinos, or anywhere there’s a game of chance. They’ll bet on horses, dogs, camels’… even killer roosters. It’s nuts I know, but their addicts, they’ll bet on people, and that’s the worst bet of all. Gambling is for suckers; that’s why gamblers don’t gamble, they fix the game, and even then, it doesn’t always work.

Horse racing is advertised as the sport of kings. Sure, if that’s what you want to believe. I was a jockey, it was my job, but I made my living as a fixer. You want to know what really goes on behind the scenes. You want to know what horse racing is really all about. Then come a little closer, cause I got a story for you.

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Excerpt:

Be Careful Who You Screw


Joey Pines kneels on the bathroom floor of the Juanita Bar on the outskirts of Detroit. Pee is trickling down Pines’ soiled jeans pooling on the floor around his knees. Blood runs down his face from where Ronny introduced his nose to the Mexican’s Smith and Wesson. The guy is scared, scared to death, scared because in the next few seconds a decision had to be made. Does Joey Pines end his days on the bathroom floor of Juanita’s third-rate bar, or does he live another day so he can screw somebody else? Whatever happens, he’s never going to screw Ronny again.

It all started three days earlier when Ronny fixed the fifth race at Motor City Downs. Fellow jockey, Angel Morales, came to him with a deal. Juan Carlos Perez, a local drug dealer wanted to expand his operation. He was already supplying jockeys with various illegal pharmaceuticals for weight loss and entertainment purposes, so why not expand into the gambling business. Perez supplied the money, and Morales supplied Ronny. It was an arrangement made in hell.

The fifth race at Motor City Downs seemed like the perfect initial foray for Perez. All the jockeys in the race were paid their five hundred bucks and given the order of finish for the first three horses. Other than the first three places, jockeys could do what they wanted but those first three horses had to finish in the correct order for Morales, Perez, and Ronny to collect on the trifecta. This wasn’t rocket science.

Everyone was on board but Ronny had his doubts about Pines, who was a known shithead and drug addict. Someone had seen Pines slip the valet what looked like cash, probably for a bet. If Pines was betting on the race, was he betting the trifecta, or was he betting on himself? Nobody knew for sure. Before the race Ronny warns him.

“You understand what you have to do? Your number can’t be on the board. You fuck us over and finish in the top three… you’ll be in the ground before the sun comes up.”

“Don’t worry, I got it.”

As the horses were being loaded into the starting gate Ronny turns to Pines one more time. “We good?”

Pines nods, “I got this.”

The starter rings the bell and the gates fly open. Coming around the first turn Ronny is on the outside of Pines, they’re in sixth and seventh places respectively. Ronny looks over at Pines and sees him pull up his sleeve. The prick has a machine. Before Ronny can do anything about it he hears the buzz, and Pine’s horse takes off leaving Ronny and everyone else in the dust. They get to the finish line and Pines finishes second. The horses that needed to finish one, two, three, finish first, third, and fourth. The bet is busted. The son-of-a-bitch screws Ronny and friends. He doesn’t even collect on his own bet because he came in second instead of first. Pines is laughing and making fun of the other jockeys who all had bets on the race, figuring it was a sure thing.

 

 

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About the Author:
jerryJerry Bader is author, publisher, and Senior Partner in MRPwebmedia.com. He has written twelve hybrid graphic novels (including “The Method,” “The Comeuppance,” “The Coffin Corner,” and “Grist For The Mill”), thirteen children’s books (including “Two Dragons Named Shoe,” “The Town That Didn’t Speak,” “The Bad Puppeteer,” “The Criminal McBride,” and “Mr. Bumbershoot, The Umbrella Man”), three marketing books, and several novels and biographies including “The Fixer” and “Organized Crime Queens.”

The graphic novels are unique in that they are designed as screenplays with accompanying storyboard panels to give the reader an enhanced experience akin to reading like a movie producer. Watch for new releases as they come available!

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