Tag Archives: Henery Press

Not the Usual Suspects organized by Cindy Brown

We are Not the Usual Suspects, a group of Pacific Northwest mystery writers who have banded together to contemplate life, mystery and of course, murder. Though not all of our mysteries are set in the Northwest, we all agree that living here inspires our writing.

I’m Cindy Brown, author of the Ivy Meadows series, madcap mysteries set in the off, off, OFF Broadway world of theater. I grew up in Washington State, spent 20+ years in Arizona, then moved back to the northwest. Though my books are mostly set in Arizona, my writing is definitely influenced by living here. Three big reasons:

Rain. I LOVE the rain. I love the way it makes me want to stay inside and write and read while it drums on the roof. I feel like it’s watering my soul.

The Reading and Writing Culture. People here read. On the bus, in the parks, even while walking down the sidewalk. You’re as likely to have a conversation about the latest bestseller as you are to talk about a hit TV show.

The Sensuality of the Seasons. I knew that I missed the seasons when I lived in AZ, but I’d forgotten the smell of violets, the slow circling fall of a leaf from the tree, and how wonderful homemade chicken soup tastes on a cold winter day. I definitely think that experiencing this present sense of place makes me a better writer.

I’m Kate Dyer-Seeley and I write the Pacific Northwest Mysteries featuring a very bumbling young journalist who bills herself as an intrepid adventurer to land a gig writing for Northwest Extreme magazine, when in reality her idea of sport is climbing onto the couch without spilling her latte.

I’ve lived in the NW for my entire life and love getting to give readers a glimpse into this corner of the world. Here are three of my favorite things that sum up the Northwest and why it’s prime for mystery writing.

Beer—Portland, Oregon is known as the microbrew capital of the world. Quite literally you can walk a block in any direction and run into a pub. The best way to puzzle through putting a plot together is over a cold pint on one of the city’s many outdoor patios on a sunny, spring day.

Wild West—There’s an element of the Wild West that permeates life here. I think it’s naturally in our DNA, leftover from brave settlers who ventured to this unknown territory, and maybe because there’s an abundance of opportunity to connect with nature and get outside. From Portland you can drive a few hours and end up on the Oregon Coast, in the Cascade Mountains, Columbia River Gorge, or even the high dessert. People embrace individuality and adventure, which makes for great material.

Weather—Portland’s ever-changing weather always finds a way into my writing, but the rain and gloomy skies during the winter rarely stop people from getting outside. You grab a raincoat, pull on some boots and hit the trail. Just don’t bring an umbrella!

I’m Kelly Garrett, author of the upcoming YA mystery The Last To Die, which features an anti-hero protagonist that lives by her own honor code. My short story “Sage Advice” is Poisoned Pen Press’ anthology Bound By Mystery, which came out in March 2017, and it features a twenty-something-year-old hipster obsessed with coffee and extremely good at fixing problems.

As a native Oregonian, I love showcasing the state in my writing. As someone who grew up in rural areas of the state, it’s natural that my protagonists tend to be slightly sarcastic women (or teenage girls) with a strong sense of self-reliance.

Rain is one of my favorite things. It makes coffee taste better. The continual pattering of rain on the roof is a lullaby at night. Added bonus: when your Subaru is covered in mud from a few jaunts into the backcountry, the rain does an excellent job softening up the dirt stuck to your car, making it easier to clean.

One thing I love about the book scene in Oregon is that you can find amazing independent bookstores all over the state. I grew up behind a rare-and-used bookstore that I visited often as a teenager. Small towns from Baker City to Lincoln City, from Ashland to Astoria, all have bookstores with curated selections.

I’m Angela M. Sanders. Take a wilderness rich with indigenous people; add a few decades of intrepid pioneers in covered wagons; sprinkle with a century of loggers, fishermen, and hopeful immigrants; and toss in some graying hippies and tattooed hipsters. Stir well. Add a pinch of tech engineers and footwear designers imported from around the globe, and you get the people who make up Northwest Oregon. Two of my series take place here: one featuring a vintage clothing store owner in Portland; and one centering around a kite shop on the Oregon coast (written under my pen name, Clover Tate). I love Northwest Oregon for this mix of old school and high tech. I adore our famous independent streak and our optimism. I salute our focus on individuality. Neither series would be the same in a different setting.

About the authors
Not the Usual Suspects is a group of rain-soaked, caffeine-fueled, slightly quirky mystery writers from the Pacific Northwest who are inspired by its setting and/or sensibility. They include Cindy Brown, Kate Dyer-Seeley, Kelly Garrett, and Angela M. Sanders. They hang out together on Facebook at Not The Usual Suspects.

Giveaway: 4 books! The winner will receive e-copies (Nook or Kindle) of Oliver Twisted (Cindy Brown), First Degree Mudder (Kate Dyer-Seeley), Bound by Mystery (Kelly Garrett), and Blown Away (Angela M. Sanders/Clover Tate). Leave a comment below for your chance to win. The giveaway ends April 21, 2017. Good luck everyone!

A day in the life with Tj Jensen by Kathi Daley

treasure-in-paradiseThere is magic in beginnings. Some beginnings come as a rite of passage, such as a graduation from college, the birth of a child, or a wedding day. Others start off more subtly, as nothing more than an ordinary moment that evolves into a crucial event that, in the end, helps define who you are and who you will become. And then there are the beginnings that arrive on the heels of change. At times, we welcome these changes with joyful anticipation; at others, we fight to maintain that which we feel we’ve lost. Change can come in gentle waves that shepherd us into a new reality, or it can come in a tornado of destruction that tears apart everything we hold dear to our hearts.

My name is Tj Jensen and my own new beginning occurred when I packed up two sisters, a grandpa, two very dear friends, four cats, and three dogs and traveled across the country to help an old friend of my father’s renovate the island resort he’d been forced to sell. Although I had jumped at the chance to take a step away from a life that had undergone so many changes in the past few months that I no longer recognized it, I realized I may have traded one set of problems for another when I found the body of treasure hunter Buck Barnes in the attic before I even had a chance to unpack.

When the local deputy declared the death had been due to natural causes, even though it was clear to me that he had been bludgeoned and left to die, I enlisted the help of my friends to dig into the man’s past, attempting to discover why a perfectly nice guy like Deputy Savage would lie about his passing. The more we dug, the more certain we became that Buck had stumbled on to a map that led to the location of the treasure pirate John Barkley had buried on the island more than three centuries before.

My plan today is to interview the island residents in an effort to find out more about the local legend. My hope is that by discovering the secret behind the treasure, I’ll be able to identify the person who caused Buck’s untimely death and bring the killer to justice. The story of Barkley’s treasure had been steeped in legend, mingled with truth, and left to age. I know solving this mystery will take the combined efforts of the friends I brought with me from Paradise Lake and the new friends I’ve met since my arrival on Gull Island.

You can read more about Tj in Treasure in Paradise, the seventh book in the Tj Jensen mystery series.

Tj Jensen and her family head to Turtle Cove Resort for summer vacation, but their plans for rest and relaxation are thwarted when they find a dead treasure hunter in the attic of the resort’s main house. Initially vowing not to get involved, Tj quickly changes her tune when the Gull Island deputy on the case closes it after a bare bones investigation. All evidence points to foul play, and Tj’s determined to uncover what the deputy wants to keep hidden. With the help of her best friend and a chatty parrot, Tj digs up a centuries old legend, a hidden map, and secrets buried deeper than pirate’s treasure.

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About the author
Kathi Daley lives with her husband, kids, grandkids, and Bernese mountain dogs in beautiful Lake Tahoe. When she isn’t writing, she likes to read (preferably at the beach or by the fire), cook (preferably something with chocolate or cheese), and garden (planting and planning, not weeding). She also enjoys spending time on the water when she’s not hiking, biking, or snowshoeing the miles of desolate trails surrounding her home.

She currently writes six series: Zoe Donovan Cozy Mysteries, Whales and Tails Island Mysteries, Sand and Sea Hawaiian Mysteries, Tj Jensen Paradise Lake Series, Writer’s Retreat Southern Mysteries, and Seacliff High Teen Mysteries. Connect with Kathi at kathidaley.com.

All comments are welcomed.

Treasure in Paradise is available at retail and online booksellers.

Cover Reveal ~ Lowcountry Bonfire by Susan M. Boyer

I’m excited to reveal the cover for the sixth book in the “Liz Talbot” mystery series, coming June 27, 2017.

Title: Lowncountry Bonfire
Series: Liz Talbot #6
Genre: Traditional Mystery
Publisher: Henery Press
Website: Susan M. Boyer

Private Investigators Liz Talbot and Nate Andrews have worked their share of domestic cases. When Tammy Sue Lyerly hires them to find out what her husband is up to—again—they expect to find it’s something looney but harmless. After all, this is the guy who claims to have been a DEA agent, a champion bull rider, and a NASCAR driver. When he turns up dead, Tammy is the prime suspect. Liz and Nate must dig through small town gossip and long buried secrets to keep Tammy Sue out of jail and keep themselves alive.

About the author
Susan M. Boyer’s debut novel, Lowcountry Boil, won the Agatha Award for Best First Novel, the Daphne du Maurier Award for Excellence in Mystery/Suspense, and garnered several other nominations, including the Macavity. The third, Lowcountry Boneyard, was a Southern Independent Booksellers Alliance (SIBA) Okra Pick, a Daphne du Maurier Award finalist, and short-listed for the Pat Conroy Beach Music Mystery Prize. Susan loves beaches, Southern food, and small towns where everyone knows everyone, and everyone has crazy relatives. You’ll find all of the above in her novels. She lives in Greenville, SC, with her husband and an inordinate number of houseplants.

Book is available for pre-order at retail and online booksellers.

A day in the life of Deputy Finn Vincent by Tonya Kappes

Have you ever had a moment in your life when you hear a little voice in your head that tells you to stop and then a hair splits on your neck? This very thing happened to me about six months ago when I was sitting at my cushy desk at my cubicle in the Kentucky State Reserve Office.

Just in case you didn’t know or never been to Kentucky, the state is made up of many small towns. Most of these small towns don’t have a police station and is served by the county sheriff, which generally consists of an elected sheriff and a couple of deputies. The Kentucky State Reserve is a very special law enforcement department that is there to assist the sheriff’s departments when they are in need of extra people.

When a homicide came across my desk from the sheriff of the small town of Cottonwood, I got a little excited. There’d not been a murder in Cottonwood in years and I’ve been a little bored sitting behind the desk so I jumped at the chance to go offer my assistance. I’d been on the Chicago homicide department before I’d taken the Kentucky State Reserve job and how hard could be?

Six months later and the murder solved, Sheriff Kendrick Lowry, Kenni for short and yes she’s a woman, asked me to stay since her deputy had just retired and the town is in need of a deputy since they only have one.

There’s just one problem, the sheriff, she’s a she and a pretty, single she. There’s not much to do in Cottonwood. You can only eat so many times at Ben’s Diner or go see a movie in the makeshift movie theater in Luke Jones basement.

With the carnival in town and a night off, I asked Kenni to go with me. Funnel cakes, caramel candied apples are just the sweet treat I need to get up the nerve to ask her on a real date. The only thing romantic where I could ask her to go on a date was to ride the ferris wheel. It was perfect. The night was warm and the citizens turned out for the big festival. Everything was set.

Just as I was about to ask her out, dispatch calls over the two-way. Another dead body. . .

Southern Fried is the second novel in the “Kenni Lowry” mystery series.

In the South, it’s better when the food is fried and the secrets kept buried…After the dead body of a beloved Cottonwood resident is found tangled up in an electric fence, Sheriff Kenni Lowry has a hunch that somethin’ ain’t right. Her investigation heats up with a fierce cook-off competition, a euchre game where the intel is sweeter than the brownies, and a decades old family recipe that may just be the proof in the pudding.

The icing on the cake: Kenni is fighting an attraction to her recently sworn-in deputy sheriff, and election season is hot on her tail. When the killer comes after who she holds most dear, even her poppa’s ghostly guidance might not be enough to keep her and her own out of the frying pan.

“Kappes captures the charm and quirky characters of small-town Kentucky in her new mystery. . .a charming, funny story with exaggerated characters. The dialect-filled quirky sayings and comments bring those characters to life. Best of all, for a mystery reader, the culprit was an unlikely suspect, but the solution made sense.” – Lesa’s Book Critiques (on Fixin’ To Die)

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About the author
For years, USA Today bestselling author Tonya Kappes has been publishing numerous mystery with unprecedented success. She is famous not only for her hilarious plot lines and quirky characters, but her tremendous marketing efforts that have earned her thousands of followers and a devoted street team of fans.

Sign up for her newsletter on her website at Tonyakappes.com and receive a free Kappes ebook!

Connect with Tonya on Facebook, Cozy Krew Group, Goodreads, Twitter, Amazon author page, Bookbub, and Pinterest.

All comments are welcomed.

Southern Fried is available at retail and online booksellers or you can ask your local library to get it for you.

A day in the life with Blu Carraway by David Burnsworth

blu-heatMy business card says, Blu Carraway Investigations, Charleston, South Carolina. Sounds impressive, but most of the time I’m more of a glorified problem solver.

A woman calls about a cheating husband:

“Do you want pictures or compound fractures?” I say, jokingly.

She says, “That bastard. I want pictures of compound fractures!”

It’s like that sometimes.

I have a business partner. Well, really I had a business partner. He took off three years ago after our last big job. Can’t blame the guy—we almost died. A young woman vacationing in Mexico gets kidnapped. Her father’s a big-baller here in the lowcountry. The kidnappers know she’s rich, but don’t know her father got that way because he wasn’t a big fan of rules.

Mick Crome, my business partner, and I head south of the border to get her. I’m part Cuban on my mother’s side and both Crome and I speak the language. Thanks to a little luck and a lot of intelligence paid for by our client, we find out which cartel has the girl. They want a quarter million. Our client wants to prove a point.

We negotiate terms not with the kidnappers but their counterparts. Six dead kidnappers later, we have the girl back in the U.S. and there’s a new regime in charge back at the cartel. The client is so happy, we get a monster bonus. After settling all our debts, Crome and I split the leftovers and he hops on his motorcycle and heads to Key West.

I get it. His only commitment is to his Harley. I’ve got a small nine-acre island and a scraggly herd of free roaming Carolina Marsh Tackey horses to take care of. And I’ve also got Billie Day, a woman I’ve known forever and who is destined to be with me if I ever get my act together.

Except after I got out of the Rangers in the nineties, I married someone else and had a daughter. Her name is Hope. Hope is a better person at twenty than I am at forty-four. She’s beautiful because, fortunately for her, she’s got her mother’s looks. All she got from me was my eyes and Latin skin. Her mother and I are no longer together which is why I’m trying hard to do right by Billie. A three-year party in Key West with Crome would do me no good.

A victim of my own success, word got around about the Mexico job. I heard some potential clients have gone elsewhere, deciding the way Crome and I handle things might bring more liabilities than assets. I don’t fault them. My record is clean, thanks to that big-baller client and his limitless resources. The only information in any official database is my private investigation license and my driver’s license.

There’s still the occasional snoop job or tail assignment, and so far that’s been enough to keep the lights on at home. But I had to close the downtown office and sell off the cars we used for surveillance. It’s a tough business.

And I wouldn’t give it up to do anything else.

You can read more about Blu in Blu Heat, the “Blu Carraway” mystery novella.

A man walks into a bar, and dies. It isn’t just any bar, it’s the Pirate’s Cove located on the Isle of Palms, a barrier island just north of the Charleston, South Carolina harbor. Ex-Marine Brack Pelton tries to stop the murder and almost dies himself. The victim, Skip Romeo, has a shady past and some interesting friends. The friend he’d planned on meeting at the bar before he got shot was lowcountry Private Investigator Blu Carraway.

Brack Pelton hates that someone shot up his bar and Blu Carraway hates that someone gunned down his friend. Both want revenge and justice. And both tend to leave a lot of collateral damage in their wake. Their team-up is inevitable. Individually, they’re each a force to be reckoned with. Together, they’re like an atomic bomb blast at ground zero. Pelton and Carraway and Charleston will never be the same.

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About the author
David Burnsworth became fascinated with the Deep South at a young age. After a degree in Mechanical Engineering from the University of Tennessee and fifteen years in the corporate world, he made the decision to write a novel. Big City Heat is his fourth mystery. Having lived in Charleston on Sullivan’s Island for five years, the setting was a foregone conclusion. He and his wife call South Carolina home. Connect with David at davidburnsworthbooks.com, on Twitter and on Facebook.

All comments are welcomed.

Blu Heat is available at online booksellers.