Tag Archives: traditional mystery

Cover Reveal ~ What Doesn’t Kill You by Aimee Hix

I am thrilled and excited to reveal the cover for the first book in the NEW “Willa Pennington, PI” mystery series, coming January 8, 2018.

Title: What Doesn’t Kill You
Series: Willa Pennington, PI #1
Genre: Traditional Mystery
Publisher: Midnight Ink
Website: Aimee Hix

Favors are for suckers, especially when they lead you straight to a dead body

Willa Pennington thought that becoming a PI would be better than being a cop. She thought she’d never have to make another death notification or don a bulletproof vest again. She thought she’d be safe.

But she couldn’t have been more wrong, because Willa’s real problem is that she’s always sticking her nose where it doesn’t belong. And people really don’t like that.

Now, agreeing to do a simple favor has netted her a dead body, a missing person, and an old friend who just may be a very bad guy. If whoever is trying to kill her would lay off she could solve the murder, find the missing girl, and figure out if the person she’s trusted with her life is the one trying to end it.

Meet the author
Aimee Hix is a former defense contractor turned mystery writer. She’s a member of Sisters in Crime. What Doesn’t Kill You is her first book.

All comments are welcomed.

A day in the life with Jenny Vega Healy: The Phone Call by Michele Campbell

Jenny’s office in Town Hall looked across the main square to the Belle County Courthouse. On gray days like this one, the grim, stone façade of the courthouse gave her a queasy feeling. The County Attorney’s Office was in there, on the fourth floor. Those folks were supposed to be her allies, but lately they seemed a little too interested in asking questions about her personal affairs. In particular, the ins and outs of her husband’s construction business, and how he always managed to get the inside track on big contracts from Carlisle College. Carlisle was Jenny’s alma mater – the storied Ivy League school down the road that ran this town and everybody in it. Tim got the contracts because Jenny was a Carlisle alum, and Carlisle liked dealing with its own. That answer ought to satisfy anyone with the nerve to ask interfering questions. No need to dig any deeper. But if they did, if they started asking questions about her college days or what happened that night at the bridge – well, she wouldn’t let herself think about where that could lead.

The phone lit up. A minute later, her secretary buzzed.

“Madam Mayor, Mrs. Saxman on line one.”

Jenny’s closest friend, her roommate from freshman year at Carlisle, Aubrey Saxman was one of those people who’d loved college so much that she never left. Jenny didn’t get it. She’d grown up in this one-horse town, and had wanted nothing more than to escape, to strike out for new horizons. But Carlisle gave her that scholarship, and she couldn’t afford to say no. She’d never intended to stick around after graduation, either; in fact, she didn’t. She ran as fast as she could in the opposite direction, and stayed away until family obligations called her back. Now she was dug in here, with a marriage, kids, and a political career to protect. As much as Jenny loved Aubrey, she didn’t need the drama her old roommate brought. There was always some crisis. What would it be this time?

“I’ll take it,” she said, with a sigh, and hit the blinking button. “Hey, Aub, what’s up?”

“You’re not gonna believe this. Guess who’s moving back to town?”

“Who? Spit it out.”


Jenny’s stomach lurched. Kate was the third roommate, the glamorous wild child who’d made their lives exciting. Too exciting — she’d nearly dragged them down. Jenny’s mind flew back to that awful night twenty years ago, at the old railroad bridge. The three of them had kept the secret ever since, and Jenny’s entire life hinged on remaining silent. She trusted Aubrey to keep her mouth shut. But Kate? Nobody could trust Kate about anything, ever.

“Kate, moving back?” Jenny said, her voice cracking. “You can’t mean that. She knows better than to come back here. You must mean she’s coming for a visit, right?”

“No. Her dad owns that house on Faculty Row. She’s going to live there for a while, and keep a low profile because of those legal problems her husband’s having. Jenny, I’m not kidding. Kate is coming back to stay.”

You can read more about Jenny in It’s Always the Husband.

Kate, Aubrey, and Jenny first met as college roommates and soon became inseparable, despite being as different as three women can be. Kate was beautiful, wild, wealthy, and damaged. Aubrey, on financial aid, came from a broken home, and wanted more than anything to distance herself from her past. And Jenny was a striver—brilliant, ambitious, and determined to succeed. As an unlikely friendship formed, the three of them swore they would always be there for each other.

But twenty years later, one of them is standing at the edge of a bridge, and someone is urging her to jump.
How did it come to this?

Kate married the gorgeous party boy, Aubrey married up, and Jenny married the boy next door. But how can these three women love and hate each other? Can feelings this strong lead to murder? When one of them dies under mysterious circumstances, will everyone assume, as is often the case, that it’s always the husband?

A suspenseful, absorbing novel that examines the complexities of friendship, It’s Always the Husband will keep readers guessing right up to its shocking conclusion.

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Meet the author
Michele Campbell is a graduate of Harvard College and Stanford Law School and a former federal prosecutor in New York City who specialized in international narcotics and gang cases. A while back, she said goodbye to her big-city legal career and moved with her husband and two children to an idyllic New England college town a lot like Belle River in It’s Always the Husband. Since then, she has spent her time teaching criminal and constitutional law and writing novels. She has had many close female friends, a few frenemies, and only one husband, who – to the best of her knowledge – has never tried to kill her. Michele currently lives in New Hampshire.

Connect with Michele at michelecampbellbooks.com.

All comments are welcomed.

Penelope Sutherland’s day in the life by Shawn Reilly Simmons

A day in the life. One thing’s for sure about any given day in my life: I never really know what it will bring or exactly where I’ll end up. For me, every day is different.

I’m Penelope Sutherland, head chef and owner of Red Carpet Catering. My team of chefs and I cook behind the scenes on movie sets. We set up our kitchen in all kinds of places, from a sandy beach off the coast of Florida, to a boutique hotel undergoing renovations in lower Manhattan, to a small town in New Jersey right on the main drag. We cook all over, for lots of people every day the film we’re working on is being shot.

I have my dream job. I’m doing exactly what I want to be doing with my career. Cooking on a movie set is exciting, challenging, and exhausting all at the same time. The feeling of accomplishment that comes from keeping the cast and crew well fed and happy is my reward. Also it’s fun to see the actors at work, watching the scenes of a movie unfold with the cameras rolling. My best friend and roommate is lead actress, and she’s carrying most of the movie on her own this time. It’s a remake of The Turn of the Screw, although Arlena is nervous that Jennifer, our director, keeps changing the script day to day, bringing fresh rewrites to the actors. Arlena’s worried they’ve strayed too far from the book, and that maybe in trying to please the film’s producers back in LA, Jennifer is altering the original direction of the project mid-stream. It’s Jennifer’s first big-budget movie, and being a female director, she feels there’s more pressure on her to succeed. And a bigger price to pay if she fails, as in her career might be over.

On this set we get to work indoors for a change, cooking in a state-of-the-art kitchen in one of the best restaurants in the state of Indiana. And we’re enjoying our stay in the quaint inn across the courtyard. We’re in a small town at the edge of a large forest, which is beautiful but also acts as a barrier to the rest of the world. The locals whisper about troubling things happening in the woods, and sometimes they say people just up and disappear, swallowed up by the trees.

I’ve really enjoyed getting to know some of the people from Forrestville, especially Chef Jordan Foster, who has welcomed us into his kitchen and inn. He was recently named one of the best chefs in the state, which makes his untimely death all the more devastating. At first, it appears Jordan committed suicide, which doesn’t make much sense. He seemed to have the world at his feet: a loving family, a successful business, accolades, wealth, and lots of friends.

The police think someone working on the movie must be the killer. Things like murder just don’t happen in Forrestville, Indiana, where everyone knows their neighbors. When one of my chefs falls under suspicion, and the local sheriff won’t listen to reason, I have to step in to protect my friend and employee and try and find out who is really behind Jordan’s death. I just know it can’t be one of us, but getting the sheriff to come up with any other suspects is a challenge. Jordan’s family has asked me to take over the restaurant’s kitchen until they get back on their feet. When strange things start happening there, I begin to see there are secrets buried all over Forrestville, and the past is never really the past in a place where time seems to stand still.

You can read more about Penelope in Murder is the Main Course, the fourth book in the “Red Carpet Catering” mystery series.

Small Town. Big Secrets. Penelope and her Red Carpet Catering crew find themselves transported to a different world when they arrive on their newest movie set in rural Indiana. Surrounded by prickly locals, a nervous director out to prove herself, and a vast forest with secrets all its own, Penelope feels more homesick for the big city than ever before. When she finds their host, owner of Indiana’s newest culinary hotspot, dead of an apparent suicide, Penelope works to uncover the darker truths boiling beneath the surface of his seemingly perfect life.

Asked to help keep the late chef’s restaurant afloat, Penelope is fried trying to juggle two kitchens and a ravenous cast and crew. When the chef’s suicide turns out to be murder, and the restaurant is vandalized in the middle of the night, Penelope must find out who is behind it all before she’s the next one on the chopping block.

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About the author
Shawn Reilly Simmons is the author of the Red Carpet Catering mysteries published by Henery Press. Murder is the Main Course is the fourth book in the series. Shawn is a member of Sisters in Crime, Mystery Writers of America, and the Crime Writers’ Association, and she serves on the Board of Malice Domestic. Shawn lives in Frederick, Maryland with her husband, son, and English Bulldog. For more info visit shawnreillysimmons.com or follow her on Facebook & Twitter at @ShawnRSimmons

All comments are welcomed.

Giveaway: Leave a comment below for your chance to win a print copy of Murder is the Main Course. US entries only, please. The giveaway ends May 17, 2017. Good luck everyone!