Who would want the director of the Minnesota Valley Zoo dead? Everyone! Anthony Wright made a career of getting what he wanted, whatever the price. When he's murdered and ends up as a late night snack for the zoo's fifteen- foot crocodile, few are shedding any tears. After police arrest the lead crocodile handler, it's up to zookeeper Lavender "Snake" Jones to prove her friend's innocence. But is she really helping? Each lie she exposes only serves t..
On the eve of tourist season in the resort community of Doo County, Wisconsin, a killer is targeting young blond women, leaving their strangled bodies along the desolate Mink River. The killer ritualistically arranges the bodies to mimic sleep, except for the long blond hair, brushed over their faces, and his deadly calling card, a purple band wound around the victim’s ring finger – a macabre symbol of love. Reporter Leigh Girard’s investigation into the mur..
When the cops catch mystery writer Tracy Eaton's mom, Hollywood legend Martha Collins, alone with the bloody remains of celebrity litigant Vince Sperry -- holding nothing but a lame excuse -- Tracy leaps to her mother's defense, despite her own publication woes. But all roads seem to lead to the past and she blunders into one scandal after another. Will Tracy's digging clear Martha or will she unearth something that's sure to slam the cell door shut on her exa..
One week before her wedding a young woman strips, takes the time to fold her clothes, then calmly walks into Lake Michigan. When Sam Casey is asked to look into the death of a young mother who left her infant in a high chair, walked down the street and jumped off the overpass, Sam finds a strange similarity-they each received a phone call just prior to committing suicide. Both calls were from disposable phones and both calls lasted four seconds. Were these really suicides or ..
An amateur naturalist dies of mushroom poisoning, a day later the local librarian kills herself, then the buried bones of an infant are discovered. Chicago native Leigh Girard is finding life in a small town can be fatal. Determined to start a new life after her mastectomy, Leigh flees to Wisconsin’s Door County peninsula, where she takes a job as reporter for the local newspaper. Her first assignment, the naturalist’s obituary, turns into a hunt for a murderer.
How much physical and mental pain can a sixteen-year-old girl stand? Jeanette Connor is about to find out. It's Chicago, 1955, and she is on the brink of a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity: a contract with the New York City Ballet. However, since she's a minor, her mother must co-sign and she has different ideas. Jeanette's dream is smashed and instead she soon finds herself in a high-class brothel, being offered up as a little-girl-virgin type. Then she's left ..
It’s trouble at sea when eighty-year old Flossie and Sterling Silver, former Vaudeville magicians, are invited on a relaxing cruise. Goldie’s husband, Captain Red Pepper, has arranged for her mother and uncle to sail on his ship, the Aurora Borealis, and mingle with magicians during the Magic on the High Seas cruise. Goldie thinks it’s a great idea and her twin sister, Godiva, sees it as a chance to keep the old folks out of trouble while she spends time wit..
During a full moon, people are quirky. But a full moon on Friday the 13th means everything’s game and Madrona Bay Hospital’s Patient Relations manager, Robyn Kelly, knows it. Still she is unprepared for finding patient Jason Hilliard strangled with IV tubing in his hospital bed.
Now, she’s got a hospital in panic, a police investigation going awry, and anonymous letters that promise more trouble to come. Not to mention her college-age son announcing a &ld..
Owen finds himself defending his Aunt Lizzie against a murder charge. With her land threatened by the construction of a shopping mall, Lizzie parks herself at the edge of her property, shotgun in her lap, vowing to do whatever it takes to stop the dump trucks; then, suddenly, a truck driver is dead. Did Aunt Lizzie really shoot him? Owen smells a rat, but Lizzie seems determined to refuse his help. Throw in an assortment of well-drawn characters (Billheimer's special..
Computers, poetry and Samurai lore were successful businessman Tadeo Kurobashi's passions. So it stood to reason that the ancient "art" of harakiri would be his suicide method of choice. But Detective Beaumont wasn't certain that the dead software magnate had any choice in the matter - despite the bloody Samurai sword Kurobashi clutched in his lifeless hand. Especially since an error in the time-honored death ritual indicated cold-blooded homicide...of..
Zachariah Smith intends to find the person who shot him and Irene Sandhoff outside her office during a citizen's rally against Sandhoff. Was the bullet meant for Zach or Irene? Or, by luck, did the killer only have to use one bullet for two targets? Zach finds he must give the shooting his full attention when Phil Pauling, the chief of police for Mackie Woods, Oregon, is shot while in Zach's car, and an old friend is found dead in Zach's office. The original bulle..
A rattlesnake fang pegged in a teenager's eye is just the beginning of a spring day for Posadas Undersheriff Estelle Guzman. The injured lad's older brother goes missing, and is found dead in an arroyo, apparently killed by his cartwheeling ATV. But most puzzling is what the dead boy found moments before he was killed...an astonishing discovery that takes deputies back to a five year-old killing. Estelle and the now retired Bill Gastner find themselves looking for a m..
After fighting two British warships to a draw off the South American coast, the German Pocket Battleship Graf Spee sought safe harbor in the Rio de la Plata. The ship was not allowed safe harbor, or the time needed to make sufficient repairs in order to face the British ships that hunted her. Instead, the German High Command gave mysterious orders for the Graf Spee's Captain to scuttle the ship. Many years later, the dreadnought's ravaged hulk now lying on the river b..
Failure analyst Owen Allison recently left his lucrative consulting practice in California to help his mother back home in West Virginia in her fight against cancer. His ex-wife and current lover, Judith, is also back on the West Coast, and now that his mother has mostly recovered, he's itching to get back to his life, to stimulate both his portfolio and his love life. But before he has a chance to leave his small hometown of Barkley, West Virginia, a local dam breaks, se..