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When a county employee is found shot to death in sun-drenched daylight while sitting in his county road grader, Undersheriff Bill Gastner is faced with puzzling questions. The simplest explanation--that an errant bullet from a careless target shooter's rifle blew out Larry Zipoli's brains--is soon discarded, as inconsistencies surface. The fatal bullet shows no rifling marks, and an investigation reveals that the shooter walked directly toward the road grader, in full..
The story opens with a poem and a premonition just outside Ft. Lewis in the early days of World War II. Young newlywed Maudie Cameron watches her husband and others around her do their part to help on the homefront. Feeling left out, she is determined to help with the war effort in the only way she can: she becomes a landlady and rents out one-room cabins and a trailer that resides on her secluded property. But Maudie, often to her husband's chagrin, becomes more than a m..
Four people, brutally murdered during the robbery of a Las Vegas convenience store. As the police investigation of the killings moves forward, the cops begin to suspect that robbery may not have been the motive at all. It appears more and more likely that the killer was really after one of the victims, and the heist was only a diversion. But which one was the real target? Was it the young clerk? How about the Hispanic man who worked at the airport? Or maybe it was the tough g..
Sheriff Martin Holman of the Posadas County Sheriff's Department didn't like flying. Much less at night, with bad weather. So why he took a plane ride over a nearby mesa under those dangerous conditions is a question as disturbing as why somebody shot the pilot dead from the ground--causing the plane to crash. Undersheriff Bill Gastner, a 60 something warhorse, just months away from retirement, now has a murder on his hands. The only possible lead is a roll of film --..
A tough cop, Joanna Brady gives no ground to lawbreakers, but the young widow gives her whole heart to her eleven-year-old daughter and to close friends who have seen her through the toughest of times. Now she’s dealing with the multi-faceted mystery of a gruesome roadside killing, and it’s complicated by some big time political maneuvering. And as the investigation gets sidetracked by ugly local land disputes, it takes some troubling twists and turns until Sherif..
We were dancing, my client and I. But it was much more than just a dance. It was like doing the fox trot and getting your pants pressed at the same time -- or an anatomy lesson in four-four rhythm. I believe in the personal touch when it comes to a client -- and man, oh man, this was one time I meant to put my theory into practice. I'm Shell Scott, a private investigator with 20-20 vision, particularly when I have a 36-22-36 assignment. This assignment was a cha..
Art expert Alix Thorssen is asked to appraise the charred ruins of a friend's local gallery. The tragedy doubles when artist Ray Thornton's body is found among the debris. The death is ruled a suicide; the fire, arson. Case closed. But not for Alix, who doesn't believe the body was Thornton's. Her investigation raises disturbing personal questions, and puts her in the hot seat as prime suspect in a second murder. She must race to find the killer who knows..
Jake Hines works hard as the recently promoted Chief of Detectives in the deteriorating town of Rutherford, Minnesota. The town used to be a safe haven from the problems of the big city. Now many youth in the town are turning to drugs. Jake knows many of these kids in the crumbling downtown section--both users and dealers--aren’t local. A robbery in a local bar at the center of town takes the town into an even worse spin. The bar owner, Babe, is a friend to Jake, but re..
When Jenny Brady and her friend Dora hike into the desert they discover the body of a murdered Phoenix heiress, abandoned to scavengers and the elements. Sheriff Brady fears the traumatic damage that her daughter’s grim discovery may have inflicted on the frightened teenager. Now her job is to find the dead woman’s lowlife husband, who cleaned out their accounts before he vanished. The stakes get drastically higher in short order when something happens to Dora tha..
An up-and-coming African American artist has been murdered on Sheriff Joanna Brady’s turf in Cochise County, Arizona. Unfortunately the victim happens to be in the Washington State Attorney General’s Witness Protection Program. As the most recent hire in the AG’s Special Homicide Investigation Team, J.P. Beaumont gets the call. He reluctantly heads to Bisbee, Arizona where he tangles not only with Joanna Brady and a contract killer but with some of his own p..
Sharon Ortega, an old school chum of Charlie's, hires Charlie to prove that her dead restaurant partner, David, didn't commit suicide. David's recent keyman life insurance policy won't pay for suicide, and Sharon needs the money to keep the business going. Charlie uncovers evidence of tax fraud, high level political connections, and two distinctly different sides to David's life. Amidst a confusion of relatives, she also discovers that members of Davi..
Amador Montalba, Mexico City guide and good friend of Shell Scott, alerts Scott to a wealthy woman in Mexico City who needs help. Shell is in Mexico City winding up another case and decides to follow up on the lead. Senora Lopez, wife of a prominent Mexican General, was secretly filmed during an extra-marital sex liaison with another man. After several payoffs to a blackmailer, she decides to turn the case over to Shell Scott. But the case is not one of simple blackmail...
The bloody corpses stashed in the broom closet of the Seattle School District building were lovingly entwined. It looked like a classic crime of passion to Detective J.P. Beaumont - especially when Pete Kelsey admitted that his slaughtered wife was an 'A' student in the fine art of adultery. But Pete swore he had nothing to do with the two brutal deaths. Beaumont's gut instinct told him to believe the sinned-upon widower, but he never dreamed that Pete..
Twenty-three years ago local actress Danielle Moyer vanished after starring in a play at the Bayside Theater. Her body was never found...Now the specter of her ghost has returned to haunt the Bayside Theater or -- so it seems. A series of pranks is plaguing the theater and someone is leaving bizarre clues in the abandoned Moyer cabin. Door County Gazette reporter Leigh Girard, who's writing an article on the theater, chalks the pranks up to theatrical hijinks. She's i..