BOOK SALE SUNDAY! Hard-Broiled August Thriller, Suspense, Mystery

BOOK SALE SUNDAY! Hard-Broiled August Thriller, Suspense, Mystery



a faded name and logo turned onto Poydras Street toward Tchoupitoulas, crawled through the city—Camp, Canal,  Rampart, St. Claude becoming Forty Six Highway—bouncing and swaying on bad shocks.

Swaddled in King’s sheets and a painters tarp and lying on her back in the rear of the van separated from its two drivers, Amanda Claiborne was alive but unconscious. Her assailant didn’t check her pulse. She looked dead and when they carried her out in the tarp, she stayed looking dead.  

Billy Bardeen turned the van onto St. Bernard Highway, following it to LA-39. Mary Peach saw the flashing blue lights out the rear view mirror.


“Not what we need.”  

The state trooper sped up. They slowed and pulled off the road. They heard the trooper step out of her car, saw her flashlight alongside the van.

“Afternoon, ma’am,” Billy said when she came to the window.

“You were—” But before she could finish, he floored the van backward, crashing into the patrol car and driving it off the road and into a watery ditch. The dazed trooper jumped back, drew her firearm and hollered “halt!” But the van sped away. She didn’t fire for fear of hitting anyone she couldn’t see.

“That was way close,” Mary said.

They pulled onto Ransome Road, to the same cluster of rusty warehouses Ben and Steingraff examined. They parked, slipped on latex gloves, unloaded Amanda, and dragged her toward the warehouse. Mary Peach opened the door with a key. They closed the door and dragged her to the stainless steel table. Billy took her head, Mary took her feet.

“Up we go,” Billy said.

They started to lift when a loud “freeze,” stopped them. Billy saw Teresa Steingraff poised to fire her sidearm.

“Lower that sack carefully and put your hands on your heads,” she said. Billy stared at Steingraff. Mary started turning.

“Don’t look at her,” Billy said.

“Lower the sack, hands on your heads. Do it!” Steingraff said.

They lowered Amanda and as her head touched the floor, Billy twisted, his hands flew behind his waist, and Steingraff fired when she saw the gun emerge.

Mary dove and fired her own gun, at Steingraff, at the wall, the ceiling, something dark in a corner. Steingraff returned fire. More shots, the sound of ricochets, then silence.



FREE ON AMAZON:  The Girl for the Gold: An addictive laugh-out-loud cosy noir mystery set in the golden age of crime

As part of this month's BookFunnel British mysteries sale, meet whom Amazon reader Ade G. calls "the wonderful private eye, Rusty Macduff.

"Rusty arrives at the great house, 3 weeks after the kidnapping of the Duke of Pirbright's only daughter, Hattie. He is hired not to investigate her disappearance, but purely to transport the ransom to the kidnappers after many demanding letters.

The police had already investigated the kidnapping and were taking no further action (but why?).

"Needless to say things start going wrong almost from the minute he arrives at the house. Rusty decides as he has 48 hours till the handover of the ransom and he has nothing to lose, he may as well investigate the kidnapping, despite the Duke calling in all the Great Detectives of the era and dismissing Rusty.

"This book is well written and moves along at a tremendous pace. The character of Rusty is a joy to follow through the twists and turns of this investigation.

"I loved the period feel, the setting (rural southern England) and the inherent humour in the novel."





The setting reminded me of the Kate Adams stories, but the cast is different. Golden creates sympathetic characters, includes humor, and develops an intriguing plot. I did not stop until the end. And then there was that little teaser….
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Jennifer Dombrowski
4.0 out of 5 stars Good book for a debut novel
Reviewed in the United States on October 27, 2022
Lady Beatrice, Countess of Rossex, is a young widow who lost her husband fourteen years previously. Lady Beatrice's husband, James Wiltshire, died when he crashed his car into a tree. There was much attention from the press because Lady Beatrice's husband wasn't alone in his car. In the car was Gil Sterling, the wife of Alex Sterling, estate manager of Francis Court, where this novel takes place. When James died, Lady Beatrice was pregnant with their son, the delightful Sammy.

After James dies, Lady Beatrice makes her Royal appearances and, once in a while, would go to a charity benefit. Other than that, she was uncomfortable going into the areas of Francis Court, where she lived, where the public had access

This novel has Lady Beatrice taking Sammy to boarding school near the beginning. I would have liked to read more about Sammy. He seemed delightful. Lady Beatrice has only her dog, a Westhighland Terrier, Daisy, whom I love.

Her sister, Lady Sarah, asks Lady Beatrice to decorate the Events Suite with Perry Juke, Lady Sarah's executive assistant. Perry finds Lady Beatrice to be snobby. He only agrees to work with Lady Beatrice as a favor to Lady Sarah.

Perry and Lady Beatrice found the body of Alex Sterling in the Garden Room of the Events Suite. When the autopsy rules Alex's death as a murder, Lady Beatrice, Perry, and his partner, Simon, decide to investigate the murder because they feel the investigator DCI Richard Fitzwilliam was not doing a good enough job.

DCI Fitzwillain investigated Lady Beatrice's husband's death, and the two never got along, so we see Fitzwilliam not being the nicest to Lady Beatrice.

Perry and Simon become friends with Lady Beatrice, and she starts going to the areas of Francis Court where the public goes.

The book was good, but the investigation had so much going on that I kept getting confused. It was too many details.

I did love how Ladt Beatrice became close friends with Perry and Simon. The story shows Perry grow from not liking Lady Beatrice to making an effort to see she is not as bad as he thinks. I like how Lady Beatrice realizes there are some good people in this world, like Simon and Perry.

I loved the background of how the Royal Family lives. I am American, so I don't know much about that, but I do love the current British Royal Family.

I would recommend this book to everybody. There is another one, and I will be reading that one and hope there are a lot more future books, just for the characters alone.

I received a free copy of this book via Booksprout and am voluntarily leaving a review.
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B. Rogers
4.0 out of 5 stars Nice debut for new author and new series
Reviewed in the United States on October 20, 2022
This is certainly a unique concept for a cozy murder mystery, so kudos to this debut author for that. The mystery was well developed and the clues were dropped enticingly along with the red herrings. It did take me a while to figure out whom the ongoing protagonists were going to be (for the series) – mostly because they are such an unlikely mix. Again, kudos to the author for that.

Lady Beatrice, Countess of Rossex, is the reclusive, widowed niece of the king. Fourteen years ago, her husband was killed in an automobile accident, with another woman in the car. Lady Beatrice was very young at the time and the ensuing feeding frenzy by the press caused her to become almost a hermit – rarely leaving her apartments. To help bring her out of her shell, her sister, Lady Sarah, cajoles her into taking on an interior decorating project at Francis Court.

Perry Juke has worked at Francis Court for several years and is now assistant to Lady Sarah. Lady Sarah thinks Perry and this project are just what Lady Beatrice needs to bring her out of hiding. So, who is he to object? Even though he thinks Lady Beatrice is cold, snooty, and aloof, he agrees to the task. Perry’s partner, Simon Lattimore (a famous crime writer), reminds Perry that there could be other reasons for Lady Beatrice to appear cold and aloof. Perry is ready to begin the project and have some fun – and he was delighted to find a wonderful new friend in Lady Beatrice.

Detective Chief Inspector Richard Fitzwilliam was part of the team who originally investigated the death of Lady Beatrice’s husband. Now, he is back investigating a new murder and as soon as he and Lady Beatrice are on the same turf, the hostilities begin.

Perry, Simon, and Lady Beatrice are bound and determined to solve the crime first and show that gruff, condescending detective up. DCI Fitzwilliam does not take well to their meddling in police business and the fur flies.

I thought this book had an excellent mix of humor and drama. The chemistry between all of the characters was realistic and I was sure I’d like them if I ever met them in real life. Personally, I thought the book was a bit wordy and a tad draggy at a few spots, but overall, it was a nice read. Somehow, though, I couldn’t get my head around the fact that the person who is 17th in line for the English throne is playing at being a detective.

I can recommend this book and I hope you will enjoy it should you choose to read it. The next two books in the series will be following close behind this one, so be on the lookout for them - For Richer, For Deader (11/16/22) & Not Mushroom For Death (12/14/22).

I voluntarily read and reviewed an Advanced Reader Copy (ARC) of this book. All thoughts and opinions are my own.
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Kindle Customer
5.0 out of 5 stars A gentle, humorous read
Reviewed in the United Kingdom on October 21, 2022
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If you're looking for a cosy, easy read, look no further than this first book by Helen Gold, a new girl on the block. Thought I might find it a bit too "chicklit" but it got better and better. Must admit to wanting to slap Perry on numerous occasions!
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Kindle Customer
5.0 out of 5 stars A wonderful book
Reviewed in the United Kingdom on December 28, 2022
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I loved this book. Lady Bea, Perry and Simon are lovely characters. It was a wonderful cozy mystery. Just the thing for a cold winter's night. I can't wait to read the next book.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Gentle and relaxing escapism
Reviewed in the United Kingdom on November 13, 2022
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A gentle murder mystery involving a fictitious royal family. Not my normal genre but wanted a relaxing book to escape into and this was perfect. Gentle humour and just enough action to keep me interested. I often find books get boring for me at 40-60% so I judge a book by whether or not I skip read at that stage but this one kept me reading. The list of characters at the end of the book was really helpful.
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Claire Neal
5.0 out of 5 stars Fabulous book
Reviewed in the United Kingdom on December 31, 2022
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Great first book, perfect for those long winter nights. Murder mystery with bit of humour, love Perry and Simon, their characters are so lovable. The plot had me guessing all the way through the book with various twists along the way. Now to start book 2
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Jo Hibbert
5.0 out of 5 stars Fabulous!
Reviewed in the United Kingdom on October 23, 2022
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I loved this book; my only disappointment is that it’s part of a series and the next book isn’t ready for



She’s a Chicago detective hiding in a Gulf Coast town...

But when some dirty cops put a price on her head,
MURDER AND GRITS' Piper Sandstone is forced to go undercover as a waitress in a coastal Alabama café.

But Savory, Alabama is not your typical tourist Gulf Coast town.

It's home to three-time AKC champion poodle Victory Cup Valentino, who goes missing right after Piper arrives -- and right before the Westminster Dog Show.


But before anyone can get any answers, a body turns up in the bayou and Piper is at the center of the crime scene. To top things off, the handsome sheriff is asking too many questions.

Fortunately for Piper, a group of retired ladies dubbed the Dentures and Diamonds Crime Squad is on her side.

"More mystery, more fun, more sleuthing, more food, more stake-outs. What more can a reader want? Oh, and by the way, there's some great recipes in the back of the book that are part of the story and you can try out in your own kitchen. That's an added bonus!" - Amazon reader


Thanks for reading!  Until next time,

Michael Martin

2,513 subscribers