2015 Killer Nashville Anthology

Killer Nashville Noir: Cold-Blooded

“This is a book to keep by your bedside for those nighttime short story cravings.” — Publishers Weekly

Edited by Clay Stafford

The New Anthology from the Alumni of Killer Nashville

Bestselling authors Jeffery Deaver and Anne Perry join rising stars like Dana Chamblee Carpenter and Paula Gail Benson in a collection that proves Music City is a deadly place to be when your song gets called.

Featuring stories by: Donald Bain, Jefferson Bass, Paula Gail Benson, Baron R. Birtcher, Mary Burton, Dana Chamblee Carpenter, C. Hope Clark, Daco, Jeffery Deaver, Robert Dugoni, Blake Fontenay, Heywood Gould, Steven James, Jon Jefferson, Catriona McPherson, Anne Perry, Eyre Price, Clay Stafford, Jonathan Stone, Jaden Terrell, and Maggie Toussaint.

Every year, some of the biggest names in the thriller world converge in Tennessee for the Killer Nashville conference, an event where stars of the genre rub elbows with their most devoted fans, where the bestsellers of tomorrow pick up tricks of the trade, and where some of the best writers of today swap dark tales of good deals gone bad, rights made wrong, and murder in all shades…

This collection of new stories features some of the biggest names in suspense, from bestsellers to ferociously talented newcomers. Grouped around the classic theme of murder, KILLER NASHVILLE NOIR: COLD-BLOODED is a first-class collection and a must-have for fans of the genre.

 

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☆ Top 100 Amazon Mystery Anthology Bestsellers List ☆

                                 

Killer Nashville Noir: Cold-Blooded
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Praise for Killer Nashville Noir: Cold-Blooded

“Murder, mayhem, and mystery! Every story in KILLER NASHVILLE NOIR: COLD-BLOODED is filled with suspense, sizzle, and startling twists. I loved it!” – Lisa Jackson, New York Times Bestselling Author

“Chicken nuggets of suspense. Both reviles and intrigues.” – Jennifer Puryear, BaconOnTheBookshelf.com

“Reading and reviewing KILLER NASHVILLE NOIR: COLD-BLOODED provided me a succession of spectacular and special thrills. Not only are included stories by 21 excellent authors, all dedicated to writing the best story possible; editor Clay Stafford is the founder and driving motivation of Killer Nashville.This annual conference unites bestselling authors with those yet to be published, and with fans, connecting a vibrant network of authors and readers in a seamless never-ending symmetry of words. Reading Mr. Stafford’ s  inspirational introduction redoubled [retripled] my enthusiasm for sharing books and authors.” — Mallory Anne-Marie Forbes of Mallory Heart Reviews

“KILLER NASHVILLE NOIR: COLD-BLOODED is possibly the best crime anthology of 2015. Quite often, a book of this type will have several good stories, a couple of tolerable ones, and at least one that the reader will skim past. This was not the case with this book. “In Plain Sight” by Jefferson Bass was my favorite. I have long had an admittedly strange fascination with the Body Farm, so a mystery set there was perfect. It was so good I hated to see it end.” – TheSelfTaughtCook.com

Interviews and Book Reviews

Interview with Eyre Price – “Sad Like A Country Song” – Books Direct Online
Review: Anne Perry’s “Shutter Speed” – Jaquo
Interview with Anne Perry – “Shutter Speed” – Jaquo
Interview with Mary Burton – “The Keepsake” – Hott Books
Interview with Baron R. Birtcher – “Ripple” – The Top Shelf
Interview with Jon Jefferson – “Giving Blood” & “In Plain Sight” – The Top Shelf
Interview with Clay Stafford – “Savage Gulf” – Cozy Up With Kathy
Interview with Donald Bain – “The Hunt for Skippy Walker” – Writers and Authors
Review: Vic’s Media Room Reviews Killer Nashville Noir Cold-Blooded
Review: Mallory Heart Reviews Killer Nashville Noir: Cold-Blooded
Interview with Steven James – “Second Thoughts” – Vic’s Media Room
Interview with Dr. Bill Bass and Jon Jefferson – “In Plain Sight” – Wall-to-Wall Books
Interview with Paula Gail Benson and Robert Dugoni – “A Matter of Honor” – Wall-to-Wall Books
Interview with Jaden Terrell – “Peace Sometimes” – BooksChatter
Interview with Daco Auffenorde – “The Virgo Affair” – Mystery Suspense Reviews
Interview with Blake Fontenay – “The Coal Torpedo” – The Book Divas Reads
Interview with Catriona McPherson – “Kissin’ Don’t Kill” – Hott Books
Review: Deco My Heart Reviews Killer Nashville Noir: Cold-Blooded
Interview with Dana Chamblee Carpenter – “Lullabies and Lightning Storms” – Deal Sharing Aunt
Interview with Maggie Toussaint – “High Noon at Dollar Central” – Omnimystery News
Interview with C. Hope Clark – “Rich Talk” – The Reading Frenzy

Authors and Their Stories Featured in the Killer Nashville Anthology

Donald Bain

“The Hunt for Skippy Walker” by DONALD BAIN

Inside us all is the desire to be something more than what we are. The weak want to be stronger. Those who have little want more. All Willard Walker wanted was to be happy. Instead that part of him that wanted to be more became someone else he couldn’t control. Bain is known for Murder, She Wrote, but Jessica Fletcher never experienced anything this dark.

Donald Bain is the author/ghostwriter of over 120 books, including the bestselling “Murder, She Wrote” series of 45 murder mysteries, 28 novels in Margaret Truman’s “Capital Crime” series, and Coffee, Tea or Me? which sold more 5-million copies worldwide. His autobiography, Murder HE Wrote: A Successful Writer’s Life, was published in 2006. A Purdue graduate, he was named a Distinguished Alumni. Other writing includes westerns, investigative journalism, biographies, historical romance, crime novels, and comedies. The 2014 recipient of the Killer Nashville John Seigenthaler Legends Award, he lives and works in Connecticut where he collaborates with his wife Renée.

 

Jefferson Bass

“In Plain Sight” by JEFFERSON BASS

A group of undergraduate students from the University of Tennessee aren’t surprised when they stumble upon a decomposing body in the famed “Body Farm”. Featuring the Jefferson Bass recurring characters of Bill Brockton and Miranda Lovelady, the shock comes after they realize this particular body wasn’t supposed to be there.

New York Times bestselling author Jefferson Bass is the duo of Jon Jefferson and Dr. Bill Bass. Bass, a renowned forensic anthropologist, is the creator of the University of Tennessee’s Anthropology Research Facility: the “Body Farm.” Author or co-author of more than 200 scientific publications, he is also co-author (with Jefferson) of an acclaimed memoir, Death’s Acre; the nonfiction book Beyond the Body Farm; and nine “Body Farm” novels. Jefferson, the “writer” half of Jefferson Bass, is a veteran author and documentary writer/producer, whose Body Farm documentary, Biography of a Corpse, has been seen by millions worldwide.

 

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“A Matter of Honor” by PAULA GAIL BENSON & ROBERT DUGONI (below)

Pride comes before a fall. Wrongful Death author Robert Dugoni (called “the best of Scott Turow and John Grisham”) teams with writer Paula Gail Benson in a tale of Southern honor as attorney Sara Ainsley Sims and agent B.A. Azevedo learn first-hand that a cold-blooded killer attacking prominent politicians in the South Carolina Statehouse will stop at nothing until a one-hundred-and-fifty-year-old grievance has been addressed.

A legislative attorney and former law librarian, Paula Gail Benson’s short stories have appeared in Kings River Life, the Bethlehem Writers RoundtableMystery Times Ten 2013 (Buddhapuss Ink), A Tall Ship, a Star, and Plunder (Dark Oak Press and Media), A Shaker of Margaritas: That Mysterious Woman (Mozark Press), and Fish or Cut Bait: a Guppy Anthology (Wildside Press). She regularly blogs with others about writing mysteries at the Stiletto Gang and Writers Who Kill. Her personal blog is Little Sources of Joy.

 

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“Ripple” by BARON R. BIRTCHER

Baron R. Birtcher’s recurring characters Mike Travis, a retired cop, and Snyder, a military veteran, get roped into a mission to maintain government secrets when an old friend, Rex Blackwood, comes to the sleepy Hawaiian isle of Hualalai seeking something that is not supposed to exist. There are no umbrella drinks at the bar for this reunion.

Baron R. Birtcher spent a number of years as a professional musician, and founded an independent record label and artist management company. Critics have hailed Baron’s writing as “The real deal” (Publisher’s Weekly) and his plots as “Taut, gritty, and powerfully controlled” (Kirkus Reviews). His critically acclaimed “Mike Travis” series (Roadhouse BluesRuby Tuesday, and Angels Fall) have been LA Times and IMBA bestsellers. Angels Fall was nominated for the “Lefty” Award by Left Coast Crime, and his stand-alone, Rain Dogs, was a finalist for both the Claymore and Silver Falchion Awards. Hard Latitudes is the newest “Mike Travis” thriller.

 

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“The Keepsake” by MARY BURTON

Recurring characters officer Georgia Morgan and homicide Detective Jake Bishop take up the case of murdered Grace Duvall, a twenty-eight-year-old, unsolved, cold case. The aging widower, Lance Duvall, visits the police every year in hopes that some new information leads them to his wife’s killer. This year, the officer and detective get a tip they can’t ignore.

New York Times and USA Today bestselling suspense author Mary Burton’s latest romantic suspense novels include Cover Your Eyes and Be Afraid, which feature the Morgans, a preeminent law enforcement family in Nashville. The third in the series is I’ll Never Let You Go and the fourth Vulnerable. The author of twenty-six published novels and five novellas, Mary is a member of International Thriller Writers, Romance Writers of America, Mystery Writers of America and Sisters in Crime. A Richmond, Virginia native, Mary has made her home there for most of her life.

 

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“Lullabies and Lightning Storms” by DANA CHAMBLEE CARPENTER

The newspaper clippings in Cassie’s attic read Gideon Gets Its Own Bubble Baby. For years to come, reporters, church groups, students, and tourists crowd Cassie’s house to view her daughter Sybil. She hardly speaks but when she does, it’s to softly whisper a prophecy in the form of broken lyrics — to those who come seeking answers and to those who never ask.

Dana Chamblee Carpenter’s debut novel, Bohemian Gospel, won Killer Nashville’s 2014 Claymore Award and is available from Pegasus Books. She teaches creative writing and American Literature at a university in Nashville, TN, where she lives with her husband and two children.

 

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“Rich Talk” by C. HOPE CLARK

Set in C. Hope Clark’s Low Country, defense attorney Harlowe Franklin and his wife Lavella O’Hara Franklin have the perfect life until boredom rocks their worlds. Now both deal with the situation in their own way, putting their butler Stevens square in the middle.

C. Hope Clark pens Southern crime fiction with two series under her belt, “The Carolina Slade Mysteries” and “The Edisto Island Mysteries,” published with Bell Bridge Books. She is also editor of FundsforWriters.com, a resource for writers honored by Writer’s Digest for its “101 Best Websites for Writers” for over a decade. Hope speaks across the country about writing and mysteries, and is known for her motivational voice. She lives on Lake Murray in central South Carolina when she isn’t at Edisto Beach.

 

Daco Auffenorde Professional Photo

“The Virgo Affair” by DACO

Operation Virgo calls for Daco’s recurring double-agent Jordan Jakes to seduce and fall in love with former NASA scientist Ben Johnson, who now spends his time crafting cocktails for his bar’s patrons. As the night goes on, and the spies begin to descend, Jakes quickly learns the only person she can trust is herself.

Daco is a writer and attorney in Huntsville, Alabama. Her international-spy thriller, The Libra Affair, was an Amazon #1 Bestseller (Suspense, Romantic Suspense). According to Publishers WeeklyThe Libra Affair “intrigues with fast-paced, high-stakes action that forces the take-charge heroine to balance her clandestine mission with obligations to her heart.” Her short story The Pisces Affair, also featuring Jordan Jakes, is a 2015 Finalist, Florida Writers Royal Palm Literary Awards. Publishers Weekly says of The Pisces Affair, “Jakes is a lively and witty narrator with the wits and skills of James Bond, and readers will savor her fresh perspective on being a woman in the male-dominated spy world.” Daco is a member of International Thriller Writers, Killer Nashville, and the Florida Writers.

 

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“Repressed” by JEFFERY DEAVER

From the author of The Bone Collector comes Sam Fogel, a professor of Northern transplant displaced in a quiet North Carolina town who becomes disturbed when he sees an old, yellow Buick. After visiting a therapist on his wife’s suggestion, he comes across repressed memories. Can Sam’s discovery save his marriage, his family, his sanity? And will a cold case finally be solved.

A former journalist, folksinger and attorney, Jeffery Deaver is an international number-one bestselling author. His novels have appeared on bestseller lists around the world, including the New York Times, the Times of London, Italy’s Corriere della Sera, the Sydney Morning Herald and the Los Angeles Times. His books are sold in 150 countries and translated into twenty-five languages. The author of thirty-seven novels, three collections of short stories and a nonfiction law book, and a lyricist of a country-western album, he’s received or been shortlisted for dozens of awards. His The Bodies Left Behind was named Novel of the Year by the International Thriller Writers Association, and his Lincoln Rhyme thriller The Broken Window and a stand-alone, Edge, were also nominated for that prize.

 

Robert Dugoni

“A Matter of Honor” by ROBERT DUGONI & PAULA GAIL BENSON (above)

Pride comes before a fall. Wrongful Death author Robert Dugoni (called “the best of Scott Turow and John Grisham”) teams with writer Paula Gail Benson in a tale of Southern honor as attorney Sara Ainsley Sims and agent B.A. Azevedo learn first-hand that a cold-blooded killer attacking prominent politicians in the South Carolina Statehouse will stop at nothing until a one-hundred-and-fifty-year-old grievance has been addressed.

Robert Dugoni is the #1 Amazon and New York Times bestselling author of eight novels. His latest, My Sister’s Grave, was nominated for the Harper Lee Award for legal fiction, the International Thriller Writers Thriller of the Year, and the Nancy Pearl Award for Fiction. My Sister’s Grave was the #1 Amazon bestseller for two months and Amazon, Library Journal and Suspense Magazine also chose it as a “2014 Best Book of the Year”. Dugoni is also the author of the bestselling David Sloane series, The Jury MasterWrongful DeathBodily HarmMurder One, and The Conviction, as well as the stand-alone novel Damage Control. His books have twice been recognized by the Los Angeles Times as a “Top Five Thriller of the Year.” Murder One was a finalist for the prestigious Harper Lee Award for literary excellence. Dugoni’s first book, the nonfiction expose, The Cyanide Canary, was a Washington Post “2004 Best Book of the Year”.

 

Blake Fontenay

“The Coal Torpedo” by BLAKE FONTENAY

The Civil War has just ended and historical figure Allan Pinkerton is in Washington, D.C. in the office of President Andrew Johnson on a mission to set wrongs right. But Johnson may have another agenda than the truth and – if Johnson has his way – the person responsible for the deaths of 1,700 American civilians may go unpunished.

Blake Fontenay spent more than 25 years as a reporter, columnist and editorial writer for metropolitan daily newspapers — including the Sacramento Bee, Florida Times-Union (Jacksonville), Orlando Sentinel and Commercial Appeal (Memphis). Since leaving the newspaper business, he has worked as the communications director for Tennessee’s Comptroller, Treasurer and Secretary of State. He is currently the coordinator for the Tri-Star Chronicles project at the Tennessee State Library and Archives. He has two published novels: The Politics of Barbecue, which won an Independent Publishers Book Awards gold medal for fiction in the South region, and Scouts’ Honor.

 

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“He’ll Kill Again” by HEYWOOD GOULD

From the writer and director responsible for Fort Apache the Bronx, The Boys from Brazil, Cocktail, and Rolling Thunder comes an eerie tale of an average janitor whose only ambition seems to be going to a local bar called O’Meara’s every Thursday night to spend some of his paycheck. Amid the bar brawls on this particular Thursday, he hears a gagging, choking noise, and – before he knows it – his life is about to change.

Heywood Gould is the author of eight novels, among them CocktailFort Apache the Bronx, and Double Bang, which he adapted and directed for the screen. He was a Hammett Award finalist for Leading Lady and Greenlight for Murder, and his novel Serial Killer’s Daughter has been optioned for television. He has written nine movies, including Boys From Brazil and One Good Cop, which he also directed. He also rewrote the cult classic Rolling Thunder.

 

Steven James

“Second Thoughts” by STEVEN JAMES

Murder never goes as planned. And some victims are exceptional. What happens when someone asks, “Help me die”? From the mind that created the “Bowers Files” – Steven James – comes a psychological portrait of a character so determined and singular that he is unstoppable. And just when he thinks it is over, the urge to kill comes again, but that is love, a very dark thing.

Steven James is the bestselling author of ten novels that have received wide critical acclaim from Publishers Weekly, New York Journal of Books, RT Book Reviews, Booklist, Library Journal and many others. He has won three Christy Awards for best suspense and was a finalist for an International Thriller Award for best original paperback. His psychological thriller The Bishop was named Suspense Magazine’s book of the year. He is also a contributing editor for Writer’s Digest and has taught writing and storytelling principles around the world. Publishers Weekly calls James “[A] master storyteller at the peak of his game.”

 

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“Giving Blood” by JON JEFFERSON

In a tale of conspiracy, Jon Jefferson (National Geographic filmmaker and half the writing team of NY Bestselling author Jefferson Bass) shares the twisting story of George Hartley who only wanted to make a difference in this world, but discovered no one was paying attention. After his wife is cruelly taken from him, he is willing to give his blood – and even someone else’s – to even the score.

Jon Jefferson — the “writer” half of the bestselling crime-fiction duo “Jefferson Bass” — is a prolific author, journalist, and documentary filmmaker. Collaborating with forensic anthropologist Dr. Bill Bass (founder of the University of Tennessee’s “Body Farm”), Jefferson has written two nonfiction memoirs and nine crime novels, seven of them New York Times bestsellers. Jefferson has also written and produced more than two-dozen documentaries for the History Channel, the Arts & Entertainment Network, the Oxygen Network, and the National Geographic Channel. His two National Geographic documentaries about the Body Farm were broadcast worldwide, to an audience of millions.

 

Catriona McPherson

“Kissin’ Don’t Kill” by CATRIONA MCPHERSON

Agatha and Anthony Award Winning author Catriona McPherson knows that there’s more to a happy home than appearances, good food being one of them. And, it’s always best to honor your commitments until the bitter end. In this story of geriatric love, the spice is still in the pudding.

Catriona McPherson writes the Agatha, Macavity, and Bruce-Alexander winning “Dandy Gilver” detective series, set in her native Scotland in the 1920s. In 2013 she started a strand of darker (that’s not difficult) standalones. The first, As She Left It, won an Anthony award and the IndieFab Gold for Mystery. The Day She Died was shortlisted for an Edgar. Catriona immigrated to America in 2010, and lives in northern California with a black cat and a scientist. She is proud to have served as the 2015 president of Sisters in Crime.

 

Anne Perry (c) Diane Hinds 2014

“Shutter Speed” by ANNE PERRY

The world-famed author Anne Perry – creator of the detective characters Thomas & Charlotte Pitt, William Monk, and Hester Latterly – historically examines another time and crime of passion. Eighteen years after World War I, Londoner and fashion photographer Jenny McAllister seeks only peace. William Churchill is at odds with Hitler. Within this time of heated escalation and world dominance, Jenny comes upon a street fight with a fatal ending in which one of her pacifist friends is killed. The murderer is unknown. The clue is hidden, but visible, if only Jenny can expose it.

Anne Perry is an international bestselling author. The Times selected her as one of the 20th Century’s “100 Masters of Crime” and her books appear regularly on the New York Times bestseller list. Anne writes two series of Victorian crime novels, one featuring Thomas Pitt, a Commander in the British security forces, and his wife Charlotte Pitt. The other features William Monk, who’s in the River Police, and wife Hester, who’s a nurse. Anne’s other novels include a five-book series set during the First World War, her French Revolution novel The One Thing More, and Sheen on the Silk, set in the dangerous and exotic city of Byzantium.

 

Eyre Price

“Sad Like a Country Song” by EYRE PRICE

When desperation, aspiration, and alcohol mix, Jimmie Dallas steals a song from another up-and-coming musician named Golden Boy. When he hits it big in Nashville – largely from this song – Jimmie gets an unexpected visit from the original songwriter, Mr. Atibon, who convinces Jimmie that fame isn’t always what one thinks – especially when one bargains with the Devil. Eyre Price, the author of the Crossroads thriller series, shows a side of Nashville that few rarely see.

Eyre Price is the author of the award-winning, international chart topping Blues Highway Blues as well as other entries in his “Crossroads Thrillers” series, including Rock Island Rock and Star Killer Star. Price is an attorney and single dad. He and his son, Dylan, live in South Carolina’s Lowcountry with a collection of dogs and cats in a little house not far from the sea.

 

Clay Stafford

“Savage Gulf” by CLAY STAFFORD

Everyone wants to be successful, and nothing lets one know life didn’t turn out as planned like a thirty-year high school reunion. By all accounts, Jack’s life is falling apart. His business is upside down. He suffers the loss of his wife. But between the punch bowl and the restroom, an opportunity presents itself to even the score. From filmmaker and author Clay Stafford comes a story of justice, as unique as the darkness beyond the cliffs of Savage Gulf.

Clay Stafford is an award-winning author, screenwriter, and filmmaker. He has sold over 1.5 million hardcover copies of his children’s adaptations and has seen his film work distributed in over 14 languages. Publishers Weekly named Stafford one of the Top Ten Nashville literary leaders playing “an essential role in defining which books become bestsellers” not only in middle-Tennessee, but also extending “beyond the city limits and into the nation’s book culture.” He is the founder of Killer Nashville and Killer Nashville Magazine. Previously associated with Universal Studios and PBS, he is currently CEO of American Blackguard, Inc. near Nashville, Tennessee.

 

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“Mailman” by JONATHAN STONE

George Waite is the perfect mailman — through rain, snow, sleet, and hail. And he knows when things aren’t right. The newly transplanted Muscovito family is different from everyone in the neighborhood. The neighbors want to know more about the reclusive residents…and so does George. Unfortunately, some mail was never meant to be opened.

Jonathan Stone does most of his writing on the commuter train between the Connecticut suburbs and Manhattan, where he is the creative director of a midtown advertising agency. His six published novels have all been optioned for film. Two of his short stories are anthologized in the Mystery Writers of America annual collections. “Hedge” appears in The Mystery Box, edited by Brad Meltzer, and “East Meets West” can be found in Ice Cold – Tales of Intrigue from the Cold War, edited by Jeffrey Deaver. A graduate of Yale, Jon is married with a son and daughter in college. His latest novel is The Teller.

 

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“Peace, Sometimes” by JADEN TERRELL

Shamus nominee Jaden Terrell shares the story of serial rapist Waylon Bayard. In prison for the unthinkable, he does it again. Escaping to an isolated cabin, with a victim tied, and his old tools on the table, Waylon finds peace in the arms of a woman he never expected. But with peace comes a price. Waylon Bayard never saw that coming.

Jaden Terrell (Beth Terrell) is a Shamus Award finalist, a contributor to “Now Write! Mysteries” (a collection of writing exercises by Tarcher/Penguin), and the author of the Jared McKean private detective novels Racing The DevilA Cup Full of Midnight, and River of Glass. Terrell is the special programs coordinator for the Killer Nashville conference and the winner of the 2009 Magnolia Award for service to the Southeastern Chapter of Mystery Writers of America (SEMWA). A former special education teacher, Terrell is now a writing coach and developmental editor whose leisure activities include ballroom dancing and equine massage therapy.

 

Maggie Toussaint

“High Noon at Dollar Central” by MAGGIE TOUSSAINT

When a burglar keeps breaking into the county’s local stores – the liquor store, the Dollar Central, the art center – Maggie Toussaint’s series character Baxley Powell is dragged into personally investigating the crime by her long-time, best friend, Charlotte Armstrong. But when the clues point to Baxley herself – and even to her family – not even Charlotte knows what to do next. From unlikely sources come unlikely powers as Powell discovers when she is finally face-to-face with the person who wants to do her in.

Formerly an aquatic toxicologist contracted to the U.S. Army and a freelance reporter, Southern author Maggie Toussaint writes mysteries, romances, and science fiction. With thirteen published books to her credit, her latest release is Bubba Done It, book two in her “Dreamwalker Mystery Series,” featuring an amateur sleuth who talks to the dead. An active member of Mystery Writers of America and Sisters In Crime, Maggie’s won three writing awards, including the Silver Falchion for Best Mystery. She lives in coastal Georgia, where secrets, heritage, and ancient oaks cast long shadows.