Welcome to another edition of the Mystery Ahead newsletter, delivered fresh to you every other Sunday, with #booknews, exclusive #excerpts, and #reviews of must-read mysteries.
1 THE LISTMAKER OF ACAPULCO TOPS LIST
Thanks to the best mystery lovers on the planet (as in you) THE LISTMAKER OF ACAPULCO topped the Women Sleuths category list on Amazon on its debut weekend. Since then, LISTMAKER has been knocked down the list, but the thrill lingers.
Thank you all so much for reading, rating and reviewing.
The price is still just $2.99!
In this Kindle Single companion to the full-length Detective Emilia Cruz novels, after she thwarts a gang attack on a house in an upscale Acapulco neighborhood, Emilia discovers a black notebook with a list of names, numbers, and dates.
Convinced it is a list of dirty cops, how long does she have before they come for her?
For most of June, I was on the road, visiting family in central New York and gathering historic details for the upcoming GALLIANO CLUB historical thriller series set during Prohibition.
Special thanks go to Linda, my guide for a private tour of the Stanley Theater in Utica, New York, and to Patrick at the Oneida County Historical Society. It was wonderful to meet people with so much passion for the work they do and the history they care for.
I lugged home a huge pile of books, maps, vintage postcards, copies of old newspapers, train timetables, and even old advertisements! (Did you know that Utica Club beer was the first beer sold after prohibition?)
Get ready to be transported to 1926! Bootleggers, secrets, and murder are all on tap.
Wondering when the first Galliano Club thriller, MURDER AT THE GALLIANO CLUB, will be released? Watch this space.
3 HELLO, BEAR
Many readers know Hazel, our haughty German Shepherd, and Dutch, our “attention hound.” (Yes, that’s an AKC registered breed. I checked.) We recently added Bear to the mix. He's a young German Shepherd with an uncanny resemblance to a polar bear, with a size and appetite to match.
Bear is now Dutch's new BFF. Queen Hazel took more convincing before accepting Bear as a second minion but would like him to stop giving her kisses.
Hard to be dignified with 100 lbs of white fur licking your ear. Trust me, I know.
THE LISTMAKER OF ACAPULCO: A Detective Emilia Cruz Novella
Helmet-style balaclavas turned the interior of the van into 18 eyes blinking in the lurching darkness. Bulletproof vests with POLICIA stenciled front and back bulked up black tactical uniforms. Each shoulder sported a tiny white diamond, symbol of the unit. Communications gear included lightweight
earpiece radios, with backup radios hooked to belts already weighted with handcuffs and extra ammo. The older commo gear was an emergency measure in case the primary radios failed. A gang as powerful as B-90 knew how to jam police frequencies. It was one reason why gangs had all but chased the police out of places like Colonia Libertadores.
Tonight, however, the police were coming back.
The van hit a pothole. Emilia’s stomach fluttered like a trapped bird. She was already drenched in sweat. Her shoulders ached with tension. The bulletproof vest weighed a ton.
Emilia and Silvio were suited up with Special Assignments, heading into Colonia Libertadores toward the residence of Hector Salinas and his wife Delores Pinell Montez. They were in the second of three vans. Unsure what they would find, the plan was to send in overwhelming force.
Everyone had been briefed. Automatic weapons had been checked and rechecked.
Special Assignments recruited officers proficient in busting doors, heads, and rules. They were known for size and strength; not to be confused with undercover Special Operations officers who relied on brains and cunning. Silvio started his career in Special
Informally known as the Ball Busters, Special Assignments had a reputation for swagger and mayhem. Emilia wished the unit also had a reputation for discipline under fire.
VICTIM 2117 by Jussi Adler-Olsen
The Department Q series is a tour de force when it comes to the police procedural genre. VICTIM 2117, the latest in the series, is a brilliant page-turner.
Deep in the basement of the Copenhagen police department building, Detective Carl Mørck heads up a cold case unit complete with complex secondary characters, roiling backstories of both people and crimes, and truly evil adversaries. The most unknowable member of the Department Q team is Assad, who first appears as the janitor in THE KEEPER OF LOST CAUSES, although it’s soon clear to Carl that Assad is a man of many skills. Throughout the series, Carl wonders about Assad’s background, multiple skills, and even where he lives.
VICTIM 2117 finally reveals all Assad’s secrets.
The body of a woman washes ashore on the island of Cyprus, one of thousands trying to escape the fighting in Syria. She is the 2117th person to have died in this way.
Three different people are powerfully affected by the photograph: a penniless journalist who wants to build a career on the story, a murderous young man who links it to an online game, and Assad, who recognizes the dead woman. She helped his family escape Iraq some 16 years ago.
When an examination of the body reveals that the woman was murdered, not drowned, the three divergent plot lines explode into a multi-faceted race against both a demonic terrorist and a youth who wants to become one.
Unlike the other Department Q books which mostly take place in Denmark and see the action through Carl’s eyes, VICTIM 2117 crosses Europe while also offering Assad as the main voice. Carl plays wingman to Assad, instead of the other way around, even as Carl's personal life provides tantalizing diversions.
Assad’s relationship to the killer is based on a long-running quest for revenge. Motives are real and personal. A cat and mouse game leads to a thrilling showdown in Germany. Yet the online gamer’s nefarious plans are equally shocking. It takes all of Department Q’s assets to track him down.
I read this book’s print edition and skimmed past descriptions in my rush to find out what happens next. The action is utterly breathless. The characters are exceptionally well drawn. You will be mesmerized.
“You can't use up creativity. The more you use, the more you have.”
– Maya Angelou
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