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One Fell Swoop, by David Linzee
When mezzo-soprano Renata Radleigh stumbles over a corpse on London’s Hampstead Heath, she suspects the death has something to do with her brother Don’s boss, a billionaire speculator who will go to any lengths to keep his identity secret. Don is acting as his front-man in far-off St. Louis, Missouri, buying up a borderline slum called Parkdale. Don has an apartment in Parkdale and claims he wants to save the neighborhood. He’s even having a romance with a local community gardener, the sturdy Hannah.
Tipped off by a long-distance call from his girlfriend Renata, Peter Lombardo tails the slippery Don and discovers he really lives in the fashionable Central West End, where he seems to have a more glamorous lover. Peter is not buying Don’s new image. Not even the drug dealers trust the man.
Between singing engagements at a London mansion and a prison, Renata tries to find out the truth about Don’s employer and ends up pursued by his thugs, fleeing for her life. She flees all the way to St. Louis to join forces with her beloved Peter. Why is the powerful and charismatic chancellor of Adams University interested in Don’s dealings? What is Don up to? Does he know himself, or is he nothing but a patsy who could well pay for his cluelessness with his life, as well as the lives of Renata and Peter?
Book 2 in the Renata Radleigh Opera Mystery series, which began with Spur of the Moment.
No Bridle, No Bit, No Reins, by Mary Anne Morefield
In her new poems, the author continues to widen her search to see the beauty in the world around her, tiny trout lilies beside a creek, a slender palo blanco in her sister’s garden, or in the sky as she tries to name its color. But even as she sees beauty, she struggles to understand the world’s brokenness: mistreatment of native peoples, the murder of Jesuit priests in El Salvador, war and terror across the globe. She writes from the solitude of the desert while her heart and mind travel in the world of ideas.
The Sinking of the Angie Piper, by Chris Riley
Ed and his childhood friend Danny are gearing up in Kodiak, Alaska, preparing to join the Angie Piper’s crew for another season of crab fishing. Ed is a relative newcomer, but despite the perils of the trade, he sees no reason to fear for Danny’s safety. The Angie Piper has always been blessed. She has a stalwart captain, Fred, a crack engineer, Dave, and two time-tested pros to keep the rest of the operation running smoothly, exuberant Loni and the more reticent Salazar.
Every season has a greenhorn, the one who works for a pittance in order to learn the ropes. This time around it is Ed’s friend Danny, no ordinary crewman. Their shared history is complex. Though strong, brave, and hardworking, Danny is a simple soul, and Ed is weighed down by guilt, dark memories of the many times he failed to defend his friend against the inevitable bullying. And cantankerous Dave believes Danny is a bad omen, so much so that his bitter opposition may endanger them all.
The season starts off strong, and the crew is elated by the bounty of their catch. Then their luck turns. The skies grow dark, the waves swell, and Mother Nature bears down on them with her full arsenal. When the storm finally abates, who will live to tell the tale?
Muir Woods Or Bust, by Ian Woollen
As the 21st century lurches forward, weather weirdness abounds, begetting the rise of a new psychiatric syndrome: Eco-Mood Disorders. Or so psychologist Gil Moss believes. Of course, Gil is also hallucinating visits from his recently deceased wife, an Earth Liberation Front activist. And from 19th-century environmentalist John Muir.
Abducted at gunpoint by Doyle Wentworth, an elderly client who played John Muir in a satirical, anti-environmental FAUX-TV miniseries, Gil journeys westward via freight train, private jet, and stolen automobile, aided and pursued by colorful figures from Gil’s and Doyle’s pasts. Destination: Muir Woods and the auditions for the revival of Yosemite Yahoos. Soon after Gil leaves Bloomington, his reclusive son Chum is also dragged west by Gil’s former student Amanda to pitch his video game Phantom Vampire to Amanda’s billionaire ex.
A vision quest for the ages. Gil wants to tell you all about it, including the story of his great-great-aunt healing young John Muir from a grisly blinding in an industrial accident in 1867. But computer problems and selective amnesia have stymied Gil’s attempts. Until this unexpected cross-country spree leads him, and his fellow travelers, to their true callings.
Let the Dead Bury the Dead, by David Carlson
A priest is found brutally strangled before the altar of Detroit’s St. Cosmas Greek Orthodox Church. The captain of the Detroit Police assigns her star detective Christopher Worthy to the case, knowing that the interim priest is Worthy’s close friend Father Fortis. Worthy’s new partner Henderson believes Father Spiro surprised a local thug in the act of stealing a silver altarpiece. This simple solution doesn’t sit right with Detective Worthy and Father Fortis. Small clues have led them to believe the killer is connected to the church.
Father Spiro had recently befriended a rabbi. During the final service he led before he died, why did he falter? Was he drifting into senility or simply distracted? Was he hiding a crisis of faith?
To find the Father Spiro’s killer, Detective Worthy and Father Fortis will have to work together to blend in and observe the priest’s inner circle. Time is a luxury Worthy doesn’t have. His partner’s behavior is erratic, his captain is breathing down his neck, and his troubled daughter Alison is finally reaching out. Then there is the beautiful reporter who is slamming him in print, payback for being kept at arm’s length.
As the case grows colder, Fortis and Worthy worry that the culprit has committed the perfect crime. Yet as they get closer to the truth, neither is prepared for evil that threatens them both.
Book 2 in the Christopher Worthy/Father Fortis Mystery series.