Mystery/Detective – Too Beautiful For Words

Too Beautiful For WordsToo Beautiful For Words
By Ronald M. James
Republisher: James Milward
Release Date: July 2017
ISBN: 9780998175645 (print)
ISBN: 9780998175652 (ebook)
Pages: 400
Genre: Detective, Mystery

Private Investigator, Sammy Shovel, finally gets the client of a lifetime and rushes to claim his jackpot, but he soon discovers—wealth and pearl coincide.

Beloved Golden Opportunities, CEO, Joel Ceja, is found murdered one foggy morning. Three months after Joel’s death the police are stumped, they still have no clues to his murder. Golden Opportunities’ employees feel they’re being stonewalled and decide to hire Shovel to assist the police. Sammy accepts, figuring it was nothing more than a local homicide.

However, in no time at all, he’s mired in international quicksand filled with a worldwide assassinations ring—and he wants out. But greed overcomes his common sense.

He runs from firefight to firefight to get to the truth, but his adversaries dupe him time and again.

You may deceive Sammy—some of time. But when he put’s it altogether—run bother, run for we all know Sammy’s a shoot first and ask questions later type a guy.

harrington-manor-author-ronald-m-jamesAbout the Author:
Ronald M. James was born during the great depression, and as a toddler watched WPA men build a new street, from his home’s big front window. His playmates were a red rider wagon, a small black satchel and rocks. By using his imagination he had conversations with mythical street workers that bloomed into fashioned fantasies by age four. He used cardboard boxes to create fun spaces for his neighborhood playmates to enjoy and he kept telling stories all through high school. In college he abandoned writing and studied architecture. James had a successful architectural career and retired, however he wanted to keep his creative juices fluent, so he returned to his childhood story telling days and joined a writers group. Like architecture, each day he couldn’t wait to create, finish, and start new stories—like this one, An Adventurous Night.

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Mystery – Dam Witherston

Dam WitherstonDam Witherston
By Betty Jean Craige
Publisher: Black Opal Books
Published: January 2017
ISBN: 978-1626945982
ASIN: B01MUANTF4
Pages: 292
Genre: Mystery

DAM WITHERSTON is a cozy murder mystery, the third in a series set in the fictive town of Witherston in the north Georgia mountains where Cherokees lived for a thousand years. This tale of blackmail and murder in the present involves interracial rape and pregnancy in the past, in 1977 and in 1828, when intercourse between Cherokees and whites was considered an abomination in the racist South.

The story takes place in March of 2017, when Mayor Rich Rather and attorney Grant Griggs receive blackmail messages from a “Donna Dam,” whose name they don’t recognize. Donna Dam threatens to expose their shameful activities of forty years ago if the two men do not take a paternity test and if Mayor Rather does not withdraw his proposal to build a dam. The dam would create a lake on top of sacred Cherokee burial ground. Donna Dam demands $9,900 in cash to keep their secret. The editor of the local online newspaper Witherston on the Web, who publishes Donna Dam’s letter to the editor, reports that forty years ago the Kelly Barnes Dam broke in Toccoa, Georgia, leaving thirty-nine people dead and many more homeless. What is the connection?

The teen-age twins Jaime and Jorge Arroyo, who helped solve the mysteries of Downstream and Fairfield’s Auction, have just discovered an ancient Cherokee burial site when they hear an explosion upstream. The twin’s mother, Detective Mev Arroyo, investigates the fire at the fishing shed, where Rather and Griggs had left their blackmail money, and discovers a body. DNA links the deceased to the twins’ friend Eric.

As in the earlier Witherston murder mysteries Mev is aided in her sleuthing by Jaime and Jorge, her husband Paco, and her aunt Lottie, who help her learn the truth of what happened in 2017 and in 1977 and 1828. DNA ancestry tests reveal kinship between the Cherokees and the present inhabitants of the north Georgia town that no one would have predicted and some would not have disclosed.

The reader participates in the detection by getting information from many different sources: the characters’ dialogue, email, text messages, deeds, and Witherston on the Web, which carries news reports, weather forecasts, announcements, obituaries, Jorge’s column about nature, Jorge’s cartoon, and Lottie’s column about Witherston’s history.

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Dam Witherston Author Betty Jean CraigeAbout the Author:
Dr. Betty Jean Craige is University Professor Emerita of Comparative Literature at the University of Georgia. She has lived in Athens, Georgia, since 1973.

Betty Jean is a teacher, scholar, translator, humorist, and writer. After retiring in 2011, she published a column about animal behavior in the local paper titled “Cosmo Talks” and began writing fiction. Her Witherston Murder Mystery series, set in north Georgia, includes DOWNSTREAM, FAIRFIELD’S AUCTION, and DAM WITHERSTON.

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Mystery/Thriller – A Mighty Fortress

A Mighty FortressA Mighty Fortress
Milo Porter Mystery Series, Book 1
By S.D. Thames
Published: July 1, 2016
ASIN: B01FMWET52
Pages: 458
Genre: Mystery/Thriller

In Tampa, the only thing more crooked than the mob is the police…

Milo Porter leads a happy life in Tampa, Florida. The Iraq war veteran runs routine private investigations by day and coaches powerlifting at night. When Chad Scalzo, the grandson of a rumored mob boss, goes missing, Milo takes the seemingly easy case. After Chad turns up dead, Milo goes from investigator to suspect.

As he seeks to clear his own name, Milo finds himself at the crossroads of two crooked investigations — one by the mob and the other by the police. With the body count climbing, Milo discovers the key to the case in the last known person to see Chad alive.

But can Milo get to her before someone else does?

A Mighty Fortress is the first book in the Milo Porter mystery series, a set of gritty crime thrillers that will remind you of the characters from Robert B. Parker and Robert Crais. If you like gripping suspense, hardboiled crime-solvers, and heart-stopping action, then you’ll love the powerful series starter from S.D. Thames.

A Mighty Fortress AuthorAbout the Author:
S.D. Thames is a lawyer in Tampa, Florida, and the author of Foreclosure: A Novel, A Mighty Fortress, and other works of crime fiction exploring the dark side of the Sunshine State.

 

 

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Cozy Murder Mystery – Fairfield’s Auction

Fairfield's AuctionFairfield’s Auction
A Witherston Murder Mystery
By Betty Jean Craige
Publisher: Black Opal Books
Published: February 2016
ISBN: 978-1626944091
ASIN: B01AXN3546
Genre: Cozy Mystery, Cozy Murder Mystery

On a cold winter evening in the small mountain town of Witherston, Georgia, antique dealer Hempton Fairfield auctions off rare Cherokee artifacts, Appalachian antiques, and a young African Grey parrot. Late that night a blizzard stops traffic for a three-mile stretch of the Witherston Highway, prohibiting anyone’s arrival or departure. The next morning two bodies are discovered in the snow, and the parrot is missing. What happened? How did the chickens escape from the eighteen-wheeler chicken truck stranded on the highway? Who rightfully owns the remnants of the thousand-year-old Cherokee civilization?

Teenage twins Jaime and Jorge Arroyo, with the help of their mother Detective Mev Arroyo, solve the murder mystery.

Fairfield’s Auction is Betty Jean Craige’s second Witherston murder mystery published by Black Opal Books. Her first, Downstream, appeared in 2014.

Other books we’ve promoted in the Witherston Murdery Mystery Series:

DownstreamDownstream
A Witherston Murder Mystery
By Betty Jean Craige
Publisher: Black Opal Books
Published: November 2014
ISBN: 978-1626942011
ASIN: B00OSXPV4A
Pages: 298
Genre: Murder Mystery

Downstream is a murder mystery set in a fictive town of 4,000 called Witherston on land once occupied by the Cherokee Indians in north Georgia. The novel is funny, but its message about the effect of pharmaceutical pollutants on the environment is serious.

Francis Hearty Withers, local billionaire in the north Georgia town of Witherston, whose great-great grandfather Hearty Francis Withers made his fortune in the Dahlonega Gold Rush of 1828, has his 100th birthday party in front of the Witherston Baptist Church on May 23, 2015. He credits his longevity to the anti-aging drug Senextra developed by the pharmaceutical company BioSenecta of which he is majority shareholder. He and the residents of Withers Village, all men above the age of 90, have taken Senextra for four years as part of a pilot study conducted by BioSenecta. Withers announces that he has just signed and filed his only will. In it he provides $1 billion to be divided up equally among the 4,000 residents of Witherston a year from his death, $1 billion to be given to the municipality of Witherston at the same time, and the remainder of his estate to be given to BioSenecta on condition that BioSenecta build a Senextra factory in Witherston. Withers also tells of his plans to log an old-growth forest to make way for the Senextra factory on his property. When protesters against BioSenecta Pharmaceuticals insult him, Withers declares he will change his will. He dies on that Memorial Day weekend before he gets to his lawyer. Who killed him and why?

One of the characters says, “Senextra symbolizes Western society’s ambition to control the forces of nature.” Witherston becomes divided between those who support this mission, who embrace Senextra, and those who do not, who protest the use and manufacture of Senextra for its effects on both the human body and the entire ecosystem. The environmentalists also vehemently protest the clear-cutting of Withers’s land.

Senextra, which gets into Founding Father’s Creek upstream from Witherston, has some unanticipated side effects. One of them is fertility in menopausal women. Another is sterility and feminization in men and males of other species exposed to the drug. A quick summary of the novel’s theme is “Don’t mess with Mother Nature!” The protagonist is Mev Arroyo, who is a detective in Witherston’s Police Department. But since she must undergo a lumpectomy in the course of the story, her lively and smart fourteen-year-old twin boys, Jaime and Jorge, do much of the investigating.

Dr. George Folsom, a proponent of Senextra and conductor of the pilot study, is the killer. Dr. Neel Kingfisher, a Cherokee relative of Withers and director of Withers Village, is Folsom’s antagonist. His actions save young Jorge from Folsom and expose Senextra’s toxicity to humans and other animals in the environment.

Downstream AuthorAbout the Author:
Dr. Betty Jean Craige is Professor Emerita of Comparative Literature at the University of Georgia. She lives in Athens, Georgia.  Betty Jean is a teacher, scholar, translator, humorist, and novelist. She has published seventeen academic books, plus a book about her African Grey Parrot titled Conversations with Cosmo.

Fairfield’s Auction is the second novel in her Witherston Murder Mystery series published by Black Opal Books. Her first was Downstream.

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Murder Mystery – Downstream: A Witherston Murder Mystery

DownstreamDownstream
A Witherston Murder Mystery
By Betty Jean Craige
Publisher: Black Opal Books
Published: November 2014
ISBN: 978-1626942011
ASIN: B00OSXPV4A
Pages: 298
Genre: Murder Mystery

Downstream is a murder mystery set in a fictive town of 4,000 called Witherston on land once occupied by the Cherokee Indians in north Georgia. The novel is funny, but its message about the effect of pharmaceutical pollutants on the environment is serious.

Francis Hearty Withers, local billionaire in the north Georgia town of Witherston, whose great-great grandfather Hearty Francis Withers made his fortune in the Dahlonega Gold Rush of 1828, has his 100th birthday party in front of the Witherston Baptist Church on May 23, 2015. He credits his longevity to the anti-aging drug Senextra developed by the pharmaceutical company BioSenecta of which he is majority shareholder. He and the residents of Withers Village, all men above the age of 90, have taken Senextra for four years as part of a pilot study conducted by BioSenecta. Withers announces that he has just signed and filed his only will. In it he provides $1 billion to be divided up equally among the 4,000 residents of Witherston a year from his death, $1 billion to be given to the municipality of Witherston at the same time, and the remainder of his estate to be given to BioSenecta on condition that BioSenecta build a Senextra factory in Witherston. Withers also tells of his plans to log an old-growth forest to make way for the Senextra factory on his property. When protesters against BioSenecta Pharmaceuticals insult him, Withers declares he will change his will. He dies on that Memorial Day weekend before he gets to his lawyer. Who killed him and why?

One of the characters says, “Senextra symbolizes Western society’s ambition to control the forces of nature.” Witherston becomes divided between those who support this mission, who embrace Senextra, and those who do not, who protest the use and manufacture of Senextra for its effects on both the human body and the entire ecosystem. The environmentalists also vehemently protest the clear-cutting of Withers’s land.

Senextra, which gets into Founding Father’s Creek upstream from Witherston, has some unanticipated side effects. One of them is fertility in menopausal women. Another is sterility and feminization in men and males of other species exposed to the drug. A quick summary of the novel’s theme is “Don’t mess with Mother Nature!” The protagonist is Mev Arroyo, who is a detective in Witherston’s Police Department. But since she must undergo a lumpectomy in the course of the story, her lively and smart fourteen-year-old twin boys, Jaime and Jorge, do much of the investigating.

Dr. George Folsom, a proponent of Senextra and conductor of the pilot study, is the killer. Dr. Neel Kingfisher, a Cherokee relative of Withers and director of Withers Village, is Folsom’s antagonist. His actions save young Jorge from Folsom and expose Senextra’s toxicity to humans and other animals in the environment.

About the Author:
Downstream AuthorDr. Betty Jean Craige is University Professor Emerita of Comparative Literature and Director Emerita of the Willson Center for Humanities and Arts at the University of Georgia. She has lived in Athens, Georgia, since 1973. Betty Jean is a teacher, scholar, translator, humorist, and writer. She has published seventeen books in the fields of literature, politics, art, and history of ideas. The most recent is Conversations with Cosmo: At Home with an African Grey Parrot. For two years she wrote a Sunday column about animals, “Cosmo Talks,” in the Athens Banner-Herald.

Downstream, a murder mystery, is her first novel.

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