Poisoned Pen Press

Poisoned Pen Press
Poisoned Pen Press
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Оne of the largest publishers of hardcover mysteries in the world.
Poisoned Pen Press
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Publishers Weekly Top 10 Mysteries for Spring 2019
«Driven by the heart-pounding suspense of a high-stakes poker game, Bluff is a vivid, compelling novel about deceit, seduction, and delicious revenge that will keep you spellbound and cheering as you turn the last page.» -Susan Cheever, New York Times bestselling author
One-time socialite Maud Warner polishes up the rags of her once glittering existence and bluffs her way into a signature New York restaurant on a sunny October day. When she shoots Sun Sunderland, the “Pope of Finance,” as he lunches with “accountant to the stars” Burt Sklar — the man she's accused for years of stealing her mother's fortune and leaving her family in ruins — she deals the first card in her high-stakes plan for revenge.
Maud has grown accustomed to being underestimated and invisible, and uses it. Her fervent passion for poker has taught her that she can turn weakness into strength to take advantage of people who think they are taking advantage of her. It's uncanny how she reads them.
Her intimates in New York high society believe that “Mad Maud” accidentally missed Sklar, her real target. But nothing is as it first appears as she weathers the unexpected while following her script. And while Maud is on the run, the dark secrets of men who believe their money and power place them above the law will be exposed. Betrayal, larceny, greed, sexual battery, and murder lurk beneath the surface of their glittering lives.
One unexpected twist after another follows as we watch a fierce, unapologetic Maud play the most important poker hand of her life. The stakes? To take down her enemies and get justice for their victims. Her success depends on her continuing ability to bluff. And on who will fold.
Can she win?
Bluff, Jane Stanton Hitchcock
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«The Arctic trails have their secret talesThat would make your blood run cold.»-Robert W. Service, “The Cremation of Sam McGee”
Jack Mabie claims to be the meanest man in Alaska, yet the old sourdough seems to be just one of the crusty geezers in every roadhouse bewildered by how his lawless frontier life has morphed into the pastel 1950s world of martini cocktail bars up and down Fairbanks' Second Avenue.
Sonia Petrievich, an editor at The Gold, her father Hank's weekly pro-statehood paper, learns through the mukluk telegraph about Jack's gleeful account of murders and robberies and shell games during the gold rush days. Her breezy March 1957 profile lets Jack revel in newfound notoriety.
Edna Ferber, not completely satisfied with her forthcoming novel Ice Palace, has just returned for further research and is fascinated by Jack and his wild tales. Plus the previous summer, young Athabascan lawyer Noah West, a war hero and Sonia's lover, bent on bettering the lives of Alaskan Natives, had sharpened Edna's sense of a corner of the territory she'd ignored: «I felt I'd lost sight of the real Alaska, the heartless icebox in the North, the blank-eyed old-timers still haunted by gold… I'd forgotten Alaska is still frontier…a violent, mysterious world below the glossy skin I'd written about.»
When Jack is found beaten to death, Noah becomes a suspect. Two violent deaths follow. Edna, Noah's advocate, decides she needs to clear his name, believing the murders are connected. As debates over potential statehood rage, Edna begins unearthing scandals and sordid stories hidden in Fairbanks but also dating back to village life in Fort Yukon and down into the Lower 48.
What horrible secrets carried from the Arctic Circle have led to so many murders? And what novelist could stand aside from this story?
Run Cold, Ed Ifkovic
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The gun used in Rowland Sinclair's father's death some thirteen years earlier has turned up in a drained dam at the family's country homestead in Yass. And when Rowland offends right-wing New Guard leader Eric Campbell, Campbell uses his influence to set the police to renew their inquiries into Henry Sinclair's death.
Henry's friends had all been led to believe that the wealthy landowner had died in a much more respectable way. Rowland and his elder brother, Wil, had avoided any discussion of the event ever since — in fact the whole family had ducked the issue for over a decade, keeping secret that Sinclair senior was murdered. The possible involvement of the teenage Rowly and his older brother's intervention has been under the radar as well.
But now the finger of blame is pointing squarely at the Sinclair black sheep, a man careless of what society and the authorities think of him. So he and the trio of artist friends who live in his Sydney suburban mansion, and generally have his back, avail themselves of a racing green Gypsy Moth (Rowland is a pioneer in air travel) and a yellow Mercedes sports car (another frightening mode of transport) to arrive in New South Wales' Southern Tablelands, bent on clearing Rowly's name.
With cameo appearances from historical figures — Bob Menzies in the Sinclair kitchen, Edna Walling in the garden, and Kate Leigh grinning lasciviously at Rowly in a jailhouse crowd — and a real sense of fun contrasting with the quite genuine tension, this is historical crime for those in the know and those who can barely remember what happened last weekend, a story of family secrets and fraternal loyalty. Despite the humor, the Rowland Sinclair Mysteries take a deadly serious look at the 1930s, reflecting our own tumultuous times.
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WITH AN INTRODUCTION BY MARTIN EDWARDS
'One of our most ingenious and stylish home-grown crime novelists' — Spectator'A book to delight every puzzle-suspense enthusiast' — New York Times
John Wilkins meets a beautiful, irresistible girl, and his world is turned upside down. Looking at his wife, and thinking of the girl, everything turns red before his eyes — the colour of murder.
But did he really commit the heinous crime he was accused of? Told innovatively in two parts: the psychiatric assessment of Wilkins and the trial for suspected murder on the Brighton seafront, Symons' award-winning mystery tantalizes the reader with glimpses of the elusive truth and makes a daring exploration of the nature of justice itself.
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Flamboyant actor Leo Pierson's Art Nouveau treasures have been stolen, including a one-of-a-kind Lalique glass dragonfly he claims is cursed. David Randall, 302 Grace Street's private eye, agrees to recover the valuables before he realizes murder has raised its ugly head in the Parkland art community. Samuel Gallant of the museum board is missing, until Randall and his landlord/consultant Camden find Gallant's body stuffed in a museum closet. When another board member suffers a fatal accident and the art critic for the Parkland Herald is attacked, Randall suspects the stolen dragonfly is indeed cursed. He investigates Richard Mason, curator of the Little Gallery, whose artwork consists of ugly mechanical sculptures, and Nancy Piper, finance manager at the Parkland Art Museum.
Meanwhile, Camden struggles against psychic visions he's had since birth, taking pills to limit sudden intense visions. His wife, Ellin, fends off Matt Grabber, a television celebrity healer threatening to take over her Psychic Service Network and using his two large pythons to emphasize his bid. The pythons take a liking to Camden, upping his stress level, while he takes more pills hoping his visions — and the snakes — disappear. Kit, a new tenant at Grace Street, is a young rock star who is also psychic. As Camden becomes more addicted, Kit becomes an early warning system, alerting Randall to the next attack.
Randall works to solve the murders, find the jeweled collection, help Cam, deter Grabber and his pythons, romance the young lovely Kary, and avoid stray curses. A spirit on the Other Side surprisingly requests his help, a spirit with ties to the stolen pieces of Art Nouveau.
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A brand-new Sir Robert Carey mystery, perfect for fans of C.J. Sansom and S.J. Parris.
Sir Robert Carey, Deputy Warden of the West March, has just foiled a double plot to assassinate King James. Now he rides for Leith hunting the would-be killer Joachim Hochstetter. Has he taken ship for the Continent, or ridden south for England and, quite literally, gone to ground?
Originally from Augsburg, Hochstetter's family runs a smelting business in Keswick amid a colony of German miners. Just how far would they go to protect one of their own?
Sir Robert's other problem? His dour, difficult Sergeant, Henry Dodd, has disappeared somewhere on the snowy moors. They found his horse… but there's no sign of the rider. Sir Robert's searches will see him sorely tested, both above and below ground, at sword's point and at fuse's end…
'Chisholm displays a masterful hand… A resoundingly satisfying conclusion and a terrific hook. I have never loved Sir Robert more' DANA STABENOW.
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WITH AN INTRODUCTION BY MARTIN EDWARDS
'No one had tackled Doyce. He had been alone when he fell. He had simply folded up like a jack-knife and slipped to the ground. What had happened?'
The 1939 Arsenal side is firing on all cylinders and celebrating a string of victories. They appear unstoppable, but the Trojans — a side of amateurs who are on a winning streak of their own — may be about to silence the Gunners.
Moments into the second half the whistle blows, but not for a goal or penalty. One of the Trojans has collapsed on the pitch. By the end of the day, he is dead.
Gribble's unique mystery, featuring the actual Arsenal squad of 1939, sends Inspector Anthony Slade into the world of professional football to investigate a case of deadly foul play on and off the pitch.
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WITH AN INTRODUCTION BY MARTIN EDWARDS AND PREFACE BY RACHEL REEVES MP
'Through the double clamour of Big Ben and the shrill sound of the bell rang a revolver shot.'
A financier is found shot in the House of Commons. Suspecting foul play, Robert West, a parliamentary private secretary, takes on the role of amateur sleuth. Used to turning a blind eye to covert dealings, West must now uncover the shocking secret behind the man's demise, amid distractions from the press and the dead man's enigmatic daughter.
Originally published in 1932, this was the only mystery novel to be written by Ellen Wilkinson, one of the first women to be elected to Parliament. Wilkinson offers a unique insider's perspective of political scandal, replete with sharp satire.
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One blizzardy New Mexico night, Posadas County Deputy Pasquale picks up a toddler scooting his Scamper along the shoulder of State 56.
Yes, it's horrifying — a child apparently dumped out of a truck by his father. Nearly as horrifying is what unrolls while Christmas approaches after dad Darrell Fisher's arrest: a request arrives from the US Forest Service to locate a missing range tech and his unit last reported headed for nearby Stinkin' Springs, and the brutal murder of Constance Suarez in the border town of Regál, population 37.
The Sheriff's Department is stretched to its limits as its dedicated personnel juggle working cases and caring for citizens with their own relationships and family celebrations. The irony of so much wickedness at the holidays is not lost on anyone. Undersheriff Estelle Reyes-Guzman, heading out her door to a crime scene, reflects: “It would be a glorious holiday evening for somebody.”
As their mother joins her colleagues in dealing with the Fisher family, the Forest Service's absent Myron Fitzwater, the murder, and who knows what else in Regál, Francisco and Carolos, the sons of Estelle and physician Francis, arrange to jet in to spend Christmas with their parents. Francisco the musical prodigy is now a celebrated pianist and composer with an international career. Carlos is thriving at Stanford. Both sons bring special surprises with them. And retired Sheriff Bill Gastner is cooking up a Christmas gift of his own.
In Steven Havill's twenty-third Posadas County Mystery, family dynamics play a huge role as Undersheriff Estelle Reyes-Guzman and the whole department work to pull the right threads out of a tangle of seemingly small lies. It makes for a mix of the mundane with the harrowing. And justice for all will prove elusive.
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A delightful English cozy series begins in August 1924. Lady Adelaide Compton has recently (and satisfactorily) interred her husband, Major Rupert Charles Cressleigh Compton, hero of the Somme, in the family vault in the village churchyard.
Rupert died by smashing his Hispano-Suiza on a Cotswold country road while carrying a French mademoiselle in the passenger seat. With the house now Addie's, needed improvements in hand, and a weekend house party underway, how inconvenient of Rupert to turn up! Not in the flesh, but in — actually, as a — spirit. Rupert has to perform a few good deeds before becoming welcomed to heaven — or, more likely, thinks Addie, to hell.
Before Addie can convince herself she's not completely lost her mind, a murder disrupts her careful seating arrangement. Which of her twelve houseguests is a killer? Her mother, the formidable Dowager Marchioness of Broughton? Her sister Cecilia, the born-again vegetarian? Her childhood friend and potential lover, Lord Lucas Waring? Rupert has a solid alibi as a ghost and an urge to detect.
Enter Inspector Devenand Hunter from the Yard, an Anglo-Indian who is not going to let some barmy society beauty witnessed talking to herself derail his investigation. Something very peculiar is afoot at Compton Court and he's going to get to the bottom of it — or go as mad as its mistress trying.
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Missing treasure, murder, possible treason…
Emperor Justinian's former Lord Chamberlain, John, gets a letter from his longtime comrade, Felix, and, placing loyalty to a friend above his own safety, risks defying imperial edict by leaving his exile in Greece for Rome where Felix is in some kind of trouble.
For years a Captain of the Excubitors at the court in Constantinople, Felix has achieved his ambition to become a General when Justinian sends him to serve under General Diogenes in fighting for Rome against the besieging Goths.
John's covert entrance into Rome is ambushed, driving him deep into ancient catacombs before he exits into the heart of the city. Arrested and brought before Diogenes, John learns that Felix is missing. It has been two days since he went to call upon Archdeacon Leon, a troublesome man at the heart of Felix's dispatch to the city.
When sent to lodge at Felix's quarters, John finds the household in disarray, evidence that Felix has taken a questionable lover and run up his usual debts, and someone is rifling supplies. Then a young woman servant, also missing, is found dead. John has many mysteries to solve before Diogenes' courier to Justinian can return and prompt John's immediate execution.
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The fifth Henry Kennis mystery takes us into the closed, gossip-riddled, back-stabbing world of Nantucket's community theater.
Horst Refn, the widely disliked and resented Artistic Director of the Nantucket Theater Lab, has been found stuffed into the meat freezer in his basement. Most of the actors, all the technical crew, and quite a few of the Theater Lab Board members, whom Refn was scamming and blackmailing, are suspects in his murder. The island's Police Chief Henry Kennis has to pick his way through a social minefield as he searches for the killer.
At the same time, daughter's new boyfriend, football star Hector Cruz, has been accused of sexting her. Carrie knows the offending pictures didn't come from him, and Henry has to prove it before the boy gets suspended, which means probing into the family secrets of Hector's father, a firebrand agitprop playwright, who happens to be a prime suspect in Refn's murder.
Every story is a fiction, every identity proves false, and every statement a lie. The counterfeit bills found at the scene of the crime are the most obvious symbol of the deceptions and distractions that obscure the investigation. The truth lies buried in the past, in Refn's earlier crimes and the victims who came to Nantucket seeking revenge.
When the culprit has been revealed, the last masks torn off, and final murder foiled — live, on stage, during the opening night of Who Dun It, the eerily prescient opening drama of the Theater Lab Season — Jane says to Henry, “Is everything counterfeit?” He smiles. “Almost.”
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Dr. Kate Turner, DVM, is seven months into her one-year contract to cover for a Hudson Valley vet taking a year-long world cruise. She's getting used to the hospital and house-call workload but not to the sometimes dangerous, if not deadly, critters — animal and human — she meets.
Eighty-something-year-old Gloria LaGuardia has been installed at an assisted living center by her niece. They bump into Kate at the Oak Falls annual Halloween street bash. And while Gloria's conversation indicates some mental confusion — she asks a couple dressed as rabbits if they are real or not — she's still sharp. And she says, “Someone evil is here. I saw him.”
Saw who? Will this chance meeting draw Kate into the path of Carl Wolf, a notorious fugitive twenty-one years on the FBI's Most Wanted List? Is Wolf hiding in plain sight in or around Oak Falls?
When Gloria, once an artist endowed with a sharp eye, is murdered, Kate doesn't know what to think. But author Tucker Weinstein approaches her at Gloria's funeral and indicates he believes the old woman. Further, he's devoting a chapter in his book to Carl Wolf.
The FBI doesn't appear interested. Gloria's family just wants to move on. But publicity-hungry Tucker mentions Kate in a newspaper interview that goes viral. She's overloaded with new clients like Billy, a Nubian stud goat living penned up with alpaca, llamas, and more goats on a local farm producing milk, wool, and cheese, and a grumpy Chihuahua dressed up like a Thanksgiving turkey. Yet she senses someone is now following her. An undercover FBI agent? Carl Wolf on the prowl?
Determined not to be a victim, Kate digs deep into the arson/murder Wolf committed long ago. Are the clues to unmasking him hidden in the past, or closer than she thinks?
Penned, Eileen Brady
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WITH AN INTRODUCTION BY MARTIN EDWARDS
'From the point of view of the nation, it's a good thing that he died.'
Great Barwick's least popular man is murdered on a train. Twelve jurors sit in court. Four suspects are identified — but which of them is on trial? This novel has all the makings of a classic murder mystery, but with a twist: as Attorney-General Anstruther Blayton leads the court through prosecution and defence, Inspector Fenby carries out his investigation. All this occurs while the identity of the figure in the dock is kept tantalisingly out of reach.
Excellent Intentions is a classic crime novel laced with irreverent wit, first published in 1938.
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«With Moving Targets, Warren Easley delivers another humdinger of a tale featuring the City of Roses. But there's so much more to like about this story than just its evocative Portland setting. Cal Claxton is a guy worth rooting for, and the gang who aid him in solving the complex and dangerous mystery involved are a fun bunch to follow. If you're not familiar with these gems out of Oregon, now's the perfect time to give Warren Easely and Cal Claxton a try. You won't be disappointed.» --William Kent Krueger, award-winning, bestselling author of Ordinary Grace and the Cork O'Connor series
When a young woman walks into Caffeine Central, Cal Claxton's law office in downtown Portland, he has no idea that agreeing to help her will turn his life upside down. His new client is the adopted daughter — “I'm brown and they're white” — of a Portland power couple famed for their real estate development firm and charitable work.
Sculptor Angela Wingate, once a wild child, and her recently widowed mother, Margaret, had grown close after years of estrangement. A grieving Angela is hesitant but nonetheless determined to learn if Margaret's recent death was a hit-and-run while out on her morning jog in her ritzy neighborhood, or something more — like murder. Angela is frustrated at the lagging police investigation and by her growing sense of something sinister at work.
As the ever-curious Cal begins to poke the principal players at Wingate Properties and to question Margaret's will, links surface between a lucrative riverfront project and a ruthless Russian ring. With a possible deadly foreign assassin in play, the threat level rises and the body count starts to grow.
Decidedly outgunned, Cal enlists his Cuban friend Nando, an enterprising investigator with an on-call hacker, and a bouncer at a strip club who knows the Russian underworld. And Cal gradually develops other allies — a skeptical police captain and a city councilwoman who opposes the massive riverfront project. In a separate battle, he recruits neighbors and officials who may help him kill the reboot of a quarry operation that threatens his beloved farmhouse home in rural Dundee, a loss that would also be tragic for his beloved dog, Archie.
Beneath this story run the narratives of several strong women connected to Cal who are learning just how powerful they can be as they change up their lives.
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Towns like Gainesboro, North Carolina, may be small but go big on local traditions. When funeral director and part-time deputy sheriff Barry Clayton and his childhood nemesis, Archie Donovan, Jr., unite to create a fundraising float in Gainesboro's annual Apple Festival Parade, what could go wrong? With Archie involved – anything!
First, the Grand Marshal, NC Secretary of Agriculture Graham James, is attacked by a gunman and Barry's Uncle Wayne is critically wounded in the melee. The assailant is killed. Then, when the body of a convenience store owner is discovered less than an hour later with the gunman's food stamp card in his wallet, the case escalates. Two men dead. What is the connection?
Barry and Sheriff Tommy Lee Wadkins swiftly learn their small town offers no protection against big-time crime. The body count rises as the scope of their homicide investigation crosses into the realm of the U.S. Marshals and their secretive Witness Protection Program. To penetrate its walls, Barry and Tommy Lee resort to a most unlikely ally: Archie. Is the insurance agent, generally a victim of his own hare-brained schemes, capable of breaking the case, or will Archie find a way to become another of its casualties?
The trio's secret undertaking into a convoluted conspiracy becomes a fight for survival in a world filled with betrayals where it's impossible to know which people to trust.
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WITH AN INTRODUCTION BY MARTIN EDWARDS
Edward Powell lives with his Aunt Mildred in the Welsh town of Llwll. His aunt thinks Llwll an idyllic place to live, but Edward loathes the countryside — and thinks the company even worse. In fact, Edward has decided to murder his aunt.
A darkly humorous depiction of fraught family ties, The Murder of My Aunt was first published in 1934.
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As the 1960s draw to a close, the rural northeast Texas community of Center Springs is visited by two nondescript government men in dark suits and shades. They say their assignment is to test weather currents and patterns, but that's a lie. Their delivery of a mysterious microscopic payload called Gold Dust from a hired crop duster coincides with fourteen-year-old Pepper Parker's discovery of an ancient gold coin in her dad's possession. Her adolescent trick played on a greedy adult results in the only gold rush in north Texas history. Add in modern-day cattle-rustlers and murderers, and Center Springs is once again the bull's-eye in a deadly target.
The biological agent deemed benign by the CIA has unexpected repercussions, putting Pepper's near-twin cousin, Top, at death's door. The boy's crisis sends their grandfather, Constable Ned Parker, to Washington D.C. to exact personal justice, joined by a man Ned left behind in Mexico and had presumed dead. The CIA agents who operate on the dark side of the U.S. government find they're no match for men who know they're right and won't stop. Especially two old country boys raised on shotguns.
But there's more. Lots more. Top Parker thought only he had what had become known as a Poisoned Gift, but Ned suffers his own form of a family curse he must deploy. Plus, there are many trails to follow as the lawmen desperately work to put an end to murder and government experimentation that extends from their tiny Texas town to Austin and, ultimately, to Washington, D.C. Traitors, cattle-rustlers, murderers, rural crime families, grave robbers, CIA turncoats, and gold-hungry prospectors pursue agendas that all, in a sense, revolve around the center of this small vortex called Center Springs.
Gold Dust seems to be fiction, but the truth is, it has already happened.
Gold Dust, Reavis Z Wortham
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«Fogland Point is a unique, surprising, moving, occasionally hilarious, and entirely marvelous book about the complicated mysteries that lie at the heart of all families — although the Hazard family is definitely more complicated and mysterious and interesting than most.» --Nick Petrie, author of Light It Up, the latest of the award-winning Peter Ash thrillers
“Elegant prose, a veritable Chinese box of puzzles, and authentic, well-rounded characters make this a standout.” --Publishers Weekly (starred review)
David Hazard wanted nothing more than to forget his renegade family and the foggy New England village “on the wrong side” of Narragansett Bay where he grew up. When sudden tragedy brings him back to Little Compton to care for his grandmother during her struggle with dementia, he discovers her fragile memories may hold the key to a bizarre mystery half a century old — and perhaps to the sudden and brutal murder right next door.
Once Chief of Police Billy Dyer names her as a witness, Grandma Maggie's recollections become vital. But can they be trusted, especially in a town where everyone has a secret, including David himself?
The investigation stalls. Then eccentric millionaire Marcus Rhinegold's yacht disappears into the fog, bodies begin to wash ashore, and Maggie's stories come vividly to life, setting off a chain of events both horrifying and hauntingly familiar. Puritans, gun-runners, Mafiosi, and a rogues' gallery from past and present converge in the mists of the bay, challenging Billy with layers of deception. On Christmas Eve, he enlists David in a daring move to uncover the many truths surrounding Fogland Point.
Fogland Point, Doug Burgess
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Poisoned Pen Pressadded a book to the bookshelfPoisoned Pen Press9 months ago
When legendary Sheriff Burton Steel summoned his son Buddy home from LAPD Homicide, a reluctant Buddy agreed. Burton is debilitated by ALS, Lou Gehrig's Disease. While Buddy is to cover his back, not an assignment he wants, the clincher is it's his last chance to connect with his proud, overbearing parent.
What Buddy didn't expect was to encounter crime in Freedom, a privileged coastal community a hundred miles north of Los Angeles, as vicious and challenging as that of the city.
One spring morning, the latest challenge erupts. The brutal murder of a prominent Freedom High School sports coach leads Buddy into a clandestine universe of sexual deception, play parties, unwitting athletes, over-privileged youths, treacherous bullies, and shocking malfeasance.
At the same time, a sudden scourge of graffiti is disfiguring both public and private property, despoiling the beauty and serenity of Freedom's unassuming landscape. Outraged, knowing he has few legal weapons to wield, Buddy is forced to find new and challenging ways to thwart the street artist, or artists, responsible. Irreverent and imaginative, not to say manipulative, Buddy is just the man for the job.
Buddy's plate is soon full and the stakes are enormous as he sets about bringing resolution to a glut of seemingly irresolute occurrences.
One on One follows Missing Persons, Buddy's first investigation in Freedom.
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