A Well-Mannered Murder

A long-closed charm school.

A contentious divorce.

A smothering mother.

The murder of a mysterious woman.

The Kennedy assassination.

Fledgling researcher and newly single Mindy McMann just can’t catch a break. She might not even live.


Mindy McMann’s life has gone upside down. While divorcing her cheating husband, she has to maintain good relations with her teenaged son, convince her overprotective mother that she is not going to move back in with her, and find a way to support herself. Non-fiction author and decided eccentric Darryl Knedsyn offers Mindy a job as a researcher for a book about the long-defunct Miss McCallum’s College of Charm, which seems absolutely perfect… until the underground vault at prestigious Carlisle College where she is working in the charm school’s archives is broken in to. Perfect until a mysterious unknown woman who bears a strong resemblance to Mindy is brutally attacked in the archive storage area. Perfect until Mindy is accused of her murder.


Without knowing how it happened, Mindy finds herself the target of mysterious people who for reasons she doesn’t understand mean her harm. Then she discovers the Kennedy connection, and things get really dangerous.



There was a strange young woman working the desk and Sophronsiba nowhere in sight. She looked suspiciously at me when I asked for my keys and demanded to see identification before she would hand them over.

“Where’s Ms. Higgins this morning?” I asked while affixing my signature to the sign-in sheet. Pretty soon this one would be full. My name, repeated over and over again in a single column.

Her eagle eyes didn’t miss a single pen stroke. “Ms. Higgins is having a meeting upstairs,” she murmured, staring so hard at my signature that I feared she might want my ID back for comparison. When I wrote down the time, she glanced at her watch. I hoped our watches were synchronized.

“Well, I’ll see her later.” I didn’t even try to smile at her as I left. After forty every movement of your facial muscles puts you that much closer to wrinkles, and I didn’t want to waste that tiny bit of elasticity on her.

Taking the keys I unlocked the elevator and rode down. It was cold in the vault; how crazy – close to 100F outside and in here I was glad I kept a sweater draped over the back of my chair!

I unlocked the vault gate and turned on the lights – all of them.

The McCallum vault was at the far end of the main aisle, straight in front of me. Even from here I could see that the wire gate was open. My heart began to pound.

I was halfway down the aisle before realizing that what I had thought was a shadow was in actuality a human leg, flat on the floor and twisted at an odd angle.

Attached to that stocking-clad leg was a woman jammed ungracefully into the tiny space between my worktable and the closest rack of shelving. A rack of shelving that was glaringly empty. On the other racks all the storage boxes had their lids either ajar or tossed off altogether and there were little islands of ledger books and files in neat stacks on the floor as well as papers casually tossed around like scanty snow.

I didn’t see any of that, not after the first glance. All I could see was the back of the woman’s head, her hair slick and shiny as if it had been coated with plastic. What set me to screaming, though, was the small spreading lip of liquid red radiating out from beneath her head.

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Murder and Miss Wright

Lily Wright doesn’t care a thing about Ancient Egypt, but she does care about Peter Monroe. Lily thinks the trip to a scholarly conference sounds delightfully romantic – until they run into a predatory ex-girlfriend, an obnoxiously exuberant archaeologist and his mousey wife, a scholar who is convinced he is an Ancient Egyptian priest and a souvenir seller who may or may not be dealing in smuggled artifacts. When three murders are committed and Peter is arrested for them, Lily knows she must find the real killer – if she can stay alive long enough.

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Excerpt of  Murder and Miss Wright

“There are always bad people, Lily. It’s just hard to accept that they are someone we know.”

Shivering, Lily pulled away and stood before the dresser. She picked up her brush and began to pull it through her hair mindlessly, without even bothering to count the strokes. “At least they can’t blame Megan’s death on Gerda Bone. She’s in the hospital, and they won’t tell anyone anything about her condition,” she added with angry indignation.

“Gerda couldn’t have done it anyway. She’s too frail. She could have had an accomplice, though, and then it wouldn’t matter if she were in the hospital or not.”

Although Lily didn’t like it a bit, her mind immediately flashed to Toby Don Holder. He wasn’t particularly muscular, but he would probably more than capable of beating up a thin young woman like Megan Waterman. He would also do anything at all Gerda Bone asked of him.

“I don’t think she did. I don’t think she was involved in either case.”

“I know.” Peter smiled wryly. “You’ve spent most of the day telling anybody who’d listen.”

Lily stuck her tongue out at him. “I don’t know how Gerda felt about Megan Waterman or if she even knew her, but for someone as much in love with her husband as she is–was–is, how could she have?”

“Love can breed hate. How often does one spouse kill another?”

“Not Gerda. She just lay back and let him walk all over her!”

“Maybe she had enough of it. Even worms turn, you know.”

“I’d rather think it could have been one of his other wives…” Her hairstyle completely destroyed, Lily laid down the brush and began creaming her hands.

“Wives? What wives?” Peter asked, then said, “You know you look like Lady Macbeth when you do that.”

“I’m told she had lovely hands,” Lily replied frivolously, but quit wringing her hands with such vigor. “Tyrus Bone’s wives. Ex-wives.”

“I knew about Dr. Ramsgate. Did Tyrus have another ex?”

“Yes, I saw her today. Dr. Carolyn Griffiths.”

Peter looked startled. “Dr. Griffiths? She’s just about the foremost iconographer and art historian working today. Who told you she had been married to Tyrus?”

“Zale Redding. He had just rescued me from Arthur Stern.”

In spite of himself Peter chuckled. “Poor baby. Was he wearing his Tut mask?”

“No, his bookseller hat. He wanted to take me upstairs and sell me his two books–at ninety dollars apiece, no less.”

“If I were going to take you upstairs I wouldn’t bother about books,” Peter said and with a grin pulled Lily back against him.

“In case you hadn’t noticed, we are upstairs.” Lily slipped into his embrace.

“I know.”

“So what are you going to do about it?”

“What do I always do about it?” With delicate precision Peter began to nibble on Lily’s ear.

“What about dinner?” Lily’s imp of perversity asked.

“That depends on what we want to eat…” Peter’s lips slid from her ear–moving carefully around her somewhat spiky earrings–and down the column of her neck. “We can always have room service later.”

“Now I remember why I love you…” Lily started and stiffened in Peter’s arms. “What’s that?”

“What’s what?”

“I heard something… it sounded like it came from over there.” She pointed in the direction of the vandalized room.

For a moment they even stopped breathing, then Peter said with the utter reasonableness of a man who never heard unexplained noises, “From there? That’s locked up.”

“I was sure I heard something…”

“This is a hotel, honey. There are always unexplained noises. Now,” he said in a completely different tone, “you were going to tell me why you love me…”

“Because you’re so predictable,” Lily said, but with a completely different connotation from her first thought.

“Funny…” Peter’s lips resumed their nibbling down the length of her neck. “No one ever told me predictability was sexy…”

Lily drew and exhaled a deep, ecstatic breath. “There’s a lot we women don’t tell.” Using her last bit of willpower she pushed him back. “Give me a minute to freshen up, will you?”

“I’ll start timing now.”

Kissing him impudently on the nose, Lily turned toward the bathroom. She had barely closed the door and turned on the water when a blast of noise erupted. First a muffled shouting, then a crash, then a solid thunk, then an odd, heavy slither.

Surely, Lily thought as she dashed back into the bedroom, Peter had to have heard that!

Peter had heard, and more. He looked up uncomprehendingly at Lily, but Lily didn’t comprehend either. The connecting door to the other room, the door that Peter checked every night to be sure was locked, was open. There were splashes of glowing wet red on the floor, splashes that looked horribly familiar to Lily. Peter sat sprawled in the center of the room, his arms clasped around Salim Mafouz’ chest. Mafouz’ face was oddly flattened and misshapen beneath a rising spring of blood. He was also very obviously dead.

Killing Harvey

Killing Harvey

It was a killer Christmas…

By all accounts it should have been a perfect holiday. A beautiful, elegant house. Rebecca’s future relatives all together, talking happily about her upcoming Christmas afternoon wedding to Peter. A gorgeous tree surrounded by presents. A Christmas-card perfect snowfall.

But the snowfall turned into a freak blizzard, trapping Rebecca and Peter in with his family. Then, once the house was completely isolated and no one could enter or leave, the most obnoxious member of the family is found stabbed. And garroted. And perhaps poisoned. Who really killed Harvey… and how?

Can Rebecca solve this murder? More importantly, does she really want to?

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A Killing at El Kab

A Killing at El KabA Killing at El Kab

A seemingly cursed Egyptian archaeological dig… An Acting Director with a clouded reputation… Rumors of treasure hidden in the dig house… Two vicious murders… Stage psychic Sandra Caulder feels as if she has gone out of the frying pan and into the fire. On the run from a vengeful ex-boyfriend, she heads for the least likely place she can think of – Egypt, where her niece is working on a dig. Once at the dig house Sandra is told Egyptian law will not allow her to stay, but when after her arrival a very unpleasant Egyptologist is murdered she obviously becomes the prime suspect, so the law will not allow her to leave. Forced to work in menial jobs at the dig house, she comes across evidence of treasure having been hidden in the house. As gold fever infects the crew, there is another murder for which Sandra is again the prime suspect. Which of the crew is the killer, and who else must die before he is caught?

iBooks : https://itunes.apple.com/us/book/a-killing-at-el-kab/id1091151426

Amazon : https://www.amazon.com/Killing-at-El-Kab/dp/1941520146

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The Hollow House

Hollow_house RESIZEDI decided to use the name Geraldine Brunton. It’s not the name I was born with, nor the name I married, but it will hide who I really am…and what I have done.

I’ve taken a job as companion to wealthy invalid Emmaline Stubbs, whose fragile exterior hides a will of iron. Despite its opulence, the Stubbs household is not a happy one. Emmaline’s equally stubborn daughter and charismatic, untrustworthy son-in-law want control of her fortune, forcing the entire staff to take sides in their power struggle. I must tread carefully in this tension-filled household if I want to keep my job and my secrets.

Events take a deadly turn when Mrs. Stubbs is nearly killed and a maid is found murdered. Though I ought to keep a low profile, it soon becomes clear I must uncover the truth. Because if I don’t, my past will make me the prime suspect…


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Exercise is Murder

ExerciseIsMurder RESIZEDForced out of the Dallas Police Force after a brutal shootout set up by her dirty cop ex-lover, Rebecca Cloudwebb now works as an antiques dealer. While making a delivery to Flora Melkiot at Madam Norina’s Temple of Health exercise salon in the exclusive Olympus House condominium highrise, Rebecca is among many witnesses to a brutal murder. Laura Tyler, a widow, has just moved into the Olympus House with dreams of becoming a socialite. But that dream is short lived when on her first day at the exercise salon, someone laces her mineral water with drain crystals. Flora Melkiot, a nosy old gossip and highrise tenant, is convinced the police are idiots and is determined to investigate Laura’s death. And she expects Rebecca to help her. Soon Rebecca finds herself being drawn into the fascinating case. Almost everyone connected with the murder has multiple reasons to kill everyone else connected with the murder, but no one seems to have had any motive to poison Laura Tyler. A mad mix of politics, extra-marital affairs, blackmail, strong personalities, gambling and assorted secrets make this mystery almost impossible to solve, but solve it Rebecca does, and in the process learns something about her own problems since the shooting that crippled her.


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Paperback : http://amzn.com/1410457389

Hardback : http://amzn.com/1432826360

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Beaded to Death

Beaded to Death RESIZEDYou’d think the life of a bead artist would be fairly uneventful. But that’s not the case for Lilias Ruiz. Especially when she returns from an art fair tour and is greeted by a dead body.

The police are convinced she’s the killer and suddenly Lilias finds herself hanging on to a thread of innocence. But after her home is vandalized and her van broken into, Lilias begins to realize that she has something someone wants.

Determined to return to the craft circuit, Lilias is relieved to be accompanied by her 7’3″ nephew who’s on the run from an unwanted basketball scholarship. Along with the help of her colorful neighbor, Annie, a cutthroat attorney who means well and an overzealous FBI agent, they string together the clues and wonder if there really could be a gem in Lilias’s collection of dusty old beads. Or is the killer after something more?


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Murder to Mil-Spec

MURDER TO MIL-SPEC RESIZEDSince 2006, Wolfmont has published a yearly anthology to benefit some worthy cause, raising thousands of dollars in donations. This year’s anthology, MURDER TO MIL-SPEC, benefits Homes for Our Troops .

Dehumanizing? That’s how some people think of the military, and of war. But the truth is, life-threatening conflict and being pushed to our utmost can often bring out the very most human parts of us, those parts in which we can take the most pride. Here are twelve authors’ stories of the humanity of veterans and active-duty military-stories that display to us just how human we can be, no matter how stressful the situation is, and how honor and courage-ancient military traditions-live on.

“The authors are, without exception, experienced novelists and crafters of shorter fiction. Experience shows. It shows in the overall excellent quality of stories ranging from WWII-era to Afghanistan. They are by turns, bitter and surprising, tender and real. These stories… accurately recall and reflect military and home-front actions and attitudes.” -Carl Brookins, author of DEVILS ISLAND

“World War II, Vietnam, Afghanistan, anywhere-all wars are hell, interrupted by moments of valor and selflessness, and all wars live on in the hearts and minds of those who fight them. This extraordinary collection of stories brings to vivid life the men and women who fight for their country, their triumphs and occasional failures, their scarring and their redemption. There are stories in this book I’ll never forget, and no one who reads it will look at the news the same way again.” -Tim Hallinan, author of the Poke Rafferty series

“Wolfmont Press has again gathered a group of talented authors to ply their trade on behalf of a worthy cause… something every reader should place high on their must read list.” -Allan Ansorge, author of the Bay Harbor series.

Buy Links – MURDER TO MIL-SPEC (anthology)

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Ebook : http://amzn.com/B004C05ASG

Paperback : http://amzn.com/1603640282

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