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Showing posts by: Rachel Howzell Hall click to see Rachel Howzell Hall's profile
Aug 4 2017 9:00am

Rachel Howzell Hall Excerpt: City of Saviors

Rachel Howzell Hall

City of Saviors by Rachel Howzell Los Angeles Homicide Detective Elouise Norton encounters her toughest case yet in City of Saviors, the fourth installment in the critically acclaimed mystery series from author Rachel Howzell Hall (available August 8, 2017).

After a long Labor Day weekend, seventy-three-year-old Eugene Washington is found dead in his Leimert Park home. At first blush, his death seems unremarkable—heatwave combined with food poisoning from a holiday barbecue. But something in the way Washington died doesn’t make sense. LAPD Homicide Detective Elouise “Lou” Norton is called to investigate the death and learns that the only family Washington had was the 6,000-member congregation of Blessed Mission Ministries, led by Bishop Solomon Tate.

But something wicked is lurking among the congregants of this church.

Lou’s partner, Detective Colin Taggert, thinks her focus on the congregation comes from her distrust of organized religion. But Lou is convinced that the murderer is sitting in one of those red velvet pews—and that Bishop Tate may be protecting the wolf in the flock. Lou must force the truth into the light and confront her own demons in order to save another soul before it’s too late.

[Read an excerpt from City of Saviors...]

May 27 2016 9:00am

Trail of Echoes: New Excerpt

Rachel Howzell Hall

Trail of Echoes by Rachel Howzell HallTrail of Echoes is the latest Elouise Norton mystery novel from critically acclaimed writer Rachel Howzell Hall (Available May 31, 2016).

On a rainy spring day in Los Angeles, homicide detective Elouise “Lou” Norton is called away from a rare lunch date to Bonner Park, where the body of thirteen-year-old Chanita Lords has been discovered. When Lou and her partner, Colin Taggert, take on the sad task of informing Chanita's mother, Lou is surprised to find herself in the apartment building she grew up in.

Chanita was interested in photography and, much like Lou, a black girl destined to leave the housing projects behind. Her death fits a chilling pattern of exceptional African-American girls—dancers, artists, honors scholars-gone recently missing in the same school district, the one Lou attended not so long ago.

Lou is valiantly trying to make a go of life after her divorce and doing everything she can to avoid her long estranged father. She races to catch a serial killer, but he remains frustratingly out of her reach, sending cryptic cyphers and taunting clues that arrive too late to prevent the next death. This one is personal, and it's only a matter of time before he comes after Lou herself.


At twelve thirty on a rainy Wednesday afternoon, I was breaking one of my cardinal rules as a homicide detective: Never eat lunch with civilians. But on that Wednesday in March, I sat at a Formica-topped table in Johnny’s Pastrami with no ordinary citizen.

[Read more of Trail of Echoes...]

May 26 2016 1:00pm

Headlines to Book Spines: Real-Life Crimes Inspire Your Favorite Mystery Novels

Read this exclusive guest post from Rachel Howzell Hall, author of the Detective Elouise Norton Mystery series, discussing how real-life crimes have inspired many of her novels, and then make sure you're signed in and comment for a chance to win a copy of Land of Shadows, Skies of Ash, and Trail of Echoes!

In 2014, there were more than 1.1 million violent crimes committed in America. The FBI estimates that over 60 percent of those reported crimes were aggravated assault.

That’s a lot of blood.

What caused that guy to inflict serious bodily injury to that other guy? Why didn’t she value her boyfriend’s sister’s life? And for the 1.2 percent of those 1.1 million—what made that person commit the ultimate sin? Those reasons are why I and my mystery-crime writing brothers and sisters will never run out of stories to tell.

[We selfishly hope they never do...]

Jun 10 2014 11:30am

Land of Shadows: A New Excerpt

Rachel Howzell Hall

Land of Shadows by Rachel Howzell Hall is a procedural mystery featuring homicide detective Elouise “Lou” Norton as she delves deep into a teenage murder on the outskirts of L.A. (available June 10, 2014).

Along the ever-changing border of gentrifying Los Angeles, seventeen-year-old Monique Darson is found dead at a condominium construction site, hanging in the closet of an unfinished unit. Homicide detective Elouise “Lou” Norton’s new partner, Colin Taggert, fresh from the comparatively bucolic Colorado Springs police department, assumes it’s a teenage suicide. Lou isn’t buying the easy explanation.

For one thing, the condo site is owned by Napoleon Crase, a self-made millionaire. . .and the man who may have murdered Lou's missing sister, Tori, thirty years ago. As Lou investigates the death of Monique Darson, she uncovers undeniable links between the two cases. But her department is skeptical.

Lou is convinced that when she solves Monique’s case she will finally bring her lost sister home. But as she gets closer to the truth, she also gets closer to a violent killer. After all this time, can he be brought to justice. . .before Lou becomes his next victim?

Chapter 1

Two hundred and six bones make up the adult human skeleton.

And on a Wednesday night in June, I was perfecting my hammer fist, an efficient strike that could break at least four of those bones.

[Continue reading Land of Shadows by Rachel Howzell Hall...]