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The Body in the Birches by Katherine Hall Page
Real estate can be murder—especially when it's all in the family
This Fourth of July is one of the hottest on record, and even the breeze off Penobscot Bay can't cool things down for Faith Fairchild and the rest of the folks on Sanpere Island. But the fireworks are just beginning. After the celebrations are over, Faith discovers a body in the woods near The Birches, an early twentieth-century cottage.
The body is identified as The Birches's housekeeper, who seems to have succumbed to a heart attack. The death is only one of the dramatic events upending the historic house. A family gathering has been called to decide who will inherit the much loved, and very valuable, estate that has been in the Proctor family for generations. With this amount of money involved, it's just a matter of time before trouble arises among the warring potential legatees.
Faith is juggling her own family problems. Her teenage son, Ben, has started a job as a dishwasher at The Laughing Gull Lodge—learning things that could land him in very hot water. And her daughter, Amy, is worried about her new friend, Daisy Proctor. Daisy is terrified—convinced that someone is trying to permanently eliminate her mother from a shot at inheriting The Birches.
Another death occurs—and this time it is murder. Faith races to uncover a killer, one who is much too close to home!
Your Next Breath by Iris Johansen
Catherine Ling is one of the CIA's most prized operatives. Raised on the streets of Hong Kong, she was pulled into the agency at the age of fourteen. If life has taught her anything, it is not to get attached, but there are two exceptions to that rule: her son Luke and her mentor Hu Chang. Luke was kidnapped at age two, and now, nine years later, he has astonishingly been returned to her. Catherine vows never to fail him again. Now, just as she is building a relationship with Luke, it seems that someone from Catherine's past is playing a deadly game with her, and using those she cares about as pawns. Three are dead already: the former prostitute who helped Catherine when she was out on the street, a CIA agent with whom she worked closely, and the informant who helped her free Luke. Someone is picking off the people Catherine cares about one by one, with the circle narrowing closer and closer to those she loves the most. Catherine has made many enemies throughout her life, and she has no choice but to weed through her past to find out who is targeting her now, and then go after the vicious killer herself.
The Enemy Inside by Steve Martini
When a friend, Alex Ives, is implicated in a deadly motor collision on a deserted Southern California highway, Paul Madriani joins a case as tangled as any he's ever taken. Alex swears he had only one drink the night of the crash, but he also can't remember the events of the evening beyond the fact that he was to meet a sexy, mysterious woman at an elegant house party. The next morning he woke up in the hospital in police custody, charged with drunk driving and manslaughter. When Paul discovers that Alex knew the deceased, a connected, hard-charging Washington, D.C., lawyer named Olinda Serna, Madriani realizes the potential penalties for his client could include a death sentence.
Across the country in Washington, D.C., attorney Cletus Proffit learns that his law firm nemesis, Ms. Serna, has died in California. Proffit knows that Serna protected dangerous secrets involving players moving in the highest reaches of national politics, and he will go to any lengths to ensure that that knowledge has died with her. Senator Maya Grimes also hears of the fatal crash, and begins crafting her own web of deceit to suffocate anything that might come back to bite her. In the meantime, a vicious, highly effective mercenary—a woman whose calling card is the ability to kill her victims in horrifying, utterly untraceable accidents—begins to panic when she gets word of Serna's death in Southern California and the manner in which it occurred.
Now the only way to save a young man from imprisonment is for Madriani, his partner, Harry Hinds, and investigator Herman Diggs to uncover the corruption and dark deeds that surround Ms. Serna's friends and find her killer—before he or she can strike again.
Down Solo by Earl Javorsky
Things haven't been going well for Charlie Miner. His work as a private investigator involves him with an endless roster of shady characters. His ex-wife is borderline crazy. And he hasn't been getting to spend anywhere near enough time with his teenage daughter Mindy, the one person in his life who truly matters to him.
When he wakes up on a slab in the morgue with a hole in his head, though, things get even worse.
Just before the shooting, Charlie was investigating a case involving fraud, gold, religious zealots, and a gorgeous woman who seemed to be at the center of everything. Even with a fatal bullet wound, Charlie can connect the dots from the case to his attack. And when his daughter is abducted by someone involved, the stakes get exponentially higher. Charlie needs to find Mindy before the criminals do the same thing to her that they did to him.
After that, maybe he'll try to figure out how he's walking around dead.
The Missing and the Dead by Stuart MacBride
One mistake can cost you everything…
When you catch a twisted killer there should be a reward, right? What Acting Detective Inspector Logan McRae gets instead is a ‘development opportunity’ out in the depths of rural Aberdeenshire. Welcome to divisional policing – catching drug dealers, shop lifters, vandals and the odd escaped farm animal.
Then a little girl’s body washes up just outside the sleepy town of Banff, kicking off a massive manhunt. The Major Investigation Team is up from Aberdeen, wanting answers, and they don’t care who they trample over to get them.
Logan’s got enough on his plate keeping B Division together, but DCI Steel wants him back on her team. As his old colleagues stomp around the countryside, burning bridges, Logan gets dragged deeper and deeper into the investigation.
One thing’s clear: there are dangerous predators lurking in the wilds of Aberdeenshire, and not everyone’s going to get out of this alive…
Vanishing by Gerard Woodward
Toward the end of the World War II, young British artist Kenneth Brill is arrested for painting landscapes near Heathrow Village; the authorities suspect his paintings contain coded information about the new military airfield that is being built. Brill protests that he is merely recording a landscape that will soon disappear. Under interrogation a more complicated picture emerges as Brill tells the story of his life—of growing up among the market gardens of The Heath and of his life on the London art scene of the 1930s. But a darker picture also comes to light, of dealings with the prostitutes and pimps of the Soho underworld, of a break-in at a royal residence, and of connections with well-known fascist sympathizers at home and abroad.
So who is the real Kenneth Brill? The hero of El Alamein who, as a camouflage officer, helped pull off one of the greatest acts of military deception in the history of warfare, or the lover of Italian futurist painter and fascist sympathizer Arturo Somarco? Why was he expelled from the Slade School of Fine Art? And what was he doing at Hillmead, the rural community run by Rufus Quayle, a friend of Hitler himself? Vanishing sees the world through the eyes of one of the forgotten geniuses of modern art, a man whose artistic vision is so piercing he has trouble seeing what is right in front of him.
One Foot in the Grape by Carlene O'Neil
After losing her job as a photojournalist, Penny Lively is trying to get her life back in focus. Inheriting the family winery from her late aunt may be the fresh start she needs. Thankfully she’s got her niece Hayley and her handsome winery manager Connor to help. But the person in need of more urgent assistance is Antonia Martinelli, the owner of the neighboring winery, who has her own barrel full of problems. Someone’s spoiling her wine, and with the upcoming Autumn Festival, she needs Penny’s nose for clues to sniff out the culprit.
But Penny’s search for answers sours after the body of a staff member is found in a grape crusher. Since Hayley was the last to see him alive, she’s the prime suspect in the case. Now Penny must hurry to find the real killer before Hayley withers on the vine…