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Murder at the Beach: Bouchercon 2014 edited by Dana Cameron
Bouchercon has been the annual gathering-in of mystery readers and writers, all of us fans of the genre, since the very first event in 1970 in Santa Monica, CA.
In 2014, Bouchercon celebrates a return to the California beach, this time Long Beach, with an anthology of short stories by a roster of talented writers. You'll never think of sun, sand, or picnics the same way again.
All proceeds from this anthology support the Long Beach Public Library Foundation. As writers, readers, and fans, we know how important a strong vibrant library system is. No matter what we write or read, across category and genre, we all agree on this: librarians rock!
The collection is edited by Dana Cameron and features stories by Patricia Abbott, Al Abramson, Roger Angle, Craig Faustus Buck, Bill Cameron, Judith Cutler, Ray Daniel, Jeffery Deaver, Phillip DePoy, Sharon Fiffer, Delaney Green, Eldon Hughes, Tanis Mallow, Edward Marston, Krista Nave, Gigi Pandian.
A Deadly Measure of Brimstone by Catriona McPherson
In A Deadly Measure of Brimestone, Dandy and the whole Gilver clan travel to a spa town for a weekend of relaxation which is quickly interrupted by a slew of mysterious— and deadly—events.
The men of the Gilver family have come down, between them, with influenza, bronchitis, pneumonia and pleurisy. The family repairs to the town of Moffat, there to submit to the galvanic wraps and cold salt rubs of the splendid Laidlaw Hydropathic Hotel.
But all is not well at the Hydro, and the secret of the lady who arrived but never left cannot be kept for long. And what of those drifting shapes in the Turkish bath? Just steam shifting in the air? Probably.
The Axe Factor by Colin Cotterill
Since Jimm Juree moved, under duress, with her family to a rural village on the coast of Southern Thailand, she misses the bright lights of Chiang Mai. Most of all, she’s missed her career as a journalist, which was just getting started. In Chiang Mai, she was covering substantial stories and major crimes. But here in Maprao, Jimm has to scrape assignments from the local online journal, the Chumphon Gazette—and be happy about it when she gets one. This time they are sending her out to interview a local farang (European) writer, a man in his late fifties, originally from England, who writes award-winning crime novels, one Conrad Coralbank.
At the same time, several local women have left town without a word to anyone, leaving their possessions behind. These include the local doctor, Dr. Sumlak, who never returned from a conference, and the Thai wife of that farang writer, the aforementioned Conrad Coralbank. All of which looks a little suspicious, especially to Jimm’s grandfather, an ex-cop, who notices Coralbank’s interest in Jimm with a very jaundiced eye. With a major storm headed their way and a potential serial killer on the loose, it looks like Jimm Juree, her eccentric family, and the whole town of Maprao is in for some major changes.
Safari by Parnell Hall
Stanley Hastings on safari? I don’t think so. Neither did Stanley, until Alice’s small inheritance—coupled with scrimping on a few luxuries like food and rent—allowed them to book a group trip to Zambia. Now the New York PI is hiking with lions, canoeing with hippos, and having close encounters with elephants and giraffes.
It’s a dangerous safari. The leader is a reckless, gung-ho, great white hunter who delights in leaping from the jeep with a hearty “Come on, gang, let’s see where this lion is going!” And a series of bizarre accidents quickly dwindles the group’s numbers. Why was the guide’s young spotter foolish enough to walk under a sausage fruit tree . . . just as one of the huge sausage fruits fell? How did the leaves of a poisonous plant wind up in a tourist’s salad? Are these really accidents?
A stabbing tips the scale. It’s murder, and the only policeman in a hundred miles is a park ranger (whose only murder case was that of an ivory poacher shot dead in plain sight).
It’s up to Stanley to crack the case . . . if he can just avoid being eaten by a lion.
The Last Heir by Chuck Greaves
Philippe Giroux, estimable patriarch of the Château Giroux wine empire, has tragically lost a son. Or has he? Once confirmed by the court, Alain Giroux’s death will pave the way for his brother Phil to inherit America’s most storied winery. Or will it? Andy Clarkson, Alain’s boyhood chum, covets the Château Giroux vineyard acreage for his neighboring golf resort. Or does he? Claudia Giroux, Philippe’s hauntingly beautiful daughter, has proof that Alain’s death may not have been all that it seems. Or does she?
As the scions of a privileged California wine dynasty grapple for control of their family’s legacy, attorney Jack MacTaggart is caught in a cross fire of estrangement, betrayal, and murder. To complicate matters, Jack is being shadowed by film star Ethan Scott, who hopes to spin the dross of a family’s private travails into box-office gold.
Amid the stately oaks and sylvan vineyards of California’s fabled Napa Valley, Jack learns the hard way that while blood may be thicker than water, money is a powerful anticoagulant. As the long-buried secrets of a troubled family are finally revealed, only one question remains to be answered: Who will survive to become the Last Heir?