The Wayward Target by Susan Ouellette

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About the Book

The Wayward Target by Susan Ouellette

When a price is placed on her head, Maggie must face the terroristic mastermind to save her lover’s life without betraying her most loyal friend.

Evil Triumphs Only if Good Women Do Nothing

A year after hunting down the terrorist who killed her fiancé, CIA analyst Maggie Jenkins finds herself with a price on her head. In retaliation for chasing and killing an elite member of a terrorist cell, Maggie now is on the hitlist of the mastermind behind numerous terrorist attacks.

With Maggie's movements severely restricted by the presence of a round-the-clock security detail, it's up to her boss, Warner Thompson, and CIA officer Roger Patterson to find and eliminate the terrorist who stalks her. But when a shadowy Russian operative surfaces and presents Maggie with intel that might lead her to the man who orchestrated her fiancé’s death, she can no longer watch from the sidelines. Is she willing to risk her growing relationship with Roger, Warner’s career, and her own life to finally get justice and bring down a major terrorist cell?

Book Details:

Genre: Espionage Thriller
Published by: CamCat Publishing
Publication Date: April 2023
Number of Pages: 368
ISBN: 9780744308723 (ISBN10: 0744308720)
Series: The Wayward Series, Book 3 | Each is a Stand-Alone
Book Links: Amazon | Barnes & Noble | | Goodreads | CamCat Books

Read an excerpt:


Tyson’s Fitness and Health Club McLean, Virginia,
Sunday, June 12, 2005

Maggie Jenkins increased the pace on the treadmill, her auburn ponytail swaying like a pendulum with every step. She’d boosted her workout regimen over the past several months and the results showed—firm, muscular legs, a trim waist, and well-defined arms. Last fall, Roger had convinced her to join him at the gym. It’ll be good for you, he’d promised. Get you out of the house, get your mind off everything.

Everything. It was his catch-all word for what she’d been through.

The terrorist attacks. Zara. All the bloodshed.

An image of hundreds of terrified children flashed in her mind.

No! She upped the treadmill speed. The faster she ran—the more her body ached—the easier it was to fight off the memories. The gym had become her therapy, sweat her medication. After several months of intensive exercise, she’d begun to sleep better. The nightmares came less often. But every now and then, like last night, the images crept into her dreams and she woke in a cold sweat, stomach churning, pulse pounding. She knew what had triggered it: the hearing on Capitol Hill about the school siege.

Nearby, a man hopped off a stationary bike, grabbed a remote control from the weight rack, and jacked up the volume on the television hanging on the wall. Maggie shot him a look in the mirror, but he didn’t notice, absorbed as he was in the breaking news blaring from the TV.

She snatched her headphones and MP3 player from the treadmill console. Volume cranked, the lyrics from “Refugee” filled her ears. The man stood, staring up at the TV. Maggie squinted to read the graphic scrolling across the bottom of the screen.

terrorist issues threat.

Now what? Another Bin Laden missive from some cave in Afghanistan? She didn’t want to think about work on her day off. The latest violence and mayhem, whether domestic or international, could wait. In a few weeks, she’d be headed to the beach for a getaway with Roger. After the gym, she planned to go shopping. A new bathing suit, sandals, and a sundress or two were in order. Thoughts of the trip were interrupted by movement on her left. Several more people had abandoned their workouts and gathered in front of the TV. She tugged out an earphone and caught the anchor mid-sentence.

“—videoed in what British authorities say was his former residence in London.”

The screen filled with the image of an upholstered chair standing before a vivid abstract painting hung on an otherwise blank white wall. The view darkened for a moment as someone in a blue shirt passed in front of the chair. The person turned and sat, his face level with the camera.

Maggie’s fingers punched frantically at the treadmill’s off button. She stumbled as it came to a sudden stop, sending her flying forward, her face missing the console by millimeters.

“You okay?” a male voice asked.

She regained her footing, her breath heavy, the weight on her chest suddenly unbearable. “Yeah,” she said without looking at him.

“Our brave and glorious martyrs have their reward in paradise. Those responsible for their deaths will be hunted down and executed.”

Behind the gaggle of people watching Imran Bukayev speak, Maggie’s knees went weak. Those responsible? He meant her. She squeezed her eyes shut for a moment before turning her attention back to Bukayev. This video was filmed inside his house, the one she’d broken into in London last year. She’d recognize that garish painting anywhere. And his olive skin and shock of graying black hair were unmistakable.

“Our work is not done. Your children are not safe. No enemy of Allah is safe. Our valiant soldiers are in place and ready to strike again at my command.”

Maggie tried to make sense of it. Bukayev wasn’t in London anymore. He must’ve filmed this video after the school attack but before he’d fled. Now, nearly nine months later, the Brits had no idea where he was. Neither did she, despite her spending the better part of every day at Langley trying to track him down.

“I dare him to try something again,” one man said, his voice full of bravado.

Sweat coursed down Maggie’s face. She steadied herself with one hand on the treadmill rail. The news anchor was speaking, but she couldn’t hear him, not with the ringing in her ears. Roger! She had to call Roger. Deep breath. Calm down. Her lungs felt full, her heart about to burst.

“Is this yours?” A woman’s voice cut through the noise in her head.

Maggie blinked. A petite blonde with a bright smile extended her hand, Maggie’s headphones and MP3 player resting on her palm.

“Yeah, thanks.” Maggie studied the woman for a moment. Something about her seemed familiar.

“You sure?”

Maggie nodded, snatched her phone and water bottle from the treadmill console, and hurried for the locker room. Inside, she slumped onto a wooden bench set across from a row of lockers. After taking a swig of water and counting backward from twenty, she flipped open the phone.

“Roger? Did you see the news? It’s Bukayev. I think he’s coming for me.”


Excerpt from The Wayward Target by Susan Ouellette. Copyright 2023 by Susan Ouellette. Reproduced with permission from CamCat Publishing. All rights reserved.



Author Bio:

Susan Ouellette

Susan Ouellette was born and raised in the suburbs of Boston, where she studied international relations and Russian language and culture at both Harvard University and Boston University. As the Soviet Union teetered on the edge of collapse, she worked as an intelligence analyst at the CIA, where she earned a commendation for her work done during the failed 1991 Soviet coup. Subsequently, Susan worked on Capitol Hill as a professional staff member for the House Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence (HPSCI).

It was there in the Capitol Building, during quiet moments, that Susan conceived of Maggie Jenkins, an intrepid female character thrust into a dangerous situation borne of tragedy. Next came the threads of a plot, and from that blossomed her first espionage thriller, The Wayward Spy.

Susan lives on a farm outside of Washington, D.C., with her husband, three boys, cats, chickens, turkeys, and too many honeybees to count. In her spare time, she loves to read, root for Boston sports teams, and spend time staring out at the ocean on the North Carolina coast.


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Brushed Up On Murder: A Mobile Cat Groomer Mystery by Ruth J Hartman

About the Book

The life of a cat groomer isn’t just pampering purring felines, it's murder.

Mobile Cat Groomer Molly Stewart loves her job. Until she finds the dead body of one of her pet parents stabbed with a garden implement in his back yard. When Molly’s uncle Russ becomes the prime suspect in the murder and the sheriff won’t consider anyone else, Molly claws through obstacles as she prowls for clues.

With help from handsome veterinarian Hank Chenowith and Molly’s two cats, Percival and Jasper, will Molly succeed in proving her uncle’s innocence before the real murderer pounces on her?

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The supermarket was a few blocks away. I’d been known to go by foot if I only needed one or two items, but today I was going for the big kitty haul. I’d purchase anything I could think of to help the current mayhem at my house.

I’d already placed litter, a litter box, and cat food in my cart when I rounded the corner. To my surprise, standing in the middle of the aisle, eyeing the toys, was Hank. I was still a little miffed about his comments at his office concerning Durbin. Right now, though, I needed his advice. Swallow your pride. At least for a little bit. “Hey, Hank.”

He jerked, as if startled. “Oh, hey. I was just looking at….”

When I reached him, it was hard not to laugh. In front of him was a rack of pink fluffy feathered cat toys. Some even had sparkly fake gems that winked in the overhead fluorescent light. “Like pink, do we?”

His face turned precisely that color. “It’s not for me. It’s for Beatrice.”

I tilted my head. “Don’t remember you’ve ever mentioned anyone by that name. Is she pretty? Have you been seeing her long?”

“She’s a cat.”

I snorted. “Yeah, okay. Have a new fluffy love of your life now?”

“I got her a couple months ago from the shelter. She’s really cute. A tortoiseshell. You’d love her.”

Although it was obvious from the way he cared for Percival when he had his regular checkups that Hank liked cats, I’d never heard the guy gush about anything before.

“I’m sure I would love her. Anything to do with cats. You know me.” I bit my lip. It made it sound like he and I were close. Like he’d automatically know what I liked and what I didn’t. Wait, why was I so defensive? I did run a cat grooming salon after all. Why did interacting with Hank outside his office make me nervous?

About the Author

Ruth J. Hartman spends her days herding cats and her nights spinning mysterious tales. She, her husband, and their cats love to spend time curled up in their recliners watching old Cary Grant movies. Well, the cats sit in the people’s recliners. Not that the cats couldn’t get their own furniture. They just choose to shed on someone else’s.

Ruth, a left-handed, cat-herding, farmhouse-dwelling writer uses her sense of humor as she writes tales of lovable, klutzy women who seem to find trouble without even trying.

Ruth’s husband and best friend, Garry, reads her manuscripts, rolls his eyes at her weird story ideas, and loves her despite her insistence all of her books have at least one cat in them. See updates about her cozy mysteries at

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Sherlock Holmes and Dr. Watson: Ten Steps from Baker Street by Thomas A. Burns Jr.

About the Book

Return to the streets and alleys of Victorian London, where the game is afoot once again! The Great Detective, Mr. Sherlock Holmes, and his steadfast companion Dr. Watson are back for ten new cases, spanning the length of the quintessential detective's illustrious career. Beginning while Holmes was still a green investigator in Montague Street, this collection encompasses the 1880s and the 1890s, up to the dawn of the new century.  Walk with Holmes as he puzzles over the problem of a drunken teetotaler, celebrates an old English Christmas at the Red Lion, tracks down the Camberwell poisoner, and experiences the horror in King Street. If you've been pining for new traditional, canonical Sherlock Holmes tales, Ten Steps from Baker Street is the collection you've been waiting for.

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The slender young man exited the park at Russell Square and crossed the road into Montague Street. To save a fare, he’d walked all the way from St. Pancras station, nearly a mile away, toting a carpet bag with his heavy Inverness jammed between the handles. July in London is not an overly hot month, but it was still much too warm for that garment.

At twenty-three years old, Sherlock Holmes had come down from Camford today to realize his life’s dream. Here in London, he would become the world’s first consulting detective. He would earn his bread and cheese by using his peculiar abilities to advise other investigators regarding the odd, arcane, seemingly insoluble cases they would bring to his door. The fact that he knew next to no one in the city did not trouble him greatly—a current copy of the Illustrated Police News would provide him with a plethora of mysteries to investigate, solve and build his reputation. To support him during this uncertain time, he carried a purse containing five gold sovereigns in his trousers pocket.

If I cannot establish myself before these are exhausted, perhaps I have chosen the wrong career.

About the Author

Thomas A. Burns, Jr. is the author of the Natalie McMasters Mysteries. He was born and grew up in New Jersey, attended Xavier High School in Manhattan, earned B.S degrees in Zoology and Microbiology at Michigan State University and a M.S. in Microbiology at North Carolina State University. He currently resides in Wendell, North Carolina with his wife and son, four cats and a Cardigan Welsh Corgi. As a kid, Tom started reading mysteries with the Hardy Boys, Ken Holt and Rick Brant, and graduated to the classic stories by authors such as A. Conan Doyle, Dorothy Sayers, John Dickson Carr, Erle Stanley Gardner and Rex Stout, to name a few. Tom has written fiction as a hobby all of his life, starting with Man from U.N.C.L.E. stories in marble-backed copybooks in grade school. He built a career as technical, science and medical writer and editor for nearly thirty years in industry and government. Now that he's retired to become a full-time a novelist, he's excited to publish his own mystery series, as well as to contribute stories about his second-most favorite detective to the MX Book of New Sherlock Holmes Stories.

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The Girls Dressed for Murder by Lynn McPherson

About the Book

When Izzy gets a killer dress for her birthday, she isn’t expecting to accessorize it with murder…

It’s 1958 in the cozy coastal town of Twin Oaks and amateur sleuth Isabelle Walsh is armed with a fresh perspective, two years after tragedy strikes. The first stop on her journey back to joy is the best little dress shop in town—introduced to her by best friend and fashion fiend, Ava Russell.

Izzy falls in love with the store and its style. So, when the boutique is marred by murder, Izzy wants to help. But with more suspects to choose from than a spring collection, she isn’t sure where to start.

Can Izzy unravel the twisted truth or will she become the victim of a deadly trend?

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Time goes by faster as we age. I read that somewhere, but it never made any sense--until recently. My upcoming birthday seemed to be approaching much more quickly than my last one had. Dammit. How was that possible? Looking around the empty house, I wondered if it was simply a matter of having too much time to think. I no longer basked in the peaceful quiet my house provided. I missed the loud chaos--something I never thought I could years back. Now that my kids were teenagers, they weren’t around as much to cause a ruckus. I needed to have a talk with them. Their growing interests outside of the home were starting to make me think about unpleasant things like aging. Summer camp was proving especially difficult in this regard. It was hard to believe my kids had grown so independent. I looked forward to their return already, and they had only been gone four days. Another week and a half was sure to send me to the brink. Perhaps it was time to consider canine companionship.

It had been four years since Frank’s passing. They say everyone deals with grief differently. I hid away and clutched at the solace my children provided by their very existence. It took a long time to unclench that grip. At the beginning, it was as if I was holding on for my own dear life. But slowly it released as the range of emotions I experienced became less intense--less raw. Joy began to trickle back into my life, and I knew that was it. Besides, forty was only a few years away. And, as my best friend Ava had begun to remind me, I was still here. It was time to get on with life. Frank would be forever with me in my heart and soul, and that comforted me beyond words. I took a big swig of coffee, allowed myself to sit quietly with my tidal grief, then shook my head to rid it of the approaching sadness I felt creeping in when I indulged too long.

I looked out the window onto my empty suburban crescent and changed my focus onto my immediate circumstance. I was up, dressed, and styled at an indecently early hour on account of my aforementioned oldest, dearest, and most exasperating best friend. And…she was late. Rarely could Ava Russell make it anywhere on time. But she was due to be here fifteen minutes ago, and that was allowing for her usual lateness. Considering the brunette beauty only had to get her long legs about three blocks from her front door to mine, I could feel the little patience I had slowly oozing out of my body.

I tried to force my furrowed brow to smooth with my index finger, silently cursing Ava for adding to the accelerating aging process by inciting this early onset of wrinkles--the idea of which was first prompted by her regular commentary of what she called my overly expressive expressions. Luckily, my frown soon lifted as I spotted my kindred spirit making her way down the street. As she came closer into view, my nose pressed against the window like a magnet to metal in an attempt to get a better look. Something was up--my usually proud and polished companion had transformed from a perfect rose to a wilted weed. The mystery was solved as I spotted Ava’s footwear. Sky-high stilettos left no doubt as to why she was struggling to strut. I watched her pull each shoe off angrily and finish her walk in stocking feet.

A grin spread across my face as I opened the door. I attempted to calm it as Ava laboriously dragged herself into my living room and flopped onto the sofa. She wasn’t able to acknowledge me at first, instead puffing out her breaths one after the other, as if having completed a marathon.

Her crumpled figure still held her beautiful black heels in one hand as she looked up at me warily through her thick black mascara.

She pursed her lips. “Water,” she whispered.

I nodded in assent and fetched a tall glass filled to the brim. She lapped it up like a thirsty young pup might do after a jaunt at the park. Ava finished her drink and lay back, finally having the opportunity to catch her breath. She looked up at me and cringed. “What is so damned funny, Izzy?”

I felt my eyes widen and clasped at my chest innocently. “I am a picture of serenity. Calm and humourless.” I put my hand on her forehead to check her temperature sympathetically.

She playfully swatted it away. “You think I can’t see that stifled goofy smile? Your eyes are practically giggling right out of their sockets.”

I gave up my attempt to deny it and allowed my grin to be free.

About the Author

Lynn McPherson has had a myriad of jobs, from running a small business to teaching English across the globe. She has travelled the world solo, where her daring spirit has led her to jump out of airplanes, dive with sharks, and learn she would never master a surfboard. Lynn served on the Board of Directors for Crime Writers of Canada from 2018-2021. She is a member of Sisters in Crime and International Thriller Writers.

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This week's Saturday quote is from Someone Murderous at the Midnight Motel by Kris Bock coming in September:

Murder on Oak Street by I. M. Foster


Murder on Oak Street by I. M. Foster

New York, 1904. After two years as a coroner’s physician for the city of New York, Daniel O'Halleran is more frustrated than ever. What’s the point when the authorities consistently brush aside his findings for the sake of expediency? So when his fiancée leaves him standing at the altar on their wedding day, he takes it as a sign that it's time to move on and eagerly accepts an offer to assist the local coroner in the small Long Island village of Patchogue.

Though the coroner advises him life on Long Island is far more subdued than that of the city, Daniel hasn’t been there a month when the pretty librarian, Kathleen Brissedon, asks him to look into a two-year-old murder case that took place in the city. Oddly enough, the case she’s referring to was the first one he ever worked on, and the verdict never sat right with him.

Eager for the chance to investigate it anew, Daniel agrees to look into it in his spare time, but when a fresh murder occurs in his own backyard, he can’t shake his gut feeling that the two cases are somehow connected. Can he discover the link before another life is taken, or will murder shake the peaceful South Shore village once again?

Murder on Oak Street Trailer:

Book Details:

Genre: Historical Mystery
Published by: Indie
Publication Date: October 2022
Number of Pages: 503
ISBN: 9781733337571
Series: A South Shore Mystery, Book 1
Book Links: Amazon | Goodreads

Read an excerpt:

Daniel O’Halleran stared down at the crumpled body, blood spreading out in a deep crimson pool beneath the man’s head. He reached over to close the victim’s turquoise eyes. Something wasn’t right here, aside from the fact that a body was lying battered and broken on the rough wooden floor. He couldn’t put his finger on it, but then that wasn’t his job, now was it?

“Well?” Sergeant Timothy O’Halleran asked, a frown creasing his aging brow. “What killed him, then?”

Trying to suppress a smile, Daniel stood up, brushing the dust from his pants. His uncle knew very well what had killed the man, but clearly wanted to make Daniel feel important in his new position as a coroner’s physician for the city of New York. “You’re well aware what killed him, Uncle Timothy.”

His uncle gave a quick glance around before slapping him on the back of the head. “Ye’re a professional now, lad. Act like one, eh? Yer da didn’t spend all that money for a medical degree for ye to be acting the fool.”

This time Daniel did laugh, but he removed the smile from his face quickly as his uncle’s frown deepened. He was right. Richard and Sarah Adams had raised him as their own in every respect after his mother had died. For all intents and purposes, they were his parents, even though he’d insisted on retaining his mother’s surname. He did want to make them proud of him.

Wiping a hand across his face to remove any remnant of tomfoolery, as his adoptive mother called it, he took a deep breath. “He’s cracked his skull and bled out.” Daniel bent down again, sniffing the man’s clothing. “Probably drunk, but I can’t be certain.”

“Sure, I can smell it from up here,” Timothy said. “Whiskey, I’d say. I’m thinking ye need to be getting out a bit more if ye’ve any doubt.”

“It’s not what he’s been drinking I question, but the amount that made it into his stomach. Most of the smell is coming from his clothing, not his mouth. What selfrespecting drunk would let that much liquor go to waste?”

Timothy nodded. “Ye may be right, me boy. I know the man, and he’s not one to be found tipping more than a glass or two, especially in a place such as this.”

Daniel rubbed a thumb beneath his bottom lip, hesitant to say what was on his mind, but the thought was apt to come out anyway. He nodded up the stairs. “Maybe he was here for other reasons. I’ve no doubt that girl was pregnant. If he wanted her to have it aborted . . .”

This time Timothy shook his head. “I’ll not be believing that. More likely he was here to talk her out o’ such a drastic act, and someone caught him at it. The father, perhaps.” He scrubbed the day-old stubble on his chin. “What about the wretched sod in the corner room?”

“I suspect that was natural causes, but I’ll be able to tell you more—”

“I know, when ye get a better look.” His uncle rested a hand on his shoulder. “Ye’d best be quick about it, though. The chief will be wanting this one wrapped up before the widow gets any ideas. She’s way out on Long Island, so ’tis not likely he’ll be spending a great deal o’ time or resources on it.”

“But if the man’s been murdered . . .” Daniel stood, indignant to think the chief might put other considerations before the truth.

Timothy pointed a finger at him. “Now ye listen here, boyo. ’Tis the way things are. If the widow wants to hire someone to investigate, she’s free to do so. The city’s not likely to be spending good money on a drunkard found dead in a tenement, especially with a pregnant lass stabbed to death two floors above. Saints preserve us, lad, the knife’s lying at his fingertips.”

“There’s no proof it’s his knife, or that it was even used in her murder. Perhaps I could try and use that new fingerprint system I’ve heard mentioned to see if—”

“It doesn’t matter,” his uncle said, cutting him off. “’Tis lying beside him, and that’s how the bigwigs will see it, whether ye like it or not.”

“Then why ask me at all?”

“This is a good job, and ye won it fair and square, but ye can lose it just as easily. Give the boss yer opinion and leave it at that. And for the love o’ God, don’t be going making any waves, or ye might find yerself unemployed with a reputation as a troublemaker. Fingerprints, indeed!”

Daniel sighed, his shoulders slumping as if a weight had been laid across them. “It may not matter one way or the other.”

“And why’s that?” Timothy narrowed his eyes. “Out with it.”

“Prudence wants me to resign and go into practice with her father.” He shrugged, trying to shift the heaviness from his shoulders, and rubbed the scar on his forehead. “It certainly pays more, and she’s used to the finer things in life. Besides, I’d actually be helping living people, and if the department’s not going to follow up on anything anyway . . .”

“Humph!” His uncle grumbled in Gaelic, words Daniel didn’t understand, and pulled a cigarette out of his pocket. “That’s all a bunch o’ malarkey, and ye know it. Ever since ye’ve been a wee lad ye’ve spoken o’ naught but joining the police force. Yer da saw how important that was to ye. Sure, he wanted ye to have a grand education and all, and yet he found a way for ye to have both, didn’t he? Now here comes this society lass, asking ye to give it all up. Yer da put yer dreams above his own. He always has. I can’t be saying the same for this lass.”

“Let’s not get into that again.” The longer they dwelled on the topic, the more his forehead ached. “You don’t like Pru. I understand that, but she does love me, and I her.

Shouldn’t that count for something?”

“Then she should be wanting what’s best for ye.”

“And what about me wanting what’s best for her? I have to think of her needs as well.”

His uncle gave a half shrug. “’Tis why I never wed meself.”

Daniel chuckled, the ache along his scar easing a little. “You never wed because you eat and drink your job, and you couldn’t find a woman who would put up with it . . . or you.”

“True enough, though when I see yerself all grown like ye are, I do regret it from time to time—not having a lad o’ me own.” He sniffed before continuing and gripped Daniel’s arm. “That aside, I just want ye to be happy, lad. Ye know that.”

“I do, Uncle, though if you don’t let me get going, I’ll be sacked regardless.” He picked up his medical bag, the one his uncle had spent a fortune on for his graduation. “I’ll see you for dinner Wednesday night, seven o’clock sharp. You know how Hattie gets if you’re late.”

“Now there’s a woman that might have turned me head once upon a time.”

“She’d have knocked that thick Irish head of yours off its block.” Daniel walked outside with his uncle and looked up at the dilapidated building. “I know Dr. Scholer will do his best, but if we rule it a murder, will the department at least see if any of the other tenants saw anything?”

Timothy scratched the back of his head. “Ah, Danny! I’ll do me best, but the truth o’ it is there’s likely not a soul in there that heard a thing. Aside from the drink, I’m thinking there might be a good deal o’ opium use going on.”

Daniel nodded. “But you will try?”

“O’ course I will.”

Daniel squeezed his uncle’s shoulder and headed back toward his buggy, his uncle’s voice calling after him.

“Ye’ll be letting me know what ye find?”

Daniel waved his hand, a smile crossing his face once more.


Excerpt from Murder on Oak Street by I. M. Foster. Copyright 2023 by I. M. Foster. Reproduced with permission from I. M. Foster. All rights reserved.



Author Bio:

I. M. Foster

I. M. Foster is the pen name author Inez Foster uses to write her South Shore Mystery series, set on Edwardian Long Island. Inez also writes historical romances under the pseudonym Andrea Matthews, and has so far published two series in that genre: the Thunder on the Moor series, a time-travel romance set on the 16th century Anglo-Scottish Borders, and the Cross of Ciaran series, which follows the adventures of a fifth century Celt who finds himself in love with a twentieth century archaeologist.

Inez is a historian and librarian, who love to read and write and search around for her roots, genealogically speaking. She has a BA in History and an MLS in Library Science and enjoys the research almost as much as she does writing the story. In fact, many of her ideas come to her while doing casual research or digging into her family history. Inez is a member of the Long Island Romance Writers, and the Historical Novel Society.

Find Out More & Get Social With I. M. Foster: – for her romances
BookBub - @imfostermysteries
Instagram - @imfosterauthor
Twitter - @IMFosterMystery
Facebook - @IMFosterMysteries - for her mysteries


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The House on Cemetery Hill by Barry Forbes

About the Book

Dead men don’t walk, right? Right. We all know that, but. . .

There’s this video clip captured the previous evening. By a hidden surveillance camera, late at night, in a corporate break and entry. Of a certain individual.

But that’s not possible, you say. “He died? He’s dead? Whatever do you mean?”

Uh-huh. Five weeks earlier. There was even an obituary notice in The Daily Pilot. When you think about it, that’s bat-crazy weird!

Good detective work and hi-tech are deployed in an exciting race to the finish.

But first, the mystery searchers must escape from the clutches of the bad guys. It’s now or never - and it’s a perilous game, fraught with danger.

Amazon ~~ Bakken Books


“He died? He’s dead? Whatever do you mean, Mrs. McPherson?”

Suzanne stared at the woman, dumbfounded. To judge from her hands, she had to be in her seventies. But you’d never have known it from looking at her face—or her style. She wore jeans, sneakers, and a sleeveless top. Her alert, bright eyes darted around the room. Short bleached-blond hair and a facelift—or two?—gave her a younger appearance, but her perfume was way too strong.

Suzanne shot a glance at her brother. Nothing the older woman had said made any sense. Not even close.

The drama had begun at nine fifteen that morning, right after the twins’ parents left for the grocery store. While Tom struggled to get out of bed, Suzanne was brushing her long, auburn hair into a ponytail. The doorbell rang. She bolted downstairs and opened the front door, expecting to see Pete and Kathy. They’re very early, it occurred to her. 

Instead, a tiny older lady stood outside, her nose pressed against the screen. Suzanne, tall and willowy like her brother, looked down in surprise.

“Well, hello,” she said, greeting the visitor with her customary warmth.

“Are you Suzanne Jackson?”

“Why, yes, I sure am. How may I help you?”

With an unexpected tug, the screen door opened and the woman—all five feet of her—brushed past Suzanne and marched straight into the house.

“Hey, wh-what are you doing?” a stunned Suzanne called after her.

The lady ignored her. “Is your father home?”

“No, he sure isn’t.”

“Good. Where’s your computer?” It wasn’t a question; it was a demand.

“Tom!” Suzanne cried out. Whenever someone thought of her, confident was the word that came to mind. She knew where she was going in life and wasn’t easily rattled. But now, at this moment, her confidence had vanished. She couldn’t figure out if she felt angry, scared, or both. But who could fear a five-foot-tall old lady?

Alarmed at his sister’s tone, Tom raced downstairs as he threw on his bathrobe. “What’s the matter, Suzie?”

“This woman just walked right into our house!” Suzanne hissed. “Like she owns it.”

About the Author

Barry Forbes was an award-winning industrial film-and-video writer/producer. He was almost a newspaper columnist for Tribune Newspapers. He has completed twelve volumes for the Mystery Searchers Family Book Series and is currently writing his second series for the same audience.

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THE LITTLE SHOP of MURDERS – Collected Cozy Mysteries

About the Book

Book shops, boutiques and small businesses are the lifeblood of small towns but what secrets lie behind those pretty display windows and in the alleyways behind these charming streets?

Step inside for a personal retail experience like no other!

‘The Little Shop of Murders’ collects together fifteen superb cozy mysteries written by some of the finest authors in the genre.

All author and publisher profits from the sale of this book go to children’s charities, helping those most in need.

Stories include:

Don’t Toy with Me by Diane Kelly
A Man With No Imagination by Millie Ravensworth
The Forget-Me-Not Antiques Mystery by Victoria Tait
It Was Our Song by Nikki Knight
Always and Furever by Eryn Scott
Wild Irish Dreams by Lise McClendon
Architect of a Murder by Carlene O’Connor
Blooms and Blackmail by London Lovett
Secondhand Murder by J. New
The Lady of the House by Flora McGowan
Requiem for a Violin by Geraldine Byrne
Nightly Nuisance by Kathryn Mykel
The Gift of Dragons by ACF Bookens
Nowhere to Hide by Debbie Young
Murder in the Bookshop by Rachel McLean

~~ Amazon ~~


About the Authors

Victoria Tait

Victoria Tait was born and raised in Yorkshire, UK, and never expected to travel the world.  She’s drawn on her experiences following her military husband to write cozy murder mystery books with vivid and evocative settings.  Her determined female sleuths are joined by colourful but realistic teams of helpers, and you’ll experience surprises, humour and sometimes, a tug on your heartstrings.

Link to My Dotty Sayers series:-

Carlene O’Connor

Carlene O’Connor is the USA Today bestselling author of The Irish Village Mysteries, Home to Ireland Mysteries, and the new County Kerry Mystery series. Her mysteries have been translated into German, Estonia, and UK markets thus far and the Irish Village Mysteries have been optioned for television. Readers are encouraged to get in touch via Facebook, Goodreads, Book Bub, or through the contact form on An admitted wanderer, Carlene spends as much time in Ireland as possible while currently residing in California and Chicago. She is always up for joining events via Zoom or in person.

Eryn Scott

Eryn Scott is the author of heartwarming cozy mysteries. Her Whiskers and Words cozy mystery series features deep friendships, strong families, a tight-knit small town, twisty mysteries, and a whole lot of adorable cats. She and her husband live in the Pacific Northwest with a handful of beloved animals. She enjoys knitting, hiking, skiing, horseback riding, and reading.

Link to my series:

Flora McGowan

Flora McGowan is the author of the Carrie and Keith Mysteries, novels and short stories. Her stories combine a mix of mystery with the mystical and supernatural, often with an historical element as well as a touch of humour and a dash of romance. Flora was born in Dorset and has spent most, but not all, of her life there, and many of her stories are based in this locale. Flora enjoys travelling, taking inspiration from the places she visits.  You can catch up with Flora via Goodreads, her blog, Facebook, Instagram or BookBub.

Flora McGowan on Amazon

Nikki Knight

Nikki Knight describes herself as an Author/Anchor/Mom…not in that order. An award-winning weekend anchor at New York City's top all-news radio station, 1010 WINS, she writes mysteries including LIVE, LOCAL, AND DEAD, a Vermont Radio Mystery from Crooked Lane, and as Kathleen Marple Kalb, the Ella Shane and Old Stuff series. Her short stories appear online and in anthologies, and have been short-listed for Black Orchid Novella and Derringer Awards. She, her husband and son live in a Connecticut house owned by their cat.

Book link:  Live, Local, and Dead (A Vermont Radio Mystery): Knight, Nikki: 9781643859453: Books

Diane Kelly

Diane Kelly writes funny stories that feature feisty female lead characters and their furry, four-footed friends. Diane is the author of over three dozen novels and novellas, including the Death & Taxes white-collar crime series, the Paw Enforcement K-9 series, the House Flipper cozy mystery series, the Busted female motorcycle cop series, the Southern Homebrew moonshine series, and the Mountain Lodge Mysteries series. Find Diane online at, on Twitter and Instagram @DianeKellyBooks, and on Facebook at her Author Diane Kelly page.

Link to the first book in my House Flipper series - Dead as a Door Knocker:

J New

J. New is the author of The Yellow Cottage Vintage Mysteries. Immerse yourself in country house murders, dastardly deeds at English Church fetes, daring escapades in the French Riviera and the secret tunnels under London, in the award-winning series readers call, 'Miss Marple’ meets ‘The Ghost Whisperer.' She also writes two contemporary mystery series: Tea & Sympathy featuring Lilly Tweed, former Agony Aunt now purveyor of fine teas and Finch & Fischer with mobile librarian Penny Finch and her rescue dog Fischer at the helm. Jacquie lives in the North of England with her partner and an assortment of rescue animals.

London Lovett

London Lovett is a cozy mystery author and connoisseur of delicious baked goods.

Many readers have called her Port Danby Cozy Mystery series a 'new favorite'. Port Danby features a small town florist with a powerful sense of smell. Lacey 'Pink' Pinkerton uses her impressive nose to help solve crimes as an amateur sleuth alongside her detective boyfriend, James Briggs. Blooms and Blackmail is a Port Danby short story.

You can keep up with London's books and access some delicious recipes on her website:

Link to Marigolds and Murder:

Debbie Young

Debbie Young writes two popular cozy mystery series featuring Sophie Sayers, set in a Cotswold village, and Gemma Lamb, set at a girls’ boarding school. One book in each series was shortlisted for the Bookbrunch Selfies Awards for the best independently-published fiction in the UK. She is founder of the Hawkesbury Upton Literature Festival, UK Ambassador for the Alliance of Independent Authors, and a course tutor for Jericho Writers. She writes in the Plotting Shed at the bottom of her cottage garden. Her novels are now published by Boldwood Books and she is represented by the Ethan Ellenberg Literary Agency.

Here's the Amazon UK link for the whole series (the 8th book is up for preorder and will be published on 15th March):

Here are the links for my website and social media:

Facebook: @AuthorDebbieYoung

Twitter: @DebbieYoungBN

Instagram: @debbieyoungauthor

ACF Bookens

ACF Bookens lives in Virginia’s Southwestern Mountains with two hound dogs and a very energetic preschooler. When she’s not writing, she enjoys watching shows with teenagers who are way cooler than she ever was and cross-stitch.  You can find her books at

Link to my first book on Amazon -

Kathryn Mykel

Kathryn Mykel is the author of the Award-Winning Sewing Suspicion - A Quilting Cozy Mystery. Kathryn is inspired by the laugh-out-loud and fanciful aspects of cozies. Kathryn Mykel aims to write lighthearted, humorous cozies surrounding her passion for the craft of quilting. Born and raised in a small New England town—Kathryn is an avid quilter.

Sewing Suspicion -

Lise McCLendon

Lise McClendon is the author of numerous novels of crime and suspense. Her bestselling Bennett Sisters Mysteries continue to charm readers worldwide. Her first mystery series was set in Jackson, Wyoming, featuring art dealer, Alix Thorssen. When not writing about foreign lands and dastardly criminals, Lise lives in Montana with her husband and has recently become a fan of sunny winters in the desert. She enjoys fly fishing, hiking, picking raspberries in the summer, and cross-country skiing in the winter. She has served on the national boards of directors of Mystery Writers of America and the International Association of Crime Writers/North America, as well as the faculty of the Jackson Hole Writers Conference.

Books: Bennett Sisters Mysteries: Alix Thorssen series:

Geraldine Byrne

Geraldine Moorkens Byrne is an Irish mystery writer, poet and educator. She lives with her family in Dublin where many of her stories are set, especially The Caroline Jordan series. When not dreaming up modern murder mysteries, she knits, crochets and teaches classes on Irish folk traditions. Until 2021 she owned Ireland’s oldest family owned music shop, the basis for “Requiem for a Violin.” Mrs. O’Brien and friends will return in their own series in 2023, The Music Shop Mysteries.

She also writes a magical cosy mystery series, The Old Bat Chronicles under the pen name Nina Hayes.

Geraldine Moorkens Byrne

Millie Ravensworth

Millie Ravensworth has been writing (and sewing!) for years, and it seemed like a natural step to combine the two things in a series of cozy mysteries. She lives in England and has an adorable dog who likes to be at her side when she is sewing / writing, but he'd much rather she played fetch with his favourite toy!

Izzy King and Penny Slipper who appear in the story in this collection can also be found in the Cozy Craft Mystery books that are available to read now.

Rachel McLean

Rachel McLean is an award-winning crime author who writes UK-based police procedurals. She is best known for the Dorset Crime series and the DI Zoe Finch series set in her home city of Birmingham. Book 1 in the Dorset Crime series, The Corfe Castle Murders, won the Kindle Storyteller Award 2021. Her new McBride and Tanner series is set around Loch Lomond in Scotland. Link to Zoe books:

A full bibliography and reading order can be found at



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April 3 – Reading Is My SuperPower – AUTHOR GUEST POST
April 4 – Cozy Up With Kathy – REVIEW, AUTHOR GUEST POST  
April 4 – Maureen's Musings - SPOTLIGHT
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April 16 – The Mystery Section – SPOTLIGHT

The Sphynx Who Stole Christmas by M. R. Dimond

About the Book

Book 2 of the Black Orchid Enterprises Mystery series finds Johnny Ly, Dianne Cortez, and JD Thompson trying to celebrate their first year in business in a small Central Texas town. The weather outside is frightful, and indoors isn't looking too good either, not when a crazed hairless cat invades their Christmas party and leaves a trail of destruction in his wake.

The murder in the backyard doesn't help, but Johnny and Dianne are more worried about the cat. After the police reduce the suspect list from the entire town of Beauchamp, Texas, to just the Black Orchids' friends and family, Attorney JD Thompson springs into action to clear them all, preferably before Monday night's concert. Life's hard for a veterinarian, accountant, lawyer, and ABBA tribute band.

Amazon ~~ Barnes & Noble ~~ Apple Books ~~ Kobo ~~ Smashwords


“This is a rare Sphynx cat,” Johnny intoned in his softest accents, returning his attention to the rare Sphynx. “Someone paid a lot of money for him and now grieves his loss.

Suddenly interested, Dianne studied the yowling, spitting cat. I figured she was calculating the possibility of a reward. Patrolling the edge of the crowd to force them back further, she murmured, “I didn’t know cats came in Pure Ugly.”

“Eye of the beholder, sweetie,” I whispered as I passed.

Johnny continued his cat whispering murmur as our intern appeared in the doorway. In case Johnny’s Zen approach didn’t work, Darryl held the animal control officer’s chief tool, a five-foot catch pole with a net on the end. His leather gloves came up to his elbows, in case five feet wasn’t enough distance. I’ve seen his expression in photos of young men his age on their way to the war du jour, whether Vietnam for my grandfather’s generation, or Afghanistan and Iraq for mine.

The cat growled a low ostinato. We got the crowd quiet enough and far enough away that we could hear Johnny’s murmuring, the hanging plant’s creaking as it rock-a-byed its shivering burden, and in the distance, Grandmother caressing the piano keys to bring forth “Silent Night.” Finding the show dull, some guests drifted o! to their cars rather than stand outside in the cold. They had a point.

Dianne moved around the far end of the porch, in case the cat decided to leave that way. I covered the center, in front of our patrolling party elves, in case he came into the front yard. My one hope was that he wouldn’t dash into a group of people. His claws were as long as fish hooks, his teeth worthy of his wildcat ancestors.

Some people might have gone inside for cocoa and marshmallows, but they don’t live with Dr. John Ky Ly, whose personal goal is to save all the cats in the world. So we hung around.

I’d decided that Johnny was waiting for all the guests to leave, but after losing only another third of our audience, Johnny took one step closer to the Sphynx: the moment of ultimate trust.

That was too much.

With a howl of betrayal or battle cry, the (alleged) cat sprang from his basket and landed on the next one. Dianne shrieked, a mother’s cry for her endangered child.

Now at eye level with Johnny, the beast leapt again, this time landing on the floor. His claws scrabbled on the wood as he struggled to gain purchase while making a beeline for the door.

Darryl tensed as his moment arrived. He held the net like he was going to scoop tadpoles in the bayou. The Sphynx didn’t slow down, just sailed right over the net and into the house. Alarmed, Darryl stumbled sideways, crashing into decorations before landing on the Pittman & Davis fruit boxes.

I took the porch steps in one leap and burst into the house, with Dianne and the Christmas elves right behind me. She slammed the door and locked it. We blinked and snuffled the grapefruit miasma out of our eyes and noses.

“Go change clothes, Darryl,” commanded Johnny. “Citrus upsets the cats.”

Dripping grapefruit and orange juice, Darryl staggered to the adjoining cat clinic. I couldn’t see the invader, but I saw where he’d been. The gingerbread houses on the gallery-hall’s right side looked like Tornado Alley. The piano crooned “O Little Town of Bethlehem.” The gingerbread pieces did indeed lie still.

Johnny folded his arms across his chest. “I’m letting him settle down. He’s frightened.”

“Do we have enough insurance for that?” I asked Dianne.

About the Author

After stints in professional orchestras, law firms, cat rescue, bookkeeping, and technical communication, M. R. Dimond returned to a childhood dream of writing fiction, which has turned out to be about musicians, lawyers, veterinarians, accountants, and cats. Watch for the next Black Orchid Enterprises mystery in May 2023, Family Matters.

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