Holland Taylor is a PI who does simple background checks and other mostly unchallenging cases. Still wounded by the long-ago death of his wife and daughter, and newly mourning a recently failed relationship, Taylor doesn’t have much interest in more challenging work. But almost by accident, he finds himself in the middle of the crime of the century.
Eleanor Barrington, the doyenne of a socially prominent family of great wealth, has been arrested for the murder of Emily Denys, her son’s fiancée. Barrington made no secret of her disdain for the victim, convinced that she was trying to take advantage of her son and her family.
Taylor had been brought in to do a full background check on Emily, only to discover that both her name and her background were fabricated. Before he could learn more, she was murdered—shot in the head outside her apartment.
Barrington had been overheard threatening to kill her son’s fiancé and an eyewitness claims to have seen her kill Emily. But that’s not the worst of it. Barrington’s own son has even worse accusations to make against her.
Caught in the dark tangle of a twisted family and haunted by his own past, Taylor finds that the truth is both elusive and dangerous.
Fifty-five-year-old Jim Lapsford makes an unusually healthy-looking corpse. A life-long devotee of vitamin pills and herbal remedies, it seems almost ironic that he has succumbed to a heart attack. His GP is convinced that this is the case but trainee undertaker Drew Slocombe isn't so sure and he is convinced that there is enough conflicting medical evidence to merit a coroner's inquest at least. And then there's Jim's personal life: in addition to a long suffering wife, two sons and a grieving terrier, Jim appears to have left behind a series of scorned mistresses.
It seems everyone else is happy enough to accept the doctor's verdict and Drew shouldn't really rock the boat, but can he really turn his back on murder? Even so, Drew may have plenty of suspects but he has no proof. And Jim's cremation is days away...
Actually, she hadn't been worth getting involved with.
Yet, the fact remained that a lot of men had. And one of them had been more involved than anyone could know.
A cozy, one-bedroom apartment and an engraved anniversary present put George Harmon Coxe's celebrated private detective, Sam Crombie, onto the trail of four men. All had loved the same woman. All had eventually left her. One had left her dead...
"Jack Fredrickson is one hell of a writer. He has an ear for dead-on dialogue, and an unerring eye for compelling pace. In Dek Elstrom, he's created an investigator with a seductive one-two punch—a delectably smart mouth and a delightfully nimble brain. Believe me, no matter how hard your heart, there's going to be a soft spot in it for Hunting Sweetie Rose. This is a book that satisfies on every level from an author you can trust to deliver." —William Kent Krueger
Dek Elstrom is back. Bad things are surfacing in Rivertown, in a huge hole in a block of bungalows; in the river, where the dam trapped what should never have been in the water. And from the past, where secrets long buried have risen again, to kill. Then comes a phone call from a dead man, and the sudden disappearance of almost everyone Dek ever held close. A trail leads north, to the end of Michigan, past the chop of the angry waters beyond, to an ice swept island most everyone wants to forget. But there are no answers there, just more questions, and another dead man pointing straight back to Rivertown, to the hole, and the dam, and secrets that want to keep killing in The Dead Caller from Chicago.
A lawyer calls Dek with a fast, seven-hundred dollar proposition. A dead client named Dek to execute her will. No matter that Dek didn't know the woman. No matter, too, that the woman's estate was only worth a few hundred. Happens all the time, the lawyer said.
To Dek Elstrom, broke and huddling in a cold stone turret in the middle of February, the sound of seven hundred falling down his chimney is louder than his voice of reason. He agrees, heads up to a hamlet ten miles north of nowhere. But instead of finding an easy-to-close estate, he finds blood and the markers of a shattered life. And something worse: links to the darkest part of his own past. He races to chase down leads to the killer, and his own ghost...before the dead woman is killed again.
The year is 1928, and after the death of a maid at a glamorous society party, fortune heir Bryan Guinness seizes life and proposes to eighteen-year-old Diana, most beautiful of the six Mitford sisters. The maid's death is ruled an accident, and the newlyweds put it behind them to begin a whirlwind life zipping between London's Mayfair, chic Paris and hedonistic Berlin. Accompanying Diana as her lady's maid is Louisa Cannon, as well as a coterie of friends, family and hangers on, from Nancy Mitford to Evelyn Waugh.
When a second victim is found in Paris in 1931, Louisa begins to see links with the death of the maid two years previously. Now she must convince the Mitford sisters that a murderer could be within their midst . . . all while shadows darken across Europe, and within the heart of Diana Mitford herself.
But shortly after the parties land at the island, Lord Hargrave is killed by a sniper shot, and the French ambassador’s head of security is found stabbed to death. The only means of egress from the island—a boat—has been sent away, and the means of signaling for help has been destroyed. Trapped in a manor house with no way of escape, Cyrus Barker and his assistant, Thomas Llewelyn, must uncover which among them is the killer before the next victim falls.
From dealing with artists' models in a murder case, to ensuring a bejewelled, high-spirited American heiress doesn't attract the wrong sort of attention, to protecting the pay destined for a staff of quarrymen, PC Bragg has his work cut out for him.
Suspecting Berrenton's car has been tampered with, the North Sussex Police call in Scotland Yard. Chief Inspector John Poole, put in charge of the investigation, quickly discovers that three years earlier Berrenton and his partner, Jocelyn Fallon, had been on trial accused of fraud. The crime they were accused of was in connection with a Bolivian goldmine, San Podino, and though the two men were acquitted, a number of investors suffered considerable financial loss.
Soon Inspector Poole is dealing with attempted murder . . .