Played to Death

Scott Drayco Mystery Series

Book 1
BV Lawson
376

A Shamus Award Finalist and Named Best Mystery in the 2015 Next Generation Book Awards

A body in a rundown Opera House.
A missing manuscript
A dark family secret. 


Still suffering nightmares from a case that ended tragically, brilliant freelance crime consultant Scott Drayco considers retiring from crime solving altogether. When a former client bequeaths Drayco a rundown Opera House in a Virginia seaside town, he figures he'll arrange for a quick sale of the place while nursing his battered soul in a peaceful setting near the shore.

What he doesn't count on is finding a dead body on the Opera House stage with a mysterious "G" carved into the man's chest. With hopes for a quick sale dashed and himself a suspect in the murder, Drayco digs into very old and very dangerous secrets to solve the crime and clear his name. Along the way, Drayco must dodge a wary sheriff, hostility over coastal development, and the seductive wife of a town councilman - before the tensions explode into more violence and he becomes the next victim.

EDITORIAL REVIEWS:

"Lawson uses the gothic features of the abandoned Opera House to great effect, creating an atmospheric background for the crimes and the solving of them, all of it accompanied with music that's almost like another character. The pace never sagged and it kept me enthralled." - Long and Short Reviews

"Lawson's book was so good, I read it twice from beginning to end...The citizens of Cape Unity are as diverse and multi-layered as any person living in the large cities, and Lawson portrayed them splendidly." - Reader's Favorite Reviews

"The storyline here is nicely structured, and creatively ties together two murder mysteries, which occurred decades apart. The small town setting is ideal, the lead character engaging, and the supporting cast interesting and diverse. Overall, a solid start to this series." - Omnimystery News

"
A nice tight mystery in a realistic setting. Totally enjoyable." - Terrie Farley Moran, national bestselling author of the Read 'Em and Eat Mystery Series

Category Keywords:  free, freebie, vigilante justice, crime fiction, FBI agents, murder, private detective, suspense, mysteries, thrillers, mystery & detective, private investigator series, detective novel series, literary mystery, murder mystery series,  serial killers, small town mysteries, vengeful, mystery series, thriller books, crime books, suspense books, best mystery novels, J.A. Jance, Tana French, Louise Penny, Karin Slaughter

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About the author

Author and journalist BV Lawson's award-winning stories, poems and articles have appeared in dozens of national and regional publications and anthologies. A four-time Derringer Award finalist and 2012 winner for her short fiction, BV was also honored by the American Independent Writers and Maryland Writers Association for her Scott Drayco series, with the debut novel, Played to Death, a Shamus Award Finalist and named Best Mystery in the 2015 Next Generation Book Awards. BV currently lives in Virginia with her husband and enjoys flying above the Chesapeake Bay in a little Cessna. 

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4.3
376 total
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Additional Information

Publisher
BV Lawson
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Published on
Jul 12, 2014
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Pages
278
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ISBN
9780990458203
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Features
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Language
English
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Genres
Fiction / Mystery & Detective / General
Fiction / Mystery & Detective / Police Procedural
Fiction / Mystery & Detective / Private Investigators
Fiction / Thrillers / Crime
Fiction / Thrillers / Suspense
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Content Protection
This content is DRM free.
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Read Aloud
Available on Android devices
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Eligible for Family Library

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The sequel to the Shamus Award-nominated PLAYED TO DEATH

Crime consultant Scott Drayco is in the middle of a thorny case in Washington, D.C. involving murder victims who were all wheelchair-bound. Then, out of the blue, he gets a worried call from a friend on Virginia's Eastern Shore about an attack on an innocent disabled girl.

Working once again with Sheriff Sailor and Deputy Nelia Tyler, Drayco discovers almost everyone believes the girl's attack was an accident. But he begins to suspect otherwise when he crosses paths with a badly disfigured man and the man's enigmatic Goth son, as well as one of the smoothest and most dangerous figures Drayco has encountered in his career.

Meanwhile, his conflicted feelings toward the soon-to-be-divorced town councilman's wife, Darcie Squier, continue to simmer under the surface and threaten to undermine his focus and cloud his judgement. But he's well aware he needs to keep his faculties razor-sharp if he's to solve the riddle of whether the cases in D.C. and the Eastern Shore are linked - or is he dealing with not one monster, but two? 

PRAISE FOR BV LAWSON'S SCOTT DRAYCO SERIES

"Lawson uses the gothic features of the abandoned Opera House to great effect, creating an atmospheric background for the crimes and the solving of them, all of it accompanied with music that's almost like another character. The pace never sagged and it kept me enthralled." - Long and Short Reviews

"Lawson's book was so good, I read it twice from beginning to end...The citizens of Cape Unity are as diverse and multi-layered as any person living in the large cities, and Lawson portrayed them splendidly." - Reader's Favorite Reviews

"The storyline here is nicely structured, and creatively ties together two murder mysteries, which occurred decades apart. The small town setting is ideal, the lead character engaging, and the supporting cast interesting and diverse. Overall, a solid start to this series." - Omnimystery News

"A nice tight mystery in a realistic setting. Totally enjoyable." - Terrie Farley Moran, national bestselling author of the Read 'Em and Eat Mystery Series

Category Keywords:  vigilante justice, crime fiction, FBI agents, murder, private detective, suspense, mysteries, thrillers, mystery & detective, private investigator series, detective novel series, literary mystery, murder mystery series,  serial killers, small town mysteries, vengeful, mystery series, thriller books, crime books, suspense books, best mystery novels, J.A. Jance, Tana French, Louise Penny, Karin Slaughter

A mysterious music puzzle. A murdered co-ed. Sinister secrets.

Three years ago, Scott Drayco left the FBI after an incident involving his partner, Mark "Sarg" Sargosian. Now a freelance crime consultant, Drayco often helps law enforcement on cases, but he never imagined his estranged former partner would turn up on his doorstep, pleading for Drayco's help. A co-ed at an elite Washington, D.C., private college has been murdered, and the victim's friend - Sarg's own daughter Tara - might be the next target.

The killer left behind a puzzling music code at the crime scene, and Drayco soon learns he has two things in common with the murdered girl - a music background and synesthesia. The case takes an even stranger turn after a second murder and a second music code, with signs pointing toward a possible ritualistic killing. Then, Drayco himself starts receiving coded messages . . .

PRAISE FOR BV LAWSON'S SCOTT DRAYCO SERIES

"Lawson uses the gothic features of the abandoned Opera House to great effect, creating an atmospheric background for the crimes and the solving of them, all of it accompanied with music that's almost like another character. The pace never sagged and it kept me enthralled." - Long and Short Reviews

"Lawson's book was so good, I read it twice from beginning to end...The citizens of Cape Unity are as diverse and multi-layered as any person living in the large cities, and Lawson portrayed them splendidly." - Reader's Favorite Reviews

"The storyline here is nicely structured, and creatively ties together two murder mysteries, which occurred decades apart. The small town setting is ideal, the lead character engaging, and the supporting cast interesting and diverse. Overall, a solid start to this series." - Omnimystery News

"A nice tight mystery in a realistic setting. Totally enjoyable." - Terrie Farley Moran, national bestselling author of the Read 'Em and Eat Mystery Series

Category Keywords:  vigilante justice, crime fiction, FBI agents, murder, private detective, suspense, mysteries, thrillers, mystery & detective, private investigator series, detective novel series, literary mystery, murder mystery series,  kidnapping, serial killers, small town mysteries, vengeful, mystery series, thriller books, crime books, suspense books, best mystery novels, J.A. Jance, Tana French, Louise Penny, Karin Slaughter

What if a large part of your past turned out to be a lie?

Crime consultant Scott Drayco is already in the middle of a possible career-ending legal battle when word comes that his mother, who disappeared 30 years ago, is very much alive — and charged with murder. With Drayco’s father washing his hands of the matter and police convinced the woman is guilty, everyone tells him he should just walk away from the case and let the chips fall where they may.

Except, Drayco finds he can’t leave it alone and is obsessed with uncovering the truth: Is his mother really a killer? Where has she been all these years? And why did she suddenly leave her husband and children to vanish without a trace?

Investigating the murder victim’s colleagues, Drayco learns there are plenty who wanted the man dead, including a shadowy stalker who seems to have a mysterious connection to Drayco’s mother. As he wades hip-deep into secrets, lies, and cons, he begins to question if the case is all just part of an elaborate scam ... where the only one being fooled is Drayco himself.

NOTE: This is a sequel to book #3 in the Scott Drayco series, Dies Irae, which should be read before Elegy in Scarlet if you want to avoid spoilers!

The Scott Drayco mystery series has been honored by the American Independent Writers, Maryland Writers Association, named Best Mystery in the Next Generation Indie Book Awards, and been a finalist for the Shamus and Silver Falchion Awards.

The complete chronology of the Scott Drayco series for reading in order is:

Played to Death
Requiem for Innocence
Dies Irae
Elegy in Scarlet

Praise for BV Lawson’s Scott Drayco Series:

“BV Lawson has created a memorable character in Drayco, a concert pianist turned FBI agent, turned crime consultant. He also has the fascinating condition of synesthesia, which not nly adds a mysterious depth to his character it is integral to the plot.”  – Big Als Books & Pals

 “... Kept me guessing until the very end. I’d recommend this book to experienced mystery readers who enjoy wrestling with skillfully placed hints that don’t easily reveal their secrets.” – ong and Short Reviews

“The storyline here is nicely structured, and creatively ties together two murder mysteries, which occurred decades apart. The small town setting is ideal, the lead character engaging, nd the supporting cast interesting and diverse.” – Omimystery News

“Now this story was close to brilliance ... The writing was fluent and the story intriguing, and I loved the end.” – IHeartReading Reviews

“Lawson’s book was so good, I read it twice from beginning to end...The citizens of Cape Unity are as diverse and multi-layered as any person living in the large cities, and Lawson ortrayed them splendidly.” – Reader's Favorite Reviews

“A nice tight mystery in a realistic setting. Totally enjoyable.” – Terrie Farley Moran, author of the Read ’Em and Eat Mysteries

Category Keywords:  crime fiction, FBI agents, murder, private detective, suspense, mysteries, thrillers, mystery & detective, private investigator series, detective novel series, literary mystery, murder mystery series,  serial killers, vengeful, mystery series, thriller books, crime books, suspense books, J.A. Jance, Tana French, Louise Penny, Karin Slaughter

‘She lifted the flap of the envelope and pulled out the single white page. As she opened it up she stared, open mouthed. Four words were typed on the page. I am watching you.’

When Amy Whyte and Penny Brogan leave a local nightclub in the early hours of Sunday morning and don’t arrive home, their families are beside themselves with worry. Conor Dowling has just been released from prison, a man full of hatred for Amy, the girl who put him behind bars in the first place.

The case is given to Detective Lottie Parker, when the girls’ blood-soaked bodies are found, days later, in a derelict squat. Chillingly, both girls are clutching silver coins in their hands – what message is this killer leaving behind? All the signs point to Conor but his alibi is water tight.

As Lottie examines Penny and Amy’s final days alive in a desperate search for clues, two more girls are found stabbed to death in a luxury apartment complex. Caught up in what is fast becoming her toughest case yet, Lottie is unaware that somebody is watching her every move.

Then Lottie’s two daughters, Katie and Chloe suddenly disappear from the town centre. Terrified that the killer has her girls, the stakes have never been higher for Lottie. 

But as Lottie puts everything on the line to find her daughters and solve the case, she’s about to find herself in terrible danger – someone has a personal axe to grind with her and they know the best way to get to her is to hurt the ones she loves the most.

If you love Karin Slaughter, Robert Dugoni and Rachel Abbott, you’ll be hooked by this heart-stopping thriller from Patricia Gibney. Final Betrayal will keep you guessing until the very last page. 

Readers are loving Final Betrayal:

‘Another absolutely riveting, gut gripping and unputdownable book from Patricia Gibney!!
Had this read in record time!! From start to finish it was brilliant!! Literally can't wait for the next one and the outcome for Lottie and Boyd!!!!’ Goodreads Reviewer, 5 stars

‘A dark and gripping read…There are so many heart stopping moments that had me hold my breath. I was carried along by the authors writing, making assumptions along the way. Lets just say nil points to me as I totally got it wrong.
Final Betrayal is a story that is guaranteed to set your pulse racing. I was totally hooked and enjoyed being part of this thrilling journey that I was taken on alongside Lottie whose character I really enjoyed. Without a doubt I will be going back and reading the rest of the books in the series as this just ticked all the boxes for what I look for in a crime series.’ Bytheletterbookreviews, 5 stars

‘I adore Lottie Parker … go pick up the latest release by this fabulous author. Patricia Gibney is the best!!!!’ Goodreads Reviewer, 5 stars

‘Well I am now a fan of Lottie Parker !! This is my first book in the series but I am off to buy the rest ! Final Betrayal is a page turning, twists and turns book. So many dead bodies.
I can tell you that if I am missing or in trouble , it's Lottie Parker and her team of detectives I want on my side …Can't wait to read more of Lottie's exploits!’ Goodreads Reviewer, 5 stars

‘An epic, compelling story …I look forward to getting reacquainted with DI Lottie Parker every time a new book comes out, and I’m yet to be disappointed. In fact, every time one comes out, I make the same mistake of picking it up and starting, not realising I’m going to get very little done until I’ve finished it. Yes, it happened again, I read this book over two days, well I did have to stop to sleep.’ Nigel Adams Bookworm, 5 stars
The sequel to the Shamus Award-nominated PLAYED TO DEATH

Crime consultant Scott Drayco is in the middle of a thorny case in Washington, D.C. involving murder victims who were all wheelchair-bound. Then, out of the blue, he gets a worried call from a friend on Virginia's Eastern Shore about an attack on an innocent disabled girl.

Working once again with Sheriff Sailor and Deputy Nelia Tyler, Drayco discovers almost everyone believes the girl's attack was an accident. But he begins to suspect otherwise when he crosses paths with a badly disfigured man and the man's enigmatic Goth son, as well as one of the smoothest and most dangerous figures Drayco has encountered in his career.

Meanwhile, his conflicted feelings toward the soon-to-be-divorced town councilman's wife, Darcie Squier, continue to simmer under the surface and threaten to undermine his focus and cloud his judgement. But he's well aware he needs to keep his faculties razor-sharp if he's to solve the riddle of whether the cases in D.C. and the Eastern Shore are linked - or is he dealing with not one monster, but two? 

PRAISE FOR BV LAWSON'S SCOTT DRAYCO SERIES

"Lawson uses the gothic features of the abandoned Opera House to great effect, creating an atmospheric background for the crimes and the solving of them, all of it accompanied with music that's almost like another character. The pace never sagged and it kept me enthralled." - Long and Short Reviews

"Lawson's book was so good, I read it twice from beginning to end...The citizens of Cape Unity are as diverse and multi-layered as any person living in the large cities, and Lawson portrayed them splendidly." - Reader's Favorite Reviews

"The storyline here is nicely structured, and creatively ties together two murder mysteries, which occurred decades apart. The small town setting is ideal, the lead character engaging, and the supporting cast interesting and diverse. Overall, a solid start to this series." - Omnimystery News

"A nice tight mystery in a realistic setting. Totally enjoyable." - Terrie Farley Moran, national bestselling author of the Read 'Em and Eat Mystery Series

Category Keywords:  vigilante justice, crime fiction, FBI agents, murder, private detective, suspense, mysteries, thrillers, mystery & detective, private investigator series, detective novel series, literary mystery, murder mystery series,  serial killers, small town mysteries, vengeful, mystery series, thriller books, crime books, suspense books, best mystery novels, J.A. Jance, Tana French, Louise Penny, Karin Slaughter

In this prequel novelette to the novels Dies Irae and Elegy in Scarlet, crime consultant Scott Drayco and “the world’s most diminutive defense attorney” Benny Baskin find themselves on the Eastern Shore of Virginia fighting for the innocence of Baskin's client, who's jailed for the murder of his business partner. Against the backdrop of the Wallops Island rocket launch facility, Drayco soon discovers that the motive for the man's murder might just be out of this world.

The Scott Drayco mystery series has been honored by the American Independent Writers, Maryland Writers Association, named Best Mystery in the Next Generation Indie Book Awards, and been a finalist for the Shamus and Silver Falchion Awards.

The complete chronology of the Scott Drayco novel series for those who enjoy reading in order is:

Played to Death
Requiem for Innocence
Dies Irae
Elegy in Scarlet

Sign up for BV Lawson’s Mysteries in Crimetime newsletter at bvlawson.com and receive a FREE ebook plus BV book updates, crime fiction news, giveaways, and more!

PRAISE FOR BV LAWSON’S SCOTT DRAYCO SERIES:

“BV Lawson has created a memorable character in Drayco, a concert pianist turned FBI agent, turned crime consultant. He also has the fascinating condition of synesthesia, which not only adds a mysterious depth to his character it is integral to the plot.”  - Big Als Books & Pals

“The storyline here is nicely structured, and creatively ties together two murder mysteries, which occurred decades apart. The small town setting is ideal, the lead character engaging, and the supporting cast interesting and diverse. Overall, a solid start to this series.” - Omimystery News

 “... Kept me guessing until the very end. I’d recommend this book to experienced mystery readers who enjoy wrestling with skillfully placed hints that don’t easily reveal their secrets.” - Long and Short Reviews

“Lawson’s book was so good, I read it twice from beginning to end...The citizens of Cape Unity are as diverse and multi-layered as any person living in the large cities, and Lawson portrayed them splendidly.” - Reader's Favorite Reviews

“Now this story was close to brilliance ... The writing was fluent and the story intriguing, and I loved the end.” - IHeartReading Reviews

“A nice tight mystery in a realistic setting. Totally enjoyable.” - Terrie Farley Moran, author of the Read ’Em and Eat Mysteries

 Category Keywords:  crime fiction, FBI agents, murder, private detective, suspense, mysteries, thrillers, mystery & detective, private investigator series, detective novel series, literary mystery, murder mystery series,  serial killers, vengeful, mystery series, thriller books, crime books, suspense books, J.A. Jance, Tana French, Louise Penny, Karin Slaughter, Carl Hiaasen

Divorce a husband, lose a career …grapple with a murder.

TV journalist Elizabeth “E.M.” Danniher will tell you she committed two sins — she didn’t stay young, and she made an enemy of a powerful news executive — her ex. She used to break national news. Now her top story as the “Helping Out!” reporter at dinky KWMT-TV in Sherman, Wyoming is getting a defective toaster repaired.

Tough, funny and determined, Elizabeth wrestles with isolation, keeping a professional edge, and an evolving self-image. Is Wyoming — the land of cattle, cowboys, tumbleweeds, and fewer than six people per square mile — her new home or a road to permanent obscurity?

Soon she’s in a battle of wills with ex-football player turned journalist Mike Paycik, who sees her as a handy rung on his career ladder. And there’s the matter of a deputy sheriff—missing or murdered? Elizabeth finds herself investigating at the insistence of a girl who’s set on proving her father’s innocence. Not that enigmatic rancher Thomas Burrell makes investigating easy.

But Elizabeth won’t fade to black without a fight, no matter how final some might want to make her Sign Off.

Don't miss any of Elizabeth Danniher's Caught Dead in Wyoming adventures:


Sign Off

Left Hanging

Shoot First

Last Ditch

Look Live

Back Story

Cold Open

Hot Roll

Reaction Shot (2020)


What people are saying about SIGN OFF:

“This is one of those books that you want to stop everything to read while hoping it never ends.”

“Sign Off is a brisk, enthralling page-turner” – P.B. Ryan, bestselling author

“Colorful characters, intriguing, intelligent mystery, plus the state of Wyoming leaping off every page.” – Emilie Richards, USA Today Bestselling Author

“That was fun.”

“Be prepared for lots of twist and turns.”

“I read it in one sitting. I hadn't planned it that way, but just couldn't stop.”

“The characters were a mix of funny, sad, and quirky and were totally believable. There was just enough humor to lighten the story, but not to disrespect the seriousness of crime.”

What people are saying about the CAUGHT DEAD IN WYOMING series:

“McLinn's mysteries set in Wyoming are addictive. The writing is excellent, the twists and turns keep the brain engaged, and Elizabeth's wry commentary keeps a smile on my face.”

“E.M.’s internal monologues are sharp, snappy and often hilarious.”

"A terrific series with a western flair. . . . Great characters that you would want as your friends. Smart, funny, but not perfect."

“Hoping this series lasts forever!”


If you also like cozier mysteries, try Patricia's Secret Sleuth series:

Death on the Diversion

Death on Torrid Avenue

Death on Beguiling Way (2019)

Death on Covert Circle (2020)



If you like Patricia’s mysteries, try her romantic suspense:

Proof of Innocence

Price of Innocence (2020)


Ride the River: Rodeo Knights (includes scenes in fictional Sherman, Wyoming, and cameos from Caught Dead in Wyoming characters)

A mysterious music puzzle. A murdered co-ed. Sinister secrets.

Three years ago, Scott Drayco left the FBI after an incident involving his partner, Mark "Sarg" Sargosian. Now a freelance crime consultant, Drayco often helps law enforcement on cases, but he never imagined his estranged former partner would turn up on his doorstep, pleading for Drayco's help. A co-ed at an elite Washington, D.C., private college has been murdered, and the victim's friend - Sarg's own daughter Tara - might be the next target.

The killer left behind a puzzling music code at the crime scene, and Drayco soon learns he has two things in common with the murdered girl - a music background and synesthesia. The case takes an even stranger turn after a second murder and a second music code, with signs pointing toward a possible ritualistic killing. Then, Drayco himself starts receiving coded messages . . .

PRAISE FOR BV LAWSON'S SCOTT DRAYCO SERIES

"Lawson uses the gothic features of the abandoned Opera House to great effect, creating an atmospheric background for the crimes and the solving of them, all of it accompanied with music that's almost like another character. The pace never sagged and it kept me enthralled." - Long and Short Reviews

"Lawson's book was so good, I read it twice from beginning to end...The citizens of Cape Unity are as diverse and multi-layered as any person living in the large cities, and Lawson portrayed them splendidly." - Reader's Favorite Reviews

"The storyline here is nicely structured, and creatively ties together two murder mysteries, which occurred decades apart. The small town setting is ideal, the lead character engaging, and the supporting cast interesting and diverse. Overall, a solid start to this series." - Omnimystery News

"A nice tight mystery in a realistic setting. Totally enjoyable." - Terrie Farley Moran, national bestselling author of the Read 'Em and Eat Mystery Series

Category Keywords:  vigilante justice, crime fiction, FBI agents, murder, private detective, suspense, mysteries, thrillers, mystery & detective, private investigator series, detective novel series, literary mystery, murder mystery series,  kidnapping, serial killers, small town mysteries, vengeful, mystery series, thriller books, crime books, suspense books, best mystery novels, J.A. Jance, Tana French, Louise Penny, Karin Slaughter

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