Bitter Past

Ellie Matthews Novels

Book 1
Caroline Fardig
Free sample

From USA Today bestselling author Caroline Fardig comes a gripping new forensic mystery series.

Three years ago, criminalist Ellie Matthews was blindsided when a grisly homicide case suddenly became personal. She abandoned the danger and stress of crime scene investigation for a professorship at a posh private college and never looked back. 

Now, Ellie’s pleasant world is shattered when she finds the dead body of a female student. The campus is in chaos, reporters are circling like vultures, and Ellie is trying her best to distance herself from the situation. Not an easy task when her closest colleague becomes the prime suspect.

After the college community is rocked by another suspicious death, Ellie’s mentor, Sheriff Jayne Walsh, convinces her to consult on the case. Partnered with quick-witted Detective Nick Baxter, Ellie reluctantly bottles up her personal demons and dives back into the world she left behind, racing to make sense of the evidence before the killer strikes again. 

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About the author

Caroline Fardig is the USA Today bestselling author of over a dozen mystery novels. Fardig’s Bad Medicine was named one of the "Best Books of 2015" by Suspense Magazine. She worked as a schoolteacher, church organist, insurance agent, funeral parlor associate, and stay-at-home mom before she realized that she wanted to be a writer when she grew up. Born and raised in a small town in Indiana, Fardig still lives in that same town with an understanding husband, two sweet kids, two energetic dogs, and one malevolent cat. 

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Additional Information

Publisher
Caroline Fardig
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Published on
Aug 5, 2017
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Pages
314
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ISBN
9781370553648
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Language
English
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Genres
Fiction / Mystery & Detective / General
Fiction / Mystery & Detective / Police Procedural
Fiction / Mystery & Detective / Women Sleuths
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Content Protection
This content is DRM protected.
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Available on Android devices
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When a controversial politician is murdered in cold blood, Baton Rouge Police Detective Wallace Hartman struggles to find the killer amid conspiracies and corruption in River of Secrets, a gripping new mystery from Roger Johns.

Herbert Marioneaux, a Louisiana politician infamous for changing his mind on hot-button issues, has been murdered and his body posed to send a message. Baton Rouge homicide detective Wallace Hartman has to figure out who’s sending that message. DNA points to Eddie Pitkin, a social justice activist who also happens to be the half-brother of Wallace’s childhood best friend. But even with the combative history between Pitkin and Marioneaux, murder seems out of character for Pitkin, whose usual MO is to confront the wealthy and powerful with their inconvenient past. As Wallace digs deeper, she unearths a possible alibi witness, along with evidence of a deeply troubled relationship that points the finger of suspicion at Marioneaux’s son.

While Eddie’s supporters are convinced of his innocence, his enemies are equally certain of his guilt. Under pressure from all directions, Wallace pursues her investigation into the dark heart of the political establishment as Baton Rouge falls under the shadow of escalating violence. When it appears a police department insider may be sabotaging her efforts by leaking information about the case, and after menacing messages are left for her and her loved ones, Wallace is forced to untangle a trail of old and disturbing secrets unaided by those she most needs to trust.

Full of humor and suspense, the bestselling Java Jive series heats up as the irrepressible heroine of Death Before Decaf faces off against Nashville’s upper crust to solve a shocking murder.
 
Former musician Juliet Langley has barely had a day off since taking over management of the coffeehouse owned by her best friend, Pete Bennett. But there’s always more to be done—such as prepping for the annual Holiday 5K Race organized by Pete’s snobby socialite girlfriend, Cecilia Hollingsworth. This year, Java Jive has a booth right at the finish line, and since Juliet and Cecilia don’t always see eye to eye, everything has to be perfect. Nothing can go wrong. Nothing . . . like Juliet stumbling over Cecilia’s dead body on the morning of the race.
 
When Pete is arrested for Cecilia’s murder, Juliet sets out to clear his name. She’ll do whatever it takes—even if it means standing up to the police, her ex-boyfriend, and the grande dames of Nashville. But there isn’t enough espresso in the world for the greatest challenge in her path: infiltrating Nashville’s high society to uncover the hidden hotbed of scandal without running afoul of the law herself. With her last dime staked on Pete’s bail bond and her staff growing jittery, the last thing Juliet needs is for her trademark temper to land her behind bars. As time drips away, Juliet needs to crack this case before the killer comes back for another shot.

Praise for Mug Shot

“The humorous and witty dialogue, mixed with romantic tension and a puzzling mystery is a fresh and unique combination. Juliet’s first-person narrative is humorous at times and poignant at others, making her a loveable character I can’t help but cheer on. . . . The mystery-suspense elements are truly tense on an emotional level. . . . This series is delightful, well written, and wildly entertaining.”—Suspense Magazine

“The story is fast-paced and keeps you guessing to the very end. This author comes up with some very interesting ways to kill someone, and her injection of humor at just the right time is perfect. On its own, Mug Shot is a really good read, but if you follow the series, it will be even better.”—Linda Thompson, host of The Authors Show
 
“Another winner . . . Just like the first book, this one is peppered with funny scenes. . . . This is a good series and I highly suggest reading.”—Storeybook Reviews

“Once you start, you’ll want to finish it. Can’t wait for more caffeine-driven escapades.”—Sweet Mystery Books
Coffeehouse manager and reluctant sleuth Juliet Langley returns in a gripping novel from the bestselling author of Death Before Decaf and Mug Shot. Just as things are perking up in Nashville, a serial killer sends tensions foaming over.
 
Juliet’s personal and professional lives have recently received an extra jolt of energy. Her romance with the hunky detective Ryder Hamilton continues to simmer, and business at Java Jive has never been better. But her good mood quickly turns as stale as day-old espresso when she finds out that Ryder has been promoted to his precinct’s homicide division. With him risking his life to catch the worst kind of criminals, Juliet’s growing sense of unease ignites when a local college student goes missing.
 
Suddenly every Nashville resident is on high alert, especially Juliet’s neighbor Chelsea. Juliet does her best to calm the girl’s nerves, but her worst fears are confirmed when she finds Chelsea dead. Even though she tries her best to stay out of it, Juliet’s involvement puts a strain on Ryder’s first homicide case.  The situation soon becomes even more personal for Juliet and her best friend Pete Bennett when one of their employees disappears during her shift. As a killer lurks in the shadows, Juliet, Pete, and Ryder seek out a double shot of justice.

Praise for A Whole Latte Murder

“How Ms. Fardig comes up with these story lines is the true mystery and I am captivated by her imagination and ability to bring the reader into the story. This book has it all—a murder, devilish handsome men, great women friends, wonderful humor and a whole lot of action. If you’re looking for a companion to curl up by the fire with, A Whole Latte Murder can’t be beat.”—Linda Thompson, The Authors Show
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