Elaine Viets has written 33 mysteries in four series: the bestselling Dead-End Job series with South Florida PI Helen Hawthorne, the cozy Josie Marcus Mystery Shopper mysteries, and the dark Francesca Vierling mysteries. With the Angela Richman Death Investigator series, Elaine returns to her hardboiled roots and uses her experience as a stroke survivor and her studies at the Medicolegal Death Investigators Training Course. Elaine was a director at large for the Mystery Writers of America. She's a frequent contributor to Alfred Hitchcock's Mystery Magazine and anthologies edited by Charlaine Harris and Lawrence Block. Elaine won the Anthony, Agatha and Lefty Awards.
In the South, good manners (and keen protective instincts) prevent folks from saying what they mean, particularly about extramarital “slippin’ and slidin’.” And backwoods sheriffs still rule their fiefdoms with a strong hand and steady aim.
Sam finds herself deep in the kudzu once more when a lawyer, a family acquaintance, goes missing, then turns up dead. When the sheriff rules it an accident, Sam and Beau team up to deliver their own unique brand of justice.
Lark Dodge has been dragooned into helping Bianca Fiedler, heir of Hollywood stars turned organic farmer, run a workshop for science writers, a.k.a. journalists. When one of the farm managers is found dead and covered with ice cubes in a bin used to store broccoli, it would be prudent to cancel the workshop, but Bianca insists it’s too late, and Bianca tends to get her way. While it seems likely that one of the farm’s quirky inhabitants must be guilty, Lark and her husband Jay find themselves trapped in a hunt for the killer.
Early one morning, Times-Picayune crime reporter Nola Céspedes goes for her regular run in Audubon Park. More than the heat of the dawning New Orleans day, she's trying to outrun her growing unease with the man she's seeing, who is pushing her to get more serious. Instead, Nola finds herself at the scene of a crime when she discovers a dead body. Worse, Nola recognizes the victim: Judith Taffner, her former journalism professor at Tulane.
Not convinced Dr. Taffner's murder was the random work of a psychopath, and not one to put much trust in the good ol' boys of the NOPD, Nola takes it upon herself to investigate. She discovers that Dr. Taffner was working on two explosive stories, both of which would shock even this notoriously corrupt city. And when an apparently related murder occurs in the middle of New Orleans' packed Jazz Fest, Nola realizes it's only a matter of time before she becomes a ruthless killer's next target.
Rich with details of New Orleans and featuring an original, tough heroine as fascinating as the city itself, Nearer Home is the perfect follow-up to Joy Castro's Hell or High Water, confirming her status as a talented new crime writer to watch.
"Exquisite New Orleans background . . . a flawed but plucky heroine, and skillfully paced suspense make this a stay up way past your bedtime read."—Booklist (starred)