Diana Poole’s last movie was a flop, but she earned enough money to fix up her Malibu house. One afternoon standing outside it, she sees a woman across the highway waving at her. Diana doesn’t recognize her. Still waving, the woman walks into the oncoming cars and is killed instantly. Why would anyone do that?
The next night, while still horrified by the accident, Diana is held at gunpoint by a man demanding the dead woman’s scorpion. What kind of scorpion? A live one? A brooch? A pendant? Diana searches the accident scene and finds a diamond-encrusted object in the shape of a scorpion. Breathless, she remembers her movie star mother showing it to her the last time she saw her alive.
Did the woman who was waving at her want her to see it? Was the woman’s death really an accident? Why did the gunman want the scorpion? Did her mother really die of natural causes? Could it have been murder?With the diamond-encrusted object as her only clue, Diana goes on a heart-pounding journey determined to find answers. But asking a lot of questions can upset people. Especially the unpredictable killer who is stalking her.
Melodie Johnson-Howe is the author of three novels, The Mother Shadow, nominated for an Edgar award; Beauty Dies; and City of Mirrors. After a career in movies and television, she quit acting to write novels. She lives in Santa Barbara with her husband.
Erin Murphy, manager of Glacier Mercantile (aka the Merc), is tuning up for Jewel Bay's annual Jazz Festival. Between keeping the Merc's shelves stocked with Montana's tastiest local fare and hosting the festival's kick-off concert, Erin has her hands full.
Discord erupts when jazz guitarist Gerry Martin plummets to his death from the rocks above the Jewel River. The one-time international sensation had fallen out of sync with festival organizers, students, and performers. Was his death an accident—or did someone even the score?
Erin investigates despite the warning signs not to get involved. And when the killer attacks, she orchestrates her efforts into one last crescendo, hoping to avoid a deadly finale.
Praise for the Food Lovers' Village Mysteries:
"A pleasing read with a thoughtful heroine, a plethora of red herrings, and some foodie tips."—Kirkus Reviews
"A lighthearted and amusing story with the added bonus of several yummy recipes."—Mystery Scene
"Treble at the Jam Fest has all the necessary elements to satisfy cozy mystery lovers: likeable, believable characters, a fast-moving plot, and a logical ending. Great fun!"—Suspense Magazine
"A delicious mystery as richly constructed as the layers of a buttery pastry. Wine, enchiladas, and song make for a gourmet treat in the coziest town in Montana!"—Krista Davis, New York Times bestselling author of the Domestic Diva Mysteries
"Leslie is a fellow foodie who loves a good mystery and it shows in this delightful tale!"—Cleo Coyle, New York Times bestselling author of the Coffeehouse Mysteries
"Music, food, scenery and a cast of appealing characters weave together in perfect harmony in Leslie Budewitz's latest book."—Sheila Connolly, author of the Orchard Mysteries and the County Cork Mysteries
The #1 New York Times bestselling author of the Natchez Burning trilogy returns with an electrifying tale of friendship, betrayal, and shattering secrets that threaten to destroy a small Mississippi town.
“An ambitious stand-alone thriller that is both an absorbing crime story and an in-depth exploration of grief, betrayal and corruption… Iles’s latest calls to mind the late, great Southern novelist Pat Conroy. Like Conroy, Iles writes with passion, intensity and absolute commitment.”
— Washington Post
When Marshall McEwan left his Mississippi hometown at eighteen, he vowed never to return. The trauma that drove him away spurred him to become one of the most successful journalists in Washington, DC. But as the ascendancy of a chaotic administration lifts him from print fame to television stardom, Marshall discovers that his father is terminally ill, and he must return home to face the unfinished business of his past.
On arrival, he finds Bienville, Mississippi very much changed. His family’s 150-year-old newspaper is failing; and Jet Turner, the love of his youth, has married into the family of Max Matheson, one of a dozen powerful patriarchs who rule the town through the exclusive Bienville Poker Club. To Marshall’s surprise, the Poker Club has taken a town on the brink of extinction and offered it salvation, in the form of a billion-dollar Chinese paper mill. But on the verge of the deal being consummated, two murders rock Bienville to its core, threatening far more than the city’s economic future.
An experienced journalist, Marshall has seen firsthand how the corrosive power of money and politics can sabotage investigations. Joining forces with his former lover—who through her husband has access to the secrets of the Poker Club—Marshall begins digging for the truth behind those murders. But he and Jet soon discover that the soil of Mississippi is a minefield where explosive secrets can destroy far more than injustice. The South is a land where everyone hides truths: of blood and children, of love and shame, of hate and murder—of damnation and redemption. The Poker Club’s secret reaches all the way to Washington, D.C., and could shake the foundations of the U.S. Senate. But by the time Marshall grasps the long-buried truth about his own history, he would give almost anything not to have to face it.