Mystery/Spy Novels

This category contains 10 posts

Site will no longer be updated

Hi Everyone,

As the writing community in the Phoenix area has grown and flourished, I have personally moved in another direction.  I have stepped away from my other responsibilities in the community, and placed them in other capable hands.  This site is no longer a necessary tool to connect the disparate groups and projects together as I am no longer a community leader.  I do not have as easy access to the information that was so readily available to me before, and will no longer update the site.

I hope you found this a useful resource in the past, and wish the best in the future.

Best Regards.


Local Books – The Crossword Killings: In the Valley of Dry Bones (Herb Nash Mystery Series) (Volume 2)

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The Vietnam War rages on with no end in sight. While hippies are moving to the hills there is something horribly wrong happening in a suburban house on Laurel Street, in Phoenix.

Now, over forty years later, after the house is purchased at a foreclosure sale, a Mexican day laborer unwittingly finds an army surplus ammo box buried in the backyard containing some baby bones. But the police aren’t interested.

HERB NASH is a street wise but aging paralegal and part time private investigator. But now, after his last big case that made him a local hero, the phone keeps ringing. This time, he’s off to an Indian casino in south Phoenix, where he meets the eccentric retired dentist who now owns the Laurel Street house, and demands to know how those those bones got in his backyard. The case turns even deadlier when Nash butts heads with a glass ceiling breaking Los Angeles police sergeant on her way to the top, who once lived in the Laurel Street house, and just discovered she cannot bury her past forever.


Local Books – Murder on Camelback Mountain (Herb Nash Mysteries Book 1)

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When he thinks he’s about to keep an important business appointment in lawyer Lamar Madison’s cramped Phoenix law office HERB NASH finds himself shaking hands with a homicide detective who suspects them both of brutally murdering James Olivette, aka Jim B—small time con-artist and only son of one of the city’s wealthiest widows.

The detective tells them Jim B’s dismembered body parts were discovered earlier that morning splayed around a storm drain in the heart of an exclusive Camelback Mountain neighborhood. It gets personal for HERB NASH when the detective tells them both that their business cards were found tucked inside the dead man’s shirt pocket, making them the only “persons of interest” and potential suspects in the Jim B murder investigation.

Lamar convinces HERB NASH to fire up his PI license intended only for skip-tracing dead beat dads and credit criminals, and HERB NASH reluctantly uses it to open up doors in search of more likely persons of interest to keep the police busy and off his back. In the process he twice escapes a brutal death, takes down the most unlikely psychopathic killer, and discovers a startling secret about himself.


Local Books – The Llama of Death: A Gunn Zoo Mystery (Gunn Zoo Series)

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Betty Webb (Author)

Zookeeper Theodora “Teddy” Bentley takes Alejandro, the Gunn Zoo llama, to a Monterey Bay-area Renaissance Faire only to discover the still-warm body of the Reverend Victor Emerson, owner of the local wedding chapel, dressed in his royal robes as Henry the Eighth. At first it appears as if Aljandro stomped the man to death, but a closer look reveals a crossbow dart in the man’s back. Teddy’s investigation proves the “reverend” isn’t really a reverend at all — he’s an escaped convict, and every marriage he’s performed in the past twenty years is null and void. Teddy’s mother Caro, a spoiled ex-beauty queen, becomes the chief suspect and is immediately jailed when she causes a riot in the courtroom.The “reverend” had twice married Caro to wealthy men, and when both marriages failed, Caro received large financial settlements. Now she may have to give all that money back, certainly a good enough reason to commit murder. But Caro wasn’t the only person gunning for Victor. The child of the man Victor once murdered may have wanted to kill him, too, and at one point, even Teddy herself if handcuffed and jailed. Even worse, Teddy’s embezzling father flies in from exile in Costa Rica to help spring Caro from jail, thus putting his own freedom in jeapoardy. As Teddy continues her investigation, she finds herself up to her ears in girl gang members, squabbling boat liveaboarders, Renaissance Faire actors and stuntmen, and assorted animals. Written with a humorous touch, “The Llama of Death” portrays Renaissance Faire life, and gives the reader a rare behind-the-scenes look at modern zoos.

Local Books – Desert Wind: A Lena Jones Mystery (Lena Jones Series)

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Betty Webb (Author)

When P.I. Lena Jones’s Pima Indian partner Jimmy Sisiwan is arrested in the remote northern Arizona town of Walapai Flats, Lena closes the Desert Investigations office and rushes to his aid. What she finds is a town up in arms over a new uranium mine located only ten miles from the magnificent Grand Canyon. Jimmy’s sister-in-law, founder of Victims of Uranium Mining, has been murdered, but the opposing side is taken hits, too. Ike Donohue, the mine’s public relations flak, is found shot to death, casting suspicion on Jimmy and his entire family. During Lena’s investigation, she finds not only a community decimated by dangerous mining practices, but a connection to actor John Wayne and the mysterious deaths resulting from the 1953 filming of “The Conqueror.” Gabe Boone, a wrangler on that doomed film, is still alive, but the only person the aged man will confide in is John Wayne’s ghost. It’s up to Lena to penetrate Gabe’s defenses and find out the decades-old tragedy no one in Walapai Flats wants to talk about. By delving into the area’s history, Lena learns that old sins never die; they’re still taking lives. As with “Desert Wives: Polygamy Can Be Murder,” this seventh book in the Lena Jones series exposes real life crimes, and the reason why high-ranking government officials want those crimes to remain under wraps.

Local Books – Ethereal Supply: The Third Annual Holiday Anthology

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Jerry’s Writers Group , Linda K. Stouffer , Eduardo Cerviño , Jeff Smith , Isabel A. Worden-Klym , Brian Mostoller , C. E. Mallory , Karen Cafarella , Melanie Tighe , KRiel , Jerry Cole , Doris Cohen , Lesley Sudders , Richard Oppman , Bill Lamperes

What would you do if you discovered you were the next step in human evolution? What if it was up to you and a few reindeer to save Santa’s Christmas from saboteurs? If you found yourself in a horse carriage drag race in the fourteenth century? How would you solve the mystery of a Christmas present which appears under the tree every year but is never opened? Formed from the ether of creativity in the minds of thirteen talented authors and one artist, delivered through a generous supply of never-before published stories and poems, this book takes you from harvest time in rural America and the pumpkin place of snarled vines to the bright lights of New York City on Christmas Eve. Told with spellbinding suspense, humor, spiritual enlightenment and satire, the tales unfold in brilliantly woven style, ranging from the sentimental to the supernatural, from warm family traditions to the beings lurking in the underworld. You’ll run through the full gamut of emotions and be left enchanted, riveted, and begging for more.

Local Books – The Hanged Man

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Don Bapst

Fascinated by the haunting images of the earliest known tarot cards, PhD candidate Glen Harrison is determined to research their secular origins. But when Glen proposes his thesis, his Art History professors are less than encouraging. The tarot, they say, is merely decorative, not ‘true’ art. Unsure about his own ability to produce a dissertation, Glen begins to wonder if they aren’t right. Perhaps his attraction to the tarot lies not in their artistic qualities but in their distance from academic associations. Floundering, he scrambles to find a new direction, when a series of seemingly chance encounters and random finds takes him down a new and terrifying path. Perhaps there is something more to the tarot than he has allowed himself to believe. The clues he stumbles upon in the forgotten neighborhoods and hidden libraries of pre-911 New York lead Glen on an inevitable journey to the most hidden reaches of West Africa, where a mystery as dark and ancient as the cards themselves unfurls…

Local Books – Magic Mirror

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Sean Ellis (Author)

It begins with a mysterious disappearance….it will end with a world on the edge of destruction.

Twenty years ago, Derrick Sayler made a fantastic breakthrough, then vanished off the face of the earth. When Michael Rook, an environmental engineer with a deadly secret, finds a car belonging to the missing genius in a remote Oregon lake, the question of Sayler’s fate appears to be answered. But Rook’s discovery uncovers something far more immediate…and infinitely more dangerous. Willoughby Bane, Sayler’s former partner, is poised to unveil Magic Mirror, a magnetic-levitation space launch facility in the Canadian wilderness, but he cannot escape his obsession with his long-lost partner. Rook’s search for the unbelievable truth will put him on a collision course with Bane and Magic Mirror.

Local Books – Dark Trinity: Ascendant

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Sean Ellis (Author)

Finding Atlantis is just the beginning…

Psychic ex-spy Mira Raiden’s discovery of the tomb of an Atlantean king, is just the first piece in a puzzle that will launch her on a journey to find the Trinity–an ancient device with the power to remake the world.

But Mira is not alone in her search for the Trinity. Arrayed against her is an unholy alliance of evil: a team of brutish mercenaries; the beautiful but deadly daughter of Mira’s former mentor; a manipulative grave robber, risen from the dead; and the heirs of the greatest evil the world has ever known.

To find the Trinity and prevent the awakening of a horror beyond comprehension, Mira will travel to the ends of the earth, and into the darkest corners of a world that existed before history.

Local Books – New Beginnings: Book 2 | The Secrets of Clayton County Trilogy (Volume 2)

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If you like suspense all tossed up with romance, you will like New Beginnings. Sarah Hunter has made some life choices: leave her position with the IRS and walk away from an exciting, romantic connection in Chicago – which just happened to turn cold and ugly. There is no certainty of what she will find when she returns to the sleepy little Iowa town. There are still Secrets in Clayton County and somehow Sarah seems to be just the person to uncover them, but little did she expect to be whisked away in the night and thrown in a dark, cold jail cell, nor did she expect a suspicious fire would play a large part in her future. Want more romantic suspense in your life? New Beginnings, Book 2 of the Secrets of Clayton County Trilogy will keep you turning just over 300 pages of the kind of suspense that keeps you on the edge of… romance!