Tag Archive: Mystery


 

SUMMARY:

First in a new series from national bestselling author Kylie Logan, The Scent of Murder is a riveting mystery following Jazz Ramsey as she trains cadaver dogs.

The way Jazz Ramsey figures it, life is pretty good. She’s thirty-five years old and owns her own home in one of Cleveland’s most diverse, artsy, and interesting neighborhoods. She has a job she likes as an administrative assistant at an all-girls school, and a volunteer interest she’s passionate about—Jazz is a cadaver dog handler.

The Scent of Murder

Jazz is working with Luther, a cadaver dog in training. Luther is still learning cadaver work, so Jazz is putting him through his paces at an abandoned building that will soon be turned into pricey condos. When Luther signals a find, Jazz is stunned to see the body of a young woman who is dressed in black and wearing the kind of make-up and jewelry that Jazz used to see on the Goth kids back in high school.

She’s even more shocked when she realizes that beneath the tattoos and the piercings and all that pale make up is a familiar face.

The lead detective on the case is an old lover, and the murdered woman is an old student. Jazz finds herself sucked into the case, obsessed with learning the truth.

AUTHOR BIOGRAPHY:

KYLIE LOGAN is the national bestselling author of The League of Literary Ladies Mysteries, the Button Box Mysteries, the Chili Cook-Off Mysteries, and the Ethnic Eats Mysteries. The Scent of Murder is the first in a new series.

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Social Links:

https://twitter.com/KylieLoganBks

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CHAPTER 1

It had rained that afternoon and the sidewalks were still wet. When the last of the evening light hit them, the slate squares reflected Jazz Ramsey’s neighborhood—streetlights, and the neon signs that flashed from the windows of the trendy pubs, and a watery rendering of St. John Cantius church, an urban Monet masterpiece, its tan brick walls and bell tower blurred. Even though it was officially spring, the wind off Lake Erie was wicked. Jazz bundled her shoulder-length brown hair into a loose ponytail and pulled up the hood of her sweatshirt, then hunched further into her North Face jacket. She stopped at a corner, waiting for the light to change, and was pleased

when Luther sat down at her side even without a command. “Good dog,” she was sure to tell him at the same time she

breathed in the combined smell of damp earth and the dis- carded bag from Taco Bell crumpled near the curb.

To Luther’s credit, he ignored whatever bits and bites of

Mexican cuisine might still be in the bag. But then, he’d been trained to follow different scents. When the light changed, he trotted along when Jazz crossed the street, his pace as brisk as hers, and the way he pricked his ears and cocked his head, she knew he sensed the exhilaration that vibrated from her hand through his leash. Luther knew it was almost time to get down to business.

Here, College Avenue started its downhill trek into the Cleveland Flats, the city’s once-booming industrial heart. These days, Clevelanders were more likely to work in health care or IT than in foundries and factories, but one hundred years ago, this was the route thousands of workers took each day from their homes in bluecollar Tremont—it was simply called the South Side then—to the fiery furnaces that pro- duced America’s steel.

“Were not going far,” Jazz assured Luther at the same time she noticed the couple who stumbled out of the Treehouse just up ahead made sure to give the massive German shepherd a wide berth. “Just over here,” she told him once they’d passed the open door to the bar and the blaring music that seeped onto the street wasnt quite so loud. “Over to the new condos.” They stopped outside a sturdy brick building nearly ninety years old with solid walls and a slate roof. By the end of sum- mer, Jazz imagined there would be gleaming glass in the win- dow frames where there was plywood now, and window boxes, too, no doubt, and cars parked outside that reflected the status-conscious success of the young professionals she’d

heard were already lined up to buy.

But not tonight.

Tonight the building was empty and dark and she had it all to herself.

It was the perfect place to put Luther through his paces.

Still hanging on to the dog’s leash with one hand, Jazz fished the key from her pocket with the other and silently thanked Ken Zelinsky, the site supervisor, who’d agreed to give her an hour’s time inside the building.

It wasn’t easy to find urban training sites for a human remains detection dog.

She swung open the door and slanted Luther a look. So what do you think?”

Luther sat, his tail thumping out a rhythm of excitement on the front stoop, and before she unhooked his leash, Jazz did a quick run-through of what she’d learned from his owner. Luther was a little over two years old, good-natured. He could be as playful as any pup, but he had a serious side, too. Like now, when he had to work.

“He’s a smart dog,” Greg Johnson had insisted when he begged Jazz to help with the final stages of Luther’s training. “He just needs some reinforcement from a really good handler. That’s you, Jazz.”

It was.

Or at least it used to be.

These days, Jazz was feeling a little rusty. She was out of practice, not in the mood. It was one of the reasons that, after hemming and hawing and finding excuse after excuse, she’d finally agreed to Greg’s request. She needed to shake herself out of her funk, and to her way of thinking, there was no better way to do that than with a dog.

She stepped into the long, narrow entryway of the build- ing with its rows of broken mailboxes along one wall, and shut the front door behind her. The eerie quiet of years of ne- glect closed around her along with the smell of dampness and decay, rotted wiring and musty tiles carried by an errant breeze. Feeling her way, she unsnapped the leash from Luther’s collar and gave him the command she’d devised for all the dogs she worked with because it was less ghoulish than saying “Find the dead guy!

“Find Henry! she told him, and she stepped back and out of Luther’s way.

Like all HRD dogs, Luther was that rare combination independent enough to go off on his own and loyal enough to owner and handler to need praise. But he didn’t know Jazz well, and smart dog that he was, he wanted to be certain. He glanced over his shoulder at her.

You know what to do, Luther. You dont need Greg here to tell you.” She swept a hand along her side. “Find Henry!”

In fact, what Jazz hoped the dog would do was clear both the first and second floors in record time and head up to the third floor where that afternoon she’d hidden a human tooth (a donation from her mother, Claire, who, at the age of fifty- two, had decided she wanted the kind of sparkling smile she’d seen on so many models and had begun to see an orthodon- tist). Human teeth contained enough scent to attract a prop- erly trained dog’s attention. If Luther was on his game—and she hoped he was because she hated the thought of telling Greg his dog wasn’t ready for the grueling volunteer work done by dogs and handlers—he would locate the tooth, signal by bark-

ing three times, and chomp on the treat she would use as a reward while she secured the scene and made a simulated call to the cops, just as she would do if they made a real find.

“You gonna get a move on or what? she asked Luther, her voice falling flat against the pitted plaster. “Find Henry!”

In a flash of black and sable, the dog took off down the darkened hallway.

After nearly ten years training and handling cadaver dogs, Jazz knew the ropes. She couldn’t give Luther a hint about where to go or what he was looking for so she kept back, let- ting him work, refusing to influence him by her demeanor or her movements. She heard his claws scramble on the tile floor somewhere in the dark up ahead, flicked on her high-powered flashlight, and followed.

Some dogs, like pointers, are air sniffers. Some, like blood- hounds, keep their noses to the ground. No matter their breed, cadaver dogs, by virtue of their work, have to be pro- ficient at both. They are trained as trailing dogs to pick up the scent that has fallen from decomposing bodies onto the ground, and as air-scenting dogs as well, so they can detect any smell of decomposition that’s carried on the breeze. By the time she located him in a back room of what had once been a four-room working-class apartment, Luther was hard at work.

His eyes focused and every inch of his muscular body at the ready, he drew in a breath then hurried back and forth, side to side, through what had once been a kitchen, in an at- tempt to catch the strongest scent.

Not here. On the third floor.

Jazz knew better than to say it. Part of an HRD dog’s gift

was to eliminate one area so dog and handler could move on to the next. Luther was doing his job, and he was doing it well. She had to remember to compliment Greg on his training methods.

Nose to the fl or, his ears pricked, Luther cleared the kitchen and headed into the back bedrooms. Jazz kicked a piece of fallen tile out of the way, but she kept her place. She would wait quietly until the dog emerged from the back rooms and when he headed out into the hallway, she would follow.

At least that was her plan. Until Luther barked.

Once. Twice. Three times.

Kendra Elliot and Melinda Leigh are co-writing a new series is always a reading pleasure. Widow’s Island Series is compilation of short novellas featuring childhood friends FBI Agent Cate Wilde and local Deputy Tessa Black as they unravel the mysteries of their remote island home.

CloseToTheBone-Widow'sIslandSeries#1-KendraElliot-Oct2018

“Close To The Bone” is the first in the series penned by Kendra Elliot as Cate Wilde returns home to recuperate from an injury. But instead of resting, skeletal remains found on the island drew her into a crime that brings the past and present to an end. And the new resident Doctor Henry Powers weighs in with his skills to help the case and his charm to woo Cate Wilde.

A short and with a very tight narrative, “Close To The Bone” delivers another enthralling read. Kendra Elliot has always been so good with her thrillers, characterizations and subtle romantic nuances, be it a longer story or a short novella.

Received an ARC from Montlake Romance via NetGalley for an honest review.

The latest in Cynthia Eden’s Killer Instinct Series, takes special agents Macey Night and Bowen Murphy “Into The Night” of the Smokey Mountains and into the mind of an organized, calculated and a patient serial killer, manipulating and taunting two agents with a past that is better left behind and forgotten.

IntoTheNight-KillerInstinct#3-CynthiaEden

As the so called “vigilante’ is creating a mayhem of brutal killings of serial killers, Bowen and Macey have a hard time keeping the boundaries between personal and professional feelings apart. As they get closer to the killer, secrets and clues seem to lead them to a path of betrayal and deception so very close to home. But then this is Cynthia Eden we are talking about and with her creative mind comes a twist to this thriller.

You want a dark and exciting romantic suspense read; Cynthia Eden is the go-to author. There is something so very passionate about her hero and heroine, each having being through unimaginable pain and trauma, and the treacherous mind of her villains is just pure reading pleasure!

Cynthia Eden is exemplary in that field and I just love her characters. She gives equal depth and layers to the good as well as the bad, to make her stories so very brilliant. The suspense keeps us captivated, the adrenaline is high to keep us on the edge of the seats and Tucker and Dawn are partner to cheat death to have a future.

“Into The Night” is another captivating thriller of scintillating mind games and the personal development of Bowen and Macey, as the supporting characters add depth and brilliance to the story

Received an ARC from Harlequin via Netgalley for an honest review.

 

If you haven’t read Jennifer Jaynes, you are missing reading one of the most fascinating writers of suspense. Her plots are multi layered, keeping the readers on the edge of the seats as she takes the story though a multitude of ups and downs.

TheStrangerInside-JenniferJaynes

Her latest suspense, “The Stranger Inside” is one of her best-written mysteries, questioning our ability of really knowing a person no matter how close, the decisions and choices made in debilitating situations, and the very core of human psyche.

Mystery writer Diane Christie and her son relocate to a small coastal town to start fresh, leaving behind a painful past and also hoping to bring her family together and mend her broken relationship with her college going daughter. Quite as the town maybe, but a series of college student’s murders rock the town and the killer is fixated on Diane.

With every page filled with emotion, keeping the plot tight with suspense, Jennifer Jaynes does a brilliant job of taking the readers to the very core of “The Stranger Inside.” Without giving away the suspense, all I can say is I definitely did not see the ending coming and it left me with so many questions of the choices and decisions we make in our lives. Characters have been created with the utmost detail to perfection and the sublime and unconditional love adds another perfect dimension to the story.

“The Stranger Inside” comes out May 09, 2017

Received a copy from the author for an honest review.

The Brodies continue to heat up the cold Alaskan winters!

The third in the trilogy of “The Brodies of Alaska”, the oldest Brodie brother Rafe has his job and time cut out for him as he fights for his love and tries to survive the evil lurking in the Alaska wilderness.

AgainstTheTide-Brodies3-May2015

Olivia Chandler has left behind a life of death and has escaped to the wild Alaskan state by the sheer determination. Changing her identity and self, she immerses herself in running the “Pelican” and staying low. Keeping to herself and staying out of Rafe’s radar gets tossed out when one of the locals gets murdered and the fear of her dangerous past comes kicking to her present. Now she has to keep herself alive and try not to fall in love with Brodie to keep him safe.

Rafe Brodie runs a successful charter business and when his first mate ends up dead, he gets into the thick of things trying to find the murderer. Giving him company in this search is the beautiful and aloof Olivia Chandler. There’s intense attraction and undeniable chemistry that brings them together. But Liv’s secrets may keep Rafe away or their love for each other may give the courage and strength to face the danger together, as one unit.

There is no doubt that Kat Martin writes some of the most interesting and captivating romances with mystery and her characters are ultra protective, super savvy and always fighting for justice. I love Rafe and Liv the best of the trio so far. With her inner strength, courage and kindness, she is the perfect partner for Rafe, the ex-water search and rescue alpha, with a kind heart and a supportive friend and citizen.

Another fascinating story of suspense and romance, evil and death, love and forever, “Against The Tide” will keep the readers engaged and thrilled!

Received an ARC from Kensington Books via NetGalley for an honest review.

 

 

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