T. Jefferson Parker is an award-winning newspaper reporter who became a bestselling crime-fiction novelist 15 years ago, just as he reached the pinnacle of his journalism career.

TJHis novels include Storm Runners and The Fallen. Along with authors Dick Francis and James Lee Burke, Parker is one of only three writers to win the Edgar Award for “Best Novel” more than once.

Parker’s stories usually have one protagonist, and oftentimes his storytelling includes the antagonist’s point of view as well. Usually, the suspense builds as the protagonist struggles to prevent further crimes. Parker’s stories are usually set in his native Southern California.

Today’s Buffet is topped by a vintage Parker thriller, The Blue Hour. Characters include a retired expert cop, Tim Hess, who is paired with a brash young detective, Merci Rayborn. The unlikely team fights a nasty serial killer who abducts wealthy, attractive women, eviscerates them, and then apparently preserves the bodies. Although the plot may sound familiar, this book packs plenty of surprises — the New York Times’ Book Review called it “insanely imaginative.”

As usual, each book listed here has gone FREE within the past 24 hours (except for the “Kindle Daily Deals” on page 3). Warning: Kindle book promotions can end without notice, so before downloading click the link “See Kindle price at Amazon” to verify that the book is still free. (Prices and availability may differ outside USA.)

The Blue Hour (Merci Rayborn Novels)

Author: T. Jefferson Parker

The Blue Hour (Merci Rayborn Novels)

The story of an unusual pair of police protagonists and a serial killer stalking beautiful women in California’s Laguna County. Tim Hess is a retired cop, fighting lung cancer, who’s called back to active duty to find the diabolical killer who “signs” his murders by eviscerating his victims. His boss and partner in the investigation is an attractive, brusque detective named Merci Rayborn, who quickly dismisses the lone suspect in the case, a paroled, chemically castrated Romanian rapist living under virtual house arrest in an apartment complex near the latest crime scene.

Hess stays on the rapist’s trail, though, tracking an embalming machine that may be part of the killer’s bizarre m.o., but by the time the clues come together, Merci is in murderous hands. Parker places his building blocks with meticulous precision, balancing the feisty yet somewhat melancholic interaction between Hess and Rayborn with a terrifying portrait of a psychopath, although the physical relationship between the two cops does seem a bit forced. The details of the crime are presented with judicious authority as Parker consistently underplays the more sensational aspects of the homicides to keep the narrative unpredictable and dynamic, making it far more gripping than the average serial-killer thriller.

Crooked Man (Tubby Dubonnet #1)

Author: Tony Dunbar
Crooked Man (Tubby Dubonnet #1) (Tubby Dubonnet Mystery) (The Tubby Dubonnet Series)

The FIRST offbeat mystery in the TUBBY DUBONNET series, by Anthony- and Edgar-nominated author Tony Dunbar.

This legal thriller asks the question: If a gym bag of cash fell into your hands, what would you do to keep it? And it has another great quality: The food’s as much fun as the tightly-coiled plot.A simple man with a refined palate, maverick New Orleans lawyer Tubby Dubonnet has a penchant for fishing, Old Fashioneds, off-track betting, and fighting evil while passing a good time.

His clients are all renegades from the asylum (aka Orleans Parish), including a transvestite entertainer, a buxom deadbeat blonde, a doctor who refers his own patients to a malpractice lawyer, and a Mardi Gras reveler who drives a float shaped like a giant crawfish pot. He also has his hands full with an ex-wife and three teenage daughters, who are experts in the art of wrapping Tubby around their little fingers. And somehow, between work and family, Tubby finds time to sample the highs and lows of idiosyncratic Crescent City cuisine, from trout meuniere amandine and French roast coffee with chicory to shrimp po-boys and homemade pecan pralines.

Tubby’s new client is Darryl Alvarez, the manager of a local nightclub who’s been caught unloading marijuana from a shrimp boat. At their first meeting, Darryl entrusts Tubby with an ordinary-looking blue gym bag. But after Darryl’s unfortunate demise, Tubby realizes he must tighten his grasp on the gym bag — and its million-dollar contents.

Cherry Bomb – A Thriller (Jack Daniels Mysteries)

Author: J.A. Konrath, Jack Kilborn
Cherry Bomb - A Thriller (Jack Daniels Mysteries)

At the end of Fuzzy Navel, J. A. Konrath surprised readers with an agonizing cliffhanger: One of Lieutenant Jacqueline “Jack” Daniels’s loved ones is dead. But who? Readers were left clamoring to know more.

Cherry Bomb, the sixth Jack Daniels mystery, opens at the funeral. While Jack stands graveside, tears in her eyes, her cell phone rings. It’s the killer, escaped maniac Alex Kork, taunting Jack, drawing her ever further into a twisted game of cat and mouse. Because while Alex is more than willing to kill random victims, Jack is her true prey. But which woman wants revenge more?

Cherry Bomb is J. A. Konrath’s most gripping novel of suspense yet–filled with twists and turns that will keep readers on the edge of their seats.

The 7 Habits of Highly Effective Network Marketing Professionals (Enhanced Edition)

Kindle Edition with Audio/Video, Stephen R. Covey
The 7 Habits of Highly Effective Network Marketing Professionals (Enhanced Edition)

In this enhanced eBook Dr. Stephen R. Covey presents the timeless 7 Habits in an integrated, principle-centered approach for becoming a highly effective network marketing professional and successful multi-level professional. Including real-world examples of current, successful networkers, Covey reveals a step-by-step pathway for not only living with fairness, integrity, service, and human dignity, but applying principle-centered habits that will help you become truly effective in your business.

This enhanced eBook contains videos of Stephen R. Covey teaching the principles of the 7 Habits and includes an application section outlining timeless networking principles.

Pandora’s Box

Author: Julia Dweck, Chris Robertson
Pandora's Box

When an independent and precocious little penguin named Pandora accidentally stumbles upon a secret box, all of her family and friends from the pole warn her against exploring the mysterious and unknown. Author Julia Dweck and illustrator Chris Robertson team up to bring you this enchanting and magical children’s book which updates a very old theme. With a wonderful rhyme scheme and humorous illustrations, this book will surely delight children of all ages.

Reckless Nights in Rome (A Ludlow Hall Story)

Author: CC MacKenzie, K Carmichael
Reckless Nights in Rome (A Ludlow Hall Story)

Though the name of her celebration and wedding cake business is up in lights, Bronte Ludlow doesn’t care for the trappings of success. All that matters to her is her company, her independence and her heritage,The Dower House. Home to her ancestors since the seventeenth century, no way will she part with it to ‘a man with too much money and no soul’.

Nico Ferranti’s only passions are money and power… He’s a man who stopped believing in romance long ago and Bronte’s a romantic, yet the attraction sparking between them like fireworks over the Piazza del Popolo stuns Nico.

Arianna Rose (Part 1)

Author: Jennifer Martucci, Christopher Martucci
Arianna Rose (Part 1)

Arianna Rose was never like other girls her age. She always knew she was different. But shortly after moving to a new town and starting a new school, she realizes her differences are far greater than she originally imagined. Suddenly empowered with seemingly supernatural abilities, Arianna struggles to discover the meaning behind their abrupt appearance.

In this spellbinding first installment of the Arianna Rose series, Arianna Rose must come to terms with what she is, and how to protect herself from forces that want to destroy her.

Blur (Night Roamers)

Author: Kristen Middleton, C.J. Pinard
Blur (Night Roamers)

Danger lurks in the dead of night…

Seventeen year old Nikki and her twin brother, Nathan, move to the small town of Shore Lake to start over after their mother is brutally attacked. When a missing teenager washes up on shore during their first night at the cabin and there are whispers of vampires in Shore Lake, Nikki begins to realize that there are things roaming in the darkness that are far more sinister than what they left behind in the city.

Fluke: Langara’s Prize

Author: Cyril Kowaliski
Fluke: Langara's Prize

An SUV barrels through a red light. A pedestrian is injured beyond recovery. As Nathan Simon lies dying in his hospital bed, a strange man in a gray suit admits him into a postmortem clinical trial. Nathan signs the form just before losing consciousness. He wakes up to find himself lying, paralyzed, in a meadow. One hundred years have passed, and Nathan is about to become a living exhibit for one of the world’s most powerful biomedical firms.

Sweet Dreams, Little Pup (A Little Pup Book)

Author: Mary Lee
Sweet Dreams, Little Pup (A Little Pup Book)

One night, Little Pup went to bed early, being very excited to get to dreamland. There was just one problem. Little Pup couldn’t sleep.

Watch Little Pup find a way to dreamland in this charming, beautifully illustrated bedtime story. This book encourages the imagination and helps children get themselves to sleep.

Synthetic: Rise of the Siren

Author: Shonna Wright
Synthetic: Rise of the Siren

Kora hates vampires and swears she’ll never make one. Using artificial cells, she synthesizes pleasant, harmless creatures like mermaids and gnomes for wealthy clients who want mythical creatures roaming their grounds and swimming in their private lakes.

When trillionaire Ruby Lazar buys Kora’s masterpiece, the Siren, Kora leaps at the opportunity to deliver her marvel in person. She rushes off to Ruby’s Gothic castle on the cliffs of Point Dume only to end up imprisoned in a Victorian monkey cage. To save her own life, Kora must transform the Siren into the very creature she loathes.

To make matters worse, Ruby already has a synthetic vampire boy toy named Vaughn who’s the most vicious, arrogant, gorgeous thing Kora has ever laid eyes on. She hates every strand of hair on his blood-sucking head but can’t stop thinking about him.

… See the rest of today’s Editor’s Picks and the Kindle Daily Deal here on page 2

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