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A dead husband with a secret life is always a winner (fictionally speaking, of course), but what about a secret past for a special treat? In fact, a past so secret even Harry the husband didn’t know about it. That’s the delicious underpinning of this sprawling, exuberant, generous-spirited cozy mystery with a yummy side of international adventure.
It might be sadder except that once Harry dies, his widow, Merle Bennett realizes almost immediately it was no wonder she didn’t know anything about him. They’d pretty much been leading separate lives. Still, the will’s a shock. And so is an intriguing surprise—Harry left her a family home in a tiny French village. But who was Harry’s family? Finding out is half the fun.
Merle sets out to claim her inheritance, adolescent son in tow, and thus begins a sojourn reminiscent of A Year in Provence, or perhaps Under The Tuscan Sun all mixed up with something by Carolyn Hart, maybe, or M.C. Beaton. Because Malcouziac, Merle’s tiny Dordogne town, is the quintessential village—just perfect for a murder. And a rollicking good time.
The Good Spy Dies Twice (Bullseye Book 1) (affiliate link)
Jake Boxer, investigative journalist and host of the conspiratorial news show Bullseye, is in serious trouble. Not only is his soundman murdered by Russian intelligence agents while reporting on a secretive New World Order, but his network cancels his show, leaving Jake humiliated and spiraling into a deep dark depression.
Years later, a condemned murderer, who claims he was abandoned by the CIA, and who starred in an early episode of Bullseye, is finally executed for killing two supposed Soviet spies back in the 1970’s. Jake Boxer, still trying to piece his life back together, is on his honeymoon in a posh ski resort in the Alaskan mountains when he gets word of the inmate’s execution . . . and the old killer’s final words: “The good spy dies twice.”
Those five words, seemingly meant for Jake, draw the ex-reporter out of his forced retirement and into a complex and deadly global conspiracy involving his newlywed wife, the secretive New World Order, and the hotel’s hundred or so “guests.”
A Killer Cut (Eva St. Claire Mysteries Book 1) (affiliate link)
After the two had a major blow out in front of the whole salon, no one ever thought the outcome could result in death, but someone thought it deserved as much. Chrissy, now the prime suspect in her murder, knows she didn’t do anything, but everything points back to her.
Lost Harbor Alaska Box Set (Books 1-3) (affiliate link)
MINE UNTIL MOONRISE
It’s a fine line between feuding and flirting. Ever since single mother Megan Miller first arrived in stunning Lost Harbor, Alaska, she’s been at odds with hottie boat captain Lucas Holt. Until one of Lost Harbor’s wild storms tosses everything up in the air, and a rescue becomes a passionate affair.
YOURS SINCE YESTERDAY
Padric Jeffers never expected to return to his hometown of Lost Harbor, Alaska—not after the scandal that sent his family fleeing. But once he sets eyes on the stunning grown-up version of his childhood best friend, his mission is clear: do whatever it takes to have her—and keep her—this time around.
Honorable Death (Detective Kacy Lang Book 1) (affiliate link)
Ninety-nine shovels of dirt on the grave, ninety-nine shovels of dirt…
Brilliant but troubled Detective Kacy Lang and her partner, Dave Capello, aren’t the perfect detectives, but they are the perfect team. When the body of Kacy’s twin brother washes up from the icy depths of the Chicago River she’s positive she knows who did it. The same man who buried her alive two years earlier. A killer more ghost than man as no one had ever seen his face and lived to tell about it.
Kyle had been a druggie and small time thug. He’d taken something, and someone out there was desperate to get it back. Bodies were piling up and her adoptive parents were at the top of Kacy’s list of suspects. The killer wasn’t finished, and the only thing she knew for sure… he was coming for her.
Ten Big Ones (Stephanie Plum, No. 10): A Stephanie Plum Novel (affiliate link)
She’s accidentally destroyed a dozen cars. She’s a target for every psycho and miscreant this side of the Jersey Turnpike. Her mother’s convinced she’ll end up dead . . . or worse, without a man. She’s Stephanie Plum, and she kicks butt for a living (well, she thinks it sounds good to put it that way. . . .).
It begins as an innocent trip to the deli-mart, on a quest for nachos. But Stephanie Plum and her partner, Lula, are clearly in the wrong place at the wrong time. A robbery leads to an explosion, which leads to the destruction of yet another car. It would be just another day in the life of Stephanie Plum, except that she becomes the target of a gang—and of an even scarier, more dangerous force that comes to Trenton. With super bounty hunter Ranger acting more mysteriously than ever (and the tension with vice cop Joe Morelli getting hotter), she finds herself with a decision to make: how to protect herself and where to hide while on the hunt for a killer known as the Junkman.
The All You Can Dream Buffet: A Novel (affiliate link)
Popular blogger and foodie queen Lavender Wills reigns over Lavender Honey Farms, a serene slice of organic heaven nestled in Oregon wine country. Lavender is determined to keep her legacy from falling into the profit-driven hands of uncaring relatives, and she wants an heir to sustain her life’s work after she’s gone. So she invites her three closest online friends—fellow food bloggers, women of varied ages and backgrounds—out to her farm. She hopes to choose one of them to inherit it—but who?
There’s Ginny, the freckle-faced Kansas cake baker whose online writing is about to lead her out of a broken marriage and into a world of sensual delights. And Ruby, young, pregnant, devoted to the organic movement, who’s looking for roots—and the perfect recipe to heal a shattered heart. Finally, Val, smart and sophisticated, a wine enthusiast who needs a fresh start for her teenage daughter after tragedy has rocked their lives.
Grey: Fifty Shades of Grey as Told by Christian (affiliate link)
Christian Grey exercises control in all things; his world is neat, disciplined, and utterly empty—until the day that Anastasia Steele falls into his office, in a tangle of shapely limbs and tumbling brown hair. He tries to forget her, but instead is swept up in a storm of emotion he cannot comprehend and cannot resist. Unlike any woman he has known before, shy, unworldly Ana seems to see right through him—past the business prodigy and the penthouse lifestyle to Christian’s cold, wounded heart.
Will being with Ana dispel the horrors of his childhood that haunt Christian every night? Or will his dark sexual desires, his compulsion to control, and the self-loathing that fills his soul drive this girl away and destroy the fragile hope she offers him?
The Hypnotist’s Love Story (affiliate link)
Ellen O’Farrell is a professional hypnotherapist who works out of the eccentric beachfront home she inherited from her grandparents. It’s a nice life, except for her tumultuous relationship history. She’s stoic about it, but at this point, Ellen wouldn’t mind a lasting one. When she meets Patrick, she’s optimistic. He’s attractive, single, employed, and best of all, he seems to like her back. Then comes that dreaded moment: He thinks they should have a talk.
Braced for the worst, Ellen is pleasantly surprised. It turns out that Patrick’s ex-girlfriend is stalking him. Ellen thinks, Actually, that’s kind of interesting. She’s dating someone worth stalking. She’s intrigued by the woman’s motives. In fact, she’d even love to meet her.
Ellen doesn’t know it, but she already has.
Kentucky Heat (affiliate link)
The powerful series that reunites the beloved Coleman and Thornton families continues with the story of Nealy Coleman Diamond. With her, horses come first. So when her two grown children’s irresponsible acts nearly cost her Shufly, the foal that carries all her hopes for the Triple Crown, she throws them both off Blue Diamond Farm, a decision that changes their future—and her own.
When Hatch Littletree, her ex-husband’s law partner, pays an unexpected visit, he brings Nealy much-needed comfort. But he also brings turmoil. A tough Native American and a brilliant attorney, Hatch is determined to see Nealy heal the painful rift with her children. He’s also a man Nealy cannot resist.
Angels Fall (affiliate link)
The sole survivor of a brutal crime back East, Reece Gilmore settles in Angel’s Fall, Wyoming—temporarily, at least—and takes a job at a local diner. One day, while hiking in the mountains, she peers through her binoculars and sees a couple arguing on the bank of the churning Snake River. And suddenly, the man is on top of the woman, his hands around her throat…
By the time Reece reaches a gruff loner named Brody farther down the trail, the pair is gone. And when authorities comb the area where she saw the attack, they find no trace that anyone was even there.
No one in Angel’s Fall seems to believe Reece—except Brody, despite his seeming impatience and desire to keep her at arm’s length. When a series of menacing events makes it clear that someone wants her out of the way, Reece must put her trust in Brody—and herself—to find out if there is a killer in Angel’s Fall, before it’s too late.
… See the rest of today ‘s Book Picks here on page 2Page 2