P.I.'s in Print K to Z


May 2, 2022

Hart, Jim. BLOODY MARY. Independently published. January '22. $9.98."March 1947 finds Harry Parker engrossed in the gloomy alleys and dim streets of Post-War Brooklyn. His exploration into the grizzly murders of numerous prostitutes re-awakens the memories of Harry's first murder investigation while still a member of the NY City Police Force. The discovery of the bodies along the banks of the Gowanus Canal steels Harry's determination to bring the killer to justice and end this horrid tale of death. Hampered by the randomness of the killings and the incompetence of the Police, Harry must struggle to find a resolution. Aided by his usual friends, Harry works his way through the twists and turns of the case."

Head, Cheryl A. WARN ME WHEN IT'S TIME. Bywater Books. July '21. $16.95. Sixth in the Charlie Mack Motown series. "A hate group operating in Oakland County, Michigan has claimed responsibility for a six-month-long string of arson fires and robberies at mosques, temples, and black churches around Detroit, eluding police and federal agencies. The most recent fire, at a mosque in Dearborn, kills a respected imam. His children - suspicious of law enforcement's treatment of Muslims and afraid of reprisal - hires Charlie Mack and her team of investigators to find their father's murderers. The Mack team begins to hunt down the clues in this local hate crime, but they aren't prepared when they realize that those clues are pointing to a widespread conspiracy that runs through elected state officials and up to the highest levels of national leadership. FBI agent, James Saleh, returns to help the Mack Agency infiltrate and take down a homegrown militia hell-bent on starting a race war in America."

Housewright, David. SOMETHING WICKED: A McKenzie Novel. Minotaur Books. June '22. $26.99. 19th in the Twin Cities P.I. Mac McKenzie series. "...Rushmore McKenzie, who promised to retire after his last nearly-fatal case, gets talked into doing an old friend a favor involving a castle, a family fighting over an inheritance, and at least one mysterious death. Rushmore McKenzie was a detective with the St. Paul, Minnesota PD until unlikely events made him first a millionaire and then a retiree. Since then, he's been an occasional unofficial private investigator - looking into things for friends and friends of friends - until his most recent case put him into a coma and nearly into a coffin. Now, at the insistence of his better half Nina Truhler, he is again retired. That is, until a friend of Nina finds herself in dire straights and in desperate need of a favor. Jenness Crawford's grandmother owned the family castle - a nineteenth century castle that has been operating as a hotel and resort for over a hundred years. Since her grandmother's death, the heirs have been squabbling over what to do with it. Some want to keep it in the family and running as a hotel. Some want to sell it and reap the millions a developer will pay for it. And Jenness is convinced that someone - probably in the latter group - killed her grandmother. A conclusion with which the police do not agree. Now McKenzie finds himself back in action, trapped in a castle filled with feuding relatives with conflicting agendas, long serving retainers, and a possible murderer. And if McKenzie makes one wrong move, it could be lights out."

Hughes, Chip. BARKING SANDS:A Surfing Detective Mystery. Slate Ridge Press. November '21. $14.95. "Tracking serial killers isn't Kai Cooke's kuleana - or thing. So when the mother of a rape and murder victim abducted near Barking Sands Beach begs him to find the brute, Kai reluctantly declines. The twenty-year-old case of three slain women is on Kaua'i and the local force isn't likely to cooperate with an O'ahu PI. Then another woman fitting the victims' profiles goes missing and the cold case appears to turn warm. Is the Barking Sands Strangler back? Kai still begs off. Until his girlfriend who's just discovered she's pregnant backs the grieving mother and he hops a plane to Kaua'i. But can he pull off what two decades of police work couldn't? Or wrap his mind around the prospect of parenthood?"

Muller, Marcia. ICE AND STONE. Grand Central. August '21. $28.00. Twenty-seven of twenty-seven in the Sharon McCone series. "In remote Northern California, private investigator Sharon McCone goes undercover to investigate the murders of two indigenous women in this gripping, atmospheric mystery in the New York Times bestselling series. When the bodies of two Indigenous women are found in the wilderness of northern California, it is only the latest horrific development in a string of similar crimes in the area. Despite all evidence to the contrary, officials rule the deaths isolated incidents, which soon join the ranks of countless other unsolved cases quickly dismissed by law enforcement. In a town where too many injustices are tolerated or brushed under the rug, only a few people remain who refuse to let a killer walk free. But Private Investigator Sharon McCone is one of those few. She is hired by an organization called Crimes against Indigenous Sisters to go undercover in Meruk County - a community rife with secrets, lies, and corruption - to expose the truth. In an isolated cabin in the freezing, treacherous woods, McCone must work quickly to unravel a mystery that is rooted in profound evil - before she becomes the killer's next target." Simultaneous release on Audio CD from Hachette and Blackstone. Paperback edition. March '22. $9.99.

Welsh-Huggins, Andrew. AN EMPTY GRAVE: An Andy Hayes Mystery. Swallow Press. June '21. $21.95. "Private investigator Andy Hayes takes the assignment against his better judgment. In 1979, a high-profile burglar shot a cop, was apprehended, and then disappeared without ever being prosecuted. Forty years later, after the wounded cop's suicide, his son, Preston Campbell, is convinced there's been a cover-up that allowed his father's attacker to go free. At first, Hayes dismisses Campbell's outlandish conspiracy theories. But when a mysterious Cold War connection to the burglar emerges, the investigation heats up, and Hayes discovers a series of deaths that seem to be connected, one way or another, to the missing criminal. Nothing seems to add up, though, and Hayes finds himself hurtling headlong down a decades-old path of deadly secrets. In the midst of cracking the cold case, Hayes has another mystery to solve closer to home: What's been troubling his younger son, Joe, and why is his ex-wife so eager to have the boy out of her house? Further complicating matters, Hayes learns that another private eye, the captivating but inscrutable Hillary Quinne, is also on the trail of the vanished burglar and needs Hayes's help. As their professional and personal lives blur, Hayes wonders what he's gotten himself into, and whether he really wants out."

© 1996-2022 Bill Palmer.