stories in and

Mushroom Blues

Mushroom Blues by Adrian M. Gibson

SPFBO10

“A fascinating merging of oppressive imperialism and disconcerting alienation.”—Adrian Tchaikovsky, award-winning author of Children of Time & Shadows of the Apt ENTER THE FUNGALVERSE. BEAT THE WINTER BLUES. Blade Runner, True Detective and District 9 meld with the weird worlds of Jeff VanderMeer, Philip K. Dick and China MiĂ©ville in Adrian M. Gibson’s hallucinatory, fungalpunk noir debut. Two years after a devastating defeat in the decade-long Spore War, the island nation of Hƍppon and its capital city of Neo Kinoko are occupied by invading Coprinian forces. Its fungal citizens are in dire straits, wracked by food shortages, poverty and an influx of war refugees. Even worse, the corrupt occupiers exploit their power, hounding the native population. As a winter storm looms over the metropolis, NKPD homicide detective Henrietta Hofmann begrudgingly partners up with mushroom-headed patrol officer Koji Nameko to investigate the mysterious murders of fungal and half-breed children. Their investigation drags them deep into the seedy underbelly of a war-torn city, one brimming with colonizers, criminal gangs, racial division and moral decay. In order to solve the case and unravel the truth, Hofmann must challenge her past and embrace fungal ways. What she and Nameko uncover in the midst of this frigid wasteland will chill them to the core, but will they make it through the storm alive? “This is like nothing I’ve read before. Its premise is cool, creepy, and incredibly unique, bolstered by prose as savvy and knife-sharp as the detectives of the NKPD.”—Nicholas Eames, award-winning author of Kings of the Wyld & Bloody Rose “This is more than a full-throttle, mushroom-and-blood-drenched adventure. At its heart, Gibson's story is one of acceptance: of hard truths, of others, and, perhaps most critically, of oneself.”—M. J. Kuhn, internationally bestselling author of Among Thieves & Thick as Thieves “Mushroom Blues is a brilliant debut that encapsulates all I love about the noir mystery genre.” —R.R. Virdi, bestselling author of The First Binding & The Grave Report “The imagination on display in Mushroom Blues is immense. Prepare to enter a fantasy world unlike anything you've ever seen, one that surprises, delights, and grosses the fuck out.”—Moses Ose Utomi, author of The Lies of the Ajungo


A Witch's Guide to Business

A Witch's Guide to Business by Alex Evans

SPFBO10

In the free port city of Barramar, the only law is the law of money. Here, the dingy taverns and the opulent teahouses alike thrum with the whispers of dark dealings. It's a place for the ruthless — spies and smugglers, or the desperate—refugees running from war, opression and poverty. Trust is a rare currency and alliances, as fluid as water. After spending their youth on opposing sides of a brutal war, Tanit Murali and Padma Amrithar are as different as night and day. One is a former spy, a rogue with a serious taste for violence, brandy and handsome men. The other is a compassionate surgeon and devoted family mother. They share but one thing: their rare magic gift. Forming an unlikely partnership, they run together an occult business. Their enterprise is thriving until two peculiar cases land on their doorstep: a murderous vampire ensnared by a hex and a string of deadly mishaps in a notorious factory operated by zombies. Pursuing the truth leads them to the city's influential high priest of the god of wealth. Soon, they uncover a web of intrigue and realize that humans are far more dangerous than magic creatures. A special note for readers: this book contains a lot of different characters and a lot of worldbuilding. If you prefer your settings conventional and your story focused on a few heroes and villains, you probably won't enjoy this novel.


Dear Sylvia, Love Jane: Detective Molly Malone

Dear Sylvia, Love Jane: Detective Molly Malone by Erin Hall

1943, San Francisco. In a city overrun by corruption, sticking to the shadows is the safest option, especially for patrons of gay bars like Whiskers, Duke’s, and the Hot Spot. But when city officials have a personal score to settle, even the shadows are dangerous. Join Detective Molly Malone on her first queer noir adventure as she faces deadly stakes that threaten her friends and family.


Boomsters: An Unexpected Adventure

Boomsters: An Unexpected Adventure by David Marks

In the heart of Chicago, where shadows conceal secrets and organized crime reigns, one retiree embarks on an extraordinary journey. David Blazen spent 50 years comfortable in his work routine but now is retired and desperately searching for purpose in his life. He ultimately finds it in the most unlikely of by becoming a self-proclaimed detective. Travel through a labyrinth of adventure, where suspense lurks around every corner and laugh-out-loud moments break through the tension. Follow along as David’s search for truth and justice gets him caught in a web of contentious cases, all within his first week on the job. The most puzzling? A murder he witnessed that police are calling a suicide. Will his investigation help identify the killer? It’s up to this amateur sleuth to solve that mystery, prevent a budding turf war between Chicago's two dirtiest crime lords, keep a corrupt candidate out of the mayor's office, and bring peace to a city rattled by crime and violence. The problem is, to succeed, he must become a criminal himself. All net proceeds from this book will be donated to non-profit organizations benefitting senior veterans.


Fire Dream

Fire Dream by E.R. Yatscoff

“The tale has lots of twists and a reveal, that I didn’t see coming. This novel offers a fresh perspective into firefighting, arson and revenge.” - Caffeinated Reviewer Fire Captain Gerry Ormond, thrust into the media spotlight due to an heroic rescue visits his hometown after a twenty-year absence. His old crime as a teenager in a renegade fraternity comes to light and his life begins to unravel. Old friends are now enemies and an arson murderer seeks revenge for the old crime.


Investigation, Mediation, Vindication

Investigation, Mediation, Vindication by Chris Tullbane

The stakes are real. The mediator isn't. "Investigation, Mediation, Vindication." That's how the Yellow Pages ad starts, and if it sounds like the sort of thing a drunk teenager might come up with... well, you'd only be wrong about the teenager part. John Smith owns San Diego's smallest private investigation firm, but he doesn't know the first thing about mediation. Or vindication. On the other side of town, vampire Lucia Borghesi is having a terrible century. Stripped of her throne and banished from Italy, she's now somehow found herself in a dispute with the local demigod of nightmares and terror. And to top it all off, the long-time city mediator has been assassinated and her second-in-command just hired a human to fill that role. If he wants to survive, John will need to prove his value to Lucia and her people while keeping that demigod from sucking San Diego into an unnamed hell dimension. And he'll have to work fast, because his beloved Corolla is parked curbside in Logan Heights, like an open invitation to the neighborhood's graffiti enthusiasts. Come take a walk on the weird side of urban fantasy, in what Kirkus Reviews described as an "entertaining tale that’s sure to leave readers anticipating the protagonist’s next misadventure."


Descent of a Broken Man

Descent of a Broken Man by Ashon Ruffins

James Corbin is an ambitious high school history teacher who resides in the lively, yet dangerous city of New Orleans. He suffers from severe depression and anxiety and is on a downward spiral, unwilling to seek the help he desperately needs. His troubles are compounded by a lack of progress in his professional career, his disintegrating marriage, and lack of respect from his peers. While his struggles threaten to cripple him, the city is marred by a series of brutal religious murders. However, it’s soon clear that there is not only one, but two murderers wreaking havoc on the city. While police chase the murderers, James focuses on his quest for professional success and self-worth from his research. Unfortunately for him, the research leads to the discovery of a nefarious essence, which unlocks a darkness and brings James face to face with a monster of his own. Within some people, there is something
 off. Something dormant. A terror that, if found, will leave a path of pain in its wake.


They Ate The Waitress?

They Ate The Waitress? by D.N. Schmidt

A delightfully funny murder mystery full of wit, wordplay, and cannibalism. Nick Wergild is a private detective armed only with his wits and an atomic-powered electroshock gun. One evening, while under the influence of powerful hallucinogens, he is hired to investigate a murder at a local restaurant called “Hand to Mouth”. It seems the customers ate one of the staff. And she didn’t even volunteer for the job.Nick has to find a way to solve the case without a body or a crime scene. Along the way, he also has to survive hit men, bomb-throwing security guards, bad puns, and a homicidal politician. Will he live long enough to solve the case? Can you really trust the owner of a restaurant for cannibals? What does human flesh really taste like? And why does furniture keep falling from the sky? If you love humor, mysteries, and anything weird, you don't want to miss this!


Out of the Shadows

Out of the Shadows by D M Macdonald

In Hannah Tree's flotsam life only two things motivate her, injustice and the desire to destroy the person who ruined her life. Troubled loner Hannah Tree's drifter lifestyle changes forever when she meets the statuesque Gloria Starr. Gloria, who sees something in Hannah that Hannah cannot, pulls her off the streets, gives her a job and puts a roof over her head. She also encourages her to turn her fierce pursuit of justice into a detective business. Hannah isn't so sure, but since ramming justice down abusive people’s throats is something she's always done she figures she might as well be paid for it.  But when, by a twist of fate, Hannah stumbles across the man who ruined her life, her burning need for revenge takes over. Heedless of the consequences Hannah pursues her obsession down dark and dangerous pathways, exposing appalling abuses at every turn, risking not only her own safety but that of everyone around her. But those responsible do not tolerate meddlers. In the end Hannah's quest to save the victims of these vicious criminals, and bring down her bitterest enemy, threatens to cost her everything—including her life.


Inspector Stone Mysteries Volume 2 (Books 4-6)

Inspector Stone Mysteries Volume 2 (Books 4-6) by Alex R Carver

Volume 1 of the Inspector Stone Mysteries, containing books 4-6 Into The Fire When the Larsson Studio and its owner suffer a series of attacks, Nathan Stone must not only figure out who is responsible, he must try to lay to rest the rumours that have led to them. Rumours that have been encouraged by the local paper. Just as he is putting that case to bed a body is discovered in a burned out car in Branton Wood, a car that is connected to Kurt Walker, the man who murdered his family. Nathan must decide whether he is the right man to investigate, and figure out how a man who has been dead for nine months can be connected to a body that is only days old. Is it a coincidence, or is there something more going on? A Stone's Throw A dead body really ruins your holiday. During a much-needed break in Devon, Inspector Nathan Stone finds himself at the centre of a murder investigation when the wife of the owner of the hotel is found killed. The last person to see her alive, he must contend with the suspicions of the local police. The arrival of a storm that isolates the small village of Donningford from the outside world changes everything, however, and Nathan must take charge of the investigation. A second murder drives home a frightening fact: Nathan, the other guests, and the hotel staff are sharing a roof with a hate-filled killer who will stop at nothing to exact revenge
and to prevent the police from discovering the truth. Under Pressure Nathan Stone hasn't long got back from a holiday, but he could already do with another one. Between a murder, an unexplained drowning, a trio of assaults, a missing teen, and an interdepartmental dispute over jurisdiction, he's under so much pressure he barely has time to sleep.


The Oakhurst Murders Duology

The Oakhurst Murders Duology by Alex R Carver

A peaceful paradise in rural England is torn apart by murder and mistrust as a serial killer stalks its daughters. Written In Blood: The Oakhurst Murders #1 A peaceful village torn apart by murder, mistrust, and a desire for revenge. When Oakhurst's daughters begin to turn up, brutally murdered and with accusatory words carved into their skin, the residents of the small, close-knit community are unwilling to believe that one of their own might be a killer. Suspicion falls on the village's newest resident, Zack Wild, attractive, charming, author of violent crime novels, and possessor of a dark history; he seems like the perfect suspect. As the investigation continues, the evidence against Wild mounts, but is prejudice against the newcomer affecting the judgment of Sergeant Mitchell, Constable Turner thinks so, and is prepared to do whatever she must to find the killer, whoever it might be. Who will be proved right, the sergeant or the constable? And will they catch the killer before he can strike again? Poetic Justice: The Oakhurst Murders #2 Caught, escaped, and now on the run. The killer has been caught, but before he can see the inside of a cell he escapes, leaving behind a trail of bodies. While Constable Melissa Turner deals with the aftermath of the murders, including the revelation of who was behind them, and a case of vandalism at the local stables, Detective Inspector Martins is given the task of hunting down the killer. As the body count mounts, and the killer becomes more and more desperate to get away, a storm builds overhead. Can Martins and the police catch him before more people die, or will the storm provide him with the cover he needs to make good his escape?


Poetic Justice (The Oakhurst Murders Book 2)

Poetic Justice (The Oakhurst Murders Book 2) by Alex R Carver

Caught, escaped, and now on the run. Kieran Wright, the teen serial killer who terrorised the village of Oakhurst in Written In Blood has been captured, but before he can see the inside of a cell he escapes, leaving behind a trail of bodies. Constable Melissa Turner is engrossed with the aftermath of the murders and the revelation of who was behind them, and a case of vandalism at the local stables. Meanwhile, Detective Inspector Martins is given the task of searching for and apprehending the killer. As the body count mounts, and Wright becomes more and more desperate to get away, a storm builds overhead. Can Martins and the police catch Wright before more people die, or will the storm provide him with the cover he needs to make good his escape?


Written In Blood (The Oakhurst Murders Book 1)

Written In Blood (The Oakhurst Murders Book 1) by Alex R Carver

A peaceful village torn apart by murder, mistrust, and a desire for revenge. When Oakhurst's daughters begin to turn up, brutally murdered and with accusatory words carved into their skin, the residents of the small, close-knit community are unwilling to believe that one of their own might be a killer. Suspicion falls on the village's newest resident, Zack Wild, attractive, charming, author of violent crime novels, and possessor of a dark history; he seems like the perfect suspect. As the investigation continues, the evidence against Wild mounts, but is prejudice against the newcomer affecting the judgment of Sergeant Mitchell, Constable Turner thinks so, and is prepared to do whatever she must to find the killer, whoever it might be. Who will be proved right, the sergeant or the constable? And will they catch the killer before he can strike again?


Inspector Stone Mysteries Volume 1 (Books 1-3)

Inspector Stone Mysteries Volume 1 (Books 1-3) by Alex R Carver

Volume 1 of the Inspector Stone Mysteries, containing books 1-3 Where There's a Will (Book 1) The kidnapping of a child on the way home from school is every parents worst nightmare, for the Keatings it's no nightmare, it's a reality. A reality made worse when it is suspected the Russian Mafia is behind the kidnapping to force Owen Keating to sell his business. Are the rumours true, or is there something else going on? An Eye For An Eye (Book 2) A sudden surge in murders across Branton leaves Nathan Stone wondering if the town has gone made, or if they could all be the work of one man. If so who is it, and why is he killing such a diverse group of people. A Perfect Pose (Book 3) The murder of a teen model draws Nathan Stone back to work after the tragic events of An Eye For An Eye. When rumours surface of abuse at the studio where Ellen Powers worked, Nathan must investigate whether that is why she was murdered, or if her death is connected to her pregnancy.


Under Pressure: Inspector Stone Mysteries #6

Under Pressure: Inspector Stone Mysteries #6 by Alex R Carver

Nathan Stone hasn't long got back from a holiday, but he could already do with another one. Between a murder, an unexplained drowning, a trio of assaults, a missing teen, and an interdepartmental dispute over jurisdiction, he's under so much pressure he barely has time to sleep. All of that would be bad enough without one of the assaults having occurred on his best friend, Louisa Orchard, leaving her in the same ITU where his wife died. He's determined to catch the people responsible, despite the strain that such a busy caseload and worry over his best friend is having on him. Can he keep himself together and awake long enough to solve the cases and hopefully see Louisa recover from her injuries?


A Stone's Throw: Inspector Stone Mysteries #5

A Stone's Throw: Inspector Stone Mysteries #5 by Alex R Carver

A dead body really ruins your holiday. During a much-needed break in Devon, Inspector Nathan Stone finds himself at the centre of a murder investigation when the wife of the owner of the hotel is found killed. The last person to see her alive, he must contend with the suspicions of the local police. The arrival of a storm that isolates the small village of Donningford from the outside world changes everything, however, and Nathan must take charge of the investigation. A second murder drives home a frightening fact: Nathan, the other guests, and the hotel staff are sharing a roof with a hate-filled killer who will stop at nothing to exact revenge
and to prevent the police from discovering the truth.


Into The Fire: Inspector Stone Mysteries #4

Into The Fire: Inspector Stone Mysteries #4 by Alex R Carver

The past just won't stay dead for Nathan Stone. When the Larsson Studio and its owner suffer a series of attacks, Nathan Stone must not only figure out who is responsible, he must try to lay to rest the rumours that have led to them. Rumours that have been encouraged by the local paper. Just as he is putting that case to bed a body is discovered in a burned out car in Branton Wood, a car that is connected to Kurt Walker, the man who murdered his family. Nathan must decide whether he is the right man to investigate, and figure out how a man who has been dead for nine months can be connected to a body that is only days old. Is it a coincidence, or is there something more going on?


A Perfect Pose: Inspector Stone Mysteries #3

A Perfect Pose: Inspector Stone Mysteries #3 by Alex R Carver

A dead model, a studio suspected of abuse, and a depressed detective. Three months after losing his family in a deadly blaze the discovery of a teenage girl's body on the riverbank draws Nathan Stone back to work and into a complicated case. Ellen Powers was a popular internet model with many adoring fans, so who would want to kill her? The investigation soon turns up many secrets, including the fact that Ellen was pregnant and planning an abortion. Was the studio she worked for covering up a dark secret of exploitation? Or was this a crime of passion? When Ellen's stepbrother is attacked soon after her body is discovered Nathan is sure there's a connection. The guy's not talking, though; what is he so determined to keep secret, even if it puts his life at risk? As the case deepens and they discover more about the murdered teen can Nathan Stone overcome his demons to find justice for an innocent young woman?


An Eye For An Eye: Inspector Stone Mysteries #2

An Eye For An Eye: Inspector Stone Mysteries #2 by Alex R Carver

Revenge comes to Branton. Inspector Stone's past catches up to him with blood and flames. A series of murders rocks the small town of Branton and leaves Inspector Stone with his toughest case, one which may see him paying a tremendous personal price if he can’t solve it quick enough. At first glance the murder of the wife and mother of an Asian shopkeeper appears racially motivated, and the local paper is quick to stir up tensions within the community. Another murder, this time the husband of a local barrister, an attack on a trio of teens, and the discovery of a previously unreported murder all lead Stone to the conclusion that something more than racism is at work. Before he can work out what connects these seemingly unrelated events he is distracted by the most tragic of events. Can Stone and his partner pull themselves together long enough to figure out who is responsible for bringing terror to the streets of Branton, or will the killer complete his fiendish plan and make good his escape?


Beginnings: The Omniscients

Beginnings: The Omniscients by Kevin Marstall

BEGINNINGS – The Omniscients – Book 2 Los Angeles, CA - It’s late 1993, as Detective Jason Markham embarks on a new investigation, one that will challenge his patience, his methods, and ultimately his mind. A heinous crime, an innocent victim, and a partner with whom working together is more difficult than solving the case. Struggling to train his attention on the clues in the continuing series of burglaries, instead Jason’s heart and mind remain focused on his personal investigation into the disappearance of the woman he loves. Driven to find her and know that she is safe, Markham’s actions stretch his physical, emotional, and mental state dangerously to its limits. New and old friends alike lend their support to Jason, but the detective’s tumultuous battle rages on against his new partner, his generations of memories that seem just beyond his grasp, and worst of all his own sense of self.


Discoveries: The Omniscients

Discoveries: The Omniscients by Kevin Marstall

DISCOVERIES – The Omniscients Los Angeles, CA - It’s 1993 and Detective Jason Markham faces a new case, unlike any he’s seen before. A nameless victim, no clues, and not a soul to care about the man’s unfortunate death. To make matters worse, sleepless nights, haunted by his memories, have him on the edge, and now a few chance encounters send his previously ordered life spiraling dangerously out of control. Love, friendship, betrayal, all swirling around him and threatening to consume his mind, Jason’s heart desires to trust but is thrust into conflict with generations of wisdom passed down to him from his father and grandfathers before him.


Where There's a Will: Inspector Stone Mysteries #1

Where There's a Will: Inspector Stone Mysteries #1 by Alex R Carver

The kidnapping of a child is every parent's worst nightmare, for the Keatings though it isn't a nightmare, it's a reality. Inspector Stone is tasked with finding Alice Keating and bringing her home safely. Hard enough under normal circumstances, but between investigating an unrelated armed robbery, family problems, and the machinations of an ambitious underling, it's almost impossible. Unbeknown to either Stone or Alice's parents, the kidnappers have more in mind than collecting a ransom. And when it turns out that the Russian Mafia might be involved in the kidnapping, things begin to spiral out of Stone's control. Can Stone find Alice before the kidnappers make good on their threats? If not it won't just be Alice that becomes a victim to their deadly plans...


The Long Game

The Long Game by D.W. Howard

Lieutenant Michael Domenicalli and his team have been called to the scene of a riot and a double homicide the Queen’s Women’s Medical Clinic. What appears to be a simple case becomes murky as details begin to connect the double homicide to the Clockwork Murders the team thought they solved years before.


The Ghosts of Thorwald Place

The Ghosts of Thorwald Place by Helen Power

A Mystery Scene Magazine 2021 Editor's Pick Trust No One. Especially Your Neighbors. Rachel Drake is on the run from the man who killed her husband. She never leaves her safe haven in an anonymous doorman building, until one night a phone call sends her running. On her way to the garage, she is murdered in the elevator. But her story doesn’t end there. She finds herself in the afterlife, tethered to her death spot, her reach tied to the adjacent apartments. As she rides the elevator up and down, the lives of the residents intertwine. Every one of them has a dark secret. An aging trophy wife whose husband strays. A surgeon guarding a locked room. A TV medium who may be a fraud. An ordinary man with a mysterious hobby. Compelled to spend eternity observing her neighbors, she realizes that any one of them could be her killer.


Wish You Were Here

Wish You Were Here by J. Lynn Carr

A rookie agent searches for her estranged sister in this paranormal procedural for fans of Practical Magic and The Dresden Files. Harvest Rosenbloom is a trainee agent at the Bureau, an organization that specializes in investigating crimes of a supernatural nature. As a gifted witch with a unique second-sight, Harvest's abilities are an invaluable asset to the Missing Persons Unit—if only she could convince her boss of that fact. Her days consist of photocopies and data entry, but all of that changes when she receives a message from her estranged sister. Determined to do whatever she can to answer her sister’s plea for help, Harvest teams up with fellow Bureau agent, Julian Quinn. As a centuries-old vampire, Quinn has seen his fair share of investigations and he’s certain this will be a routine inquiry. But it quickly becomes obvious that nothing about this case is routine. From the seedy underbelly of a vampire criminal network to Death’s door and beyond, Harvest and Quinn find themselves in the middle of a case where nothing is as it seems.


Injustice For All

Injustice For All by Jeremy D Savage

Damon, a man on death row, finds himself with little time left. He meets his new psychiatrist, Doctor Emily Zurig, who is there to help him find peace before his final days, and convinces her to help him find the truth. While she is initially reluctant, through their sessions, she begins to see Damon in a different light. With the help of her superstar detective husband, Evan Zurig, they work to find the truth about the murders that Damon has been sentenced for. While Damon works to find peace, through fighting the demons of his past, he struggles to understand what it all means and what it's all for. He begins to lose faith as the time gets closer to his death. The ultimate questions arise: Should he even fight anymore? What's the point? Doctor Zurig and her husband work diligently to put the pieces together, but will it be too late?


Snow Merry Red

Snow Merry Red by Nadya Frank

⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐ "This book pulled me out of a month-long reading slump!" Facebook reviewer How do you survive the holidays when someone from your family is trying to kill you? Holidays have always been hard on Viola: the scrutiny of her family members, their comments about her parenting, her drinking, her failing career
 She expects all this as she arrives to yet another Christmas dinner. What she doesn’t expect is to find herself locked in a basement of the family’s country house in Moscow exurbs without memories of how she ended up here. Clearly, someone from her family attempted to get rid of her. But who? After freeing herself, Viola is committed to find the answer. As the family members arrive into the house for the New Year’s night—Russia’s most important winter holiday—Viola knows she can’t trust anyone. She recruits a con artist Zoya Volkova to help her. Together, they untangle the web of the family’s darkest secrets, malicious lies and heartbreaking betrayals. But as the year changes and Viola’s memory returns, she and Zoya aren’t looking for the truth anymore. Now, they need to survive. This dark page-turner with unpredictable twists is perfect for fans of Laura Lippman, Karin Slaughter, and Lisa Gardner. ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐ “Engaging and fast paced” Goodreads reviewer ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐ "I never saw the twist coming!" Advance reader


The Yuletide Butcher

The Yuletide Butcher by Mike Duke

For 20 years the Yuletide Butcher has left police a body the morning after Christmas. Once and only once a year the killer strikes. He’s never been caught. Not even close. Detective Allen and FBI Agent Hawks have a possible lead. The first in years. Together, they’re on the killer’s trail and scrambling to stop the Butcher from striking again. Meanwhile, Jack Randal, a pillar of the community, secretly dreads Christmas time. He hates his in-laws and can’t stand his wife and kids. This year it’s finally too much. He’s about to have a public meltdown. Somewhere in their city, the Yuletide Butcher is checking his list twice, with plans to be naughty, not nice, and no one knows who his next victim might be.


3

3 by T.P. Theyson

Valerie Perittos is a best selling author with three problems. Her writers block has lasted for years with nothing able to inspire her and after her neighbor turns up dead, making the police question if she is responsible, she starts to see the number 3 everywhere she looks. As she watches her life descend into a thriller of its own, her unhealthy sleep patterns and past head trauma leave her wondering if the strange things she is experiencing are really happening or if she is hallucinating through her days and nights that have become a blur in her mind. Until the murderer is found, she cannot trust anyone, not even herself. T.P. Theyson delivers a mind bending, fast paced story full of twists and turns. With some obvious and other hidden numerical structures tucked into the text, your mind will reach to its limits to not investigate every line on it's own, making you feel closer to the main character than you thought possible while you read her inner thoughts and feel her fear rising.


Early Adopter

Early Adopter by Sienna Eggler

"But what if she doesn't want to be found?" Aided by their cybernetic eyes, private investigator Ryn Casler makes a living busting cheating spouses. While they’ll occasionally dabble in fraud and other typical cases, they don’t deal with the missing. Until the persistent Shae Winters, a police detective, approaches them about the disappearance of a young Black woman. Friction flies between detective and PI, as Shae insists on tagging along during the investigation. But as their search deepens and spills into the world of fantastical body mods, it becomes clear there’s more to this case than meets the eye.


The Unpleasantness at Baskerville Hall

The Unpleasantness at Baskerville Hall by Chris Dolley

SPSFC 2022

Wodehouse steampunk version of The Hound of the Baskervilles! “Jeeves and Wooster meet Holmes and Watson with a touch of steampunk in the hilarious first full-length Reeves and Worcester tale ... This laugh-out-loud parody works on several levels ... With razor-sharp wit and fast pacing that plays fair with the reader, this is an excellent genre mash-up that fires on all cylinders.” - Publishers Weekly An escaped cannibal, a family curse ... and Reginald Worcester turning up on the doorstep. Could things get any worse for the Baskerville-Smythe family? As the bodies pile up, only a detective with a rare brain – and Reggie’s is so rare it’s positively endangered – can even hope to solve the case. But... there is the small matter that most of the guests aren’t who they say they are, the main suspect has cloven feet, and a strange mist hangs over great Grimdark Mire. Luckily the young master has Reeves, his automaton valet, and Emmeline, his suffragette fiancĂ©e, on hand to assist. This stand alone novel is the fifth Reeves & Worcester Steampunk mystery


A Whisker Behind

A Whisker Behind by W.R. Gingell

SPFBO9

Searching for redemption in the shifting realm between the human and fae worlds, not-so-reformed fae steward Athelas seems likely instead to find death, dismemberment, and deadly magic
 Exiled, excommunicated, and with a bounty on his head, Athelas is lying low in Seoul for exactly one reason: he has a wedding to attend. Whether or not he’s welcome is another matter. Luckily for Athelas, several bodies have turned up with their soft insides gnawed out, whether by magic or Behindkind—and the latest of those bodies is at the very wedding hall he has been staking out. The Behindkind investigators suspect one of Athelas' housemates: YeoWoo, a gumiho with a thirst for revenge and an even greater appetite for soft underbelly than Athelas. To buy herself time, YeoWoo barters alibis with the suspiciously quiet fae sharing her house, but to remain free, she must find the real murderer. By joining the investigation, Athelas has exactly the chance he needs to prove that he is now a repentant, changed, and selfless fae, bent on atoning for former deeds
no matter how many Behindkind and humans he has to cut through to confirm that impression. NOTE: A Whisker Behind is the first book in the Worlds Behind series, a 5-book spin-off from the main "City Between" series which occurs several years after those events. Please read the "City Between" books first for a more thorough appreciation of this spin-off (or do what you want—I'm not your boss. Just be aware that there will be reasonably major spoilers).


Bedding Down

Bedding Down by Molly Garcia

Adam & Sarah - Book 2 Someone is stalking and then killing members of the homeless community. Adam and Sarah are convinced there's a link, and the team has to dive deep into the past to find it. Colin, Paul, Chris, and Martin have all been rough sleeping for the last 10 years, and now someone is picking them off one by one, and it's only by investigating their past that the killer will be found. What happened to cause these men to turn their backs on their lives and sleep on the streets, and is it linked to their murders? This is a case that brings back some traumatic memories for Abbie and gives her partner an insight into who she is, while the whole team is shocked by how easy it is to slip through the cracks and disappear.


Breach of Trust

Breach of Trust by Molly Garcia

Adam & Sarah - Book 1 Adam & Sarah are drawn together to investigate a spate of murders when it becomes apparent that all the victims were sex offenders. With a long suspect list, can they narrow it down in time to catch a killer before they strike again?


The Toy Maker

The Toy Maker by Melanie Flynn

A missing woman. A serial killer on the loose. A smart-mouthed private investigator on the case. What could go wrong? Rylee Scott is a New York private investigator with a secret: she's psychic and allergic to her cat. But only one of these secrets has the power to break her. When she's hired to find a missing woman, she finds herself racing against the clock to save her before she becomes the next victim of a prolific serial killer, the Toy Maker, who turns his victims into beautiful and horrific life-size versions of classic toys. After years of living under the radar, Rylee will have to enlist the help of the NYPD if she has any hope of bringing the woman home safe. Calum Reese is an NYPD detective with a southern accent, a chip on his shoulder and a secret of his own. On the hunt for the Toy Maker, he finds himself working with a certain private investigator who knows things she shouldn't and refuses to play by his rules. Can they put aside their differences to catch the killer before more bodies drop? Or will they be drowning in corpses before long?


Textbook Murder: A Frank Hall Mystery

Textbook Murder: A Frank Hall Mystery by Fred Tippett, II

MURDER BY THE BOOK Master crime novelist and creative writing professor Frank Hall is asked by his longtime friend Gillian Morgan to help locate her missing son Damien. Troubled and recovering from a history of drug addiction, Damien had recently found purpose and a fresh start as Frank’s pupil and mentee. But Gillian is worried that he may have suffered a relapse, that he may just need help coming home. So, as a favor to Gillian, Frank agrees to help her find him. Frank’s search for Damien turns up several hidden details of Damien’s personal life—including evidence of an affair with a most unlikely individual. But the quest ends in tragedy one day later, when Frank finds Damien dead of an apparent drug overdose. To the investigating authorities, Damien’s death seems an open-and-shut case of relapse by a former addict who simply could not stay clean. But to Frank’s eyes—eyes seasoned by years of crime research and intimate friendship with Damien’s family—it looks like far more. It looks like murder, craftily concealed and carefully planned. When the police refuse to examine Damien’s death as a homicide, Frank decides that he’ll just have to do it himself, if only for the sake of Damien’s grieving mother. And the more Frank investigates, the more determined he grows to get to the truth. Even if that means incurring the wrath of the fiery and territorial lead detective assigned to Damien’s case. But Frank soon finds that he’s in for far more than he imagined. A cunning, ruthless sociopath took Damien Morgan’s life—a sociopath who does not want the motive for Damien’s murder exposed. A sociopath who has killed many times before and who will not hesitate to kill again.


A Troll Walks into a Bar: A Noir Urban Fantasy Novel (Alexander Southerland, P.I. Book 1)

A Troll Walks into a Bar: A Noir Urban Fantasy Novel (Alexander Southerland, P.I. Book 1) by Douglas Lumsden

When a troll speaks--listen up! Hardboiled P.I. Alexander Southerland just wants to enjoy a quiet drink when a 500-pound troll walks into the bar. Next thing he knows, Southerland is navigating his way through rogue cops, a gang war, beautiful nymphs from the ocean depths, a were-rat, the mayor's corrupt fixer, the sleaziest (and cleverest) gnome in Yerba City, and creatures right out of legend. At the center of it all is a mysterious locked box. Can Southerland discover its explosive secret--and survive long enough to pay his rent on time?


A Night Owl Slips into a Diner: A Noir Urban Fantasy Novel (Alexander Southerland, P.I.)

A Night Owl Slips into a Diner: A Noir Urban Fantasy Novel (Alexander Southerland, P.I.) by Douglas Lumsden

He’s up to his eyeballs in hot water, and he thinks he’s taking a bubble bath! A routine case of industrial espionage pitches hardboiled P.I. Alexander Southerland headlong into a maelstrom of shadowy political intrigue and deadly supernatural mayhem—not to mention some malevolent owls and the mysterious 'boy who talks backwards'! After his exposure of a white-collar thief has harrowing consequences, a guilt-ridden and disconsolate Southerland roams the mean streets and dark alleys of Yerba City seeking to uncover a secret so stunning—so staggering—that just knowing it could unravel the bonds that keep the social order from dissolving into chaos!


Quiet, Pretty Things

Quiet, Pretty Things by Megan Stockton

Small town detectives investigate a string of puzzling local murders, and tensions rise as fatal mistakes inadvertently direct the killer's focus onto them.


The Case Files of Sheridan Bell: The Vanishing Beast

The Case Files of Sheridan Bell: The Vanishing Beast by Em Rowene

A strange woman comes to Detective Bell with an even stranger problem: she’s about to be arrested for murder and needs Detective Bell to clear her name. When the police confuse a simple protection charm for something more sinister and arrest the wrong person, Bell must untangle cons, confront powerful sidhe families, and find the mysterious beast that roams the streets of his city.


The Last Shadow

The Last Shadow by J.D. Robinson

SPSFC

The woman in the alley scratches a symbol into the pavement, then vanishes from the video. Now her desperate father is begging Bas Milius to accept one last case.In 1991, strange things are afoot in Boston. Bas is on the verge of hanging up his hat, until his final client—the missing woman’s father—suddenly claims to be someone else entirely. Someone without a daughter.Across town, Dee Khalaji finds herself seeing visions of someone in the shadows watching a recorded video—one that changes each time it’s played back.In a downtown compound, a secretive couple promises healing to lost souls through compulsory sessions of meditation and dance. But how have they been monitoring each member without the use of cameras? And why does the very first tape in their extensive surveillance collection focus on someone Bas lost a decade ago?A man on a mission to put the pieces together. A nonverbal autistic girl with the ability to see through others’ eyes. A story of identity, connection, and magic, set in a Boston that never was.


Gates of Mars: Book 1 of the Halo Trilogy

Gates of Mars: Book 1 of the Halo Trilogy by Kathleen McFall

SPSFC

What happens after the plutocrats colonize Mars? An interplanetary mystery and a searing critique of the billionaire quest for Mars. Funny, irreverent, a bit hopeful. Plus, giraffes.   IN THE AGE OF SURVEILLANCE, HOW CAN A PERSON GO MISSING?  The year is 2187. Crucial Larsen, a veteran of the brutal Consolidation Wars, is working as a labor cop on Earth. The planet is a toxic dump and billions of people are miserable, but so what? It's none of his business. He's finally living a good life, or good enough. But then Essential, his beloved kid sister, disappears on Mars.  When Halo--the all-powerful artificial-intelligence overseeing Earth and Mars on behalf of the ruling Five Families--can't (or won't) locate his sister, Crucial races up-universe to find her. In the Choke, the frigid, airless expanse outside the luxury domes, Crucial uncovers a deadly secret from Essential's past that threatens to shatter his apathetic existence...and both planets. Blending science-fiction with the classic, hard-boiled detective story, Gates of Mars is a page-turning, futuristic thrill-ride featuring a gritty, irreverent anti-hero--Crucial Larsen.  The first book of the Halo Trilogy, Gates of Mars is the eighth novel by award-winning authors Clark Hays and Kathleen McFall.


The Woeling Lass

The Woeling Lass by Dave Dobson

SFFOasis SPFBO8

An assassin hunts Inspector Gueran Declais through the streets of Frosthelm, and she is not acting alone. Just as he learns that his family may have been attacked and slain, Gueran is struck down as well. Despite the odds, he lives. Barely. Whisked away from the city for his safety, he struggles to recover from his injuries, learn his family's fate, and uncover the identity of those who want him dead. Far from Frosthelm, he becomes caught up in investigating another bloody attack, one that may or may not have been perpetrated by vengeful spirit of a woman wronged long ago, and one that threatens to expose him to his enemies. The locals are certain, though: the killer had to be the Woeling Lass, her hands cold as the grave and her feet aflame. Back in Frosthelm, Urret Milton is an apprentice in some difficulty at the Guild. She receives a mysterious note for Gueran, a man everyone thinks is dead. Rapidly embroiled in the effort to unravel the reason for the killings and bring the assassins to justice, Urret struggles to shed her troubles and show that she has what it takes to be an inspector. But all this leads her into far more peril than she bargained for, for which she can't possibly be ready. Her position at the Guild, the security of the city, and her life itself are all at stake. This tale from the Inquisitors' Guild of Frosthelm is a fresh mystery full of swordplay, deceit, ancient magic, scheming nobles, and a healthy dose of humor. Combining the clues and hidden mysteries of detective stories with all the grand adventure of epic fantasy, The Woeling Lass is a wondrous journey through betrayal, murder, ancient legend, loss, courage, and redemption. And, it has really silly chapter titles.


SHE

SHE by Tiffany Christina Lewis

For a rare moment in his life, newly promoted Det. Sergeant Michael Taylor is failing. The same day he began supervising an all-star group of four detectives, Taylor and his partner Det. Alex Jamison, get the case of an 18-year-old young man, shot dead in a fellow classmates’ bed. The seemingly perfect victim has one problem: girls. The case is made more challenging by the fact that the high schoolers involved are living secret lives and trying to save their own skin at every turn. At the same time, Taylor is being emotionally destroyed by his love interest, Azlynn Matthews. In turn, he is aiming his vexation at the detectives on his team. Due to his domineering and forceful management style, the team is on the verge of breaking down. Taylor must now combat his personal failures in order to pull his team back together, prevent the woman he wants from leaving him, and catch a maddening killer.


Detective King Book I: Magic and Mystery

Detective King Book I: Magic and Mystery by LionBolt

What’s a detective to do when faced by criminals he doesn’t believe exist? Ghosts, magical creatures, demons, and was that a talking mouse? The son of Dr. John Watson strives to overtake the legacy of Sherlock Holmes but finds himself cast into another world filled with the paranormal, mythical and impossible while sinister plots threaten the fabric of society. When a mysterious woman who looks just like his late mother makes off with an ancient demon, can the teenage detective unravel the web of supernatural mysteries and take his crown as the detective king? And seriously—I’m certain that mouse just spoke. Whether fighting a witch raising the dead, fighting a mythological, or simply solving your run-of-the-mill serial murder—come along with Arthur and his Detective Knights in the first installment of their roaring twenties fantasy adventure.


Ishraat's Interrupted Wedding Night

Ishraat's Interrupted Wedding Night by Bob Young

Ishraat Sarabhai has become the CEO of a chemical assay company spun off by her alma mater Chemistry Department. Her company is enlisted in discovering how a group of elementary aged school girls ended up poisoned. Unfortunately, before Ishraat can get started one of the girls dies. By the time she figures things out, two are dead. Ishraat gives the authorities the info to pick up the killer and flies off to Mumbai for her destination wedding. The killer eludes the police and checks into Ishraat's hotel in India.


Ishraat's Long Night

Ishraat's Long Night by Bob Young

Ishraat Sarabhai is a chemist for the adhesives manufacturer she works for. She becomes a hostage when three disgruntled employees take over the company ushering all the other employees out of the building. She manages to escape her captors remaining elusive hiding in the warehouse. She pulls in her fiancé to help her survive the siege. But things turn screwy when the terrorists start dying. Ishraat uses her chemical expertise to detect how they died as she waits for the police to rescue her. Unfortunately, she becomes a murder subject.


This Wicked Darkness (A Portal World Holiday Anthology)

This Wicked Darkness (A Portal World Holiday Anthology) by Laura Hazan, Jen Davenport, Melody Caraballo, Megan Van Dyke, K. J. Harrowick

Pick your portal to a holiday tale edged with danger: Murder Mystery at the Symphony Maestro Anna is the number one suspect in a murder case, but having a dangerous side doesn’t mean she killed the librarian. Now Anna must prove her innocence before she’s arrested and loses her prestigious role as Symphony Conductor. Dark Family Secrets Inside a Louisiana Coven The spring celebration of Imbolc seems the perfect opportunity for Lorna and her husband to celebrate the news of her pregnancy. First she must tell him her greatest regret—killing his brother. Train with Witches in the Bermuda Triangle Penny is training to be a Royal Guard in the Bermuda Triangle. Everything was going great until Liam came along to confess his feelings for her. A Surprise Attack on a Faery Court Aine’s Day should be a time for celebration with family. But when the Unseelie dark fae launch a surprise attack, Galen will have to forego the festivities and fight to protect the Court of the Forest and the woman he loves. Escape a Stolen Moon to Flee to the Stars Jàden’s on the run from Enforcers with only one shot to flee to the stars with the man she loves. But between the surface of the moon and starship Hàlon lies a predator on the hunt.


The Long Nights

The Long Nights by Tom Mock

SPFBO8

2021 INDIES TODAY AWARDS: RUNNER-UP IN HORROR A cry of pain, hard and desperate, tore through Carthage City one night 
 The Nightwalker Killings: bodies drained and tucked away in the abandoned corners of Carthage City Oldtown. The oddity of their stalled decay was a mystery 
 until the latest victim woke in a fury of teeth and claws. Joe Kellerman, a young telepath working with a group of occult “Specialists,” finds himself face to face with the vampire known as the Nightwalker—at least, what’s left of him. To stop the vampire's contagion of death from spreading, Joe searches the killer’s memories to find his missing victims before any more wake to feed. But as an alluring photojournalist with a history of blackmail starts to suspect his involvement in the Nightwalker case, Joe is stretched thin between past mistakes and his search for the missing, where every face he sees is a life seemingly doomed to a bad end. Maybe that's why he keeps having visions of a girl in yellow sneakers from the killer's past—the fleeting hope that someone made it out alive. Is there anyone left to save, or has Joe finally gone too far into the dark to find his way out again?


The Zero Day Proposal

The Zero Day Proposal by Fabrina Glitchlace

Daniqua was just a regular single woman; hungry, horny, and trying to make it on her own in the world. But her past came calling and now her weekend plans are FUBAR. Will she play her role, prevent nuclear annihilation, and win financial freedom? What will be her answer to The Zero Day Proposal?


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