WINNER Fiction: Mystery/Suspense 2023 Best Book Awards
When the FBI can’t help, an unassuming banker takes matters into his own hands to bring his son home
Wade, a respected banker in La Jolla, CA, and his estranged wife, Fiona, make the unbearable decision to send their teenage son, Myles, away to an expensive treatment center after a streak of harmful behavior. After a year of treatment, Myles comes home, seemingly rehabilitated. But soon, he sneaks off to Tijuana to buy drugs—and is kidnapped.
When the ransom call comes, Fiona is frantic and accepts help from Andre, the Quebecois whose charity Fiona runs. Wade is wary of Andre’s reputation and the bank he owns, but seeing no other way to secure a kidnap negotiator or the ransom, he swallows his doubts to get his son home.
In order to get the ransom money, Wade makes a deal with Andre—he’ll work for Andre’s bank in exchange for the cash. But as Wade races to rescue Myles before his kidnappers lose their patience, he realizes he’s wrapped up in more crime than just a kidnapping—he’s now indebted to a cartel.
WINNER Fiction: Mystery/Suspense 2023 International Book Awards
The first in the Camille Delaney Mystery series, The Complication is a fast-paced legal and medical mystery filled with greed, murder, and intrigue.
After her friend Dallas Jackson suffers a fatal complication during routine surgery, Seattle attorney Camille Delaney is determined to find out why. Dallas was like a father to Camille, and she feels she owes it to him and his family to get answers. Knowing she could lose her partnership at her high-profile law firm for undertaking such an investigation, Camille takes a huge risk and starts her own firm, determined to bring Dallas’s killer to justice. She turns for help to her friend Trish Seaholm, a quick-witted chameleonlike private investigator with an uncanny knack for blending into any situation.
As the two dive headfirst into a dangerous investigation, they discover disturbing evidence that Dallas’s case is not an isolated incident. A shocking number of patients are dying during run-of-the-mill surgeries at small-town hospitals—at the hands of the same two surgeons. Can Camille uncover the reason for these unexplained deaths before more patients fall victim? Or will her search for answers land her in the crosshairs of a killer?
WINNER Mystery/Suspense: Hard-Boiled/Crime Thriller: Crime 2023 American Fiction Awards
When a covert operation during the Vietnam War ends in tragedy, one of its members resolves to kill the man who betrayed it to the enemy. Now, fifteen years later, he'll finally get his chance.
Chicago, 1987. Home of mediocre baseball teams, gangs that rule the streets, and a Mexican drug cartel that supplies the city with heroin. Chicago Police Detective Marcelle DeSantis and her partner, Bernie Bernardelli, are working a series of heroin-related murders, and their job just got more complicated. The man who sabotaged the Vietnam operation, Robert Thornton, is now the chief enforcer for a Southeast Asian heroin cartel, and after fifteen years overseas he's arrived in Chicago to eliminate the reigning cartel and seize control of the city's heroin trade.
Racing to stop a drug war, Marcelle and Bernie don't realize they're about to be caught in a deadly crossfire: another man is circling in the wings, one of Thornton's soldiers from Vietnam, who's preparing to exact his long-sought revenge against his former mentor. He's the last person anyone would ever suspect, and when he finally makes his move, the paths of these four people will explosively converge.
WINNER Mystery/Suspense: Multicultural & Diverse 2023 American Fiction Awards
Sister Bridget Ann Rincón-Keller is known as the crime-fighting nun of East Austin's Latino Community. But her heartstrings may be pulled beyond their limit when she finds a newborn by the statue of the Virgin Mary. The baby's mother is an undocumented, teenage immigrant. ICE separates the girl from her baby, and Sister Bridget tries to reunite them. But little does she know, there are five other girls, victims of Mexico's kidnapping epidemic, who also need her help. Sister Bridget puts her life on the line. Can she rescue the girls...and herself...from the clutches of evil?
WINNER Mystery/Suspense: Romantic Suspense 2023 American Fiction Awards
What happens when a seemingly ordinary woman with a passion for the arts falls in love with a Hollywood star known for his bachelor status and quick temper with the paparazzi? Something extraordinary.
Dee Schwartz is a writer and arts researcher. Ryder Field is a famous actor descended from Hollywood royalty. On the night they meet outside a bar, their connection is palpable. Ryder’s mother—legendary actress Rebecca Field, half of Hollywood’s golden couple when she died—was kidnapped and murdered by a crazed fan in a shocking event that forever tarnished Tinseltown. Dee’s mother, too, died when she was young. Bonded by this loss, the two embark on a love story that explores their search for magic—or “gold dust”—in their lives. Everything changes, however, when Dee mysteriously disappears after an awards ceremony. Is history repeating itself? Can there truly be a happily ever after in Hollywood?
Set against the backdrop of contemporary Los Angeles, Hollyland is a poignant novel that moves fluidly between romance, humor, suspense, and joy.
WINNER Mystery/Suspense: Police Procedurals 2023 American Fiction Awards
Carter Mills was a successful and well-known investment broker. He and his wife Loretta had an ideal marriage with three kids, a beautiful home, and even a condo in the Dominican Republic. But their storybook life ended on the day that Loretta fell in the shower and died. Carter tried to save her, he'd even tried to do CPR, but it wasn't enough. His beautiful wife and the mother of his children was gone.
When the police were called to the Mills home on a reported unconscious person after a fall, Sgt. Steve "Mac" MacIntosh knew in his bones that something wasn't right. Loretta had a deep gash in her skull that seemed too extreme to have happened from a fall. He noticed bruising on Loretta's body and a black eye that was so swollen, her eye was shut.
No. This wasn't an unfortunate accident. This was a homicide that had been staged to look like an accident. And now it was up to Mac to fit together the pieces of the puzzle that would lead him to the killer so that he could find justice for Loretta.
WINNER Mystery/Suspense: General 2023 American Fiction Awards
SOME ROADS MUST BE WALKED ALONE
As private detective Peter O’Keefe continues to heal from the burns he suffered from the blast of a car bomb, neither he nor the police can prove who his assailants were. The media speculates that “The Outfit,” a mafia group in the city, is to blame. O’Keefe isn’t so sure, but he means to find out – and fast.
Terrified of another attack, O’Keefe’s ex-wife, Annie, won’t allow his eleven-year-old daughter near him except under the tightest security, including an armed guard. He can’t blame her. It isn’t safe for Kelly, or anyone else he cares about, to be near him while his attacker is on the loose.
In a desperate effort to keep his family safe and restore his life to some measure of normality, O’Keefe becomes consumed with solving the mystery of who is hunting him. Along the way, he’ll be forced to negotiate with The Outfit – a “devil’s bargain” that just might cost him everything.
WINNER Mystery/Suspense: Cozy Mysteries (Cozies) 2023 American Fiction Awards
Who stands to gain from a notorious past?When the daughter of a board member of a prominent charity asks Callan Morrow to investigate management issues at the charity, he finds his investigation hampered by lies, secrets, and the mystery of an antique bureau that keeps being bought and then returned.After a suspicious suicide, a murder and an attempted murder make his investigations more urgent, Callan discovers that an extortionist is targeting board members, threatening to publicly reveal their questionable family pasts. But who is behind it all? And can Callan unmask the perpetrator before they kill again?In this intriguing mystery peppered with insight, Gary Kreigh explores how an ancestor's involvement in scandals, crimes, or other unsavoury events can leave us feeling guilt and shame over something in which we had no part.
WINNER Mystery/Suspense: Historical Science Fiction: Parallel Universe/Alternative History 2023 American Fiction Awards
1945. Struggling for survival in a doomed Corsair fighter plane in the skies over the Pacific Ocean, World War II Marine pilot David Hamilton’s life suddenly and mysteriously takes a strange turn, leaving him searching for answers as he finds himself lost and alone in a different time, place, and perhaps, identity. With no choice but to enlist the help of two strangers, David embarks on a desperate journey in a 1941 Ford Coupe that possesses its own secret past, and purpose, to find his way back home and keep a promise made to the most important person in his life. As clues and mysterious revelations emerge, three evil beings shadow their every mile, waiting to strike without mercy. A Week and a Day is a unique, captivating, and magical story of love, loss, and redemption found, as the fragility of time is explored, and strength of the heart is found.