Treasure among the Shadows, by Marie Romero Cash
A woman is strangled and shot. She was last seen alive at a casino near Santa Fe. Forensic Psychologist Jemimah Hodge is on the case, as is her new boyfriend, Sheriff Rick Romero. The trail has already grown cold when another woman is murdered under similar circumstances. The first dead woman left behind a disgruntled ex-spouse but no other obvious suspects. Gilda Humphreys, the second victim, is another story. First there is her househusband, then there are all her co-workers … It seems no one is shedding a tear for Gilda.
While going through Gilda’s field notes, Jemimah discovers that the woman was experiencing a sexual renaissance. Could one of her lovers have killed her? Then there is Tim McCabe’s treasure hunt. A wealthy gallery owner and collector, McCabe has buried a chest filled with valuable coins and jewelry and challenged the public to find it. When Gilda wasn’t dressing down her co-workers or dallying with lovers, she was searching for McCabe’s treasure.
Was it greed that killed Gilda? A scorned lover or vengeful co-worker? With so many suspects and so few clues, Rick and Jemimah face one of the most challenging cases of their careers.
Treasure Among the Shadows is the third book in Jemimah Hodge Murder Mystery series.
Murdock Tackles Taos, by Robert J. Ray
Weary but wise private-eye Matt Murdock is back, and he has met his match—a vital and attractive writer and cop’s daughter, Helene Steinbeck. Helene is hiking in the hills of Taos when she happens upon the corpse of a young woman downed by an arrow. Murdock appears on the horizon just in time to prevent a team of archers from using Helene as target practice. Murdock has been scouring Angel Mountain and vicinity for evidence that will help him discover the whereabouts of Barbi Bellini, the missing daughter of a friend.
Now that Helene has stumbled onto the scene, she has no choice but to join Murdock in his search for answers. Drawn to the detective’s integrity and quiet strength, she becomes both his apprentice and his lover. Their quest leads them to a cult of locals whose charismatic leader believes the “weak” are fair game. But this unholy brotherhood is just the poisonous tip of the arrow. The hunters have forged deadly alliances with the rich and powerful of Taos. Who can Helene and Murdock trust? Will they be able to outthink—and outrun—their many adversaries?
Murdock Tackles Taos is the all-new, much-anticipated sixth episode in the Matt Murdock Mystery Series, which began with Bloody Murdock.
Murder by Syllabub, by Kathleen Delaney
A ghost in Colonial dress has been wreaking havoc at an old plantation house in Virginia. The house is owned by Elizabeth Smithwood, the best friend of Ellen McKensie’s Aunt Mary. Mary is determined to fly to the rescue, and Ellen has no choice but to leave her real estate business and new husband to accompany her. Who else will keep the old girl out of trouble?
When Ellen and Aunt Mary arrive, they find that Elizabeth’s “house” comprises three sprawling buildings containing all manner of secret entrances and passages, not to mention slave cabins. But who owns what and who owned whom? After Monty—the so-called ghost and stepson of Elizabeth’s dead husband—turns up dead in Elizabeth’s house, suspicion falls on her. Especially when the cause of death is a poisoned glass of syllabub taken from a batch of the sweet, creamy after-dinner drink sitting in Elizabeth’s refrigerator.
Monty had enemies to spare. Why was he roaming the old house? What was he searching for? To find the truth, Ellen and her Aunt Mary will have to do much more than rummage through stacks of old crates; they will have to expose two hundred years of grudges and vendettas. The spirits they disturb are far deadlier than the one who brought them to Virginia.
Murder by Syllabub is the fifth book of the Ellen McKenzie Mystery series.
The Double Cross, by Carla Kelly
The year is 1780, and Marco Mondragón is a brand inspector in the royal Spanish colony of New Mexico. A widower and rancher, Marco lives on the edge of Comanchería, the domain of the fierce Comanche. Each autumn, he takes cattle and wool, and his district’s records of livestock transactions to the governor in Santa Fe. He is dedicated, conscientious and lonely. This year, he is looking for a little dog to keep his feet warm through cold winter nights. He finds a yellow dog but also meets a young, blue-eyed beauty named Paloma Vega. Paloma is under the thumb of relatives who might have stolen a brand belonging to Paloma’s parents, dead in a Comanche raid.
As a brand inspector, Marco has every right to be suspicious of brand thieves. If Marco has anything to do with it, Paloma’s fortunes are about to change. Meanwhile, Marco has other challenges to contend with. An elderly ranchero named Joaquin Muñoz has set in motion events that involve the ever-dangerous Comanches and threaten the uneasy peace of Marco’s jurisdiction.
Set against the mountains and high plains of northeastern New Mexico during the decline of Spanish power in the New World, The Double Cross is a story of loss and love regained, at a time when honor went hand in glove with bravery, and danger was never far away.
The Double Cross is the first book of The Spanish Brand series.