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Death by Saxophone

Death by Saxophone by Debbie Burke is a story of intrigue and mystery that follows the life and death of jazz musician Jerry Zolotov. When Jerry Zolotov, more affectionately known as Jerzy, is found dead after falling off the Verrazano Bridge, everyone assumes it was suicide. But what if it wasn’t? What if Jerry wasn’t as well loved as he wanted to believe? Becka Rifkin, a jazz lover since childhood, finds out about these beautiful pieces of art known as bone records. These records, made out of x-rays in the cold war era, could be her demise. Were they the cause of Jerry’s demise as well?

The characters were complex and the author provided just the right amount of information about them. I did feel a stronger connection to Becka’s character rather then Jerry’s character, but they were both well-developed. I felt that the true star of this book was Becka Rifkin and I loved her character and her internal struggles, and I think readers will also love following her. Becka’s storyline was interesting and I developed a deep connection to her character through her love for music and the trauma she had been through. There was a complex history for every character, and it all tied together nicely.

I was shocked by the ending and the revelation of who was responsible for the crimes in this book. I was truly wowed by the mystery in Death by Saxophone. The author has obviously put much thought and detail into the storyline of her book and this helps make the book engrossing.

Death by Saxophone is a compelling noir mystery novel that fans of hard-boiled mysteries will enjoy. With a captivating main character and an engrossing mystery at its core, this is a crime novel that I heartily enjoyed reading.

Pages: 261 | ASIN: B0BMF4GBTM

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The Beauty About Being A Wordsmith

Miguel Angel Hernandez Jr. Author Interview

Do Nothing follows a detective who has to investigate the murder of someone he knows and determine if they have a serial killer on their hands. What was the inspiration for the setup to your story?

Law Abiding Citizen, Death Wish, and Judge Dredd.

Griffin Knight is a homicide detective in New York. What were some driving ideals behind your character’s development?

I could see the characters in my head. I chose not to include a backstory for Griffin Knight in this novella because it would slow down the thrilling aspect of my book. My aim was to have the book lover focus on following Griffin in this fast-paced adventure, and discover who the killer is before someone else gets murdered.

When you meet someone for the first time in real life, you do not find out about their past right away. It takes time getting to know that person, before they start to open up about their past. A lot of authors choose to include a backstory right away, but in my opinion it is unrealistic (unless they’re using flashbacks). One thing you will notice about my book, is how practical, and unique it is. The beauty about being a wordsmith is that I can include bits and pieces later on about Griffin’s past in future books. Ultimately, it leaves the reader thirsting for more, as Griffin himself is somewhat of a mystery.

What were some themes that were important for you to explore in this book?

Revenge, hatred, indignation, and courage.

What is the next book that you are working on and when will it be available?

The sequel to ‘Do Nothing‘ will be available soon. I am just waiting for the book cover to be completed before I publish it.

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A killer is on the loose in New York City.

When I woke up this morning, I hadn’t counted on this. I mean, sure, the life of a homicide detective will never be unicorns and rainbows, but any time where I’m called to a scene where the crime techs know the victim, it’s going to rank up there with some of the seriously bad days.
Someone in New York has a vendetta and they have all the hallmarks of a long silent serial killer.
But where does this serial killer cross over with our victims? How are they related? How many more names are on his list?
If I can’t cut through the questions this guy is throwing my way, it’s only going to be a matter of time before someone else ends up murdered.

Amid The Worst Crimes In History

Craig W. Fisher Author Interview

Baker Street Irregular follows an intelligence agent that in the course of an investigation, becomes a murder suspect, now, he has to clear his name and find the killer. What was your inspiration for the mystery that must be unraveled?

I have always loved a good mystery story. So I had the idea of taking the best elements of the classic noir detective and applying them to my main character in the historical setting of a spy novel. A good mystery, of course, also needs a crime. So, with a backdrop of war and in the bloody shadow of the Nazis, I set this novel’s stage to play out amid the worst crimes in history. I have spent my life intrigued by that dark period, and as a keen historian, I wanted to try to do at least some justice to the sacrifices service personnel and civilians made. The story is very much centred around the events and predicaments Bill, the main character, finds himself in, but the related real-life history is always present.

What kind of research did you do for this novel to ensure you captured the essence of the stories theme?

I seemed to spend more time with my head in reference books than I did writing! I did my best to get the details correct, as I feel it’s necessary when writing historical fiction. I’m sure some minor errors slipped through, and I consciously made some changes in the interests of narrative interest, but on the whole, I aimed for accuracy. My idea for the Berlin scenes was to make the city come alive, almost as a character in its own right, with all its post-war destruction and underlying political and social decay becoming almost palpable.

What was the hardest part about writing a mystery story; where you constantly have to give just enough to keep the mystery alive until the big reveal?

I struggled to see the complete picture in the early stages of writing. I don’t think planning and structure work well for my creative flow, and I preferred to start getting scenes written and see where the narrative took me next. Ending the chapters with a revelation that kept the story pushing forward to the next stage was an organic way of leading the reader onward, keeping them connected with the investigation Bill was undertaking. Other than the main protagonists, the other characters appeared and evolved naturally, as required by the developing story. I really did fly by the seat of my pants, going as far as drafting a few different endings on paper, involving different characters each time. I figured if even I didn’t know who the culprit was, the reader would struggle to guess too!

What is the next book that you are working on and when will it be available?

I have already started writing the next adventure for Bill. By the time I have finished with the final draft, and it has been edited and proofread, I anticipate it will be published sometime in the latter half of next year. It will once again involve political intrigue and will jump ahead to later in Bill’s career with British Intelligence. He will again find himself involved with difficult situations and characters inspired by history, and do his utmost to annoy his superiors and adversaries with his usual sardonic wit.

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The allies have carved up the former empire of the short-lived, thousand-year Reich. Fractured post-war Berlin is a city crawling with spies and foreign agents. The police department is being run like a corrupt puppet of its Soviet masters. Decorated intelligence agent Bill Hoffmann is investigating the whereabouts and activities of an ex-Gestapo officer wanted by the British government for war crimes.
Suddenly a fellow agent ends up dead, surrounded by incriminating evidence that all points to Bill. A previous mission undercover in occupied Paris in 1944 appears to be somehow linked. Under threat from all sides, including his own, if he can solve the case and wrap up the investigation, he might also clear his name. He can trust no one.
All he has are his wits, questionable smoking habit and his trusty commando fighting knife.
Things are about to get even bloodier, but in Berlin, they’ve seen it all before.

Or have they?

Baker Street Irregular is an investigative spy thriller for fans of both espionage stories and classic hardboiled detective noir.

Adult Themes: Due to the historical setting and genre, the story includes, but is not limited to, misogyny, racism, graphic violence and death, as well as briefly addressing issues such as sex, torture, suicide, rape and the Holocaust.


One of many nicknames given to the World War Two British spy networks of the Special Operations Executive due to their unconventional tactics and location of the headquarters on Baker Street in Central London.

What do the inscriptions really mean?

Saul Falconer Author Interview

The Demon Mark follows a police inspector into a religious town that’s overrun by fear where a murder mystery hides dark secrets. How did you come up with the idea behind this novel?

The idea started with the historical research that I did for the novel. I was intrigued by the protective marks that were often placed on buildings and other structures to ward off evil, and that was the genesis of the idea behind The Demon Mark. What do the inscriptions really mean? What are the marks meant to do, and can they be turned to be used for evil purpose? These all the questions that ran through my mind as I began writing the novel.

This is book two in your Cormag MacLeod Police Inspector Series. What were some new ways you wanted to test Cormag in this book that was different from book one?

Macleod’s major test is dealing with his own past. He is a complex multilayered character, with so much guilt that he carries with him, effectively haunted by the past both in thoughts and visions. I wanted the challenge for him in this novel to be an agent for his own redemption, to forgive himself, and to be able to let go of the past so that he could begin living again.

I appreciated the well placed use of history throughout your story. Was this instrumental to your story or was this something that just fascinates you?

I have a connection in that my great grandmother ran an inn in the 1800s in the region.

There is so many stories available from surviving family members that detail the rich history of the area and the history of the region is an integral part of this story. While the story is written as primarily a crime mystery, my purpose is also to is to make readers familiar with the history of the area, the lives of the people and how they lived.

What can readers expect in book three of your Cormag MacLeod Police Inspector Series?

Paterson’s Curse is the title of the new book, and it follows MacLeod as he investigates a series of murders in the nearby town of Paterson. Plenty of twists and turns in this one, a dark undercurrent of witchcraft, as Macleod battles his own demons as he races against time. This one will keep you guessing until the end.

Author Links: GoodReads | Twitter | Website


And war veteran and police inspector Cormag Macleod has plenty of his own. But investigating a murder in a small colonial town on the fringe, Macleod will uncover murky secrets that should not see the light of day.

Strange marks on a corpse raise the spectre of a ritual, and superstition leads to panic in a town saturated in fear and religious fervour. Suspicion turns to blame, and as public order threatens to break down, Macleod must muster all his skill in a race against time.

And those who keep the secrets will do anything to prevent him from discovering the shocking truth.

The Demon Mark

Inspector Macleod isn’t one to shy away from unpleasantness or death. He has seen more than his fair share of both. But when a young man is murdered in the small village he’s recently settled into, Macleod is unprepared for the amount of religious fervor and superstition that swirls around the case, watching as the villagers drive themselves to the brink of a disastrous panic in the search for answers. Realizing that time is a factor, and that cooperation from the local police is not likely, Macleod has to connect the current events with a nearly decade old disappearance, and finds himself unearthing long buried town secrets along the way. 

The Demon Mark by Saul Falconer is an intricately layered murder mystery centered by the deeply complex figure that is Cormag Macleod. Macleod is presented as a competent and imposing inspector, obviously flawed, but passionate about his work. As the book trudges on, small bits and pieces of his past are revealed, lending more depth and understanding to his mindset as the mystery builds around him. Despite the array of aspects that come together during throughout the story, nothing is ever convoluted; owing to skilled writing. Falconer finds a modest balance between intrigue and complexity and rarely failing to keep up the pace while weaving between them.

The beginning of the book provides the reader will all the past details of the village they would need to know, integral to the plot or not, this creates a well defined backdrop to the story. Once past that, the story moves at an incredible pace, twisting and turning to an explosive ending.

Falconer infuses a huge amount of history into this book as well, recreating the town of Dungog in detail and using historical figures of the time as supporting characters. Author’s notes further the historical accuracy of the setting and helps to make the area come to life as an integral part of the action. 

Among all the mystery and secrets, the book explores the idea of doing the right thing the wrong way. When the big twist is eventually revealed, it is almost easy to sympathize with the antagonist, as solving this crime leads to the resolution of another. Moral and religious beliefs lay the foundation for nearly everything Macleod discovers. 

I enjoyed The Demon Mark very much, especially once the action really began about halfway through. I thought I had figured out what the twist would be and was pleasantly surprised when the actual answer was drastically different. This is a riveting crime thriller that fans of noir and history will certainly appreciate.

Pages: 277 | ASIN: B09R47Z9MX

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The Spectrum Between “Good” And “Bad”

E. A. Coe
E. A. Coe Author Interview

The Other Side of Good follows a police officer and a criminal ring leader as they work together to try to put a stop to human trafficking in the city. What was the inspiration for the setup to your story?

😊 Denton (Ten Ton) Jones was a support character in the first book I wrote (Full Count). He was so popular with the readers of that book (about a small college baseball team) that I wanted him in a lead role as a grown-up in TOSOG. In Full Count, he was from Cincinnati … so I was sort of “stuck” with Cincy. In another lifetime, I worked in the dinner-boat industry and had some familiarity with Cincinnati as well as good contacts there. Like many large cities, Cincinnati has several rough neighborhoods, and in Full Count, Denton came from one of those. Since I wanted to write a thoughtful novel exploring the spectrum between “good” and “bad,” it was easy to presume Denton might have had a friend growing up who didn’t take the same path as himself.

Denton Jones has to determine what is good and bad in a situation where the good guys are not always what they seem, this causes conflict in him as he has tried to be on the right side of the law and morality.

What were some driving ideals behind your character’s development?

That, absent perspective, “good” and “bad” are just labels. Even as we develop laws to try to define the boundaries, they continue to evolve, often changing the boundaries. I used examples in the book, like slavery, which was perfectly legal in most of the country 170 years ago; marijuana, once outlawed everywhere in the states, is now legal in some form in all but a few.

To determine right and wrong, sometimes we must depend on our personal moral compass in the context of an existing environment. Denton, (at times naively wearing his white hat) must relax his prejudices about his former friend’s illegal practices to assist him in stopping something worse than drug-dealing. Theo (wearing the black hat as an intelligent criminal) rationalizes his illegal activities, but readers recognize solid decency in some of his opinions/choices.

Without trying to influence reader opinions one way or the other, I hoped they might recognize a little of Denton and a little of Theo in themselves. Beyond the totally “black” of trafficking and the totally “white” of assisting underprivileged children … most of us live somewhere in the gray areas between.

What were some themes that were important for you to explore in this book?

  1. Without being “preachy” … the importance, depths, and degrees of friendship.
  2. That spiritual beliefs, like laws, also evolve and that we should keep our minds open to where they converge in our world.
  3. The danger of stereotypes
  4. Our slow but steady march toward ethnic homogenization
  5. The perspectives of poverty versus privilege for children growing up in our country

What is the next book that you are working on and when will it be available?

Tentatively titled, Pedaling West, the book follows the cross-country route (Virginia Beach to Mendocino) of a female bicyclist who lost her job and her boyfriend during the beginning weeks of the COVID-19 crisis. She decides to “reset her life” with the biking journey, unaware she has information that might expose her former (corrupt) employer to severe criminal charges. It’s part travelogue, part drama, with a little romance thrown in.

My wife and I took the exact route of the biker (only rural roads, no interstates) for fun in November. We went in a nice car, stayed at good motels, and had a blast! The trip changed the book, too!

Depending on a variety of factors, I think the book might be finished by late spring.

Author Links: GoodReads | Twitter | Facebook | Website

When reputed criminal Theo Jackson proposes a donation to the city for a new youth center, the mayor sends Theo’s childhood friend, police officer Denton Jones, to negotiate the terms.
Denton’s efforts inexplicably make him a target for a corrupt city official, but a dishonest bureaucrat is the least of the city’s problems. Theo uncovers evidence of an international criminal organization facilitating human trafficking in the city. Repulsed by the crime, Theo enlists an unlikely coalition of clergy, law enforcement, and criminals to try to stop it. 
Follow the characters to the uncomfortable gray areas of life where the wrong thing sometimes seems a better choice than the right thing; where a little bad turns into almost good; and where dark white and light black become the same color.

An Incredible Experience

Alexander Semenyuk
Alexander Semeny Author Interview

Paradise Harbour follows a young private investigator on a case that tests his sanity, humanity, and body. What was the inspiration for the setup to your story?

I suppose something like this was a long time coming for me, and inspiration came suddenly. I always liked noir and investigator stories, especially from first person perspective, but always felt I wasn’t ready to write one myself. I am glad that it finally happened, I found my true style of writing.

Luc Nistage is an intriguing and well developed character. What were some driving ideals behind your character’s development?

To get into the proper creation of the character and his surroundings I completely dove into the right atmosphere. I ate some similar things, I drank black tea late at night, only listened to 1920s jazz music, learned a lot about the style and history of those times. It was an incredible experience.

What were some themes that were important for you to explore in this book?

The book is filled with moral questions and dilemmas. I address things such as greed, selfishness, faith, confidence, individuality, loyalty, friendship. Sometimes there is a very thin line between right and wrong, sometimes it is very obvious as well. A lot of the the times questions we must answer in life do not have a simple answer.

What is the next book that you are working on and when will it be available?

I have contracts for both sequels to Paradise Harbour. Paradise Shores and Paradise Symphony, readers can expect those to come their way next year.

Author Links: GoodReads | Facebook | Website

When Luc Nistage, private detective, gets an offer from one of the richest men to find his lost daughter, Luc feels that he got the break that’s been eluding him. Little does he know that he is about to be submerged into the most horrifying case imaginable, testing his sanity, humanity, and body.
Enter Paradise Harbour, a town where nothing is as it seems. Where cultists, creatures, gangsters, and a serial killer terrify the public, a young private investigator must find a missing woman amidst all the evil barricades surrounding him.

Paradise Harbour

Paradise Harbour : A Noir Horror Thriller by [Alexander Semenyuk]

Paradise Harbour by Alexander Semenyuk is a riveting noir thriller about a missing med school student. A private detective is hired and tasked with finding her. Her father is wealthy and influential and avails to the detective the resources he needs. It turns out there is a serial killer in Rhode Island, coupled with a few more unsavory suspects – the KKK, a sea god cult, a banker and a Madame who both double in prostitution. As he narrows down the search, the story takes a harrowing twist.

Paradise Harbour is a captivating thriller that takes readers on an unpredictable but deeply intriguing investigation.

I like the way the author uses songs to tell the stories of both the cult followers and their survivors. I also enjoyed the pacing of the novel. While the novel takes some wild turns, readers are given enough time to take in the details and appreciate the subtly in the story, characters, and scenes, all of this makes this mystery easy to follow, however complex it seems to get. 

The story explores a variety of themes in creative ways that give this story surprising depth. Themes such as the occult, racism, gender-based violence, prostitution, gangs, psychopathy, immorality, and corruption all come together to uniquely describe this secretive town’s traits and gives readers a relatable depiction of the most corrupt societies. I really enjoyed the characters in this novel. They were intriguing and well developed and fit within this dark and moody thriller in unique ways.

Paradise Harbour is an enthralling crime thriller that fans of noir novels will easily devour. With slick story telling and a compelling plot, this is a mesmerizing horror story that I highly recommend.

Pages: 137 | ASIN: B09JXP1BV6

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