Nostalgia City Mysteries

By Mark S. Bacon

Stay on the edge of your seat with these

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The Edge of Normal, Reeve LeClaire Series
Carla Norton
Minotaur Books 2014
384 pages
Kindle $7.99 Mass market paperback $7.99Edge-of-Normal

Carla Norton has rewritten the benchmarks for novels about child kidnappers, upping the tension while introducing a new type of leading character—a kidnapping and abuse victim. Reeve LeClaire is really no investigator. Struggling in all areas of her life, but managing to persevere, barely, after being held captive for four years, Reeve is drawn into helping a 13-year-old kidnap victim.

In her early 20s, Reeve has worked to form a life for herself six years after her own ordeal. When Reeve’s therapist is asked to assist in the case of Tilly, a young teen who was abducted and freed, Reeve jumps in to help. Leaving San Francisco for a small northern California town, Reeve discovers Tilly has suffered some of the same cruelties as she did. Police have arrested someone suspected of being Tilly’s tormentor—but there’s more. Much more. Reading through to the edgy, rewarding conclusion you learn Norton has also created new meaning for the word creepy.

Publishers Weekly said, “Norton skillfully keeps the suspense taut with myriad surprises while giving a tender look at victims whose ordeals are rehashed by lawyers, the media, and pop psychologists.”

Spoils of Victory, a Mason Collins Novel
John A. Connell
Berkeley 2016
384 pages
Kindle $12.99 Hardback $21.33Spoils-of-Victory

Former Chicago police detective, soldier, POW, and now-U.S. Army criminal investigator, Mason Collins finds himself in Garmisch-Partenkirchen, a scenic Alpine ski town that managed to escape the destruction of World War II. Months after the Nazi’s defeat, the town is the home of fleeing war criminals, a depository for the Nazis’ stolen riches. With millions of dollars to be made on the black market, murder, extortion, and corruption have become commonplace.

When an old war buddy of Mason’s, CIC Agent John Winstone, alerts him about a group of powerful men plotting to take over the lucrative trade there, Winstone and his girlfriend are brutally murdered. Determined to uncover the truth, Mason plunges into a shadowy labyrinth of co-conspirators including former SS and Gestapo officers, U.S. Army OSS officers, and liberated Polish POWs. As more witnesses and then evidence begin disappearing, it becomes obvious that someone on high is pulling strings to stifle the investigation—and that Mason must feel his way in the darkness if he is going to find out who in town has the most to gain—and the most to lose.

Publishers Weekly said, “Connell’s intense sequel to 2015’s Ruins of War… keeps readers guessing to the end.”

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