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Alex Breck

Alex Breck lives on a wee island off the west coast of Scotland. No wonder he’s sent young Ridge Walker, the hero of his international adventure thriller series, out into the world to have his adventures a long way from home, though I must admit that Ian Rankin, Stuart MacBride and Val McDermid have managed to find enough criminal activity in Scotland to keep me up at night.   Alex has also penned The Devil You Know, set in Scotland, which sounds like a dark thriller for those who like to chew their fingernails down hoping the dreadful thing won’t happen. I’ve elected to start my exploration with He Who Pays the Piper, the first book in the Ridge Walker series, to discover what tha...
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Maria Grazia Swan

Like a bit of Italian flavoring in your murder mysteries? Maria Grazia Swan has three series featuring Italian women in lead roles: Mina Calvi Adventures, Lella York Mysteries, and Baker Girls Cozy Mysteries. I’ve started exploring her writing through Geminin Moon, the first book in the Lella York Mysteries. It’s written from the point of view of Lella, who doesn’t have a clue what’s going on, and is somewhat distracted by her attraction to Larry Devin, the on vacation detective that helps her ‘solve’ the mystery. Gemini Moon is definitely a cozy murder mystery with a difference. Original link
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Shelby Alexander is a ‘fixer’ that shady people turn to when things go off the rails. He’s no private detective and he’s no saint. He’s not a young hot head either. He’s almost sixty, retired, and living in splendid isolation outside Serenity, Michigan. That doesn’t mean he’s out of harm’s way. In fact, just the opposite becomes apparent when a young woman drops in to die. Serenity is the story of what happens after that. Serenity is well written, and I was deftly led astray by the storyline, which means I enjoyed a couple of unexpected surprises. Shelby is one of those characters that grows on you, so it won’t be long before I’ll be reading the next one in this series. I didn’t quite know w...
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Craig A. Hart

Craig A. Hart is the creator of the Shelby Alexander Thriller Series. This week, I’m reading Serenity, the first book in the Shelby Alexander Thriller series by Craig A. Hart. Serenity is described as ‘an action-packed read with a lovingly rendered cast, witty dialogue, and a main character who doesn’t know when to quit.’ Sounds a bit like Sam Dyke. I wonder how different Shelby Alexander will prove to be. Given that this series is by an American writer, and set in Serenity, Michigan, I expect Shelby will be brasher than Yorkshireman Sam. I’ll let you know in my review.   Craig’s also the author of Becoming Moon, which is a coming-of-age story about a young man struggling to b...
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Sam Dyke Investigations

Over the last week, I’ve enjoyed reading Altered Life and The Private Lie, the first two books in the Sam Dyke Investigations series by Keith Dixon. Sam’s a bit headstrong but he’s not one of those superhuman investigators you often encounter in thrillers. He’s got his human foibles. I like him as a character. I’m no so sure I’d like him as a partner. Both books have intriguing plots, and the stories explore different aspects of relationships between people and between private detectives and the police. The writing style is clear and easy to read. You also get a good sense of the place in which the stories are set. I enjoyed both books. You can find them at keithdixonnove...
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Keith Dixon

This week I’m reading Altered Life, the first book in the Sam Dyke Investigations series by Keith Dixon. Keith describes his Sam Dyke Investigations series as the story of one man’s quest to stop screwing up his life while finding and catching bad guys. Although the series in set in the north of England, Keith admits to being influenced by American crime writers. Check out the details at keithdixonnovels  – where you can download the first two books in the series for free to see if you like his style. I do. Original link
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Whistelblower – Inspector West returns

Whistleblower – Inspector West returns in a new murder mystery on March 3. A whistleblower exposes other people’s secrets. Death exposes the secrets of all, including a whistleblower’s. Inspector West investigates the death of a public service whistleblower and discovers the whistleblower has a few secrets of his own. If you like murder mixed with mystery, and a story full of twists and surprises, you’ll enjoy Peter Mulraney’s Whistleblower, the fourth book in his Inspector West series. Pre-order from Amazon or Kobo before 3 March at the reduced price of USD 2.99. Original link
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