What an honor to have Simon McCleave join the KC Reads book club to discuss The Snowdonia Killings! This is the first book in his DI Ruth Hunter series, and it is a spectacular debut novel! Simon is an International Bestselling Author who lives in South Wales.
Here’s his bio:
Simon McCleave was born in South London. When leaving University, he worked in television and film development. He was a Script Editor at the BBC, a producer at Channel 4 before working as a Story Analyst in Los Angeles. He worked on films such as ‘The Full Monty’ and television series such as the BBC Crime Drama ‘Between The Lines’.
Simon then became a script writer for television and film. He wrote on series such as Silent Witness, Murder In Suburbia, Teachers, Attachments, The Bill, Eastenders and many more. His film, ‘Out of the Game’ for Channel 4 was critically acclaimed – ‘An unflinching portrayal of male friendship.’ (Time Out)
Simon is now a best-selling crime novelist. His first book, ‘The Snowdonia Killings’, was released in January 2020 and soon became an Amazon Bestseller, reaching No 18 in the Amazon UK Kindle Chart and selling over 100,000 copies. His five subsequent novels in the DI Ruth Hunter Crime Thriller Series have all ranked in the Amazon Top 30 and are Amazon Best Sellers. He has sold 300,000 books and downloads in 2020.
Simon is currently in negotiations to make the Ruth Hunter books into a television series.
Simon lives in North Wales with his wife and two children.
Link and cover art below. Join us!
Starting a new life in Snowdonia was always DI Ruth Hunter's dream. Until a twisted killer turned it into her worst nightmare.
Detective Inspector Ruth Hunter lives with the pain of her partner’s mysterious and unsolved disappearance. About to hit fifty, the veteran police officer trades in the crime-ridden streets of London for a more peaceful life in rural North Wales. But Ruth has barely settled into her new position in North Wales Police, when the body of a brutally murdered woman is discovered…with strange symbols carved into her skin. Teaming up with an obstinate deputy, Ruth struggles to eliminate anyone from a long line of suspects. When another slain victim is discovered with the same cryptic markings, she’s forced to re-think the investigation.
Has Ruth got what it takes to solve the case before the murderer attacks again?
The Snowdonia Killings is the first book in the DI Ruth Hunter Crime Thriller series and set against the majestic backdrop of Snowdonia, a timeless land of Arthurian legend, folklore and myth. If you like dark police procedurals, psychologically complex characters, and shocking twists, then you’ll love Simon McCleave’s pulse-pounding debut novel.
Amazon link here!
If you aren’t reading with us, you’re missing out! I started the KC Reads Book Club in March, 2020 because I wanted to create a safe place for people to come together and dish about crime. Books unite us! We lose ourselves in the pages of books and find ourselves in the stories we read!
Here’s what we did in 2020:
We read 14 books and met 11 authors! We read over 4,000 pages! We featured and met best-selling authors and read award-winning books! We laughed during every author discussion, and we shed a few tears along the way. We dished about crime and all things bookish.
Featured Books and Authors (in the order they appeared):
False Impressions by Sandra Nikolai
Redhead in a Blue Convertible by Ivan Scott
Diamonds, Teak & Murder by AM Ialacci
13 Steps to the Cellar by Teresa Mathews
The Power of Conviction by Catrin Russell
Winter Takes All by ML Erdahl
Grim Secrets by Nannette Kreitzman
Lost and Found in Harlem by Delia Pitts
In Wisdom’s Mind by Jensen Moock
The Girl in the Ice by Robert Bryndza
The Mutiny Girl by Karen S. Gordon
A Wash of Black by Chris McDonald
Dead Perfect by Noelle Holten
Kitchens of the Great Midwest by J. Ryan Stradal
Thank you so much to all the authors who met with us to discuss the featured book!
Dark things live in my head, so we featured a few books that were non-mystery to lighten things up now and again. We’ll continue doing this so I don’t lose the members who enjoy romance books and happy endings.
Join us in 2021 for more mystery, more suspense, more heart-pounding moments and friendships built on the foundation of books!
Stop the presses! Best-selling author in the UK and USA, Noelle Holten, is joining the KC Reads book club to discuss her first book, Dead Inside.
Noelle is a former Senior Probation Officer who is now living her best life as
a world-famous author and highly-awarded book blogger and reviewer!
We’ll be talking crime and asking Noelle questions about Dead Inside,
which is the first novel in her DI Maggie Jamieson series.
Noelle has a fabulous Instagram page, so follow her at
@author_noelleholten. She is a recent fan of Tik Tok, and I highly
recommend her fun videos! Don’t forget to check out her award-winning
reviews at crimebookjunkie.co.uk.
Can’t get enough? Read Dead Wrong and Dead Perfect - the next two
books in her series.
Cover art, bio, summary, and link for purchase are below.
When three wife beaters are themselves found beaten to death, DC Maggie Jamieson knows she is facing her toughest case yet.
The police suspect that Probation Officer Lucy Sherwood – who is connected to all three victims – is hiding a dark secret. Then a fourth domestic abuser is brutally murdered.
And he is Lucy’s husband.
Now the police are running out of time, but can Maggie really believe her friend Lucy is a cold-blooded killer?
Noelle Holten is an award-winning blogger at www.crimebookjunkie.co.uk. She is the PR & Social Media Manager for Bookouture, a leading digital publisher in the UK, and worked as a Senior Probation Officer for eighteen years, covering a variety of risk cases as well as working in a multi agency setting. She has three Hons BA's - Philosophy, Sociology (Crime & Deviance) and Community Justice - and a Masters in Criminology. Noelle's hobbies include reading, attending as many book festivals as she can afford and sharing the booklove via her blog. Dead Inside - her debut novel with One More Chapter/Harper Collins UK is an international kindle bestseller and the start of a new series featuring DC Maggie Jamieson.
Amazon link here!
Pinch me! Chris McDonald said yes! I am beyond thrilled to feature A Wash of Black by this UK sensation!
I judged this book by its cover, and it did not disappoint. A Wash of Black is a roller coaster ride without being strapped in! DI Erika Piper grabs ahold of us and takes us on a perilous journey. A special thank you to Chris for taking the time to join us the day after his release of Whispers in the Dark. I’m including that link here, too, because you’ll be hooked on his series! Cover art, links and summaries below his bio.
Chris McDonald grew up in Northern Ireland before settling in Manchester via Lancaster and London.
He is the author A Wash of Black, the first in the DI Erika Piper series, as well as the forthcoming second - Whispers In The Dark. He has also recently dabbled in writing cosy crimes, as a remedy for the darkness. The first in the Stonebridge Mysteries will be released in early 2021.
He is a full time teacher, husband, father to two beautiful girls and a regular voice on The Blood Brothers Podcast. He is a fan of 5-a-side football, heavy metal and dogs.
IT'S NOT LIFE THAT IMITATES ART. IT'S DEATH.
Anna Symons. Famous. Talented. Dead.
The body of a famous actress is found mutilated on an ice rink in Manchester, recreating a scene from a blockbuster film she starred in years ago.
DI Erika Piper, having only recently returned to work after suffering a near-fatal attack herself, finds she must once again prove her worth as the hunt for the media-dubbed 'Blood Ice Killer’ intensifies.
But when another body is found and, this time, the killer issues a personal threat, Erika must put aside her demons to crack the case, or suffer the deadly consequences.
If you like Ian Rankin, Val McDermid and Cara Hunter, you will love this.
Amazon link here!
Small time drug dealer, Marcus Stone and DCI Clive Burston had never met until one night in August. By the end of that night, both had been shot dead in a small bedroom in the heart of gang territory.
DI Erika Piper is called to the scene but is at a loss to explain what’s happened. How did these two even meet, let alone end up dead in what appears to be a strange murder-suicide? As Erika leads the investigation, another two bodies are found, killed in a similar fashion. One murder, one suicide. But who is controlling this macabre puppet show?
As Erika delves deeper into the lives of the dead, the pieces begin to fit together and a number of nefarious characters crawl out of the woodwork – one of whom is almost certainly pulling the strings.
A catastrophic event and a personal miracle threaten to derail the investigation. Erika must find the strength to continue, before the whispers catch up with her too…
Amazon link here!
Hello, readers! I am excited to feature The Mutiny Girl by Karen S. Gordon for the KC Reads book club! With all the Karen memes floating around, it’s an important time for Karens to stick together, so we often commiserate about the appropriation of our name (and laugh at the memes, of course).
Karen has written and published three books in the Gold and Courage series: The Mutiny Girl, Killer Deal, and Express Intent. She is currently working on her fourth book, Sick Money (but that’s a secret for the time being). Read her bio below and discover the origins of our featured book, The Mutiny Girl, a double finalist in the IAN Book of the Year awards.
Cover art, summary and link for purchase are below the bio.
Karen S. Gordon was born in Burbank, California, the fourth of five children, and the only girl.
Her fascination with the twenty-six black and white symbols began when she embarked on her first major writing project at age three: to copy the entire Los Angeles phone directory into her older brothers' school notebooks.
She's led an eclectic life. Karen got her first job at age twelve as a groom for a top polo player in Los Angeles. She was shipped-off to a private boarding school in Scottsdale, and later worked as a dough-roller at a major pizza parlor chain while attending the University of Arizona. Later she moved to Coconut Grove, Florida to be closer to her father, a practicing psychoanalyst.
That's where he helped her get a job in 1979 when she unwittingly went to work at the Hotel Mutiny. The Mutiny Girl is inspired by her experiences working inside the hotel's luxury private club while it doubled as the epicenter for Miami’s multi-billion dollar cocaine trade.
Since 1982 Karen has made a living in the commercial film/video production business as an award-winning producer, writer and editor.
She is the author of an Action/Adventure/Mystery series, Gold & Courage. The first book, The Mutiny Girl, was released early 2019 to critical acclaim and was followed by Killer Deal, in January 2020. The third book, Express Intent published in August 2020.
She lives in Texas with her rescue poodle-mashup, Dexter, and is an avid equestrian.
Vance Courage knows all too well the Hotel Mutiny was once the secret enclave for Miami's notorious Cocaine Cowboys. Law enforcement, drug lords, and lots of shady operatives lived it up inside the Mutiny's high security private club.
Outside the hotel, Miami was a war zone. The coroner stored murder victims in rented refrigerated trucks. Witnesses and jurors disappeared. A federal judge was gunned down outside his home.
But that was a different era. Or was it?
Courage is a lawyer now and his practice is on the skids. When a fugitive sneaks into Miami from Cuba, it unleashes demons from the past. Characters from the Cocaine Cowboy days are cropping up — including an enticing woman he meets on a dating app. With his life going nowhere fast, he wonders what they want with him. And why now?
This paradoxical tale of murder, tenderness, corruption, and family will get inside your head and won't let go until you've read the final word.
Click here to head to Amazon.
I am honored to feature Lost and Found in Harlem by Delia Pitts! She is an incredible and accomplished woman. We see each other around on social media, but when our books were delivered in the same box, I took it as a sign that we should meet for the book club.
Delia has written four books in the Ross Agency Mystery series: Lost and Found in Harlem; Practice the Jealous Arts: Two Ross Agency Mysteries; Black and Blue in Harlem; Pauper and Prince in Harlem. Her cover art is to die for! I’m certain I’ll be diving into book two because Delia has enchanted me!
Please read her own bio from Amazon to see what an amazing woman Delia is. Paperback is $6.99 and Kindle version is $2.99. Link to purchase is here.
Cover and summary are below the bio. Don’t forget to follow her on Instagram at @deliapitts50
“I've been enchanted with books from my earliest days; one of my first memories is of sitting on the floor in the golden motes of dust flying around the booklined porch my father used as his office. Second grade found me crafting a pastiche on the great Walter Farley novel,"The Black Stallion." I sold that story, with original cover painting, for .02 cents at our school's spring book fair.
My writing took a turn from animal lore when I discovered Sherlock Holmes in seventh grade. Agatha Christie, Langston Hughes, Margery Allingham, P.D.James, Walter Mosley, Ralph Ellison,so many fine practitioners of detective and other fiction influenced me over the years. Perhaps the biggest single influence, however, was my long-standing love affair with newspapers. I worked for professional papers in the rough-and-tumble news town of Chicago since my late teen years.
Pursuing a doctorate in African history and a career in the United States Foreign Service reinforced my interest in people, places, and writing. Though the settings were not quite so exotic as West Africa, my subsequent career as a university administrator took me to Texas, New Jersey, and right around the world recruiting international students and promoting study abroad programs. I jumped into the world of fiction writing through the stimulating and fun adventure of fan fiction. To date, I've published over sixty fan fiction stories since 2012.
My wonderful husband, who's traveled this journey with me, has been a source of insight and common sense for decades. And our twin sons --smart, sensitive, and fun --are the inspiration for everything I do.”
When Shelba Rook’s home burns down, he realizes he has nothing left. What’s a jobless, homeless private detective to do? He’s feeling more than a little lost.
Shelba Rook’s “home” was in fact a room in a Harlem brothel. Not only does the catastrophic fire at Auberge Rouge take the few items he could call his earthly possessions; it ends up killing an innocent woman.
As Rook struggles to find a job, his thoughts keep returning to the woman at the Auberge Rouge. Who was she? Did someone set the fire intending to kill her? As Rook ponders these mysteries, he stumbles on one of Harlem’s best-kept secrets—the Ross Agency.
The detective agency, run by the magnanimous Norment Ross and his far more practical daughter, Sabrina, takes tiny neighborhood cases the police are too busy to solve. They’re looking for a new agent, and Rook knows a job is a job. Rook may look down on the types of cases Norment and Brina take, but the two will prove to be invaluable allies as he searches for an arsonist and a murderer. From tiny cases to huge investigations, the Ross Agency is ready for anything!
Hello, Friends! I am thrilled to feature Grim Secrets by Nannette Kreitzman! The description on the cover reads: “Tales of Murder, Manipulation, and Loss,” and boy is this book a doozy! Get ready for an emotional ride and gasp-out-loud moments!
Nannette lives in California with her husband and a furry friend. Her children are grown, and she is retired from all things except writing. We have these things in common, along with being associated with the secret squirrel society of the criminal justice system.
Nannette often posts excerpts from her short stories as she is writing them. Her stories contain more depth and character development than some novels! I met her when I read “When a Good Man Dies”. I cried throughout the story and had to keep messaging her about the details and her vivid descriptions.
Below is the cover and book description. Paperback is $7.00; Kindle Unlimited is free; and Kindle purchase is $2.50. Purchase here on Amazon and don’t forget to follow Nannette on Instagram at @netts_shorts!
A collection of the following stories:
“Discovering Me” I woke up in the hospital not knowing who I am or how I got here, but I think I know the missing girl on the news! What happened to me? To her? And what price will I pay for discovering me?
“Willow’s Secret” Willow’s Tale continues... Willow has been keeping a secret since escaping slavery. She has a chance for a normal life, but will her haunting nightmares kill the dream?
“When a Good Man Dies” What would you do if your worst fear came true? This is a story of raw grief and perseverance in the wake of the unthinkable.
“Fire and Ice” Theona is attracted to dominant men. She likes when a man knows what he wants and takes it. Will wants Theona and will do what is necessary to have her. But is it love, or manipulation?
“When the Third Sun Rises” She has been called goddess. She has been called witch. She calls herself healer. If only she had the power to heal worlds.
Hello, friends! Next up for the KC reads book club is Winter Takes All! I am happy to feature this book by ML Erdahl! He is making waves and winning awards for his cozy mystery! Dig in and enjoy!
I used Mike’s self-written bio because I couldn’t have said it better! Get to know him here, then meet him in person!
Award-winning author ML Erdahl lives amidst the trees of the Pacific Northwest, where he pens humorous cozy mystery novels set in the wilderness he has spent his lifetime exploring. The only thing slowing him down is when his adorable rescue dogs, Skip and Daisy, demand to be petted and cuddled on his lap while he types. When he's not wandering the mountains, you can find him gardening, reading, or searching for the best coffee in Seattle with his wife, Emily.
Don’t forget to follow ML Erdahl on Instagram at @ML Erdahl and Facebook at ML Erdahl! Cover art (which I absolutely love!) and description are below. Purchase the book here.
Crystal Rainey is aghast when she realizes her new year's resolutions haven't changed one whit from the previous year. Wanting to escape a future as dreary as a Pacific Northwest winter, she walks out on her dead-end office job, despite her tenuous savings account.
Stumbling across a job opening posted by a wilderness guide outfit, an intrigued Crystal bluffs her way into the position. With handsome fellow guide, the stalwart Conner Oakes, she leads a corporate retreat on a snowshoe hike to a majestic alpine chalet.
But when the company's detestable owner turns up dead in the snow, she fears her new life and budding romance slipping away. She finally has something worth fighting for and is determined to solve the murder and grab her chance at happiness before it's too late.
Catrin Russell is one of my heroes! We met on social media, and we often have long messaging conversations from across the world! Catrin hails from Piteå, Sweden, so she now holds the title of being the KC Reads featured author who lives the farthest from us all! She is a wife, mother, writer, artist and reader.
Catrin is crazy talented and tech savvy! She has done all the art for her book covers, as well as the formatting and publication through Amazon. She always answers my tech questions without even sending me a rolling eyes emoji! She also reads and reviews books for many authors. Recently, she and Laura from Magic Book Corner set up a book giveaway that lasted an entire month! I have no idea where the time or energy come from, but Catrin is immensely supportive of all writers! And if you ever get lucky enough to see a picture of her children, you’ll want to fly right over to Sweden and give them a squeeze!
I am honored and thrilled to feature The Power of Conviction by the magnificent Catrin Russell! The Prime Series includes The Power of Conviction, Righteous Dawn (a Prequel to the series) and The Path of Salvation . . . so far. They are fantasy novels in medieval settings. You might want to ask how long it took her to write 300,000 words for these books!
Here are the cover art, summary and link to purchase The Power of Conviction.
The Kindle version is $2.99 and the paperback is $9.99. Don’t forget to follow Catrin on social and review her book after reading or the author discussion!
Facebook: catrinrussellauthor (she also has a Prime Series readers group on Facebook!)
The Darkness was closing in over the Midlands, with the Priesthood being the only one daring to stand up against its terrifying presence.
Trained in the arts of the Light, the priests walked a bloodied path through the scores of demons, seeking to rid the world of their unholy presence. But the fight against demonkind was becoming increasingly perilous, and danger rose to threaten the Priesthood’s very survival.
The priestess Anaya stands resolute in her conviction. Despite the dangers she must endure along her dedicated path, her unwavering faith in the Goddess and Her divine supremacy doesn’t falter. She’s set on following the orders of her High Priest, no matter how gruesome.
Until one day, when all her beliefs are challenged...
A fateful meeting with the elusive demon Samael opens the doors to doubt and Anaya begins to question the very path of the Priesthood and of all those steadfast in the preachings of the Goddess.
Were they wrong about demonkind? Was her purpose in life truly for naught?
Teresa Mathews lives on a farm in Alabama. She is an avid gardener and an artist. She serves on the Board of Directors for the Alabama Nursery and Landscape Association, and she is a member of the Mobile Writers Guild. Teresa has been quite busy during recent times; she is a gem who has been working long hours in her plant nursery.
Did I mention she wrote a bestselling book? Thirteen Steps to the Cellar (Tirgearr Publishing) is one of my all-time favorites! I was absolutely drawn to it by her son’s spectacular videos! Pop over to her Instagram and check out some of them! Though 13 Steps to the Cellar is a work of fiction, it was inspired by the murder of Teresa’s aunt.
Teresa is one of the nicest and most-talented people I’ve met on social media. I am thrilled to feature her book, 13 Steps to the Cellar, as the next KC Reads Book Club selection!
Please follow Teresa on social media at @teresamathewsauthor on Instagram and TeresaMathewsAuthor on Facebook. And don’t forget to leave reviews on Amazon and Goodreads!
Below are the cover and summary. The Kindle version is $4.99; there is no paperback.
There were thirteen steps to the cellar. They were steep and they were narrow—but was a fall down them enough to have caused the twenty-seven deep lacerations to her aunt’s head?
Callie Harris travels from her home in Alabama to her aunt’s former mansion in Maine to unravel the haunting forty-year-old mystery of Dr. Laverne Harris Doss’ brutal death.
Why wasn’t a murder weapon found? Was her uncle justly convicted of the killing? Was his mistress involved? Or was the murderer the bearded stranger rumored to have arrived by train that night?
In the charming town of Richmond, located on the banks of Maine’s historic Kennebec River, Callie uncovers the community’s darkest secrets—a botched police investigation, a betrayed widow’s lie, a dead woman’s blackmail, and a wealthy philanthropist’s shame. The web of intrigue extends far beyond Callie's suspicions and its connection to her personal story pierces her to the core.