Mystery Novelist Margot Kinberg Discusses her new book Downfall

Downfall Margot Kinberg



They Said It Was a Tragedy. They Said It Was an Accident. They Lied.


Second Chance is a Philadelphia alternative school designed for at-risk students. They live on campus, they take classes, and everyone hopes they’ll stay out of prison. And then one of them dies. When Curtis Templeton falls from a piece of scaffolding near the school, it’s called a tragic accident. A damned shame. A terrible loss. And everyone moves on.

Two years later, former police detective-turned-professor Joel Williams and two of his colleagues do a study of Second Chance for a research paper. When they find out about Curtis’ death, they start asking questions. And no-one wants to answer them.

The search for the truth takes Williams and his research partners behind the scenes of for-profit alternative education – and straight into the path of someone who thought everything would stay buried.

In the meantime, changes are coming to Tilton University. The School of Social Sciences is going to be the new home of a center for research on juvenile offenders. But not everyone is happy about it. YouthPromises, the company that’s underwriting the center, is a for-profit alternative program that has a stake in the outcome of any research the center does. What will that mean for the faculty? Williams finds himself caught in the controversy over the center, just as he’s finding out the truth about Second Chance


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Today's Guest Talk Show Microphone Discussion Interview Program








*Is it easier writing about protagonist Joel Williams as the series progresses?

It actually is. As the years have gone by, I’ve gotten to know him better, if I can put it like that. So, it’s easier to see him as a complete person.



*How did you develop the plot for Downfall?

When I write my crime fiction, I always start with the victim. So, in this case, I began with fifteen-year- old Curtis Templeton. Once I imagined what he might be like, I thought about the sort of school/program he’d attend, and about his background. That gave me the context. And that led to the people in his life, and to the reason he’s killed.



*What are alternative schools like Second Chance?

Alternative schools are intended for students who can’t benefit from ‘regular’ public schools or private schools (like religious schools). For example, students who are pregnant or who are raising young children might need a school program that allows them to parent as well as attend classes. Students who have certain medical problems may also need an alternative program that allows them to meet their medical needs. And students with certain behavioral problems (this is where Curtis Templeton fits in) may benefit more from an alternative program with closer supervision and a different learning environment.








*What does ‘at risk’ kids mean and how do they qualify as such?

The thing about the term ‘at risk’ is that its definition varies depending on (for the US) the state and sometimes the school district. In a very general sense, an at-risk student is a student who is in danger of either failing out of school or of being expelled. Both situations make a student far more likely to end up in the juvenile justice system, so the idea of the ‘at risk’ label is to help these students before they end up in prison. It doesn’t always work, sadly, but that’s the idea. A student who’s got several suspensions from school might be considered ‘at-risk.’ So might a student who struggles academically. For instance, students who are a certain number of grade levels behind their peers in reading might be considered ‘at-risk,’ depending on other factors in their lives.



*What were the most challenging aspects about writing this book?

The thing about writing crime novels is that, in most of them, people die. That’s a devastating loss for friends, loved ones, and co-workers who grieve for them. To portray that grief in what I hope is an authentic way isn’t easy. Everyone grieves differently, and there’s nothing to say that one way of coping with loss is ‘better,’ or ‘more normal’ than another way. So, one challenge is allowing for different people to express grief
differently. Another challenge is to do so without either getting melodramatic, or not doing justice to the real-life suffering of those who lose people.




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*What are the most rewarding?

One of the best parts about writing this novel was seeing the characters come to life, so to speak, and letting them tell their stories. When the characters start to seem real (or close to it), the story gets more interesting. And that makes it more of a pleasure to write.

I also richly enjoyed exploring Philadelphia as I wrote. It’s a large city with a lot to it, so even though I consider Philadelphia my home town, there’s still a lot I don’t know about it. It was rewarding to learn a few things. And I did enjoy the chance to immerse myself in the city. I often get homesick, and writing the book was a good tonic.




Reward Rises From Risk





*Who are the members of Joel’s research team?

The other members of the research team are Dr. Jered Carr and Dr. Ben Peterson. Carr’s a former parole officer who’s gone into academia. He’s got experience working with juvenile offenders and their families, so his skills will help in getting a broad picture of Second Chance. Peterson has a background in data analysis and an interest in computer crime, so his research skills are invaluable. He’s also got a brother in prison, so he has a personal interest in whether for-profit programs are helpful.




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*Tell us about the changes coming to Tilton University and the Social Sciences department. 

Any academic can tell you that when a foundation or corporation is willing to invest several million, a university sits up and pays attention. In this case, a for-profit company called YouthPromises is planning to donate three million (US) dollars to Tilton to fund a center for research into juvenile offenders. On the one hand, this is very good news for the School of Social Sciences. Members of the Departments of Psychology, Sociology, and Criminal Justice (that’s Joel Williams’ department) will have all sorts of opportunities. Trust me, universities everywhere love it when they get funding for research. Among other things, it means that faculty can pursue their interests, and that students interested the field can get the support and facilities they need.

On the other hand, YouthPromises is a for-profit company. What might this mean for the sort of research that goes on at the new center? Some people are afraid that there might be an undue amount of pressure on the faculty to research certain topics, and to support certain findings. And what might that mean for academic freedom and integrity of research findings? It’s not an easy set of questions.



*Tell us about Youthpromises and the role it plays in the book. 

YouthPromises is a company that owns several alternative programs. This company has just agreed to donate three million (US) dollars to fund a research center at Tilton. And that means both lots of opportunities, and some very difficult controversial questions.


While YouthPromises employees and facilities don’t appear in the book, the fact that it wants to fund a research center means that the School of Social Sciences will be paying a lot more attention to alternative programs for young people who are at risk of ending up in prison.




Companies Youth promise




*Tell us some fun facts you discovered that aren’t in the book. 

That’s what I love about researching for a book. I always learn a lot. One thing I learned is the sometimes-complicated picture of which police authority has jurisdiction in certain places. In US National Parks, it’s the National Park Service, which is a federal authority. Park rangers may be assisted by local police in nearby towns or townships, or by state police, depending on the situation. And it works better for everyone if these different groups share information and cooperate. But, when a murder occurs in a US National Park, as one does in Downfall, the US National Park Service steps in. Thanks, by the way, to Valley Forge National Park for helping me with this part of the novel.

I also learned some interesting things about different sorts of row homes. For those of you not familiar with row homes, they’re a very common sort of architecture in Philadelphia, Baltimore, and some other cities. They tend to be longer than they are wide, and you may see several blocks of connected row homes. Here is a link to an interesting article from Philadelphia Magazine about Philadelphia row homes. There are
some helpful photographs, for those who haven’t seen this style of home before.

Thanks again, Benjamin, for hosting me!





Margot Kinberg headshot




Margot Kinberg is a mystery author and Associate Professor. Born and raised in Pennsylvania, Kinberg graduated from Indiana University of Pennsylvania, then moved to Philadelphia, which Kinberg still considers home.

Kinberg had always been fascinated by crime fiction and mystery novels. In fact, she became an “addict” while still in her teens. So in 2007, she began her fiction writing career with her debut novel, Publish or Perish. In that novel, Kinberg put her experience in the world of higher education to use in creating a murder mystery that takes place at fictional Tilton University. This story introduces Joel Williams, a former police detective-turned-professor, who teaches in Tilton University’s Department of Criminal Justice. In this first outing, Williams helps solve the murder of a graduate student. The second in Kinberg’s Joel Williams series is B-Very Flat, in which Williams helps to solve the murder of a young violin virtuosa who dies suddenly on the night of an important musical competition

Kinberg, who now lives with her family in Southern California, is currently at work on her third Joel Williams novel.




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Blog Tour: Baby Lies by Chris Collett


Baby Lies Chris Collett




Do you love gripping mysteries with great characters?

Discover Detective Tom Mariner in this critically acclaimed series.

‘Collett is a wonderful writer, subtle, clever, strong on atmosphere and character.’ Yorkshire Post





Six-week-old baby Jessica is abducted from a local nursery. And Detective Tom Mariner realises he’s not going to get the time-off he was hoping for.

The police get a good description of the woman who took Jessica, but the appeal to the public doesn’t generate a single lead.

Then the kidnapper calls demanding money for Jessica’s safe return   . . . and a terrible discovery is made in the woods.

Can Mariner get to bottom of a complex case which involves much more than a child abduction?

Discover an absorbing crime mystery full of stunning twists and turns.

Perfect for fans of Peter James, Ian Rankin and Peter Robinson. This is the fourth book in the DI MARINER SERIES, more books coming soon!




If you haven’t started the DI Mariner series yet, you’d better start.  Author Chris Collett expertly crafts a dazzling plot and delivers on every page. A new mum struggling to let her baby girl go to nursery the first time. A crime operation to bring down the rising tide of prostitution in the city. A complex crime to solve for Detective Tom Mariner no doubt. A juicy crime mystery awaits you!





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Birmingham is a city of stark contrasts with a rich cultural and historical heritage. Playing a key role in the industrial revolution, it helped shape the nation’s manufacturing industry

But with its many green spaces, Birmingham also borders on the beautiful countryside of Worcestershire and Warwickshire, is just a few miles from Stratford on Avon and a short drive from the wild country of mid-Wales.

Birmingham’s population is large and ethnically diverse, and while urban regeneration has forged a modern and culturally vibrant city, the decaying remnants of the industrial past and 1960s concrete jungle give it a unique and gritty character; the dark underbelly policed by DI Tom Mariner and his team.


Departure for Birmingham, United Kingdom



Detective Inspector Tom Mariner is, on the surface, an average dedicated policeman, but his experiences as a younger man have given him an insight into life on the dark side, and a clear sense of right and wrong. Mariner has little interest in material things. He lives in a modest canal-side cottage, enjoys the occasional (real) beer and game of dominoes and drives an old car. He is most at home in the outdoors, with an OS map and a compass, and in times of crisis, will take off and walk for miles in any weather.





Detective walking at night city lights.



Book 1: Deadly Lies
Book 2: Innocent Lies
Book 3: Killer Lies
Book 4: Baby Lies
Books 5-7 coming soon



Chris Collett author photo jpg





I was born and grew up in a Norfolk seaside town, almost as far east as it’s possible to go in England without falling into the North Sea. There I worked variously in a boarding house (now defunct) a local bakery (closed down) and a crisp factory (razed to the ground). I graduated in Liverpool, then for twenty-five years taught children and young people with learning disabilities, including autism, before going into higher education as a senior lecturer.

Mindful of its reputation, I moved somewhat reluctantly to Birmingham, where I met my husband, in 1981. But just a few years later DI Tom Mariner was created to police its mean streets, and these days I relish the vibrancy and rich social history of the city. After eight outings for Mariner, I still feel as if I’ve barely scratched the surface.

Recently retired from lecturing and I’m currently luxuriating in the time I now have to continue the Mariner series, alongside published short stories and academic works. In my spare time, among other things, I’m a manuscript assessor for the Crime Writers Association.



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2018 Breakthrough Novel Awards: Join the Competition

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Breakthrough Novel Awards 2018





Elimination round will end on May 15, 2018 and entrants who will progress to the Final Round will be notified. One winner will be announced on June 15, 2018.


Join the competition: BREAKTHROUGH NOVEL AWARDS 2018



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Could your manuscript be the next bestseller?


Join the competition





Blog Tour: A Time to Kill by Stephen Puleston

A time to kill



A missing person.

Investigating the disappearance of local antiques dealer, Harry Jones, is not high on DI Ian Drake’s priority list. He has more important things to spend his time on than looking for a man who has probably just walked out on his wife. Until they find Harry’s dead body…

Shot at close range and dumped like rubbish.

Drake knows they are dealing with a cold-bloodied killer. But the valleys of Snowdoniaare an unlikely place for a murderer to hide out, and Harry an unlikely victim. As the investigation unfolds, Drake discovers a web of intrigue surrounding Harry, and business links with the criminal underworld.

A killer hidden in plain sight.

When another murder takes place that strikes at the heart of the community Drake is convinced the killer lies closer to home. And when two key witnesses disappear, Drake faces a race against time to bring the killer to justice, before he strikes again…


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Author Stephen Puleston has a very smooth style of writing. He’s adept at bringing forth characters set in motion and solidifying the scenery. Even the murder scene was beautiful. Not too much, but just enough craft a good setting.  I enjoyed seeing Inspector Drake in action as he solves the crime. How we do things define us, and with him its no different. He’s meticulous with an energy that leaps off the page. You gotta love that about any character!






Stephen Puleston Author image




I write crime fiction based in Wales and about Wales. The rural landscape of north Wales provides the backdrop to the Inspector Drake novels. And Cardiff the capital of Wales provides the setting for the Inspector Marco novels set in a modern urban environment.
I love the novels of Raymond Chandler, Ian Rankin, Mark Billingham, Henning Mankell, Val McDermid – the list could go on! And I enjoy watching detective series on the television the recent Hinterland series based near Aberystwyth in Wales was great. One of my favourites is the French series Spiral but The Bridge and Broadchurch and the Rebus series with Ken Stott and Kenneth Branagh in Wallander are great too.


I have been on writing courses at the Welsh Writers Centre in Llanystymdwy, North Wales tutored by Matt Whyman and Marcus Sedgwick as well as crime writing courses with Peter Robinson and Andrew Taylor at the Scottish Writers centre.


I was born in Anglesey an island off the north Wales coast and after leaving school in Holyhead I went to University in London before training as a solicitor/lawyer. I practised in a small family business doing criminal work in the magistrates and crown courts, divorce and family work. I still live on Anglesey, North Wales near the beach and the mountains of Snowdonia

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In the News: The Red Sparrow Trilogy by Jason Matthews



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The Red Sparrow Trilogy by Jason Matthews



Red Sparrow Trilogy bk 1 Jason Matthews




Now a major motion picture starring Jennifer Lawrence and Joel Edgerton!


In the grand spy-tale tradition of John le Carré comes this shocking thriller written with insider detail known only to a veteran CIA officer.

In present-day Russia, ruled by blue-eyed, unblinking President Vladimir Putin, Russian intelligence officer Dominika Egorova struggles to survive in the post-Soviet intelligence jungle. Ordered against her will to become a “Sparrow,” a trained seductress, Dominika is assigned to operate against Nathaniel Nash, a young CIA officer who handles the Agency’s most important Russian mole.

Spies have long relied on the “honey trap,” whereby vulnerable men and women are intimately compromised. Dominika learns these techniques of “sexpionage” in Russia’s secret “Sparrow School,” hidden outside of Moscow. As the action careens between Russia, Finland, Greece, Italy, and the United States, Dominika and Nate soon collide in a duel of wills, tradecraft, and—inevitably—forbidden passion that threatens not just their lives but those of others as well. As secret allegiances are made and broken, Dominika and Nate’s game reaches a deadly crossroads. Soon one of them begins a dangerous double existence in a life-and-death operation that consumes intelligence agencies from Moscow to Washington, DC.

Page by page, veteran CIA officer Jason Matthews’s Red Sparrowdelights and terrifies and fascinates, all while delivering an unforgettable cast, from a sadistic Spetsnaz “mechanic” who carries out Putin’s murderous schemes to the weary CIA Station Chief who resists Washington “cake-eaters” to MARBLE, the priceless Russian mole. Packed with insider detail and written with brio, this tour-de-force novel brims with Matthews’s life experience, including his knowledge of espionage, counterintelligence, surveillance tradecraft, spy recruitment, cyber-warfare, the Russian use of “spy dust,” and covert communications. Brilliantly composed and elegantly constructed, Red Sparrow is a masterful spy tale lifted from the dossiers of intelligence agencies on both sides of the Atlantic. Authentic, tense, and entertaining, this novel introduces Jason Matthews as a major new American talent.


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First Chapter Synopsis



Thought bubble Red sparrow



It’s no secret that Jason Matthew’s Red Sparrow trilogy is becoming a blockbuster movie starring Jennifer Lawrence. That’s how I heard about Matthews’ work actually. It movie debuts this Friday, March 2nd, but I’m going to read the book first.  Read the first chapter last night and loved it. It delivers everything you’d hope for in a first chapter of a spy thriller. The “good” guys, bad guys, handling of of classified material, and a good chase.


Nathaniel Nash, a young CIA operative secretly meets with a russian mole codenamed “MARBLE” at an undisclosed location. They have their set 7 minute conversation and exchange classified material. However, Nathaniel notices something different in his confided mole this time.  Someone’s on his tail and they can’t risk getting caught together. They seem to escape, or do they? Definitely whets your appetite for the remainder of the book, so I can’t wait to devour this one.




Jason Matthews Author



Jason Matthews is a retired officer of the CIA’s Operations Directorate. Over a thirty-three-year career he served in multiple overseas locations and engaged in clandestine collection of national security intelligence, specializing in denied-area operations. Matthews conducted recruitment operations against Soviet–East European, East Asian, Middle Eastern, and Caribbean targets. As Chief in various CIA Stations, he collaborated with foreign partners in counterproliferation and counterterrorism operations. He lives in Southern California.


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Red Sparrow Trilogy

Red Sparrow #1

Palace of Treason #2

The Kremlin’s Candidate #3






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Vulnerable: A Prequel to the Red Dog Conspiracy by Patricia Loofbourrow

Vulnerable P. Loofburrow




Eleanora Bryce faces prison for a crime she didn’t commit.

In the far future domed city of Dickens, no mercy is given.

So when Eleanora Bryce finds her husband dead at his own hand, she finds herself trapped between the truth and his mountain of debt. Eleanora faces debtor’s prison — or worse — unless she can find a way out of Dickens. But can she return to the city which ruined her husband and murdered her son?

A 6,000 word short companion story to the Red Dog Conspiracy steampunk crime fiction series.

Vulnerable takes place shortly before the events in The Jacq of Spades: Part 1 of the Red Dog Conspiracy, and can be read at any time.




The Alcatraz Coup
Vulnerable <- you are here
The Jacq of Spades
The Queen of Diamonds
The Ace of Clubs
The King of Hearts (coming October 2018)




Patricia Loofborrow image


Patricia Loofbourrow, MD is an New York Times and USA Today best selling author, PC gamer, ornamental food gardener, fiber artist, and wildcrafter who loves power tools, dancing, genetics and anything to do with outer space. She was born in southern California and has lived in Chicago and Tokyo. She currently lives in Oklahoma with her husband and three grown children.






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This is a great short story considering the length. It truly reads like a novel and leaves you wanting more. A great beginning to the Red Dog Conspiracy series. Excellent.




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At the beginning of my series starter The Jacq of Spades, my main character Jacqueline Spadros is called to Eleanora Bryce’s fabric shop to investigate the disappearance of her son David. Although Mrs. Bryce doesn’t seem to recognize Jacqui, my main character knows her – the woman has been missing for ten years. Jacqui seems to be afraid of Mrs. Bryce and is worried about taking the case to find David Bryce for a variety of reasons.

The very first mystery in The Jacq of Spades is: where has Mrs. Bryce been for the past ten years?


The best way to describe the domed city of Dickens is social Darwinism taken to its extreme, as you find in much of Charles Dickens’ writings. These people have chose to live there, and of course, they believe their way is best.
Vulnerable is a short story which takes place just before The Jacq of Spades and answers this question. Finding her husband dead of suicide, Eleanora is immediately faced with his enormous debt which she knew nothing about – and his life insurance policy, which is void if he’s found to have taken his life. With the insurance money, she and her two sons can survive – if she hides how he died. But the police constable investigating her husband’s death thinks she’s murdered him. Thus the dilemma.

Author Interview with Sam Boush of the Cyber War series

Sam boush



Please welcome Sam Boush author of All Systems Down


All Systems Down




Describe the process you went through to write this particular kind of book.

In short, I read a lot of books and talked to a lot of experts. I’m not an information security wonk, myself, so I leaned a lot on the thoughts and works of others. I joined a lot of groups, interviewed experts, and ultimately tried to write a fun, compelling, and accurate book. It’s a work of fiction. But that’s not to say it couldn’t happen.



Question mark pic MTW



How do you feel about the security of our infrastructure?

No one with any expertise in this area thinks our infrastructure is safe. People at power companies have told me how vulnerable their systems are. People at nuclear plants have told me how hackers have targeted their operations. It’s not just the online or software spaces that are vulnerable, though. Firmware and computer chip manufacturing aren’t even safe, especially when those chips are manufactured in East Asia.



Infrastructure MTW



Isn’t Ipv6 supposed to be inherently more secure?

That’s my understanding. But there isn’t a system that’s safe from hacking. If it’s connected to the Internet (and sometimes even if it isn’t) it can be hacked.



Name some surprising things you found in your research.

So many things. Did you know the Iranian government accessed the control systems of a dam north of Manhattan? Or that the Russians recently used cyber war to destroy 30 Ukrainian Howitzers? Or that last year hackers from a group called Dragonfly 2.0 accessed American power grid operations so deeply they could have induced blackouts at will?



Cyber crime MTW



How would we prepare for something like a blackout?

A short blackout is simple enough. You need light (candles/flashlights), heat (firewood/blankets), and a way to cook food. Water still runs in a blackout, since water towers are filled using generators.

A long blackout is a different story. And a long blackout where generators aren’t working and emergency services are shut down… well, that’s not something I could prepare for.




Blackout image MTW




Are you a prepper by any chance?

I’m not. Sadly, if disaster of any kind struck, I’d be out of food and water within the week. I don’t think many of my readers are preppers either, though I’ve had loads of people write in that they’re creating a cyber war emergency kit after reading the book.

Really, we should all be more prepared for emergencies than we are, no matter what kind. Here in the Pacific Northwest, a major earthquake is a reasonable concern. If my city were leveled by something like
that I’d be wishing I had a month’s worth of canned food!



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Who is Pak Han-Yong and what motivates him?

Pak Han-Yong is a junior lieutenant in the North Korean army. Specifically, he’s a member of Unit 101, a hacking unit focused on asymmetric warfare. There are many complicated characters in All Systems Down, but he’s fairly straightforward. A nationalist, he’s devoted to crushing the American imperialist infrastructure as a way to punish the nation that has kept his own country from achieving its rightful glory.




Hacker image MTW




What if you were Brendan Chogan? How would you survive?

This is the question that a lot of readers ask themselves: How would I survive if I were thrust, unprepared, into a global collapse of this scale? What would I do differently from the protagonist? Would I fortify my home, or leave?

If I were Brendan, I don’t know what I’d do. Maybe that’s part of the fun.



Survival image MTW



What are your favorite type of books to read?

I read a lot of non-fiction. But when I read fiction it’s sci-fi thrillers like Jurassic Park or technothrillers like The Hunt for Red October. But I read across genres, too. Right now I’m reading Stephen King’s Pet Semetary and David Benioff’s City of Thieves. I just finished Ken Follett’s Whiteout yesterday evening.




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Name a few things you struggle with as a writer.

What don’t I struggle with? I have trouble finding time to write. It’s difficult to manage publicity, book signings, marketing and outreach with the ticking clock of my next book deadline. Not to mention the obligation and joy of family time, taking my kids to school, spending time with my greater family, my friends, and my wife.



Do you follow a method for writing or are you more intuitive?

My method is to write flawed characters, end every chapter on a cliffhanger, have every scene advance both plot and character, and never write anything boring. And I usually have a broad idea of plot, even going into the first draft.



What are you working on next?

Book two of The Cyber War series is coming along nicely. It picks up right where book one left off.




Sam boush



Sam Boush is a novelist and award-winning journalist. He has worked as a wildland firefighter, journalist, and owner of a mid-sized marketing agency. Though he’s lived in France and Spain, his heart belongs to Portland, Oregon, where he lives with his wife, Tehra, two wonderful children, and a messy cat that keeps them from owning anything nice. He is a member of the Center for Internet Security, International Information Systems Security Certification Consortium, and Cloud Security Alliance.


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All Systems Down




Don’t miss Mystery Thriller Week beginning April 12-22nd 2018! 


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Blog Tour: Murder in the Mansion by Faith Martin

Murder in the Mansion cover jpg





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Looking for a brilliant best-selling murder mystery with a feisty female detective?

Meet DI HILLARY GREENE, a policewoman struggling to save her career and catch criminals.

Mattie Jones is found brutally stabbed to death in her palatial home. Hillary Greene is called in to investigate the murder of this wealthy woman.

Hillary discovers that Mattie’s snobby attitude had made her many enemies. Mattie was also going through a messy divorce and had a secret lover.

Meanwhile, in a terrifying turn of events, police officers are being gunned down outside their stations. A sniper is on the loose.

Can Hillary cope with the enemies within, a complex case, and the whole force under attack?



Police Faith Martin






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DI Hillary Greene is back in the saddle with the latest crime to solve in book 8, Murder in the Mansion. I love navigating crimes alongside Hillary, even as she deals with relationships in the department, including dumping one of her lovers! A well written story with a skilled plot woven with great characters.




MURDER IN THE  MANSION is the eighth in a series of page-turning crime thrillers set in Oxfordshire. Perfect for fans of Agatha Christie, Colin Dexter, or Ruth Rendell.



Mansion Faith Martin



Many villages on the borders of the Cotswolds have more than their fair share of large, impressive, Cotswold stone ‘mansions’ – homes in times past to the professional classes and farmers.  Large, mostly Georgian, with traditional kitchen gardens, orchards, and ornamental plantings, they are quintessentially English.



Mansion Location Faith Martin




DI Hillary Greene

An attractive woman in her forties, Hillary Greene is a police officer of many years’ experience, and came up through the ranks. Consequently, she knows how the system works, and is fiercely loyal to the force without being blinkered to its faults. She is a long-standing friend of her immediate superior officer, ‘Mellow’ Mallow and enjoys a rather enigmatic relationship with the steely Superintendent Marcus Donleavy. Popular with the rank and file for her no-nonsense attitude and competence.

DCI Philip ‘Mellow’ Mallow

Mel appreciates Hillary’s first-rate ability to solve her cases, and isn’t happy about her harassment by the officers from York. Known for his sartorial elegance and laid-back manners, he has a sharp mind, and an eye for the ladies. A good friend and ally for Hillary in her recent tribulations, he’s determined to keep his best investigator focused on the problems at hand.





Detective Faith Martin






Dive into the action!


Diving Faith Martin




Books 9-11 coming soon!







Faith Martin has been writing for over 25 years, in four genres and under four different pen names. She was born in Oxford and sets most of her crime novels within sight of the city of dreaming spires. A real nature lover and afficionado of the countryside, descriptions of wildlife and native flora often find their way into her manuscripts. Right now, JOFFE BOOKS are re-issuing the first eleven of the DI Hillary Greene novels in new updated editions! The first 8 books in the series are available now. Books 9-11 coming soon!

Her romance novels, written under the name of Maxine Barry, are now available from Corazon Books. IMPOSTERS In PARADISE, and HEART OF FIRE are both out, and others will very quickly become available in the future.

Her first foray into writing ‘spooky’ crime, (and written under the pen name of Jessie Daniels) comes out in November 2017. THE LAVENDER LADY CASEFILE is published by Robert Hale, an imprint of Crowood Press.

As Joyce Cato, she writes more classically-inspired ‘proper’ whodunits. So if you like an amateur sleuth, plenty of clues and red herrings, plus a baffling murder mystery to solve, these are the books for you.

Jill Burkinshaw

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Blog Tour: Dark Angel by Helen H. Durrant








Love gripping crime fiction? Discover Detective Stephen Greco, a meticulous policeman with a messy personal life.

Two young men break into an expensive house in Cheshire. They take money and jewellery — and a large amount of heroin. Within twenty-four hours they are found brutally murdered.

The killings have the hallmarks of a local drug baron. The two victims were also “angels” helping in a community project which seems to have been lowering the crime rate in the area.

Meanwhile, Detective Stephen Greco’s colleague and on-off girlfriend Grace is pregnant. He isn’t sure how he feels, and they haven’t told the boss.

This gripping and fast-paced crime mystery ends with a series of shocking twists.

If you like Angela Marsons, Rachel Abbott, Mel Sherratt, Ruth Rendell, or Mark Billingham you will enjoy this exciting new crime fiction writer.



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This was a stellar book! Crime fiction just how I like it. Interesting characters weaved into a fascinating plot and crime to solve. The perfect blend of narrative, dialogue, tension, conflict and mystery. I found it to be very engaging and compelling to read. Check it out!



DCI Stephen Greco is a meticulous policeman with a touch of O.C.D. Easy to admire, but difficult to like. He has created a new team after a personal tragedy threatened to end his career, and is struggling to care for his daughter.
DS Grace Harper is an ambitious young policewoman with excellent people skills. Like Greco, she is a single parent and tries to balance work and childcare.




Detective cartoon



The Northern city of Manchester is a place of great diversity, from high-end restaurants and clubs for the moneyed classes to grim housing estates riven by crime and drugs.




Satisfaction guaranteed








Helen Durrant author pic




Helen sets her books in the area she has lived in for many years. The towns and villages that sit in the shelter of the Pennine hills. This is an area between two counties, Lancashire and Yorkshire, and between the city and the hills. It offers a rich mix of the industrial and the countryside and all the character therein.

Helen always planned to write crime novels. But until she retired from full-time work in a local further education college, it had to go on the back burner. Once she did retire – there was no excuse. She now writes full-time. Retirement proper will have to wait!

Currently there are seven books in the ‘Calladine & Bayliss’ series available – Dead Wrong, Dead Silent, Dead List, Dead Lost, Dead & Buried, Dead Nasty – and the latest – Dead Jealous.

Also available are three books in the new ‘DI Greco’ series – Dark Murder, Dark Houses, Dark Trade  and the latest – Dark Angel.



Twitter: @hhdurrant


Jill Burkinshaw

Books n All Book Promotions





Book Review: Need to Know by Karen Cleveland

Need to Know Karen Cleveland



In pursuit of a Russian sleeper cell on American soil, a CIA analyst uncovers a dangerous secret that will test her loyalty to the agency—and to her family.

What do you do when everything you trust might be a lie?

Vivian Miller is a dedicated CIA counterintelligence analyst assigned to uncover the leaders of Russian sleeper cells in the United States. On track for a much-needed promotion, she’s developed a system for identifying Russian agents, seemingly normal people living in plain sight.

After accessing the computer of a potential Russian operative, Vivian stumbles on a secret dossier of deep-cover agents within America’s borders. A few clicks later, everything that matters to her—her job, her husband, even her four children—are threatened.

Vivian has vowed to defend her country against all enemies, foreign and domestic. But now she’s facing impossible choices. Torn between loyalty and betrayal, allegiance and treason, love and suspicion, who can she trust?


Releases today! Need to Know is available now.




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I absolutely loved this book! Karen Cleveland comes out swinging in her debut novel with CIA counterintellligence analyst Vivian Miller. She discovers a secret so deep it rattles her to the core of every aspect of her life. She then struggles to solve a dilemma that seeks to rip her apart limb by limb. 

I really enjoyed the deep point of view for this type of thriller. I felt gripped by the protagonist’s anxiety, fear, love, vulnerability and moral dilemma. It made the story that much richer. 

 The tension is palpable with juicy conflict, and the suspense is off the charts.

Don’t miss it! It’ll be one of the best of 2018!




Karen Cleveland photo


Karen Cleveland spent eight years as a CIA analyst, the last six in counterterrorism. She has master’s degrees from Trinity College Dublin, where she studied as a Fulbright Scholar, and from Harvard University. She lives in northern Virginia with her husband and two young kids.


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