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June Picks from Sisters in Crime: Married to Danger

By Shari Randall

June brings warm weather and weddings – lots of weddings. But while love may be in the air, a dark heart may beat beneath the tulle and lace of a lovely wedding gown and happily ever after may be a prize hard won for even the most ardent lovers.

Looking for that a perfect book for the month of June? Please accept this invitation to danger, murder, and other crimes of the heart in these stories from Sisters in Crime.

I’ve asked the authors to tell us a bit about their books. Enjoy!

Death of a New American

By Mariah Fredericks

In 1912, as New York reels from the news of the Titanic disaster, ladies’ maid Jane Prescott travels to Long Island with the Benchley family. Their daughter Louise is to marry William Tyler, at their uncle and aunt’s mansion. Charles Tyler is known for putting down New York’s notorious Italian mafia, the Black Hand As the city visitors plan Louise’s wedding, Jane befriends the Tyler children’s nanny, Sofia—a young Italian-American woman. However, one sultry night, Jane is woken by a scream from the nursery—and rushes in to find Sofia murdered, and the carefully locked window flung open. Can Jane discover who murdered the poor woman—and shepherd an anxious Louise Benchley to the altar? – Mariah Fredericks

(Editor’s note: This book received starred reviews in both Library Journal and Publishers Weekly.)

Click for Discussion Questions.

Visit the Author's Website.

Fall From Grace

By Susan Kraus

Some marriages end with a bang …

Grace McDonald feels blessed: she has a strong marriage, healthy kids, and satisfying work as a therapist. And she has no idea how easily is can all be lost.

Some marriages end with a whimper…

For Mandy, marrying a hunk like Danny Rivers is a dream come true. So, when Danny treats her badly, she does what millions of women do to keep their families intact… she makes excuses and puts up with it. Until, one day, she reaches out for help.

But in every marriage, without exception, the beginning of the end is a secret…

Fall From Grace crosses genres. It is a psychological thriller, but one where characters trump action. At the core is a murder, but more compelling is what happens to an array of relationships --- friendships, families, therapist/client --- in the aftermath. Pitting integrity against DNA and intuition against evidence, Fall From Grace challenges our middle class illusions of control and assumptions about who will stand by us when we're faced with the unthinkable. – Susan Kraus

Click for a Discussion Guide.

Visit the Author's Website.

Wicked River

Jenny Milchman

Six million acres of Adirondack forest separate Natalie and Doug Larson from civilization. For the newlyweds, an isolated, back country honeymoon seems ideal: a chance to start their lives together with an adventure, on their own. But just as Natalie and Doug begin to explore the dark interiors of their hearts, as well as the depths of their love for each other, it becomes clear that they are not alone in the woods.

Wicked River is about a honeymoon that turns out to be anything but paradise, and the way love can be forged in a vice. The flawed nature of the characters gives rise to lots of book club debate--especially the question, Should she have stayed with him? The story is full of twists and turns, and readers tell me they've gotten so scared reading it, they needed ten minutes to let their heartbeats slow down. So, a tale of the heart in more ways than one!

--Jenny Milchman

Link to Discussion Questions

Visit the Author's Website.

Firewall

By DiAnn Mills

After a whirlwind romance, Taryn Young is preparing to board a plane at Houston International Airport, bound for a dream honeymoon, when a bomb decimates the terminal. Injured, she awakens to discover her husband is missing and they’re both considered prime suspects in the attack. Further, the FBI is convinced her husband isn’t who he appears to be. Agent Grayson Hall’s number-one priority is to catch those responsible for the day’s act of terror. All evidence points to Taryn and her new husband. But his instinct tells him her pleas of innocence are genuine. Is her naiveté just for show, or could she truly be another victim of a master scheme, possibly linked to the software she recently developed for her company? With both their lives and reputations on the line, and the media outcry for justice increasing with each passing minute, Taryn and Grayson have no choice but to trust one another . . . and pray they can uncover the truth before they become two more casualties.

--DiAnn Mills  (Editor’s note: 2015 Christy Award finalist.)

Visit the Author's Website.

Click for Discussion Questions.

Trust Me

By Hank Phillippi Ryan

 

 

An accused killer insists she's innocent of her daughter's murder--and as a result, a journalist grieving the loss of her own daughter must surface from the wreckage of her shattered life. Their unlikely alliance leads to a dangerous cat and mouse game--but which one is the cat? There are three sides to every story: Yours. Mine. And the truth. But as Mercer and Ashlyn learn: it all depends on what you mean by the truth.

Such a topical discussion! And one that touches every reader's heart. Yes, it's a fast-paced and page-turning thriller--but readers will join the main characters on their search for truth in their own lives, and will not only delight in discussing who to root for in this controversial battle between two equally smart, strong women, but also be able to delve into the pivotal search for truth--how do we know what's true? About our husbands, our marriages, and ourselves? How do we decide who to believe? And ultimately--how do we decide who to trust?

Hank Phillippi Ryan

(Editor’s note: Trust Me was an Agatha Award nominee.)

Click for Discussion Questions.

Visit the Authors's Website.

Love, Hopes, and Marriage Tropes

By Abby Vandiver

A wedding and a murder...

Star football player and NFL hopeful, Michael “Bumper” Hackett is getting married. Word’s going around that it’s a shotgun wedding, and there just might be some truth to it, seeing that the bride-to-be is showing a baby bump. But before the ceremony can even get started, the poor groom collapses from what appears to be an asthma attack. Unfortunately, things aren’t always what they seem. Romaine Wilder knew it was a bad idea to have a wedding at the funeral home, but newly elected justice of the peace and sole proprietor of the Ball Funeral Home & Crematorium, her Auntie Zanne, thought it was a perfect way to advertise her business. Instead, it’s another murder that’s been dropped on her doorstep. That can’t be good for business! Add to that, Romaine’s beau from up north shows up out of the blue and has her hoping for her chance at happily ever after and escaping her tiny hometown of Roble. First, though, a murder has to be solved and Romaine pairs up with her Auntie Zanne (against the direct order of Romaine’s first cousin, Sheriff Pogue Folsom), and aims to catch the killer before the Friday Night Lights go on.

Abby Vandiver

Visit the Author's Website.

The Plunge, An Aggie Mundeen Lake Mystery

By Nancy G. West

“I was ready for a crime-free weekend with the man I loved in a lakeside cottage on a slice of paradise, hoping my favorite detective, Sam, could relax a little. Unfortunately, the weather had plans of its own. How could we know a storm would turn our peaceful lake into a raging river? Or that lightning would highlight two people arguing on a dock across the river? Or that one would disappear? Did we witness an accident? A drowning? A murder?”

Even if lovers survive a natural disaster, can their love survive, or will catastrophe plus crime doom their relationship? – Nancy West

Click for a Discussion Guide.

Visit the Author's Website.

Shari Randall is the Library Liaison for Sisters in Crime. The first in her Lobster Shack Mystery series, CURSES, BOILED AGAIN, has been nominated for an Agatha Award for Best First Novel.

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