I’ll be the first to admit it: the living are fine, but the dead are far more interesting. A lifelong lover of the great authors and sleuths of detective fiction’s Golden Age—think Agatha Christie, Ngaio Marsh, John Dickson Carr and Ellery Queen, I have a positive passion for secluded county estates, shady heirs, locked rooms and impossible murders.
I have poured this love into my books: mysteries featuring professional researcher and Scottish historian Elle Cunningham Mackay, thrillers starring curiosity store owner Emery Vaughn and a pair of Golden Age series featuring former spy Mafalda Marchand and village vicar James Valentine.
If you love mysteries, too—cozies, whodunnits, police procedurals, pastiches, you name it—then let’s get acquainted. Want to chat up a murder? Drop me a line. Looking for a new author to love or maybe even a free book or two? Check out my blog and subscribe to my newsletter for first dibs!
For author and historian Elle Cunningham Mackay, six weeks on Cape Fear’s Roan Island is a desperately needed second chance. When her host and former flame Stuart MacUspaig invites her to his historic Aldermire estate, she jumps at the opportunity to research first-hand the disappearing Scottish clans who settled North Carolina.
She soon realizes that Stuart has something more in mind, and his offer comes with complicated strings. After too many questionable choices—not to mention a failed marriage, a pink slip and a criminal record, Elle knows she is running out of options.
When Stuart is found brutally murdered, Elle fears that her past mistakes may finally be catching up with her. Relying only on her keen mind and mile-wide stubborn streak, Elle races to find his killer. As the body count grows, her only hope is to mend her ways and make a new start or she risks becoming collateral damage in the extinction of Clan MacUspaig.
For five years, Daniel Mackay has struggled to forget the questions surrounding his mother’s murder. Was it a home invasion gone wrong or a senseless crime of opportunity? Why was her home ransacked but her valuables left untouched? And why would anyone want to kill affable, unassuming Shona Mackay?
Those memories come flooding back when Duncan Scot, her convicted killer, is released from prison on a technicality. Duncan’s freedom is short lived, when he is soon found dead at the annual Eagle Island Highland Games—impaled on Daniel’s competition pitchfork.
Although author and historian Elle Cunningham Mackay has questions of her own, of one thing she is certain. Daniel may be her hotheaded, philandering louse of an ex-husband, but he is not a killer. As she seeks to prove Daniel’s innocence, she suspects there is more to both murders than meets the eye. Is Duncan’s death a case of brutal, eye-for-an-eye justice or the echo of something far more sinister?
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