The Last Laugh – When Comedy Meets Crime

Last Laugh - title crop

Crime is no joke; but with these killer titles, you’ll laugh til you die.

The Killing in the Cafe by Simon Brett

Chalk-and-cheese detective duo Carole and Jude return in the latest wickedly funny Fethering mystery.

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Polly’s Cake Shop has been a town staple for years, but when its owner announces her retirement, the Fethering residents start to worry about rumours that the café might become another high street chain coffee shop, a group clubs together to form the Save Polly’s Cake Shop Action Committee. Roped in to help, Jude finds the committee meetings fraught with petty power struggles, clashing personalities and monstrous egos. Matters take a turn for the worse when she and Carole come across a badly-decomposed body on Fethering beach – and uncover a link to Polly’s. Not only do the two neighbours have to find out whodunit, they are also faced with the thorny question: is it possible to run a business on that most volatile of commodities – goodwill?

“Brett’s customary wit and good humor abound” – Publishers Weekly Starred Review of Mrs Pargeter’s Principles.

Curtains for Miss Plym by Kathleen Delaney

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Mary McGill returns for her second small-town Californian mystery alongside doggy sidekick Millie. 

Preparations for Santa Louisa’s annual spring rummage sale are thrown into chaos when organizer Mary McGill and her devoted cocker spaniel Millie come across a dead body on the premises. Still wearing her pink nightdress and slippers, what on earth was Miss Emilie Plym doing in a locked church hall in the dead of night? And who on earth would want to harm a sweet-natured but confused elderly lady who wouldn’t hurt a fly?

As Mary investigates, she discovers that not everyone had Miss Plym’s best interests at heart, and at least one of those who should have been caring for her is hiding a shocking secret . . .

“Plenty of wit and humor round out this intelligent, appealing mystery. Fans of Laurien Berenson should be introduced to this series” – Booklist


First Fix Your Alibi by Bill James

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When a major drugs dealer seeks vengeance for the death of his family, policemen Harpur and Iles must do all they can to prevent a bloodbath.

Following the murder of his wife and son, tycoon drugs dealer Mansel Shale is determined to get vengeance – and he wants fellow drugs baron, Ralph Ember, to help him. Having heard of the movie Strangers on a Train, in which two men agree to undertake each other’s murders as a way of preventing detection, Shale suggests he and Ralph should have a similar arrangement – and Ralph is in no position to refuse.

When he learns of the plan, Assistant Chief Constable Desmond Iles fears that the hard-won peace he and Harpur have established in the city will be seriously threatened.

“This is another entertaining, laugh-out-loud, mesmerizing, and completely original installment in an excellent series.” – Booklist Starred Review


Tea with Jam and Dread by Tamar Myers

The newest quirky mystery in the hilarious Pennsylvania-Dutch series.

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Deciding that the PennDutch Inn needs to go more upmarket, proprietor Magdalena Yoder is delighted to welcome the Earl and Countess Grimsley-Snodgrass and their family as honoured guests. She’s looking forward to the challenge of introducing English nobility to traditional American culture. But, as Magdalena is about to find out, the Grimsley-Snodgrasses are by no means the easiest of guests, and at the same time she has to contend with the discovery of a mummified corpse trapped in her elevator shaft.

Then tragedy strikes during a traditional Pennsylvania-Dutch picnic at Stucky Ridge, when one of the Grimsley-Snodgrasses disappears over the edge of Lovers’ Leap. Did he fall – or was he pushed? And where is the body…?

“The maven of Mennonite mysteries is at it again.” – Kirkus Reviews on The Death of Pie


Cold Florida by Phillip Depoy

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Introducing former car thief and amateur sleuth Foggy Moskowitz in the first of a new series.

It’s 1974. Foggy Moskowitz, a Jewish car thief on the run from the Brooklyn authorities, ends up in Florida working for the first office of Child Protective Service.

An unlikely but tenacious child protection officer, he takes on an investigation to find a missing infant, taken from the hospital by her addict mother. But the case takes several unexpected turns as Foggy makes his way from seedy Fry’s Bay to Indian Seminole swampland.

Amusing yet moving, mixing passion with pathos, and introducing some memorable characters, Phillip DePoy has created a hugely entertaining new series.

“DePoy’s lively mix of Seminole history and the wry observations of a “Yankee Jew criminal” make for an amusing tale” – Publishers Weekly

this title will remind readers of Sharyn McCrumb’s “Ballad” series and Rick Riordan’s “Tres Navarre” books” – Library Journal Starred Review



March Editor’s Pick – High Jinx by Shannon Esposito

9780727886026March’s pick comes from editor Sara Porter, who has chosen HIGH JINX by Shannon Esposito:

“Doggie-yoga, cold-blooded murder and sizzling romance all set against the sparkling backdrop of the Florida coast?  I didn’t need much persuading to dive head-first into HIGH JINX, the second title in Shannon Esposito’s irresistible Paws & Pose mystery series, featuring doggie-yoga instructor Elle Pressley.  As a dog fan myself – and a somewhat intrigued newcomer to the idea of ‘doggie yoga’ – I was bowled over by the dazzling array of pets and their equally dazzling (and wealthy) owners, but don’t be fooled by the canine cuties or the Florida sunshine; there’s nothing like finding a body hanging from the kitchen rafters at a Halloween party to send shivers down your spine. The genuinely endearing and modest Elle is soon drawn into another murder investigation within the Florida jet-set when she does just that. The mystery engrosses with its twists and turns while Devon Burke, Elle’s devilishly handsome boyfriend and local PI, keeps the romantic tension at burning level while heading up a supporting cast of brilliantly realised characters.

Fun, sexy and chilling, with curveballs thrown in until the stunning finale, this book will not only keep you guessing until the very end, but will keep you thoroughly entertained from the first page to the last.”

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St Patrick’s Day eBook offers

You don’t have to be Irish to enjoy top quality crime and mystery set on the Emerald Isle.

So read on to make the most of our St Patrick’s Day eBook offer: selected titles by Irish authors are available from only £1.99/$2.99.

Offer runs from 16th- 18th March 2016.

Crime Always Pays by Declan Burke

9780727883759Author and journalist Declan Burke, described as a “comic genius” by Booklist,  is on his usual hilarious form in the mad-cap caper, Crime Always Pays. Let Declan whisk you away to the Greek islands as cops and robbers, losers and hopers, villains, saints – and a homicidal Siberian wolf called Anna – all collide.

With the eBook reduced to £4.99/$7.99, why not give it a whirl? 

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Historical Fiction – Cora Harrison

Three titles in Cora Harrison‘s Burren Mystery Series have been reduced to £4.99/$7.99. Fans of historical mysteries will love Harrison’s medieval novels starring Mara, a female judge or “Brehon” of the Burren, who solves crimes and metes out justice.


“Harrison continues her delightful Burren Mystery series with an all-historical new puzzler set in the sixteenth-century west Irish kingdom of the Burren.” – Booklist on Chain of Evidence

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“Cleverly written, atmospheric, captivating, and suspenseful, this is a unique murder mystery that’s sure to appeal to fans of historical mysteries.” – Booklist on Cross on Vengeance

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“The information on Brehon law that prefaces each chapter adds historical interest to this diverting mystery.” – Kirkus Reviews on Verdict of the Court

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Deadly Intent by Anna Sweeney

9780727883698Translated from the Gaelic, this novel introduces a talented author with keen observation and attention to detail. A gripping tale of tangled relationships and shadowy secrets, Deadly Intent is set in the dramatic surrounds of Ireland’s famed Atlantic coastline.

Only £1.99/$2.99

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Author feature – Stephen Solomita

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Stephen Solomita

You may not have heard of Stephen Solomita. The New York based crime and thriller writer has been named as one of the most underappreciated writers in the genre

So allow us to introduce you to Stephen, the man whose gritty, noir thrillers you should be reading.

A former New York taxi driver and still a NYC native, Stephen is the author of over twenty novels and the creator of the popular cop-turned-private-eye Stanley Moodrow. An author for over fifty years, Solomita’s work focuses on and is influenced by New York City; a recent interview addresses his approach to noir, thriller and suspense in NYC.

His protagonists are cops, criminals and down-and-outs, those forced to the outskirts of society; but it is not always clear who is the hero and who the villain.

Find out more about Stephen’s books here.






New York thrillers – Solomita style

If you are looking for gritty, New York City thrillers, then look no further than Stephen Solomita. All of these titles are currently available as discounted eBooks, so why not treat yourself to some good old-fashioned NYC mayhem?

9780727866349Monkey in the Middle (2008)

Macy’s, New York, five days before Christmas.

When a known mobster is hit while shopping in Macy’s, its Lieutenant Solly Epstein’s job to make sure the press don’t link the murder to those of three other members of Paulie Margarine Marginella’s crew. As rival gangs are implicated and the hitman no longer seems under anyone’s control, the winner will take it all. But with everybody seemingly double-crossing everybody else, who will that be?

Kirkus Reviews: “When he’s on form, as he is here, Solomita does hard-boiled noir with the best of them.”

Booklist: “Packed with action and violence, filled with byzantine twists, and overlaid with a sinister melancholy, Solomita’s hard-edged cops-versus-gangsters saga makes for gripping reading.”

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9780727867216Cracker Bling (2008)

Nineteen-year-old Hootie has been in trouble all his life. An outsider, his father was Crow Indian; his mother is black; but Hootie is neither black, nor white, nor Latino, nor Asian. When he meets Bubba Yablonsky, the biggest white man he’s ever seen, at a subway station in Harlem, he knows something’s up. Then Bubba opens fire at an innocent rat before offering Hootie money and a place to live. But what’s the catch? And what else – or who else – has Bubba shot?

Booklist: “Solomita gets this tense, gritty cops-and-robbers drama just right. For aficionados of classic noir, there’s blood, guns, drugs, a disturbing portrayal of New York’s seedy underbelly, and, of course, that overwhelming sense of impending doom.”

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Mercy Killing (2009)

9780727868534When Detective Lenny Shaw is called to an address in one of New York’s most affluent neighbourhoods, he knows this won’t be a run of the mill case. Joyce Hauptman died suddenly after suffering a long-term chronic illness. She has been in a vegative state, however, the death investigator suspects she didn’t die from natural causes. Her husband, Charles, is the obvious suspect, especially when it is revealed he stands to inherit $20 million. But Lenny quickly discovers that it isn’t going to be that simple. As the evidence mounts, Charles maintains his innocence, but the corrupting influence of his powerful father-in-law soon comes into play, leading to a conclusion that is both violent and shocking.

Kirkus Reviews: “It’s so seldom that a good jolt of noir enlivens a classic whodunit that Solomita deserves full marks for a successful melding.”

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Angel Face (2011)


Angel Tamanaka is a beautiful young prostitute working for an escort agency in Manhattan. Leonard Carter is ex Special Forces and has been living off the grid ever since he returned from overseas to work as a hit man. Their two worlds collide when Angel witnesses Leonard executing one of her clients, a high-profile gangster, and they form an unusual alliance. For Angel’s client spoke to her of a cache of money before he died . . . but can they get to it before the gang tracks them down?

Booklist: “Top-notch, hard-boiled crime fiction.”

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Dancer in the Flames (2012)


The murder of a police officer reveals a world of corruption. When Detective Boots Littlewood’s regular bookie, Drago, reveals that the shooting of police officer Captain Christopher Palmer was no random killing but an organized hit in exchange for a lighter sentence, Boots is assigned to a task force to investigate with a new partner, Jill Kelly, and soon uncovers a trail of corruption that someone will do anything to protect . . .

Publishers Weekly: “Solomita seasons his tale with grit and gristle, and Boots deserves more than a one-shot appearance.”

Booklist: “Accomplished hard-boiled crime”

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The Striver (2014)


Teddy Winuk has it all going on. He’s young, ambitious, dedicated, ruthless and has a game plan, too. Yes, Teddy Winuk is on his way up, yet like all entrepreneurs, there are hurdles to overcome: a pair of New York detectives named Boots Littlewood and Crazy Jill Kelly. Funny thing about Jill and Boots. They just won’t give up.

Publishers Weekly: “Solomita delivers a thoroughly entertaining match of wits, brawn, and daring”

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