From the first blushes of new love to couples reconnecting, these mysteries, thrillers, and cozies are perfect February reads!
This selection includes stories featuring small town crushes, romantic trips abroad, work flings, wedding plans, and honeymoon cruises by Jennifer S. Alderson, Lynn McMahon Anstead, Pauline Barclay, S.L. Beaumont, Daniella Bernett, Tempeste Blake, Lucia N. Davis, Carmen Radtke, Janice J. Richardson, and Khaled Talib.
Death by Baguette: A Valentine’s Day Murder in Paris
By Jennifer S. Alderson
Paris—the city of love, lights … and murder? Join tour guide Lana Hansen as she escorts five couples on an unforgettable Valentine-themed vacation to France! Unfortunately it will be the last trip for one passenger…
Lana Hansen’s future is looking bright. She has money in her bank account, a babysitter for her cat, and even a boyfriend. Regrettably she won’t get to celebrate Valentine’s Day with her new beau, Chad. Instead, she will be leading a lovers-only tour in France. Luckily for Lana, her best friend, Willow, and her partner, Jane, will be joining her.
Things go downhill when Lana’s new boyfriend shows up in Paris for her tour—with his wife. Chad is not the website developer he claimed to be, but a famous restaurant critic whose love of women rivals his passion for food.
After Chad drops dead during a picnic under the Eiffel Tower, a persistent French detective becomes convinced that he was poisoned. And the inspector’s sights are set on several members of the tour—including Lana!
While escorting her group through the cobblestone streets of Montmartre, the grand gardens of Versailles, and the historic Marché des Enfants Rouges market, Lana must figure out who really killed Chad before she has to say bonjour to prison and adieu to her freedom.
By Lynn McMahon Anstead
While honeymooning on a Baltic cruise, Duncan and Carly meet the mysterious Kateryna who appeals to them for help.
Disembarking the ship to tour Scotland with the rest of the family, they don’t expect to see her again. When Carly finds her dying on the banks of Loch Ness, they realise that Kateryna was not whom she pretended to be.
The Birthday Card
By Pauline Barclay
Doreen Wilkinson, a woman in her mid-thirties and single mother to a seventeen-year-old daughter, (going on thirty), can never imagine life will be anything other than the daily slog of trying to keep body and soul together.
Running late for work, she hurries out of her flat and sees a balloon bobbing on a thin ribbon tied to her neighbour’s door handle. Realising it must be the old boy’s birthday she decides to get him a birthday card at the same time as she picks up a packet of cigarettes from the corner shop.
Whilst the cigarettes will go up in smoke, the purchase of the birthday card will change her life forever.
The Birthday Card is a feel good, light-hearted read that will have you laughing out loud.
Shadow of Doubt
By S.L. Beaumont
How well do you know those closest to you?
Jessica McDonald appears to have it all: a successful London banking career, a happy marriage, and good friends. Then a terrorist bombing rocks London in the wake of the Brexit referendum.
She narrowly escapes injury and tends to others wounded at the scene, too shocked to process what has happened. Lacking support from her husband in the aftermath, she turns to her new work colleague Will Johnston for comfort, setting her personal and professional lives on a collision course with unforeseen and explosive consequences.
Jessica barely has time to recover before another tragedy hits: her beloved father suddenly dies of a heart attack in Edinburgh, and she rushes to her mother’s side to comfort her.
Waiting for Jessica in her father’s personal effects are instructions in code and the key to a safety deposit box. As she follows the clues her father left behind, Jessica uncovers secrets that will upend the foundations of her life—and put her in grave danger.
Forced from her home and job, Jessica flees to the Scottish coast where she tries to piece together a terrifying conspiracy that has personal and global implications.
Can she stop events that could topple the political establishment of the country? Or will terror succeed?
Lead Me Into Danger
By Daniella Bernett
A journalist, a jewel thief, and a Russian spy…when their paths cross, it’s murder.
Journalist Emmeline Kirby hasn’t laid eyes on her former lover Gregory Longdon, a jewel thief, in two years. But she literally tumbles into his arms, after she witnesses two men attempt to murder her friend and fellow journalist, Charles Latimer, in Venice.
When Charles is ultimately killed, Emmeline is determined to bring his murderer to justice. But as she and Gregory delve deeper, they become ensnared in a hunt for a Russian spy in the British Foreign Office, who has his sights set on keeping his identity a secret at all costs—as Charles found out too late.
By Tempeste Blake
Someone had been trying for the perfect shade of red …
When art professor Bianca James tries to save a dying woman, the grudge-holding chief of police is all too quick to catapult her to the top of the suspect list. As if that isn’t enough, her ex-boyfriend’s younger brother, Finn Tierny, is assigned to the case, and she’s faced with a trilogy of dilemmas: go head to head with the chief, stop a cold-blooded killer on her own, or trust another Tierny.
Finn’s return to Riley’s Peak is bittersweet. He’s flooded with memories, both good and bad, as he battles doubts about being a cop, a cantankerous father, a jealous brother, and a drug dealer with a rap-sheet longer than the list of addicts he’s been supplying.
Threats escalate, the suspect list grows, and it becomes clear—the murderer’s resolve to kill Bianca is almost as strong as Finn’s desire to keep her alive.
Charm of Lost Chances
By Lucia N. Davis
In Dunnhill, a quiet mountain village in the Northern Cascades, unresolved secrets from the past have a way of making themselves heard. In this sequel to The Baby on the Back Porch, Sara Eriksson returns to Dunnhill hoping for a second chance—not only at a scenic getaway, but with David, the landlord of the cabin, whom Sara had only just started getting to know.
Sara’s cabin in the woods is just as beautiful as she left it—but so is David’s new client, Taylor. Just as Sara is starting to come to terms with the fact that David may not share her feelings, her dreams return, setting a series of events into motion and leading Sara down a winding path to a new mystery that only she can unravel.
As Sara struggles to keep her wits—and her sanity—about her, she must decide which chances she’ll take, and which she’ll allow to be lost to time.
A Matter of Love and Death
By Carmen Radtke
Adelaide, 1931. Telephone switchboard operator Frances’ life is difficult as sole provider for her mother and adopted uncle. But it’s thrown into turmoil when she overhears a suspicious conversation on the phone, planning a murder.
If a life is at risk, she should tell the police; but that would mean breaking her confidentiality clause and would cost her the job. And practical Frances, not prone to flights of fancy, soon begins to doubt the evidence of her own ears – it was a very bad line, after all…
She decides to put it behind her, but it’s not easy. Luckily there is the charming, slightly dangerous night club owner Jack. Jack’s no angel – six pm prohibition is in force, and what’s a nightclub without champagne? But when Frances’ earlier fears resurface, she knows that he’s the person to confide in.
Frances and Jack’s hunt for the truth puts them in grave danger, and soon enough Frances will learn that some things are a matter of love and death…
By Janice J. Richardson
Funeral homes are supposed to be quiet …
Jennifer Spencer inherits her uncle’s funeral home. Her move to the Niagara Region into the apartment above the Home went well, but in the first week alone, someone breaks into the funeral home. Then, Jennifer finds cash in a casket, a lot of cash. Certain it has something to do with the break-in, she’s unable to convince the police and winds up on their list of suspects. But Jennifer has families to serve and funerals to arrange; that is her number-one priority. Someone sinister and dangerous wants the cash back; that’s their number-one priority and Jennifer Spencer, funeral director, is in the way.
A cozy mystery with heart, compassion, and humour.
By Khaled Talib
When the Deringer pistol that shot Abraham Lincoln is stolen and ends up in the hands of a Russian military general, covert agent Blake Deco is tasked by the FBI to head to the Balkans to recover the historical weapon. Meanwhile, the United States media is abuzz with news of the mysterious disappearance of Hollywood movie star, Goldie St. Helen.
After Blake’s return from overseas, he receives a tip from a Mexican friend that a drug lord, obsessed with the beautiful actress, is holding her captive in Tijuana. With the help of a reluctant army friend, Blake mounts a daring rescue. What he doesn’t expect is to have feelings for Goldie—or that a killer is hunting them.