Amateur Sleuth Mystery Thrillers Mystery Thriller Week Tempeste Blake, Ellen Byron, Janice Croom, Alexia Gordon, Janice J. Richardson, Judy Penz Sheluk, Jennifer S Alderson

Mystery Thriller Week: Amateur Sleuth Mysteries and Thrillers

Today I would like to introduce you to Mystery Thriller Week (April 12-22), an annual event celebrating the Mystery and Thriller genres!

I’m thrilled to share with you Amateur Sleuth Mysteries and Thrillers written by Mary Angela,  Tempeste Blake, Ellen Byron, Janice Croom, Alexia Gordon, L.C. Hayden, Dale Phillips, Janice J. Richardson, and Judy Penz Sheluk  I’ve also included information about my own amateur sleuth mystery.

Click on the book cover to link to Amazon where you can read an excerpt and learn more about the author. You can find the complete list of authors participating in this event here.

According to Goodreads, “an amateur sleuth mystery features a protagonist who, having no direct ties to the police or other investigative agency, stumbles upon and sets out to solve or help solve various crimes, most notably murder. They do not receive monetary compensation for their investigation.”

This description perfectly sums up these novels. Fancy yourself an armchair sleuth? Then cozy up with one of these gripping reads and get cracking!

Be sure to sign up as a reviewer or Super Fan on the MysteryThrillerWeek website to be kept up-to-date of all the fun games, prizes and giveaways taking place during the event.

I look forward to seeing you there!


The Lover’s Portrait: An Art Mystery by Jennifer S. Alderson

The Lover's Portrait An Art Mystery art crime theft Nazi blackmailer amateur sleuth Amsterdam historical fiction thrillerAdventures of Zelda Richardson Book 2

Missing masterpieces, Nazi blackmailers and a pesky amateur sleuth.

When a Dutch art dealer hides the stock from his gallery – rather than turn it over to his Nazi blackmailer – he pays with his life, leaving a treasure trove of modern masterpieces buried somewhere in Amsterdam, presumably lost forever. That is, until American art history student Zelda Richardson sticks her nose in.

After studying for a year in the Netherlands, Zelda scores an internship at the prestigious Amsterdam Museum, where she works on an exhibition of paintings and sculptures once stolen by the Nazis, lying unclaimed in Dutch museum depots almost seventy years later. When two women claim the same portrait of a young girl entitled Irises, Zelda is tasked with investigating the painting’s history and soon finds evidence that one of the two women must be lying about her past. Before she can figure out which one it is and why, Zelda learns about the Dutch art dealer’s concealed collection. And that Irises is the key to finding it all.

Her discoveries make her a target of someone willing to steal – and even kill – to find the missing paintings. As the list of suspects grows, Zelda realizes she has to track down the lost collection and unmask a killer if she wants to survive.

Available as audiobook, eBook and paperback. Whispersync for Voice ready.


Passport to Murder by Mary Angela

Mary Angela Passport to Murder Jennifer S Alderson blogA Professor Prather Mystery Book 2

Start with an unlucky number. Throw in a romantic location. Include a dashing Frenchman and an uncompromising professor. And you have all the ingredients for a passport to murder.

This semester, it seems that Professor Prather’s dreams are about to come true. Ever since she was a young girl, she’s imagined going to France, and her French colleague, André Duman, has finally made that trip possible. Over spring break, she and André are to lead a group of students and faculty to Paris to explore the City of Light.

But before she can utter her first bonjour, a professor dies, and they are stuck in Minneapolis. She returns to Copper Bluff with an unstamped passport and a mystery to solve. When André becomes the prime suspect, Emmeline puts her research skills to good use, determined to find out who really killed the professor and spoiled their spring break plans. With thirteen travelers assembled, the possibilities are varied and villainous. Luckily, her dear friend and sidekick, Lenny Jenkins, is close by. Together, they will sort through the conflicting clues even if it costs them time, trouble, or tenure. Book 2 in the Professor Prather Mystery series.


Chasing Gravity by Tempeste Blake

Riley’s Peak Series Book 2

Tish Duchene wonders if she’ll ever be able to live a normal life after what happened in Iraq. She’s left the army behind, but the horror is indelibly etched in her mind. And just when she’s ready to find a nice corner to curl up in and lick her wounds, her mother, a pharmaceutical executive, goes missing. Tish would be more comfortable with a solo mission, but she needs the expertise of a certain private investigator, Dylan Tierny, a man who infuriates her from the get-go.

Dylan has fought his share of demons, so what’s a few more? But falling in love is the last thing on his agenda as he battles the dark side of a drug company deep in a cover up. Pile on chaos in his personal life and it’s enough to drive him back to the vice that nearly cost him everything and everyone he cared about.

Tish and Dylan traverse a bridge of uncertainty, redefining with every step what it is they can’t live without.

Who they can’t live without.

Before it’s too late.


A Cajun Christmas Killing by Ellen Byron

A Cajun Country Mystery

Maggie Crozat is back home in bayou country during the most magical time of the year. In Pelican, Louisiana, Christmastime is a season of giant bonfires on the levee, zydeco carols, and pots of gumbo. Except, this year, the Grinch has come to stay at the family-run Crozat Plantation B&B. When he floods travel websites with vicious reviews, Maggie thinks she’s identified him as rival businessman Donald Baxter. That is, until he’s found stabbed to death at Maggie’s workplace. And Maggie and her loved ones become top suspects.

The Crozats quickly establish alibis, but Maggie’s boyfriend, Detective Bo Durand, remains under suspicion. With Bo sidelined during the investigation, Maggie finds herself forced to work with an unlikely ally: longtime family enemy Rufus Durand. Her sleuthing uncovers more suspects than drummers drumming, and lands her in the crosshairs of the murderer.

The sleigh bells are jingling, and the clock is ticking for Maggie and Rufus, who must catch the killer or it will be the opposite of a Joyeux Noël in A Cajun Christmas Killing, the recipe-stuffed third installment of USA Today bestselling author Ellen Byron’s Cajun Country mysteries.


Death of an Idiot Boss: A Laugh Out Loud Mystery by Janice Croom

The Kadence MacBride Mystery Series Book 1

Ever had a boss you’d happily kill? Somebody beat her to it.

Corporate climber, Kadence MacBride, is smashing the glass ceiling with her size ten pumps, or so she thinks. Not only does she get passed over, her promotion goes to her idiot employee, and he becomes her new boss.

Worst day ever, or so she thinks. Worst doesn’t have a floor, and idiots tend to get themselves killed.

Losing a promotion—bad

Becoming a prime murder suspect—CATASTROPHIC

Police Captain Cooper has hit his own glass ceiling. Solving this case quickly will break him through it, so Cooper doesn’t care what’s true. Since Kadence makes the easiest target, he’s gunning for her.

Long buried secrets from the Civil Rights era seek vengeance from the grave. Kadence has her own secrets to keep.

There are some things you don’t delegate. Adding amateur sleuth to her resume, Kadence sets out to find the real killer. If she fails, she’ll trade her red power suit for an orange jumpsuit.


Death in D Minor by Alexia Gordon

A Gethsemane Brown Mystery Book 2

Gethsemane Brown, African-American classical musician and expatriate to an Irish village, solved a string of murders, led a school orchestra to victory in a major competition, and got used to living with a snarky ghost. She can rest easy over the Christmas holiday. Right? Wrong. The ghost has disappeared, her landlord’s about to sell her cottage to a hotel developer, and her brother-in-law is coming for a visit—with one day’s notice.

She scrambles to call her spectral roomie back from beyond and find a way to save the cottage from certain destruction. But real estate takes a backseat when her brother-in-law is accused of stealing a valuable antique. Gethsemane strikes a deal with a garda investigator to go undercover as a musician at a charity ball and snoop for evidence linking antiques to a forgery/theft ring in exchange for the investigator’s help clearing her brother-in-law. At the party, she accidentally conjures the ghost of an eighteenth-century sea captain, then ends up the prime suspect in the party host’s murder. With the captain’s help, she races to untangle a web of phony art and stolen antiques to exonerate herself and her brother-in-law. Then the killer targets her. Will she save herself and bring a thief and murderer to justice, or will her encore investigation become her swan song?


Secret of the Tunnels by L.C. Hayden

A Connie Weaver Mystery

A stolen Chinese treasure, corruption, a fight for power, murder, and betrayal are all connected to the tunnels. And the roads that lead to them are paved with lies, betrayal, and murder.

Can Connie survive the Secrets of the Tunnels?



A Sharp Medicine by Dale Phillips

A Zack Taylor Mystery (The Zack Taylor Series Book 5

Zack Taylor’s life is once again in shambles. Having narrowly escaped death, guilty over the pain he’s caused a loved one, he’s hurting and angry. When looking into the disappearance of a reporter, Zack’s death wish may be his cure for his troubles as he uncovers corruption and evil in a world of politics, passion, and power.



First Call by Janice J. Richardson

A Spencer Funeral Home Niagara Cozy Mystery Book 4

First call. In a funeral home, it means a death has occurred and it is the family’s first contact with the funeral director.

Public health officials call regional funeral directors together for a meeting. An influenza pandemic is sweeping the country. Funeral director Jennifer Spencer is appointed Area Coordinator, working with military, bereavement personnel and public health officials to manage the morgue at an arena in Niagara Falls.

One of her staff is murdered. The killer makes a second attempt.

As influenza claims more and more lives, overwhelmed personnel succumb to exhaustion, grief and illness. Jennifer and her staff struggle to push through the overwhelming workload caused by the pandemic’s deadly rampage.

Everyone has a breaking point and Jennifer is no exception.


A Hole in One by Judy Penz Sheluk

Judy Penz Sheluk Jennifer S. Alderson blogGlass Dolphin Mysteries Book 2

Hoping to promote the Glass Dolphin antiques shop, co-owners Arabella Carpenter and Emily Garland agree to sponsor a hole in one contest at a charity golf tournament. The publicity turns out to be anything but positive, however, when Arabella’s errant tee shot lands in the woods next to a corpse.

They soon learn that the victim is closely related to Arabella’s ex-husband, who had been acting as the Course Marshal. With means, opportunity, and more than enough motive, he soon becomes the police department’s prime suspect, leaving Arabella and Emily determined to clear his name—even if they’re not entirely convinced of his innocence.

Dogged by incriminating online posts from an anonymous blogger, they track down leads from Emily’s ex-fiancé (and the woman he left Emily for), an Elvis impersonator, and a retired antiques mall vendor with a secret of her own.

All trails lead to a mysterious cult that may have something to do with the murder. Can Arabella and Emily identify the killer before the murderer comes after them?

Be sure and read my interview with Judy here.


Thanks for stopping by. We look forward to chatting with you during Mystery Thriller Week!


Jennifer S. Alderson

Hello! I am the author of the Travel Can Be Murder Cozy Mystery series, the Zelda Richardson Art Mystery series, and Adventures in Backpacking novels. I love to write and blog about travel, art, museums, expat life, and great books. Thanks for stopping by!