Mountain Mysteries

Cozy Mysteries?  Think Again!

Mountain Mystery novels are Cozy Mysteries with a BITE! Intended for mature readers of murder mysteries, each novel stands on its own and includes the following elements:

  • The mystery (usually a murder) makes an early appearance.
  • Local heroes (male and female) work together in solving the mysteries.
  • The stories are set in North Carolina communities, often with the Blue Ridge Mountains as a backdrop.
  • Clues are sprinkled throughout, but twists keep readers off balance.
  • Crisp, short, fast-moving chapters provide a suspenseful pace.
  • Great for weekend reads. Novels range 250 to 300 pages in length.
  • They keep coming! Another Mountain Mystery is just around the corner!

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Just Out! December 1st!

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During construction of Ridgeview County’s controversial highway expansion, a safe is unearthed at the former location of Jill Stevenson’s café. A curious Department of Transportation (DOT) worker hauls the heavy safe to a roadside repair depot to force it open. The skeletal remains of a man, thinly shrouded by decayed clothing, are found inside. A body is not all the DOT worker finds.  He secretly pockets three loose diamonds discovered at the feet of the corpse.

The coroner determines the victim had been shot, but it’s unclear how long ago the murder occurred, or how the safe ended up buried behind the café.

Jill Stevenson seeks the counsel of attorney Luke Maxwell after she is summoned for questioning by Sheriff John Harper. She denies all knowledge of the safe and body even though they were uncovered less than twenty-five yards from her former café and home.

Luke Maxwell has his hands full defending a woman he knows is innocent as evidence pointing to her guilt mounts. But when the DOT worker who discovered the body is found murdered, the case explodes, sending Luke searching for clues down a dark and deadly path.

Released July 2020  

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On a blustery autumn evening, Luke Maxwell leaves his Ridgeview, North Carolina law office to find his elder partner, Glen Perkins, facedown in the parking lot.  He’d been fatally shot in the chest. Other than two 9mm shell casings, the sheriff’s deputies find no clues at the scene.

Perkins had been representing landowners of the historic mountain community in a heated battle against the Department of Transportation. The DOT is seizing property along a proposed highway expansion, connecting the town to larger cities. Rumors circulate that powerful men benefiting from the construction project are behind Glen Perkins’ death.

The investigation takes the first of many turns when the murder weapon is discovered in a construction dumpster two blocks from the crime scene. The gun is registered to Aaron Perkins, Glen’s ne’er-do-well son.

Luke is not convinced of Aaron’s guilt.  Along with Kari Watkins, the firm’s feisty paralegal, they become entangled in Aaron’s defense. Both are determined to find the real killer–unaware of the danger their search will bring.

Released January 2020  

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Citizens of Parsons Creek, North Carolina are stunned by the sudden disappearance of one of their own and haunted by the possibility a killer lives among them. 

Sarah Campbell vanishes during a weekend hike.  Her twin sister Beth and her boyfriend Ryan Nelson fear the worst.  Sarah’s grey scarf is all that’s found at Jefferson Peak. Her backpack is discovered 500 feet below the cliff’s edge–but there’s no sign of Sarah. 

Days later, park rangers find the mutilated body of a teenage girl near where Sarah disappeared.  Detective Ozzie Baker follows the trail of the dead teen to a county jail in northeastern Tennessee, and eventually to a human trafficking ring.  Young women are being bailed out of Appalachian county jails never to be heard from again.

Has Sarah fallen victim to human traffickers, or has she simply fallen from sight?

Released Summer 2019

Dark and eerie urban city street at night

Out for an evening walk, Jack Fowler, two years back from a tour in Afghanistan with U.S. Army Special Forces, follows his nose to a body in an abandoned building. The badly decomposed male corpse is unable to be identified. Crime scene investigators can only determine that a single gunshot to the chest was the cause of death.

Given the density of  meth labs and drug dealers in the nearby housing  project of South Mill, it’s assumed drugs played a role in the killing–that is, until a second body is discovered in a similar condition.  Both bodies lacked fingerprints, teeth, or other identifiable features, and both are found in abandoned buildings along Butcher Road.

A typed note found in the pocket of the second victim entangles the Army veteran in the investigation and puts him on a collision course with the killer.

Released Fall 2018 !   

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Sunset Peak, North Carolina is cursed by murder and captivated by moonshine money.

The unsolved shooting death of Mayor Hank Richards has a five-year curse hovering over the historic mountain community. Townspeople look over their shoulders in fear as neighbor accuses neighbor.

Rumors of buried moonshine money captivate those seeking unearned riches, but haunt Emily Edwards, the strong-willed granddaughter of the purported moonshiner.

Shortly following the murder of Mayor Richards, James Wolsey returns after college to help his mom manage the family’s hardware business. James and Emily are traveling diverse paths when they meet, but quickly align on a common course. If not for obsessed treasure hunters convinced Emily possesses a map, it seems their future together is promising.

The couple’s attempt to dispel rumors of buried treasure leads them to the gravesite of Emily’s ancestor beside the New River. What they uncover at the river’s edge propels them into the path of the mayor’s killer, and unleashes a chain of chilling events that forever changes Sunset Peak.

Mayor Richards’ murder will not be the last in the previously peaceful town.

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