I love to read mysteries and I especially enjoy reading a mystery series. Whenever possible, I prefer to start with the first book in the series because I like meeting the characters and getting to know them from the beginning and then, following their lives in subsequent books, watching them change and grow. Because it’s not just about the mystery for me. It’s also about the characters. So, because I love character driven mysteries, that’s what I write.
Here’s a brief synopsis of my first three Malone mysteries. The fourth, Mistaken Identity, will be published by Post Mortem Press in early summer of this year.
It’s estimated that there are at least twenty to thirty active serial killers in the United States at any given time. There’s one on the loose on the west side of Cincinnati.
It’s the week of Halloween and Ann Malone Kern struggles with several issues. Her primary concern is her marriage which, like her west side neighborhood, is in jeopardy. Her husband is drinking heavily and his behavior toward her is erratic. One minute, he’s the kind, loving man she married and, the next minute, he’s cold and cruel.
Ann dismisses a psychic’s warning that she is in danger. But, when she receives a series of ominous biblical quotes, she grows nervous and suspicious of everyone, including her own husband.
As the bizarre and frightening events unfold, Ann discovers a handmade tombstone marked with her name, pushing her close to the edge. Will she be the Westwood Strangler’s next victim?
Ann Malone Kern is busy preparing for her favorite holiday. She’s especially looking forward to her sister’s annual Christmas visit. But, several things threaten to ruin her festive mood.
The National Weather Service issues a severe winter storm warning for the Cincinnati area, predicting blizzard conditions, and Ann worries that her sister and her new boyfriend won’t be able to make the drive from South Carolina.
Then, a woman is found strangled in Ann’s neighborhood and everyone, including the police, assumes it’s the work of a copycat killer. However, when two more women are murdered in their homes, the police announce their conviction that the Westwood Strangler is responsible.
When Ann hears the news, the sense of safety and security she’s worked so hard to recapture since her attack on Halloween night, shatters. If the intruder who died in her apartment wasn’t the Westwood Strangler, who is? And, who will be the next victim?
As Ann Malone Kern starts her new business as an interior decorator, the temperatures have risen, tulips and daffodils are in bloom and there’s a feeling of endless possibilities in the air. She has no idea that her world is about to be turned upside down.
When Janis Riley, a woman for whom money is no object, contacts Ann to redecorate her house, Ann is elated. But her initial visit with her first client leaves her with mixed emotions. Why did Janis react so strangely to seeing a photo of Ann’s six-year-old son, Davey?
But Ann has bigger problems. Her husband, David, a recovering alcoholic, has lost both his mother and his job and Ann worries that he’ll start drinking again. To add to her concerns, their next-door-neighbor, Dorothy Baker, is severely depressed but Ann’s efforts to help her are rebuffed.
Ann is terrified when she wakes up the day before Easter to find Davey gone. Another child, Kelly Kramer, has been missing since December. Where are the children? And what, if anything, can Ann do to get her son back?
If I’ve piqued your curiosity (and I hope I have), my books are available in paper and eBook formats at:
And, if you enjoy reading them, please consider writing reviews. Thank you!