Detective and mystery stories

Mangrove Squeeze

By Laurence Shames

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"Key West seduces people -- then asks them to leave in the morning. Take Aaron Katz. He shucked his nine-to-five to restore Mangrove Arms, a rotting wreck of a guest house. Suki Sperakis sees opportunity in Florida, too. In the meantime, she's peddling ad space for a third-rate freebie paper. Then she stumbles upon a nefarious plot revolving around a handsome Russian and his string of T-shirt shops. Can't a guy manufacture plutonium in peace? Now, with the Russian mafia on her trail, freewheeling Suki is running for her life -- and right into the safety of Aaron's Mangrove Arms. As dead bodies sully the Key West scenery, a secret society of killers puts the squeeze on Suki and Aaron -- and conspires to turn an island paradise into a tropical death-trap... ."

On audio cassettes.

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Fashion Victim

By Chloe Green

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Shortly after Dallas arrives in Paradise, she realizes that the relationship between the five young women who make beautiful music together is less than harmonious. And the lead singer, Jillyian, has taken an instant dislike to Dallas, herself. Soon, a series of frightening practical jokes -- including a pin hidden in a makeup brush, a lynched "corpse" made to look like one of the girls, a phony snake bite, drugged punch, a vandalized sleeping room, and a stolen voodoo doll -- has everyone on edge. Dallas finds herself attracted to two men in the group, the chef Oscar, and producer Donny, but is beginning to have doubts that anyone can be trusted.

With a hurricane brewing and the video shoot in complete disarray, Dallas realizes that the jokes are over. This time, the body swinging from a palm tree in the breeze really is dead. And if she doesn't figure out fast who's the killer, she's going to learn the new meaning of "clothes to die for."

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Conch Shell Murder

By Dorothy Brenner Francis

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Newly-licensed Private Detective Katie Hasworth faces her first murder case with more than a little anxiety - not only is she a newcomer, but the Chitting family would give Sherlock Holmes a migraine. Who murdered Alexa Chitting before she had time to change her will, leaving her fortune to the Key West Preservation Society rather than to friends and family? Her husband? Lover? Daughter? Son-in-law? Personal secretary? Or, were politics involved? Did Mayor Layton's argument with Housing Development Director Elizabeth Wright play a part in the murder? Katie faces more questions than answers as she faces the dangers awaiting her as she solves this murder.
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Body Language

By James W. Hall

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"When Alexandra Rafferty was a girl, something unspeakably cruel happened to her on a summer afternoon. Her father, a cop, knew about it, but nobody else did. Or, so she thought. Now a forensic photographer for the Miami P.D., Alexandra remains haunted by that horrible day, and it colors all of her relationships. Stan, her emotionally estranged and loutish husband, drives a Brinks armored car and has his own mindbending agenda.

"Her now aging, not-altogether-there father is more and more dependent and less and less dependable. And, her work photographing crime scenes has become a life-consuming obsession. Now Alexandra is about to get caught up in a gruesome series of rape/murders that seem to speak to her long-hidden past. But before she can understand the killer's message, her personal life spins out of control, sending Alexandra on the run -- from her husband, from the crooks after him, from a surprisingly persistent boyfriend, and from a killer who's bent on making sure Alexandra won't live long enough to translate his message."

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A Walk Through the Fire

By Marcia Muller

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"Sharon McCone, weary of San Francisco's persistent rainy weather, jumps at the chance to investigate sabotage on the set of a documentary film being shot on the island of Kauai. Based on the writings of Hawaiian scholar Elson Wellbright, the film has incited major controversy among some of Wellbright's family members who aren't anxious to see the project reach completion. Vandalism quickly escalates into big-time violence, and McCone discovers a world of family secrets, drug dealing, political insurgency, and murder... ."

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A Darkening Stain

By Robert Wilson

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When school girls begin to disappear on the West African coast, "troubleshooter" Bruce Medway tries to remain detached. Meanwhile, he reluctantly acquires a new job from former nemesis and mafia capo Franconelli. Franconelli gives Bruce forty-eight hours to find a French trader, Mariner, whom not even the mafia has been able to track.

Yet as Bruce sets out on his assignment, he is unable to remain disconnected from the mysterious school girl disappearances, and finds that girls, gold, and greed are all interconnected; corruption abounds everywhere. There are no safe havens for Bruce in this situation, and he must devise a scam that risks everything in order to stay alive.

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A Caribbean Mystery

By Agatha Christie

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Prim and proper Miss Jane Marple uses her razor-sharp mind and intuitive understanding of criminal behavior to solve murder mysteries. Vacationing at the golden Palm Hotel in the West Indies, she goes into action when Major Palgrave turns up dead.
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Luck of the Draw

By Carolina Garcia-Aguilera

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"Gambling runs through the blood of the Navarro family. And like the luck needed to score big, the Navarro clan will certainly need a lot of it, if they're going to hold themselves together through a hilariously highstakes game of family history and secrets. Having heard her entire life of the lost glory of La Estrella -- 'The Star,' the name of the casino the Navarro family owned in Havana before Castro took power -- Esmeralda thinks it a joke when her mother informs her and her siblings Sapphire, Ruby, and Quartz that the family has a duty to bring La Estrella back into existence.

"With a mandate given to her through a dream, the Navarro matriarch announces that in order for La Estrella to thrive once more, the family must be reunited in Miami. Only there's a hitch: the youngest daughter, Diamond, a journalist living in Las Vegas, is missing. The family must find a way to rescue her, not only in time to restore the family's lost business to its shimmering glory, but also to save Diamond's life."

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Home Killings

By Marcos McPeek Villatoro

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Rookie homicide detective Romilia Chacon is haunted by the unsolved murder of her sister. On the broken streets of Nashville, she longs for vengeance but finds herself an outsider--within a Latino community that views her with suspicion, and within a police force that makes no place for a brainy, beautiful woman. Partnered with the department hero, a detective famed for catching a vicious, ritualistic serial killer, she learns that her bilingual skills are valued more than her investigative insights. But when a reporter turns up dead, Romilia alone is convinced that it was murder, not suicide--and, worse, that it may be the work of the very killer her partner thinks he's already caught.
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Havana Twist

By Lia Matera

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"Attorney Willa Jansson's mother has never balked at breaking the law, especially not for a good cause. So when Willa learns her mother has flouted federal regulations and gone off to Cuba, she figures it's just a harmless pilgrimage to lefty Graceland. But when her mother doesn't return with the rest of her peacenik tour group, Willa fears the feds might consider the trip 'trading with the enemy' -- with a penalty of ten years in prison and a $100,000 fine. Worse, her mother's bleeding heart may finally have gotten her into more trouble than she can get herself out of.

"In Lia Matera's Havana Twist, Willa risks her career and passport by rushing to Cuba to retrace her mother's steps. But she finds that nothing there is quite as it seems. Following clues to neighborhoods tourists never see, through secret tunnels beneath the street, and into the finest luxury hotels, Willa is manipulated, misled, and nearly arrested. And in the meantime, newfound reporter friends -- or are they CIA agents? -- disappear as suddenly and inexplicably as her mother did."

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