In addition to learning about the Donner Party tragedy, hosting a panel, and speed-dating with readers, I’ve also picked out ten authors I’m not familiar with, to meet and get to know. I’ve looked through their books and picked one from each to order and read.
I thought you might like to take a look also, so here are my choices:
Private investigator Jim Bean takes on a new case to find a woman’s missing brother. Instead, he leads a killer right to her prey.
Why I’m reading – Sounds like a tension-filled plot. Also, Allen has a degree in forensic anthropology, which gives extra chops.
A young ski owner is determined to use man-made snow, an energy tycoon has his own reasons from promoting it, enviros and tribes may use any means to stop it. But the spirits of the mountain just might have the last say.
Why I’m reading – This is the first of Baker’s Nora Abbot environmental mystery series, and I always like to start a series with the first book. Plus, I live in AZ and this true-life-based conflict is in my back yard.
When 2-year-old Zack Fischer vanishes from a campground, the TV news instantly convicts the park’s cougars. Reporter Sam Westin is forced to battle a media blitz, the hysterical public, and a flash flood to expose the human kidnapper she believes is hiding in the Utah wilderness.
Why I’m reading – Beason writes wilderness-based suspense with strong female leads. This is the first book in the Sam Westin series, and they all look interesting.
When Tahoe detective Owen McKenna’s cabin narrowly escapes burning in an arson-set forest fire, the local fire department hires him to investigate. As more fires follow and people die, Owen can’t tell if the fires are an act of eco-terrorism or a method of murder.
Why I’m reading – The author and his large series (15 books to date. This one is #2) are based in Tahoe, so he is local to this year’s Left Coast Crime. Several of his plots interest me. Plus, the detective has a Great Dane for a sidekick.
The first death was ruled an accident. But when a second accountant from A.D.E.—a popular relief organization that resettles East African refugees—turns up dead, FBI Special Agent and forensic artist Sydney Fitzpatrick is asked in to lend her expertise in the case.
Not only is the charity backed by a powerful U.S. Senator, but the investigation reveals that its funds have been siphoned off to bankroll terrorist cells in black list countries.
Why I’m reading – Burcell is one of Clive Cussler’s cowriters, so she has learned at the side of the best. I’m breaking my rule here, btw, this is book #4 in her FBI Agent series.
There is very little peace for a man with a body buried in his backyard. But it could always be worse…
More than a year ago, mild-mannered Jason Getty killed a man he wished he’d never met. Then he planted the problem a little too close to home. But just as he’s learning to live with the undeniable reality of what he’s done, police unearth two bodies on his property—neither of which is the one Jason buried.
Why I’m reading – the book is described as macabre and darkly humorous with a devious twist.
During Burning Man, the annual event of debauchery and independent self-reliance, a woman is found dead in a high-end RV, suspected to have overdosed on drugs. Former sheriff Keenan Fitzpatrick is hired by the woman's boyfriend to discover the true nature of her death.But there are complicating factors. The actor was wasted the night his girlfriend died, the RV was his, and she was locked inside. But the actor is not the only suspect. The dead woman was a former prostitute who had recently left the business, leaving a lot of potential suspects unhappy with her decision
Why I’m reading – Because I’m fascinated with Burning Man and plan to go someday. Plus, the author had an interesting career in Air Force, has traveled to 80 countries, and has a Masters in Creative Writing.
Cyd Redondo, a Brooklyn travel agent who specializes in senior citizens, has never ventured farther than New Jersey. Until her Travel Agents' Convention fling, where Roger Claymore, leaves her weak in the knees-and everywhere else-then sneaks out of her Atlantic City hotel room at three a.m.
Back in Brooklyn, when she reads about smugglers stopped at JFK with skinks in their socks or monkeys down their pants, she never imagines she will join their ranks. But days after the pet store owner next door to Redondo Travel is poisoned, Cyd wins a free safari. Her boss, Uncle Ray, wants to cash it in for computers, but Cyd is determined to go. When Roger turns up at the Redondo clan's door, Cyd invites him along as her "plus one." And just like that she is thrown heels-first into the bizarre and sinister world of international animal smuggling.
Why I’m reading: This screen-writer turned author’s debut novel sounds like a hoot. Readers have described it as the travel agency business’ equivalent to bounty hunter Stephanie Plum.
Graduate students Zoë and Holli only mean to blow off some steam on their road trip to Las Vegas. But something goes terribly wrong on their way home, and the last time Zoë sees her, Holli is in the clutches of a sadistic killer. Zoë flees with her life, changed forever.
A year later and still tortured with guilt, Zoë latches on to a police investigation where the crime eerily resembles her abduction. Along with a zealous detective, she retraces the steps of that fateful night in the desert, hoping that her memory will return and help them find justice for Holli. Her abductor—labeled the “Tally Man” by a fascinated media—lies in wait for Zoë. For him, she is not a survivor but simply the one that got away.
Why I’m reading – I’ve been a fan of Simon Wood for a couple of years, after listening to him on panels at previous LCC conferences. I’m embarrassed to say I have yet to read one of his dozens of books. That changes now. I’ve had this book sitting on my “wish list” for too long.
"If you were a man, you'd make a good detective."
Ellie is sure that Sgt. McKeever meant that as a compliment, but that identity-a girl wanting to do a man's job-has throttled her for too long. It's 1960, and Ellie doesn't want to blaze any trails for women; she just wants to be a reporter, one who doesn't need to swat hands off her behind at every turn.
Adrift in her career, Ellie is back in New York City after receiving news that her estranged father, a renowned Dante scholar and distinguished professor, is near death after a savage bludgeoning in his home. The police suspect a routine burglary, but Ellie has her doubts. When a second attempt is made on her father's life, in the form of an "accident" in the hospital's ICU, Ellie's suspicions are confirmed.
Then another professor turns up dead, and Ellie's investigation turns to her father's university colleagues. She embarks on a thorny journey of discovery and reconciliation, as she pursues an investigation that offers her both a chance at redemption in her father's eyes, and the risk of losing him forever.
Why I’m reading – First, every book of Ziskin’s has an intriguing premise. Second, the man has won almost every suspense award out there.