Book Review: A PALE HORSE by Charles Todd

Book Review: A PALE HORSE by Charles Todd

I’ve been gobbling up the Inspector Ian Rutledge historical mystery series by Charles Todd and A PALE HORSE is a prime example of what makes this post-WWI series so irresistible. You get a travelogue of Great Britain, layers of plot complexity, and a flawed hero who...

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At least you didn’t fall into a narco sinkhole

At least you didn’t fall into a narco sinkhole

Imagine taking a nap on your sofa one afternoon, only to be awakened when the floor collapses, pitching you into a sinkhole. But it’s not a true sinkhole, it’s a tunnel built by drug cartel smugglers that runs under your house. This happened last week to a man in...

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The Best Thrillers set in Exotic Locations

The Best Thrillers set in Exotic Locations

I was recently invited to curate a page on Shepherd, a new book discovery website. Warning, this site can easily become your new favorite rabbit hole. Authors are invited to introduce their book at the beginning of a showcase of books similar in genre or theme. I...

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Book Review: Bone Canyon by Lee Goldberg

Book Review: Bone Canyon by Lee Goldberg

I love Goldberg’s Ian Ludlow series, starting with the ridiculously wonderful KILLER THRILLER, in which a nerdy writer repeatedly saves the world, but I was willing to go along for a more serious ride in BONE CANYON. A traditional police procedural, BONE CANYON...

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New Release! Road to the Galliano Club

New Release! Road to the Galliano Club

ROAD TO THE GALLIANO CLUB, prequel to the Galliano Club historical thriller series, is available now in Kindle and paperback formats. The Galliano Club historical thriller series has been in the works for over a year, with excerpts doled out in the Mystery Ahead...

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Book Review: SHARPE’S ASSASSIN by Bernard Cornwell

Book Review: SHARPE’S ASSASSIN by Bernard Cornwell

First off, let me confess that I’m such a fan of the Richard Sharpe historical thriller series that we own ALL of the Sharpe television episodes starring Sean Bean (on video) AND the Sharpe board game which is like Risk but cooler. So I was thrilled that Bernard...

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Book Review: THIEF OF SOULS by Brian Klingborg

Book Review: THIEF OF SOULS by Brian Klingborg

THIEF OF SOULS by Brian Klingborg I love a mystery with a unique plotline in which a crime or a twist (or both!) is only possible because of the setting. And I love an author who pulls me into that setting and makes me experience it in an almost tactile fashion. THIEF...

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NEW EVIDENCE IN 43 MISSING TRUE CRIME

NEW EVIDENCE IN 43 MISSING TRUE CRIME

It only took 7 years, but the real truth behind Mexico’s most notorious true crime is finally coming out. 43 MISSING TRUE CRIME On 24 September 2014, students from the Ayotzinapa rural teacher’s college in the Mexican state of Guerrero—best known as home to the iconic...

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Book Review: KILLER THRILLER by Lee Goldberg

Book Review: KILLER THRILLER by Lee Goldberg

KILLER THRILLER by Lee Goldberg Action thriller writer Ian Ludlow is at it again in this zany unputdownable page-turner, the sequel to the equally wonderful TRUE FICTION. Like TRUE FICTION, KILLER THRILLER combines an over-the-top plot with author Goldberg’s own...

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A pivotal bone-chopping moment of awareness

A pivotal bone-chopping moment of awareness

On his radio show National Security This Week, thriller author and former US military intel officer Jon Olson asked me why I'd specialized in Western Hemisphere issues as an intelligence officer. Related: National Security this Week broadcast Build things and Fix...

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Detective Emilia Cruz’s Origin Story

Detective Emilia Cruz’s Origin Story

What is Detective Emilia Cruz's origin story? How was the mystery series invented? Well, it started with poinsettias. Many, many poinsettias. The following is from the Author's Note in the new edition of CLIFF DIVER, the first book in the Detective Emilia Cruz mystery...

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Book Review: HEAD WOUNDS by Dennis Palumbo

Book Review: HEAD WOUNDS by Dennis Palumbo

HEAD WOUNDS is the most recent entry in the action-filled Dr. Daniel Rinaldi thriller series by Dennis Palumbo. Dr. Rinaldi is a Pittsburgh-based psychologist and police consultant with a few rough edges and a remorseless, deranged enemy. The combination is an...

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Book Review: THE SEPTEMBER SOCIETY by Charles Finch

Book Review: THE SEPTEMBER SOCIETY by Charles Finch

THE SEPTEMBER SOCIETY by Charles Finch THE SEPTEMBER SOCIETY is one of the early novels in the Charles Lenox historical mystery series, which is my new obsession. Imagine Victorian London through the eyes of an upper-class private detective, with great descriptions,...

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Book Review: DEL RIO by Jane Rosenthal

Book Review: DEL RIO by Jane Rosenthal

DEL RIO by Jane Rosenthal Jane Rosenthal joins the small but vital community of authors using fiction to reveal the complexity and heartbreak of the US-Mexico relationship. DEL RIO confronts the issues of human trafficking and migrant labor and delivers a compelling...

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Book review: ALL THE DEVILS ARE HERE by Louise Penny

Book review: ALL THE DEVILS ARE HERE by Louise Penny

ALL THE DEVILS ARE HERE by Louise Penny An entry in the Gamache mystery series that doesn't take place in Three Pines? What is the world coming to?? Paris. The premise Armand Gamache is once again head of Homicide for the Sureté de Quebec. He is on vacation in Paris...

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Inside my CIA Career: Parting Words

Inside my CIA Career: Parting Words

I had a retirement photo opportunity with then-CIA Director John Brennan. He greeted me with a CIA keepsake coin and a firm handshake. We posed for the photographer and chatted for a minute about favorite assignments over my 30 year career.   He asked me what I...

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Inside my CIA Career: The Point of It All

Inside my CIA Career: The Point of It All

Before retiring, I took a seminar about transitioning to the private sector. All the students were fellow CIA intelligence officers. At one point, somebody raised a hand and said what everybody was thinking: “I’ve been an intelligence officer my entire professional...

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Inside my CIA Career: Variety and the Spice of Life

Inside my CIA Career: Variety and the Spice of Life

What did I do? Whenever I’m asked, “What did you do in the CIA?” I’m a bit stuck. There’s no good snappy answer. I did a variety of things, many of which can't be defined in layman's terms. One of the reasons for such a varied career was that I was balancing work and...

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Inside my CIA Career: Encounter with a Spyplane

Inside my CIA Career: Encounter with a Spyplane

FLYING Several years ago, my husband got his private pilot’s license and we owned a small Piper aircraft. Our son was in kindergarten and promptly fell in love with all things aviation. This rubbed off on me. Our family was soon immersed in flying stories, books about...

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Book Review: THE THURSDAY MURDER CLUB by Richard Osman

Book Review: THE THURSDAY MURDER CLUB by Richard Osman

THE THURSDAY MURDER CLUB by Richard Osman What happens when the residents of a bucolic senior living community in England get together to investigate a murder? For starters, one murder becomes . . . many. I’d read so many positive reviews of this book that I was...

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Inside my CIA Career: Media Matters

Inside my CIA Career: Media Matters

What the heck is OSINT My resume includes this line:  OSINT Analyst/Editor, Foreign Broadcast Information Service. Wrote, edited, and briefed analytical conclusions and OSINT reporting content to all levels of inter-and intra-agency audiences. OSINT is shorthand for...

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