Gemma Halliday | Official Site for New York Times Bestselling Mystery Author

Gemma Halliday


Deadly Wipeout (A Samantha Reynolds Mystery)
Aloha Lagoon Mysteries book #3

Samantha Reynolds had hoped that moving to the resort town of Aloha Lagoon would be the start of an exciting new life. Sure it may not be everything she had hoped for—she's living with her mom, has no job, no income, and absolutely no idea what to do next. But it's a start! Out of options, Samantha decides to take a job she's just a little under-qualified for—a children's surfing instructor at the Aloha Lagoon Resort. She can surf...she just doesn't know how to teach surfing. But that soon becomes the least of her worries.

Throw in two dead bodies, two unexpected inheritances, and one hot bartender, and the heat in Aloha Lagoon has quickly turned up! Samantha just needs to figure out why her family is involved, control a group of preadolescent kids, keep her mom and brother out of jail, and get the hot bartender to notice her. It couldn't be that hard, could it? With the help of her new friend Alani and some of the quirky residents of Aloha Lagoon, she just may be able to pull it all off...and still keep everybody alive!

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Limoncello Yellow (Franki Amato Mysteries #1)

Francesca "Franki" Amato is a tough-talking rookie cop in Austin, Texas—until an unfortunate 911 call involving her boyfriend, Vince, and a German female wrestler convinces her once and for all that she just isn't cut out for a life on the police force. So Franki makes the snap decision to move to New Orleans to work at her friend Veronica's detective agency, Private Chicks, Inc. But Franki's hopes for a more stable life are soon dashed when Private Chicks is hired by the prime suspect in a murder case to find out what really happened to a beautiful young boutique manager who was found strangled to death with a cheap yellow scarf. When she's not investigating, Franki is hoping to seduce handsome bank executive Bradley Hartmann, but most of her time is spent dodging date offers from a string of "good Italian boys"—make that not-so-good aging Italian men—that her meddlesome Sicilian grandma has recruited as marriage candidates. As Mardi Gras approaches and the mystery of the murdered shop girl gets more complicated, Franki must decipher the odd ramblings of a Voodoo priestess to solve both the murder and the mystery of her own love life.

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Murder at Castle Rock
Amelia Grace Rock 'n' Roll Mysteries book #1

As the manager and booking agent for Atlanta's famous Castle Rock concert venue, Amelia "Ame" Grace is ready for the most exciting week of her career: she's booked three shows and a live DVD-filming for the comeback tour of none other than the Pop Rock Prince himself, Bobby Glitter! Before the rock star can take a bow on the first night, however, trouble steals the show as Castle Rock's owner takes a deadly tumble from atop the venue's tower. To make matters worse, the police suspect foul play—and all signs point to two of Castle Rock's own employees. Ame soon finds herself in a race against time to clear the names of her friends and uncover the truth before the killer decides it's curtains for her too!

Winner, 2012 BookLogix & AJC Decatur Book Festival Writers Contest

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Bubblegum Blonde
Barb Jackson Mysteries Book #1


"Expect the unexpected" has been Barb Jackson's motto ever since the day she became a private investigator. But when a blast from the past in the form of her cheating ex-boyfriend shows up in her office and begs her to help him clear his name in an ongoing murder investigation, she fears this time she might have bitten off more than she can chew. But as Barb reluctantly takes the case, she uncovers deadly secrets, and it becomes obvious someone is now out to get her. Suddenly Barb finds herself in a race against the clock to clear her ex's name and keep herself alive. And to make matters worse, hunky homicide detective Tyler Black is nipping at her heels—in more ways than one! If anyone can get to the bottom of this mystery it's Barb...if she can keep herself alive.

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My Ex-Boyfriend's Wedding

Most women have them: those two very distinct, very different voices in their mind. One can usually be chalked up to common sense, the other to mischief, mayhem or just plain morbid curiosity. Both are always there, though, ready with their two cents worth.

Jemma Keith is no exception to the rule. She doesn't have a problem agreeing to photograph her cheating ex-boyfriend's wedding. The dilemma, however, is what to do once she gets there. Common sense feels like taking the high road; she can handle being the better person. Mischief wants to slither in, crashing the whole affair down around his worthless ankles.

What's a woman to do when she can't make up her mind?

At least both sides are in complete harmony about the bride's cousin, Anthony Giovanni: he's hot, handsome, and oh, so tempting.

Join Jemma as she weaves through a web of lust, temptation, revenge, and maybe even love.

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Deadly Bubbles in the Wine (A Simone Ryan Mystery)
Aloha Lagoon Mysteries book #4

After Simone Ryan is stood up at the altar by her fiancé, Elliott, she decides to enjoy her would-be honeymoon in paradise alone. She checks into the Aloha Lagoon Resort's bridal suite and promptly begins to drown her sorrows in champagne. But when Simone steps out onto the balcony to take in the glorious Hawaiian scenery, she gets an even better view. Hot local baker, Liam Bentley, is out for a stroll on the beach. Maybe being single isn't so bad after all.

But when Elliott makes a surprise appearance at the resort—with a younger woman in tow—things turn deadly, and suddenly Simone finds herself not in the role of newlywed but prime murder suspect! Fighting for her life—not to mention her dignity—Simone must uncover secrets from her ex-fiancé's past which may just have killer consequences for her own future. With the help of the ever-so-tempting Liam, his feisty grandmother, and the quirky Aloha Lagoon staff, Simone finds herself tracking down a murderer who may just be closer to home than she thinks...

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Friends ForNever

Erin Taylor is a hard-working journalist with a serious TV addiction and lack of a social life. She's focused on her career and determined to leave her tiny cubicle behind for a fabulous corner office! But when a new co-worker, a friendship drama, and a hot workplace crush collide, Erin finds it harder and harder to focus. Especially when that crush on the oh-so-yummy Aiden Thomas starts to materialize into what feels like a magical relationship. Erin's life seems to finally be heading in the right direction...until suddenly friends aren't such great friends after all, her magical relationship hits a bumpy road, and her career could be derailed by it all. Erin learns a lesson the hard way: Sometimes people aren't who they seem to be. With her happiness on the line, can Erin rise above her disappointments and create the life she's always dreamed of or will she be stuck being Friends ForNever?

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Lipstick, Lies & Dead Guys
Gianna Mancini Mysteries #1

Gianna Mancini has chatted with ghosts most of her life. It's never affected her much. Until now.

The latest ghost in Gianna's family-centric, boy-complicated, job-depleted world is Emma Tinsdale, a woman Gianna despises. Wanting Emma out of her apartment and her orbit, Gianna chooses to help her move on, but she doesn't expect to come across poisonous jam, a vengeful cop, or a group of friendly clowns.

When a relative is framed for Emma's death, Gianna must dig deeper and faster to find out what really happened that fatal night on the beach. With help from her sister, her cop brother, and her ex-boyfriend, Julian, she gets close to figuring out the truth. But when the killer closes in, Gianna better watch her step unless she wants to become the latest member of the dearly departed.

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Note: This work was previously published under the title One Garish Ghost & Blueberry Peach Jam.

Can't Keep a Brunette Down
Gilda Wright Mysteries book #1


Gilda Wright thinks she's landed a dream job managing a karate school. Sure, her boss, Sensei Mick Williams, is almost as demanding as he is sexy, but Gilda is inspired by the strength of people around her and hopes to absorb some of that into her own life. But when Gilda finds the body of one of the instructors, laying in the dojo with a sword through his chest, suddenly Gilda must find her own inner strength and fast! The police see everyone as a suspect, including her boss, and it's up to Gilda to find out what really happened. She follows the clues of the missing scroll of the Four Possessions of the Samurai down a deadly path, filled with lies, deceit, and poisoned ninja stars! If she doesn't watch her step, she just may become the killer's next sparring partner.

Note: This book was previously published under the title Death of a Jaded Samurai.

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Southern Peach Pie and a Dead Guy (Poppy Peters Mysteries book #1)

After an injury derails Poppy Peters' ballet career, she gathers the courage to follow in her grandmother's footsteps and attend Calle Pastry Academy in a small-town Georgia. Poppy has her work cut out for her not only fitting in with her charming (and not-so-charming ) Southern classmates but also proving her worth to her teachers after her first publicly humiliating attempt a making the school's famous peach pie. But Poppy's pastry problems go from bad to worse when she's suddenly accused of stealing expensive black truffles, and her attempt to clear her name goes awry...resulting in her finding a dead body instead! If Poppy's going to survive this culinary experience, she'll need to find the missing truffles and track down a killer, all while honing her baking skills to compete in the school's dessert competition for a coveted pastry internship in Paris. Can Poppy prove she's one tough cookie? Or is her life about to crumble?

**Recipes included!**

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Killer Transaction
Cindy York Mysteries book #1

Real estate deals can be murder.

All struggling real estate agent Cindy York wants is the home listing that was promised to her. But her deceitful co-worker, Tiffany Roberts, has other ideas, and she always manages to get what she wants. Tired of being manipulated, Cindy tells her to back off—or else! But when Cindy stumbles upon Tiffany's lifeless body, she suddenly finds herself front and center in a deadly investigation. Now everyone from her kids' classmates to her monstrous mother-in-law is sold on the idea that Cindy's guilty. Determined to find out who's trying to frame her, Cindy enlists the help of her best buddy, Jacques, to negotiate a slew of suspects, a host of clues, and an office full of cutthroat agents...before the next contract is out on her!

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Nearly Dead in Iowa

Manhattan socialite Isabella "Izzy" Lewis is in desperate need of a fresh start. Ending up on the wrong side of a nasty divorce, jobless, and pretty much homeless, she's hit rock bottom. So when the father she never knew asks her to visit him in Iowa, she figures she has nothing more to lose—until she arrives at his home and promptly stumbles (literally) over a dead body.

Now her missing father is murder suspect number one, and Izzy's in the crosshairs of the local sheriff who's convinced she's somehow involved. After being reluctantly adopted by a local group of Jessica Fletcher wannabes, Izzy resolves to find her missing father and the killer. A job that proves harder than she thought as she juggles running down clues to the killer's identity, her hot but suspicious new next door neighbor, keeping the sleuthing senior citizens out of trouble, and above all, going at least one day without being nearly dead in Iowa.

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More Than One Night
Heroes of the Night book #1

The Few. The Strong. The Brave.

Melodie Alexander, a children's librarian, prefers to live life between the pages of a book. But when the death of her best friend prompts her to step out of her comfort zone, she finds herself directly in the path of self-proclaimed bad boy, Daniel Bresland.

Daniel knew how to be a solider. Life after war? Not as easy. He served his country in Afghanistan, both in the military and as a private contractor, but fighting the war came at high personal cost. Now he's determined to keep his relationships "casual" in order to protect his heart and prevent anyone from getting too close.

A chance encounter between Melodie and Daniel on a flight to Dallas proves that opposites really do attract. But when scars from the past threaten their new relationship almost before it starts, Daniel must decide if he can risk opening his heart again to convince Melodie he wants more than one night.

* * *

If you love men in uniform and believe the night belongs to lovers, then The Heroes of the Night series is perfect for you! Stories of military heroes, sexy and flawed, and the women they love.

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Murder Is Our Mascot
Schooled in Murder book #1


Murder is the new mascot at Ellington High...

A murdered coach and a missing counselor has thrown the school into a foreign curriculum of anger, fear, and suspicion. English teacher Emily Taylor is determined to prove that her missing friend is not a murderer. But if she's not, then who is? And where could her friend be? Against the advice of fellow math teacher and former crush Tad, Emily and her best friend Gabby dig into the dead coach's past. But someone doesn't want Emily unearthing their secrets and is determined to see that she gets a failing grade in the sleuthing department. Soon, Emily finds herself scrambling for a new lesson plan to solve the murder...before the killer sets his own deadline!

**2016 RONE Award Nominee**

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The Princess and the Poison
Storybook Park Mysteries book #1

Ashling Cleary, the owner and manager of a storybook theme park in Northern California, isn't exactly leading the fairy tale life she'd always dreamed of. She's stress-stuffing herself like Jack Sprat's wife who could eat no lean, her happily-ever-after with her boyfriend isn't going as expected, and her employees are an unruly, if loveable, bunch of teens. Ashling hopes things will turn around when she lands the hot Hollywood actress Katrina Irvine to star in the lead of their summer Sleeping Beauty play. But when Katrina is murdered—right in the middle of a performance!—Ashling's luck goes from bad to worse. And when her best friend becomes the number one suspect, it's up to Ashling to figure out who the true killer is before anyone else comes to a not-so-fairytale ending in her park.

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Chasing The Dollar
Miranda Vaughn Mysteries #1

Miranda Vaughn has spent the last year and a half fighting for her freedom. Arrested for a fraud scheme involving her supervisors, she's lost her job at a prestigious investment firm, her fiancé, and her reputation. She walks out of the courtroom a free woman, only to find that life has a few more curve balls to throw her way. The jury may have found her not guilty, but Miranda is broke, in debt to her beloved aunt, and can't find a job because of the cloud of suspicion still swirling around her.

She's not going to be able to move forward with her life until she finds out who set her up. Buried in the evidence against her, Miranda finds a larger scheme, one involving far more money than the $37 million her boss fleeced from unsuspecting investors. Determined to uncover the truth, Miranda begins her own investigation—leading her to Macau and Belize, and into the arms of one sexy FBI agent, who may or may not prove to be trustworthy. When the danger heats up, Miranda finds herself in a race against time to find the person behind it all. Before he finds her...

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30 First Dates
A romantic comedy

Erin Crawford is a relationship blogger with a bucket list and a vendetta. After years of horrible luck in relationships, she decides to start a blog called "30 First Dates." Her mission: go out with 30 men before her 30th birthday, all to find a non-jerk in 30 dates or less. As she blogs about her sometimes humorous and sometimes laughably bad dates, she crosses off her bucket list of 30 things she wants to do before she turns 30—and kills two birds with one stone by completing the items on her dates! In fourteen months she skydives, skinnydips, crashes a wedding, travels to multiple cities and lives way outside her comfort zone. The only question is, as her birthday approaches and her list grows smaller, will Erin be able to find love? Or is she destined to be a first-date-only kind of girl?

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False Start
an Assignment: Romance novel

Mattie Ross is probably the last person who should be doling out good counsel to anyone on anything. Still smarting after being left at the altar two years earlier, she is strapped with debt, has sworn off men, routinely buries herself in her work and despite her well-proportioned figure, remains haunted by childhood taunts of "Fatty Mattie." But to her publisher at the Chicago Gazette, and readers, she is their latest advice columnist, The Plate Spinner, a self-assured working parent to adorable fake children and multi-tasking savant. Enter Nick Derosa, the twin brother of Mattie's cold-footed fiancé who is trying to get back on his feet after his brother steals his identity and implicates him in an illegal investment scheme. But thanks to Nick's legendary running career, the publisher of the Chicago Gazette proposes a wager: If Nick can train an out-of-shape working parent in time to compete in the Chicago Marathon, he will contribute enough to help Nick launch his own non-profit running club for kids. Suddenly "Fatty" Mattie and Nick are thrust together as the most unlikely of pairs and under a deadline to put their trust issues aside and avoid another false start in their lives.

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Mystic Mayhem (Mystic Isle Mysteries book #1)

Melanie Hamilton is not your average artist. She brings home the bacon by inking tattoos at New Orleans's Mansion at Mystic Isle, a resort in the middle of the bayou that caters to fans of the peculiar and paranormal, but her true passion comes alive when she volunteers restoring Katrina-ravaged landmarks. Between her day job, her restoration work, and selling her paintings in Jackson Square, Mel's life is more hectic than Bourbon Street on Fat Tuesday. But when a guest of the resort, a millionaire's widow, is poisoned, and Melanie's close friend is arrested for the murder, things go from hectic to downright dangerous.

Mel joins forces with the resort's delish manager, Jack Stockton, to prove her friend's innocence. Soon they find themselves dealing with séances, secret passages, the ghost of the millionaire himself, gators, swamp rats, and a sinister killer who proves that not everything is what it seems in the Louisiana bayou.

Come on along, and get your creep on.

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Digging Up Bones
A Birdwell, Texas Mystery


Helen Harding is a genius at picking losers. Her exes run the gamut from merely lazy to legitimately criminal, making all the stops in between. After her fourth, and absolutely final, fiancé is carted off to prison for making time with the underage honeys, Helen is mortified and desperate to get out of town. The perfect solution seems to be a last minute call to arms from her aunt Penny, a beer swigging chain smoker from backwoods Texas who has three-inch press-on nails, a love of men from truck stops, and a life or death problem...that, unfortunately, ends in death before Helen even has a chance to arrive.

Helen believes in atonement—or maybe it's revenge. Either way, she owes it to Penny to find out who ended her life in violence. Much to the annoyance of the local volunteer sheriff, Aodhagan MacFarley—who Helen is most definitely not getting involved with no matter how hot he may look in his fitted suit and polished wingtips. With or without his help, Helen vows to tracks a trail of suspects who may have more than one foul deed to account for. As the days drag on, the nights heat up, and the danger grows closer, if Helen isn't careful, she may just end up six feet under and the latest casualty of Birdwell, Texas!

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Merit Badge Murder
Merry Wrath Mysteries book #1

When CIA agent Merry Wrath is "accidently" outted, she's forced her into early retirement, changes her appearance, and moves where no one will ever find her—Iowa. Instead of black bag drops in Bangkok, she now spends her time leading a young Girl Scout troop. But Merry's new simple life turns not-so-simple when an enemy agent shows up dead at scout camp. Suddenly Merry is forced to deal with her former life in order to preserve her future one.

It doesn't help matters that the CIA sends in her former, sexy handler to investigate…or that the hot new neighbor across the street turns out to be the local detective in charge of her case. And when Merry is forced to take on a roommate in the voluptuous form of a turned KGB agent/bimbo, things become trickier than wet work in Waukegan or cookie sales in the spring. Nothing in the CIA or Girl Scouts' training manuals has prepared her for what comes next…

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50 Acts of Kindness

Being overly kind isn't in Kylie Harrow's nature. This has never been more evident than when Kylie vents her frustrations to an innocent employee—and the whole scene is posted online, tanking her career and earning her the dubious distinction of "World's Worst Boss." But when she flees home to the South, Kylie finds her childhood home has changed. The high school quarterback is now the hot and handsome sheriff. Her mother has turned her home into a nudist colony. And worst of all, having heard about her daughter's exploits, her mother won't let her in the door until Kylie completes fifty kind acts in fifty days.

The task seems easy enough at first—and may even help repair her media image—but it quickly turns into a hilarious quest that leads Kylie down a bumpy road filled with new challenges. What started as a gimmick to save her career evolves into a mission to save a spunky old woman and her little dog from homelessness. As Kylie learns about the nature of kindness, she finds the path to happiness and, for the first time ever, maybe even love.

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When the Cat's Away (Proverbial Crime Mysteries book #2)

Mystery writer Caro Layton-Browning has a bad case of writer's block and boredom—a very dangerous combination. Looking for something to distract her, she pays a visit to her newest neighbor, Meredith Holmes, the proprietor of a kitschy bookstore called Murder by the Book. When Meredith confides in Caro concerning an on-going battle with the president of the Seneca Meadows Chamber of Commerce, Caro jumps at the chance to liven things up a bit. Vowing to give "the dragon lady," Lucia Scarantelli, a piece of her mind, Caro takes Meredith downtown to confront the issue head-on.

Apparently someone else had the same idea. When Caro literally stumbles over the body of a very dead Lucia, she becomes determined to find out who did it—before hubby, Gregory, returns from a business trip to England. Teaming up with Meredith, Caro starts an investigation that uncovers a stolen goods ring which stretches from New York City to Seneca Meadows.

With just enough information to make her a threat to the bad guys, Caro begins to worry that this could be her last case...and possibly the end of her life.

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Motion for Murder
Jamie Winters Mysteries book #1

Jamie Winters loathes her job as a secretary in the sleaziest law firm in New Jersey. Trouble is, someone else loathes the whole firm—enough to kill one of the partners, the two-timing, eleven-fingered king of lowbrow television commercial spots, Dougie Digits. Now, Jamie is being strong-armed into investigating by Dougie's frosty widow, Hilary. The suspect list is long, including the firm's bookish paralegal, embezzling bookkeeper, ambitious associate, and resentful senior partners. Add to that list a mélange of oddball clients with grudges of their own, and Jamie has her work cut out for her. With assists from her studly landlord and husband-hungry sister, Jamie uncovers enough dirt on her coworkers to launch a tabloid in her hunt to find the killer...before he or she strikes again!

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Pies & Peril (Culinary Competition Mysteries #1)

When Amy Ridley decided to compete in the Kellerton Summer Festival Pie Contest, the last thing she expected was to find the reigning pie queen, Mandy Jo, dead—a raspberry pie smashed on her face! Mandy Jo made fantastic pies, but she accumulated more enemies than baking trophies. But when Amy receives a note threatening her own life, she decides to do some investigating herself.

It seems that half the town has a reason to kill the mean pie queen, and Amy finds herself sifting through a list of suspects that's longer than her list of recipes. Not to mention playing cupid for her love-shy best friend, fending off a baker intent on finding out her prize-winning culinary secrets, and ducking the deadly attentions of Mandy Jo's killer. If Amy doesn't find out who wanted the pie queen dead soon, her own goose may be cooked!

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Remote Consequences (Working Stiff Mysteries book #1)

Med school drop-out Mandy Murrin has returned home to care for her mentally handicapped, teenage sister. But despite having multiple college degrees under her belt, Mandy finds jobs aren't easy to come by in small town Alabama. Now instead of a stethoscope, she's forced to sport a tool belt as a technician for the local cable company, Flicks Vision.

But things go from bad to worse when, while on assignment at the Mayor's house, Mandy finds herself in the attic amongst cobwebs, Christmas decorations, and...a corpse? Suddenly Mandy's life is turned upside down with one missing body, a high school nemesis turned police detective, a mysterious stranger, and a town full of long buried secrets. If Mandy's not careful, this could be one dead end job where she may not make it out alive!

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Murder Casts Its Spell

Attorney Petra Rakowtiz lives in a world much like ours...except that her latest client is a wizard.

In a society divided into those with magic and non-magic powers, Petra finds herself on the non-magical side of the equation, instead opting for a career making sure that all people—powerful or powerless—get the justice they deserve. Only her ideas of justice are tested when Petra's first murder case falls into her lap after her lead investigator is arrested for killing his ex-girlfriend. While Petra wants to believe he's innocent, her client conveniently keeps "forgetting" to tell her anything that makes him look bad. Suspects begin to pile up, including one who would kill to keep his secret and one who tempts Petra to let her guard down and fall in love again. And the fact that the accused is a wizard sends the press on a hate campaign, claiming his powers are enough to make him a danger to society. Petra might agree that magic can be unpredictable...especially when she suddenly possesses those powers herself for the first time. With the Wizard Council threatening to lock her up for her inability to control her new power, and her client's life on the line if she doesn't prove him innocent, Petra has to make the real murderer appear before she herself disappears.

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Killer Kung Pao (Health Nut Mysteries book #1)

Dr. Piper Meadows heads to the Body, Mind & Spirit Expo expecting to solve health problems, not murder. But her first day starts off wrong when famous psychic Mystic Ming compares her hair to a "dung beetle's nest" and tries to get her kicked out of the show. But Piper's bad-hair day gets worse when her Aunt Alfa gets in a public scuffle with Mystic Ming, where he accuses her of trying to poison him with her peanut oil-based essential oils. When Mystic Ming drops dead from his serving of killer kung pao laced with peanut oil, it's no surprise that Aunt Alfa is fingered as the prime suspect.

Unwilling to let her auntie squander her golden years in prison, Piper orders a set of How To Be a PI flashcards and sets out to find the real killer. Secrets and suspects sprout up faster than wheat grass, including a handsome tattoo artist, Tattoo Tex, who intrigues Piper more than she'd like to admit. But can she trust him? Piper had better solve the case of the killer kung pao before the murderer turns his sights on victim number two...one sleuthing doctor!

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