Mystery Writer’s Mysteries

1st Place Mystery & Mayhem Awards

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#1

Life Becomes Stranger than Fiction when Charlee’s Latest Novel Inspires a Real Murder

Mystery author Charlemagne “Charlee” Russo thinks the twisty plots and peculiar murders in her books are only the product of her imagination until her agent is found dead exactly as described in Charlee’s new, unpublished manuscript. Suspicion now swirls around her and her critique group, making her confidence drop as severely and unexpectedly as her royalty payments.

The police care more about Charlee’s feeble alibi and financial problems than they do her panicky claims of innocence. To clear her name and revive her career, she must figure out which of her friends is a murderer. Easier said than done, even for an author who’s skilled at creating tidy endings for her mysteries. And as her sleuthing grows dangerous, Charlee’s imagination starts working overtime. Is she being targeted, too?

#2

Between a kidnapping, a double booking, and a crew of hapless volunteers, Charlee is worried the writing conference will go to the dogs

Mystery author Charlee Russo agrees to speak at a Portland writers’ conference organized by her friend Viv Lundquist. When Viv picks her up at the airport, she frantically explains that her daughter Hanna has been kidnapped. Unfortunately, Viv has a history of embellishing the truth and Hanna has a history of disappearing.

Charlee takes over the conference preparation so Viv can search for her daughter, but the situation gets tense when the hotel double-books the event with a dog show. Despite it all, Charlee is compelled to investigate after she learns shocking secrets about both Hanna and Viv. Can she find Hanna in time, or will a plot twist lead her to a ruff ending?

#3

An author’s mysterious disappearance. A pugnacious hired gun holding a pug for ransom. Charlee must find them both before the deadline expires.

Charlee Russo’s career and bank account will be DOA unless her literary event with bestselling author Rodolfo Lapaglia succeeds. It’s her very last chance to revise her life. But when she goes to fetch him from the train station, he has disappeared, much like Charlee’s royalty statements.

An angry mob wants their refund from the cancelled event, but Lapaglia kept the money and stuck Charlee with the bills. As she searches for him and his checkbook, her neighbor’s pug, Peter O’Drool, is dognapped with an ominous demand that Charlee deliver Lapaglia if she ever wants to see the beloved pooch again. Can Charlee solve the mystery of Lapaglia’s disappearance and close the book on this fiasco before Peter O’Drool runs out of time?

#4

A Christmas pageant. A dead Santa. All is not calm, and it’s definitely not bright.

The only thing Charlee Russo wants for Christmas are some silent nights so she can work on her mystery manuscript. Instead, she gets snowballed into writing and directing a Christmas play as a fundraiser for an elementary school to be held at the local senior center. But when the actor playing Santa drops dead at rehearsal, Charlee must deck the halls with thoughts of murder.

Rehearsals continue while she is forced to contend with sabotage, assault, and actors—young and old—refusing to learn their lines. As she digs deeper into Santa’s so-called accident, she gets a frosty reception from all the suspects on the naughty list. With the school funding at stake and a potential murderer involved in the production, she needs a Christmas miracle. Can Charlee pull off the pageant without anyone else getting sleighed?