Cynthia Hamilton: One of the Top Ten Mystery Writers You Need To Be Reading
April 30, 2020
Building windows that shine the light into the darkness of our society.
As a lifelong reader and lover of the written word, I turned to writing as a means of coping with a debilitating illness in 2000. Since then, I’ve written twelve books, ten of which are available on Amazon. In addition to contemporary fiction, I write detective mysteries (THE MADELINE DAWKINS MYSTERY SERIES) and some memoir (FINDING RUTHand ONCE UPON A LYME…A TALE OF TWO JOURNEYS).
My Madeline series has really captured my mind and heart, allowing me to expand on one woman’s nightmare by giving her dual careers and a supporting cast of characters, with special emphasis on Mike Delaney, her partner in love and crime.
THE PATIENCE OF KARMA is the fifth installment in the series and will be released in June 2020. As with the rest of the books, it is centered around Santa Barbara, California, Madeline’s hometown as well as mine.
Being a voracious reader, I’ve always got my Kindle with me, taking advantage of any spare moment to read. In addition to reading and writing, I love nothing more than being outside, preferably taking hours-long walks with my husband.
I share my reading experiences through my reviews, though I only review books that I have truly enjoyed. I would take no pleasure in criticizing another author’s work. The reading experience is so subjective; if I’m not enjoying what I’m reading, I will move on to something else, but that is no reflection on the author or the book.
Feel free to connect with me!
My website: http://cynthiahamiltonbooks.com
Imagine you have the perfect life: money, position, influence, an enviable marriage. Then you awake in a hotel room – alone, unclothed, with a splitting headache and no idea how you got there. Welcome to Madeline’s world…
Madeline Ridley had all she’d ever dreamed of: a handsome, successful husband, a place at the top of Santa Barbara society, every luxury money could buy. In all respects, her world was perfect…until one horrible night when everything unraveled.
When Steven Ridley comes home in the middle of a weekday and throws a sheaf of damning photos at her, Madeline’s comfortable world collapses in a swirl of blackmail, sabotage, and deceit. Hoping to convince Steven of her innocence, Madeline drives to his office and unwittingly stumbles onto a scene that makes her realize who the real enemy is.
From that point on, Madeline Ridley deconstructs herself, reverting back to Madeline Dawkins in order to salvage what’s left of her life. In the process, she discovers where her true strengths lay, and with those, she steels herself for the battle of a lifetime.
Madeline’s dual professions as event coordinator and private investigator cross paths during the most lavish affair of her career—a weekend-long fortieth birthday extravaganza for the wife of a famous film director. A simple background check after the disappearance of precious family jewels quickly turns into a murder investigation, and before Madeline and Mike can put the pieces together, another body turns up.
As the Santa Barbara police and sheriff’s departments search for clues, the Mad Dog P.I.’s use their own methods to untangle the crimes, discovering some unsavory truths behind the glittering façade of their clients.
Adding to Madeline’s already overflowing plate, the D.A. informs her that Rick Yeoman, one of the men who had abducted her three years earlier, has been prematurely released from prison after cutting a deal with the Feds.
Besides fearing reprisals from the man she helped to convict, his parole also triggers the reappearance of soulless Lionel Usherwood, lured out of his hideaway by the call of revenge. When Yeoman’s body surfaces in Lake Cachuma, Usherwood moves on to the next target: Madeline.
Appearances can be deceiving. And in Southern California, where the sun shines almost every day and make-believe has its own industry, it’s hard to tell what is real and what is merely illusion.
Two inquiries come to MDPI on the same day that seem like fairly straight-forward missing person cases. But it doesn’t take long to discover there’s nothing ordinary about the disappearance of two beautiful sisters from Minnesota and an estranged heiress who has never touched her eight-figure fortune.
While Madeline’s partner, Mike Delaney, heads down to Los Angeles to search for his cousin’s vanished girlfriend and her sister, Madeline heads to San Luis Obispo in hopes of picking up a twelve-year-old trail at a Catholic boarding school. Their separate pursuits lead them into a world where a frightening reality hides behind a glossy veneer.
With several lives hanging in the balance, Mike and Madeline are faced with daunting odds and ruthless criminals who will kill to keep what they have taken.
Two dead husbands. Accident, suicide, or murder?
Life in beautiful Santa Barbara County will never be the same for two grieving widows. One is serving a lengthy sentence for the bizarre tractor death of her much older, land-rich husband. The other is convinced her husband’s death was no suicide.
During Madeline’s four-month convalescence, Steven Ridley—her jailbird ex—manages to get parole on the pretext of retraining inmates for their reentry into society. He has the audacity to enlist Mike’s help to find out if inmate Lindsay Bartholomew had been set up to take the fall for her husband’s death.
Santa Barbara D.A. Conrad Adams makes a personal appeal to MDPI on behalf of Natalie Sheckle, hoping Madeline and Mike can prove whether her husband took his own life, or if someone stitched him up for his own murder.
Never ones to shy away from longshots or lost causes, the duo dives into both cases.
But now they must figure out what secrets these two men took to their graves.