The Mystery Writers: Mysteries are never what they seem to be.
May 4, 2023
Caleb Pirtle III
Good mystery writers capture the passion of a good story.They tell the stories behind a good story. And sometimes, those are the most memorable stories of all.
I’ve always loved a good mystery.
They’re about people.
People who make a mistake.
People who pick up a pistol when they should have left it alone.
People who pull the trigger.
In mysteries, nobody’s ever a winner.
Even those who survive are left with guilt.
And a broken heart.
In mysteries, we see people at their worst.
And people at their best.
But few mystery writers can write about people caught up in the vicious web of a mystery like Joy York, Wayne Zurl, and Cynthia Hamilton.
They capture the passion of a good story.
They tell the stories behind a good story.
And sometimes, those are the most memorable stories of all.
The Bloody Shoe Affair by Joy York
In this mystery set in 1968, Christi, a shy and awkward teenager, never expected to get sucked into helping her cousin, Lily, the “double-dare-you” daughter of the county jailer, try to solve the grizzliest murder the town of Roselyn, Mississippi, had ever seen.
Then again, Christi had been entangled in her misadventures before. So a whirlwind week of spying, lying, crawling through tunnels and sneaking into the jail should have come as no surprise to Christi.
Lily, a vivacious prankster, loves adventure. It’s not hard to find when you live in a house connected to the jail. Christi, a city girl, is self-conscious and afraid of everything.
Still, she’s drawn to the excitement and adventure that Lily always seems to provide. Christi arrives for a visit in time to help her cousin discover what happened the night Lily observed a county deputy drop a pair of women’s bloody shoes from a bag.
After a chance meeting with the accused, they learn new information that sheds doubt on his guilt. Seeking justice, Lily sets a plan in motion that takes them on an adventure of risk and surprising twists.
They not only discover unexpected truths about the case, but about themselves as well.
A touch of Morning Calm by Wayne Zurl
Chief Sam Jenkins runs headlong into Tennessee’s faction of Korean organized crime when a mobster tries to shake down two former call girls attempting to establish a legitimate business.
Soon, bodies begin piling up—all with a Korean connection—in Sam’s town of Prospect and nearby Knoxville.
Sorting truth from fiction calls for more than Sam and his officers can handle, so he turns to the women in his life for assistance.
His wife, Kate, Sergeant Bettye Lambert and TV news anchor, Rachel Williamson contribute significantly in clearing the convoluted homicides.
Houses of Deception by Cynthia Hamilton
Three missing persons.
Two private investigators.
One chance to get it right.
The MDPI team agrees to join forces with former nemesis Russell Barnett to find Dylan Latham, the son of the man who lost his life while working to save Madeline’s.The investigation turns into a hunt for two twenty-somethings who’ve disappeared without a trace, starting at the home of land rich Cat Kingman, an eccentric woman in her late-70s. Madeline and Mike soon find themselves wading through a shameful past for clues as they scramble to save two young lives.
A frantic early-morning phone call propels the detectives down a rabbit hole as a missing person case turns into a kidnapping for ransom.
Now juggling two cases, Madeline and Mike can’t afford to waste any time. But as they dive deeper into both investigations, red flags and gut feelings cause them to question whether the people they’re searching for are really innocent victims—or guilty parties responsible for orchestrating sinister plots
As they navigate ransom drops, stolen art, and extortion schemes, the two cases prove to be more complicated than either investigator can imagine.
The secrets and lies they uncover will have you turning each page until the very end.