Wednesday, October 21, 2009

The Bouchercon 21 -- 2009 First Novelists -- Part 3

If you haven't visited earlier this week, you may want to check out the posts for Monday and Tuesday as well. This whole week I'm featuring the 21 first novelists and their debut novels as presented at the Indianapolis Bouchercon's speed-dating event last week. I have five debut novels for you today.


Running From the Devil is the title of the Jamie Freveletti thriller published by William Morrow. Since I couldn't afford to buy every new title from these debut authors, at the end of the event I picked one story line from the many I wanted to read and chose Jamie's book to buy. There are so many good stories among these 21 novels, and all of the authors were so interesting, that it wasn't all that easy to make a decision.

"Emma Caldridge, a chemist for a cosmetics company, is en route from Miami to Bogotá when her plane is hijacked and spins out of control into the mountains near the Venezuelan border. Thrown unhurt from the wreckage, she can do nothing but watch as guerillas take the others hostage. An endurance marathon runner, Emma silently trails the guerillas and their captives, using her athletic prowess and scientific knowledge to stay alive. Those skills become essential when she discovers an injured passenger, secret government agent Cameron Sumner, separated from the group."

You may purchase Running From the Devil at and and most booksellers.


John C. Ford is the author of The Morgue and Me, a novel for older YA readers published by Viking Juvenile.

"Christopher just needed a job to kill time the summer after high school graduation. He didn’t expect it to be in the morgue. Or that he would accidentally discover a murder cover-up. Or that his discovery would lead him to a full-blown investigation involving bribery, kidnappings, more murders . . . and his best friend."

Purchase The Morgue and Me at and and through most other booksellers.


Final Approach, published by Poisoned Pen Press, is the debut novel of Rachel Brady.

"Sometimes clues just fall from the sky. Four years ago Emily Locke's life was shattered when her infant daughter and husband were lost in an inexplicable accident. She has nearly rebuilt her fragile mental health when Richard Cole, a disgraced former police detective now working as a PI, resurfaces. He wants help he says only she can provide—reconnaissance at a Texas skydiving establishment over a thousand miles away. Emily knows better than to work with him again, but can't refuse when she learns it's about a missing boy."

The book is available at,, and through most other booksellers.


The author of A Trace of Smoke, published by Forge Books, and next year's A Night of Long Knives, Rebecca Cantrell has set her mystery series in Berlin in the 1930s.

Excerpt: Every Monday the police changed out the oldest photographs to make room for the latest editions of those who carried no identification, as was too often the case in Berlin since the Great War.My eyes darted to the words under the photograph that had called to me. Fished from the water by a sightseeing boat the morning of Saturday, May 30, 1931—the day before yesterday. Apparent cause of death: stab wound to the heart. Under distinguishing characteristics they listed a heart-shaped tattoo on his lower back that said “Father.” No identification present.

I needed none. I knew the face as well as my own, or my sister Ursula’s, with our square jaws and cleft chins. I wore my dark blond hair cut short into a bob, but he wore his long, like our mother, like any woman of a certain age, although he was neither a woman nor of a certain age. He was my baby brother, Ernst.

You'll be able to find A Trace of Smoke in many bookstores as well as and


The title of Judith Yates Borger's debut novel is Where's Billie? Published in paperback by Nodin Press, Where's Billie? begins:

Excerpt: Looking back, I should never have returned that phone call.
"Hughes. I’m sending you a voice mail that’s been sitting in my queue since 6:00 this morning. Give it listen and then we’ll talk.” That was Thom Savage, my editor and the next one up on the newsroom food chain.
The newsroom’s first pot of coffee hadn’t even finished dripping as I picked up my phone and punched in the code to get my messages. A nasal, haughty voice played back. She said her name was Cathy Berry, and she was a subscriber living in Land o’ Lakes. Friday night, her daughter, Billie, left her three-to-eleven job at the SuperAmerica gas station on Hennepin Avenue in Minneapolis. She never came home.

Purchase Where's Billie? at, and through most other booksellers.

I'll continue tomorrow with four more debut novels to get you into the mystery reading mood.


Paul D. Brazill said...

I think that Rebecca Cantrell book really looks like my cup of tea.

Anonymous said...

I agree. In fact, Rebecca is an ITW author, I believe (International Thriller Writer). These books all look great, Pat. Thanks for posting.

Elizabeth Spann Craig said...

Interesting selections! I'm going with Paul and Drue and say that R. Cantrell's book looks especially hook.

Mystery Writing is Murder

Jane Kennedy Sutton said...

So many excellent sounding books to read and so little time for reading. Sigh. I think I need to enroll in a speed reading course.

Anonymous said...

I need to stop reading your blog, too many books are making it to my TBR pile :)