Rapid Reads

  • This ebook bundle offers three gritty urban tales by William Kowalski. In The Barrio Kings, Rosario Gomez struggles to stay out of the gang life that killed his brother while finishing his high school diploma and preparing for the birth of his first son. But when his old friend Juan gets out of jail, his past returns to haunt him. In The Way It Works, A young bi-racial man who suddenly finds himself homeless, struggles to maintain his dignity and to make his own place in the world. In Something Noble, a single mom must try to convince a selfish drug dealer to donate one of his kidneys to his half-brother.

  • Three compelling mysteries in one ebook bundle that includes the first three novels by Gail Bowen featuring the successful talk-show radio host Charlie D. Charlie D's listeners have a particularly intimate relationship with him and often reveal much about themselves, confident that he will honor their trust and that he can save them. But Charlie feels he's something of a fake. His easy confidence on-air belies the reality for a man born with a wine-colored birthmark that covers half his face. The first novel, Love you to Death, covers one hour on "The World According to Charlie D"--an hour during which he must both discover the long-time listener who is killing the people who trust him and attempt to come to terms with the man behind the birthmark. In the second novel, One Fine Day You're Gonna Die, events on Charlie D's radio show take a bizarre turn when one of his callers threatens to kill not only himself but also the young daughter of Charlie's on-air guest, who happens to be an expert on death and dying. And in the final novel in this bundle, Charlie D has only two hours to find a troubled young boy and then convince him not to kill his father and the rest of his family.

  • When softhearted handyman Cedric O'Toole agrees to help Barry Mitchell renovate his farmhouse, he finds himself facing old fears. Not only did Mitchell bully Cedric all through school, but his life has been troubled ever since. Now, just out of prison, he's broke and his parents have gone missing, leaving a cloud of suspicion hanging over his head. But when Barry warns him not to touch the boarded-up door in the cellar, the ever-curious Cedric can't resist. The small storage room, obviously unused in years, contains jars of preserves, barrels of dried apples and a pile of small bones. As he sets out to discover who died and how, Cedric uncovers a tale of violence, deception and abuse. And he learns just how far Barry will go to keep a tragic family secret from coming to light.

  • When jewelry-store owner Gina Gallo and her boyfriend Pete take a week's vacation, she leaves the store in the hands of her cousin from New York. After all, cousin Carmine is a certified gemologist, but Carmine is also in the Mob. When Gina gets back, she discovers that her cousin has spent his time switching real gems for fakes in the jewelry of some of her best customers. With her reputation on the line, what's a Mob goddaughter to do? Mastermind a string of burglaries to get the gems back, of course! But nothing ever goes entirely smoothly for Gina. Soon she and her eccentric cousin Nico are the toast of the town, as the local paper and everyone else follow the antics of their very own Pink Panthers.

  • Juba, South Sudan. RCMP Sergeant Ray Robertson has spent eleven and a half months serving with the United Nations in the world's newest country. He's tired of the chaotic traffic and jostling crowds that fill the narrow streets. Tired of the choking red dust that blows into the capital from the desert. He can't wait to get back to his wife and kids--and back to policing a world he understands. But when a young woman--the fourth in three weeks--is found dead at the side of a dusty road with a thin white ribbon wrapped tightly around her neck, Robertson fears that a serial killer is on the loose. In a country plagued by years of extreme poverty, civil war and the struggle to establish a functioning government, the policeman realizes that it's up to him and his Dinka partner, John Deng, to find the killer before they can strike again.

  • When Lucas Smoke learns the Ojibway art of carving from his grandfather, he proves to be a natural. He can literally make people come to life in wood. Then Lucas's growing reputation attracts a mysterious stranger, who offers him a large advance to carve a spirit mask. This mask is to represent the master, but Lucas must find its face in his dreams. As his dreams become more and more disturbing, he feels himself changing. And the mask takes control of his life. Then a chance encounter with an old woman introduces him to the identity of the master. He is an ancient sorcerer named Him Standing, a powerful and dark wizard. The more Lucas works on the mask, the closer Him Standing comes to emerging from the dream world to walk the earth again. What follows is a race against time and the forces of evil in this supernatural thriller.

  • Linda is a young, hardworking single mom struggling to get by from paycheck to paycheck. When she learns that her son Dre needs a kidney transplant, her family's already precarious financial situation takes a turn for the worst. Then she discovers that the only one who can help Dre is his half-brother LeVon, a drug-dealing gangbanger who thinks only of himself. Somehow Linda must get through to LeVon in order to save her son. Though she is deathly afraid of LeVon and the world he lives in, Linda knows she must conquer her fear and meet him on his own turf if she is to have any hope of success. Linda is finally able to teach LeVon the value of doing something noble with his life. And to her surprise, she learns she has room in her heart for one more kid, a boy from the streets who never had a chance.

  • It all begins when PI Gulliver Dowd is approached by Ellis Torres, a street kid, on Valentino Pier in the Red Hook section of Brooklyn. Ellis has lost his dog, and after Gulliver helps to find the dog for him, they go their separate ways. So when Ellis is discovered beaten, unconscious and left for dead not far from the pier early the following morning, Gulliver is horrified, and suspicious. He sets out to find the attacker and learn why the boy was targeted. What Gulliver uncovers by way of bizarre clues, amidst threats of danger to himself and his loved ones-, leads him on his most curious case yet. Undeniably, there is something amiss at Valentino Pier.

  • When a young woman goes missing on a nature trail, small-town journalist Claire Abbott is first on the scene, as usual. The clues to the woman's whereabouts are misleading, but Claire has a sixth sense, what the fire chief calls a "radar for crime." Trusting her intuition, Claire insists that the search and rescue team look elsewhere for clues to the woman's disappearance. When they fail to follow up on her lead, she pursues it on her own, embarking on a snowy chase up a mountainside that puts herself and others in danger. She's more than just a journalist chasing a story. Claire is determined to do the right thing at any cost.earch and Rescue is the first novel in a series of mysteries featuring journalist and sleuth Claire Abbott.

  • Mob goddaughter Gina Gallo stands to inherit two million bucks from her great-uncle Seb, a master forger. But there's a catch: Uncle Seb wants Gina to make things right and return an extremely valuable painting to the City Art Gallery. If she can't do it, her rat-face cousin Carmine gets the boodle.Reluctantly, Gina comes up with a plan for a reverse heist, as she has learned things never go as planned when her family gets involved. The wrong painting gets replaced, and Gina finds herself with two priceless masterpieces in hand! It won't be long before someone realizes what's going on. The Artful Goddaughter is the third novel in a series featuring Gina Gallo, who wants nothing more than to run her little jewelry store. But try as she might, Gina can't escape the family business, with hilarious consequences.

  • Gulliver Dowd is finally on the verge of unraveling the mystery behind his sister's murder when the man who is supposed to give him the scoop, NYPD Detective Sam Patrick, is gunned down on the Coney Island Boardwalk. As Dowd delves into Patrick's accidental shooting, he uncovers a pattern of corruption and deceit involving organized crime and the police. But there are tough choices to be made. Just how much is Gulliver willing to sacrifice in order to find out why his sister was murdered and to unmask the killer? The answers aren't found in the moon or the stars, but on the boardwalk. The Boardwalk is third in the Gulliver Dowd Mystery series, featuring a New York private investigator. In award-winning author Louise Penny's words: "A little man with a huge heart and a huge chip on his shoulder, Gulliver Dowd swaggers into the crime fiction world and takes his place with the great investigators. Smart, vulnerable, wounded, heartbreakingly hopeful, I just adore his company."

  • At age twenty, Leena O'Neil walked away from her old life. Anything to avoid becoming a lawyer like her mother and older sister, Georgia. Three years later, Georgia contacts her, convinced that her husband is trying to kill her rather than divorce her. Reluctantly, Leena agrees to help. But the stakes go up when Georgia's husband, Mark, is murdered. Now she wonders if the person who killed Mark is out to get Georgia as well. Armed with several online courses in criminology and investigative strategies, Leena considers herself "almost a private investigator" and she sets out to uncover the truth. Disappearing Act is the first in a series of mysteries featuring rookie private investigator Leena O'Neil.

  • Piano tuner Frank Ryan is paid in kind by an aging music teacher with an old manuscript that turns out to be Beethoven's Tenth Symphony. Launched into a world of intrigue and violence, Ryan, an unlikely sleuth, realizes he must use his wits to conquer his enemies and solve the mystery of the manuscript. In the process Ryan discovers whom he can trust and what he is made of. The first in a series featuring Frank Ryan, Beethoven's Tenth is a smart page-turner.

  • Simple country handyman Cedric O'Toole relies on his organic vegetable garden to supplement his meager income, so he's upset when vegetables begin disappearing. After several futile attempts to protect the garden, he stakes it out one night with his shotgun and spots a shadowy figure running into the woods. Cedric follows and finds a young boy living rough on his land. The boy has never been taught to read or write, and no one has reported him missing. No stranger to childhood neglect himself, Cedric takes the boy under his wing and tries to find answers. Who is the mystery boy, and why is he hiding in the woods? The Night Thief is the third novel in a series featuring reluctant sleuth Cedric O'Toole.

  • RCMP sergeant Ray Robertson is serving with the United Nations in Haiti, a land of brilliant color and vibrant life, Vodou and vast above-ground cemeteries. Ray's job is to train the local police and assist investigations. One call comes in from the home of a wealthy American businessman. The man came home to find his beautiful, young Haitian wife floating face down in the swimming pool. The American embassy and the Haitian police immediately arrest the gardener, and the case is closed. But Ray isn't so sure, and he keeps digging. Until one night he finds himself in a Vodou-saturated cemetery, surrounded by above-ground tombs and elaborate statuary, confronting a killer with nothing left to lose.
    This is the second in a series featuring RCMP sergeant Ray Robertson on his various postings overseas.

  • Jennie has been a widow for two years. Her twelve-year-old son thinks it's about time she started dating, and so does her best friend, Angela. So with Angela's help, Jennie signs up to an online dating site. Within hours, she has several dates lined up for the week. Surely there will be one Prince Charming in the bunch. And if not, it's only one date, right? How bad could it be?

  • Del's great-aunt, Kitty, has retired from a life of crime and embarked on a new venture, the B-Team. Although Del works at an animal shelter by day, by night she, her great-aunt and their cohorts, Dino and Ritz, use their criminal skills to right wrongs. In this fun book, the modern-day Robin Hoods set out to return a necklace to its rightful owner but along the way discover they've been duped by an imposter who also wants to get her hands on the necklace. The problem is, criminals can't go to the police, even if they are on the side of the good. Del comes up with a new plan, and the B-Team saves the day. Not without a few detours along the way.

  • When paramedic Ashley Grant finds her boyfriend in bed with another woman, she moves out of her house (okay, his house), quits her job and takes a new one in a tiny Caribbean country, the Victoria and Albert Islands. Ashley is thrown into the deep end when she arrives. Her new colleague picks her up at the airport in the island's only ambulance, which is called to the discovery of a body floating off the beach at the exclusive Club Louisa.
    The body is that of a man vacationing with his daughter and glamorous new wife. Coincidentally, Sally, the daughter of the dead man, recognizes Ashley from high school. She is convinced that her stepmother killed her father and begs Ashley to help her prove it. Before she can even unpack her bags or enjoy the view from her ocean-side apartment, Ashley is unwittingly dragged into a murder investigation.
    First in a new series from award-winning author Vicki Delany.

  • Cookie is about to lose her job at the local bakery. She dreams of owning her own bakery but doesn't think she has the skills or money to do it. Most of all, she doesn't have the self-confidence. When she takes a course at the local college, she finds she has much more going for her than she imagined. With the help of her community, she figures out how to make sure no one has to go without her famous doily cookies for long!

  • Small-town police chief Maxine "Max" Benson is just settling into her new life when her ex appears on the scene. Apparently, he and his new young lover just happen to be visiting her area on holiday. Max left her marriage and the Toronto police to become chief in Port Ainslie, where she runs a three-person department with few problems and enjoys a different pace of life. That's all about to change when Max's ex-husband is accused of killing his young lover right in Max's own backyard. It seems that only Max's superior detection abilities can save him from an almost certain conviction.
    This is the third book in the Maxine Benson mystery series.

  • Keno is twenty-three, a high-school dropout working as a rent collector for a slum landlord. Apart from hitting on the office secretary, Cass, his life is bleak. His job takes him into sad, mean places where kids wail, drunks fight and women get beaten up. He works his territory with Jaco, who's tougher and shiftier than any of the folks they're sent to shake rent out of.
    One night Keno and Jaco finally catch up to one of their targets. But she'll never pay. She's dead. Battered almost beyond recognition. But they recognize her killer, and Jaco comes up with a scheme to blackmail him.
    Now Keno has to decide who he is-bill collector or blackmailer. Or could he even be the good guy? Will he run or will he stay? In the end, will trusting himself help him outmaneuver a psychopathic killer?

  • A murder at the Blue Dragon, a small apartment building in San Francisco's Chinatown, prompts the absentee owner to hire Chinese American Peter Strand to calm the anxious tenants. But Strand isn't exactly what he appears to be. Neither are the tenants, who on the surface seem to be regular people going about their lives. Strand, a forensic accountant by trade, doesn't intend to investigate the murder, but he soon realizes that this isn't a gang-related killing, as the police believe. The murder was committed by one of the tenants. Finding out which one exposes the secrets of the Blue Dragon and brings Strand face-to-face with a few ghosts of his own.

  • Small-town journalist Claire Abbott has a sixth sense, what the fire chief calls a "radar for crime." When a string of suspicious fires breaks out in town, Claire thinks she knows who the firebug is. Or does she? She finds there is much more to the story than she imagined. Worse, no one will believe her. The firebug is getting bolder, and the fires he sets more dangerous. Claire is now in a race against time to catch the arsonist in the act before he takes a life.
    Playing with Fire is the second in a series of mysteries featuring journalist and sleuth Claire Abbott.

  • In The Goddaughter Caper, Gina Gallo finds herself embroiled in her family's shady dealings when a body turns up at her uncle's restaurant. But it's just the beginning of her problems. Strange things keep happening in Steeltown. A body shows up in the trunk of Gina's car. Another is mistakenly shipped to her cousin Nico's new store. And then Gina and Nico stumble across a stash of empty coffins! Worse, everything mysteriously points to her own retired relatives from the Holy Cannoli Retirement Home.
    Gina is determined to get to the bottom of it. But she'll have to act fast, because the police are right behind her.
    This is the fourth in a series featuring Gina Gallo, who wants nothing more than to run her little jewelry store but, try as she might to escape it, somehow Gina gets drawn into the family business, with hilarious consequences.

empty