Title Shadow in the Smoke
Author Jo A. Hiestand
Narrator Steve Hart
Genre British Mystery
Publisher The Wild Rose Press
Janet Ennis tragically died five years ago in what the police labeled an accidental fire. But Janet’s mother, Nora, believes it to be murder and arson. And she’s hoping ex-cop Michael McLaren can prove it quickly, for she’s losing her memory to dementia.
As McLaren pokes through the case details, he becomes emotionally involved with the dead woman, succumbing to the spell of her singing and her beauty. Yet, Janet Ennis isn’t the only person who threatens his composure and mental well-being. A series of arsons on his own property hint that he’s upset someone connected with this case.
Motives for Janet’s murder seep to the surface like smoky tendrils of a fire. And, motive aside, the murder scene seems a bit too pat for McLaren’s liking: a drought-stricken landscape eager to lap up flames, and a conveniently locked door barring Janet’s escape.
Will McLaren solve the case while Nora can still comprehend the resolution, or does Harvester have plans that will see McLaren’s career go up in smoke?
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A month-long trip to England during her college years introduced Jo to the joys of Things British. Since then, she has been lured back nearly a dozen times and lived there during her professional folk singing stint.
Jo’s insistence for accuracy--from police methods and location layout to the general “feel” of the area--has driven her innumerable times to Derbyshire for research. These explorations and conferences with police friends provide the details filling both her Peak District mysteries and the McLaren mystery series.
In 1999 Jo returned to Webster University to major in English. She graduated in 2001 with a BA degree and departmental honors.
Her cat, Tennyson, shares her St. Louis-area home.
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