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Shadow in the Smoke by Jo A. Hiestand @WildRosePress is a Celebrate Audiobook Month pick #mystery

Title: Shadow in the Smoke

Author: Jo A. Hiestand

Genre: British Mystery

Book Blurb:

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?

Audiobook Clip:

Buy Links:




What makes this a must-listen audiobook?

First, I’d say it has to be the narrator, Steve Hart. He brings the characters to life and plunges the listener into the story. Second, the story itself has garnered numerous five-star reviews. As The Certifiable Wenches review states: “This is a wonderfully suspenseful read about a death that occurred 5 years prior, but [the victim’s] mother who is now suffering from dementia feels was a murder from arson. This is a very fast paced novel that will keep you turning the pages. Highly recommended.”


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Open internationally.

Runs June 5 – June 30.

Drawing will be held on July 1.

Author Biography:

I grew up reading Dumas, Twain, duMaurier, Dickens and the Brontes. I loved the atmosphere of those books. Add the Basil Rathbone-Nigel Bruce movies and the moods of 1940s/50s movies like Brief Encounter, Night Must Fall, and The Thirty-Nine Steps, and I knew I wanted to write mysteries, and the books had to be set in Britain. That was a must even though I knew only what I’d seen in the movies and read in the novels. But the British pull was tenacious. Three years ago I discovered that I have literally centuries and centuries of English, Scottish and Welsh ancestry. Do genes mean anything?

My first visit to England was during my college years and that cemented my joy of Things British. Since then, I’ve been lured back nearly a dozen times, and lived there for a year during my professional folksinging stint.

I combined my love of writing, mysteries, music, and board games by co-inventing a mystery-solving treasure-hunting game, P.I.R.A.T.E.S.

I founded the Greater St. Louis Chapter of the international mystery writers/readers organization Sisters in Crime, serving as its first president.

In 2001, I graduated from Webster University with a BA degree in English and departmental honors. I live in the St. Louis, MO area with my cat, Tennyson, and way too many kilts.

Narrator Biography:

After a number of years with commercial radio covering two continents, Steve Hart moved toward narration after being asked to perform his first novel in 2005. As it turned out, his story telling ability became stronger as each book and year passed. Steve considers narration an on-going study, that even requires constant focus and the mindset of ‘always be willing to learn and grow’

“Many people have an opinion on ‘how to read’ a book, but I believe there is only one way – You have to be in it! Immersed in the story and being the character(s) as they move through it. Projecting the emotion and bringing the whole story to life, while making it easy to consume for the listener.”

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