Something has poisoned a local summer stock production of Arsenic and Old Lace as cast members stab each other in the back and props are sabotaged. Worst of all, the star, an aging Hollywood beach-blanket hunk, butchers his lines—while getting top billing in bed with wives and teenage daughters around town. No wonder someone decides to draw his final curtain. A pompous prosecutor tries to pin the murder on Max, Annie Laurance’s own leading man. Unless Annie can prove Max’s innocence, their wedding date’s off. Annie checks the greasepaint and glitter of backstage life. She’ll be next to star in a knock-’em dead scene if she doesn’t watch it because theatrical murderers never play fair.
When Ellen Lang’s husband disappears with their son, she hires Elvis Cole to track him down. A quiet and seemingly submissive wife, Ellen can’t even write a check without him. All she wants is to get him and her son back—no questions asked.
The search for Ellen’s errant husband leads Elvis into the seamier side of Hollywood. He soon learns that Mort Lang is a down-on-his-luck talent agent who associates with a schlocky movie producer, and the last place he was spotted was at a party thrown by a famous and very well-connected ex-Matador. But no one has seen him since—including his B-movie girlfriend.
At the same time the police find Mort in his parked car with four gunshots in his chest—and no kid in sight—Ellen disappears. Now nothing is what it seems, and the heat is on. It’s up to Elvis Cole and his partner Joe Pike to find the connection between sleazy Hollywood players and an ex-Matador.
When an anti-abortion demonstration ended with a bomb blast, Chicago tough-guy and political boss Jimmy Flannery took it personally. A pretty young girl and an old woman were dead. But someone was bugging his investigation—something smelt rotten…Then the killer went after the lady he loved, and Flannery didn’t just get mad…he got mad as a junkyard dog on the scent of dirty politics mixed with passion and revenge.
Jenny Cain is thrilled about the Liberty Harbor Restoration: a picturesque collection of shops, museums and restaurants. When a runaway truck barrels into the project committee, it seems someone in Port Frederick is out to sink Liberty Harbor. Detective Geof Bushfield reels in a prime suspect, unfortunately it’s the first person Jenny is desperate to prove innocent! Fishing for a ruthless killer, Jenny has to bait her trap fast, before the cold New England waters close in over her own head!