Soon to be a an FX series starring and produced by Matthew McConaughey
A LitHub Most Anticipated Book of Summer
"The Churchgoer is a wonderful debut novel from a writer with more than a few tricks up his sleeve.”--Los Angeles Times
A haunting debut literary noir about a former pastor’s search to find a missing woman in the toxic, contradictory underbelly of southern California.
“He was finished with church, with God, with all of it. But to find the girl, he has to go back.”
In Mark Haines’s former life, he was an evangelical youth pastor, a role model, and a family man—until he abandoned his wife, his daughter, and his beliefs. Now he’s marking time between sunny days surfing and dark nights working security at an industrial complex. His isolation is broken when Cindy, a charming twenty-two-year old drifter he sees hitchhiking on the Pacific Coast Highway, hustles him for a breakfast and a place to crash—two cynical kindred spirits.
Then his co-worker is murdered in a robbery gone wrong and Cindy disappears on the same night. Haines knows he should let it go and return to his safe life of solitude. Instead, he’s driven to find out where Cindy went, under stranger and stranger circumstances. Soon Mark is chasing leads, each one taking him back into a world where his old life came crashing down—into the seedier side of southern California’s drug trade and ultimately into the secrets of an Evangelical megachurch where his past and his future are about to converge. What begins as an investigation becomes a haunting mystery and a psychological journey both for Mark, and for the elusive young stranger he won’t let get away.
Set in the early 2000s, The Churchgoer is a gripping noir, a quiet subversion of the genre, and a powerful meditation on belief, morality, and the nature of evil in contemporary life.
“A smart, deep, black magic carnie noir existential bloodbath” from the acclaimed author of Boon (Gemma Files, Shirley Jackson Award–winning author). In the shadow of World War II, the barren, dusty streets of Litchfield, Arkansas, are even quieter than usual, leaving hotel detective George “Jojo” Walker with too much time to struggle with his own personal demons. But everything changes when a traveling picture show comes to town. The film’s purveyors check into the hotel where Jojo works and set up a special midnight screening at the local theater. The curtain rises on a surreal carnival of dark magic and waking nightmares, starring Jojo and the residents of Litchfield, as madness, murder, and mayhem threaten to engulf them all . . . “A stunner of a story . . . Flat-out brilliant . . . Unfolds like petals of an exotic and scandalous black flower—each one gently opening to give the reader a distressing revelation . . . Powerful ideas, wrapped in a dark mantle of horror.” —My Haunted Library “If you like pulpy noir with a dose of existentialism mixed with some utterly bizarre horror, this book is for you.” —Fangoria “Genre mash-ups like this one are difficult to execute, but Kurtz navigates it deftly, with writing so visceral and evocative it feels less like reading a book and more like watching a film in real time.” —Literary Hub “While it echoes with the shadowy threatening of Bradbury’s Something Wicked This Way Comes and the religious dread of Hjortsberg’s Falling Angel, the clearest voice here is Kurtz’s own cry into the existential abyss.” —Bracken MacLeod, author of Mountain Home
MURDER IN THE MANOR (A LACEY DOYLE COZY MYSTERY—BOOK 1) is the debut novel in a charming new cozy mystery series by Fiona Grace.
Lacey Doyle, 39 years old and freshly divorced, needs a drastic change. She needs to quit her job, leave her horrendous boss and New York City, and walk away from the fast life. Making good on her childhood promise to herself, she decides to walk away from it all, and to relive a beloved childhood vacation in the quaint English seaside town of Wilfordshire.
Wilfordshire is exactly as Lacey remembers it, with its ageless architecture, cobblestone streets, and with nature at its doorstep. Lacey doesn’t want to go back home—and spontaneously, she decides to stay, and to give her childhood dream a try: she will open her own antique shop.
Lacey finally feels that her life is taking a step in the right direction—until her new star customer turns up dead.
As the newcomer in town, all eyes are on Lacey, and it’s up to her to clear her own name.
With a business to run, a next-door neighbor turned nemesis, a flirty baker across the street, and a crime to solve – is this new life all that Lacey thought it would be?
Book #2 in the series—DEATH AND A DOG—is also available for preorder!
Welcome to winter in Three Pines, a picturesque village in Quebec, where the villagers are preparing for a traditional country Christmas, and someone is preparing for murder.
No one liked CC de Poitiers. Not her quiet husband, not her spineless lover, not her pathetic daughter—and certainly none of the residents of Three Pines. CC de Poitiers managed to alienate everyone, right up until the moment of her death.
When Chief Inspector Armand Gamache, of the Sûreté du Quebec, is called to investigate, he quickly realizes he's dealing with someone quite extraordinary. CC de Poitiers was electrocuted in the middle of a frozen lake, in front of the entire village, as she watched the annual curling tournament. And yet no one saw anything. Who could have been insane enough to try such a macabre method of murder—or brilliant enough to succeed?
With his trademark compassion and courage, Gamache digs beneath the idyllic surface of village life to find the dangerous secrets long buried there. For a Quebec winter is not only staggeringly beautiful but deadly, and the people of Three Pines know better than to reveal too much of themselves. But other dangers are becoming clear to Gamache. As a bitter wind blows into the village, something even more chilling is coming for Gamache himself.
The third book in the Poppy McGuire cozy mystery series!
Controversy sells as much as sex, and nobody knows that better than the local radio morning DJ who loves to talk politics. His shows enrage people, but who hated Lee Reynolds enough to shoot him point blank and leave him for dead in the woods outside of town?
Poppy and Alex have no shortage of suspects and for once aren't at odds on who they like for the crime. But all is not well between the partners. This time, murder has brought with it a new love interest for Poppy, but Alex isn't happy with this turn of events.
Will he lose Poppy, the one person he trusts in Sunset Ridge?
The fourth book in the Poppy McGuire cozy mystery series!
Poppy and Alex come up against their toughest case yet, and they may never be the same again.
When someone close to both Poppy and Alex is found brutally murdered, all the clues point to Alex as the killer. But Poppy knows in her heart that her partner could never commit such a heinous crime. As the evidence begins to mount against him, Poppy must race against the clock to prove that the man she trusts with her very life isn’t the murderer, even as everyone around her is convinced of his guilt.
But if Alex isn’t the killer, who is? As the mystery unravels, the past and present finally meet in Sunset Ridge.
The lie that bought Jacob Weisen a new life cannot help him escape the past. Birkenau could not kill Jacob Weisen. He survived the death camp and made his way to America, where he became famous telling the story of Isaac Becker, an author who was tortured to death when the guards caught him writing down his story. Becker’s manuscript was lost, but by telling the tale, Weisen keeps his memory alive. No other witnesses survived—and Weisen is the only person who knows his famous story is a lie. In fact, Weisen was a collaborator, who led his countrymen to the ovens and gave Becker up to the SS. Decades after the war, as his lies begin to unravel, he must choose between admitting the truth and dying in a hell of his own creation.The Bibliomysteries are a series of short tales about deadly books, by top mystery authors.
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