As World War II rages across Europe and the Pacific, its impact ripples through communities in the heartland of America. A farm girl is locked in a dangerous love triangle with two Germans soldiers held in an Illinois POW camp … Another German, a war refugee, is forced to risk her life spying on the developing Manhattan Project in Chicago … And espionage surrounds the disappearance of an actress from the thriving Jewish community of Chicago’s Lawndale. In this trio of tales, acclaimed thriller author Libby Fischer Hellmann beautifully depicts the tumultuous effect of war on the home front and illustrates how the action, terror, and tragedy of World War II was not confined to the front lines.
‘Jean Gill is the master of historical intrigue’ – C.M.T.Stibbe, author of ‘Fowler’s Snare’
Book 1 in The Troubadours Quartet
1150 in Provence, where love and marriage are as divided as Christian and Muslim. A historical thriller set in Narbonne just after the Second Crusade.
On the run from abuse, Estela wakes in a ditch with only her lute, her amazing voice, and a dagger hidden in her petticoats.
Her talent finds a patron in Alienor of Aquitaine and more than a music tutor in the Queen’s finest troubadour and Commander of the Guard, Dragonetz los Pros.
Weary of war, Dragonetz uses Jewish money and Moorish expertise to build that most modern of inventions, a papermill, arousing the wrath of the Church. Their enemies gather, ready to light the political and religious powder-keg of medieval Narbonne.
We are led into the world of Richard Sloan, a Massachusetts missing person’s detective who seems to be losing his touch. After six months he hasn’t found anyone alive and becomes desperate to redeem his reputation.
Aryl Sullivan, who suffered amnesia in a boating accident, finds himself caught up in a series of events that land him in London. While in the hands of Gina, a secretive and controlling woman, and her boss, Mickey, Aryl is forever changed as he does what he has to in order to survive.
Following leads on a serial cop killer terrorizing Boston, Detective Sloan unwittingly stumbles on information that leads him to Aryl Sullivan, a man everyone in Rockport thinks is dead.
What could account for this astounding longevity? Why are his colleagues and the Church so desperate to prevent him learning the secret? And why is his consummate lover his greatest enemy?
Griffin Clonmac will go through hell to find out.
He won’t go alone. Inspired by a real discovery, Clonmac’s Bridge shifts between contemporary times and 9th century Ireland. It tells the story of two men who struggle against envy and mediocrity — a millennium apart — aided only by a loyal helpmate and an unconquerable will.
An archaeological thriller, a love story, and a pensée on society then and now, with a mystery at its core.
Targeted Age Group:: 16+
What Inspired You to Write Your Book?
Well, for my latest novel, “CLONMAC’S BRIDGE” an historical mystery, my inspiration was a real-life discovery.
I’ve always been fascinated by important archeological discoveries, and I found this one particularly interesting. Maritime archaeologists aren’t common characters and they fit splendidly in the story I had in mind.
Also, it’s set in Ireland, a land I love very much. Like the main character, my mother’s ancestors were Irish and I admire the people. But mainly, I wanted to tell about individuals who strive to give their best because they love their profession.
Jane Austen meets Sherlock Holmes when a crime wave sweeps through Regency London’s Jewish community and the adventures of wealthy-widower-turned-sleuth Ezra Melamed are recorded for posterity by Miss Rebecca Lyon, a young lady not quite at the marriageable age.
In this fourth volume of the series, David Salomon, a young violinist and composer, has left New York to find fame and fortune in Regency London. But disaster strikes not long after he arrives. Someone is stealing his compositions before he can perform them and soon he is the laughingstock of the beau monde that he had hoped to conquer.
With few friends and even fewer resources, he turns to Ezra Melamed for help with finding the thief. But who would wish to harm a young stranger? The deeper Mr. Melamed looks into the violinist’s story the more jarring notes he finds, making The Doppelganger’s Dance one of the most discomposing mysteries of his career.
Targeted Age Group:: Adults
What Inspired You to Write Your Book?
While doing research for an earlier book in my Ezra Melamed Mystery Series, which is set in Regency England, I ran across a mention of a piano-making shop. Since I love music, I had to read about this shop, the sorts of pianos that were made there, the new technologies that were being used in the race to construct a better pianoforte, etc. And as I was reading it occurred to me that I had found the subject of a future mystery story – which became The Doppelganger’s Dance, a mystery about technology, greed and, of course, music.
It is 1870, and Paris is in turmoil. As the social and political turbulence of the Franco-Prussian War roils the city, workers starve to death while aristocrats seek refuge in orgies and séances. The Parisians are trapped like rats in their beautiful city but a series of gruesome murders captures their fascination and distracts them from the realities of war. The killer leaves lines from the recently deceased Charles Baudelaire’s controversial anthology Les Fleurs du Mal on each corpse, written in the poet’s exact handwriting. Commissioner Lefevre, a lover of poetry and a veteran of the Algerian war, is on the case, and his investigation is a thrilling, intoxicating journey into the sinister side of human nature, bringing to mind the brooding and tense atmosphere of Patrick Susskind’s Perfume. Did Baudelaire rise from the grave? Did he truly die in the first place? The plot dramatically appears to extend as far as the court of the Emperor Napoleon III.
A vivid, intelligent, and intense historical crime novel that offers up some shocking revelations about sexual mores in 19th century France, this superb mystery illuminates the shadow life of one of the greatest names in poetry. Winner of the Hercule Poirot Prize for best crime novel of the year.
“[An] intense historical crime thriller. The intricate plot, menacing atmosphere, and rich evocations of period Paris have undeniable power.” (Publishers Weekly)
Van Laerhoven packs much complexity into 256 pages, giving this historical mystery the heft of a far longer work ( …) The book’s main preoccupation is the conclusive demonstration that everyone is guilty of something—the only mystery is, to what degree? The flowers of evil, sketched in lurid botanical detail…. (Kirkus Reviews)
Published for the first time in English, this roman policier isn’t so much a straight detective story (although there are two detectives in it) as an evocation of a mind-set that now seems extravagant: the 19th-century poet’s fascination with sex and death. It’s no wonder this title won the Hercule Poirot Prize: the author is Belgian, as is the prize, and the twisted plot is as complicated as Agatha Christie’s most convoluted mystery. Mystery aficionados will love this pastiche of Wilkie Collins and Edgar Allan Poe (…) – David Keymer, Modesto, CA (Library Journal).
“Baudelaire’s Revenge is a real page-turner. Once you start, you are caught in the stream of a story that is fascinating and exciting. The language is beautiful, flowing. A must-read!” (Goodreads Belgium, 5 stars)
“Vigorous. A finely-tuned balancing act between style and content. Add to all this the extremely convincingly painted tragic characters and the multitude of mysterious figures, and what you get is a winner who gives added luster to this jubilee edition of the Hercule Poirot Prize.” (The jury of the Hercule Poirot Prize)
Targeted Age Group:: adults
What Inspired You to Write Your Book?
The Flowers of Evil, the poetry anthology of Charles Baudelaire, one of the greatest poets ever.