Evil Things by Moscow-born Paris resident author Katja Ivar is the 1st novel in the Hella Mauzer trilogy of Nordic Noir-styled historical police procedural mystery/crime thrillers, free for a limited time courtesy of publisher Bitter Lemon Press.
The series is set throughout Finland during the 1950s, starring the former first-ever female Inspector for the Helsinki police’s Homicide Unit, who was dismissed from the force under the excuse of “emotional instability” and now must find a way to prove herself and her skills against prejudice while investigating crimes involving the complicated post-war conditions. This is apparently being made free to help promote the upcoming 2nd novel, Deep as Death, which will be released in June.
This first installment takes place in the far north of Finland in 1952, in the Lapland area populated by the indigenous Sami, as Hella jumps at the chance to look into a seemingly simple missing persons’ case in a small village on the Soviet Russian border, which apparently harbours far more terrible secrets and crimes to uncover.
Offered in US & UK (possibly other countries worldwide excluding Canada), available at multiple retailers.
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The Last Straw by Paul Gitsham, a former biologist turned science teacher, is the 1st novel in the DCI Warren Jones series of police procedural mystery/crime thrillers, free for a limited time courtesy of publisher HarperCollins’ HQ Digital imprint.
This is the featured Free Book of the Week in the iTunes UK store. The series stars a recently-appointed Detective Chief Inspector in England, and is apparently somewhat forensically focused due to the author’s scientific background.
The case involves the murder of a high-profile microbiology professor where the clues seemingly point towards revenge but may be a smokescreen concealing financial motivations connected to his pioneering research, as political interference muddies the waters.
Offered in the UK only, available at multiple retailers.
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Stalin’s Ghost by Martin Cruz Smith, a recipient of the Gold Dagger Award and multiple finalist for the Edgar Award, is a 6th novel in the Arkady Renko series of contemporary police procedural mystery/political crime thrillers, free for a limited time courtesy of publisher Simon & Schuster UK.
This is the featured Free Book of the Week in the iTunes UK store, and was a finalist for the 2007 Hammett Prize named in honour of classic noir author Dashiell Hammett. The long-running series is set throughout Russia and the former Soviet Union from the Cold War 1980s and onward, starring a chief investigator of the Soviet police force and his changing fortunes throughout the decades, often touching upon historical events and political topics of the day.
This installment is set during the modern Putin era, during which he has been relegated to investigating crackpot reports of ghost sightings on the Moscow subway, which nevertheless lead him to a string of murders which may or may not have their roots in the Chechen War.
Offered in the UK only, available at multiple retailers.
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Ragdoll by British author Daniel Cole is the 1st novel in the Ragdoll series of police procedural serial killer thrillers, free for a limited time courtesy of publisher Orion’s Trapeze imprint.
This is the featured Free Book of the Week in the iTunes UK store. The series is set in London and alternates between cases pursued by a former Detective, William Fawkes, who wavers between returning to the force or being disgraced from it, and his former partner, DCI Emily Baxter, who is still an active police detective.
This installment sees the two of them reuniting to tackle the case of the the titular serial killer, who has already created a frankencorpse of six victims stitched together, and threatens to create another from a list of upcoming victims given to the media which the detectives must rush to save even as the world is watching.
Offered in UK, Europe, South America & Japan and selected other countries worldwide (excluding North America), available at multiple retailers.
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The Dark Beneath by British author J. S. Law, a former Royal Navy engineer, is the 1st novel in the Lieutenant Dani Lewis series of military police procedural crime thrillers, free for a limited time courtesy of publisher Headline.
This is the featured Free Book of the Week in the iTunes UK store. The series stars a naval investigator investigating crimes that involve members of the British Royal Navy or take place upon its vessels.
This case sees her investigating a suspicious suicide on board a submarine, questioning the crew while deployed deep underwater with a potential killer on board.
Offered in UK & Europe, available at multiple retailers.
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As Kingfishers Catch Fire and Dragonflies Draw Flame by Ulster-born England resident author Philip McCormac a standalone supernatural horror police procedural crime thriller, free for a limited time courtesy of publisher Endeavour Press’ Venture imprint.
The story is a hybrid of supernatural horror and police procedural crime thriller, mixing in political tensions in Northern Ireland, when a demon bound during the 17th century finds a way to wreak havoc between Catholics and Protestants in modern Ulster, as detectives investigate the disappearance of local children belonging to a religious youth group amidst threats from the IRA and conflict with the Catholic Church which no longer acknowledges the possibility of demonic influence or the usefulness of exorcism.
Offered worldwide, available at Amazon.
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As a special treat for Independent Bookstore Day on April 27th, audiobook distributor Libro.fm is offering 5 free audiobook titles from major publishers.
The titles are a mix of self-help non-fiction, mystery/thriller, literary fiction, and horror video game tie-ins, plus a sampler, and can also be gifted to your friends. Here’s the promo featured on their front page, and links to the individual titles below:
- Make Your Bed: Little Things That Can Change Your Life…And Maybe the World by William H. McRaven, read by the author himself, a motivational self-help book of tips and life lessons, based on a popular commencement speech to a university’s graduating class.
- The Blackhouse by Peter May, read by Peter Forbes, the Barry award-winning 1st novel in the Lewis Trilogy of police procedural mystery/thrillers set in Scotland’s Outer Hebrides islands, starring a native islander detective returning home from Edinburgh to investigate a suspiciously similar killing while delving into the depths of his own past.
- Hello Neighbor: Missing Pieces by Carly Anne West, a prequel novel setting up the premise for the hit horror video game where you play an aggrieved homeowner determined to rid yourself of the annoying people around you.
- Mother’s Group by bestselling author Liane Moriarty, read by Caroline Lee, a contemporary literary short story with a twist, centred around a group for new moms, one of whose members seems to be hiding a secret.
- Penguin Random House Audio Story Sampler 2019, a collection of extended excerpts from some of their popular bestsellers across many categories.
Offered through midnight Pacific Time on April 27th, available DRM-free worldwide from Libro.fm (requires account signup with billing address but no payment info).
Cop Killer by the late James Holding, one of the authors behind the “Ellery Queen” shared pseudonym, is vintage standalone mystery/crime thriller short story, free for a limited time courtesy of publisher Wildside Press. as one of their sporadic weekly giveaways to help promote their Black Cat Mystery Community for vintage pulp mystery/crime thriller reprints.
This was originally published in 1962 in the November issue of Ellery Queen’s Mystery Magazine magazine.
The story stars a beat cop assigned to a bad neighbourhood working to thwart an old high school rival who has become a deadly dangerous petty criminal.
Offered worldwide through April 22nd (probably; sometimes they stay for a few extra days or until the next week), available DRM-free directly from the publisher.
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The Longest Pleasure by Douglas Clark is the 15th novel in the Masters & Green series of police procedural mystery/crime thrillers, free for a limited time courtesy of publisher Endeavour Press.
This was originally published in 1981 by Victor Gollancz. The series stars a pair of Scotland Yard investigators called in to investigate crimes around Britain.
This case sees them looking into simultaneous outbreaks of botulism which have arisen in different parts of the country which have a suspiciously coincidental identical method of delivery possibly indicating a culprit up to no good, complicating the investigation as this information is suppressed from the public to prevent panic.
Offered worldwide, available at Amazon.
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The Floater by Jonathan Craig, one of the mystery and western-writing pseudonyms for the late Frank E. Smith a former Pentagon analyst who was briefly an adviser to President Truman, is a standalone police procedural murder mystery novelette, free for a limited time courtesy of publisher Wildside Press.
This was originally published in 1955 in the January issue of Manhunt magazine, and is being made free as one of their sporadic weekly giveaways to help promote their Black Cat Mystery Community for vintage pulp mystery/crime thriller reprints.
The story is a police procedural murder mystery, starring a detective in New York investigating the murder of a missing teenager found in the harbour, whose various acquaintances seem almost suspiciously indifferent to her fate.
Offered worldwide through March 4th (possibly even later), available DRM-free directly from the publisher.
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