Books by "J.S. Cook" (16)

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Wind and Dark Water

The Kildevil Cove Murder Mysteries

A Guernsey Series Novel

Disgraced detective Deiniol “Danny” Quirke returns to Guernsey, the Newfoundland fishing village of his youth, to bury his abusive grandfather and dispose of the old man’s empty house. Devastated by the recent death of his beloved wife and mired in an internal police investigation that will likely spell the end of his career, he’s in no mood to reminisce about Auld Lang Syne with the people who made his childhood a living hell.

Secrets Danny thought were buried forever rise violently to the surface when the bones of local boy Llewellyn Single, drowned thirty years before, wash up on the beach. Only two people truly know what happened: Danny Quirke and his former best friend—now bitter enemy—millionaire Tadhg Heaney.

Two things matter to Tadhg: money and his teenage daughter Lily, who is dying of advanced neuroblastoma. When Lily’s estranged mother returns to claim her, the only person Tadhg can turn to is Danny. And when Danny is accused of Llewellyn’s murder, he must ally with Tadhg, who he cannot help but desire, because those who believe he is responsible are looking for revenge.

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Durant  l’hiver glacial de 1891, alors que la nation est encore sous le choc de la crise bancaire de Baring, l’inspecteur Philemon Raft revient d’un congé sabbatique involontaire, et se retrouve chargé de résoudre l’enlèvement de Miriam Dewberry, une jeune fille de bonne famille. Projeté dans un milieu sordide où les classes supérieures se livrent à des investissements honteux, de l’autre côté de l’océan, pour engraisser leur compte en banque, Raft se retrouve perdu sans son compagnon, le constable Freddie Crook. Loin d’offrir son aide, l’élite cherche à tout prix à empêcher Raft de découvrir la vérité au sujet de la malheureuse victime de cet enlèvement, Miriam Dewberry… qui n’existe peut-être même pas.

Bientôt, Raft découvre que son vieil ennemi, le maître de l’hospice, John Gallant, est de retour à Londres. Gallant n’a pas avoué ses ambitions, mais il en sait assez pour ruiner la carrière de Raft, et peut-être même sa vie. Raft tente de résoudre cette affaire grâce à sa perspicacité habituelle et étrange, mais d’autres forces plus sombres sont à l’œuvre. Londres est encore terrifiée : c’est le Londres de Whitechapel, de Jack l’Éventreur, le Londres de la pauvreté, de la saleté et du désespoir, où s’engager dans la mauvaise allée pourrait envoyer Raft tout droit à la morgue.

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Enjoy J.S. Cook’s best mysteries, with a side of lust and romance, in this collection. In But Not for Me, gangster boss Nino Moretti rescues beautiful mob accountant Stanley Zadwadzki from a rival, but the consequences may cost them any chance at a relationship. In A Little Night Murder, insurance investigator Frank Boyle may have escaped from danger once with help from detective Sam Lipinski, but a new investigation is turning up trouble once again. In Come to Dust, Inspector Philemon Raft is set adrift among the deceitful ton of turn-of-the-century London, trying to locate the kidnapped Miriam Dewberry. In The Lovely Beast, Jacob van Willingen is on a mission to exterminate the evil Caleb Donnithorn, but things aren’t quite what they seem to be at this Romanian castle. In Skid Row Serenade, novelist and war hero Tony Leonard visits his estranged wife only to find her beaten to death. On the run, he decides to fake his own death, with a little help from private investigator Edwin Malloy.


See excerpt for individual blurbs.

But Not for Me previously published by Dreamspinner Press, March 2013 Cover Art by Aaron Anderson aaronbydesign55@gmail.com A Little Night Murder previously published by Dreamspinner Press, September 2013 Cover Art by Catt Ford Come to Dust previously published by Dreamspinner Press, November 2013 Cover Art by Maria Fanning The Lovely Beast previously published by Dreamspinner Press, July 2014 Cover Art by L.C. Chase http://www.lcchase.com Skid Row Serenade previously published by Dreamspinner Press, August 2015 Cover Art by Aaron Anderson aaronbydesign55@gmail.com

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Billionaire inventor Chase Gordon has just turned forty—and everything in his ordered little world is going to hell in an Hermès bag. His acerbic English butler Juliet Lavish has decided to retire. The humanitarian church founded by his late parents has suddenly gone broke. In Honduras. In the middle of the jungle. Lastly, NYPD detective Brian Schrade wants to use Chase’s palatial mansion to hide Walter Godfrey, a newspaper reporter who might know something about a recent rash of mob-related business deals. Part of the deal is the conniving, misanthropic Alec Pratt, son of a local newspaper mogul and unapologetic police informant who just might have a teensy-weensy crush on Brian Schrade.

But Walter isn’t safe, not at Chase’s residence or anywhere else. His too-frequent forays into the city—against Brian Schrade’s advice—make him a target, and his strong attraction to Chase Gordon is setting him up for some serious heartbreak. When Chase goes to Honduras to investigate the state of his family’s failing fortunes, there's more trouble: Chase has been set up for kidnapping.

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When Feldwebel Horst Stussel is murdered in Jake Plenty’s Moroccan brothel, local police chief Nicolas Renard suspects Jake’s involvement in the crime. Renard has loved Jake since their service in the Legion Etrangère during the Great War, but in this era of concentration camps, gas chambers, and the infamous pink triangle, his love for the American dare not speak its name. 

When sadistic Nazi officer Major Danzig, a fanatic who excels at the arts of torture and interrogation, comes to Maarif, it isn’t because of the Feldwebel. He is in search of Christophe Picard, Resistance leader and Jake’s former lover. Danzig will stop at nothing to uncover Picard’s whereabouts, to find him and destroy him, and in so doing, strike a fatal blow against everything Picard stands for.

With an Allied invasion of North Africa mere days away, Jake and Renard must combine their wits, cunning, and courage to help Picard escape to America and freedom. In the midst of war and struggle, the two men are drawn into the fight of the century—and each other’s arms. 

2nd Edition
First Edition published by ManLove Romance Press, 2009.

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In the tradition of novel noir, nothing is ever quite as it seems.

Novelist and war hero Tony Leonard sees private investigator Edwin Malory being mugged outside a seaman’s mission in downtown Los Angeles, so he takes him home and gives him clean clothes and access to a hot shower. It doesn’t take him long to discover Malory was hired by wealthy industrialist Linton Vanderbilt Stirling, the father of Tony’s estranged wife, Janet. The reason for this is simple: Tony’s father-in-law suspects him of drinking away his daughter’s personal fortune.

On a whim, Tony drops in on Janet one night and finds her naked, dead, and tied up, her skull beaten in. Horrified, Tony flees the scene, knowing that as her husband, he is the number one suspect in the killing. He sees only one way out. He needs to fake his own death.

And who better to send his “suicide note” to than Edwin Malory.

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Oasis of Night

Heartache Café | Books One and Two
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Heartache Café: Books One and Two

The Second World War touches Newfoundland in unprecedented ways, throwing spies and patriots together inside Jack Stolyes’s Heartache Café.

Heartache Café

American expatriate Jack Stoyles embarks on a self-imposed exile to St. John’s, Newfoundland. With good reason, Jack calls his place “Heartache Café.” He's content—until Samual Halim walks into his life.

When a constable goes missing, Jack finds himself caught between a manipulative woman, a corrupt cop, and a sabotaged work site.

Valley of the Dead

When Egyptian diplomat Samuel Halim enters Jack’s Heartache Café, Jack’s life changes forever. Then Sam disappears along with the code key to decipher a Nazi radio command that will set Rommel’s troops in motion, leaving Jack with nothing but a fragmented phone call.

In the teeming heat of Cairo—a city rife with romance, secrets, sex, and danger, where no one is who he seems and violent death waits around every shadowed corner—it’s up to Jack to find the new love of his life and deliver the code that will change the course of history. But as Sam’s secrets come to light, there’s more at stake than the tenuous relationship forming between the two men.

2nd Edition
First Edition of Valley of the Dead published by Dreamspinner Press, 2013. First Edition of Heartache Café published by MLR Press, 2009.

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South Carolina lawyer Calvin Amos is confident he can gain Thomas Basinger his freedom on appeal. Thom was convicted of a murder during an armed robbery gone bad. But Basinger’s case proves more difficult than Cal anticipated, and the battle he assumed he’d win turns into a devastating failure. Remorseful over the personal defeat, after Basinger is executed, Cal throws himself out of his office window.

Bizarrely, the fall doesn’t kill him. Even stranger, Thom Basinger rings Cal’s doorbell looking for a job. Both men are drawn to each other. Before long, the two forge a unique, heartfelt connection that transcends the boundaries of life and death.

Calvin Amos always imagined himself in possession of some great love or other. He didn’t know he had to die to find it.

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The year is 1934, and disgraced federal agent Nathan Devereaux is escorting convicted felon John Banks to visit his dying mother. Banks is despondent, miserably ill with a heavy cold, and unenthusiastic about traveling by plane. It isn't a responsibility Devereaux wants, but something about the prisoner’s plight resonates with him.

Devereaux charters a plane to Wisconsin, hoping to get there before Banks's mother breathes her last. But a routine journey swiftly turns into a sojourn in hell when a violent winter storm forces the plane miles off course, and Banks’s seemingly bad cold turns out to be diphtheria.

Stranded many miles from the destination, Devereaux must find a way to save Banks's life without compromising the mission. Like Banks, Devereaux has secrets of his own, and the scope and purpose of his mission don't quite square with the stories he tells. Making matters worse, he is the only one standing between Banks and certain death, but even a federal agent can do only so much—especially an agent with blood on his hands.

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When former Indiana farm boy William Henry Rider goes on a bank robbing spree in Benedict Fouts's corner of Depression Era Illinois, it's up to Ben to bring him in. But Rider is no ordinary criminal. Famed for robberies that happen in the blink of an eye, Rider becomes a folk hero who steals from the rich and burns the mortgage papers of poor farmers teetering on the edge of financial ruin.

Intrigued to learn that Fouts has been assigned to his case, Rider approaches him in a darkened movie house with a unique proposition: “We’ll have ourselves a game of Cops and Robbers. I’ll run, and you catch me. The clock starts right now, Ben.”

Ben knows he’s the only one who can stop the Bureau from murdering Rider, but he’s soon struggling with another reason to chase the enigmatic fugitive.

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Veteran police chief Eli Gallagher doesn’t ask for much, but he does insist that his officers uphold the “serve” part of “serve and protect.” Conscientious young Deputy Stan Leach takes Eli’s motto to heart, maintaining a high standard of personal accountability.

When Eli’s long-distance boyfriend, Gilbert Nees, telephones from Philadelphia, Eli thinks he intends to further cement their relationship. Unfortunately, Gilbert’s news is anything but good. But Eli doesn’t have time to wallow, because a violent act results in murder in the small town of Morristown, Mississippi.

But as Eli and Stan uncover evidence, their personal lives begin to unravel. Stan, working closely with Chief Gallagher, grows increasingly attached to Eli and learns what it really means to be an advocate of justice.

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Jacob van Willingen arrives in a remote Romanian village aiming for a short visit. A member of the highly secretive Society for Psychical Research, Jacob has been charged with exterminating Caleb Donnithorn--but the society's intelligence about the reclusive nobleman is less than complete. As he studies his target, Van Willingen is drawn to Donnithorn, enthralled with the nobleman's alluring brides, three of society's most luminous geniuses gathered from the corners of Europe to create a fantastical machine: a resurrection engine that can capture a human soul at the moment of death.

Caleb Donnithorn represents everything that is evil in the world, but there is more to him than is initially apparent. What he knows about van Willingen is a truth so shocking it will shake the young scholar's world to its very foundations. Cast out from his friends and his beloved Society of Psychical Research, Jacob van Willingen will jettison everything he holds dear to remain with one whose love commands the highest price of all.

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In the frigid winter of 1891, with the nation still reeling from the Barings bank crisis, Inspector Philemon Raft returns from an involuntary sabbatical, tasked with solving the kidnapping of highly placed peer Miriam Dewberry. Thrust into a sordid underworld where the upper classes indulge in disreputable overseas investments designed to fatten their pocketbooks, Raft finds himself at loose ends without his companion, Constable Freddie Crook. Far from offering their help, the ton use every asset at their disposal to keep Raft from discovering the truth about hapless kidnap victim Miriam Dewberry—who may not even exist.

Soon Raft discovers that his old nemesis, the workhouse master John Gallant, has returned to London. Gallant doesn’t say what he wants—but he knows enough to ruin Raft's career and even his life. Raft tries to solve the case with his usual strange insight, but there are other, darker forces at work. This is a frightened London: the London of Whitechapel, of Jack the Ripper, the London of poverty, dirt and despair, where a right turn down the wrong alley could earn Raft a swift trip to the morgue.

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In 1942, Pearl Harbor has been bombed and the war is very much in evidence, but it would seem to have little to do with Frank Boyle, a respected Bronx born insurance investigator. He's a man who can keep secrets, and no one suspects that his boyhood friend—local mob boss Nicky Brooks—is his lover. When Brooks accidentally kills Frank's younger brother in a shootout, Frank must choose between his affair with Nicky and revenge for his brother's life.

After Frank betrays Nicky, police detective Sam Lipinski, a Bronx native who has long carried a torch for Frank, makes a move against the mob and lands squarely in the way of Nicky's plans. Sam smuggles Frank out of New York to keep him safe, and sets him up him in a small northeastern city. But there, a messy insurance investigation involving the Roarkes, who may or may not have killed their own mother for the insurance payout, places him in danger again. Dodging bullets, shady characters, and fallout from the war, Sam and Frank will need far more than luck on their side if they’re ever to see a loving future.

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Prodigy pianist Simon Duckworth has a dark past. After being violently raped when he was thirteen, he flees to London, ashamed and determined never to tell a soul. He gets a job at a Denmark Street music shop, but it stifles him. At the first opportunity, Simon answers an ad for a musician, an act that changes his life forever.

Stephen Abednego has seen the same ad. He arrives in London with little more than his ambitions and a sheaf of poems, but together, they’re enough to get him hired. Under their new manager’s watchful eye, Stephen falls for Simon—but Stephen deeply closeted, and Simon may be too emotionally scarred for a mature relationship.

With their manager’s help, their music rises, dragging them into the hectic world of superstardom, but success doesn’t come without a price. Each step out of the ennui and coal smoke of 1960s industrial London must be paid for in regret. With social convention standing between them and the whole world watching, Stephen and Simon discover that finding each other is not as easy as it seems.

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Gangster Nino Moretti’s world is a series of contrasts between extreme wealth and abject poverty, an unstable existence punctuated by booze and bullets. For Nino, the gangster lifestyle is even more dangerous because he is a finnochio—a gay man—in a position of absolute power at the head of his own criminal organization.

When Nino rescues beautiful mob accountant Stanley Zadwadzki from a violent assault at the hands of sadistic rival gangster Big Frank O’Hara, both Nino and Stanley become hunted men. Stanley places himself under Nino’s protection as Nino’s accountant and unofficial companion. As a warning, Frank murders Nino’s office boy. In a quest for revenge, Nino tracks Frank to Little Italy, where the resulting confrontation forces him to shoot a bystander to protect Stanley. With a gang war looming, Nino must set aside his feelings and concentrate on asserting his superiority over Big Frank—or lose everything he holds most dear.

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