Hoping to find a new read that keeps you on the edge of your seat? As your trusty partner in crime, we've done the sleuthing for you. From gripping thrillers to mysteries by award-winning authors, our investigations have uncovered the best in ebook deals this month. But act fast! Like the most successful killers, they'll be gone before you know it . . .
Note: These deals were last updated on 2/1/19. Check back soon to get debriefed on next month's best discounted books.
A Flower in the Desert
“Suspenseful plotting . . . another satisfying Joshua Croft adventure” as the Santa Fe PI trails a mother who’s snatched her daughter from her TV star ex (Kirkus Reviews).
After a particularly nasty divorce, Melissa, the ex-wife of actor Roy Alonzo, accused the handsome TV star of abusing their daughter. Then she took their child and disappeared.
Santa Fe private investigator Joshua Croft has no real desire to get entangled in the sordid lives of Hollywood’s rich and famous. But a Santa Fe underworld kingpin happens to be Alonzo’s uncle and has requested Croft’s help, an offer that’s tough to refuse.
The closer Croft gets to the truth about the shocking Alonzo affair, the more urgent finding the missing mother and child becomes—especially after Melissa’s sister is killed. Croft suspects this murder could have something to do with Melissa’s association with the group Sanctuary and its refugees from Central American terror. Or perhaps it’s connected to a clandestine rescue group that protects battered wives and children.
Either way, the situation gets bleaker by the hour, with a less-than-trustworthy FBI agent impeding Croft’s investigation and even more disappearances and deaths. Apparently the adversaries in this dark affair mean serious business, and time is running out for the runaways—and perhaps for the private detective who’s on their trail as well.
A Long Time Dead
With an introduction by Max Allan Collins: The first collection of stories starring legendary Mike Hammer, the toughest private investigator in history.
It starts with a few near-accidents: A car almost swipes Mike Hammer when he’s crossing the street. A junkie robs the notoriously hardboiled detective at knifepoint. A fight on a subway platform comes close to pushing him in front of a train. While any one of these could be a coincidence, together they make a conspiracy—one that Hammer will have to end in order to survive. And when it comes to finishing something—or someone—nobody does it better than Hammer.
One of the twentieth century’s bestselling American mystery authors, Mickey Spillane changed noir fiction forever when he loosed Mike Hammer on the world. Now these eight short stories, collected and finished by Max Allan Collins, show that Spillane is still capable of redefining the genre.
A Study in Terror
Based on the Sherlock Holmes film: Ellery Queen matches wits with the Baker Street sleuth to unmask Jack the Ripper.
Ellery Queen is struggling over his latest book when a friend brings him a mystery. It is a journal, written by a Victorian doctor, of reports on the remarkable adventures of his close friend, a brilliant detective named Sherlock Holmes. Queen’s surprise turns to amazement as he turns its pages and discovers the lost story of Sherlock Holmes’s greatest case: the pursuit of Jack the Ripper. From the brothels and back alleys of fog-choked Whitechapel to the manor of one of England’s greatest families, Holmes and Dr. Watson chase history’s most fearsome killer. But it will take the brilliance of Ellery Queen to solve the case once and for all.
Black Is the Colour of My True Love's Heart
When two attendees go missing from a folk music festival at a remote Gothic mansion, Inspector Felse arrives to solve the mystery—and protect his son.
Singers and musicians are gathered for a weekend course in folk music at the impressive neo-Gothic country mansion Follymead. Most come only to sing or to listen, but one or two have nonmusical scores to settle. When brilliantly talented Liri Palmer sings “Black, black, black is the colour of my true-love’s heart,” she clearly has a message for someone in the audience. And as passions run high, there is murder brewing at Follymead.
Among the music students are Dominic Felse and his girlfriend, Theodosia. When not one, but two, members of the group go missing from the hall, Dominic calls upon his father, Detective Inspector George Felse, to help him solve this most perplexing mystery.
Home Sweet Homicide
When your mom’s a mystery writer, a talent for detection is only natural. So when the three children of prolific whodunit author Marion Carstairs become material witnesses in a neighborhood murder, they launch their own investigation. And why not? They know everything about baffling mysteries from reading their mother’s books, the publicity could do wonders for her sales, and then she and a handsome detective could fall in love. It’s too perfect for words.
Marion’s too busy wrapping up the loose ends of her latest book for the inconvenience of a real crime. But what’s surfacing in the shadows of the house next door is not quite as predictable as fiction: accusations of racketeering, kidnapping and blackmail; a slain stripper; a grieving but slippery husband; a wily French artist; a panicky movie star; and a cop who’s working Marion’s last nerve. If the kids are game, Marion decides she is too—in between chapters, at least. Besides, this whole dangerous bloody mess could turn out to be a source of inspiration!
This stand-alone mystery was the basis for the classic 1946 comedy starring Randolph Scott and Peggy Ann Garner the “grand dame of mystery mixed with screwball comedy” (Ed Gorman, Ellery Queen–winning author).
In this legal thriller with “bedrock authenticity” by a New York Times–bestselling author, a Manhattan prosecutor risks his life to catch a serial killer (Kirkus Reviews).
A veteran assistant district attorney, Butch Karp knows that sometimes a prosecutor has to make a deal. The Manhattan courts are backed up worse than Midtown at rush hour, and that means plea bargains. Burglary gets knocked down to trespass, attempted homicide down to simple assault, but Karp has one ironclad rule: In his office, nobody gets away with murder. That rule is about to get put to the test.
All over Manhattan, the city’s drug kingpins are getting shot in the head and dumped in the streets. Is it a turf war, or has someone in the NYPD turned vigilante? When a cop asks Karp to help kill the investigation, Karp is forced to make an impossible choice between his principles and the city he loves.
Based on the personal experience of legendary prosecutor Robert K. Tanenbaum, Reversible Error takes readers on a tour of the grittiest corners of 1970’s New York. “You can smell the Big Apple starting to rot,” writes Kirkus Reviews “as Tanenbaum bores into its mealy core for another uncommonly intelligent legal/cop entertainment.”
Bored with retirement, an ex-spy embarks on a dangerous game, in this Edgar Award winner from a crime writer who is “one of the best” (The New York Times).
Miles Kendig is one of the CIA’s top deep-cover agents, until an injury ruins him for active duty. Rather than take a desk job, he retires. But the tawdry thrills of civilian life—gambling, drinking, sex—offer none of the pleasures of the intelligence game. Even a Russian agent’s offer to go to work against his old employers seems dull. Without the thrill of unpredictable conflict, Kendig skulks through Paris like the walking dead.
To revive himself, he begins writing a tell-all memoir, divulging every secret he accumulated in his long career. Neither CIA nor KGB can afford to have it in print, and so he challenges them both: Until they catch him, a chapter will go to the publisher every week. Kendig’s life is fun again, with survival on the line.
The coauthor of the Destroyer series brings an age-old quest to modern-day New York in this “brilliant [and] imaginative” thriller (The New York Times Book Review).
When a jewel-encrusted, gold saltcellar appears for sale in New York, speculation around the piece soars. The gems alone make the vessel incredibly valuable, but some are convinced something even more priceless hides within: nothing less than the legendary Holy Grail. After the owner of the piece is brutally murdered and the cellar taken, speculation turns to conviction—and a deadly hunt for the missing artifact is on.
Claire Andrews knows nothing of riches, glory, or mythical relics; she only wishes to avenge the death of her father, who was killed after putting his gold saltcellar on the market. She enlists the help of NYPD detective Artie Modelstein to hunt down the men responsible. But their search for truth lands them unwittingly in the middle of a mystery that has spanned centuries—a lethal quest for power from which no one escapes unscathed . . .
From the award-winning creator of Luther: A dark portrait of a young British hitman and his quest to find something beyond his cold, brutal world.
Jon Bennet is the perfect employee: systematic, productive, and utterly reliable. He is also completely detached from the world around him and seemingly feels nothing . . . for Jon’s life is anything but common. On the tight leash of the Tattooed Man, Jon kills and maims on order. And he’s good at it.
But Jon’s days of favor are about to end. After bumping into old school friends, he slowly reenters the normal world, where the bonds of friendship, love, and kindness are expected, and he finds himself changing back into the person he once was.
But the Tattooed Man requires total servitude, and his wrath is more fearful than Jon could ever have expected. This sophisticatedly twisted and surprisingly moving novel by the PEN-shortlisted author of Heartland and Burial and creator of the hit BBC crime series starring Idris Elba—as well as the novel Luther: The Calling—is a dark psychological journey into the mind of a killer and “a thrilling tale of perverse redemption” (The Literary Review).
The Adventures of Ellery Queen
In eleven stories, the brilliant sleuth tangles with a book thief, an assassin who targets acrobats, and more . . .
For Ellery Queen, there is no puzzle that reason cannot solve. In his time, he has faced down killers, thugs, and thieves, protected only by the might of his brain—and the odd bit of timely intervention by his father, a burly New York police inspector. But when a university professor asks Queen to teach a class, the detective finds there are people whom reason cannot touch: college students.
Queen’s adventure on campus is only the first of this incomparable collection of short mysteries. In these pages, he tangles with a violent book thief, an assassin who targets acrobats, and New York’s only cleanly shaven bearded lady. Criminals everywhere fear him, whether they work in mansions or back alleys. No mystery is too difficult for the man with the golden brain.
From the #1 New York Times–bestselling author: Florida PI Archy McNally takes on a deceptively simply case of pet abduction, where bad luck can be deadly.
Archy McNally enjoys sipping late-night port with his girlfriend of the moment and tooling across southern Florida in his red Miata sports car. In his off hours, he works as a part-time investigator for his father’s venerable law firm. His latest assignment? Solve a simple catnapping. But, as McNally knows, things are rarely as simple as they seem.
Soon, the case of the missing Peaches, a foul-tempered, overweight Persian, morphs into the murder of a prominent Palm Beach woman. Uncovering a chilling connection between the two cases sends McNally into a psychological game of cat and mouse. As he lays a trap that could be catnip for the killer, he is faced with the reality that felines may have nine lives but he has only one.
Too Bright to Hear Too Loud to See
An NPR Great Read: This novel about bipolar disorder and one man’s journey through the world is a “convincing portrait of mental illness” (Entertainment Weekly).
This tour-de-force novel takes us inside the restless mind, ravaged heart, and anguished soul of Greyson Todd—a successful Hollywood studio executive who leaves his wife and young daughter for a decade to travel the globe, finally giving free rein to the bipolar disorder he’s been forced to keep hidden for almost twenty years.
The story intricately weaves together three timelines—Greyson’s wanderings to Rome, to Israel, to Santiago, to Thailand, to Uganda; the progressive unraveling of his own father as seen through Greyson’s childhood memories; and the intricacies and estrangements of his marriage—all of which unfolds in a narrative spanning twelve thirty-second electroshock treatments in a New York psychiatric ward.
Intruder in the Dark
A corpse in a country house brings Scotland Yard to an eerily quiet English village, in this tale by a master of British mystery.
Cyril Savage has inherited the home of his wealthy and estranged aunt. But before Savage has the chance to discover her fortune, he is struck dead in the cellar of this once grand country house in the strange, nearly deserted village of Plumpton Bois.
The police are baffled and—unable to unearth a motive, let alone a killer—call for the assistance of Scotland Yard. Inspector Littlejohn and Inspector Cromwell arrive in Plumpton Bois and find the village, the family, and the house itself full of secrets.
The door to a locked room has been bashed open. Savage’s aunt is not nearly as rich as she seemed to be. And now, another body has turned up on Littlejohn’s watch . . .
From the New York Times–bestselling authors, the “chilling and engrossing” nuclear-showdown thriller with “a multi-megaton wallop” (Chicago Tribune).
Originally published during the Cuban Missile Crisis, this suspenseful novel takes off as a group of American bombers—armed with a deadly payload of nuclear weapons—heads towards Moscow, their motives mysterious. Suddenly, a nuclear apocalypse looms closer than it ever has, and the lives of millions depend on the high-stakes diplomacy of leaders on both sides of the divide.
The basis for a classic 1964 movie starring Henry Fonda, this two-million-copy bestseller is not only a terrifying thriller, but a fascinating social commentary on Cold War politics and a look at how, in a world poised on the brink, accidents and mistakes can have catastrophic consequences. Exploring the thin line between peace and global destruction that characterized this turbulent era, it is as timely as ever—“gripping, exciting, and almost unbearably fascinating” (Los Angeles Times).
From the New York Times–bestselling author of The Eagle Has Landed and Dark Justicecomes the World War II legend of American gangster Charles “Lucky” Luciano.
It’s 1943 and war is raging. The key to America and the Allies’ first assault on Nazi-occupied Europe is the island of Sicily. But it is unknown whether the Sicilian people are willing to rise up and fight alongside the Allies. To secure their help, the US military turns to imprisoned mobster Lucky Luciano—the one man with the connections to the all-powerful Sicilian mafia that could change the course of the war in Italy.
The price for his help? Nothing short of a full pardon.
Sent in secret to Sicily, Luciano must use every bit of guile and ruthlessness he has to convince his underworld brethren to make a stand against the fascists who have overrun their land. If successful, his mission will pave the way for a full-scale invasion of Italy and aid the Allies in breaking Hitler’s grip on Italy. But if he fails, the price in blood will be higher than anyone can imagine—and Luciano’s will be the first spilled.
This post is sponsored by Open Road Media. Thank you for supporting our partners, who make it possible for Murder & Mayhem to continue publishing the thrilling stories you love.