Lonni Lees

Broken: a new murder mystery by Lonni Lees

My wife,  Lonni  Lees,  often  has  murder  on  her  mind. Check out the Lonni’s Murder Mystery Page to see her other books.

Broken:

A series of seemingly unrelated murders rattles a small desert town. As one death follows another, the only common thread is that all of the victims had their necks broken. When clues begin to point to one of the two cops on the case, the officers become more determined than ever to find the real killer.

A skeletal hand, buried in the desert, holds a clue.

Available on Amazon   and Barnes&Noble

 

Book Announcement – The Mosaic Murder by Lonni Lees

Mosaic Murder coverThe Mosaic Murder is a new mystery by Tucson writer Lonni Lees.

Synopsis by Borgo Press:

“The artists’ reception at the popular Mosaic Gallery in Tucson, Arizona is a great success, but the next morning, when the body of Armando, the owner’s husband, is discovered, things start turning ugly. Every artist becomes a suspect, and each of them has their own reason to want the man out of the picture. But who disliked him enough to want him dead? And who stole the Mexican artifacts and the sculpture of the goddess Gaia? Gallery owner Barbara Atwell is devastated at her young husband’s death, and turns to her friends, Adrian and Rocco, for support. An unseasonal Arizona heat wave keeps everyone’s nerves on edge as Police Detective Maggie Reardon juggles a disastrous personal life while trying to solve the crime. She even finds herself attracted to one of the suspects as she sifts through a long list of colorful, Bohemian characters to determine who had the ultimate motive for murder. But when she’s viciously attacked in her own home, she begins wondering whether she’ll survive long enough to find the culprit. The first of a great series of detective novels set in the sizzling Southwest!”

Review by Terry Butler, artist and writer:

“This is Lonni Lees’ third book and her second novel. I’ve had the pleasure of reading them all as well as her online and print stories, but I have to say this one is my flat-out favorite.

“Lonni lives in Tucson and writes her descriptions of the area and its harsh beauty, plants and weather with a sure hand. And the best thing about that is her exercise of self control, showing us that the right amount of atmosphere is just enough, leaving her room to draw the character of Detective Maggie Reardon in detail–flaws and strengths alike, just as in all human beings. Maggie is no superhero hard-boiled dudette in sexy clothes, but a smart, interesting woman whom we end up caring a great deal about.

“In fact all the characters in this book are well described and believable, even if some of them are a bit weird. But then, who are artists and gallery hangers-on if not umm, “unique” individuals? Its a great milieu for a mystery and Lonni keeps us guessing all the way.

“It’s great to see a new writer getting this much better with each outing, and word is that Lonni has another of Detective Reardon’s adventures in the pipeline. I’ll be waiting!”

This book has just been released and is available at Amazon   as a print book and Kindle. It will soon be available from other providers. Other books by Lonni include Deranged, a novel of horror and Crawlspace, an anthology of creepy short stories.

Independent review: Deranged

Deranged coverLast July I announced a new novel called “Deranged: A Novel of Horror” by Lonni Lees, my wife. The book is her first novel. Her book has now received an independent review by Brendan Matley, editor of an online literary magazine called A Shot Of Ink in Britain.

Here is Brendan’s review:

When first sitting down and sinking my teeth into DERANGED I must admit that I was a little surprised. I was surprised at how good it is.

Now don’t get me wrong, Lonni Lees is a talented writer of short stories (check out her story ‘Desert Venus’ elsewhere on A Shot of Ink), but this was her first full length novel. As any writers out there will testify; creating a novel is a very different skill to writing a short. The plot has to be strong enough to interest the reader over a vastly longer word count, and the characters must be well developed and have suitable depth to carry the narrative. This is where Lonni Lees shines.

The plot involves a psycho named Charlie Blackhawk kidnaping a twelve year old Sabrina Stinson. Meanwhile, a girl named Amy is suffering terrible nightmares that possibly hold the key to saving Sabrina.

The book is beautifully plotted, with Lees leaving the actual kidnaping until relatively late in the story. This allows her to explore the characters and their various interactions with friends and family, leaving the reader with a true sense of caring about their fates. By the time the abduction happens the reader has gotten to know Sabrina quite well so you really feel for her and her family.

The protagonists in DERANGED read as real people as opposed to a cast whose sole purpose it is to forward the plot. I must also mention the secondary players, most notably; the Stinson’s friend Betty and Amy’s friend Freddy. Both of them ooze warmth and likeability tinged with a melancholy that is hard to describe without spoiling the plot. These peripheral characters fill the world nicely; adding extra layers to a relentlessly dark environment.

The story runs at a pitch-perfect pace with a special mention going to chapter fourteen which breathlessly switches between characters giving a wonderful sense of foreboding that only a great book can achieve.

The main players in DERANGED are very well written. Sabrina is a precocious little thing that you can’t help but love. Her grit and determination coupled with her obvious love for her mother make her a well rounded heroine.

Meg (Sabrina’s mother) and Charlie both share a history of sexual abuse, although both have grown into very different adults. Meg is still somewhat of a victim as an adult although she allows herself to commit sexual acts in order to further her career as an actress.

The star of the show, for this reviewer at least, is Charlie Blackhawk. He is a wonderfully creepy villain that exudes a sense of menace whenever he is on the page. Lees weaves his back-story throughout the novel and succeeds in making him both evil and slightly sympathetic; a very difficult trick to pull off.

DERANGED is a curious mix of both horror and crime fiction and fans of either genre will not be disappointed. It’s hard to believe that this is a debut novel as it is written with the confidence of a seasoned professional and reads as such.

A Shot of Ink heartily recommends DERANGED as a riveting read. It is available now from both Amazon and Barnes and Noble.

Deranged is available from the publisher Wildside Press and from Amazon as a print book and as a Kindle ebook, or may be ordered through your favorite bookstore. It is also available from Barnes & Noble here.

Book Review: DERANGED, a novel of horror by Lonni Lees

Deranged coverI have written several book reviews on this blog, but this is the first time I review a work of fiction, that is, intentional fiction. This book, a first novel by Tucson author Lonni Lees, is a psychological thriller. Lonni has published many short stories of the noir genre, in Hardboiled Magazine and in anthologies such as Deadly Dames both published by Gryphon Books.

I recommend this book because it is a good page-turning thriller and because Lonni is my wife and owns many reference books on poisons, weapons, and murders.

The Story is a chilling, thrilling exercise in unrelenting horror and suspense.

 Just an ordinary-looking man, Charlie Blackhawk is really a monster inside, a cold-blooded killer who likes to use a knife. When his path crosses that of Meg Stinson and her 12-year-old daughter, Sabrina, their lives are changed forever.

What’s the connection between the Stinsons and a girl named Amy? Do Amy’s nightmares hold the key to Sabrina’s survival? Within these pages the reader is in for a dark and dangerous ride.

 Praise for DERANGED:

“DERANGED is a hell of a good read by a bright new talent. It’s a harrowing ride, a first novel mixing crime with horror and horror with crime in a way you won’t soon forget. Bravo!”

Gary Lovisi, HARDBOILED magazine and Gryphon Books

 

 “Lonni Lees sends chills down my spine!”

Terrill Lee Lankford, Novelist and Film maker

  

Deranged is available from the publisher Wildside Press and from Amazon as a print book and as a Kindle ebook, or may be ordered through your favorite bookstore.

Lonni will have another book out in a few months. It will be an anthology of short stories by Lonni and her sister Arlette Lees, also a published author.

Lonni is working on another novel, a murder mystery, that will take place in Tucson.