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The Chairman's Toys
Poisoned Pen Press
Chris Andrew Ciulla
Spieldauer: 6 Std. und 42 Min.
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After Jake quits the drug business, his realtor/ex-wife, Nina, gets him a job as a housesitter for her wealthy clients. Jake celebrates by throwing a party in the mansion he was hired to look after. Unfortunately, the guest list gets out of hand, leaving Jake to contend with a hallucinogenic-vitamin-dispensing yogi, a dead guy in the bathroom, and the Norwegian - a criminal force of nature with a grudge against Jake.
It's autumn of 1881, and Inez Stannert, still the co-owner of Leadville, Colorado's Silver Queen saloon, is settled in San Francisco with her young ward, Antonia Gizzi. Inez has turned her business talents to managing a music store, hoping to eventually become an equal partner in the enterprise with the store's owner, a celebrated local violinist. Inez's carefully constructed life for herself and Antonia threatens to tumble about her ears when the badly beaten body of a young musician washes up on the filthy banks of San Francisco's Mission Creek canal.
Faye has traveled to Memphis, a city steeped in music, poverty, history, and the smoky tang of barbecue. She's there working alone to do an assessment of a site, welcome work for her small archaeological consulting firm. When Faye spies a child too young to be wandering along a creek alone, she follows the girl. A day later she uncovers a dying woman, buried alive near a spot where Kali might well be hiding. Nobody would blame Faye for running hard, but she can't make herself leave Kali, the woman's now-orphaned daughter, who might be in danger.
Psychologist Dr. Daniel Rinaldi consults with the Pittsburgh Bureau of Police. His specialty is treating victims of violent crime - those who've survived an armed robbery, kidnapping, or sexual assault, but whose traumatic experience still haunts them. Head Wounds picks up where Rinaldi's investigation in Phantom Limb left off, turning the tables on him as he himself becomes the target of a vicious killer.
Everyone in the charming Hudson Valley town of Oak Falls expected Flynn Keegan, their handsome blond "Golden Boy", to make it big in Hollywood. So when veterinarian Kate Turner identifies a bone dug up by one of her dog patients as human, no one thinks back 10 years to remember Flynn. Until DNA and a smashed skull prove he was murdered. Kate soon discovers that chains of love can be as strong as those made of steel-and some deadly secrets have put her next on the kill list.
Bob Patterson considers himself an everyman - albeit an everyman with a rich, beautiful wife, two good kids, and a mail-it-in job that ignores his law degree. Despite his good fortune, Bob is idling through life, bored at work and at home. In short, he is the proverbial coaster. Bob's wife, Sarah, is the anointed heir to the empire built by her father, Sam, a kind of Kansas City, Missouri, Warren Buffet. Fine by Bob, the family soccer mom, but early one morning he and Sarah awake to terrible news.
Cal Claxton is determined to reinvent himself as a small-town lawyer in the aftermath of his wife's suicide. Once a hard-charging Los Angeles prosecutor, he now lives in solitude in an old farmhouse overlooking Oregon's wine country. When a scruffy, tattooed kid shows up asking for help in solving a cold case - that of his mother's murder - Cal wants to say no. Times are tough, and he's no private eye, anyway. But the kid, who calls himself Picasso, has ridden a bicycle in the rain all the way from Portland, and something about his determination touches Cal.