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Forthcoming Books


Fortune’s Fool
A Sixth Case from the Notebooks of Pliny the Younger
Albert A. Bell, Jr.
ISBN 978-1-56474-587-3
240 pages, trade paperback original, $15.95
Publication date: April 7, 2017

The Sins of the Fathers


On the shores of beautiful Lake Como in Roman Italy, a Greek tragedy has taken place. Twenty years later, a skeleton falls out of a wall in Pliny’s villa, bearing mute witness to family secrets and crimes.

Pliny the Younger is intelligent about everything but women. He agrees to his wife’s and mother’s wishes to marry off his lover, Aurora, to another slave, but neglects telling her until the wedding! To add to his problems, when building a wing onto his Lake Como villa, workmen discover a skeleton. As is Pliny’s habit, he launches a scientific investigation of the crime, but soon receives anonymous warnings and threats to cease. Then his wife, Livia, is kidnapped, with the ransom being an unknown document. He must find and rescue her, with the help of his friend Tacitus and the tracking skills of Aurora—who has personal problems of her own. Livia’s and Pliny’s fathers are involved, as family secrets and deaths two decades old rear their ugly heads before the adventure i.s done.

As in the earlier books, a glossary of Roman terms and a list of historic and fictional characters are included.

Albert A. Bell, Jr. is a college history professor and novelist living in Michigan. In addition to his Roman mysteries, Bell has written contemporary mysteries, middle-grade novels, and nonfiction. He maintains a website devoted to Pliny the Younger, as well as his author website.


Water Signs
A Jeri Howard Mystery
Janet Dawson
ISBN 978-1-56474-586-6
232 pages, trade paperback original, $15.95
Publication date: April 7, 2017


Change is the only constant, and change is altering the East Bay landscape, especially on the waterfront, where Oakland PI Jeri Howard learns that greed is a potent ingredient in the murder of a former coworker.

Oakland, California, is a city shaped by water. The waterfront, home to the ship and rail yards, is also ripe for development. There’s lots of money to be made, so greed and crime inevitably follow. PI Jeri Howard looks into the murder of a former coworker who was a security guard at a construction site on the Embarcadero. It was a surprise when Cal Brady’s body washed up on the Estuary shoreline. But Jeri is certain Cal’s death was no accident, and she’s determined to find out who killed him, and why.

Janet Dawson is the author of twelve novels about PI Jeri Howard. Kindred Crimes won the St. Martin’s Press/PWA best first PI novel contest, also earning Shamus, Macavity, and Anthony nominations. Another in the series, Bit Player, was shortlisted for a Golden Nugget Award. Dawson’s short stories include a Shamus nominee and a Macavity winner, and other novels include her California Zephyr series. She is past president of the Northern California chapter of Mystery Writers of America, and lives in the East Bay region.


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