Official website of Mystery Author Dean James
Dean James : Deep South mysteries
CRUEL AS THE GRAVE
Deep South Myseries Book 1
Publisher : NYLA
November 13, 2013
From Miranda James, New York Times bestselling author of A Cat in the Stacks mystery series, a novel about murder, family secrets and the deep, deep South…
Graduate student Maggie McLendon is at home in Houston, studying for exams, when a letter from her great aunt arrives, bearing bad news. Maggie's grandfather, Henry McLendon is seriously ill in Jackson, Mississippi. Maggie's never met her relations: her father, English professor Gerard McLendon, has been estranged from his family since Maggie was an infant; perhaps now there is one last chance for the McLendons to be reunited.
The family welcomes Maggie and her father with open arms to Jackson, but almost immediately, a murderer strikes—and Gerard McLendon is the chief suspect. But when the killer strikes a second time, it looks like Maggie’s father could be the next victim…
Racing against time, Maggie delves deep into the mystery surrounding her grandmother’s suspicious death 25 years ago and discovers long-held family secrets that could lead her straight to the killer. If only she can get there in time to save her father…
"In Cruel as the Grave, Dean James brings to life a family burdened by dark secrets. Determined sleuth Maggie McLendon peels away layers of hidden sadness to find the truth of her heritage in a haunting mystery steeped in the richness of Southern culture." —Carolyn Hart, author of the Death on Demand and Henrie O mysteries
"Cruel as the Grave is an engaging, literate novel of family secrets and skullduggery. With a clever plot and appealing characterization, Mr. James has created the perfect English drawing room mystery set smack in the middle of steamy Mississippi. It is a witty and solid debut that will leave mystery readers clamoring for more." —Earlene Fowler, author of Seven Sisters
"Cruel As The Grave exposes the underbelly of a Southern family, where secrets and skeletons lurk, cloaked in every imaginable guise. Well-written, deftly-plotted, and highly-recommended for fans of Faulkner and others who zeroed in on the dysfunctional social structure that, to this day, continues to be concealed by superficiality and faded magnolia blossoms." —Joan Hess, author of the Maggody and Clair Malloy mysteries
CLOSER THAN THE BONES
Deep South Myseries Book 2
Publisher : NYLA
November 19, 2013
Recently retired from teaching high school English, Ernestine Carpenter freely admits that she's more than a bit nosy. Ernie (as she's called by her nearest and dearest) is also good at solving problems, and she's let it be known, amongst them, that she's willing to take on...interesting...jobs.
Mary Tucker McElroy, well-known in Southern literary circles as a generous patron. Six months earlier, her literary group had gathered for the Christmas festivities at Idlewild, Miss McElroy's ancestral home in north central Mississippi, and one guest, writer Sukey Lytton, turned up dead in the pond one day, an apparent, but suspicious suicide. Miss McElroy is convinced that Sukey Lytton was murdered, and she wants Ernie to help her figure out the guilty party.
But who can it be? Was it Lurleen Landry, best-selling author of Southern women's fiction? Did Pulitzer Prize-winning novelist Russell Bertram kill her? Or was it his nasty, vindictive wife Alice? Maybe it was literary enfant terrible Brett Doran, who seems to have more than one secret to hide. Could Sukey Lytton's missing manuscript be the motive?
When the killer strikes again, it’s up to Ernie to save her friends and find the killer…or she may be next!
“Fans of the traditional stately home murder case can rejoice the genre is alive and well!” —Publishers Weekly
“…a compelling mystery in the Carolyn Hart tradition.” —Margaret Maron
“The traditional mystery is not dead. Thanks to Dean James, it takes on new life in the New South, where (just like the Old South) ladies of a certain age are noticeably quirky, everyone is hiding a guilty secret, cooks know their way to your heart, and murderers are... almost... impossible to detect. James’s Closer Than the Bones is a fine variation on a fine tradition, and enjoyable from start to finish.” —Charlaine Harris
DEATH BY DISSERTATION
Deep South Myseries Book 3
Publisher : NYLA
November 13, 2013
For Andy Carpenter, graduate school is stressful enough without adding romantic complications to the mix. First, Andy has to contend with the presence of Rob Hayward, newly enrolled in the history PhD program. He thought Rob was out of his life for good, but now he has to confront his unresolved feelings and not let his work suffer.
When Andy discovers the body of fellow graduate student Charlie Harper in the university library, his ex, Rob, looks like the chief suspect in the murder. And just what was the relationship between Rob and Charlie?
Andy and his best friend, Maggie McLendon, agree that Rob isn't a murderer, and they decide the best way to exonerate him is to figure out who really killed Charlie. Who else might have had a motive for murder? When a second murder occurs, Andy, Maggie, and Rob must work quickly to find the killer before Rob ends up charged with two murders he didn't commit…or even worse, dead!
“The earnest, wry Andy makes an appealing narrator.” —Publishers Weekly