Something really nice in today's KDP Select exclusive-or-else slushpile trawl today, even if it's not sf/fantasy (though kind of tangentially related, since sf/fantasy people including Marion Zimmer Bradley, Diana L. Paxson, and Poul Anderson helped set up the Society for Creative Anachronism).
Also, the non-mystery reading horror and romance readers should be happy (especially as it looks like there's some quality reprints coming out from the former category), plus there's some non-fiction if you like celebrity biographies.
Anyway, Mary Monica Pulver who's also currently published as cozy writer Monica Ferris (I forget which is the real name or if they're both pseudonyms) offers the 1st in her Peter Brichter series, which used to be popular enough to be published in hardcover.
This novel is one that I went and got from the library, specifically because I'd heard that this one was set at one of those SCA historical recreation events (the annual Pennsic War, IIRC) and I'm a sucker for that sort of thing.
It turned out to live up to its promise, and I quite enjoyed reading it, to the point where I also went specifically looking for a copy in the used bookshop afterward (it being long out of print by the time that I read it).
So you should all go download it and give the author a nice ranking boost, because it's a very likeable and fun work (I tried the sequels, but they didn't grab me nearly as much, although they were quite decent mysteries as well) and I personally give it a high recommend if you like well-done murder mysteries with a slightly quirky setting and some nice historical bits in them.
Murder at the War A Modern-Day Mystery with a Medieval Setting (Peter Brichter mystery)
by Mary Monica Pulver, originally published by St. Martin's Press in 1987.
The author has kept the other novels in the series available to all via Smashwords
at $3.99 each, and if she offers a discount coupon during Read an E-book Week, I'll happily scoop the lot even though I didn't like them nearly as much as this first book, given the lack of historical recreationism in the sequels. But they were still decently entertaining reads that would be good value at < $4 each DRM-free.
Free without DRM for who knows how long @ Amazon main UK DE ES FR IT
A murder at the war…
“I was just thinking that the Society for Creative Anachronism is actually very much like the old Norse myth of Valhalla: You can fight all day, get killed any number of times, and still be in great shape for the feast that night!”
…until one of the fighters, Thorstane Shieldbreaker, is genuinely murdered, when the fun turns to deadly seriousness as Lord Stefan von Helle and Lady Katherine of Tretower struggle to solve the crime. Was it one of their own SCA members, a mundane outsider, or Lady Katherine herself?
The Society for Creative Anachronism (SCA) is having a lovely re-enactment of a Medieval war...until one of the participants is actually murdered. It is up to Detective Peter Brichter and his wife Kori (whose SCA names are Lord Stefan von Helle and Lady Katherine of Tretower) to solve the crime!
The Society for Creative Anachronism (SCA) is a group of enthusiasts who research and selectively re-create the Middle Ages for knowledge and for fun. At their events, they wear historical clothing and call each other by medieval-style character names. Once a year, they meet to display their handiwork and stage a mock medieval war.
In Murder at the War, policeman Peter Brichter (known in the SCA as Stefan von Helle) and his wife, Kori (known as Katherine of Tretower) go to the war for the fun. But the revelry turns deadly serious when a known troublemaker, Thorstane Shieldbreaker, is actually murdered. The local police, anxious to find the culprit, turn their attention to Peter and Kori as suspects once they find the two have quarreled with Thorstane. It is up to Lord Stefan and Lady Katherine, with their knowledge of the SCA, to clear their names and solve the crime.
M.C.A. Hogarth, who has Nebula, James Tiptree Jr. and Spectrum award nominations (ISFDB entry
) offers a probably-fantasy-but-maybe-sf work : Even the Wingless
Previously-featured Australian sf/fantasy writer and fellow MR member author Patty Jansen offers a previously-printed short story: The Rebelliousness of Trassi Udang
St. Martin's Press/Minotaur-published Gerrie Ferris Finger, who says she has won the Malice Domestic Award for that book, offers another which looks like some sort of time-travel mystery where a woman ends up going back to uncover the secret behind the decades-old disappearance of: The Ghost Ship
I hope as an award-winner, her prose is better than her blurb, which could use a little work and some more line spacing.
Ballantine-paperbacked Christine Kling offers the self-explanatory : Sea Bitch: Four Tales of Nautical Noir
with suspenseful stories about sailing women, a couple of which have appeared in print anthologies or are tie-ins to her regular published series.
Previously-featured fellow MR member author Joan Hall Hovey offers a stalker suspense/thriller originally published in 1993 by Kensington's Zebra imprint: Nowhere to Hide
Simon & Schuster-published M.J. Rose offers a murder mystery/suspense/thriller in her The Butterfield Institute series: The Delilah Complex
Kensington/Pinnacle-published Anthony Izzo (ISFDB entry
) offers the serial killer horror thriller: The Hollow
Scott Nicholson offers an anthology of stories which include offerings by at least one Big 6-published writer whose name I recognize: American Horror
Gary Brandner (ISFDB entry
) offers a much-republished werewolf horror novel (I see Hamlyn, Fawcett, Ballantine, and Severn House have printed this previously since it was originally released in 1985): The Howling III
Paul Kane (ISFDB entry
) offers a short story collection of his horror tales: Pain Cages
Brian Knight (ISFDB entry
) offers a possibly-horror historical WWII use-of-bioweapons suspense/thriller: Apocalypse Green
Previously-featured Edgar and Bram Stoker Award nominee Billie Sue Mosiman offers a western historical adventure/maybe-romance: Gold Rush Dream
Five Star Expressions-published (I think this may be their glorified self-pub imprint rather than the regular stuff) Sharon Ervin offers a Deadly Niche Press title which is also available in audiobook edition, so : Aftermath (romantic suspense)
Samhain/Ellora-published Vivi Anna offers a paranormal romance short in her Nina Decker series, prequel to the novel Glimmer: Dawning
Samhain-or-Ellora-published-I-forget-which Delilah Devlin offers a collection of seven probably-erotic steamy romance stories: Strokes
Sydney Allan, who writes as Tawny Taylor for Ellora's Cave (we've gotten one of her EC books as a Free Read which is still free if you like BDSM: Private Games
) offers an apparently non-erotic contemporary romance: Rescue Me
Mona Risk, who also writes for Ellora's Cave, also offers an apparently non-erotic contemporary romance: No More Lies
Cara Marsi, previously small-press published by The Wild Rose Press which appears to be a small romance imprint, offers a contemporary romance with a bonus short story included: Loving or Nothing
Barbara Taylor Sissel, who had her 2000 debut novel published by a small press which looks to have more than a handful of authors in its stable, now offers a more recently-written women's fiction/literary suspense which is likened to Jodi Picoult and Anita Shreve-type books: The Ninth Step
John D. Kenworthy has written an officially Disney-published biography of Disney's co-founder, Ub Iwerks. He turns his hand to fiction with a Tanzania-set man vs animal literary suspense: THE MISSIONARY AND THE BRUTE
James L. Dickerson offers a 2002-published celebrity biography: Ashley Judd: Crying on the Inside
For the aspiring writers in the audience, Scott Nicholson offers a self-help guide with contributions from J.A. Konrath et al.: The Indie Journey: Secrets to Writing Success
Previously-featured fellow Canadian Pearson Moore, some sort of blogger/forum-goer with an internet following who writes unofficial TV show tie-in guides, offers a companion guide to the series Lost which has gotten good reviews and amusingly, is published by Inukshuk Press (which may be a self-pub imprint but has a cool name). So I'm including it here, because Lost is the kind of show where you do need a scorecard to keep track of everybody: LOST Identity: The Characters of LOST
Alex Carrick is a fellow Canadian who, as it turns out, really does write articles on construction matters and such. He also claims some sort of short story award nominations, but I'm not bothering to google for that as well. So I'm including his 2-story set of medieval murder mystery tales just because I like medieval murder mystery tales and my fellow Canadians (most of the time): Nostra and Damus
I don't know who this Nathan Kross is and I don't care (though I suspect a certain amount of Amazon Author Central trolling, judging from the provided bio, which I rate as the second best set of brazen author lies I've come across thus far; the 1st place honour goes to this gentleman here
, whose novel of course I downloaded when it was free, because it deserved a ranking bump for creativity), because this looks thoroughly cracktastic and I'm downloading it for the lulz: The Supervillain Sonnets
He's also got: The Space Admiral's Tale
"from The Canterbury Tales in Space" which is also being downloaded for the lulz, and seems to have a decent grasp of rhyme and meter.
This is another one I'm getting for the lulz, and I like the provided biography of David Wooster PhD, who says that he based this thrilling yet educational novella about cholera on a true story: The Secret Life of Water: A Microbiology Tale
That's everything where I recognized someone's name, or it looked interesting and their claimed author creds checked out, or it looked cracktastic enough to get for the lulz.
Happy reading, if indeed you find something you think you might like.