Get ready for these fresh and fast paced, gently funny and often touching, mysteries by author Julie Smith. The the Edgar Award-winning author with her well defined characters and always entertaining writing have made her a fan favorite. Enjoy!

Jazz Funeral: An Action-Packed New Orleans Mystery (Skip Langdon #3) (The Skip Langdon Series)
Julie Smith
4.2 Stars (125 Reviews)
Genre: Women’s Fiction | Mystery, Thriller & Suspense | Teen & Young Adult

The THIRD book in the Edgar Award-winning Skip Langdon mystery series by Julie Smith.


New Orleans Homicide Detective Skip Langdon just happens to be on hand when Ham’s body is discovered in the middle of his own party the evening before the Fest. To complicate the already murky case, the victim’s sixteen-year-old blues musician sister has disappeared, and Skip suspects that if the young woman isn’t the murderer, she’s in mortal danger from the person who is. So Task One is finding Melody, ambitious, unhappy at home, and determined to break from her family.

As she probes the victim’s tangled relationships, Skip finds a Southern family to rival any in Tennessee Williams, including Ham’s live-in lover, feisty and swiftly rising star Ti-Belle Thiebaud; his father George, enmeshed with family members in a bitter disagreement over the family’s lucrative Po’ Boy chain; and Patty, his distraught stepmother.

In this tale of southern kinships gone awry, she’s assisted by her long-distance love, Steve Steinman, and her gay landlord, Jimmy Dee. Meanwhile, Melody’s dangerous yet exhilarating journey tugs at the heart and raises the pulse rate.


“At $250 a pop,” fumed a red-faced man, “you’d think we’d at least get a drink.”

The shrill, uncertain buzz they’d noticed was developing a hysterical note. This was a party that wasn’t fun. Bemused, Skip and Steve worked their way back around to the front.

“Ham I could see,” said Skip. “He could have had to work late—it’s his busiest time. But where’s Ti-Belle?”

“Oh, ‘bout two houses away, I’d say. Approaching at a dead run, having just parked a Thunderbird with a squeal of wheels.”

Skip had heard the squeal, but had paid it no mind. Now she saw a very thin woman coming towards them, hair flying, long legs shining brown, sticking out from a white silk shorts suit. Over one shoulder she carried a lightweight flight bag. Golden-throated Ti-Belle Thiebaud, the fastest-rising star on the New Orleans music scene.

Steve said, “I’d know those legs anywhere.”

She never performed in any garment that wasn’t short, split, slit, or halfway missing. Some said the whole country would know those legs soon. They said she was going to be bigger than large, larger than huge.

Thiebaud was approaching at a dead trot, fast giving way to a gallop. She was wearing huge hoop earrings. She had giant black eyes and shining olive skin, flyaway blond hair that looked utterly smashing with her dark complexion. Her skin clung to her bones, hanging gently, as naturally as hide on a horse.

“How’d Ham get her?” she blurted.

A black man waved at the singer, tried to slow her progress, pretend it was a party: “Hey, Ti-Belle.”

Thiebaud paid him no mind but cast a look at the crowd in general. Skip saw twin wrinkles at the sides of her nose—one day they’d be there permanently if she worried a lot in the meantime.

“Hi, y’all.” She was trying to smile, but it wasn’t working. “Excuse me a minute.” She let herself in and closed the door behind her.

Almost immediately, a scream that could have come from anyone—the hottest Cajun R&B singer in America or any terrified woman—ripped through the nervous buzz.

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Sourdough Wars: ACozy and Humorous San Francisco Mystery; Rebecca Schwartz #2 (The Rebecca Schwartz Series)
julie Smith
3.9 Stars (222 Reviews)
Genre: World Literature | Mystery, Thriller & Suspense

The SECOND book in Edgar-winning author Julie Smith’s Rebecca Schwartz series.

A tasty treat of a San Francisco mystery—a crisp, tangy story you’re sure to get a rise out of.

To you, it’s just a frozen lump of dough; but to some, it’s life and death…

Especially to handsome Peter Martinelli, who wants to auction off the fabled sourdough starter from his family’s famous bakery. But who’d buy a frozen hunk of flour and water? Only, it turns out, every bakery in San Francisco, a national food conglomerate, and an upstart ringer with a mysterious backer.

Someone would even kill for it. And does.

Enter lawyer sleuth Rebecca Schwartz, whose client is her own partner, glamorous Chris Nicholson, Martinelli’s main squeeze before the ill-starred auction.

Rebecca noshes her way through the case in hilariously unorthodox style, tasting some great bread along the way, but also uncovering so many ancient jealousies, long-simmering feuds, and seething resentments that she barely escapes death by doughball.


The slapstick style, over-the-top action, and witty dialogue make Rebecca Schwartz an easy choice for fans of Janet Evanovich, Stephanie Bond, Dorothy Cannell, Elizabeth Peters, Sarah Strohmeyer, and Jennifer Crusie.


At 12:45, Bob Tosi stretched, looked at his watch, and said he had a lunch date. “I expect the rest of you do, too,” he said. “Why don’t we leave together and set another date for the auction? I’m sure Mr. Martinelli must have gotten tied up or he’d have been here by now.”

“May as well,” said Thompson, rising and straightening his tie.

Tony rose without a word.

Only Sally seemed reluctant. She continued to sit a bit longer, looking as if she were trying to think of something to say. After a moment, she got up and left with the others.

Chris was dialing Peter’s number before they were out the door. She put down the receiver, sighing. “No answer.”

“Look,” I said, “I’ll go out and get sandwiches.” She nodded.

“I’ll go with you,” said Rob. It was obvious Chris needed to be alone.

We came back with three pastramis on rye and three Cokes. Rob ate all of his, I managed half of mine, and Chris stared into space while we ate. Every now and then she’d pick up half her sandwich and stare at it instead of the horizon, but she never got as far as biting into it.

She called Peter’s again. No answer. “I’m going over there.”

“Chris, you can’t—”

“Rebecca, this is no time to be cool.”

Rob looked baffled, but I had to give Chris credit. She’d put her finger on the very thing I was thinking—when your boyfriend stands you up, you shouldn’t go spying on him or he might get the idea you like him. Maybe I’d never grow up.

“I guess not,” I said. “I think we should all go.”

She didn’t protest.

Peter didn’t answer his doorbell, and the manager didn’t answer hers. But just as we were about to give up, a woman who recognized Chris came in from walking her dog and let us in. We climbed the two flights of smelly stairs to Peter’s apartment and knocked. He didn’t answer. Chris tried the door—and jumped back when it opened.

Rob pushed it wide enough to see what police call “signs of a struggle.” A lamp was knocked over, and one of Peter’s charcoal drawings hung askew, as if someone had fallen against the wall. The furniture was like that, too—sort of pushed around and out of place. Peter was sitting on the couch, staring at us. He was wearing a white terrycloth robe with a number of bullet holes in it. Peter’s blood had run out of his chest and

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Tourist Trap (Rebecca Schwartz Mystery#3 : A Humorous San Francisco Cozy) (The Rebecca Schwartz Series)
Julie Smith
3.9 Stars (124 Reviews)
Genre: Mystery, Thriller & Suspense

The THIRD book in Edgar-winner Julie Smith’s Rebecca Schwartz series.

So what’s a nice Jewish girl doing at an Easter sunrise service?

Lawyer Rebecca Schwartz would pick the one with the body nailed to the landmark cross! Coincidence? Not so much. She’s there because her boy friend’s covering the service for the San Francisco Chronicle. The body’s there because someone’s making a statement he doesn’t want the press to miss.

Next: mass shellfish poisoning at Pier 39. A very different kind of serial killer is operating here—one who seems to have a grudge against the whole city.

And this is a very different kind of serial killer tale—a funny one. (If your don’t count the murders, or course.) Rebecca’s warm and witty, never takes herself too seriously, and on one occasion offers closing testimony with green hair. A highly embarrassing moment, but the bright chartreuse is all in the service of making her case.

No way does she believe her client would nail somebody—especially to a cross. And the things she has to do to prove it are hilarious and often unorthodox, yet always professional. Sometimes hyper-professional–the average lawyer simply can’t be bothered spraying herself with Thunderbird to fit in with her witnesses!

A wild ride through Baghdad by the Bay…and a great courtroom drama.

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Kindness of Strangers (Skip Langdon Mystery #6) (The Skip Langdon Series)
Julie Smith
4.4 Stars (54 Reviews)
Genre: Mystery, Thriller & Suspense

Kindness of Strangers is the SIXTH book in the Edgar Award-winning Skip Langdon mystery series Julie Smith.


Politics makes the strangest bedfellows of all and in New Orleans, a psychopath’s running for mayor. Not just the usual harmless megalomaniac—a murderer and a monster. His supporters and a good proportion of would-be voters think he’s just a kindly preacher-man and handily crucify anyone who says otherwise. Enter Detective Skip Langdon, who met the Rev. Errol Jacomine on a case, finds him pretty much the personification of evil, and can point to a pile of corpses to prove it.

But Langdon’s fresh out of street cred. On administrative leave after shooting someone, she’s become the Cassandra of the police department—everything she says gets put down to paranoia. So finding the proof to discredit Jacomine becomes her obsession until he kidnaps a couple of kids she cares about—and then it turns into a mission from hell.

Langdon has to bull her way through a hurricane to find the small army of Jacomine’s thugs who’ve got 15-year-old Sheila, the closest thing she has to a niece, and Sheila’s friend, who’s having the mother of inappropriate love affairs—with someone dangerously close to Jacomine.


Skip tried to keep it light, obediently telling war stories until her mother called them to dinner.

Ted Gilkerson, who’d now had a couple of martinis in addition to whatever he’d swizzled earlier, wouldn’t leave her alone. “It’s the mayor who appoints the superintendent, right? If we had a decent mayor, we might get a decent chief.”

“I like the mayor,” said Camille, but he bulled on ahead.

“Only reason we got the kind of police we do is, the powers that be want it that way. Right, Skip?”

“I don’t know, Ted. I think the problems are ingrained over generations.”

“Good mayor could stop ‘em. We gotta get that asshole outta there.”

“Well, since he’s not running for reelection, I don’t think it’ll be a problem.”

“There’s always a machine guy. Jackson’s it this time.” Jackson had been accused of taking kickbacks when he served on the city council. In fact, he’d resigned over it.

“Know who I like?” said Camille. “I just love Errol Jacomine. Now he talks sense.”

Skip felt her stomach turn over.

Her mother said, “At least he’s not a racist. Perretti might be.”

“My man!” said Conrad, raising a clenched fist. Skip couldn’t conceive how the two of them could be made of the same genetic material.

“I agree with you, honey.” Their father addressed himself to Camille. “I really think he’s got something to offer.”

Skip said, “I know him. There’s something wrong with him. He’s a very, very bad man. And I don’t think Perretti’s really a racist.” She shrugged. “Just another Louisiana opportunist.”

“I think he believes what he says, and I think he’s going to kick ass,” said Conrad. “I’m voting for him.”

“Sweetheart, you can be so heartless sometimes,” said Camille. “Jacomine’s done stuff the others only talk about. He’s gotten people off drugs, he’s cleaned up neighborhoods, he’s worked for good candidates …”

Skip noticed everyone was nodding except Conrad. “I’m voting for him,” said her father.

She was losing her appetite fast.

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True-Life Adventure(Paul Mcdonald mystery #1) (The Paul Mcdonald Series)
Julie Smith
4.1 Stars (19 Reviews)
Genre: Mystery, Thriller & Suspense

He KNOWS TOO MUCH—but he doesn’t know what he knows…

Things were going lousy for ex-reporter Paul Mcdonald: No money, no girl friend, no bright new career as a mystery novelist … and then along came private investigator Jack Birnbaum with an offer: he’d detect, and Paul would write the client reports. It wasn’t much, but it would keep Spot the cat in Kitty Queen tidbits.

But then somebody poisoned Jack in Paul’s own living room. A day that begins with a body in your house really ought to get better, but next comes burglary and after that, assault-by-cop. And Paul’s got a feeling that’s just the beginning. There must have been something someone didn’t want him to know in one of those client reports. But what?

The wise-cracking, funny, but slightly depressed ex-journalist better become an ace private investigator in about two seconds—or end up like his detective mentor.

Birnbaum’s last report concerned a kidnapped child, so Paul begins there. The trail leads him to the laboratory of a Nobel laureate geneticist, and then to San Francisco City Hall, where an extremely nasty surprise awaits. But there’s an upside—lovely witness Sardis Kincannon. Nothing like falling in love while you’re running for your life!

The San Francisco Bay Area shines here, as does the author’s wit and humor.

Fans of CASTLE, MURDER SHE WROTE, even ELLERY QUEEN will enjoy this fast-paced and funny take on the mystery-writer-as-detective. As will people who like their male sleuths wry, witty,and a little on the soft-boiled side—fans of Parnell Hall’s Stanley Hastings, say, Tony Dunbar’s Tubby Dubonnet,Gregory Mcdonald’s Fletch (this Mcdonald, it’s worth noting, is Paul’s personal hero), Lawrence Block’s Bernie Rhodenbarr, and especially Rex Stout’s Archie Goodwin. Female sleuths with a sense of humor remind us of him too—for instance, Criminal Minds’ Penelope Garcia and the immortal Amelia Peabody (of whom he’d be terrified if they ever met).

Want to sample the goods?

“That stuff’ll kill you.”

“What? Your coffee?” Jack was just doctoring his second cup.

“No. All that sweetener. You’re poisoning yourself.”

“We’ve all gotta go sometime.”

Jack went right about then. His eyes rolled back and he let go of the cup. Coffee sloshed all over my rug. His big body fell forward in the chair.


These were the facts: I was thirty-eight. I’d spent fifteen years on one major metropolitan daily or another. I’d written six unpublished detective novels. Unpublished in spite of my name.

John D. MacDonald did it daily. Ross Macdonald did it deeper. Gregory Mcdonald did it with dash.

Wrote thrillers and got them published.

But not Paul Mcdonald.

I just wrote them, supporting my habit with clients like Jack.

I had about two hundred bucks to last me the rest of my life.

My only client was dead.

The market for mysteries was terrible.

I didn’t get out enough.

The only thing I’d ever done successfully was write newspaper stories.

And I was sitting on a great story.

A story he can sell, if he can catch the murderer before the murderer catches him.

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