Novice Mystery – Ireland
Dan Novice, an American detective, and his social worker wife, Karen, now both retired, embark upon the promise they made to spend more time together. They have rented a cottage in the quaint Irish village of Ballyram for three months. Their plans include visiting tourist sites, eating out, and interacting with the villagers. It doesn’t take long for the plan to be challenged when a prominent villager, Lord O’Connor, is murdered and Dan and Karen stumble upon the scene.
Local Sergeant Peter Quinn heads the investigation and engages Dan’s experience as a detective in solving the crime. As the case proceeds, villagers seek to deflect suspicion from themselves, implicate their neighbors, address personal secrets brought to light, and avoid becoming victims themselves. Conflict occurs between Dan and Karen when Dan is drawn back into the job he still loves, while Karen is left to fill her days alone.
Karen, a smart and dedicated professional in her own right, becomes involved in her own investigation of the secrets of Ballyram and its residents. As she plumbs their depths, her inquiries lead to unexpected and nearly fatal consequences.
Novice Mystery – Mexico
Dan Novice is a retired police detective and his wife Karen a retired social worker. The setting is Mexico, with Dan and Karen arriving for a much-anticipated three-month vacation in the town of Curva Del Rio Sur. Dan has always promised Karen that when they retire, they would travel as a reward to themselves for weathering thirty-one years of his job requirements: working late hours, weekends, and holidays.
Dan and Karen have been invited to stay with old friends, Armando (Army) and Eva, with plans of visiting tourist sites, eating out, and interacting with the people of the town. But it doesn’t take long for the plan to be challenged, as a prominent businessman, Juan Mercado, is murdered.
The local police chief and Dan’s former partner, Army, heads the investigation and engages Dan’s assistance and experience as a detective in solving the crime. Conflict occurs between Dan and Karen when Dan is drawn back into the job he still loves, while Karen is left to fill her days.
As the investigation proceeds, red herrings occur as residents seek to deflect suspicion from themselves, implicating their neighbors and addressing personal grievances. Dan learns that Army’s family members may be implicated and questions Army’s ability to be impartial as chief of police. Simultaneously, Karen, who with Eva becomes involved in the restoration of a Spanish hacienda, begins her own investigation when a murder occurs at the hacienda and places her in unexpected danger.
Novice Mystery – France
Retired police detective, Dan Novice, and his wife Karen, a retired social worker, arrive in France for a three-month vacation. The trip commences with a visit to Honoré and Michelle, their old friends, to celebrate Michelle’s father’s eighty-fifth birthday. A wealthy and eccentric businessman, Oliver Bres has planned a murder mystery weekend at his county winery, where he announces that a large cash prize will go to the person who solves the mystery. Fierce rains move in, destroying communications, challenging the weekend plans, and closing the only road to the mountaintop estate.
Honoré, a police chief, is forced into action when one of the guests dies. Were they murdered? Dan assists in processing and securing the scene while waiting for the authorities to arrive. More guests are murdered, and red herrings occur. Each person seems to have a secret. Dan and Karen realize they might be in danger without an escape. Are their old friends involved? Their host? Working together, can they survive and identify the killer… or killers?