Kate Flora developed her fascination with people's criminal tendencies as a lawyer in the Maine attorney general's office. When Kate isn't writing, or teaching writing at Grub Street in Boston, she can be found in her garden, waging battle against critters, pests, and her husband's lawnmower.
On an icy February night, the body of Steven Pleasant, a prominent Portland, Maine physician, grows cold in his parked Mercedes. All signs point to a john killed by a disgruntled hooker: his pants are unzipped, wallet is gone, and the good doctor has a reputation for entertaining girls in his car. But the deeper Detective Sergeant Joe Burgess digs, the muddier the case becomes. While juggling hookers, wives, ex-wives, fathers, stepfathers, dealers and doctors, a nurse on Pleasant's staff suggests another angle—disgruntled patients. Now, ensconced in the darkness of a sleeping hospital, Burgess comes face-to-face with ghosts from his past and must decide what being a detective really means. REVIEWS: "A triumph in the police procedural genre. Highly recommended." ~Library Journal Starred Review
Portland, Maine, homicide detective Joe Burgess needs a vacation. But there's a dead child in Knowlton Park. Rolling up on the scene with a canoe on the roof and fishing poles flapping, Burgess finds little Timmy Watts, viciously stabbed, and carefully wrapped in a new blue blanket. Timmy's parents are life-long crooks, his brothers deal drugs and his sister turns tricks. The only one who seems to care is Timmy's hearing-impaired sister, Iris. But she's keeping her secrets. Then Iris disappears, and Burgess is battling against time to keep more children from dying. REVIEWS: "Flora's thought-provoking police-procedural marks her as one of the best in the genre." ~Library Journal Starred Review
Burgess's hopes for a calm Columbus Day picnic slam up against reality when two boys spot a dead body in the water. It's Reggie the Can Man—a damaged, alcoholic veteran who Burgess has tried to patch back together since they returned from Vietnam. Now, Reggie's fight for redemption is over. Then the ME questions Reggie's accidental drowning, giving Burgess one last chance. As Burgess dives deep, he uncovers Reggie's ex-wife, his scofflaw son, industrial toxins, corrupt businessmen, and that Reggie isn't the only one in need of redemption. REVIEWS: "Authentic police procedural—right down to the grisly autopsies." ~Bushnell On Books
When a boy raps on Detective Burgess's car window summoning him to a burning commercial building now serving as a mosque, Burgess rushes through the intensifying flames to rescue a screaming woman and her baby locked in a closet. The young mother survives, but suffers traumatic muteness. Autopsy shows the infant was gravely ill, suggesting someone was trying to keep mother and child away from hospitals that might have asked questions. Questioning suspicious‚ uncooperative refugees‚ members of a motorcycle gang‚ and shady businessmen‚ results in threats to Burgess's family, newly grown by two adopted children. Burgess persists, certain that finding justice for the child and mute mother will solve everything, until a witnesses draws him and his team into a building... booby-trapped to explode. AWARDS: Winner of the Maine Literary Award for Crime Fiction REVIEWS: "It's the richness of characterization, refreshing dialogue, and startlingly good writing that recommend Flora's novel." ~Booklist
Responding to a "shots fired" call at an abandoned warehouse, Detective Joe Burgess realizes his worst nightmare when he finds one rookie officer shot dead and two other officers--one his lieutenant--gravely wounded. With two brother officers near death, Burgess must race the clock to find and arrest the one person angry enough to seek revenge against the Portland police, before the rookie officer's funeral turns into a killing field.
REVIEWS: "Flora pours on the intensity in this criminal, legal and moral maze." ~Kirkus Reviews "Flora writes cops so convincingly it's hard to imagine she's never worn the badge herself." ~Bruce Robert Coffin, author of Among the Shadows.
When a jogger discovers the brutalized body of a young girl along a park trail, the ever cranky and relentless, Detective Joe Burgess catches the case. With the body lacking head and hands, Burgess and his team face complex challenges as they follow a confusing trail leading to human traffickers exploiting children coming to America as asylum seekers.
As Joe and his team race the clock to identify the dead girl in time to save other victims, Joe's own niece falls into the hands of the sex traffickers. For detectives hell-bent on finding a killer and busting a trafficking ring... it just got personal.
Unable to awaken her father--eminent geologist, Ted Gabbro--nine-year-old Arielle approaches the vacationing Joe Burgess, desperate for his help. Loathe to let anything interfere with his much needed rest on the mountains of western Maine, Joe can't ignore the girl's plea for help and can't deny that something is very wrong.
As the frightened girl's father languishes in a coma and her mother can’t be found, Burgess finds himself in a tangle of land disputes, family politics, the child’s parents’ nasty divorce, and the powerful greed that accompanies "gold fever".
The Joe Burgess Mystery Series Boxset (Books 1 - 3)
Book 1: Playing God The body of a prominent Maine physician grows cold in his parked Mercedes, signs point to a disgruntled hooker. But the deeper Detective Sergeant Joe Burgess digs, the muddier the case becomes. While juggling hookers, wives, ex-wives, fathers, stepfathers, dealers, and doctors, a nurse on the doctor's staff suggests another angle—disgruntled patients.
Book 2: The Angel of Knowlton Park Portland, Maine, homicide detective Joe Burgess needs a vacation. But there's a dead young boy in Knowlton Park. The boy's parents are life-long crooks, his brothers deal drugs, and his sister turns tricks. The only one who seems to care is the boy's hearing-impaired sister, Iris. But she's keeping her secrets.
Book 3: Redemption It's Reggie the Can Man—a damaged, alcoholic veteran who Det. Burgess has tried to patch back together since they returned from Vietnam. Now, Reggie's fight for redemption is over. As Burgess dives deep into the murder investigation, he uncovers Reggie's ex-wife, his scofflaw son, industrial toxins, corrupt businessmen, and that Reggie isn't the only one in need of redemption.
Tragically widowed, Thea Kozak is tall, brave, and trying to rebuild her life. Then her little sister is murdered in a picturesque Maine town. The police have no leads. Her grieving parents are eager to put everything behind them, and Thea—"little mother" to her adopted sister—refuses to back down. Not when she can do one more thing for Carrie: find the killer and get justice for her little sister. But the truth behind Carrie and her adoption proves ugly, and her killer steadfastly believes family secrets must be kept silent.
After surviving her husband's tragic death, then solving her sister's murder, Thea Kozak thought her amateur detective days were over, until she met a woman who had it all, and then some. Helene Streeter, the perfect wife, mother, and consummate professional, is brutally murdered, leaving friends and family with more questions than answers. Helene's daughter--Thea's old college roommate--begs for her help. Thea agrees, and is drawn into a web of deceit and madness as the lies surrounding Helene unravel, releasing the twisted monsters she kept hidden behind her oh-so-perfect façade.
Smart and funny, Thea Kozak is carving out a career for herself while trying to win her critical mother's approval. Home for Easter, Thea's mother introduces her to Julie Bass, a young widow whose husband died in a horrific accident at the local auto racetrack. Julie is the woman Thea's mother wants her to be—married to a suitable man and producing adorable children. While resisting her mother's insistence that she use her own experience of losing a husband to help Julie, Thea brings her amateur detective skills to bear when the racetrack "accident" proves to be murder and Julie is arrested. Bypassing the authorities, Thea searches for the real killer, confronting crooked rednecks, corrupt bankers, and barreling through a web of lies. But this time, she may not be able to save herself... or Julie.
When a student is found drowned in the campus pond of a prestigious New England boarding school, Thea Kozak is called in for crisis management. Cooperation abounds until Thea discovers that the young victim was pregnant and the death may not have been an accident. Then administration and students turn tight-lipped. When Thea digs deeper, she unearths a host of nasty secrets beneath the school’s genteel facade. Now everyone wants her gone, everyone except the killer who has a very different fate in mind for Thea Kozak.
In Hawaii to help run a conference, Thea Kozak is determined to find time to relax—until the conference chairwoman is found dead. While struggling to keep the conference from descending into chaos, Thea discovers more motives and suspects than she can handle. Throw in hostile local cops, the victim's suspicious husband, and Thea's hopes for trading her business suit for a bikini and some sun are dashed. But with help from an observant little girl, a too-observant pathologist, and a dear friend, Thea just may come out of this alive.
Thea Kozak's sometimes rocky relationship with Maine state police detective Andre Lemieux has flourished. Now, on the day of their wedding, Thea receives awful news: Andre has been taken hostage by a militant militia group. Their terms: release one of their members from jail. The State of Maine isn't interested in co-operating. Neither is the prisoner. Taking the situation in-hand, Thea goes undercover in the town where she suspects Andre is hidden, and comes face-to-face with the most terrifying and ruthless adversaries of her life.
The headmaster at New England's St. Matthews School is determined to hold tight to alumni funding, no matter the cost. St. Matthews student Shondra Jones—a tightly coiled bundle of rage and resentment—is being stalked and no one will help. But word is getting out, and parents are getting worried. Called in by the administration to help Shondra, crisis specialist Thea Kozak quickly realizes much is being swept beneath the elite school's genteel veneer; including Shondra's stalker—the grandson of a generous donor. Spoiled by money and bailouts, he knows he's protected, and immune to consequences, no matter what he does next, maybe even murder.
Arriving to view what will hopefully be her dream home, Thea Kozak finds her real estate agent, Ginger Stevens, tied to a chair, surrounded by fiery space heaters. Just before the woman dies, she utters the indistinct words: Bobby. So long. Safe. Sorry. Then a stranger, claiming to be Ginger's boyfriend, corners Thea, demanding a package that Ginger gave to her, a package Thea never received. Determined to get justice for Ginger, Thea begins her own investigation. Ginger's colleagues know little about her, her apartment has been professionally sanitized, Ginger Stevens is the name of a child who died many years ago, and the Maine police have no idea who real-estate agent Ginger Stevens really is. But Thea is sure the two men following her know Ginger's true identity, and will stop at nothing to keep her from uncovering the truth behind the woman's dying words.
For school campus crisis counselor, Thea Kozak, Mondays are the worst day of the week. So when the phone rings early in the morning, she expects bad news. What she doesn't expect is the pain laden voice of the headmaster of the highly-respected Simmons School pouring forth his dire situation.
A sophomore student had given birth to a pre-mature infant, then abandoned the child claiming it was not hers because she'd never had sex. With the baby in NICU, the teenaged mother facing criminal charges and parents demanding answers, it’s Thea's job to restore calm and order while gathering the facts of what actually happened.
Then Heidi, the alleged mother, disappears and the body of a stranger is discovered in the campus woods, murdered.
Pregnant herself, Thea now races the clock fearing the young girl will be the next victim while every discovered clue points to an impossible fact: Heidi's assertion may actually be true.
Happy to finally be settling into her new home, a heavily pregnant Thea Kozak is rushing to get the baby’s room finished when she’s surprised by a visit from her new neighbor, Jessica, who is equally pregnant.
Thrilled to meet another new mother in the neighborhood, Thea and Jessica bond over their mutual condition. But after many cups of herbal tea and cookies, Thea is puzzled by Jessica's unwillingness to talk about her past.
A week later, Thea arrives at Jessica's house for a planned shopping trip to discover Jessica is gone, leaving only a trash bag of women's clothing at the end of the driveway.
Returning home, there's a disturbing voice mail from Jessica: "Please, Thea. Don’t worry about me. If anyone comes looking for me, you don’t know me. You’ve never seen me. Don’t tell them anything." Thea’s resolve to avoid getting drawn into any more potentially dangerous adventures crumbles as she sets out to learn who Jessica is and who—or what—she’s running from.
Independent school consultant Thea Kozak is adjusting to motherhood and enjoying maternity leave, having just purchased a hat for her newborn son, when a hysterical woman gains her attention. The woman, also a new mother, claims her baby has just been kidnapped. Determined not to get involved, Thea flags down a police officer and hands off the problem. She returns home to her husband Andre, intending to enjoy their precious weeks of parental leave.
But Thea’s kindness soon brings trouble to her doorstep when a police officer asks questions about her relationship with Addison Shirley, the mother of the kidnapped child, who claimed Thea was a friend before she disappeared.
The couple’s hopes for a peaceful respite are quickly replaced with a break-in, a stalker, and a private school crisis involving star athletes and sexual assault that only Thea can handle. Thea and Andre wrestle with the lingering mystery and competing priorities while reexamining their future…if they live to face it.
The Thea Kozak Mystery Series Boxset (Books 1 - 3)
Three Full-Length Murder Mystery Thrillers Featuring Female Sleuth Thea Kozak from Author, Kate Flora
Book 1: Chosen for Death When Thea Kozak’s little sister is murdered in a picturesque Maine town, the police have no leads, and her grieving parents are eager to put everything behind them. Thea—“little mother” to her adopted sister, Carrie, refuses to back down. Not when she can do one more thing for Carrie: find the killer and get justice for her little sister.
Book 2: Death in a Funhouse Mirror Thea Kozak thought her amateur detective days were over until she met a woman who had it all, and then some. Helene Streeter, the perfect wife, mother, and consummate professional is brutally murdered, leaving friends and family with more questions than answers. Helene’s daughter—Thea’s old college roommate—begs for her help, plunging Thea into a web of deceit and madness.
Book 3: Death at the Wheel Thea’s mother introduces her to Julie Bass, a young widow whose husband died in a horrific accident at the local auto racetrack. Julie is the woman Thea’s mother wants her to be—married to a suitable man and producing adorable children. Thea brings her amateur detective skills to bear when the racetrack “accident” proves to be murder and Julie is arrested.