Murder, They Wrote

How would you feel if your spouse kept books on the use of poisons, firearms, and forensic techniques?

My wife, Lonni Lees, does because she writes murder mysteries and noir style short stories. You know the kind – they have an ironic twist at the end.

Over the last three years, Lonni and her sister, Arlette Lees, both retired ladies, have had four novels and an anthology of their short stories published by Wildside Press in the U.S. All are available at Amazon and on the Barnes & Noble website. Two of their novels have also been produced as large-print editions in England for distribution in Europe.

Here are Lonni’s novels (links are to Amazon):

derangedDERANGED, a novel of horror.

This book won first place for a new novel in 2012 from the Public Safety Writers Association. Among PSWA members are policemen, forensic experts, and crime writers.

Deranged is a chilling exercise in unrelenting horror and suspense.

Just an ordinary-looking man, Charlie Blackhawk is really a monster inside, a cold-blooded killer who likes to use a knife. When his path crosses that of Meg Stinson and her 12-year-old daughter, Sabrina, their lives are changed forever.

Terrill Lee Lankford, novelist and filmmaker, wrote: “Lonni Lees sends chills down my spine!”

See a rather long, independent review from Brendan Matley, editor of an online literary magazine in Britain called A Shot Of Ink. [link to review].



Synopsis by Amazon:

The artists’ reception at the popular Mosaic Gallery in Tucson, Arizona, is a great success, but the next morning, when the body of Armando, the owner’s husband, is discovered, things start turning ugly. Every artist becomes a suspect, and each of them has their own reason to want the man out of the picture. But who disliked him enough to want him dead? And who stole the fake Mexican artifacts and the sculpture of the goddess Gaia? Gallery owner Barbara Atwell is devastated at her young husband’s death, and turns to her friends, Adrian and Rocco, for support. An unseasonal Arizona heat wave keeps everyone’s nerves on edge as Police Detective Maggie Reardon juggles a disastrous personal life while trying to solve the crime. She even finds herself attracted to one of the suspects as she sifts through a long list of colorful, Bohemian characters to determine who had the ultimate motive for murder. But when she’s viciously attacked in her own home, she begins wondering whether she’ll survive long enough to find the culprit. The first of a great series of detective novels set in the sizzling Southwest!

A second Maggie Reardon novel and sequel to Mosaic Murder, “The Corpse in the Cactus” is completed and at the publishers awaiting production, as is another novel by Arlette.

Arlette Lees’ novels:


Angel doll cover

In the dark days of the 1930s Depression, veteran detective Jack Dunning loses both his wife and his position with the Boston Police Department because he can’t keep the cork in the bottle. He hops a bus to California and signs on with the Santa Paulina Police Department as a consultant. On a dark, stormy night he finds salvation and a fresh beginning in the arms of a beautiful, young, dime-a-dance girl, Angel Doll.

When she vanishes after shooting a local gangster, Axel Teague, Jack is torn between love and duty. Does he go to Los Angeles to find Angel, or stay where he is and work his current case: the mysterious disappearance from the local shantytown of an innocent teenager, Louise Crowley? Can he find a way to do both before it’s too late?


h heat

The year: 1956. The place: Los Angeles, California. When six-year-old Daisy Adler vanishes from her upscale Hollywood Hills home during a crowded New Year’s Eve party, LAPD Detective Rusty Hallinan enters a case with more dangerous twists and turns than Mulholland Drive. Hallinan’s life hits a bump or two of its own when he’s dumped by his wife of eleven years, and falls hard for an enchanting young murder suspect half his age. But what’s the connection between the suspect’s murdered husband and a dying bar-room stripper? How does Ty the transvestite fit into the puzzle? And where has little Daisy gone–murdered, abducted, or killed by accident? A marvelously intricate historical mystery with an absolutely authentic setting!


Short stories

Lonni and Arlette have an anthology of their short stories. The paperback version comes with both collections. They are also available as Kindle singles. A second anthology will be coming out soon.

Lonni’s anthology: CRAWLSPACE, and other dark stories


Deep beneath the surface, they hide in all of us. The crawlspaces, cobwebbed basements, shadowed alleyways and musty attics of our minds; they are the dark and dangerous corners of the human psyche. Dormant, they lie in wait. Some pretend they’re not there and go about their innocuous lives, while others grab hold and pull them to the surface, feeding on their dark forces. Whether a career criminal, a madman, a thug, an abused spouse or an innocent child, within these pages you’ll find those who have embraced that darkness. Some tap into it for survival, some for greed. Some use it for destruction, some just because it’s there. It dwells within all of us, waiting.

Within this anthology is an award-winning story called “The Blue-eyed Bandit” of which author David Zeltserman says, “Her crime story merges a pitch perfect Black Mask pulp style with a more modern psychotic noir, with the result being that Ms. Lees is someone readers should be on the lookout for.

Arlette’s anthology: COLD BULLETS AND HOT BABES

Cold bullets cover

Detour if you dare into the dark alleys and twisted cul-de-sacs of the human heart. Brush shoulders with men whose eyes are as hard and cold as bullets—murderers, grifters, and hapless goofballs, who prey on the innocent and unsuspecting, often at their own peril. Against your better judgment, get up close and intimate with sizzling kiss-and-kill babes, and live to tell about it…or not! Eight hard-edged tales of criminals, killers, and their delectable molls.

A comment from Cindy Rosmus, editor, Yellow Mama, an online story site:

“If I didn’t know the Lees sisters were chicks, I would think they were hard-drinking, gun-toting vigilantes from Brooklyn. Genius, pure genius, runs in the Lees gene pool.”

If you like a good murder mystery, noir story, or a touch of horror, check out these stories by two sisters in crime.