Attorney Kate Flora’s eleven books include seven series mysteries, two gritty police procedurals, a suspense thriller (written as Katharine Clark) and a true crime. Finding Amy was a 2007 Edgar nominee and has been filmed for TV. Her current projects include Death Dealer, a true crime involving a Canadian serial killer, a screenplay, and a novel in linked stories. Flora’s short stories have appeared in numerous anthologies, including the Sara Paretsky edited collection, Sisters on the Case. She spent seven years as editor and publisher at Level Best Books. Flora is a former international president of Sisters in Crime, and a founding member of the New England Crime Bake conference. She teaches writing for Grub Street in Boston. Her third police procedural, Redemption, will be published in February 2012.
Books by Kate Flora, writing as Katherine Clark:
Rachel Stark is about to live every parent’s nightmare: her nine-year-old son, David, is snatched off the street in broad daylight with no apparent motive and only one clue—his red bicycle lying on the side of the road. Now, already under the strain of a troubled marriage, Rachel must channel every ounce of strength into a desperate search for David.
Into this emotionally charged scene arrive Rachel’s recently divorced sister, a bombshell who conceals explosive secrets; a by-the-book detective, infuriating in his cold detachment; and a deceptive “saint” of the Missing Child Foundation, who harbors his own hidden agenda . . .
And through it all there is David, still missing, and crying out to be found. But are Rachel’s fleeting visions of her terrified child something real or the cruel trick of a mother’s heart consumed with love and fear?
Books by Kate Flora:
Thea Kozak series
”…Thea is not a professional private eye. She is a professional consultant to private schools, but when it comes to cloak and dagger–or whatever the private eye equivalent is–she outdoes all her contemporaries. She is big and beautiful (green eyes and irrepressible hair.) Her boyfriend is a to-die-for Maine state trooper and she has a lot of trouble making a serious commitment.
“Maybe it’s because Flora’s books are so thoroughly grounded in reality and accurate in detail that Thea Kozak never really slips the surly bonds of real life –though she sure pushed the envelope. Her exploits smack of the superhuman, but her emotions, thoughts, feelings, reactions and responses are instantly recognizable to the rest of us ordinary beings.” – Carolyn Marsh, editor of the Camden (Maine) Herald
Books in Series, in publication order:
Chosen for Death
Fans of smart, sexy, slightly screwed-up female crime solvers can add a new name to their list of favorite characters: Thea Kozak. When the heroine of Kate Flora’s Chosen for Death takes time away from her career as a consultant to private schools to solve the disturbingly brutal murder of her adopted sister, Carrie, her investigation turns up painful truths she’s reluctant to face. Still recovering from the emotional desolation of her husband’s accidental death and the shock of Carrie’s murder, Thea reenacts her sister’s search for her birth mother in hopes of finding the killer in the process. Accompanying Thea–and occasionally battling with her–on her journey of discovery is Andre Lemieux, a Down Eastern detective with more than crime solving on his mind. Flora’s full-bodied, complex characters bob and weave, and occasionally collide, in an intricately laid plot that explores the sometimes uncomfortable side of intimacy. More than just another well-written detective novel, Chosen for Death is also a thought-provoking study in identity, autonomy, and family dynamics that mystery lovers are certain to enjoy.
The seventh Thea Kozak mystery finds the crisis counselor traveling to a New Hampshire private school, where a student claims she is being stalked. But Thea soon finds this is no ordinary case: the alleged victim, a basketball player, is physically imposing, with a sharp temper and all the appearance of being able to defend herself if need be; the alleged stalker seems to be a pillar of the community; and the school’s headmaster seems irrationally and suspiciously convinced that the student’s claim is bogus. When Thea uncovers some of the school’s most tightly guarded secrets, she begins to understand that solving this case has the potential to unleash more violent reactions. The Kozak novels are always smart and satisfying, and Thea is a bright, strong-willed, sharp-tongued protagonist who never fails to entertain.
–David Pitt, Booklist
Starred Review. Flora’s dazzling debut police procedural introduces Sgt. Joe Burgess, a crusty but bighearted Portland, Maine, cop. “This case has everything,” Joe says of a murder he’s investigating, “unhappy wife, angry ex. Hookers. Drugs. Money problems. Maybe blackmail.” The distinctly unsympathetic victim, Dr. Stephen Pleasant, is found in his Mercedes with his pants down, a rod rammed down his throat and two shades of lipstick smeared on his chest. It turns out he had a three-hooker-a-week habit, and one of the suspects is Alana Black, a sexy young prostitute Burgess has been trying to help for years. But evidence suggests another woman at the scene and tracking her down proves difficult and dangerous for Alana and Joe, testing his tenacity, patience and faith—not only as he pursues justice but as he faces his personal demons. Flora (Finding Amy: A True Story of Murder in Maine) leaves some tantalizing loose ends at the conclusion, hinting at future entries in this promising new series.
When the body of eight-year-old Timothy Watts is found wrapped in a blue blanket in a Portland, ME, park, homicide detective Joe Burgess (introduced in Playing God) vows to find the killer. Everyone in the neighborhood loved Timmy except his abusive family, but people are unwilling to talk. Even Iris, Timmy’s deaf sister, will not share what she knows and soon goes missing. Then things get ugly when the press begins a personal attack on Burgess using information that could have come only from someone in the police department. Author of the Thea Kozak series and a true-crime writer (her Finding Amy: A True Story of Murder in Maine, cowritten with a career police officer, was nominated for an Edgar Award in 2007), Flora excels at portraying the police as real people with strengths and weaknesses who unite to bring some measure of justice to the dead and living alike. Flora’s thought-provoking second police procedural marks her as one of the best in the genre.