Attorney Kate Flora is the author of 14 mystery and true crime books including Finding Amy, a 2007 Edgar nominee co-written with Portland, Maine deputy police chief Joseph K. Loughlin. Her other titles include the Thea Kozak mysteries and the starred-review Joe Burgess police series, the third of which, Redemption, won the 2013 Maine Literary Award for Crime Fiction.
A former assistant attorney general for the state of Maine, Kate is a founding member of the New England Crime Bake Conference and the Maine Crime Wave conference. She has served as editor and publisher of Level Best Books and as international president of Sisters in Crime.
Flora’s short stories have appeared in numerous anthologies, including the Sara Paretsky edited collection, Sisters on the Case. Her most recent story, Girls’ Night Out, is an e-book from Shebooks.net. She teaches writing for Grub Street in Boston.
When Miramichi, New Brunswick resident Maria Tanasichuk’s husband David reports her missing, the local police force is perplexed: they have had a close relationship with the Tanasichuks and know David as a loving and supportive husband, yet his account of Maria’s disappearance contains disturbing inconsistencies. Soon they discover that David has been using drugs heavily and Maria’s efforts to stop him have frayed the marriage. Witnesses report he has been selling Maria’s belongings to support his drug use, has been involved with another woman and has engaged in suspicious, nighttime comings-and-goings. Further disclosures suggest that he played a role not only in Maria’s disappearance, but also in several unsolved murders.
The fact that they cannot locate Maria’s body — combined with David’s clever, deceptive ways — make it impossible for the Miramichi police to prove their suspicions. As signs that David may in fact be a dangerous killer mount, the police officers tracking him fear, rightly, that at any moment he could unleash his vengeful violence on their families. Only when they look across the border into Maine and enlist the help of the Maine Warden Service and trained cadaver dogs and dedicated handlers are Miramichi’s police officers able to undertake the long and grueling search for the evidence they need: Maria’s body.
And Grant You Peace:
This 4th book in the Joe Burgess mystery series finds the Maine detective pulled into a case rife with religious tensions after screams for help lead him to a woman and a baby locked in a closet inside a burning mosque. The baby dies. The very young mother survives, but suffers from traumatic muteness. She has no ID, and no one has reported her missing. When the autopsy shows the baby was gravely ill, and needed surgery to survive, Burgess suspects someone was trying to keep mother and baby away from hospitals that might have asked questions.
The mosque’s Somali Imam claims to have no knowledge of the girl, or of who was responsible for scrawling anti-Muslim graffiti on the mosque’s walls. Burgess learns that the “Iron Angels,” an outlaw motorcycle gang led by William “The Butcher” Flaherty has been harassing the mosque’s members. Then someone tries to steal the baby’s body. Burgess has been hoping to regain a semblance of “normal family life,” but there, too, things are complicated. First, by the threat that his son will be suspended from school. Then by the chilling knowledge that his family is being stalked.
As Burgess tries to sort out the tangle of a suspicious and uncooperative immigrant community, an outlaw gang, and a mysterious man who may be involved with both, clues lead to another body, a stash of stolen guns and ultimately, a tense confrontation in which the staggering extent of death and destruction that’s been sowed in the name of greed is revealed.
When the man who date raped their friend is found not guilty, a woman’s book group decides to take matters into their own hands–with surprising results. The link to my book on Shebooks: http://www.shebooks.net/book/ebook/girls-night-out/9781940838557
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.
Finding Amy: A True Story of Murder in Maine (sample story: