International crime thrillers. Featuring Mikky dos Santos, artist, photographer and forger who is rebellious and doesn’t always do the right thing.
Golden Icon – The Prequel
FREE to my subscribers.
Josephine Lavelle, a once-famous opera singer who became an international outcast. She has one last opportunity to resurrect her career….She was born to sing Puccini’s Tosca and is determined to earn the right to perform again on the world’s most prestigious and celebrated stages.
But her fight for the future she craves is derailed when her ex-husband embroils her in a cynical blackmail plot. She is forced to take possession of a solid gold icon, part of a secret hoard of art treasures stolen by the Nazis – that dangerous men are prepared to kill for.
As well as determining the fate of the Golden Icon, Josephine must come to terms with her past, and fight for her own life. If only her choices were simple…
NOT EVERYONE GETS A CHANCE AT A FORTUNE.
BUT SHE’S ONLY ONE TINY BURGLARY AWAY…
Forger Mikky Dos Santos leaps onto the London art scene like Mick Jagger as Jumpin’ Jack Flash—landing smack in the middle of the crime genre as a tattooed, amoral, ruthless badass who’ll steal your heart with one hand and lift her neighbor’s Vermeer with the other.
Janet Pywell has created a breathtaking new protagonist in Heavy Metal t-shirts and a virtual bodysuit of shocking tattoos—as exhilarating as a new Lisbeth Salander, only with more and meaner tattoos and an equal amount of attitude, yet underlying it all, a longing for human connection that makes you love her despite her own best efforts.
She’s had a hard life and she’s learned from it—now she wants to move on, and she’s got a plan. When her professor told her she’d never make it as an artist, but she could be a world class forger, she didn’t hesitate—from that moment, it was a life of crime for Mikky Dos Santos.
But it’s her soft heart that gets her in trouble. She’s playing the long game, waiting for her neighbor to die so she can steal nice Mrs. Green’s Vermeer, but she’s developed a soft spot for the old lady.
No problem so far—who says you can’t be friends with your mark? She’s not even going to touch the painting till Mrs. Green’s past caring. But some other art thief gets there first—one who’s not about to let a sweet old lady stand in the way. And they’ve unleashed Mikky’s wrath by killing her.
So now it’s another long game—one of “who do you trust”? Not her roommate and closest friend. Not Mrs. Green’s relatives. Not a certain sinister journalist. And definitely not her uninvited but intriguing new friend, an oddly clingy celebrity who won’t go away despite Mikky’s many rebuffs.
Rich glimpses into European cities, a savvy feel for the international art world, an electrifying female sleuth who blasts into your life like the Heavy Metal bands she was raised on, and a stunning twist at the end are just a few of the joys of this refreshing new mystery series.
Fans of female sleuths from Kinsey Millhone right up to THE GIRL WITH THE DRAGON TATTOO will fall for Mikky. And those who can’t get enough of sly Jennifer Crusie novels, the YA series HEIST SOCIETY, movies like OCEAN’S 8, and shows like GOOD GIRLS will be instantly hooked.
Including for the first time – Book Group Talking Points – to create discussion amongst avid readers.
BOOK OF HOURS
“PRICELESS SACRED OBJECT”?
THERE’S ALWAYS A PRICE—
Art forger Mikky dos Santos has talent, cunning, athletic prowess, an independent income—and even love. But trust? Now that’s another thing. After a lifetime of betrayal, she’d finally thought it was just within her reach…but it might as well have never poked its nose up.
Now her best friend’s been murdered and she couldn’t stop it.
She has to make it right! But there’s no one she can trust.
A year after an accident that nearly killed her, Mikky’s made a miraculous recovery. She’s been spending her days rebuilding the strength in her elaborately-inked body by kitesurfing with the handsome nurse she fell in love with during her recovery. She’s even thinking about painting again.
But when a dear—but dangerous—friend tracks her down and asks for her help in authenticating a beautiful and possibly priceless medieval prayer book, a Book of Hours, Mikky finds herself caught up in someone else’s web—a deadly game played out across three countries.
With the friend murdered and the Book of Hours stolen, Mikky suits up in her extensive collection of Heavy Metal t-shirts—in lieu of a cape—to outsmart a whole ring of international antiquities smugglers, some of whom might be dear friends—or relatives. But she absolutely can’t do it alone; she’s going to have to learn to trust someone—but who?
Author Janet Pywell drives this story like a getaway car along a treacherous mountain road, to its complex and unqualified kick-ass conclusion, giving new meaning to the phrase “twist at the end”.
Mikky’s combination of vulnerability and strength will appeal to fans of female sleuths of every stripe from Kinsey Millhone to THE GIRL WITH THE DRAGON TATTOO. (She’s got nothing on Mikky’s ink—or singular fearlessness.) Also for aficionados of the YA series HEIST SOCIETY, and the sly Jennifer Crusie novels. And if Mikky could learn to trust her team, she’d fit right in with the crews of OCEAN’S 8 or GOOD GIRLS.
SHE’S A TATTOOED ADVENTURESS.
HE’S A SHADY SEDUCER. WHAT CAN GO WRONG?
Art forger Mikky dos Santos can’t wait to jump on a plane when she hears her dear friend Simon needs someone to fly to Greece to locate a priceless 900-year-old Torah scroll.
Of course she’ll do it; she needs a break—she’s finally making it as an artist and her boy friend’s just popped the question. A little international intrigue seasoned with a piquant dose of danger is just the thing to get her mind off all the good news. (Did we mention Mikky’s body art? The Scream by Edvard Munch and a whole lot of gory Bible scenes. Pollyanna she’s not.)
But no matter, she’s an ace photographer, talented artist, well-seasoned criminal, and accomplished badass. (Do not get on her bad side or she will kick your bad bottom.)
Mikky lands in Greece only to discover a constellation of nefarious characters who all seem to have their own ideas about the fate of the scroll.
At the center of the plot is Nikos, who might or might not have the Torah, but he’s as shady as an oak grove. The trouble is, Nikos’s persona is strangely alluring to Mikky, at once sinister and seductive.
And then the lawyer representing the Torah’s donor abruptly disappears…
Readers who love hard-boiled female sleuths and international thrillers will flip for this quirkily original female protagonist. This book is a rabid page-turner for fans of THE GIRL WITH THE DRAGON TATTOO, the YA series HEIST SOCIETY, and the sly Jennifer Crusie novels.
THEY DID THE WORST THING YOU CAN DO TO A WOMAN…
And only sweet, sweet revenge will do in Janet Pywell’s fourth Mikky dos Santos domestic thriller. Ever rebellious, the reformed European art thief takes on two assailants who stole a gem from her more precious than any work of art—leading her hot on their tails in an international mystery that blends eastern European intrigue with page-turning psychological suspense.
Mikky dos Santos is a changed woman. The ex-forger has traded her life of crime for domestic bliss—these days she’s an aspiring portrait photographer and a mom-to-be, expecting a baby girl with her love Eduardo. If it weren’t for the vibrant tattoo of Edvard Munch’s The Scream prominently displayed on her forearm, she’d be downright domesticated.
But at a birthday celebration in an idyllic Spanish villa, tragedy strikes. Lulled by her newfound domestic happiness, Mikky wanders into the villa kitchen for a midnight snack (for the baby, not her) and unwittingly walks in on two thieves stealing the multi-million euro birthday gift. In the ensuing fray, the most tragic theft isn’t that of the priceless work of art—it’s the loss of Mikky’s daughter.
Wracked with guilt and despair, Mikky is devastated. Truth be told, she’s beginning to go a bit mad. And she just can’t seem to shake the feeling she knows one of her assailants…
After a grief-stricken Eduardo leaves her, she decides her only course of action is revenge: Find the men who killed her daughter and left her life irrevocably destroyed.
Mikky embarks on a one-woman quest of vigilante justice, tracking the thieves through Spain, Poland, and Estonia, and enlisting help from her past life in the European underworld—much to the delight of armchair travelers and fans of fierce female sleuths, alike. But it’s not long before she realizes the art thieves aren’t at all who they’d seemed—and her vendetta becomes unimaginably dangerous.
Fans of female sleuths from the YA series HEIST SOCIETY right up to Kinsey Millhone will fall for this vulnerable, kickass adventuress. She has more than tattoos in common with Stieg Larsson’s Millennium Series, and she’s an irresistible treat for readers who love the complex plots and sly sophistication of movies like OCEAN’S 8 and shows like GOOD GIRLS.
SHE SIGNED UP FOR DOWNTON ABBEY.
SHE STEPPED INTO THE HOUSE OF USHER.
Family dysfunction turns deadly in this riveting thriller! At first blush, the Chedwell Estate, with its sprawling grounds and sumptuous Tudor architecture, appears to be a tranquil palace tucked away in the English countryside, but appearances deceive—the Manor is more House of Usher than Downton Abbey.
In a toothsome take on a classic set-up, after their father’s death and their mother’s debilitating stroke, siblings Roberto and Stella are about to kill each other over the estate (figuratively, of course!) In a last-ditch effort to keep things civil, Stella demands they hire a curator to prevent Roberto from ransacking the estate.
Enter Mikky dos Santos, tenacious artist, forger, and all-around talented criminal. From her first day on the job, Mikky feels like she’s being taken for a ride by fancy con artists—most of all by Roberto, who is at once flirtatious and threatening. But he’s also promised her a £175,000 reward if she gets the job done swiftly while neglecting to account for certain high-end items.
The crowning touch comes when he offers Mikky an extremely valuable bargaining chip, a Dutch painting he’s acquired through a mutual colleague of theirs. The thing is, it’s a fake, and she’s the one who forged it.
As Mikky does recon, she even learns that Roberto has dirty dealings with the mafia, and they once had a price on his head. And there’s plenty more she isn’t saying. She’s secretly collaborating with an agent from Europol, the EU’s top brass, to catch Roberto red-handed.
Author Janet Pywell’s storytelling is as mesmerizing and complex as her characters, and you’ll find yourself rooting for one character and then turning against them on a dime. As Mikky tries to piece together this puzzle of deception, illicit sex, and thinly-veiled threats, she can’t tell anymore which lies are “truthful” and what’s just dead wrong. But she’d better hurry—these people are lethal.
And you’d hate to lose Mikky once you’ve met her. She’s a unique—and uniquely lovable—female protagonist: a tough, tattooed, yet vulnerable badass who’ll steal your heart with one hand while pilfering priceless paintings with the other. She’s a must-read for devotees of complex female sleuths from Kinsey Millhone to the sly Jennifer Crusie novels, especially those with an international flavor, like THE [equally-inked] GIRL WITH THE DRAGON TATTOO.
Coming soon: Broken Windows