Beat Slay Love


Like both your BBQ and your sex extra spicy? Do you like your murders saucy and done to a turn? How about lobster— and bad guys— red hot and served with lemon and butter? Plunge into the fascinating and competitive world of food media culture, in this wry, witty crime story where cutting edge takes on a new meaning when celebrity chefs across America start dying.

Debut author Thalia Filbert’s darkly comic send-up of serial killers, food mysteries, chick lit, and the iconic Eat Pray Love finds the sweet spot between appetizers and dessert in this rollicking trip from sea to shining sea. From color-themed dinners to Maine lobster pots, from BBQ to huckleberries, this mystery is stuffed to the gills with knives, mayhem, and laughs.  Learn more.


STOP THE WORLD: Snapshots from a Pandemic


40 Writers give their unique take on this strange time in our world. Once you may have wished for a pause to take a breath, to stop your hectic life, to enjoy a stay-cation with so much time on your hands. Then, it happened, suddenly and terrifyingly. What do you do with these scenarios, this odd time, this creativity that doesn’t stop? How do you handle it?

This collection of fiction, essays, and poetry shines a light on moments in the times we live in during the global pandemic of 2020, when the world stopped. It offers a record of people’s lives and imaginations, a snapshot of enduring creativity— a happy, sad, funny, reflective, deep, shallow, and/or thought-provoking slice of our lives. All profits for sales of this book go to pandemic-related charities. Learn more.


Individual Authors


Titles by Katy Munger


Bad Moon on the Rise by Katy Munger


Order from your bookstore by asking for ISBN 1477572384.

Buy a print edition on-line here.

When a young basketball star and his drug-addicted mother disappear without a trace, the boy’s ailing grandmother begs a reluctant Casey to find him before she dies. But even the normally unflappable Casey Jones is thrown for a loop when she discovers evidence of a murder in their wake and uncovers a shocking secret about the identity of the boy’s father. Casey has a difficult time separating her professional and personal judgment as she follows the trail into the North Carolina mountains and uncovers a dangerous conspiracy with shocking participants.  The disastrous results that ensue put her freedom at peril and endanger the boy’s well being.



Bad to the Bone by Katy Munger

Order from your bookstore by asking for ISBN 1477572236.

Buy a print edition on-line here.

At first, Casey proves a sucker for the fragile blonde who claims her estranged husband has disappeared with their child. But Casey soons begins to suspect that the lovely Tawny Bledsoe has played her for a fool. Especially when Casey gets stiffed on the fee, then finds herself embroiled in a murder case with Tawny’s name written all over it. Bad check in hand and a bad taste in her mouth, Casey resolves to stop Tawny once and for all. The battle quickly turns personal with Tawny proves more than a match for the irrepressible Casey. Ego rattled, Casey laces up her high-tops to track her nemesis to Florida for a Saturday night cat fight, leaving her sweet-and-sour southern ways far behind in order to prove that Tawny Bledsoe is one bad to the bone babe who belongs behind bars — no matter what it takes to bring her in.


Better Off Dead by Katy Munger


Order from your bookstore by asking for ISBN 1477572325.

Buy a print edition on-line here.

It takes a lot to faze Casey Jones, but there are still some cases that hit her like a piledriver to the gut. This is one of them. Helen McInnes, the victim of a horrible crime, barely escaped with her life. Traumatized by the experience, she can no longer set foot outside her home. Further devastated by her attacker’s acquittal and the anonymous threats she begins to receive, Helen turns to Casey for help in reclaiming her life. Leaving Helen with a motley crew of bodyguards — including Casey’s temperamental boyfriend, her corpulent partner Bobby D., his  rotund paramour Fanny and a nearly comatose dog named Killer — Casey heads back to school, prowling Duke University with a different education in mind: one that will help her unmask a fiend w ho is using the campus as his personal hunting ground.


Fire and Rain by Katy Munger


They don’t come much tougher than Casey Jones, a smart-mouthed unlicensed private investigator whose dirt poor Florida upbringing and hard scrabble life has left her few illusions about other people—especially men. But she’s started a new life in North Carolina, where her latest assignment is to protect two unique sisters starring in a sensational rootin’ and tootin’ topless dancing act. Unfortunately, not everyone’s a fan. When vicious death threats are followed by a murder and kidnapping, it’s up to Casey to navigate the sleazy world of strip clubs, biker gangs, and decades-long family secrets. To complicate things, every time she turns around, Casey seems to find an ex-boyfriend in the way, trying to tell her how to run her investigation and her life. To make matters, the tall, dark, and handsome biker who gets her motor running at top speed may very well be a head-on collision course waiting to happen. What’s a stubborn, grieving, and angry girl to do?

Calling on her friends for help, including her larger-than-life boss Bobby D. and computer whiz Marcus Dupree, Casey embarks on a journey that will take her from the eastern flatlands of the Tar Heel State all the way to its most exclusive mountain enclaves in a quest to seek vengeance for one of her oldest friends. Order your paperback or ebook copy today.


Legwork by Katy Munger



Order from your bookstore by asking for ISBN 1477571795.

Buy a print edition on-line here.

In Legwork, the first book in the Casey Jones series, P.I. Casey Jones wins an assignment as bodyguard to Senatorial candidate Mary Lee Masters, only to have it turn into a murder investigation when someone dumps a corpse in the candidate’s car, branding Masters as a killer with only weeks to go before the election. Masters’ opponent is highly skilled and indisputably handsome, causing problems for Casey while challenging her views of good and bad politicians. Casey must unravel the tangled loyalties of N.C. good old boy politics, puzzle out the contradictions of Southern feminism, confront the realities of her upbringing and dodge everything from cross-bows to irate mothers in her search to find the real killer — all while contemplating new objects of her fickle and frequently bestowed affections.


Money to Burn by Katy Munger


Money to Burn

Order from your bookstore by asking for ISBN 1477572090.

Buy a print edition on-line here.

After a favorite client gets killed on her watch, Casey vows to find the killer no matter what the cost, either personally or professionally. When the trail leads her into the rarefied ranks of North Carolina’s social elite, Casey’s dirt poor childhood comes rushing back in a wave of self-doubt that adds fire to her considerable fury. She fights to regain her self-confidence and expose an incendiary killer out to destroy more than her name.  Casey moves from farmland to the mountains, from debutante balls to drag bars, from boardrooms to bedrooms– and even down the prickly path of lust at first sight–as she battles unknown enemies anxious to see her, quite literally, to go up in flames.


Out of Time by Katy Munger


Order from your bookstore by asking for ISBN 1477572058.

Buy a print edition on-line here.

This time around, Casey takes on a case that batters her once-sturdy body and threatens to expose her closest held secret. When her investigation into the case of a woman on death row sets her at odds with her hometown police force, Casey quickly learns that true blue friends aren’t necessarily clad in blue. One by one, bodies begin to fall, while Casey holds her ground.  She must race to uncover the truth before more people die and before she takes the rap for their murders. With the help of an unlikely pair of bloodhounds and even more unlikely allies, Casey battles back to reclaim her clients life and her own, and to set a trap for a very clever killer before time runs out.


Titles by Lise McClendon

The Bennett Sisters Mysteries

A Bolt from the Blue by Lise McClendon


 Discover more international intrigue, murder, and romance for  the Bennett Sisters overseas in the newest entry to the bestselling women’s fiction and suspense series. The next to youngest Bennett Sister, Francie Bennett (Blame it on Paris) is a hard-charging attorney whose boyfriend Dylan Hardy invites her to join him in Paris to help with a client. When Axelle Fourcier left Paris behind after the student riots of 1968, she vowed never to go back. She made a life for herself in  America as a professor. But now a beloved aunt, age 104, has died and left her an inheritance to be shared with a cousin she never met. Francie juggles her new annoying client, her new boyfriend, and his nine-year-old daughter in this exciting adventure for the Bennett Sisters. (2019)

                                               Buy a print edition online here.

Blame it on Paris by Lise McClendon

Blame-it-on-Paris-AppleWhen Francie Bennett, 4th in the line of lawyer/sisters, comes under serious allegations of wrongdoing at her law firm, she is mortified to learn she must take a leave of absence. Just a formality, they say, but she is sure this is the end of her reputation and her law career.

ZUT ALORS! She is off to Paris on assignment by the mother of a student jailed for serious drug crimes in France. She stays with her sister Merle and her boyfriend, the debonair policier Pascal,  while trying to navigate the murky waters of the French criminal system. Is the student an actual European drug kingpin? Or has he been framed by someone? He looks guilty as hell, but first impressions can be confusing, especially inside one of France’s worst medieval prisons. (2018)

Buy a print edition online here

The Frenchman by Lise McClendon

The-Frenchman-PlayMerle Bennett goes back to France — and her Frenchman — in this fifth installment of the Bennett Sisters mysteries. Sure that La Belle France will cure all her ills, and help her write a novel about the French Revolution, she sets out to prove her theory correct. Pascal, her Frenchman, scoffs at this. As a policeman he knows France is pretty to look at but not all that pretty under surface. While Merle writes and renovates her stone cottage Pascal encounters an old enemy, a man he put in prison years before. When Pascal disappears Merle isn’t sure if their relationship is over, or something terrible has happened to Pascal. ‘The Frenchman’ includes chapters of Merle’s novel, a glimpse into life during the turmoil of the Revolution. (2017)

 Buy a print edition online here

The Girl in the Empty Dress by Lise McClendon


A Thalia Press Original

Buy a print edition online here

sequel to Blackbird Fly.  2014

ISBN 978-0-9819442-0-3
Wine, women, and walking. That’s all the Bennett sisters planned fortheir vacation in France. Merle Bennett [from Blackbird Fly] delights in showing her sisters her corner of southwest France until the sixth member of the walking tour
finds an injured dog along the path. That simple event shouldn’t have changed everything but this isn’t just any stray dog. She’s something special and Gillian Sargent wants her at all costs. Besides being a law colleague of one sister, no one knows much about Gillian. She’s moody and secretive. Answers elude Merle and her sisters as their idyllic summer turns dark and dangerous, deep in the heart of France.

Blackbird Fly by Lise McClendon  

The first in the Bennett Sisters Mystery series


A Thalia Press Original.
Merle Bennett, a legal aid lawyer in New York, is shocked by the sudden death of her husband. She takes her teenage son to France to escape her grief. Her husband’s ancestral home, crumbling and infested with secrets, should be a project full of solace and sunshine. But soon any calm she feels is overshadowed by the past. A crumbling house, a deranged squatter somehow connected to her husband, unfriendly villagers, a ghastly surprise in the garden house — it makes a girl almost wish for the sleepy suburbs. But Merle can’t go home until all is resolved, one way or another.

In her first suspense novel, Lise McClendon reveals her love of both the French countryside and the intimacies and drama of family. Her style has been described as “lyrical and often humorous” and her mysteries as “richly detailed,… quite simply gets to your heart.”

Check out the rest of the Bennett Sisters Mysteries! CLICK HERE 


PLAN X by Rory Tate

Rory Tate is a penname for Lise McClendon


A Thalia Press original.
Available in paperback and Kindle ebook.
When a suspicious explosion rocks a lab on a University campus in Montana, officer Cody Byrne is tasked with finding next-of-kin for one of the victims, a professor of Shakespeare. From this simple beginning she pulls the strings to unravel a secret jealously guarded by very powerful people. She won’t give up her hunt, even as she battles wartime demons from her tour in Iraq, as she discovers she’s chasing down her own identity, as well as a dead man’s.


“PLAN X is both thrilling and sophisticated. In a serpentine story that races from small-town Montana to the vaulted halls of Windsor Castle, nothing is as it seems, including the works of the great Shakespeare himself. Former military and current police officer Cody Byrne is unforgettable— a heroine you want to root for. I love this book!”
—New York Times and USA Today Bestselling Author J. Carson Black

“Rory Tate weaves a thrilling police procedural as officer Cody Byrne investigates the death of a Montana professor who may have been hiding one of the biggest secrets in academia— or perpetuating one of the biggest frauds— one that could scandalize the royal family of Great Britain. An entertaining read!”                              —Robin Burcell, award winning author of THE BLACK LIST

“A book to keep you up at night. Once begun it must be read through. Exciting, spellbinding, and riveting are words that come to mind. The best mystery/crime/spy novel I have read recently. One of the best of all time.”             — BookPleasures blogger, Ruth Ann Hixson

Jump Cut by Rory Tate

A Thalia Press Original. 
Buy a paperback at Amazon (Available at all online book retailers)

Seattle reporter Mimi Raynard is having a bad week. Her ex-husband is now her boss at the TV station and wants her head on a platter. When three prostitutes die of a suspicious heroin overdose Mimi gets the story but in her nervous enthusiasm manages to bungle it. The narcotics detective on the case tries to help but both are out-foxed by the buxom intern.  What’s a girl to do?

Desperate for a new job Mimi takes a friend’s advice and dresses up as a Russian Mafiya Madam for a resume tape but gets cold feet on sending out. The lark turns serious when the intern steals the tape. At the Seattle Police Department the narcotics detective Shad Mulgrew has his own career crisis. He is framed for stealing drugs from evidence. Is someone in the department killing prostitutes? Working together to save their reputations, Mimi and Shad look for the truth, from the fishing docks of Puget Sound to the backwoods of the tiny Republic of Moldova. They end up salvaging a lot more than their careers. In a wild finish they save the soul of Seattle, and find themselves.




The Bluejay Shaman by Lise McClendon

REPRINT. First in the series.
Buy a print edition on-line at amazon.com
Buy a print edition on-line at barnesandnoble.com

Traveling the back roads of Montana, not-quite-fearless art gallery owner Alix Thorssen is far from her home in Jackson Hole. Trying to clear her sister’s husband of murder, she finds herself up to her Ray-bans in shaman’s secrets, muysterious deaths, zealots, and madmen, not to mention — ah yes — passion among the pine needles.

Whoever killed Shiloh Merkin hated her. But did Wade Fraser, University of Montana professor, do the deed? Alix follows a trail of moonlit rituals and legendary artifacts as another murder leads her to a chilling confrontation with a killer.
“In this first novel in the series, Lise McClendon weaves a gripping tale of suspense, blending Indian lore, the timeless clash of western values, and the magnificent landscape of the Rockies.
“Delightful; compellingly twisted. Reminiscent of Tony Hillerman at his best.” — James Crumley, author of The Last Good Kiss

“The magic in a Lise McClendon mystery lies in the character of the heroine, an outwardly stoic and reserved Norwegian-American, who has a big heart.” — Midwest Review

Painted Truth by Lise McClendon

REPRINT. Second in the series.

Alix Thorssen’s partnership with sexy Paolo Segundo is at a crossroads. When another gallery on the town square burns, revealing the body of a famous artist, she is drawn into the investigation as an appraiser of the lost paintings. Ray Tantro was a has-been at 30 but was on the verge of a comeback. Why would he commit suicide? Why are the police so quick to dismiss foul play? The investigation makes her confront her own contradictions as an art lover, turning everything she knows upside down. She must examine her ethics and even her way of life to find the truth, and justice. But not without a very high price.

“An extremely satisfying mystery whose intricate plot kept me guessing. It’s a rare book that can keep me riveted to its pages and have me reaching for tissues at the end. This one did. I give it my highest recommendation.” — Mystery News “An unusually complex art swindle that will leave you gasping with admiration for the killer’s imagination and industry. McClendon knits detective work together with domestic betrayals in a satisfyingly intricate tangle.” — Kirkus Reviews

Nordic Nights by Lise McClendon

REPRINT. Third in the series.

Buy a paperback at Amazon here. (Available at all online book retailers.)

Set in wintry Jackson Hole, Wyo., this crisp, straightforward mystery plunges gallery owner Alix Thorssen into the local Nordic Nights festival, which features ice carving, a parade, ski races and a startling murder. Famous Norwegian painter Glasius Dokken, who had come to town for his show at Alix’s gallery, is found stabbed with an ice pick in the hotel room of an itinerant and provocative fortune-teller.

Arrested for the killing is Alix’s glumly stoic stepfather (his fingerprints were all over the crime scene), who reveres his Scandinavian heritage and has painstakingly crafted a replica of a Viking ship to be displayed in the parade. Alix, persistent and unflappable, begins to investigate, but accidents plague her and her family: the Viking ship nearly crushes her; her mother barely escapes a hit-and-run; and Bjarne, a seductive ski-racer who has beguiled Alix, is also implicated in the murder.

“McClendon works a good deal of Nordic folklore into her story. The fortune-teller is a specialist in runes, and her silver-and-wood tools quickly become a central point in the case: Are the runes museum quality? Have they been stolen? The third entry in the McClendon’s series (after The Bluejay Shaman) conjures up the icy beauty of Jackson Hole. Her agreeably feisty heroine and a hair-raising finale will keep readers entertained throughout the night, Nordic or otherwise.” — Publisher’s Weekly

Blue Wolf by Lise McClendon

REPRINT. Fourth in the series.
Buy a paperback from Amazon here. Available at all online book retailers.

October is a slow month for tourism in Jackson Hole, but there is enough drama among the locals to keep them busy. In the midst of an uproar over the shooting of an endangered wolf, a friend asks Alix to look into an older crime–the murder of a local boy. The case has been swept under the rug for 25 years, but it turns out to be far from closed, as Alix discovers ties to prominent citizens and current scandals in her search through long-forgotten documents and memories.

“Wyoming flora and fauna are lovingly described alongside sharp dialogue and good pacing in this readable, down-to-earth mystery, which is refreshingly free of a histrionic heroine-in-danger finale.” — PW

“Recommend to fans of the outdoorsy and witty Nevada Barr and Dana Stabenow novels.” — Booklist.


 The DORIE LENNOX Mysteries

One O’Clock Jump by Lise McClendon

Buy a print edition on-line at amazon.com
Buy a print edition on-line at barnesandnoble.com 

4138wk9e2nlHalfway around the world, war has begun, but for Dorie Lennox, a newly-minted private eye on her first tail, danger is more immediate. The dark streets of Kansas City of 1939 offer swing music, fast cars, gangsters, and the chance to forget about the Depression and her own murky past. But first she must conquer her fears and save a woman on a bridge high above the muddy Missouri. Dorie is thrown into a quickly unraveling scam that offers salvation to few — and misery to plenty — in the high stakes world of machine politics and desperation deals.

With vivid prose and sharp dialogue, the world of Dorie Lennox comes alive, behind the wheel of her Packard, into the packinghouses, race tracks, and mansions of jazz-age Kansas City. The landscape of America and the homefront of World War II are evoked in this thoughtful mystery that lingers for the force of characters and keen sharpness of a slice of history, seen through the perceptive, compassionate eyes of Dorie Lennox.

“A time capsule, transporting a tale of murder, greed, and intrigue from vintage Kansas City.” — Sue Grafton

“Wonderful: a richly detailed story that quite simply gets to your heart.” — Michael Connelly


517z7sjibvlSweet and Lowdown by Lise McClendon

Now in paperback. Available as e-book in all formats.

An homage to Raymond Chandler’s “The Big Sleep,” set in 1940 Kansas City.

Lise McClendon expertly probes the mystery of human desires and behavior with a character so real you will swear you are riding in the Packard right next to her. –Michael Connelly

Buy a print edition online


All Your Pretty Dreams by Lise McClendon

Pretty Dreams front coverA Thalia Press Original.
Order the Paperback  (Available at all online retailers)

Romance, humor, and the heartache of growing up make All Your Pretty Dreams a unique journey through the hearts and minds of young adults searching for the keys to happiness in a complicated world. Combining the spirit of Jane Austen’s Pride and Prejudice with the quirky, heartfelt characters of Anne Tyler the world of Red Vine, Minnesota comes to life, a rich milieu of confrontation, betrayal, humiliation, laughter, and redemption, as Jonny plays Bruce Springsteen, James Brown, and the ‘She Likes Kielbasa’ polka on his grandfather’s accordion. What does a draftsman from Minneapolis, born into a cheesy polka band, have in common with a prickly, ambitious scientist who studies bees? How badly does she want him to breach her defenses?

“The beauty of this book is its originality, and its sheer inability to be categorized, which, in today’s world of cookie-cutter books, is a good thing! It’s a romance, with its lovers troubled and conflicted and struggling with their feelings, but ultimately, wonderfully in love. It’s a coming-of-age story, with characters young as well as old doing so! It’s a story of family and values, both not necessarily going hand in hand … and more than anything, love – in all of its variations and dimensions.” — Goodreads review

Leave a Comment

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s