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In Boarding with Murder, the first in the delightful B&B cosy series by Kathryn Long (aka Bailee Abbott), an out-of-work writer inherits a charming bed and breakfast after her beloved aunt passes away. The catch? Her aunt was murdered – and she's only the first victim. The book garnered significant praise, including from Midwest Book Review, which called it “the perfect recipe for reading entertainment.”


Long was kind enough to share her query for Boarding with Murder, which earned her an offer of representation:

Take one quaint B&B, two kind but quirky caretakers, a dead aunt, and a murdered friend. It's mystery a la ARSENIC AND OLD LACE. Alexis arrives in Sierra Pines to find she's inherited a B&B and a lot more. Her dear friends, the elderly and quirky Bellwether siblings, are suspected of murder. Ali wants to help, if only they didn't act so guilty. And the evidence is mounting. Can Ali find the killer before the Bellwethers are placed behind bars or even worse, before someone else is murdered?

When unemployed show writer Ali Winston arrives at the Sierra Pines B&B for a relaxing visit with her dear aunt, the trip instantly earns a Rotten Tomatoes one-star review. Aunt Julia is dead! Her eccentric, geriatric actor pals, the Bellwether siblings, are crying foul play, but no one is listening—except maybe Ali. Reeling from her aunt's unexpected death, Ali agrees to stay at the B&B until she can find a buyer for her newly inherited B&B and look into the Bellwethers' accusations. 

After a second body drops, right under the B&B's roof, Sheriff Quint Sterling investigates. But the evidence popping up points to the Bellwethers as number one suspects. Could Julia's death somehow be connected? Determined to prove the Bellwethers' innocence, Ali puts her sharp wit and dogged tenacity to use in uncovering the truth. If only Sterling would stop distracting her with his charm and good looks while insisting she keep her hands off his case. One thing's for certain. Ali's debut as an amateur sleuth will be cancelled, unless she can put a spotlight on the real killer before he makes her the leading lady in his next performance. With the murderous charm of ARSENIC AND OLD LACE, BOARDING WITH MURDER is the first in a planned cozy series, complete at 76,000 words.


Restoration Heights, Wil Medearis’ socially conscious, Brooklyn-based mystery, debuted to significant praise.  The New York Times-reviewed book was a CrimeReads Best Noir Fiction pick, and Library Journal called it “A big-bang debut.”  

The story follows Reddick, a struggling artist in Bedford-Stuyvesant, who makes ends meet by working as an art handler for the rich and privileged.  Reddick is also the last person who saw the fiancé of a wealthy art-collector/real estate investor before she went missing.  When the woman’s fiancé seems unperturbed by her disappearance, Reddick does some investigating on his own, which pulls him into a complex mystery that forces him to confront the dark side of power and gentrification in the neighborhood he loves.


Medearis was kind enough to share the query that won him representation. The letter is also a great reminder that persistence makes all the difference.  Medearis sent it to an agent who had requested and passed on a different manuscript. Luckily, this one fit the bill.


Ms. Garrick,


Last winter you were kind enough to request a full of my first manuscript (a sort-of-sci-fi mystery called The Disk), an unwieldy project that I have since set aside in order to focus on my new novel, Restoration Heights. In light of your previous interest, I thought you might like to see the new one, which channels my love of detective fiction, in particular the genre’s capacity to tap the veins of pervasive social issues like institutional corruption and racial discord. I was also encouraged to reach out to you by an acquaintance of mine, Agnes Krup, a literary scout who worked for Mr. Karpfinger in the past and thought that your agency might be a good fit.


Restoration Heights begins as a missing person story in the historically black Brooklyn neighborhood of Bedford Stuyvesant, in the shadow of a massive and controversial real estate development. Reddick, a white, thirty-something, failed artist, is the last person to see Hannah before she goes missing. When her art collector fiancée—who is also an investor in the real estate development—seems strangely disinterested in her disappearance, Reddick sets out to discover what happened to her. The answer is buried within a complex and layered mystery; as it unravels the novel opens into a grim look at the moral and psychological effects of gentrification and the deep racial tension that it fosters. Think Raymond Chandler meets James Baldwin, by way of the neo-noir of early Jonathan Letham. It’s fast-paced and brief, at about 77,000 words.


Restoration Heights would be my first published novel. A native Floridian, I have worked my way up the east coast, studying at the University of North Carolina in Asheville and the University of Pennsylvania; I currently live in Clinton Hill, Brooklyn, a neighborhood whose ability to remain vital and eclectic despite the leveling forces of economic development continues to inspire me.


Per your preference, I have copied the first five pages below. Thank you for you time.


Wil Medearis

It’s always exciting when an author has the perfect background for their book. In The Patient’s Secret, SA Falk used his degree in psychology and neuroscience – and study of serial killers – to delve into the mind of a psychopath.  The book follows a forensic psychologist, as she struggles to find out whether a notorious strangler has multiple personality disorder or is malingering - and if he claimed the life her own missing daughter. Falk's  newly released debut is already garnering great reviews, with a 5-Star rating on Amazon. 

Falk was kind enough to share the query letter that won him representation for his killer novel (originally titled Of Sound Mind):


Dear Liza,


Because of your interest in suspense that keeps you guessing until the end, I thought you might be interested in my 78,529-word psychological suspense, Of Sound Mind.


After a decade-long manhunt for the Blue River Strangler, prosecutors finally have the evidence they need to convict the accused, Kevin Blackford. The only thing standing in the way of securing a conviction is Blackford’s insanity defense. Hoping to prove otherwise, prosecutors hire renowned forensic psychiatrist, Dr. Walker Stevenson, to demonstrate Blackford’s culpability.


After his first interview with the accused though, Dr. Stevenson makes a startling discovery about Kevin Blackford; he suffers from Dissociative Identity Disorder (Multiple Personality Disorder as it once was called). Unsure if he believes Blackford, Dr. Stevenson conducts a series of interviews during which he discovers eight distinct and legitimate personalities. Having never seen such a case of the disorder himself, Dr. Stevenson becomes fascinated by Blackford and delves into the maze of the killer’s psychosis.


The prosecutors refuse to believe Blackford’s act though. They hire another psychiatrist who determines that Blackford is faking his condition. With his career on the line, Dr. Stevenson must prove not only that Kevin Blackford is insane, but also that he himself has not become a pawn in the serial killer’s game of cat and mouse.


As part of my degree in Psychology and Neuroscience, I studied serial killers and their pathology extensively. The inspiration for my novel came from studying The Hillside Stranglers, Anthony Bianchi and Kenneth Buono, the former pretending to have Multiple Personality Disorder as part of his insanity defense. Of Sound Mind brings a unique twist to the mystery genre that investigates the sociopathic mind and its ability to manipulate and tantalize those who delve into it.


Thank you for your consideration,



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