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Monday 7 September 2015

☀☄ Last Seen: McLaren Mysteries [2] - Jo A. Hiestand

Thank you for joining us on the Virtual Book Tour for Last Seen, a British Mystery by (, The Wild Rose Press, 260 pages).

This is the second book in the McLaren Mystery series, which is being re-released by The Wild Rose Press under new titles. These new editions have been fully re-edited and revised. Cold Revenge was previously published under the title "Swan Song".

PREVIEW: Read the first five chapters with Amazon Look Inside

Check out the book's trailer, its synopsis and excerpt below, and then find out about the whole series. Finally, do not miss out on our Q&A with author Jo Hiestand.

Jo A. Hiestand will be awarding a gift set, comprising of a McLaren/"Last Seen" ceramic mug and a CD recording of the song featured in the book, to eight randomly drawn winners via Rafflecopter during the tour. (Note: The song, "The Swans' Song," was recorded by Bryan Toben and Lola Hennicke Toben -- lyrics by the author to a traditional tune.)   Please do take part: comment on our post and follow the tour where you will be able to read other excerpts (☀), interviews (ℚ), reviews (✍) and guest blog posts (✉).

Trailer | Synopsis | Teaser | The Series | Author Q&A | About the Author | Giveaway & Tour Stops


One dark night, popular singer Kent Harrison goes missing after his performance at Tutbury Castle. When his body's found in a forest, the police investigation focuses on Kent's ex-wife, a local herbalist, a covetous colleague, and even the curator of another castle who tried to lure Kent into performing there.

But his occasional singing partner, Dave Morley, seems to have the biggest motive. He's dying to make his name, money, and the big time, especially at the medieval Minstrels Court reenactment, where Kent's appearance guarantees SRO. Did Dave murder Kent to eliminate the competition...or had their partnership struck a wrong chord?

To entice him into investigating, ex-cop McLaren's girlfriend plays detective. But Dena ends up in great danger. Now McLaren must not only solve Kent's murder but also rescue her, a hard task when a blast of jealousy, anger, and lies mutes the truth.

Teaser: Excerpt

She seemed to be floating in a bizarre landscape where time had ceased to function and the sole inhabitant stared mutely at her. For, framed in the open doorway, silhouetted against the florescent light in the hallway, stood a tall figure dressed in dark coloring. A rubber mask of a smiling Margaret Thatcher covered his face. His hands were gloved, the left holding a coil of rope, the right holding something dark that glistened in the light. He stepped into the room, not speaking, yet making his desires known with the gesture of the gun.

Last Seen - available NOW!

UK: purchase from purchase from Nook UK purchase from Kobo UK purchase from iTunes UK purchase from Google Books find on Goodreads
US: purchase from purchase from Barnes & Noble purchase from Kobo purchase from iTunes US

The Series: McLaren Mystery

The McLaren Mysteries feature ex-police detective Michael McLaren, who now investigates cold cases on his own in England and Scotland.

The series comprises previously published novels, and two brand new ones, An Unwilling Suspect, Flight Plan, which are due for release in 2016.

Click on the book cover to Look Inside the book on Amazon and read an excerpt.

Cold Revenge [1]

One year ago, Marta Hughes won a purse-choking sum of money at a local casino. She never returned home. Her body was discovered in a ditch twelve miles from her home; her car was in her driveway.

Linnet Isherwood cannot let her friend's unsolved murder rest. She convinces ex-cop Michael McLaren to return to the work he loves. He sifts through a confusing tangle of lies, misconceptions and veiled motives.

Are anonymous late-night phone calls, a vanished hitchhiker, and a stalker wielding empty beer bottles somehow related to the case? Or maybe the woman he broke off with is seeking revenge. [Published 1 April 2015, The Wild Rose Press, 271 pages. Originally published as "Siren Song"]

Shadow in the Smoke [3]

Janet Ennis tragically died five years ago in what the police labeled an accidental fire. But Janet’s mother, Nora, believes it to be murder and arson. And she’s hoping ex-cop Michael McLaren can prove it quickly, for she’s losing her memory to dementia. As McLaren pokes through the case details, he becomes emotionally involved with the dead woman. Yet, Janet isn’t the only person who threatens his mental well-being. A series of arsons on his own property hint that he’s upset someone connected with this case.

Motives for Janet’s murder rise like the smoky tendrils of a fire. And, motive aside, the murder scene seems a bit too pat: a drought-stricken landscape eager to lap up flames and a conveniently locked door barring Janet’s escape.

Will McLaren solve the case while Nora can still comprehend the resolution, or will Harvester’s plans see McLaren’s career go up in smoke? [COMING SOON Published 30 October 2015, The Wild Rose Press, 344 pages. Originally published as "Torch Song"]

Brush With Injustice [4]

University art student Amy Jarvis died one year ago in a murder that shocked the area. Although John Pooley had been detained by the police, they’d released him on insufficient evidence. Which didn’t stop public opinion from mentally trying and symbolically hanging John. When he conveniently died, the case seemed to die with him. Except that the local radio shock jock stirred the cold case embers to inflame citizen outrage on the one year anniversary of Amy’s death. And he again played the song mocking John, the song calling for a hit to be made on the ‘released murderer,’ the song that the DJ made into a hit.

When McLaren realizes the brooch’s significance he closes in on the murderer. But the killer has other ideas and flees. As McLaren follows the twisting trail of the killer, he hopes it doesn’t end in a different type of hit — his own planned murder. [COMING SOON Published TBA 2016, The Wild Rose Press, TBC pages. Originally published as "Hit Song"]

Rock Song [5]

Since his infancy, Michael McLaren has been the target of his paternal grandfather’s anger. So when the patriarch sends an invitation to heal the rift, McLaren travels to Scotland, eager to meet and finally end the feud. But the welcome never happens. In fact, the older man is furious McLaren’s appeared on the family home doorstep, convinced it’s some trick. McLaren, however, is confused: if the grandfather hadn’t sent for him, who had? And why? In Edinburgh, a man standing beside McLaren in a bus queue is killed in a hit-and-run accident. But McLaren wonders if the driver got the wrong person. And after an attack leaves him for dead on a wintry moor, McLaren’s convinced someone from his past is trying to murder him.

As McLaren trails the hit-and-run driver from the medieval ‘underground city’ of Edinburgh to the Boar’s Rock -- the MacLaren Clan’s ancestral meeting place -- the assaults intensify, and he’s plunged into a very personal hunt for a World War II treasure. The puzzle is fascinating; he just has to stay alive to solve it. [Published 28 October 2013, Golden Harvest Press, 270 pages]

Love Song [6]

One cold January evening Luke Barber disappears from his village. Despite search teams and a police investigation, he is never found, and his absence leaves a lot of holes in people’s lives.

That was three years ago. Now Luke’s father has employed ex-police detective Michael McLaren to find Luke, for even knowing that Luke is dead is better than holding out the faint hope that he has merely run away. And he may have had many reasons to...

It isn’t until McLaren figures out a connection with a medieval stone carving and a local legend that he discovers what became of Luke…and leads him to someone he dearly loves. [Published 3 October 2013, Golden Harvest Press, 282 pages]

About the Author

A true Anglophile, Jo Hiestand wanted to capture the traditional flavor of a detective crime novel and the intimate atmosphere of a British cozy. The result is the McLaren Case mystery series featuring ex-police detective Michael McLaren who now investigates cold cases on his own.

Jo has combined her love of writing, board games and music by co-inventing P.I.R.A.T.E.S., the mystery-solving game that uses maps, graphics, song lyrics, and other clues to lead the players to the lost treasure.

In 2001 she graduated from Webster University with a BA degree in English and departmental honors.

Peter Lovesey, author of the Sergeant Cribb and Peter Diamond series, praises Jo’s writing: “Immaculate research, attention to detail and an elegant style are the hallmarks of Jo Hiestand’s writing. (Horns of a Dilemma is) an atmospheric novel.”

Jo founded the Greater St. Louis Chapter of Sisters in Crime, serving as its first president. She is also a member of Mystery Writers of America.

Follow Jo A. Hiestand:

Visit the author's website Visit the author on Facebook Visit the author on Google+ Visit the author on their Amazon page Visit the author on GoodReads

Giveaway and Tour Stops

Enter to win one of eight gift sets comprising of a McLaren/"Last Seen" ceramic mug and a CD recording of the song featured in the book.
Remember to comment to win!
a Rafflecopter giveaway

Follow Cold Revenge's tour at:

Sep 7: BooksChatter
Sep 14: The Reading Addict
Sep 14: A Fold in the Spine
Sep 21: Christine Young
Sep 21: Undercover Book Reviews
Sep 28: FictionZeal
Oct 5: The Blog of C.R. Moss
Oct 12: Archaeolibrarian - I dig good books!
Oct 19: A Writer's Life
Oct 26: It's Raining Books


Goddess Fish Promotions said...

Thank you for hosting

Jo said...

I'm honored to be included in your blog, Flora. Thanks! Jo

Rita Wray said...

I like the synopsis, sounds like a great read.

Ben said...

Thanks for sharing, I particularly like the covers!

Unknown said...

The McLaren Mysteries sound like a really interesting series with their English setting.
Thank you for sharing.

Jo said...

Hi, Rita. If you read the book, I hope you like it. McLaren's a pretty neat guy, I must say! ;-)

Jo said...

Hi, Ben -- I agree. Angela, the cover artist, seems to capture the mood of the story. I think she's very talented.

Jo said...

Anna, I am a true blue Anglophile. I can't imagine setting my stories anywhere else but Britain. ;-) Hope you like the books, should you decide to read them,

Jo said...

Thank you for the great time today, Flora. I enjoyed the comments and the photos you inserted into the Q&A! Hope to do this again some time. Jo

Jo said...

And, of course, thanks to all who participated through comments. I appreciate your time and interest! Jo