Publication day for Gone to Her Grave

It’s publication day at last for Detective Madison Harper book 4: Gone to Her Grave. Available as an ebook, audiobook (audible) and paperback, it’s also on Kindle Unlimited!

You can also add it to your Goodreads TBR lists.

Although this is book 4 in the series, it can be read as a standalone crime thriller. Book 5 in the series will be released later this year, around September time. I really hope you enjoy it!

Description

In the golden morning light, a beautiful young woman lies diagonally across the bed, dressed for a night out, her long lashes pressed against her cheeks as if she’s sleeping. But the crimson that creeps across the sheets tells the story of an innocent woman who has drawn her last breath…

Detective Madison Harper is pulled away from Thanksgiving preparations when a local care worker, Terri Summers, is found dead in her home on the outskirts of Lost Creek, Colorado. Terri’s inconsolable mother can’t understand who would hurt such a kind soul who had dedicated her life to helping others. But analysis of the blood spatter at the scene indicates Terri knew her attacker, that she looked them right in the eye before her life was taken.

The awkward way Terri’s body is positioned catches Madison’s attention. Carefully moving her, she finds a bracelet—possibly a child’s—with a single red bead clenched in the woman’s fist, as if she was hiding it. It’s the lead Madison so desperately needs, but the sudden death of one of her own team sends the investigation into a tailspin.

With her coworkers crumbling around her, Madison must work day and night to trace the bracelet and crack the case. But when she’s dragged back into the disappearance of a woman and child from years ago, and finds a link to someone in her own family, can Madison stop this twisted killer before another precious life is taken? And at what cost?

An absolutely addictive and twist-packed crime thriller guaranteed to get your heart racing and make your jaw drop!

If this sounds like something you would enjoy, why not visit amazon now!

International Thriller Award finalist!

I’m delighted to share the news that one of my books – Little Girl Taken – has been picked as a finalist in the International Thriller Writers 2022 Thriller Awards, in the best ebook original category.

Little Girl Taken is the third book in my Detective Madison Harper crime series, although it can also be enjoyed as a standalone novel. I like to make all books in the series as different to each other as possible so that readers (and I) never get bored! I’m proud of this one, and I genuinely felt conflicted for the main character. She does things she thinks are just, and that society might have a hard time disagreeing with, but things that the law says are wrong. She’s also the character I get the most emails about. (Well, after Brody – the K9 Shepsky!)

If you’ve not yet read it, here is the book’s description. It’s available to purchase in ebook, paperback and audiobook via amazon and audible.

Rain rattles through the trees as she leans into the car, careful not to touch anything. Two pretty blue eyes stare back through the dark, wide with relief, or maybe fear. A baby girl, wrapped up in a pink snowsuit, reaches out a tiny hand. Her mother is nowhere to be found…

An abandoned baby is the last thing Detective Madison Harper expects to find as she drives to her first day back at work since the case that ripped her life apart. But as she cradles the shivering child close, all her instincts tell her there’s something more sinister at play. Then she finds a lone sneaker down a muddy trail nearby, the laces spattered with blood…

In a town as small as Lost Creek, Colorado, the baby and the shoe are quickly identified as belonging to Kacie Larson, a waitress at the local diner who quietly stashed away her tips to make a better life for her daughter. A mother herself, Madison can’t believe that Kacie would just abandon her child, but she also can’t convince her new team. Not for the first time, Madison feels she must go it alone to get the job done.

But when a body is pulled from a nearby lake, and it’s not Kacie, the case takes an agonizing turn. Is this missing mother really who she says she is? Is there a chance she’s still alive? Madison barely has time to think before the sweet little girl she rescued is snatched on a crowded street. Gone, in the blink of an eye.

To break this case and earn her place back on the force, Madison must learn to trust her team, and herself againand fast. If she doesn’t find this twisted individual in time, a little girl could die…

Cover reveal for Gone to Her Grave

I’m delighted to reveal the cover, title and description for Detective Madison Harper book 4: Gone to Her Grave. The ebook is now available to pre-order here on amazon, and the paperback and audio versions will be available to pre-order closer to the publication date (which is April 13th, 2022). You can also now add it to your Goodreads TBR lists.

Although this is book 4 in the series, it can be read as a standalone crime thriller.

Book 5 in the series will be released later this year!

Description

In the golden morning light, a beautiful young woman lies diagonally across the bed, dressed for a night out, her long lashes pressed against her cheeks as if she’s sleeping. But the crimson that creeps across the sheets tells the story of an innocent woman who has drawn her last breath…

Detective Madison Harper is pulled away from Thanksgiving preparations when a local care worker, Terri Summers, is found dead in her home on the outskirts of Lost Creek, Colorado. Terri’s inconsolable mother can’t understand who would hurt such a kind soul who had dedicated her life to helping others. But analysis of the blood spatter at the scene indicates Terri knew her attacker, that she looked them right in the eye before her life was taken.

The awkward way Terri’s body is positioned catches Madison’s attention. Carefully moving her, she finds a bracelet—possibly a child’s—with a single red bead clenched in the woman’s fist, as if she was hiding it. It’s the lead Madison so desperately needs, but the sudden death of one of her own team sends the investigation into a tailspin.

With her coworkers crumbling around her, Madison must work day and night to trace the bracelet and crack the case. But when she’s dragged back into the disappearance of a woman and child from years ago, and finds a link to someone in her own family, can Madison stop this twisted killer before another precious life is taken? And at what cost?

An absolutely addictive and twist-packed crime thriller guaranteed to get your heart racing and make your jaw drop! Perfect for fans of Lisa Regan, Melinda Leigh and Kendra Elliot.

If this sounds like something you would enjoy, why not pre-order the ebook now!

Publication day for The Birthday Party

I’m excited to say that today is publication day for my latest standalone crime thriller – The Birthday Party. It’s out now on amazon in ebook, paperback and audiobook (audible), and available on kindle unlimited.

I hope you enjoy it! For fans of my Detective Madison Harper series – book 4 will be out in the spring (cover reveal coming soon), followed by book 5 in the fall so watch this space for more details!

If you’ve read any of my books and enjoyed them, please help spread the word by leaving a brief review or rating on amazon. Thank you!

Here’s the description for The Birthday Party:

Charlotte waves at her mother across the crowded lawn. Little red boots on, cowboy hat crooked over her blonde pigtails, she’s been looking forward to this party for weeks. Moments later, she disappears without a trace…

Kathy Hamilton drives away from her sister-in-law’s pristine-white suburban house in Maple Falls certain she’s left her daughter in safe hands. On the hottest day of the year, a birthday is the perfect excuse to gather friends, family and neighbors around the pool for a barbecue. But when she returns hours later to find her little girl has vanished, her world shatters.

Nobody laughing and drinking in the garden that day saw anything unusual.

Kathy’s eldest daughter is anxious and hardly eating. Is she sick with worry for her sister, or hiding a terrible secret?

The phone rings and rings, but why can’t Kathy get hold of the babysitter?

And is she imagining it, or when her husband rushed from work to join the search, was he wearing a different shirt to the one she saw him leave the house in that morning?

As the temperature rises, and long-buried secrets begin to surface, it’s clear that even the most perfect families keep devastating secrets. But in a town as small as this, is there anyone you can trust?

A totally gripping and utterly addictive page-turner that will have you racing through and reeling at the twists. Perfect for fans of Lisa Jewell, Gone Girl and Teresa Driscoll, it will keep you up reading all night long!

Enjoy!

Wendy

Universal amazon link for The Birthday Party: http://viewbook.at/TheBirthdayParty

Audible:

UK: https://zpr.io/jnXp4CNQuh4f

US: https://zpr.io/WeVpBXzVj42V

Available on amazon, Kindle Unlimited and Audible.

Wendy Dranfield signs new 3 book deal!

I’m delighted to share the news that I have signed a new 3 book deal with my publisher, Bookouture at Hachette UK.

This is for 2 new books in the Detective Madison Harper series, plus a standalone crime thriller.

Here’s what Bookouture say about the deal:

Associate Publisher Jessie Botterill has secured another new contract with Wendy Dranfield for world all language rights (including audio, film and TV) to two new titles in the hugely successful Detective Madison Harper Series, and a high-concept standalone thriller with a killer twist.  

Jessie says,

“Wendy is an amazingly talented writer with such a fantastic feel for what drives readers to stay up all night turning pages. The Madison Harper series just goes from strength to strength, and those incredible reviews speak for themselves, so I’m so excited to be bringing the next instalments to readers next year. As for the standalone thriller, well, you’ll just have to wait and see…”

Wendy says,

I’m thrilled with the success of the Detective Madison Harper series, and delighted to be able to continue the series for its loyal readers, as well as writing another standalone crime thriller. I’m proud to call Bookouture my publisher, and Jessie my editor, as they believe in me and they enjoy my characters as much as I do!”

If you’ve yet to try the Detective Madison Harper series, they can be found on amazon and Kindle unlimited. They are out in ebook, paperback and audiobook. These links will take you to amazon:

Shadow Falls

Cry for Help

Little Girl Taken

Incidentally, I’m currently halfway through writing Madison book 4 and loving every second! I hope you’ll join me, Madison and Nate (and Brody the ex police dog!) on the journey.

Wendy

Meet the character: Detective Madison Harper

Read my interview with Detective Madison Harper from Shadow Falls (Book 1 of 3 – so far – in this crime series):

Hi Madison. Could you tell us a little about yourself as you work on your first missing person case in Shadow Falls, California?

Sure. I’m in my mid-thirties and originally from a small town called Lost Creek in southern Colorado. I’d still be living there if I hadn’t served time in prison for a murder I didn’t commit. I have one son, Owen, and I have no idea where he is. He’ll be seventeen now but he was ten when he was taken from me after my arrest. I’ve been a cop for five years and just made detective before I was framed. Now I’m out of prison my goal is to clear my name, find my son and get my job back. I’m going to be busy.

Why did you become a detective?

I hate injustice. I’ve always hated seeing anyone get away with breaking the law and ruining people’s lives, even more so since I was framed for the murder of a fellow officer. I find satisfaction in helping victims get the justice they deserve in order to be able to move on with their lives.

What was it like spending 6 years in prison for a crime you didn’t commit?

I could go into detail but it would put you off your dinner, so let’s just say it was as bad as you’d expect it to be. A lot of the women in my prison were victims themselves. Our criminal justice system has a lot to answer for and prison should be about rehabilitation and education but instead it’s mostly about punishment, which means everybody is labelled as bad, instead of by scale of their potential to turn their lives around. I made some friends inside, but it was hard serving someone else’s sentence, especially as I had no idea where my son was. I don’t know if I’ll ever see him again. The days were long but the nights were longer as I’d wonder what Owen looked like now, and if I’d even recognize him in the street if I ever walked past him after my release. I don’t even know if he ever thinks about me. Has he got a new mother now? These are questions that keep me awake at night.

How did you meet Nate Monroe?

I’m smiling when you mention Nate because we were like chalk and cheese at first. Nate is someone who served 17 years on death row for the murder of his fiancée, except he didn’t kill her and was recently exonerated at 39 years old. He was known as the ‘killer priest’ in the media because he’d been training to become a priest before he gave it up for the woman he wanted to marry, but she was cruelly taken from him when they were just 20 years old. He became a PI on his release from prison and I watched his story play out in the media when I was inside. I knew he’d be the best person to track down who framed me, and to help me find my son, so I literally begged him to take on my case and give me a job too. He took a lot of persuading but eventually he agreed. He’s been a good boss, if a little unconventional. It’s thanks to him we have a retired police dog, Brody, tagging along with us everywhere we go. Nate’s a sucker for picking up strays.

What’s it like delivering bad news to the parents of child victims?

The case we’re in Shadow Falls to investigate is that of a missing 12-year-old girl; Jenny Lucas. She vanished whilst at a summer camp. Her parents are beside themselves but it’s the grandmother who gets me. She’s trying to do everything in her power to find that little girl. It sometimes feels like she’s got a stronger bond with Jenny than the parents do, so it’s killing her to think of the girl being away from the family with a potential predator. She’s the one who hired us to look into the case since the local police don’t have any leads. I just want to be able to reunite them so I never have to deliver the news they don’t want to hear.

What’s it like living in small town Colorado?

Lost Creek, Colorado is remote to say the least. It’s nestled amongst mountains and forests and has the most beautiful scenery you could ever want. But that place is troubled. The welcome sign says Lost Creek is “where the lost are found”, but whoever thought that up must have been on drugs. There are good people in every town of course, but also bad, and I fear that if I ever get back to Lost Creek – which is my ultimate aim – I’ll find out that the person who framed me for murder all those years ago is someone who was close to me. Someone who wanted me put away for a reason. I just have to figure out what that reason was.

Shadow Falls is available to buy on amazon and kindle unlimited here. Ebook, audiobook and paperback.

Book 2 in the series: Cry For Help

Book 3 in the series: Little Girl Taken

Books 4 & 5 to be published in 2022!

— If you have any questions for any of my characters drop me a line on Twitter or Facebook and I’ll host an interview with them using your questions! —

Detective Madison Harper’s heart shatters when she searches the bedroom of twelve-year-old Jenny Lucas, the sweet little girl last seen splashing in the lake at Shadow Falls, northern California, with her friends before she vanished. A notebook decorated with stickers pokes out beneath a pink cowboy hat on the bed, which is neatly made up, ready for her return. Madison can’t help wondering why it took their close-knit community so long to raise the alarm.

The girl’s parents are distraught, and the local police have no leads—they desperately need Madison’s help. She knows better than most what it’s like to lose a child, and she won’t let it happen again, even if that means pressing Jenny’s grieving family for answers.

Then, canvassing the local area for hidden leads, Madison discovers a disturbing portrait Jenny drew at the local library. Was this angelic girl more troubled than anybody knew? Was she in danger from those she trusted most? If Madison’s instincts are right, then the life of another innocent child could also be at riskshe must find Jenny fast…

An absolutely unputdownable crime thriller that will keep you up all night!

Publication day for Little Girl Taken

I’m excited that Little Girl Taken – the third book in my Detective Madison Harper crime series – is out today!

It’s available in ebook, audiobook and paperback on amazon here. It’s also on Kindle Unlimited and audible and available from book stores. It follows Shadow Falls (book 1 in the series) and Cry For Help (book 2), but it could also be enjoyed as a standalone crime thriller. I wrote this book during a winter covid lockdown so it’s quite dark, with lots of secrets, lies and twists!

Little Girl Taken begins on Madison’s first day back as a detective at Lost Creek Police Department after her wrongful conviction (and serving six years in prison) for the murder of a fellow cop. But can she pick up where she left off? PI Nate Monroe and former police dog Brody are also back and along for the ride.

Here’s the cover and blurb:

Rain rattles through the trees as she leans into the car, careful not to touch anything. Two pretty blue eyes stare back through the dark, wide with relief, or maybe fear. A baby girl, wrapped up in a pink snowsuit, reaches out a tiny hand. Her mother is nowhere to be found…

An abandoned baby is the last thing Detective Madison Harper expects to find as she drives to her first day back at work since the case that ripped her life apart. But as she cradles the shivering child close, all her instincts tell her there’s something more sinister at play. Then she finds a lone sneaker down a muddy trail nearby, the laces spattered with blood…

In a town as small as Lost Creek, Colorado, the baby and the shoe are quickly identified as belonging to Kacie Larson, a waitress at the local diner who quietly stashed away her tips to make a better life for her daughter. A mother herself, Madison can’t believe that Kacie would just abandon her child, but she also can’t convince her new team. Not for the first time, Madison feels she must go it alone to get the job done.

But when a body is pulled from a nearby lake, and it’s not Kacie, the case takes an agonizing turn. Is this missing mother really who she says she is? Is there a chance she’s still alive? Madison barely has time to think before the sweet little girl she rescued is snatched on a crowded street. Gone, in the blink of an eye.

To break this case and earn her place back on the force, Madison must learn to trust her team, and herself again—and fast. If she doesn’t find this twisted individual in time, a little girl could die…

A pulse-pounding, absolutely gripping and totally addictive page-turner that will have you racing through the pages and reeling at the twists.

I hope you enjoy it!

Wendy xx

My latest book release: Shadow Falls

It’s publication day for the first book in my new crime series with my new publisher (Bookouture)!

Here’s the official blurb:

You thought your little girl was safe at summer camp. You were wrong…

When Detective Madison Harper arrives at a remote summer camp in Shadow Falls, northern California, her heart breaks for Jenny, the sweet little girl last seen splashing in the lake with her friends before she vanished. Peering into the silent cabins filled with rows of neatly made beds, Madison knows this idyllic place is hiding a terrible secret.

The girl’s parents are distraught, and the local police have no leads—they desperately need Madison’s help. She’ll do whatever it takes to crack this case, because it’s the only way back to the son she lost to the care system years ago when she was framed for a crime she didn’t commit.

But with the camp staff keeping tight-lipped and her new partner on the edge of a breakdown, Madison can’t find any truth to her instinct that there is more to Jenny’s perfect parents than meets the eye. Until she discovers a disturbing family portrait Jenny drew at the local library. Was this angelic girl more troubled than anybody knew? Was she in danger from those she trusted most?

One thing is certain, if Madison doesn’t find the answers soon, the lives of more innocent children will be at risk…

If that has piqued your interest you can get the book on Amazon and Kindle Unlimited in: paperback, ebook or audiobook. The ebook is currently only 99p/99¢ but not for long so grab it while you can!

Book 2 in the series – Cry for Help – is now available to pre-order on amazon and will be released on 22nd Feb 2021.

Enjoy!

Wendy xx