When they planned their trip to a serene mountain lodge in Bigfork, Montana, Miami private investigators Claire Caswell and Gaston “Guy” Lombard had the best of intentions. They wanted to just get away from it all for several blissful days and enjoy the clean air, majestic mountains, tall ponderosa pines and the big blue sky that seems to go on forever.
They needed a distraction that would allow them rest, relaxation and the opportunity to recover from the stress caused by a recent case—a murder mystery that had taken them to the Greek island of Crete, and nearly cost Lombard his life.
But shortly after arriving at their friends’ lodge, the main characters in award-winning mystery author Marilyn Jax’s latest novel, “Sapphire Trails” (Beaver’s Pond Press, August 2012, $26.00), find things not quite right. Hints of relationship problems between lodge owners Piper and Jay surface. And, on the second day of their vacation, the cozy hideaway turns into a crime scene. Caswell and Lombard wake up and find sheer mayhem as they walk into a lodge filled with terrified guests and employees.
Claire’s eyes moved in a rushed manner in all directions, taking in everything around her. She first noticed the feet of a body lying face down on the floor behind the check-in desk.
Blake Helms, the night-shift clerk, had been murdered. But why? And by whom? It isn’t long before the Miami investigators find themselves pulled into an ominous conspiracy. Is there a connection to this crime and a recent rash of burglaries and art thefts in nearby Whitefish, Montana? The local sheriff and police chief are counting on the expertise of the investigators for help in cracking both cases.
Jax says the story was inspired by both places she has been and the work she used to do. As a former senior enforcement investigator for the State of Minnesota, it was her job to investigate complex cases and uncover evidence of law violations, including fraud. “I can see mystery everywhere I go, but I do like to write about places I’ve been,” said Jax.
She has visited northwestern Montana in the summer months for about 12 years, and usually stays at Mountain Lake Lodge in Bigfork, just south of Glacier National Park. The rustic and elegant lodge, with its welcoming lobby, comfortable chairs and sofas, art gallery, fireplace and two restaurants, very closely resembles the getaway described in “Sapphire Trails.”
The book has already received much praise. US Review of Books said, "Unlike many mysteries on the market, Jax has written one whose correct solution is difficult to guess before the case is actually solved. It isn't until the final pages that the solution becomes clear, providing exactly the kind of entertainment expected of a good mystery."
“In ‘Sapphire Trails,’ the electricity is high, the energy potent, and the plot charged with excitement, suspense, and intrigue! Once again, author Marilyn Jax creatively and meticulously weaves two plot lines with so many twists, turns, and surprises, it leaves the reader glued to the page from start to finish. Marilyn Jax keeps penning these five-star novels,” said Fran Lewis, author, New York reviewer, educator.
“Marilyn Jax artfully combines her expertise as a fraud and enforcement investigator with her gifted writing style in this tense, suspense-driven murder mystery. The array of multifaceted characters and the fast-moving, complex plot twists makes ‘Sapphire Trails’ an exciting read that will keep you on the edge until the end,” said Jim Proebstle, award-winning author of “Fatal Incident” and “In the Absence of Honor.”
“My goal is to give readers a great story to get lost in,” Jax said. “Not a cookie-cutter mystery, but a mystery with heart. A tale readers will remember long after they finish the last page.”
Jax’s first two novels, “Road to Omalos” and “The Find,” are also set in places she has either lived or visited. “Road to Omalos,” published in 2010, is set in Miami and on the Greek island of Crete. “The Find,” published in 2007, is set in Miami and the Caribbean.
“Road to Omalos” was named “Winner” in the prestigious 2011 Benjamin Franklin Book Awards for best mystery/suspense novel. It was also named “Winner” in the Fiction - Thriller/Adventure category of the 2011 International Book Awards and “Finalist” in the Indie Excellence Book Awards, among its awards of recognition.
“The Find” won six awards in 2007-2008, including the Indie Excellence Book Awards, Best Books USA, the Eric Hoffer Awards and the Midwest Book Awards, as one of the best mystery novels published in 2007.
More information about all of Jax’s novels can be found at http://www.marilynjax.com. Books are available for purchase via the website, as well as at www.amazon.com and at www.barnesandnoble.com, and at bookstores everywhere. Ebook editions are also available.
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About the Author
Marilyn Jax, a veteran, senior government enforcement investigator for close to two decades, and a Certified Fraud Examiner (CFE)-retired, is an international award-winning mystery author.
Jax lives in Minnesota and the Caribbean and enjoys spending time in Miami and Montana. She draws on her vast experience as an investigator as she crafts her spellbinding story lines filled with vivid settings and unforgettable characters.
Jax developed and teaches a Mystery Writer's Workshop where she shares her secrets for writing a compelling mystery filled with suspense, tension, intriguing plots, haunting characters, clues, twists and turns, red herrings, and more. She enjoys sharing her experience as an investigator and as a mystery novelist with others, encouraging people of all ages to follow their dreams and pursue careers they feel passionate about.
Title: SAPPHIRE TRAILS
Author: Marilyn Jax
Pub. Date: 2012
Beaver’s Pond Press (Hardcover)
ISBN 13: 978-1-59298-506-7
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