Code talkers, voodoo, an escape to St. Kitts

Who’s your favorite Texas mystery sleuth and/or author? Write Judy at, and she’ll see what she can dig up on that sleuth or author.


In August, retired Dallas police officer Anita Dickason published the fourth book in her Tracker series about the elite FBI Tracker Unit, men and women with unexpected skills for overcoming danger and adversity. In Operation Navajoagent Scott Fleming holds a political time bomb. How does he keep Federal Reserve Chairman Frank Littleton, the second most powerful man in the government, from getting killed after he receives a death threat? Littleton’s death would trigger a world-wide financial cataclysm. Scott's dilemma deepens when his officer receives a second message, written in a code used by Navajo Code Talkers in World War II. A new Tracker agent and financial crimes expert joins forces with an undercover Interpol agent to infiltrate the inner sanctum of the Federal Reserve. The case turns deadly when the agents become the target for an assassin’s bullet.


Dickason turned to writing after retirement when she became involved in a research project that dealt with the death of a witness to the Kennedy assassination. The research led to her first book, JFK Assassination Eyewitness: Rush to Conspiracy, that reconstructs the 1966 motor vehicle accident that killed Lee Bowers, Jr., a key witness to the assassination. The other three Tracker novels are Sentinels of the Night, Going Gone!, and A u 7 9


Today she has seven books in print and her own company, Mystic Circle Books & Designs LLC, offering cover design and manuscript services. In addition to her work as an author, she enjoys helping other authors see their dream become a reality.


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Prolific Central Texas author Susan Wittig Albert has a new title in her Darling Dahlias series, set in an Alabama town in the 1930s, pre-WWII. In The Darling Dahlias and the Voodoo Lily, Albert touches on a subject she explored in her Pecan Springs Enterprise Trilogy: small-town newspapers. But there’s plenty more for the Dahlias to talk about. The newest resident at Bessie Bloodworth’s Magnolia Manor is found dead after eating a large and extraordinarily rich chocolate cake—was something else baked into that cake? If so, one of the Dahlias is likely to find herself at the top of Sheriff Buddy Norris’s suspect list.


Will the ladies at the new bakery ever learn to bake bread? What’s happening in Liz Lacy’s love life? Will her new book be a success? And can Voodoo Lil’s special brand of magic keep Violet Sims from taking Cupcake off to Hollywood to become a Shirley Temple look-alike?


The Darling Dahlias and the Voodoo Lily is number nine in the series. Albert is also the author of the long-running and highly popular China Bayles series, featuring the owner of an herbal shop in the community of Pecan Springs. The most recent China Bayles title is Plain Vanilla Murder, but watch for a new entry—Hemlock—coming Summer 2021.


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November brings a new novel from criminal-defense attorney and author Sage Webb. In The Venturi Effect, Devlin Winters flees partnership at a large Chicago criminal-defense firm and a professional breakdown for the solitude of her dilapidated mahogany trawler on Galveston Bay. But when an old flame shows up on the boardwalk with a mysterious little boy in tow and an indictment on his heels, fate has other plans, and Devlin finds herself thrust onto a sailboat bound for St. Kitts and staring down her demons in the courtroom, as she squares off against an obsessed prosecutor with a secret of his own.


Sage Webb brings a varied background to her writing. Born in Chicago, she was raised in Tijuana, eventually attended high school in San Diego County, earned a bachelor’s degree in Hawaii, and studied law in the cold Midwest. After several years in a federal public-defenders office, she moved to the Gulf Coast and opened a legal- and commercial-writing firm. She has rock climbed, shot archery, sailed, danced competitively, gone on a medical-supply mission to Cuba, and led yoga retreats in Central America. She lives on a sailboat and travels in an RV.


Happy but safe Thanksgiving to all!


Judy Alter, former director of TCU Press, is the prolific author of books, both historical and mysterious, mostly about Texas women. Her most recent book, Saving Irene, was published in September. Follow Judy at