MYSTERY, CRIME, AND MAYHEM: Passionate Crimes brings you nine tales of crime set in locations from Nevada to Rwanda, with side trips to Norway, Germany, and Chicago.

Passion causes people to do strange things.

Sometimes criminal things.

Come dip into crimes, great and small, and feel the passion these writers all give to these moments in a person’s life.

Or the last moments of another’s.

I’m delighted that my brand-new short story “Scotched” is in this issue.

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FBI Special Agent Dawna Shepherd goes undercover in Romania to bust a criminal gang luring impoverished young women into sexual slavery.

Posing with Police Cadet Stela Dragomir as penniless sisters seeking hotel-maid jobs in Western Europe, the two law enforcement agents hope to force Vlad, the gang’s sleazy recruiter, to expose the organization’s bosses.

A high-stakes operation with one big risk. Dawna doesn’t speak a word of Romanian. Pretending to be both mute and deaf, she can’t open her mouth without blowing her cover.

If Dawna can pull this off, she and Stela will nail Vlad, rescue his latest recruits, and stop his gang from victimizing more women.

But if their plan goes wrong, Dawna and Stela could be shipped to Milan’s movable human auction. Will they end up sold to the highest bidders?

To ride along as Dawna and Stela go after some seriously bad dudes, read “Hokey Pokey Bucuresti: A Dawna Shepherd Short Story.”

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Hokey Pokey Bucuresti


Kent desperately needs hands-on experience with Spokane County’s updated electronic Pawn Database System.

To get it, he investigates a minor crime way below his pay grade. A veteran cop, he’s sure he’ll identify the culprit who stole a precious family heirloom from salon owner LaNoir Kennedy.

Unfortunately, LaNoir waited a month before reporting the theft. Taking her case will give Kent the re-training he needs but he doubts he’ll recover her treasured family heirloom.

Can LaNoir live with that unhappy outcome?

More important, can Kent?

Read “Gone Gold: A Short Story” and have fun crime-solving with Kent.

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