September 30, 2021 | Author Friend New Releases

Debut author Mark Hess created a cozy mystery that keeps the reader on their toes with the perfect blend of red herrings and unique characters. Hess has a wonderful imagination and a flair for creating an enjoyable read.

Seven people are trapped in a lonely mansion at the top of a mountain where a private detective races to identify the killer before no one is left alive.

The weather is brewing into a late winter snowstorm and the drive down the mountain is dangerous. Complicating the dilemma, there is no cell phone connection or any way to contact anyone for help. The situation turns serious after they learn the gates are closed and locked. The killer has them perfectly trapped. No is permitted to leave until the end of the three-day weekend.

Meanwhile a childhood romance is about to rekindle, as a rich relative promises to reveal which guest will be granted a prize. The detective is disturbed to realize things are not what they seem when teams are formed to search for the promised treasure. Detective Joe O’Conner wonders how far greed will take this odd group, his dubious playmates of childhood. He will need all his training, experience, and instinct to solve this case. But a friend wonders if a bad case of love will keep him too distracted to be effective.


Mark Hess is a determined man who, once he sets his mind to something, it gets done. Hess has a learning disability that he has struggled with all his life, but he refuses to let it stop him. A kind man by nature, Hess also has a wonderful sense of humor and a flair for the dramatic. This adds up to an author with the ability to create intriguing plots that never fail to hold you close to the edge of your chair.

He lives in Western New York on picturesque acreage that showcases the beauty of each season as the year moves on. During the day Hess happily devotes his time at an herbtique and plant nursery. At night he works on plotting his next novel.
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