Aug 15 2019

Summer Sale

Readers in the UK and Australia, have I got a deal for you! Starting today, my latest novel, ONE SMALL SACRIFICE, is part of a special Amazon promotion, with the Kindle edition of the book selling for £1 in the UK and $2 in Australia. Here are the links:



The sale ends on September 14th, so grab the book now and please spread the word!


Jul 16 2019

Cover Reveal: Don’t Look Down

I swooned when I saw Christopher Lin’s cover artwork for ONE SMALL SACRIFICE, and now I’m in love with his cover for the sequel. Coming in February 2020 from Thomas & Mercer! Pre-order now from Amazon or Indiebound.

Jun 1 2019

Happy Release Day, One Small Sacrifice!

It feels crazy to be celebrating release day on a Saturday, but here we are. After having the most incredible pre-release month thanks to Amazon’s First Reads program—and the wonderful independent stores I visited on tour—ONE SMALL SACRIFICE is officially out in the wild! It’s available from Amazon, Indiebound, Barnes & Noble, Chapters/Indigo, and Target. Signed copies are available from my terrific tour stops: NYC’s Mysterious Bookshop, Denver’s Tattered Cover, Scottsdale’s Poisoned Pen, Houston’s Murder by the Book, and Toronto’s Ben McNally Books. Happy reading!

May 9 2019

Library Journal Gives One Small Sacrifice a Starred Review!

I guess the title of this post says it all. Library Journal has given One Small Sacrifice a starred review, and I couldn’t be more thrilled. Here’s part of what they had to say:

VERDICT Fans of Karin Slaughter, Tana French, and Lisa Gardner will devour this new police procedural, which boasts a strong female detective and an intriguing antagonist. Sheryn [Sterling] will draw in readers, and Davidson’s (Blood Always Tells) complex storytelling will keep them wanting more.

Here’s the full review. Yes, I am pinching myself.

It seems like a good time to mention that I’m on tour right now: Murder by the Book in Houston tonight; St. Louis County Library on Tuesday, May 14th; and Ben McNally Books in Toronto on Thursday, May 16th. Come see me!

Also, One Small Sacrifice is an Amazon First Reads pick for May 2019. If you have Amazon Prime, you can literally get the Kindle version of the book for FREE right now; if you don’t have Prime, it’s on sale of $1.99.

May 1 2019

One Small Sacrifice Is an Amazon First Reads Pick!

For the past few months, I’ve been keeping a secret: I knew that my next novel, ONE SMALL SACRIFICE, had been selected for Amazon’s First Reads program, but I wasn’t allowed to tell anyone. This led to some confusion over the release date of the book. For the record, that’s still June 1st! But First Reads books are available a month early in certain formats, which was why some people started seeing May 1st as the release date.

First Reads is the reason why my book tour is a month early — the stores I appear at will be the only ones to stock the hardcover and paperback editions this month. If you’re near one of the venues, I hope I’ll see you while I’m on the road!

Apr 30 2019

Out Now: At Home in the Dark

Crime writing has its thrilling moments, and one of mine happened early in 2018, when I discovered an email from Lawrence Block waiting for me one morning. In it, he asked me to write a story for a collection he was putting together. I don’t need to tell you that Mr. Block is a legend, but I should mention that I’ve been reading him since I was in high school and truly love his work. Contributing to his collection — AT HOME IN THE DARK — felt like a special challenge. Here’s how my story “Cold Comfort” begins:

The artists at the Humphrey Funeral Home were miracle workers, but even they couldn’t piece Abby Killingsworth’s face back together. In life, she had a curious charisma that was immediately striking in spite of her flaws. It was powerful yet puzzling: her eyes were wide-set and her nose had a bump and her lips were so plump and ripe that they lent her a faintly cartoonish appearance. Yet, when observed together in their heart-shaped frame, a peculiar alchemy occurred that could render complete strangers mute.

Abby had been a great beauty in life. In death, she was a broken statue, mere fragments of cold marble. My own heart had cracked in sadness when I first laid eyes on her lifeless body. In the oasis of false comfort that was the Humphrey Funeral Home, with its piped-in violin music, I kept up my unperturbed façade by imagining that Abby was elsewhere.

“The casket will stay closed,” her mother announced. It was the day before Abby’s funeral, and we stood together in a viewing room at the Humphrey. It was preposterously grand, with a domed ceiling that spoke of aspirations to royal chapelhood. Janet Killingsworth had asked me to accompany her to provide moral support, since her husband had refused to leave the house since his daughter’s death. “I don’t want anyone seeing what that bastard did to her.” She bit her lip. “I’m sorry, Father, I didn’t mean to swear.”

“Please don’t worry about that.” I struggled to come up with something meaningful to say, anything that could blunt the pain. “Abby is at peace now, you must concentrate on that.”

“Oh, Father, I try to. But when I think of what that monster did to my baby…” Janet’s voice cracked. I put my hand on her shoulder, and she rested her head on my chest.

“Why would God take my baby?” Janet sobbed.

Of all the questions asked of me since I’d joined the priesthood, this was the most perplexing. I had no answers, only the same platitudes I’d heard since I was a boy growing up in County Cork. “All I can promise is that there is meaning in everything. It is invisible to us, so we must trust the Lord in all things.”

Janet inhaled sharply and shuddered. “There’s one other thing,” she said, pulling away. “I want you to perform an Absolution for Abby.”

I stared at her. Absolution had been removed from the Funeral Mass before I was born. I’d only performed it a handful of times, in unusual circumstances.

“My daughter may have been… involved with a man,” Janet said quietly.


Janet read the shock in my face, and quickly added. “Abby was such a good girl, and I don’t know if it really counts as an affair, because she was separated from her husband, but…”

“Why would you suspect such a thing?”

Janet wiped her eyes. “Abby was pregnant.”

“What? Abby told you that?”

“No, Father. The police did. It came up in the autopsy.” She choked on that last word.

“The child might’ve been her husband’s,” I pointed out.

“No. Abby didn’t see Frank at all. She told me she didn’t.” Janet gazed at me. “What did Abby say to you?”

“It wasn’t anything she said outright,” I explained. “It was her attitude. Whenever I visited her in the past few weeks, she was in a much more forgiving frame of mind about Frank. She believed he was capable of change, I think.” I was silent for a moment. “I saw vases of daisies in her suite a couple of times. I suppose I simply assumed that they were from Frank. That was the flower they used at their wedding.”

“She seemed so happy, before she died,” Janet said softly. “Glowing. Almost as if she were in love. That wasn’t because of Frank. She didn’t love him anymore. A mother knows these things.”

“You haven’t said anything about this, have you?” I asked. “It’s not anyone’s business, but of course people might wonder…”

“No. I don’t want her good name ruined. There are people who might think what that bastard—her husband, I mean—did to her was justified.”

“No one would ever think that.”

“Some people are cruel, Father. Abby was a good girl, but she… she had her flaws.”

“We all do,” I told her, speaking softly but with a firmness I hoped would comfort her. “We are all flawed creatures, yet the Lord loves us nonetheless.”

AT HOME IN THE DARK also features stories by N. J. Ayres, Laura Benedict, Jill D. Block, Richard Chizmar, Jim Fusilli, Joe Hill, Elaine Kagan, Joe Lansdale, Warren Moore, Joyce Carol Oates, Ed Park, Nancy Pickard, Thomas Pluck, James Reasoner, Wallace Stroby, and Duane Swierczynski. Subterranean Press is doing a special hardcover edition that will include only 500 numbered copies, but there’s also a paperback edition and an eBook. The book is out today, and you can order from Amazon, Indiebound, and directly from Subterranean Press.

UPDATE: A couple of hours after I posted this, I learned that the hardcover edition is already sold out (!!!) Happy reading, crime peeps.

Apr 5 2019

The 2019 Book Tour

I am so excited to be visiting some of my favorite bookstores to talk about ONE SMALL SACRIFICE. If you live in or near New York City, Denver, Phoenix/Scottsdale, Houston, St. Louis, or Toronto, I hope you’ll come see me!


Mar 28 2019

Where to Find Me at Left Coast Crime Vancouver

I’ve missed Left Coast Crime for the past couple of years, so I’m especially happy to be back this year (the fact it’s in Vancouver, one of the loveliest cities I’ve ever visited, was an added inducement to attend). Here’s where to find me:

Thursday, March 28, 7:30pm-9:30pm: Noir at the Bar, Left Coast Crime Edition. I’m reading with a noir crew including Blake Crouch, Kellye Garrett, Rob Hart, Vicki Delany, Dietrich Kalteis, Robin Burcell, Thomas Pluck, Sam Wiebe, Lisa Brackmann, Frank Zafiro, SJ Rozan. Come to the Regency C/D room at the Hyatt Regency Hotel. All welcome! (You don’t need to be registered for LCC to attend.) PS This will be my first public reading from my next book, ONE SMALL SACRIFICE.

Friday, March 29, 1:30pm-2:15pm: I’ll be on the “Writing Villains” panel with Meg Gardiner, David Housewright, Kim Moritsugu, and moderator Bharti Kirchner (Regency B). How did I end up on a panel about villains. Oh… riiiiiight…

Mar 26 2019

Out Now: Murder-A-Go-Go’s

Sometimes lightning strikes with certain projects, and I feel like it really did with Murder-A-Go-Go’s. The collection is the brainchild of my friend Holly West, a talented writer and editor who not only came up with the concept, herded a bunch of crazy cats into write stories, and got Down & Out Books to back it… she also got Go-Go’s co-founder Jane Wiedlin to write the introduction to this collection (!).

Here’s an excerpt from my story, “Unforgiven”:

The day I found out my husband was dead, it broke my heart. But I collected enough of myself to drive into town and corner the sheriff for answers. The jail was around the corner from Main Street, a tidy rectangle of a building with a pair of Art Deco angels guarding the entrance. Back in the day, my little hometown had big dreams for itself; like my own, those had been crushed to dust.

“Cassie! I was just heading over to see you,” the sheriff said when I walked in. That was an obvious lie. He was at his desk, with a spread from In-N-Out Burger laid in front of him.

I didn’t waste any time. “I’m here about Ray.”

The sheriff nodded and wiped his face with a napkin. He was red-faced and bulky, with a nose that had been broken a few times. It was hard to say if his face flushed, because he was always overheated. “You have no idea how sorry I am,” he said.

“I heard he died in jail.”

“Who told you that?”

“My father,” I lied.

That earned a stiff little nod. “Okay. Yeah. We came back and found him in his cell. I feel terrible, Cassie. I wish I’d been able to stop him.”

“Stop him?” I repeated, my voice flat.

“From killing himself,” Steve explained. “You know… you know Ray killed himself, right?”

“He would never do that.”

“I know it’s hard to believe, Cassie. Your husband’s been having issues lately. Drinking a lot. Maybe it was PTSD. So many guys in the service come back like that. Ray did, what, two full tours in Iraq, didn’t he?”

I nodded.

“So, who’s to say what kind of demons he brought home with him,” the sheriff went on. “You never really know, do you?”

“I want to see Ray’s body.”

“That’s not a good idea. Look, maybe you should talk to your dad. He’s handling all the arrangements.”

“Why would my dad do that?”

“Well, you’re away so much, Cassie. And I guess everyone knows you and Ray were living separate lives. You can’t hide much in a little town like Constantine.”

I swallowed my anger, aware I needed to stay calm. My father controlled everything in our tiny town, including the sheriff. If I was ever going to get to the truth about what had happened, it wouldn’t be by blowing up.

“How did Ray die?”

“He cut his wrists open. It was bad.”

Automatically, I glanced in the direction of the town’s single jail cell. It was pristine and empty. The acrid aroma of bleach hung in the air.

“How on earth did Ray get a knife into his cell?” I asked.

“He used a piece of metal he broke off the cot,” the sheriff said. “We got rid of that cot first thing, of course. Damned dangerous to have it around.”

He looked down at his rapidly cooling burger and fries, and I wondered if some part of him felt bad about lying to me. He wasn’t an evil man, from what I knew, just an obedient one.

“There’s one thing I just don’t understand in all of this,” I said. “Why did you arrest Ray in the first place?”

The sheriff shifted his bulk in his seat, and the chair squeaked under him. “He was drunk and disorderly. Screaming his head off. I only brought him in to calm him down. I figured he’d sleep it off.”

“Are you saying it had nothing to do with Ray going over to my father’s house?”

“How did you…” For the first time, the sheriff’s weak chin quivered. “I mean, like I said, Ray was going bonkers, yelling and stuff. Your dad called me because he was worried about him. He told you about that?”

“No, he didn’t,” I answered. “But that doesn’t matter. Like you said, you can’t hide much in this little town.”

Murder-A-Go-Go’s includes stories by Lori Rader-Day, Susanna Calkins, SW Lauden, Jen Conley, Greg Herren, RD Sullivan, Steve Weddle, Lisa Alber, Eric Beetner, Craig Faustus Buck, Nadine Nettmann, Thomas Pluck, Diane Vallere, Bryon Quertermous, Patricia Abbott, Sarah M. Chen, Travis Richardson, Renee Asher Pickup, Josh Stallings, Dharma Kelleher, Stephen Buehler, Wendall Thomas, Jessica Ellis, and Lisa Brackmann.

Want another reason to love this collection? The proceeds go to Planned Parenthood. Get this book now!

Mar 19 2019

Kirkus Reviews on One Small Sacrifice

My new book has its first trade review! Kirkus Reviews has weighed in, calling ONE SMALL SACRIFICE “A thoughtfully plotted and skillfully characterized procedural mystery… it’s easy to get drawn deeply into the various motives and secrets of each character because it’s so perfectly human for all of us to keep things hidden, even from those we love.”

Want to read the full review? It’s online now.

Pre-order the book from Amazon, Indiebound, Barnes & Noble, Chapters/Indigo, or Target.