“The Dead of Night” by Jean Rabe

Pageflex Persona [document: PRS0000040_00069]Print Length: 259 pages

Publisher: Imajin Books

Publication Date: September 15, 2017



In Spencer County’s history, mysteries are numerous—and lethal…

As Sheriff Piper Blackwell rushes to a clandestine meeting with an aging, paranoid veteran who believes spies are trailing his every move, she is caught in a fierce thunderstorm. Pounding rain drums against the bluff, washing away the earth and revealing a grisly secret someone tried to bury a long time ago.

Putting a name to the skeleton on the bluff, and searching for the thief who robbed the old veteran of his life’s earnings, sends Piper delving into the sleepy towns that dot her rural county. Now she’s digging into pasts perhaps best left alone.

Accompanied by Chief Deputy Oren Rosenberg, Piper seeks to expose a truth someone wants to remain forever hidden. The investigation may have started with a thunderstorm, but Piper aims to finish it and find justice. Uncovering fragments of Spencer County’s history could prove more dangerous—and deadlier—than she ever expected.


The old man sat in the middle of a bench under a big oak, his shoulders hunched and back  curved, reminding Piper of a turtle. Hard to make out more details from where she stood under  the streetlight.

The light didn’t quite reach his perch, and she suspected he’d picked the spot for that reason; there were closer benches. The clouds hindered, a dense gray dome that coupled with the hour had turned the stretch along the bluff into a mass of twisting shadows. Lights in the houses at the edge of the park were flickering dots, will-o-the-wisps, she mused, more fitting for Halloween  than spring.

She started toward him as threads of lightning flashed. Maybe the rain would hold off for a little while. Despite the frequent storms of the past several days, Piper hadn’t brought an  umbrella. The ground felt spongy, comfortable to walk on. She quickened her step.

Maybe this wouldn’t take long and she could go home and crawl into bed with the latest  Harry Bosch book.

He scooted over, making room for her. She guessed him to be in his early eighties. Twin  canes were hooked over the top slat, and he wore a bulky jacket. The dispatcher had mentioned  he was a geezer—“a whack-job paranoid geezer likely visited by aliens” were the exact words— and said that he claimed it was urgent and he would only speak to the sheriff…and only at this  time and place.

“Evening, Mr. Thresher,” Piper said as she sat, keeping a good foot between them. He was  redolent of old-man smells—warring liniments and too much aftershave. She swiveled to face him and took off her hat and rested it on her knees.

“Mark, Sheriff Blackwell.”

“Evening, Mark,” she said.

“Mark the Shark.”

“Interesting nickname,” Piper said.

“Had it a long time. Had it since the war.”


USA Today Bestselling author Jean Rabe has written 37 fantasy, urban fantasy, and science fiction novels. The Dead of Night, her 38th, is her second Piper Blackwell mystery. She has roughly 100 short stories in print, has edited a couple dozen anthologies, and has edited more magazines than she cares to tally. When she isn’t writing or editing, she tosses tennis balls to her cadre of dogs, visits museums, and tries to find gamers who will play Axis & Allies with her.


The Dead of Night
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The Dead of Winter
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About Jean Rabe

jean-223x300USA Today bestselling author Jean Rabe has written thirty-seven mystery, fantasy, and adventure novels and one hundred short stories. The Dead of Night is the second in her Piper Blackwell mystery series. She calls them uncozy-cozies, or cozy police procedurals…of which she’s been told there is “no-such genre.” When she’s not writing, which isn’t often, she edits . . . more than two dozen anthologies and more than one hundred magazine issues so far. She’s a former news reporter and news bureau chief who penned a true crime book with noted attorney F. Lee Bailey. Her genre writing includes military, science-fiction, fantasy, urban fantasy, mystery, horror, and modern-day adventure. She shares her home with three dogs and a parrot.

Rabe teaches genre writing courses—at conventions, libraries, museums, and other interesting venues. Her hobbies include reading, role-playing games, visiting museums, tossing tennis balls to her cadre of dogs, and buying books to add to her growing stacks. She lives in central Illinois near three train tracks that provide “music” to type by. Visit her website: www.jeanrabe.com.

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