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Joan Livingston

Author of The Isabel Long Mystery series

Joan Livingston is the author of novels for adult and young readers. Chasing the Case, Redneck’s Revenge, and Checking the Traps, published by darkstroke books, are the first three books in her mystery series featuring Isabel Long, a longtime journalist who becomes an amateur sleuth.

Her other novels include: The Sweet Spot; Peace, Love, and You Know What; and The Cousins and the Magic Fish/Los Primos y el Pez Mágico.

An award-winning journalist, she started as a reporter covering the hilltowns of Western Massachusetts. She was an editor, columnist, and then the managing editor of The Taos News, which won numerous state and national awards during her tenure. Currently, she’s the editor-in-chief of The Greenfield Recorder.


After eleven years in Northern New Mexico, she returned to rural Western Massachusetts, which is the setting of much of her adult fiction, including the Isabel Long Mystery Series. 

For more, visit her website: www.joanlivingston.net. Follow her on Twitter @joanlivingston and Instagram @JoanLivingston_Author. Her author page on Facebook is: www.facebook.com/JoanLivingstonAuthor/

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Chasing the Case

New to the game. But that won’t stop her.

How does a woman disappear in a town of a thousand people? That’s a 28-year-old mystery Isabel Long wants to solve.

Isabel has the time to investigate. She just lost her husband and her job as a managing editor of a newspaper. (Yes, it’s been a bad year.) And she’s got a Watson – her 92-year-old mother who lives with her.

To help her case, Isabel takes a job at the local watering hole, so she can get up close and personal with those connected to the mystery.

As a journalist, Isabel never lost a story she chased. Now, as an amateur P.I., she’s not about to lose this case either.

Redneck's Revenge

Her next case. She’s in it for good.

Just months after solving her first case, Isabel Long is in a funk. Her relationship with the Rooster Bar’s owner is over. Then the cops insist she must work for a licensed P.I. before going solo.

Encouraged by her ‘Watson’ – her 92-year-old mother – Isabel snaps out of it by hooking up with a P.I. and finding a new case. But it’s not at all clear-cut.

The official ruling is Chet Waters, an ornery so-and-so, was passed out when his house caught fire. His daughter, who inherited his junkyard, believes he was murdered. Topping the list of suspects are dangerous drug-dealing brothers, a rival junkyard owner, and an ex-husband.

Could Waters’ death simply be a case of redneck’s revenge? Isabel is about to find out.

Checking the Traps

A man’s death. His brother’s doubts. Could it be a case of poetic justice?

Isabel Long is banged up from her last case with a broken collarbone and her arm in a sling. But that doesn’t stop her from pouring beer at the Rooster Bar or taking her third case with Gary Beaumont, a local drug dealer, who once terrorized her. Gary is convinced his half-brother, Cary Moore, didn’t jump off a bridge known as a suicide spot. Somebody pushed him.

Cary was a boozer who drove for a highway crew. But what interests Isabel and her ‘Watson’ — her 93-year-old mother who lives with her — is that the man wrote poetry.

The chief suspects are one of Gary’s business associates and a famous poet who plagiarized his half-brother’s poetry for an award-winning book. Yes, he was that good.

As a journalist, Isabel did regular meetups with her sources for stories. She called it ‘checking the traps.’ She does the same as a private investigator, and this time, she’ll make sure she doesn’t get caught in one.