About The Author

Alice Duncan

In an effort to avoid what she knew she should be doing, Alice folk-danced professionally until her writing muse finally had its way. Now a resident of Roswell, New Mexico, Alice enjoys saying "no" to smog, "no" to crowds, and "yes" to loving her herd of wild dachshunds. Visit Alice at www.aliceduncan.net.

The Daisy Gumm Majesty Mysteries

Strong Spirits

It's the 1920s and Daisy Gum Majesty is doing her part to support her family as a medium by holding séances and interpreting tarot cards for the rich and famous.
When the wealthy Mrs. Kincaid comes to Daisy to help solve her husband's disappearance, Detective Sam Rotondo isn't far behind.
Sam isn't fooled by Daisy's choice of "vocation" and blackmails her into spying on the Kincaids.
Then Daisy reads Sam's cards... and the tables turn.

Fine Spirits

Meet Daisy Gumm Majesty: spiritualist to folks with more money than sense.
The 1920s may be roaring among Pasadena's wealthy, but Daisy must earn a living for her family. When Daisy is approached by Mrs. Bissel about exorcizing a ghost from her basement, Daisy is tempted to back out until Mrs. B puts up one of her famous dachshund puppies as payment.
Hoping the basement ghost is not a skunk, Daisy begins snooping only to discover the matter is much larger than anyone imagined. Now if she can only find a way to solve it without undue consequences to anyone—including her own reputation.

High Spirits

Daisy Gumm Majesty's talent as a "medium" catches the attention of a dangerous mobster. Vicenzo Maggiori wants to get in touch with his dead godfather. And he wants to do it in his own speakeasy.
When Daisy receives Maggiori message through her wealthiest client, Mrs. K, whose daughter is in Maggiori's clutches, Daisy can't say no.
Then, as the séance begins, Maggiori's speakeasy is raided by Detective Sam Rotondo. Arrested with everyone else, Daisy's troubles are multiplied when Rotondo tells her she must channel the spirits for Maggiori and pass the information to him in exchange for her freedom.

Hungry Spirits

Daisy Gumm Majesty, spiritualist to people with more money than sense, is asked by a Salvation Army captain to teach a cooking class for immigrant German ladies. Since Daisy's only culinary talent is burning water, she's sure the captain is nuts.
But Daisy steps up and forces herself to confront her own prejudices about Germans, whom she blames for her veteran-husband's war illness.
Then one of her students disappears and Daisy discovers that the help her students need has nothing to do with cooking—there's an anarchist's scheme about to boil over.

Genteel Spirits

The movie biz has come to Pasadena and Daisy Gumm Majesty is up to her ears in trouble. Spike is in obedience training, a spoiled actress wants Daisy as her very own spiritualist and someone is sending poison-pen letters to the Leading Man.
Worse, the motion picture folks claim that Germans are out to steal their new invention being used on the set.
Butting heads with Detective Sam Rotondo, assigned to the movie-set as security, Daisy is on the case with Spike in tow. Now, if she can just find a way to keep everyone's secrets a secret without letting the Germans get away with grand theft.

Ancient Spirits

Daisy Gumm Majesty has put her Ouija board aside, following her husband's passing. Only when Mrs. Pinkerton's daughter is arrested does Daisy pick it up again, and is immediately rewarded with useful information.
Mrs. P is so delighted she pays Daisy an enormous amount of money, which comes in handy when Mrs. P's son (and Daisy's best friend) insists Daisy accompany him on a trip to Egypt.
Arriving in Cairo, Daisy makes an innocent purchase of a unique canopic jar and lands in the middle of a smuggling ring.
Convinced Daisy is in trouble, Sam hies himself to Egypt where he joins the spiritualist/sleuth in an adventure that will last a lifetime.

Spirits Revived

While conducting a séance for a client with more money than sense, Daisy Gumm Majesty is surprised when a seemingly real spirit makes contact. Eddie Hastings, an attorney in life, wants Daisy to prove his death was not a suicide, but murder.

Curious, and a little afraid, she can't reveal how she learned of Eddie’s murder to anyone, least of all to her deceased husband's best friend, the mildly detestable Detective Sam Rotondo. Daisy launches her own investigation on the sly only to find a hornet's nest awaits.

When Sam learns of Daisy's involvement, he's more than a little annoyed. But in the end, Daisy gets her man.

Dark Spirits

The Ku Klux Klan has opened a chapter in Daisy Gumm Majesty's home town of Pasadena, California. Worse, Klan members are harassing Joseph Jackson, the gatekeeper for Daisy's best client, Mrs. Pinkerton.

When Mrs. Pinkerton also becomes a target of vicious pranks, Daisy tries to get Detective Sam Rotondo, her new leading man, involved.

Sam isn't thrilled. Worse, the bodies are piling up, and now he needs Daisy's help speaking to some of the Klan's victims.

That makes Daisy a target, forcing Sam to redouble his efforts and keep Daisy from doing in the Klan with a zinc bucket and a baseball bat.

Spirits Onstage

Daisy Gumm Majesty, Pasadena's spiritualist-medium to folks with more money than sense, is talked into playing the role of mean Katisha in her church's production of Gilbert and Sullivan's operetta, The Mikado.
As rehearsals progress and Daisy falls into her role, the producer's wife experiences a mysterious decline in health, a cast member claims someone is trying to kill her, and the husband of another cast-member is murdered.
Knowing Detective Sam Rotondo has his hands full, Daisy turns her attention to the murder, convinced Gloria Lippincott did her husband in. But no matter how Daisy twists and turns the facts, Gloria's alibi is rock-solid. Then Daisy discovers the Silver Ghost.

Unsettled Spirits

People are dropping dead after communion services at Daisy's church, Detective Sam Rotondo has finally professed his love for Daisy, and Daisy sees swaying trees in her crystal ball, a prop in which she doesn't place any faith.
But when the crystal ball's image leads Daisy to her client's missing butler, and then a bunch of bootleggers, Daisy unknowingly bumps into the man responsible for the parishioners' deaths. She doesn't recognize him, but he recognizes her and that lands Daisy at the top of his to-be-murdered list.

Bruised Spirits

It's 1924 and spiritualist-medium Daisy Gumm bands with friends Flossie and Harold to help Lily Bannister, whose abusive husband nearly killed her.

Meanwhile, Mrs. Pinkerton—Daisy's best client—is in a tizzy, insisting Daisy use her spiritualist talent to end the engagement between her daughter and a most unsuitable man.

To Daisy's surprise, the two cases collide, catching her in the middle. Can she prove Lily's husband and Mrs. P's soon-to-be-son-in-law are in cahoots with nefarious human traffickers...before it's too late?

Spirits United

It's 1924 and spiritualist-medium Daisy Gumm and her fiancé, Detective Sam Rotondo, discover a dead body tucked away in the Pasadena Public Library's bibliography stacks.
Worse, Daisy's old friend, Mr. Browning, is holding the bloody knife, putting him at the very top of Sam's suspect list.
But Daisy is not convinced, and sets out to exonerate her friend, only to stumble into a professor's geological study, encounter a mad scientist, and uncover a phony gold rush that someone is killing to hide.

Spirits Unearthed

Nothing interrupts a good lover’s spat like a dog – Daisy Gumm Majesty’s Dachshund, Spike, in particular. Of course, they were in a graveyard, and Spike did have a shoe in his mouth – and the shoe did have an occupant. Well, a foot, if that counts. Daisy is horrified until she discovers that the occupying foot belonged to Dr. Everhard Allen Wagner, a notorious abuser of women and young girls. Good riddance!

Of course, there’s still a good mystery for this spiritualist-medium to people-with-more-money-than-sense to solve; after all, there may still be a risk to the good citizens of Pasadena. Her fiancé, Sam Rotondo – detective for the Pasadena Police Department – for once, doesn’t mind Daisy helping solve the case since the crime scene is in Altadena and not Pasadena. Still, Daisy ends up in the thick of things when she learns the murderer may have also killed her friend, Harold Kincaid.

The killer has bigger problems than the law when Daisy metes out justice of her own.

Shaken Spirits

Daisy Gumm Majesty, her family and fiancé, Sam Rotondo--detective with the Pasadena Police Department--are leaving the Tournament of Roses Parade when Daisy is struck by a passing motorcar. Although scratched, bruised and with a dislocated shoulder, the outcome could have been much worse were it not for Sam's quick action.

But the pain and discomfort are quickly replaced by something worse when it becomes obvious that this was no accident--someone wants Daisy dead.

Unfortunately, the would-be-killer is not easily discouraged and it's going to take all the investigative savvy Daisy and Sam can muster to save Daisy's life.

Scarlet Spirits

Angie Mainwaring moves to Pasadena to start a new life and atone for her past by rescuing former "sporting" girls and housing them in a mansion in her orange grove just down the street from Daisy and her folks.

Unfortunately, one of the people Angie bilked to fund her new life is notorious bounty hunter, Lou Prophet. Daisy tries to make peace between Angie and Lou but Lou's not happy.

Even worse, it seems that everyone from Angie's past is coming to Pasadena to avenge their grievances against her and things get out of hand when Lou shoots one of the aggrieved out of an orange tree.

Now Daisy and Sam are doing a merry dance to keep Angie alive and themselves out of trouble.

Exercised Spirits

Already irked about having to participate in an exercise class with some church chums, Daisy is horrified when her beloved Aunt Vi, the greatest cook in Pasadena, goes missing from her place of employment--Mrs. Pinkerton’s mansion in Orange Grove.

Daisy, Sam and Lou Prophet launch a search, with some help from Mrs. Jackson, a real live Voodoo mambo from New Orleans, who is at present living in Altadena.

In the meantime, food preparation in the Gumm/Majesty/Rotondo households takes a severe downturn. Lou Prophet lends a hand, and the family finds themselves choking down some concoctions they never even knew existed.

But it's going to take more than some clever sleuthing from Daisy, a peg-legged man on a horse and some clever roping to bring Aunt Vi home.

Wedded Spirits

Daisy is the Matron of Honor for the wedding of Mr. Robert Browning and Miss Regina Petri, Daisy's favorite librarian, when she discovers the body of a young man on the floor of the dressing room. From the looks of the flower petals falling from his mouth, he'd chomped down Regina's bridal bouquet.

Having recently studied poisoned plants in the library, Daisy knows all of the flowers in Regina’s bouquet are poisonous. She figures someone poisoned the fellow, although she can’t quite figure out how.

Sam and the usual cast of characters investigate, including their old friend Lou Prophet. Daisy uncovers a long-list of possible suspects but the murderer might be closer than anyone suspects.

The Mercy Allcutt Cozy Mysteries

Lost Among the Angels

Mercy Allcutt is ecstatic to move to California where she knows she’ll learn all about life and–to her Boston blue-blood family's horror--get a JOB; no woman in the Allcutt family has ever actually held a JOB.

Mercy lands employment as secretary to Ernie Templeton, Private Investigator. Mercy’s thrilled, and she’s sure, with time and help, she’ll become an invaluable asset to Ernie’s business.

Ernie doesn't yet share Mercy's sunny optimism, but nothing tests the resolve of a new employee quite like murder.

Angels Flight

Mercy Allcutt is thrilled to be going to her job as secretary to P.I. Ernie Templeton—until she opens the door and finds her mother.

Known as the Wrath of God, Mrs. Allcutt is the last person Mercy wants to see, barring some murderers she’s met.

Add phony spiritualists, a columnist killed during a séance, a starlet, and some other odd characters, and Mercy finds herself in deep waters indeed.

Fallen Angels

When Mercy Allcutt finds a dead body of one of Ernie’s clients at the foot of the dead woman’s staircase and then finds Ernie bound and tied upstairs, she gets to work investigating the murder.

The cops suspect Ernie, but Mercy knows better. In her endeavor, Mercy and her friend Lulu LaBelle visit the Angelica Gospel Hall to try to figure out why the dead woman was so fond of the place.

Angels of Mercy

Angels of Mercy It’s a warm August morning in 1926 Los Angeles, Former Boston Brahmin Mercy Allcutt is excited to be renting out suites of rooms to deserving working women in her new home on Bunker Hill in Los Angeles. She considers she's performing an act of good-heartedness, no matter skeptical her boss, private investigator Ernie Templeton, is about her endeavor.

When her housekeeper's son is arrested for the murder of a Hollywood big-wig, Mercy presses Ernie to solve the case. She's positive Calvin Buck is innocent. Ernie tells her he'll do his best. She's not entirely convinced he means it, so she does some snooping on her own.

In the meantime, Mercy not only takes driving lessons from Ernie, but she discovers there's more to being a landlady than meets the eye. Is one of her "Angels of Mercy" not what she appears to be? Only time, and perhaps Mercy and Ernie, will tell...

Thanksgiving Angels

Former Boston Brahmin, Mercy Allcutt, moved from Boston to Los Angeles specifically to get away from her overbearing mother and father. Therefore, she’s upset when her boss, P.I. Ernie Templeton, gives her the entire Thanksgiving week of 1926 off so that she can spend the holiday with her parents in their new winter home in Pasadena, California.

Her week of vile endurance is made even more miserable when a woman is flung to her death over the second-story staircase railing. Her mother, who deplores the fact that her daughter actually got a job, insists Mercy call on Ernie to help the Pasadena Police Department solve the case.

In the end, it is Mercy who must solve the crime and risk becoming a statistic herself.

Angels Adrift

Mercy Allcutt's imagination is more exciting than her job as secretary to P.I., Ernie Templeton. As usual, she has nothing to do except gaze out the office window overlooking Pasadena and imagine the plots of stories she plans to write someday.

Generally, when she watches the alley behind the Figueroa Building, she needs to imagine someone being strangled, today was different. She calls the police to report the murder but the corpse is gone before she hangs up the phone.

Ernie tries his best to convince her it was her imagination. The police find nothing. Now her reputation is on the line as well as her aspirations for becoming a P.I.

With her boardinghouse tenants as advisors, she launches her own investigation, putting her and her friend Lulu right in the middle of a band of bootleggers who don't like nosy secretaries or their friends. Now, Mercy needs to save herself and Lulu before they both wind up floating in a Venice canal.

The Dream Maker Series

Cowboy for Hire

It's 1905, early in the Silent Film era, and orphan Amy Wilkes is "discovered" by producer Martin Tafft at a Pasadena Health Spa. Whisked away to the movie-making set, Amy is glamorized and placed before her leading man: a rugged, oh-so-handsome Arizona cowboy named Charlie Fox.
Charlie, another "natural", needs money for his ranch, not the naive attentions of a beautiful starlet no matter how far she turns his head.
On screen, sparks fly between Amy and Charlie, as the pair struggle to act like people they're not. Off screen, they face the scuttling machinations of the other actors and Charlie realizes what Amy truly dreams of—love and security. He offers her both. But first, Amy must open her heart.

Beauty and the Brain

Silent film star Brenda Fitzpatrick has supported her family via her beautiful face since she was twelve, carefully hiding her keen mind behind a well-crafted featherheaded-blonde facade. Then Brenda lands her dream job—the lead in Martin Tafft's latest romantic flicker—and encounters Colin Peters.
Tafft's newest research assistant, Colin is a scientist, not a sentimentalist. The fact that Brenda Fitzpatrick turns his head only means he might be able to make love to her if he follows the natural mating techniques he's studied in other species.
But when Colin attempts his seduction, Brenda is incensed, wanting to be recognized for her brain, and Colin comes face-to-face with the seemingly impossible: a love more real than any celluloid fantasy.

The Miner's Daughter

It's the height of the Silent Film era and Marigold Pottersby is trying to hang on to her father's failing silver mine when producer Martin Tafft offers a hefty sum to use the mine in his latest flicker. Mari quickly agrees but balks when the film crew insists she stop mining. Then Mari meets Tony Ewing.
Tafft's heaviest investor and a dyed-in-the-wool Easterner, Tony arrives to investigate the film's progress. He has no use for the West, or the mine's country-bumpkin owner and her Great Dane named Tiny. But the show must go on.
Tony plies his wares, intent on winning Mari's cooperation and gets more than he bargained for. Mari proves she has no need for his wealth, captures his imagination with her fiery comebacks, and leaves his heart in a dangerous way. Then the film crew discovers that Mari's silver mine isn't a silver mine at all, leaving Mari with a choice: admit she needs Tony and his investor ways, or walk away from the greatest find of her life.

Her Leading Man

Christina Mayhew doesn't consider herself a gifted thespian. Acting in Silent Films is simply a means to earn money for medical school so she can become a physician like her beloved father. Thankfully her gentlemanly producer, Martin Tafft, understands.
While Martin is happy to discuss feminism and women's suffrage with Christina, his inner reaction to her secret goal is one of crushing disappointment. With moving pictures developing a sordid reputation, thanks to hard-drinking and drug-consuming stars, he needs Christina's wholesomeness to create the kind of movies he envisions.
Then an accident on the set forces Martin to take the male lead, and Christina gets a taste of his kisses--on screen, at least. Now all she has to do is convince him he is perfect for another role... her lifetime leading man.