The Hollywood Murders

Catherine Tregowyn Mysteries Book 4


Book Four in the international bestselling Catherine Tregowyn Mystery Series, about which Publisher’s Weekly says:

“…readers will fall in love with the charming cast of characters, each of whom seems above suspicion. By blending romance and thrills with a spunky, brilliant protagonist, the author serves up a golden age-style treat for any book-loving armchair sleuth”.

When Oxford academics Catherine Tregowyn and her beau, Dr. Harry Bascombe, travel “across the pond” to teach a summer course at UCLA, the last thing they expect to encounter is a murder. However,
the daughter of one of their fellow passengers on the Queen Mary is arrested the day they arrive in Los Angeles. Miss Daphne Binoche, a famous actress, stands accused of murdering her director, Michael Fields. Miss Binoche’s father pleads with Harry and Catherine to lend their expertise to the problem, as he and his daughter are European Jews
and do not trust the police.

Their investigation takes Harry and Catherine to the Starlight jazz club where the Hollywood elite gather to dance and gossip. While questioning the rich and famous, they find that many denizens of Hollywood have a horror of European Fascism resulting in a thriving anti-Nazi presence.

Another murder takes place and the community of actors teems with suspects. Are the two murders related? Catherine and Harry move within this artificial society trying to penetrate the enigmatic personalities of people who routinely change identities for a living. Who is lying? Who is misleading them? And from whom are they in danger?

Nothing around them—neither place nor person—seems reliable as they pursue a killer through the make-believe world that is Hollywood in the 1930s.

. . . characters are colorful, their world engaging, and Dr. Harry is especially charming. Details of food and fashion give a lush touch to the well-painted period settings–Oxford is evoked especially well–and the portrayal of factions, competition, and power plays within the scholarly world lend amusement and intrigue. Ongoing references to poetic theory, the Bloomsbury group, and the dark shadow of Hitler add to the textured sense of place. Those who aren’t
yet fans of Vandagriff will be hooked.”

–Historical Novel Review

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Murder at Tregowyn Manor

Catherine Tregowyn Mysteries Book 3


From the Amazon #1 Bestselling Author, another 1930’s vintage Golden Age Mystery . . .

“…readers will fall in love with the charming cast of characters, each of whom seem above suspicion. By blending romance and thrills with a spunky, brilliant protagonist, the author serves up a golden age-style treat for any book-loving armchair sleuth”.

–Publisher’s Weekly (Booklife)

Winter of 1935 finds Oxford archaeologist, Sonny Nichols, under arrest for the theft of a priceless Roman relic from a dig in Cornwall. Catherine Tregowyn and her sleuthing partners Harry and Dot go to his aid. Almost immediately an anonymous telegram threatens Catherine’s life. Dot’s cousin has involved himself in something deadly.

Undeterred, they motor down to the dig in Cornwall which is on Catherine’s estranged father’s estate. Shortly after their arrival, someone viciously attacks Catherine, nearly killing her. The next morning, one of the archaeologists is missing, and more artifacts have been stolen. The attacker is clearly desperate. Is this only simple greed or are there other factors at work here?
When murder intervenes, Catherine, Harry, and Dot must dig deeper. Is the murderer the charismatic student who has forsaken his aristocratic birthright? Or the misanthropic and penniless professor who seeks to advance his career? Could it be the charming and glib young Irish peer who loves Greek dancing or the ruthless student who needs to reverse his family’s fortunes?

When the truth finally comes out it is on a scale none of them could possibly have imagined. . .

G.G. Vandagriff has written yet another Golden Age English mystery filled with familiar faces from her prior books and an entire collection of new Oxonians who are less . . . and more than they seem at first glance.

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Murder in the Jazz Band

Catherine Tregowyn Mysteries Book 2



The anticipated sequel to Amazon Bestseller, An Oxford Murder, hailed as a “wonderfully stylish and delightful mystery romance” (Amazon Five Star Review)

When Catherine’s brother’s girlfriend, Emily, is arrested for the murder of an Oxford jazz saxophonist, he pleads with her to help find the real culprit. Though she is a newly hired tutor at Somerville College, Catherine has some past success at unmasking criminals and allows herself to be persuaded. She starts by going “undercover” as a weekend jazz singer with the murdered man’s band. Assisted by her beau, Dr. Harry Bascombe, she soon finds herself swimming in motives for the saxophonist’s death.

Could the murderer be the Communist band leader? The black American trombone sensation? The drummer with a secret lover? Or maybe the severely introverted math whiz? What if it’s not a member of the band at all?

While she tussles with her first year of teaching and worries over a troubled student, Catherine is also juggling her complex relationship with Dr. Harry and the fallout from an earlier relationship. When Emily is released and the police arrest her brother, Catherine is forced to dig deeper into her investigation uncovering new facts and unsuspected motives.

What other secrets can she find in the rarefied atmosphere of 1930s Oxford? And will Catherine survive the peril she encounters from an unexpected quarter?

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An Oxford Murder

Catherine Tregowyn Mysteries Book 1


“. . . characters are colorful, their world engaging, and Dr. Harry is especially charming. Details of food and fashion give a lush touch to the well-painted period settings–Oxford is evoked especially well–and the portrayal of factions, competition, and power plays within the scholarly world lend amusement and intrigue. Ongoing references to poetic theory, the Bloomsbury group, and the dark shadow of Hitler add to the textured sense of place. Those who aren’t yet fans of Vandagriff will be hooked.”

–Historical Novel Review

“. . . the well-educated, literary characters . . . are enjoyable, and the plot is nicely balanced between tense action and the love triangle. . . an entertaining historical mystery.”

–Kirkus Reviews

After Miss Catherine Tregowyn, poet, and Dr. Harry Bascombe, her bête noire, discover a body in the Somerville College chapel, they are declared suspects in a murder inquiry. How can they prove their innocence? The pair decide they must launch their own investigation into the strangling of Oxford don, Agatha Chenowith. But working as a team will not be easy. Their relations are anything but cordial.

It is not long before they uncover motives aplenty. Apparently, Dr. Chenowith was not at all what she seemed. As the surprises about the victim’s secret life multiply, they are awash in a sea of suspects.

Into this scenario sails the former love of Catherine’s life as he returns from Kenya. Is she going to give Rafe another chance to break her heart? He convinces her to give him a six-month trial, and eager to show his worth, he joins in the investigation. Rafe offers to fly Catherine and Harry in his de Havilland six-seater to the Isle of Man where they must pursue a lead. Inevitably, Rafe and Harry square off in a battle for Catherine’s affections.

Meanwhile, playing detectives proves to be a dangerous pursuit. Catherine and Harry shortly embroil themselves in a plot much larger than mere murder. No one wants to hear their theory, however. It contains truths too painful to contemplate. And it makes Catherine and Harry’s lives expendable.

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Balkan Echo

An anonymous tipster warns investigative TV journalist Meredith Montgomery that a Serb terrorist is walking the streets of Chicago—a man who has killed thousands in his native Bosnia. The informant fears that his next target is in the U.S.

But the FBI is not interested in an unconfirmed sighting of a man who committed war crimes twenty-five years ago,

Meredith has vulnerabilities and traumas that she is hesitant to reveal to the inscrutable research analyst, Aubrey Kettering, who attracts her against her will. Surprisingly, he discloses that he speaks Serbo-Croatian and has ties to the Serbian community. Determined to keep her safe, he attaches himself to Meredith’s side.

The investigation carries them on a terrifying ride into the life and mind of Zoran Duric whom they see as a ticking time bomb. In Sarajevo, Meredith and Aubrey barely escape with their lives, but their peril is only beginning. The twenty-five-year-old war is still simmering beneath the surface. Will its hatreds spill over into America?

And will the tight emotional bond between the journalists mature into love?

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Sleeping Secrets

She didn’t know her name.
She didn’t remember her childhood.
And the man who was coming to tell her was just murdered.

Paula James recently found out that her whole family had been in Witness Protection since she was nine years old. Now both her parents are dead, and she doesn’t even know why they had been hiding in the Missouri wilderness ever since she could remember.

What has blocked her memories?

The Federal Marshal who handled her case is killed before he can tell her, which means the threat is still an active one. She and her TV investigative journalist partner, David van Pelt, decide they must get to the bottom of it or Paula will never be safe.

Who is she? Should she try to reconstruct her memories with hypnosis therapy? Could she actually return to where she lived as a child without becoming a target? Who is behind the repeated attempts on her life?

David insists on being her wingman during the hazardous investigation. Soon Paula realizes he is the only one she can trust. But how can she lead the man she is coming to love into the increasing danger that surrounds her?

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Breaking News

Wanted for a murder she didn’t commit.

A drug lord wants her dead.

Paula James must disappear.

Who can she trust?

Investigative journalist Paula James has been on leave to nurse her dying mother. She tries to convince her father to leave the small farm house which has become a trap after her mother’s death. Strange cars come and go in the night. The wind sometimes carries a too-familiar chemical odor.

A sudden fire consumes the house and her father is killed. A great evil has come to the wooded hills and valleys of the Ozark Mountains.

Paula flees to reunite with Emmy-Award-winning journalist, David van Pelt, for whom she has a well-concealed passion. They are determined to discover who and what has turned a peaceful backwoods region into a place where murders happen, and the local sheriff isn’t interested in solving them.

Together they struggle to elude a criminal whose influence spans the globe. Following leads to Seattle, Las Vegas, LA’s Chinatown, Chicago, and Arkansas, they find that find everyone seems to know more than they do. But no one understands the whole story, and soon David and Paula are in the crosshairs of a killer. As they are forced off the grid to dig through countless layers of misdirection, the two journalists fight the fierce attraction between them.

When they finally discover the truth, it is far different than anything they could have imagined.

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Alex and Briggie Genealogical Mysteries

Alexandra Campbell is a thirty-something widow whose husband, Stewart, died in a terrorist plane crash. Amidst her grieving, she is trying to assemble her late husband’s family tree in Scotland, where they lived. Thus she meets Brighamina Poulson (Briggie) a sixty-something widow whose family tree interconnects with Stewart’s. Brim-full of life and confidence, Briggie sweeps Alex into the exciting world of Family History and takes her home to live with her in Independence, Missouri. They form their own research company, RootSearch, Inc., using their combined expertise to unravel many a complicated family tree (starting with Alex’s own). What they don’t expect is to encounter murders which can only be solved by a genealogist who holds all the family secrets! Family historians cannot, by nature, resist a mystery! Alex and Briggie tangle with the law, with dysfunctional families, and with the heirs to fortunes, often coming to bodily harm. However, armed with the truth and Briggie’s deer rifle. they always get their man!

Cankered Roots

It is high time Alex finds out her family secret. Something went wrong in her family during her adolescence, changing her mother from a Chicago North Shore matron into an alcoholic and a doting father into a workaholic. The moment she graduated from High School, she was sent to the Sorbonne in Paris with a generous bank account and instructions not to return.

It is now fifteen years since she has seen her parents, and she intends to lay the ghost that has separated her family for good. However, as usual in Alex’s unpredictable life, things do not go as planned. After an acrimonious fight with her once beloved father, she leaves with only a wallet-sized photograph of a woman she knows nothing about.

That night, Alex’s father is killed. Bewildered and grieved that her family can never be whole again, she soon finds out that she is the chief suspect in the murder. With the unflappable Briggie at her side, she uses all her new genealogical skills, and (with the help of Briggie’s deer rifle) discovers a secret so bizarre that she finally understands why her parents wanted her far away and safe.

Join Alex and Briggie in the first of their hair-raising adventures!

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Of Deadly Descent

Where do you start looking for an ancestor without a name with whom you share an inheritance?

At their last known address—The Argonne Forest, France, 1919.

In their previous adventure, Alexandra Campbell and her business partner, Brighamina Poulson, discover a branch of Alex’s family that was previously unknown.  Because of wicked deeds in days gone by, a soldier in World War I who should have been part of Alex’s family was lost.  In fact, he was so lost, he didn’t even know his own name!

Through a series of coincidences (and we all know there are no coincidences in genealogy!) they track their man from France to Oxford, and even give him a name.  However, upon their arrival in Oxford, before they even contact the man’s descendants, a member of the family is pushed under a bus right before their eyes!  It soon becomes evident that the death was connected to the coming legacy.  Who knew they were coming to Oxford with news of a fortune?  What role does the mysterious Frenchman Etienne play in the dastardly doings?  And what about Charles Lamb, a very eligible bachelor, also an heir to the estate?

Briggie is lost without her deer rifle and can’t keep up on the standing of her Kansas City Royals Baseball Team.  She doesn’t think much of Oxford, either, and is worried about the effect of this center of secular wisdom on Alex.  She is even more worried about Charles Lamb.

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Tangled Roots

Accompany Alex on her attempt to unravel a family tree that proves to have more branches than she bargained for, not to mention a murderer, a misappropriated fortune, and a family secret someone is willing to kill for! As she grapples with this unwieldy job, she is also trying to learn to get to know her mother, whom tragedy separated from her as a teenager. A recent convert to the Church, she is still trying to trust God and discover the true essence of forgiveness. On top of all these issues, she also has serious conflicts in matters of the heart. Should she marry the charming Englishman Charles, who courts her so exquisitely, or the down-to-earth Daniel who knows her better than anyone?

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Poisoned Pedigree

Is there such a thing as “bad blood?” Take a rifle-toting grandmother and a recently engaged young widow, combine with a passion for genealogy, and you have RootSearch, Inc, dedicated to unraveling complicated family trees. The most recent client of Alexandra Campbell and her associate, Briggie, is a famous singer who at the age of thirty-seven wants to marry and have a family but is terrified by childhood memories of whispers of a family curse and “bad blood.” The investigation leads to a remote Ozarks town and a strange woman known as the Keeper, who holds secrets that turn out to be deadly. Her sudden murder leaves Alex and Briggie no alternative but to piece together the mystery of a 150-year old scrapbook and tombstones in the local cemetery with cryptic references to a lynching. It takes all of Alex and Briggie’s ingenuity to discover the source of the “bad blood” and escape death deep in the Missouri woods.

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The Hidden Branch

When the murder of Armenian-American billionaire inventor Paul Mardian takes Alex and Briggie to Huntington Beach (aka “surf city”), California to hunt for heirs, Briggie is immediately smitten with ideas of wetsuits and boogie boards.

Alex believes the killer is a relative of the victim, but her pursuit of the truth nearly costs another life–her own. So many suspects, so little time. Could it be the real estate typcoon with the trophy wife? The pompous attorney who spends every cent he makes on high living? The professor of Middle Eastern studies with a penchant for Armenian antiquities? Or even the darlky handsome surfer who has more than a passing interest in Alex?

While her fiance struggles with a crisis of faith, Alex searches for answers, putting her life on the line, yet again, to discover the missing link that will solve this captivating mystery.

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