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Regional books: “A Season to Lie,” “Hunting Hour,” “The Discharge”

A Season to Lie.

A Season to Lie, by Emily Littlejohn, Minotaur Books.

Colorado author Emily Littlejohn follows up her successful “Inherit the Bones” mystery with a nicely written sequel about Cedar Valley detective Gemma Monroe. Newly returned from maternity leave, Gemma finds the stabbed body of famous author Delaware Fuente at a local prep school, with an ominous note stuffed into his mouth: “This is only the beginning.” Fuente, who was lecturing at the school under a pseudonym, was in Colorado at the invitation of a childhood friend, to write his memoirs.

Gemma and her partner, Finn, fear a serial killer, especially after another instructor is killed. There are black doings at the school. Someone known as Grimm is threatening students, and a contractor with hired thugs threatens the community. Gemma deals with all of them as she struggles to juggle job, boyfriend and baby.

Hunting Hour, by Margaret Mizushima, Crooked Lane Books.

When 13-year-old Constance disappears, Timber Creek, Colo., detective Mattie Cobb sends her dog, Robo, in search of the child. To Mattie’s sorrow, Robo finds the girl dead, a homicide victim. Mattie, herself recovering from childhood sexual abuse, can’t help but suspect the girl’s father, but there are other suspects, including an arrogant high school boy, an old rancher who has been acting strangely and a group of visitors, one of them a sexual predator. Then Sophie, daughter of a veterinarian for whom Mattie has feelings, is kidnapped, and Mattie is convinced the same person who murdered Constance is responsible. She fears that if she and Robo don’t find the girl, Sophie will be the killer’s next victim.

The Discharge, by Gary Reilly, Running Meter Press.

Gary Reilly wrote 25 novels, not one of them published before his death in 2011. Since then, eight have seen print. “The

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