Claire Applewhite, mystery writer and Acquisitions Editor for Sunflower Press and Smoking Gun Publishing, LLC, is a graduate of St. Louis University. Her published books include The Wrong Side of Memphis, Crazy For You, St. Louis Hustle, Candy Cadillac, Tennessee Plates and Voices of Excellence. She is an adjunct professor at the University of Missouri, St. Louis. She has served as as President of the Missouri Writers Guild and Board member of the Midwest Chapter, Mystery Writers of America. Organizational memberships include the St. Louis Metropolitan Press Club, St. Louis Writers Guild, Sisters in Crime, Ozark Writers League and Active member, Mystery Writers of America.


New Release - Summer 2015


Everyone has a dream. But, every dream has a price.

The year is 1975.

When young Thomas Spezia decides to become a doctor, he is a stranger to the gritty reality of St. Louis City Hospital. Nothing in his background prepared him for the rigors of training at a charity hospital. The new intern struggles to comprehend his new and sometimes cruel reality, complicated by poverty, disease, drug addiction and racial tension. When his mentor, Dr. Skelton, assigns the case of Lori Raines, a terminally ill patient, he feels overwhelmed by her needs and demands of her philandering husband. Spezia embarks on a treacherous road to self-discovery that indelibly transforms his life. Ultimately, he must confront the cost of following his dream, and answer the question that gnaws at him, day and night, night and day.

Has the price become too high?


New Release - October 2014


A VIETNAM VET TURNED P.I. ENDS UP IN THE WRONG PLACE AT THE WRONG TIME – AT THE JEWEL ARMS APARTMENTS IN ST. LOUIS, AS HE MATCHES WITS WITH A RUTHLESS KILLER.

Elvin Suggs already knew how to be in the wrong place at the wrong time. Decades earlier, spending time as a Green Beret during The Siege of Khe Sanh taught him about the wrong side of 1968.

Now, with his life in a shambles after his wife demands a divorce — brokenhearted and broke, but determined to salvage his pride and his dreams — Elvin turns to the only person he can count on, Dimond Redding, his best friend’s widow. A fellow ’Nam vet and new tenant at the Jewel Arms apartment building in St. Louis, Missouri. Dimond is ready to move out before Elvin even arrives when a random murder occurs right outside her front door.

She can’t break her lease, but with a ruthless killer on the loose and corpses suddenly turning up everywhere, she wonders if she’ll be the next victim. Homicide Detective Rick Valentino doesn’t seem to be getting anywhere fast on the case, so experienced Private Investigator Elvin lends a hand, working to put the pieces of the puzzle together.

The odd assortment of tenants and strange goings-on at the Jewel Arms provide more questions than answers, including connections with Elvin’s past. When another car with Tennessee plates shows up at the apartment building is it a coincidence, or is someone following him?

As Elvin inches closer to the truth he has to remind himself that he knows all about the wrong places and times. Only this time, he’s got nothing to lose — he’s on the wrong side of Memphis.


New Release - October 2014



A SIMPLE CASE TURNS INTO A WEB OF LETHAL DECEPTION

Elvin and his partner, Dimond “Di” Redding, are eager to start on the first case for their new business, Grapevine Investigations. With the assistance of ’Nam vet and ex-sniper Cobra Glynes, they trail Nick straight to a notorious St. Louis “no tell motel,” The Coral Court.

From the start, Di distrusts Emily, a nurse at People's Hospital, but she can't explain her suspicions — until they spot her at the same motel with a well known plastic surgeon.

The mousy desk clerk Waldo E. know his “regulars” but he refuses to divulge his secrets to the investigators. When one of his regular guests turns up dead, he still won’t talk, not even to police detective Reggie Combs. The woman's sleazy landlord is quick to point the finger at Emily’s cheating husband.

After another body turns up, this time at the Coral Court Motel, Elvin and Di discover there’s no escape until they see this twisted case through to the bitter end...


New Release - October 2014



MISTAKEN IDENTITY OR DELICIOUS DECEPTION?

Sultry blonde Barbara Lacey saunters into the Night and Day, a St. Louis bar, where she waits hours to deliver a mysterious envelope to a man that never appears. She reluctantly entrusts it to bar owner Alfie Greenblatt, and steps into the alley. Moments later, Alfie hears the crisp pop of a bullet. He calls Sergeant Reggie Combs to investigate. Was Barbara’s death an accident, or murder?

Helen Tattaglia approaches her neighbors, P.I. Elvin Suggs and his partners, Cobra Glynes and Dimond “Di” Redding at Grapevine Investigations. She hires them to trail her “abusive” husband; she also suspects her in-laws, who live across the street, have arranged for her murder. The detectives are skeptical but they accept the case. They soon discover Helen’s sordid past, including another woman named Barbara Lacey.

Frustrated with the case, Detective Reggie Combs turns to his friends at the Grapevine Detective Agency for help. The shady dealings of the Tattaglia family begin to unravel, while they reveal the secret in the envelope.


New Release - October 2014



WHO IS THE BLONDE WITH TENNESSEE PLATES?

In ’68, the hot smoke and cold eyes of ’Nam stalked ELVIN SUGGS. Now, a blonde in a tight dress and a silver Cadillac has captured his heart, and he doesn’t want to run. Lonely and eager, he trails the temptress with a shady past, rife with corruption and lies — the girl with the Tennessee Plates.

Released - August 2013


DANIEL HUNTER is one lucky man.

His whirlwind marriage to Bunny Dingwerth, sole heiress to the Dingwerth fortune, unlocked the door to a world of wealth and privilege. His life is a dream come true, when the glamorous Leila Bolivar enters the exclusive Cinnabar Club—and changes his Plan. Dan is obsessed and hoelessly smitten. He is not alone. Dan's father-in-law, Giles Dingwerth met Leila twelve years ago.

They're crazy for her.

"Love at first sight"—poison or candy—love or lust? How much would you pay for the love of a lifetime?