This evening or this weekend, you may have time for a fun read.  Escape to the tranquil shores on the Isle of Capri, Italy, the energized city of Monte Carlo, Monaco, the welcoming village of Portofino, Italy, or perhaps, the beautiful coast of California. Click on book covers above for more information.

If you enjoy reading international mystery/adventures, read the sample of Murder on the Isle of Capri (below). We are pleased that it is now in Apple’s top five free novels.   

We hope you are carried into the suspenseful tale transporting you to the Mediterranean Coast. Come aboard John Hunter's yacht and cruise to ports in Italy, Monaco, Spain, and France. For more sample chapters and additional information about downloading the books, go to Karen’s website.  

We are continuing to offer Murder on the Isle of Capri for free on Apple iPhone, and iPad (through the iBooks App) to introduce new readers to the Ryan-Hunter series.   

We have a new book in the Ryan-Hunter series that is now available: Murder Under the Bridges of Venice. 

Cliffs of Portofino and Cliffs of Monaco are being pitched by a screenwriter to producers in Hollywood. We’ll keep readers posted on our website. 

Sample chapter:

Murder on the Isle of Capri

Karen Donahue (Criminology Professor)

Thomas Donahue


Amazon Rainforest, Brazil

Over the finely tuned pitch of the twin engines, Bill Snow heard a faint pop from somewhere deep within his corporate jet. The nose of the plane wrenched downward, and like the dial on a compass, the earth’s horizon swiveled in the oval window. From thirty-six thousand feet, the sleek aircraft raced toward the emerald colors of the Amazon rainforest.

With each breath, his chest felt heavier. He stared down at his white, blood-starved hands that dug into the leather armrests. The jungle’s dense carpet of vegetation increased in detail, until he thought he could distinguish the individual leaves at the top of the canopy. Adrenaline pumped through his veins, and he grabbed for the loose strap and jerked his lap belt tighter.

A solitary voice ahead in the cockpit rose above the chaos in the main cabin. “Mayday. Mayday. Mayday.” The copilot repeated the mantra, while the plane continued its fall from the cloudless sky. Snow watched the cool-headed pilot in the left seat struggling with the controls and calling out orders to his partner.

Snow’s thoughts raced through a jumble of incoherent visions. He forced his eyes closed, trying to concentrate, until he finally envisioned his wife’s and son’s beautiful faces in his mind. “Julie and Joshua, I love you.” Tears rolled slowly down his cheeks.

“I have it,” the pilot yelled.

When the plane began to level out, cheers rose up from the journalists in the rear seats of the small cabin. The CEO of Snow Energy gradually opened his eyes to the chaotic sounds. FBI Special Agent, Russell King, sat opposite him, wide-eyed and ashen-skinned.

The plane climbed slowly out of its dive path. Still frozen in his seat, Snow continued to watch the hyperactivity in the cockpit. He concentrated on the two pilots who persevered with the difficult controls. Then, Snow heard the echo of defeat from the captain.

“We’re not going to make it,” the pilot muttered.

The despondent copilot continued his hurried distress call, “Mayday, Mayday, Mayday. This is flight November four one. . . .”


The business leader gradually awoke from his nightmare, shook his head, and forced open his eyes. Where am I? His slender arms and legs dangled straight out in front of him. His hips ached from the pressure at his waist. His vision cleared, and he looked past his extended limbs to the jungle floor some hundred feet below. Like a wild animal trying to escape, he instinctually clawed at the surrounding air. The remains of the cabin creaked and shifted. Terrified of the potential fall, Snow stopped his motion, held his breath, and slowly moved only his eyes to assess the situation. There’s no front of the plane. A chill came over him when he turned his head toward the rear and found nothing but jungle. It’s gone, too. His seat remained affixed to a narrow section of a torn, jagged metal cylinder. From his high position, he scanned the heavy forest below for the rest of his thirty-million dollar jet. It has to be there. Where is everyone? I have to let them know I’m up here. When he shifted his weight, the metal cocoon quivered again in the treetop.

He inhaled slowly, cautiously raising his hands, cupping them around his mouth. “Help, I’m here in the trees.” Snow forced the words out without making a move. “Is there anyone down there?” He waited. No answer.


© Karen Donahue 2014