Dead Air and Double Dares by Janis Thornton

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Small towns have their sins and their secrets, and by lunch time on most days, everybody knows what happened to whom and why.

Who killed Horace Q. Ogilvie, owner of Elmwood’s radio station and the most hated man in town?

Crystal Cropper, editor of the Elmwood Gazette, needs to solve the mystery—pronto! Horace turned up dead just moments before he planned to ruin yet another Elmwood luminary with a vindictive radio editorial.

The good news?

Horace left a list of future VIP targets, so the police have plenty of suspects.

The bad news?

Crystal’s name is at the top!

Janis Thornton

About Janis Thornton:

A writer, journalist and personal historian, Janis Thornton is the author of two cozy mysteries in the Elmwood Confidential series — Dust Bunnies & Dead Bodies and Dead Air & Double Dares. She also is the author of two local history books, Images of America: Tipton County and Images of America: Frankfort; and contributor to “Undeniably Indiana” and “Chicken Soup for the Mother’s Soul 2.”

She is a member of the national and Indianapolis chapter of Sisters in Crime, the Indiana Writers Center, the Midwest Writers Workshop Planning Committee, and the historical society of her hometown, Tipton Indiana. Her cozy mysteries were finalists in the East Texas Writers Guild’s First Chapter Book Award contests in 2015 and 2016. A 2009 Midwest Writers Workshop Fellow, she also was a finalist in the Daphne du Maurier contest the same year.

Her newspaper feature stories have been recognized by Women in Communications (Lafayette, Indiana chapter), Smiles Unlimited, and the Hoosier State Press Association.

You may contact/follow/like her at, Twitter (@JanisThornton), and Facebook (

Review by Caleb Pirtle III:

I love Small Town America, and nobody writes about the heart and soul of Small Town America any better than Janis Thornton.

Small towns have their sins and their secrets, and by lunch time on most days, everybody knows what happened to whom and why.

Occasionally, there is a murder. Now we have a mystery. And Janis Thornton loves to write about murder. Her heroine is as good as any detective or lawman about solving murders.

But this time, in Dead Air and Double Dares, her heroine is a suspect, maybe the prime suspect. Can she find the culprit before she winds up in jail?

It’s another wild and unpredictable romp with all the humor, gossip, rumors, and finger pointing that goes on in a small town when everyone knows that a killer walks among them.

Dead Air and Double Dares is a great way to spend a lazy, hazy afternoon of summer. By the time you finish the novel, you’ll feel as though you have packed up and moved to Elmwood. Every one in town feels like a neighbor, even if one of them is guilty of murder.

  • Donna Jobe Cronk

    Lovely review. I especially appreciate the humor that is sprinkled everywhere in this cozy mystery. And because I am also a smalltown Hoosier newspaper reporter / editor, the news-coverage angles and scenes in the office are plain fun.

  • Alexes Shuman

    I am about 1/3 of the way through it and have found myself thinking that the writing is reminiscent of the J A Jance books. If someone likes Jance I think they would like this too. Not exactly shabby company to be keeping.