Tea Tonic and Toxin: Mystery and Thriller Podcast and Book Club

Play of Shadows by Crime Novelist Barbara Nickless

Colorado crime novelist Barbara Nickless joins Sarah and Carolyn to discuss her book Play of Shadows.

Barbara is the Wall Street Journal and #1 Amazon Charts bestselling author of the multi-award-winning Sydney Parnell crime novels. Barbara’s new series features forensic semiotician Dr. Evan Wilding—a man whose gift for interpreting the words and symbols left behind by killers has led him to consult on some of the world’s grisliest cases.

Learn more about Barbara Nickless below!

Colorado crime novelist Barbara Nickless guests on the Tea, Tonic & Toxin podcast!

About Play of Shadows

An ancient creature of Greek mythology drives a killer’s unspeakable motives in a pulse-pounding thriller by Barbara Nickless, the Amazon Charts and Wall Street Journal bestselling author of Dark of Night.

On a stormy Chicago night, renowned semiotician Dr. Evan Wilding and his brother, River, who’s back from an archaeological dig, reunite in a mystery. A package addressed to both of them contains a hand-drawn maze, an ancient Cretan coin, and a cryptic greeting: Let the game begin.

The opening move is murder.

In a downtown alley, a man has been found nearly cleaved in two, a symbol drawn on his forehead and a savage rip in his throat. Given the clues, Evan sees a parallel to a fearsome Greek myth. Which means his friend Detective Addie Bisset is on the trail of a legendary flesh-eating monster―one terrifyingly human and tumbling a panicked city toward chaos.

Evan, Addie, and River scramble to discover who’s behind the appalling crimes and decipher the baffling motives. The body count is rising. The endgame is nowhere in sight. And the stakes are nothing less than life and death.

Play of Shadows - Barbara Nickless - Tea Tonic and Toxin Book Club and Podcast

About Crime Novelist Barbara Nickless

Barbara Nickless is the winner of the Daphne du Maurier Award for Excellence, the Golden Quill Award, Suspense Magazine Best Debut of 2016, Amazon Editors’ Best Mystery, Thriller, and Suspense Novel, and a four-time recipient of the Colorado Authors League Writing Award.

In addition, Barbara has been nominated for the Colorado Book Award five times and won three times.

Barbara lives in Colorado at the foot of the Rocky Mountains, where she loves to hike, cave, snowshoe, and drink single-malt Scotch. Her most recent travels—while conducting research for a novel—involved taking cover from rocket fire and being grilled at military checkpoints.

Barbara joined Sarah and Carolyn in the studio to talk about her latest novel, Play of Shadows.

LONG BIO — Barbara Nickless, Author of Play of Shadows

Barbara Nickless was made in Japan, born in Guam, and made her way through various ports of call to Colorado. There, her mother—an English literature teacher—passed along her own love of reading by starting Barbara on comic books. Which might explain why Barbara grew up to adore  H. Rider Haggard, E.E. “Doc” Smith, and Shakespeare in equal measure.

When she was three, Barbara told her mother that all she wanted was to be a writer. But that wasn’t strictly true. She also wanted to be a sword fighter, an astronaut, to conduct an orchestra, go in search of lost cities and work on Mutual of Omaha’s Wild Kingdom. If only she’d known early on that she could do all those things—at least in her imagination—by being a writer. She got there. It just took awhile. But that is the best way to live life—great journeys are as much about the detours as the destination.

In addition to her career as a technical writer and instructional designer, Barbara tried her hand as a raptor rehabilitator, a piano performer, and a sword fighter. She served as the Director of Education for the country’s largest public astronomical observatory and taught Beethoven to kids. It was all great fun. But then a wildfire burned down her family’s home. It was that moment. The one that made her look around and think, “Weren’t there other things I planned to do? Hadn’t I dreamed of writing novels—lots of novels—and traveling the world?”

For Barbara, losing everything also meant she had everything to gain. Her revitalized resolve to be a writer resulted in the Special Agent Sydney Parnell crime series, starting with the award-winning Blood on the Tracks and Dead Stop and the Wall Street Journal bestseller Ambush. Fall of 2021 brought a new series about forensic semiotician Dr. Evan Wilding, who interprets the signs and symbols left by killers. And Barbara says traveling is now in the stars!

After trips to Morocco and South Africa, she plans to springboard off the miles she’s logged hiking the Colorado Rockies and scale Mt. Kilimanjaro before the snow melts. She recently traveled to Israel and the Palestinian Territories.

Stay in the Know About Barbara Nickless!

Barbara Nickless joined Sarah and Carolyn in their makeshift studio for a heartfelt discussion about Play of Shadows. Amazing woman, amazing writer. You’ll love her.

Buy Play of Shadows: https://amzn.to/42LbAUT

Website: www.barbaranickless.com

Facebook: www.facebook.com/barbara.nickless.5

Instagram: www.instagram.com/barbara.nickless/

Twitter (X): twitter.com/barbaranickless

Goodreads: www.goodreads.com/author/show/1362211.Barbara_Nickless

Awards and Nominations

  • Winner: Daphne du Maurier Award of Excellence for Blood on the Tracks
  • Finalist: Daphne du Maurier Award of Excellence for Dead Stop
  • Suspense Magazine, Best of 2016 for Blood on the Tracks
  • Winner: Colorado Book Award 2017 and 2018. Finalist: Colorado Book Award 2020
    Colorado Humanities.
  • Winner: Colorado Authors’ League Writing Award 2017, 2018, 2019, 2020.
    Colorado Authors’ League.

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About Tea, Tonic & Toxin

Tea, Tonic, and Toxin is a book club and podcast for people who love mysteries, thrillers, introspection, and good conversation. Each month, your hosts, Sarah Harrison and Carolyn Daughters, will discuss a game-changing mystery or thriller from the 19th and 20th centuries. Together, we’ll see firsthand how the genre evolved.

Along the way, we’ll entertain ideas, prospects, theories, doubts, and grudges, along with the occasional guest. And we hope to entertain you, dear friend. We want you to experience the joys of reading some of the best mysteries and thrillers ever written.

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