by Nancy Cole Silverman


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"A high-speed chase of a mystery, filled with very likable characters, a timely plot, and writing so compelling that readers will be unable to turn away from the page." - Kings River Life Magazine

"Investigative reporter Carol Childs stumbles on a missing persons case that's only the tip of the iceberg of corruption and deceit that lies just beneath the surface of the stars embedded in Hollywood Boulevard's Walk of Fame. The hunt for the perp will keep you turning pages late into the night and make you think twice about the dark side of the Hollywood Dream." - Paul D. Marks, Shamus Award-Winning Author of Vortex

"Radio host Carol Childs meets her match in this page-turner. Her opponent is everyone's good guy but she knows the truth about the man behind the mask. Now Carol must reveal a supremely clever enemy before he gets the chance to silence her for good. Great read!" - Laurie Stevens, Award-Winning Author of the Gabriel McRay Series

"A story of suspense, raw emotion, and peril which builds up to a satisfying climax...Silverman has given us another book where we can sit down and get our teeth into, and I look forward to the next in the series. Highly recommended." - Any Good Book

"Fast paced and cleverly plotted, an edgy cozy with undertones of noir." - Sue McGinty, Author of the Bella Kowalski Central Coast Mysteries

When reporter Carol Childs is called to the scene of a body dump she has no idea she's about to uncover a connection to a string of missing girls. Young, attractive women drawn to the glitz and glamour of Hollywood via an internet promise of stardom and romance have been disappearing. A judge's daughter leaves behind a clue and a trip down Hollywood Boulevard's Walk of Fame reveals a connection to a high powered real estate mogul and to a cartel targeting girls for human trafficking.

Old Hollywood has its secrets, its impersonators and backdoor entrances to old speakeasies and clubs where only those with the proper credentials can go. And when Carol Childs gets too close, she finds herself politically at odds with powers that threaten to undo her career and like the very girls she's seeking, make her disappear.

Related subjects include: women sleuths, murder mystery series, whodunit mysteries (whodunnit), book club recommendations, suspense, noir.

Books in the Carol Childs Mystery Series:

WITHOUT A DOUBT (#3) May 2016

Part of the Henery Press Mystery Series Collection, if you like one, you'll probably like them all...

Author Bio:

Nancy Cole Silverman credits her twenty-five years in news and talk radio for helping her to develop an ear for storytelling. But it wasn't until 2001 after she retired from news and copywriting that she was able to sit down and write fiction fulltime. Much of what Silverman writes about today she admits is pulled from events that were reported on from inside some of Los Angeles' busiest newsrooms where she spent the bulk of her career. In the last ten years she has written numerous short stories and novelettes. Today Silverman lives in Los Angeles with her husband, Bruce and two standard poodles.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781941962732
Publisher: Henery Press
Publication date: 07/14/2015
Pages: 248
Sales rank: 850,610
Product dimensions: 5.50(w) x 8.50(h) x 0.52(d)

Read an Excerpt


"Tyler, can you hear me?" The sound from the heavy buffeting of the helicopter's rotor blades above me and the cool wind whipping through my hair made it impossible for me to speak in a normal voice. Pushing the hair from my face, I sheltered the mic into my shoulder and screamed, "I'm up on Mulholland. I can see the body!"

From the roadside, the canyon, with its rolling hills and sage green chaparral surrounding upscale Southern California mansions, loomed beneath me. A body, barely visible through the early morning fog, appeared tucked beneath a sprawling oak tree. It looked as though it had fallen from the sky and somersaulted down the hill. A red high heel was several hundred feet away, and bits and pieces of clothing, like scrap ribbon tied to a tree, hung from the branches above the body. Like a ragdoll that had come to a stop, its bare back was exposed to the roadside, the head and shoulders slumped forward at an awkward angle only partially covered by the victim's long, curly blonde hair, hanging limply to one side.

I heard Tyler. "Hold for two." Then, "We're live with KCHC's reporter Carol Childs. Carol."

"Residents along this section of Mulholland Drive woke up this morning to the sound of helicopters above their homes. Police were alerted by commuters who called to report what looked like the body of a partially clad young woman lying several hundred feet from the roadway. But I can tell you, Tyler, among those standing here with me and watching this recovery, there's speculation as to how this girl got here. I'm getting conflicting reports from people who believe they heard the sound of a low flying chopper maybe an hour before LAPD's helicopters arrived to investigate."

I returned to the station, my hair stringy and matted against my head, my lips chapped. Tyler, my boss, had called before sunup alerting me there'd been a possible body dump less than fifteen minutes from my home. He wanted me on the scene, and I'd been there since before six a.m. Right now, I was a mess. I hadn't brushed my teeth, I had a headache from the sounds of the helicopter, and already I was feeling mentally exhausted. I couldn't shake the vision of the young woman's naked body, covered with a thin Mylar blanket, as it was lifted onto the helicopter's gurney, or stop thinking about how horrendous her last moments must have been. From the looks of the shrubbery, undisturbed around the body, and from what some of the residents were telling me regarding the sound of a low flying helicopter, earlier that morning, before the police arrived, this young woman just might have been pushed to her death. I couldn't imagine a worse scenario. My own daughter Cate was only a couple years younger than the body they pulled from canyon. My stomach turned. This was every parent's worst nightmare, and what I wanted now was a shower and a cup of hot coffee, but before I could do any of that, Tyler had insisted on a meeting. He wanted to see me ASAP.

With Tyler everything is ASAP. KCHC's boy wonder, our news and programming director, has ants-in-his-pants when it comes to being the first to know. For Tyler everything's a race. Second best is never good enough. Already there was speculation that the body might be that of Monica Channing, a twenty-four year old kindergarten teacher and daughter of a prominent federal judge. She'd been missing for the last week, the subject of a massive manhunt, and today was our first break in the case. Tyler would want information. If it was Monica, he'd want KCHC to be the first to report it.

The trouble was, I couldn't be certain the body I'd seen up on Mulholland was Monica. Over the last eighteen months three other young women had disappeared off the streets of Hollywood. LAPD Missing Persons Unit has listed them as possible runaways, or probable kidnappings, but nothing had been confirmed. The only facts the media had concerning their disappearance was that they were all young and attractive and were believed to have been into the Hollywood club scene. If Monica had met the same fate, she'd be the fourth victim and the first to show up dead. The only difference was that Monica, while young and attractive, was hardly a party girl.

Throughout the last week, news about Monica's sudden disappearance had been everywhere. Newspapers, billboards, and the evening news all carried stories with photos of her singing in her church choir, feeding the homeless and reading to her kindergarten class. The woman was a saint. Her parents described her as a naïve young woman, an innocent, who would have been vulnerable to someone who wanted to hurt her.

I stopped in the doorway to Tyler's office. He looked like he hadn't slept. His skin was blotchy and his short red hair stuck straight up from his head like he'd finger-combed it. He was focused on the computer monitor. His eyes never left the screen.

"So give me your take. Is this our girl?"

"Maybe," I said. I sat down in the chair in front of his desk. "Stat-wise it all fits. Young, pale blonde, probably about the right height, although I couldn't tell for sure. Could just as easily have been any of the other missing girls, except for the hair. Other two were brunettes. One was a redhead. As for cause of death? We'll have to wait on the medical examiner's report, but my guess is a broken neck. From what I could see the body looked pretty banged up."

Tyler looked up at me.

"You okay on this? You look a bit pale yourself."

"I haven't showered yet, and I'd like get a cup of coffee before I start my shift." Tyler was oblivious to the fact he'd called me before five a.m. and that I wasn't scheduled to clock in until almost ten. "Other than that," I said, "I'm good."

I stood up and moved toward the doorway. I was desperate for coffee. If there was any chance of my making a connection between Monica Channing's murder and that of the other missing girls, I needed caffeine and lots of it, quickly.

"Great, 'cause before you go, I have another story for you." Tyler pointed to the chair and indicated he wanted me to sit down. We weren't done. "We've got another missing blonde."

Another young girl? I sat down. The shock on my face must have registered my surprise.

"Relax, Carol. This is different, a little story to make up for this morning. I think you might actually like it."

I knew I was in for it. Tyler was up to something. The look on his boyish face had suddenly changed from weary to smug. He smiled impishly at me.

"Really," I said. There was a heavy touch of sarcasm to my voice. "And just what might that be?"

He paused, looked back at his computer, printed out an assignment sheet and handed me the paper. "This just came in."

I glanced at the paper and sighed. My window of opportunity for running home and taking a shower before my shift began was growing ever smaller. Now I'd be cutting it tight.

"Kari Rhodes," he said, "is doing an on-air tribute to the Hollywood Walk of Fame. She's got the boulevard's honorary mayor Tommy Banks in studio with her. All that would have been fine, except it turns out someone's removed, or stolen, Marilyn's star."

"Marilyn?" I interrupted. "Like in Monroe?"

"Who else?" He leaned back in his chair, crossed his skinny arms across his chest and smiled confidently. "We're going to need a reporter over there for an interview. You interested?"

"Do I have a choice?"

He shook his head. "No. But on the brighter side, it appears a group of street impersonators have launched a protest. Seems they don't think the city's paying enough attention to security. They're upset about Marilyn's star. I'm certain there's a little human-interest story there somewhere. See what you can do."

I groaned. The Hollywood Walk of Fame was a tourist trap, a nightmare of ghoulish looking impersonators that roamed the boulevard. Most of them were out-of-work actors, hoping to be discovered while making a few bucks on the side posing with tourists in front of what was formerly Grauman's Chinese Theater.


I left Tyler's office clutching my cellphone like a compass and hurried down the hall towards the station's lobby. Staring up at me was a returned text from my best friend, Sheri. I had texted her as I left the house before dawn. I explained Tyler had called and asked if she'd put in a wakeup call for my son Charlie. Her reply read: "Not a problem. Boys and I did pancakes at Dupar's. Don't forget, big game tonight. Call when you get a minute."

I laughed. Pancakes. That was so Sheri.

Sheri's a single mom like me, but the similarity ends there. She refers to herself as a member of the lucky sperm club, a trust fund baby, who doesn't need to work and dabbles in special projects. I suspect I'm one. She admits to living vicariously through me. Physically we're exact opposites in everything from our height to our hair color — I'm blonde and scraping five-nine and Sheri's brunette and barely five-two — but our sons, Clint and Charlie, are best buds. They're both freshmen at Princeton High around the corner from my condo.

I stopped in the lobby to catch my breath and leaned up against the wall. It was still early, but there was a chance that if the body up on Mulholland had been Monica Channing, the LA Coroner might already have an answer. The identification of a judge's daughter would have top priority. Every reporter in town would be making the same call right about now. I listened as the phone rang, my foot tapping against the floor nervously as the call went through to voicemail.

Dammit! I hung up and stared down at my two left feet. In my rush to get dressed this morning I'd grabbed a wrinkled t-shirt off the hamper, torn blue jeans, and a mismatched set of pink tennis shoes. Thank goodness this was radio. I glanced up at the big clock in the lobby. It was nine-fifteen. I had an hour and half before I had to be in Hollywood.

I drove home with my cellphone to my ear. Like an addict, I continued to call the coroner's office nonstop. Fortunately, I had Dr. Gabor's inside number, something only a few reporters in town had. Plus, I knew right about now he'd be taking his mid-morning coffee break.

"Hello?" Dr. Gabor answered. His heavy Hungarian accent echoed through the line. He had me on speaker. "May I help you?"

"Let me guess," I said. "You've been in the office since before five, you've completed two autopsies, checked your emails and you're just about to sit down and crunch into a pickle from Jerry's Deli. Am I right?"

"Carol. You know me too well." I pictured Dr. Gabor in his office, his lab coat on the coatrack by the door. He'd be dressed in a three-piece suit with his trademark red bowtie, and right about now he probably had a pastrami on rye neatly laid out on a cloth napkin in front of him. For him it was already lunchtime. "What can I do for you?"

"I was hoping you might be able to tell me something about the body of the young woman the police recovered this morning. I know it's early, but by any chance have you been able to get a look, maybe make an ID?"

I heard what sounded like crumpling paper and envisioned him tossing the sandwich wrapper across the room and into the basket.

"Right now all I can tell you is if it's the missing teacher you're concerned about, we'll know soon enough. Judge Channing and his wife are coming in to view the body. I'd say there's a good chance they'll make a positive ID."

"So then, you must think it's her."

"I didn't say that." I knew with the sensitivity of the case, Gabor had to be very careful.

"May I ask a favor then?"

He paused.

"Always with the favors, Miss Childs. Just what is it you'd like me to do for you this time? Call you first with the ID, perhaps?"

"Wouldn't hurt. Or you could text if you're busy." I waited for him to consider his options then added, "I've got tickets to Disney Hall. Dudamel's doing a concert this weekend." In the past I'd thanked the doctor for his help with station tickets to the LA Philharmonic. It's not exactly how things are supposed to be done between reporters and city officials, but I knew he was a big fan, and it seemed like an innocent enough gesture.

"I'll text you once I have an ID. But you need to understand, if this is Monica Channing, her father's going to want answers quickly. I'm already getting pressure from LAPD to get the autopsy done this morning, and once I get a cause of death your people will be all over this like locusts." He paused, I heard a series of clicks and realized I was no longer on speaker. "However, there is one piece of information I can share with you, off the record."

"What's that, Doctor?"

"The girl was recently tattooed on her wrist." Dr. Gabor explained that the police believed the markings might have something to do with the kidnapping.


As I drove home from the radio station I kept thinking about Monica Channing and the other three missing girls we'd reported on. Over the last year and a half, each girl had had her fifteen minutes of distressed fame and when they didn't turn up, the news moved on. That's how the news works. There just isn't enough time and space to carry every story beyond the initial report. But as a parent, I couldn't imagine not knowing what had happened to my daughter. What I did know was that the clock was ticking, that the police had yet to officially tie the crimes together, and that in the absence of any new information, in a week or two, this story, like the stories before it, would die. Other stories would come and fill the headlines and in time people would forget. I wasn't going to let that happen. Both as a parent and as a reporter I was determined to find out if there was some connection.

I entered my condo, threw my keys on the kitchen counter and was about to run upstairs when I noticed a yellow Post-it note on top of a stack of mail on the counter.

Happy Birthday, Mom. Don't forget the game tonight. Four p.m. @ Notre Dame. Sheri said she'll meet you there. See you then, Charlie.

I couldn't believe I'd forgotten my own birthday. I glanced down at a stack of mail Charlie had brought in. Directly beneath his note was a postcard. At first I thought it might be from a travel agency, some piece of junk mail. I picked it up and was about to throw it in the trash when I turned it over and noticed it was postmarked from Mexico. I knew instantly it had to be from Eric. FBI Special Agent Eric Langdon is my tall-dark-and-handsome. The man in my life I want to kiss hello and whose arms I wanted to fall asleep in at night. The man who, up until he sailed off with his Sea Mistress, his sixty-foot seafaring yacht, was, and is, my steady.

On the front of the card was a photo of Cabo San Lucas with clear blue waters and palm frond structures. On the back was simply written 10/07/2014 with a hand drawn heart, followed by a happy face and a birthday cake, candles blazing. The coded message on the back of the card made my heart smile. Eric and I have our own special codes, shorthand for when we can get together. The numbers meant Eric was headed home. If weather permitted and the sea gods allowed, I expected him to be in port sometime around October tenth. Next week. The thought of his homecoming tickled me and refreshed my wearied spirits. I grabbed the card, hugged it to my chest, wished myself a happy birthday and headed upstairs like a giddy teenager.

I showered and finished blow-drying my hair, pulled it back into a ponytail, patted a little moisturizer on face and looked into the mirror. I looked tired, but a little concealer and blush worked wonders. I slipped on a bra and panties, walked into the closet and grabbed a short black tailored dress off the hanger. Most of what I own is casual Friday wear, but today being my birthday, I wanted something a little snazzier. Plus, if anything came up concerning Monica's disappearance, and I suddenly needed to be anywhere downtown, i.e. a courthouse, I wanted to look professional. I wiggled into the dress, struggling with the back zipper as I simultaneously slipped on a pair of black heels, then smoothed the body of the dress over my legs. I glanced back in the mirror. Not bad for a forty-five minute makeover. Happy Birthday, Carol. I smiled at myself one last time in the mirror, threw my leather jacket over my shoulder and headed out the door.


Excerpted from "Beyond A Doubt"
by .
Copyright © 2015 Nancy Cole Silverman.
Excerpted by permission of Henery Press.
All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.
Excerpts are provided by Dial-A-Book Inc. solely for the personal use of visitors to this web site.

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Beyond a Doubt 4.6 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 8 reviews.
Meemo_B More than 1 year ago
Beyond a Doubt is the second in the Carol Childs series. I came away from this one feeling the same way I did about the first one - I liked it, but I didn’t love it. Carol is a divorced mother who’s in her second career as a radio news reporter. The things that happen in the radio station feel authentic, as does her relationship with her kids & friends. But she inserts herself in the stories she reports on, perhaps a bit too deeply since she finds she’s put herself in peril in each of the first two books. Her significant other is conveniently in the FBI. I think what puts me off a bit about both books is the decisions Carol makes at times - she knows what she should do, but she finds a way to rationalize doing the not-so-smart thing instead, and finds herself in danger. I’ll read more in the series, just to see if she starts making better decisions. I hope she does, because there’s promise here. Copy provided by Netgalley and Henery Press in exchange for an unbiased review.
Carstairs38 More than 1 year ago
Will You Enjoy this Book? Beyond a Doubt In this day of internet news and digital music, I don’t think much about radio any more. Heck, I have yet to set any radio stations in my new car. And yet Nancy Cole Silverman set her mystery series in a news and talk radio station. That was a wise choice as you can tell by reading Beyond a Doubt. Working news has definite downsides, like a 5 AM wakeup call to go to the site of a body dump. That’s how Carol Childs has started this particular morning, and she is soon reporting on the scene as the police work to retrieve the body from a canyon on Mulholland Drive. The police confirm that the body is that of Monica Channing, the daughter of a prominent judge. Monica had been missing for two weeks, and the search had been big news all over the Los Angeles area. That same day comes the news that Gabi Garrison has been reported missing. Gabi worked as a reporter for a local TV station before going into sales, which is how Gabi and Carol’s paths had crossed. Carol begins to wonder if there is a connection in the timing between Gabi’s disappearance and the discovery of Monica’s body, especially since the two women look so much alike. As she begins to dig, she finds other, similar disappearances. What has she stumbled upon? Quite obviously, this book isn’t a light, fun cozy mystery as it delved into some pretty serious topics. However, this book firmly fits into the traditional sphere since it never gets graphic. We know what is happening without being given any of the details. Honestly, we don’t need them. What we get here is sobering. Nancy Cole Silverman also uses the book to make a great point about the missing people the news media focuses on – young attractive white women – to the exclusion of other people who disappear. And yet neither of these things get in the way of a great mystery. The suspense builds right through the climax as we watch Carol work hard to prove what she suspects. She did act stupidly at one point in her pursuit of the truth, but it made a wonderful plot complication. I was so wrapped up in the climax I didn’t wind up taking my almost daily lunch time snooze in order to find out how things would turn out, and I just loved the climax. Carol is a strong main character, even with her lapse of judgment. Her determination is wonderful. I like the supporting cast as well, although the focus really is on Carol and the story. The characters introduced for this book are very strong, which helps keep us engaged. I can’t recommend Beyond a Doubt highly enough. This is a completely engrossing and satisfying mystery. I can hardly wait to pick up Carol’s next adventure.
AuthorsWebTVHost More than 1 year ago
Carol is back, that amateur sleuth who just can’t seem to stay out of trouble. There’s nothing I like better than a strong woman protagonist and Silverman has developed a character we can love and relate to. The first two books are page turners and I find myself trying to stay awake just to read the next page. A bit of suspense, a bit of romance and a whole lot of mystery, Beyond a Doubt is a captivating read.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Another fast paced Carol Child's story. Very well written. It draws you in as it deals with current issues. Carol seems to have met her match and may not be able resolve the problem, but in the end, all the pieces start coming together. It enjoyable to read a story using a radio reporter versus TV or newspaper. Looking forward to the next in the series.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Another fast paced Carol Child's story. Very well written. It draws you in as it deals with current issues. Carol seems to have met her match and may not be able resolve the problem, but in the end, all the pieces start coming together. It enjoyable to read a story using a radio reporter versus TV or newspaper. Looking forward to the next in the series.
Dollycas More than 1 year ago
Dollycas’s Thoughts I just wanted a broadcast of one of my favorite soap opera stars, Deidre Hall from Days of Our Lives get her star on the Wall of Fame so those images were brought back with this story. Radio reporter Carol Childs finds herself close to Hollywood and Vine several times as she investigates the murder of a judge’s daughter and a string of missing girls. For the most part she is trying to get the scoop for her radio station but since the police seems to be dragging their feet on their investigation she figures helping them can’t hurt. Carol’s FBI Agent boyfriend, Eric, is off for a little R&R on his boat so he is not around to keep her out of trouble. The author takes on a couple of hot topic issues in this book and she does it really well. I hesitate to say too much here because I don’t want to spoil the story for you. I will say Nancy Cole Silverman knows how to build suspense. She packs so much in these 244 pages. By the time I reached the end I was almost out of breath. Centered around her life at a radio station, her boss is much more supportive than in the last book, even when the powers that be think murder and missing girls isn’t what they want playing on their station. We meet everyone from celebrity impersonators to a bunch of Red Hat Ladies. These characters are real and believable and some bring a little humor to a very stressful storyline and some become suspects. I really enjoyed the first book in this series, Shadow of Doubt, I am upset with myself for taking so long to read this one. A fabulous read, my only pause, was the ending, it was just a little too easy, but very entertaining and not enough to knock down my rating.
InspirationalAngel531 More than 1 year ago
Title: Beyond a Doubt - Carol Child's Mystery 2 Author: Nancy Cole Silverman Published: 7-14-15 Publisher: Henery Press Pages: 244 Genre: Mystery, Thrillers & Suspense Sub Genre: Women Sleuths; Women's Fiction; Cozy Mystery ISBN: 9781941962732 ASIN: B00W5VI838 Reviewer: DelAnne Reviewed For: NetGalley . Carol Childs Investigative Reporter for KCHC Radio is called to the sight of a body dump site where the evidence shows a link to a case of missing young women one of whom is a co-worker of Carol's. As she investigate she digs up information on a human trafficking ring with ties with a well respected Hollywood hotshot. Carol finds herself with obstacles at every turn. Soon it is not just a matter of finding out what happened to the missing women, but keeping herself alive or worse from disappearing herself. I still not sure I would call this series a true cozy, but I would gladly read any book in the series. The mysteries are of a deeper origin than a lightly mentioned murder with the heroine running around butting into everyone's business. Carol is a women of strong will and determination. The supporting characters are just as well developed and believable. Beyond a Doubt is plotted so that it flows quickly from scene to scene and keeps the reader involved trying to decipher the clues with Carol. Nance Cole Silverman is just as clever of keeping a reader guessing until she wants to bring the mystery to a climactic conclusion. If you haven't read Shadow of a Doubt you really should. Not that you need to as Beyond a doubt can be read as a standalone, but because it is a great read as well. Ms. Silverman's books are so good you cannot stop at just one. Book three, Without a Doubt will be out on May 24. Amazon link: Barnes and Noble link: GoodReads link: The Reading Room link:
rhonda1111RL More than 1 year ago
This is the second book in the Carol Childs Mystery series. It does not disappoint. The murder part of it comes out quick and other mysteries you don't find out till later. It is a gripping tale. It is a clean read. Serious crimes happen but also has some humor in the story. I like Carol and her friends and co-workers. She has a good circle around her. Carol is a divorced mother of two. Her boyfriend is away for most of the book sailing, He is a FBI Agent. Carol is a radio reporter. Carol is called out to report of a body found close to her house early in the morning. They are wondering if it is one of the girls who have disappeared lately. Carol wants to keep the missing girls up front as a media story. She wants to find them before any more turn up dead. The setting for this book is Hollywood, CA. It also has a lot of old Hollywood star impersonators too. One of her leads turns out to be someone who is part the police force. Carol's own daughter is threatened. I like the ending chapters. It all comes together just right. I would read another book by Nancy Cole Silverman. I was given this ebook of Beyond A Doubt to read by Net Galley and Henery Press. In return I agreed to give a honest review and be part of Beyond A Doubt blog tour.