Sasscer Hill books in order
Sasscer Hill is a retired American amateur jockey, racehorse breeder and an Agatha as well as a Macavity Nominated author of mystery, suspense and thriller novels.
She also has a non-fiction title to her name.
Born in Washington, D.C., she holds a BA in English Literature from Franklin and Marshall College.
Passionate about horses from the time she was a child, Hill’s love for horses and her experience in the racing world inspired her to write mystery novels set in the equestrian world.
Upon making her debut as a novelist in 2010 with "Full Mortality", Hill dedicated the horse racing mystery to Rhoda Christmas Bowling and Alfred H. Smith, Sr; two people who recognized and nurtured her love for horses.
Full Mortality was well-received, as it not only garnered praise for its fast-paced plot, vivid setting, and complex characters, but was also nominated for an Agatha Christie Award and a Macavity Award for Best First Novel.
A recipient of the $10,000 Dr. Tony Ryan Award for Best in Racing Literature for her novel “Flamingo Road”, Hill currently lives in Aiken, South Carolina with her husband, dog, and cat.
Horseback riding continues to form a central part of her life.
Genres: Mystery, Non-fiction, Suspense, Thriller
Nikki Latrelle Racing Mystery
- Full Mortality (2010)
- Steamroller: A Nikki Latrelle Racing Mystery Short Story (2011)
- Racing from Death (2012)
- The Sea Horse Trade (2013)
- Game: A Nikki Latrelle Racing Mystery Short Story (2013)
- Racing From Evil (2016)
- Shooting Star (2021)
- Flamingo Road (2017)
- The Dark Side of Town (2018)
Quinn O'Neill Mystery
- Travels of Quinn (2020)
- Rare Highs, Killer Lows: True Tales from the Track (2013)
- Pretty Fraudulent and Venomous (2013)
- Gripping Tales of Fact and Fiction (2017)
- Colonel Warburton's Madness (2014)
Detailed book overview
Nikki Latrelle Racing Mystery
Jockey Nikki Latrelle gets the chance of a lifetime – to ride the favorite in a stakes race – only to have her dream destroyed when a mysterious intruder kills her mount the night before the race. Evil is at work at Maryland’s Laurel Park race track, and when Nikki stumbles over the body of a gunshot victim, she quickly becomes the prime suspect in a murder case.
Framed and facing a possible murder rap, Nikki is ruled-off the track. Even deprived of job and income, she cannot abandon a mistreated, ill-tempered racehorse doomed to the slaughter house. Nikki and the filly wind up at a seedy stable with a motley group of felons, drunks, and drug-addicts.
With unexpected help from a fashion-conscious wholesale meat-seller, a recovering addict, and an ancient groom, Nicky follows a crooked trail of insurance scam and betting fraud. But with the odds against her, can she clear her name – and put the real criminals behind bars?
Ruled off Maryland's Laurel Park racetrack, for a crime she had no part in, jockey Nikki Latrelle struggles to survive at a seedy training track, where a convicted murderer terrorizes a young Latina groom. Faced with clearing her name, the last thing Nikki needs is to get involved. But she's never been one to stand by and watch somebody else be abused.
Racing at Virginia’s beautiful Colonial Downs twists into a nightmare for jockey Nicky Latrelle. A sociopath sells diet cocktails – killing jockeys who struggle to make racing weight. Alarming events greet Nicky and exercise rider Lorna Doone upon their arrival at Colonial – strange noises echo in the nighttime woods, a man with haunted eyes drags a dirt-smeared shovel from the forest, and the body of a burn victim lies on the road outside the track.
Nicky’s unease turns to dismay when bad-boy Bobby Duvayne mesmerizes young Lorna with his raw sexuality and a dangerous supply of drugs. A hidden meth lab, an old family secret, a body buried years ago in the woods, and Lorna’s disappearance pull Nicky into a race against death.
When Nikki works the January meet at Gulfstream Park near Miami, something about new racehorse owner, Currito Maldonista, worries her. Bad enough she’s expected to handle Maldonista’s evil-minded colt, Diablo, but Nikki begins to suspect Maldonista may be a Colombian drug lord. Worse yet, could he be abducting underage American girls and forcing them into the sex trade?
Nikki’s world and Maldinista’s collide when Nikki’s oldest friend, Carla Ruben, comes to Florida to find Jade, the teenage daughter she gave up for adoption years ago. Jade’s adoptive parents are dead; and the exotically beautiful girl is missing. Could Maldonista be involved? Nikki and Carla put their lives on the line to find out!
Who is so determined to keep Nikki from winning on the favorite?
GAME is Sasscer Hill's first published work. It is a short story about gambling and deceit that appeared in an obscure journal in upstate New York in 2007. It is the story that launched the Nikki Latrelle Horse Racing series. It is the story that, rewritten, became chapter three of FULL MORTALITY.
GAME features a character named Joan who does not appear in the later novels, and, the very first and more detailed appearance of Will Marshall who plays an increasingly important role in the three-book trilogy of FULL MORTALITY, RACING FROM DEATH, and THE SEA HORSE TRADE.
If you have read FULL MORTALITY, then some of this short story will be familiar, but the ending is new material and very different!
Nikki Latrelle’s mother suddenly dies, leaving the thirteen-year-old girl in the hands of a pedophile stepfather. Escaping his attempt to assault her, Nikki flees through the nighttime streets of Baltimore. She climbs a razor-wire fence into Pimlico Racetrack, the place she and her mom spent their happiest days together.
Nikki’s drawn to horses, knows how to ride, and dreams of being a jockey. But how can a runaway with no ID, no family, and no income survive? She needs to earn money, yet hide from both the police and her stepfather who relentlessly search for her. As these men close in, a groom named Carlos helps her escape. Carlos has problems of his own, but through him, she meets the old horse-trainer Ravinsky.
Will the old horseman take her under his wing? Risk his status and reputation to help her? And what evil has befallen Carlos’s young son, Pedro? The boy is missing, and Nikki senses evil forces are at work. Because she knows too well how it feels to be alone and frightened, she puts her life on the line to find Pedro.
When Nikki’s ex-lover Will hires her to protect the horses used to film a movie at Santa Anita Racetrack, she learns evil is alive and well in Hollywood.
Keeping Thoroughbreds safe from a director who doesn’t know a horse from a hamster is tricky. More difficult are the unresolved feelings between her and Will, especially when sexy, young movie star, Jamie Jackson, sets his sights on Nikki.
But when a sniper’s bullet shatters the brain of a cameraman close enough that she can smell his blood, Nikki’s need to protect the film crew overrides everything. Her sleuthing unearths a trail of corruption and when she must lie to Will to protect his life, she’s on her own. Can she identify the evil behind the scenes before she and Will become the next victims?
Baltimore police officer Fia McKee is put on leave for excessive use of force after interfering in a crime that turns deadly. Given a second chance, she is sent to work undercover for the Thoroughbred Racing Protective Bureau (TRPB) at the Gulfstream Park in Florida, where she works as an exercise rider. Her assignment is to watch and report back on two racetrack workers who have been suspected of illegal activities and whose horses continue to outperform all expectations, winning their owners unseemly amounts of money in the races.
To complete her cover story, Fia moves in with her semi-estranged brother, Patrick, who lives near the racetrack. Her investigations are complicated when her niece, Jilly, disappears after a shadow gang takes Jilly’s beloved horse. Now Fia must work two angles—first to find out what’s really going on with the men who might or might not be gaming the system, and second to bring the men who prey on horses to justice.
Along the way, Fia encounters Cuban gangs living off the grid, a (very handsome) do-gooder who’s close on their trail, and a cabal of super wealthy gamblers who will stop at nothing to ensure they always win.
Fia McKee, now officially employed by the Thoroughbred Racing Protective Bureau (TPRB), is sent undercover to Saratoga Racetrack to investigate Mars Pizutti, a racehorse trainer whose horses’ wins are suspiciously lucky—and lucrative. Fia’s bosses believe Pizutti’s success is based on illegal drugs and deceitful methods, and they want Fia to work inside his barn to ferret out the truth.
But after witnessing the tragic and inexplicable suicide of a jockey, Fia discovers the rider’s death is only the tip on an iceberg involving the mob, a crooked racing hedge fund, and threats to the lives of another jockey and his young sister. Fia must find out who’s connected to who, and what shadowy forces are at play before someone else dies.
Quinn O'Neill Mystery
Born an Irish American Traveller, Quinn’s father and step family raise her to be a con artist. Can she escape a binding marriage contract and a life of crime? Jailed for theft, Quinn pays restitution working on a horse farm.
Unfamiliar with horses, her love for them surprises her. They make her hope for a better world. Until the farm’s owner is brutally murdered and Quinn is the prime suspect. On the run, Quinn uses every scam and con she knows to save herself. Can she find the real killer before she’s imprisoned for life or murdered because she knows too much?
“Rare Highs and Killer Lows” contains four true stories from the life of racing mystery author Sasscer Hill. Share some of the experiences that allow Hill to write with both authority and passion.
From the gutsy racing filly whose tongue was sliced in half, to the colt who beat the odds by living, these stories give the reader a true insider look at what goes on behind the scenes in the world of Thoroughbred racing.
This volume collects both of Sasscer Hill's Janet Simpson stories, featuring the amateur detective in the world of horse racing: PRETTY FRAUDULENT and VENEMOUS. Both stories appeared previously in separate volumes of the Chesapeake Crimes anthology series.
A collection of true stories with photos, and short stories by multiple award winning author Sasscer Hill. Tales of Hill's life as an owner and breeder of race horses and the amazing people she was lucky enough to hang out with like top trainer Jonathan Shepherd, and owner of multiple Breeders Cup champions, George Strawbridge.
From the true stories that fueled her fiction, the book includes two short Nikki Latrelle mysteries, two Janet Simpson horse racing mysteries, and just for fun a Sherlock Holmes story written by Hill. All these stories available only as eBooks before, are in one now in one paperback. Enjoy!
Why is Colonel Warburton going mad? Is someone practicing black magic to destroy the old soldier? Is it the natives he has brought back with him from Africa? And why does Holmes purchase a great brute of a dog to help solve this mystifying case?
Originally published in “Sherlock Holmes Mystery Magazine,” this short story, written by Sasscer Hill, will keep you guessing until the very end!