Praise for PESTICIDE

First Linder and Donatelli mystery in the Polizei Bern series

Shortlisted for the 2020 Crime Writers’ Association’s Debut Dagger Award

One of only twelve 2022 police procedurals to receive a Kirkus starred review

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Praise for Pesticide from other writers

Kim Hays brings a sparkling new voice to police procedurals, giving us engaging and realistically drawn detectives who struggle to balance their personal lives with the demands of a gripping investigation. Set against the fascinating backdrop of modern Switzerland, Pesticide will delight crime fiction fans–a standout debut for 2022!

Deborah Crombie, New York Times bestselling author of the award-winning Duncan Kincaid/Gemma James novels

Kim Hays hits it out of the park with her debut novel, Pesticide, giving this twisty police procedural lots of heart by creating characters that the reader truly cares about. It is a must read for mystery lovers, especially those who prefer their intrigue with an international edge.

Allen Eskens, bestselling and award-winning author of The Stolen Hours and six Max Rupert and Joe Talbot mysteries

A highly original police procedural, set in Switzerland, with a charming cop heroine who is also a mum, and blending drug deals and organic farming to produce a first-rate yarn.

Martin Walker, editor-in-chief emeritus of United Press International and author of the Bruno, Chief of Police series

Giuliana Linder and Renzo Donatelli make for one of the sharpest, most compelling police duos you’ll ever read. Their conflicted attraction bristles with true emotional depth and poignancy as they lead a rich ensemble cast through the surprisingly nefarious world of organic politics. A remarkable procedural set in Bern, Kim Hays’s Pesticide is Switzerland’s answer to Scandinavian noir. Fresh and oh so readable, you won’t want to put it down.

James W. Ziskin, author of the award-winning Ellie Stone mysteries

Kim Hays delivers a superbly written mystery set in Switzerland. Two murders, one in the old town of Bern, the other on a nearby organic farm, test the wits of veteran police detective Giuliana Linder and her handsome junior colleague, Renzo Donatelli.  The setting is fresh, the characters richly developed, and the plot as intricate as the inside of a Swiss watch. Enjoy!

Betsy Draine and Michael Hinden, co-authors of the Nora Barnes and Toby Sandler mysteries

A convincing and compelling page-turner in a unique and authentic setting, Pesticide is a cleverly-plotted mystery that manages to be well-researched, intriguing, and entertaining. Kim Hays writes complex characters and suspense equally well, and her investigating duo, Giuliana and Renzo, are sure to win the hearts of readers everywhere.               

Clare O’Dea, author of Voting Day

Praise for Pesticide from reviewers and readers

Swiss detectives dig into the cutthroat world of organic farming in Hays’s twisty murder mystery series starter. . . . [Her] plotting is first-rate as she keeps the sleuthing believable and offers up earned revelations, which make sense of the clues even when they go in unexpected directions. Her punchy, evocative prose looks beneath Switzerland’s veneer of antiseptic quaintness, . . . [and she] is equally good at painting the inner worlds of her characters, from overworked cops and worried parents to fog-brained criminals. The result is an engrossing page-turner, . . . [and] an entertaining whodunit that finds plenty of toxic rot in a seemingly wholesome setting.

Kirkus (starred review)

Both Linder and Donatelli are excellent and committed detectives – and very likeable characters. This might be a crime novel that some overlook, but they shouldn’t. Kim Hays has written a fascinating police procedural, chock full of details, with the sure hand of a veteran. It will be on my shortlist of best first mysteries of 2022.  

George Easter, Deadly Pleasures

Set against the backdrop of Bern, Switzerland, this gritty, humane detective thriller brims with an intriguing whodunit mystery, a touch of romance, and a host of vibrant…characters. [Police detective Giuliana] Linder is a wonderfully developed and complex protagonist that readers will relate to and root for. The suspense, both procedural and romantic, as well as some shrewd twists and turns, will keep readers guessing until the satisfying conclusion. Readers of thoughtful crime fiction will hope this debut is the start of more novels featuring this Bern cast. Takeaway: A tense, character-driven crime debut perfect for fans of thoughtful police procedurals.            

BookLife (Publishers Weekly)

Kim Hays…is not only convincing as the architect of a clever plot, she can also write dialogue and…give a touching emotional depth to her investigator duo, who try with difficulty to balance their private and professional lives.

Berner Zeitung

This book is a wonderfully developed and crafted police procedural which takes two seemingly unrelated cases and weaves them together to create a larger conspiracy that Hays’s delightful police team takes on….If you’re interested in procedurals or even just stories set in beautiful, unique locations, pick up this book. The Swiss scenery and fully developed characters will be sure to hold your attention!

(E)book Nerd Reviews

[Pesticide] captured the distinct feel of the Bern region and its people…Recommended to anyone looking for a different take on the police procedural!

Escape Reality Open a Book

There is a strong element of drama in this captivating read….I liked getting to know Giuliana and Renzo and am looking forward to reading more books in what promises to be a successful series.

Robin Loves Reading

Pesticide was a great read and hopefully the start of many more books about Giuliana and Renzo, [who]…are a wonderful team! The chemistry and the attraction are there, but they also work well together and complement each other’s characters….It’s a fast-paced, entertaining story that will have you turning the pages long into the night!

The Page Ladies

If you are a crime/police procedural junkie like me, you will want to be sure to add Pesticide to your list!…I’d love to see this turned into a series with both main detectives as leads throughout.

More Books Yes Please

Pesticide is a neatly constructed tale that leads the reader by the hand through every stage of the investigation….The partnership of Linder and Donatelli is engaging, with just the right level of friction and chemistry to lift them off the page. And I loved the tantalizing glimpses of the streets and squares within Berne and its proximity to the Alps. In essence, Pesticide is detective fiction for intelligent readers who…want an unusual angle to a crime but don’t need whistles and bells on every page.

Booker Talk

I loved this mystery set in Bern, Switzerland….The tone is dark and gritty, the prose sharp and even-handed, a pure pleasure to read. Compelling and suspenseful, interesting for both the settings and the…seamlessly [conveyed]…mechanics of farming,…I highly recommend it. I’m looking forward to more, and I’m putting Kim Hays on my favorites list.

Coffee and Ink

There are several words that don’t immediately spring to mind when talking about Switzerland: riots, murder, and organic farming.  However, in Kim Hays’s debut novel Pesticide, readers will realize that these three can combine and prove deadly even in the most apparently tranquil places….Kim Hays’s novel gives readers a wonderful sense of place and Swiss culture. Giuliana and Renzo are dedicated police officers and terrific characters, and in this novel we get a sense of their public and private lives and the difficulties in both.

Marilyn’s Mystery Reads

Pesticide’s absorbing mystery is likely to rivet readers, as will its memorable, compelling  characters.

Daily Californian

This is one well-written story. The tension is palpable as you make your way around…[Bern’s] locales. With…[Pesticide’s] vivid descriptions, it’s easy to imagine you’re there in the middle of the action. The cast of characters is richly drawn, believable, and easy to root for. The story kept me guessing right up to the end with plenty of surprises along the way. If you’re looking for a fresh, new police procedural you won’t want to put down, this is it!

David L. Morgan on Instagram and Goodreads

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