The Alvarez Family Murder Mysteries

For those of you not familiar with the award-winning Alvarez Family Murder Mysteries, let me welcome you to the Family. You’re one of us now!


Meet the fun mystery series revolving around Discretionary Inquiries—the detective agency is bringing the noir detective novel to the modern setting of the San Francisco tech world.

When the Alvarez clan is not solving murders, they run Discretionary Inquiries, a successful Silicon Valley agency that normally deals with the theft of intellectual property and computer software. Amid the backdrop of today’s gorgeous Bay Area, this fast-paced series sparkles with suspense, humor, and love.

Imagine private investigator Lee Alvarez as a combination of Sue Graftonʼs Kinsey Millhone and Janet Evanovitchʼs Stephanie Plum. Completing the Alvarez Family is Leeʼs Never-Had-A-Bad-Hair-Day aristocratic mother, Lila; her computer genius brother, Richard; beloved uncle “Tio;” and her energetic orange and white cat, Tugger. While ferreting out the bad guys or catching a killer or two, these whodunit novels explore familial love—the good, the bad and the annoying.

Who Is Lee Alvarez?

With dark hair, twilight colored eyes and a fiery temper, Lee Alvarez is about as hard-boiled as a two-minute egg—but this Sam Spade fan wears Vera Wang.

Lee Alvarez

If you go to the page for each book, you can read reviews, watch the trailer, or read the complete first chapter. Or to get a taste of a shorter, complete story, read the Lee Alvarez Novellas.

Book I
Murder is a Family Business

Just because a man cheats on his wife and makes Danny DeVito look tall, dark and handsome, is that any reason to kill him? The reluctant and quirky PI, Lee Alvarez, doesn’t think so. The 34-year old half Latina, half WASP and 100% detective has her work cut out for her when the man is murdered on her watch. Of all the nerve…Read more or get the book.

Book II
A Wedding to Die For

Book II

A groom arrested for murder can put a crimp in anybody’s wedding. So when the nuptials of Lee’s best friend are threatened, thirty-four-year old Lee Alvarez—a combination of Sue Grafton’s Kinsey Millhone and Janet Evanovitch’s Stephanie Plum—heads to Mexico in search of the real killer…read more or get the book.

Book III
Death Runs in the Family

Book III

Lee Alvarez’ ex-husband, Nick—a man she divorced with joy in her heart and a gun in her hand—sprints back in her life only to disappear again. She’d love to leave it at that, but could he be responsible for the recent death of her cousin, who keeled over at the finish line of a half-marathon in front of hundreds of spectators? …read more or get the book at Amazon, Barnes and Noble.

Book IV
Dead…If Only

dead if only mystery book cover
Book IV

A man who should be dead isn’t and Lee Alvarez’s very pregnant sister-in-law, Vicki, is about to be charged with a murder he recently committed in the Big Easy. Aided by the rest of the Alvarez Family, Palo Alto’s favorite P.I. kicks the Voodoo in the Who Do throughout New Orleans. With only three days to clear Vicki’s name, a child is kidnapped, two more people wind up dead, a hurricane hits, and the clock never stops ticking…read more or get the book.

Book V
The CEO Came DOA 

The CEO Came DOA mystery book cover
Book V

Lee Alvarez takes a job ferreting out the saboteur of a start-up company’s Initial Public Offering in the heart of Silicon Valley. Little does she know early one morning she will find the CEO hanging by the neck in the boardroom wearing nothing but his baby blue boxer shorts. Was it suicide? Or was it one of the many people who loathed the man on sight, including his famous rock singer ex? The bodies start piling up all the while she’s planning her very own Christmas wedding…read more or get the book.

Book VI
The Culinary Art of Murder

Culinary Art of Murder, a San Francisco mystery
Book VI

Lee Alvarez’s Uncle “Tío” is smitten with a visiting chef at a Silicon Valley culinary arts institute. When the lady is arrested for the murder of a fellow chef and the dishwasher, Discretionary Inquiries, Inc.—the Alvarez family-owned detective agency—agrees to help find the real killer. But undercover work at the institute proves to be more difficult than whipping up a chocolate soufflé. The killer tries to get Lee out of the way and permanently. But just who is it? The lady chef? One of her two sons? Or one of the other inmates from a cooking school with secrets as plentiful as sauces? Can Lee find the real killer before her own goose is cooked? And if it turns out to be the ambitious southern belle chef, will Tío ever forgive Lee for sending his new lady love to jail? … Read more or get the book.

Book VII
Casting Call for a Corpse

casting call for a corpse small book cover
Book VII

Super sleuth, Lee Alvarez, finds a dead man wearing a tuxedo in her actress friend’s bathtub during a posh party for San Francisco’s VIPs. With a theater full of suspects, can Lee and the rest of the family save her friend from going to prison for a murder she didn’t commit? This is Showbiz?Read more or get the book.


Love Can Be Murder Collection

Love Can Be Murder Book Cover

For P.I. ferret Lee Alvarez first comes murder, then comes love, then comes marriage… and now Lee and her drop-dead gorgeous Navy SEAL groom Gurn Hanson are stumbling across bodies together.

This wryly romantic box set is a bonanza featuring a full-length novel, Book 5 The CEO Came DOA, PLUS two novellas. Together they tell the story of the action-packed, homicide-solving week leading up to Lee and Gurn’s wedding followed by the too-eventful weeks in Kauai and their return home when they were supposed to be resting and relaxing. Not to mention romancing.

Book IX

The Drop Dead Temple of Doom


When cousin JJ’s husband goes  missing on an archaeological dig in the middle of ancient Mayan ruins, the Alvarez Family springs into action and heads for Guatemala’s El Mirador Basin. Even though ace detective Lee Alvarez tries not to go anywhere she can’t plug in her hot rollers,  she can’t help but follow the clues in  a foreign land filled with earthquakes,  wild animals, deadly gods, stolen  artifacts, villains, and yuk! snakes.  But can she find the missing man? Or will she, too, become another casualty of  this alien world, beautiful but deadly? … Read more or Get The Book.

Book X

Bewitched, Bothered & Beheaded

Bewitched, Bothered and Beheaded book cover

In this wacky and hilarious whodunit, private eye Lee Alvarez slips into the role of magician’s assistant for a fundraiser and finds herself dead center in a beyond-grisly murder.

Despite meticulous planning and rehearsal, the magician’s guillotine trick goes as wrong as it possibly can when Lee pulls the cord and shimmies to divert attention from the horrifying fall of the blade. With her back to the guillotine, she’s the last to know of the real-life beheading …Read more or Get The Book.

Praise for the Series

Murder Is a Family Business
Cute red hair kitten stretching

“Heather Haven makes a stellar debut in Murder Is a Family Business. With an engaging protagonist and a colorful cast, Haven provides a fresh voice in a crowded genre. We will be hearing more from this talented newcomer. Highly recommended.”

Sheldon Siegel, New York Times Best-Selling Author of Perfect Alibi
A Wedding to Die For

“Wonderfully fresh and funny!”

Meg Waite Clayton, Author of The Race For Paris
Death Runs in the Family

“I Just finished Death Runs in the Family and I loved it! This has turned out to be one of my favorite series and I sure hope there will be another installment in the near future!”

Becky Carbone, Global Ebook Awards
DEAD…If Only

“A must-read 5-star series!”

Cindy Sample, National Best-Selling Author
The CEO Came DOA

“This is a strong work in the genre of the mystery/thriller!”

San Francisco Book Review
Casting Call for a Corpse
Tubby kitten playing with a ball of yarn

“There was never a dull moment in this entertaining cozy mystery, which includes plenty of action, a well balanced range of twists and turns, and even a few laugh out loud moments.”

Cassidy’s Bookshelves
The Culinary Art of Murder

“This latest installment of Haven’s murder mystery series offers a twisty whodunit laced with a healthy dose of suspense. A solidly entertaining mystery”

Kirkus Reviews
The Drop-Dead Temple of Doom

“Even Indy Jones would be puzzled, but leave it to Lee Alvarez to not only discover the crimes beneath the crimes but who in the party had the motive to kill. Read the whole series. You’ll be glad you did.”

Cellophane Queen

Bewitched, Bothered, and Beheaded

“As a huge fan of cozy mysteries, Bewitched, Bothered, and Beheaded hit all the right notes for me. Heather Haven has developed each of the characters well with their unique speech patterns and mannerisms, and although previous cases were mentioned in the narrative, I could easily follow along as a first-time reader of the series. This author has successfully added me to her fanbase.”

Pryia Matthews, Readers’ Favorite Book Reviews

Ready to dive in?

Get all six books on Kindle for only $9.99 with this box set.