Encore, the 1st Bella James mystery
February 2018

When actress Bella James relocates to the town of Niagara-on-the-Lake to perform at the renowned Shaw Festival, she is only looking to step out of the spotlight of television celebrity and onto the stage. What she finds instead are long-buried human remains in the yard of her rented house. Upon learning that a woman was brutally attacked in the home thirty years earlier, Bella becomes convinced the two events are inextricably linked and that a deeper story was buried with the bones. With the help of a detective desperate to prove his worth, Bella begins asking questions that should have been asked decades earlier about a victim no one seems to have missed. In doing so, she soon finds herself embroiled in a dangerous drama both on and off the stage.

​A fast-paced, cozy mystery that combines humour, heartbreak, and plenty of suspense, Encore offers a backstage look at life in the theatre along with plot twists that will surprise and delight even the best armchair sleuth.


Shortlisted for the 2016 Bony Blithe Award and the Arthur Ellis Award for Best First Novel

“Encore, a polished debut filled with spontaneity and twists: The story is one part amateur sleuth, one part police procedural, an astute blend of ‘I was waiting for that to happen’ and ‘oh, my God!’” ~ Don Graves, Canadian Mystery Review

“Encore is a quintessential Canadian mystery, a truly enjoyable who-done-it with a dramatic flair.” ~ Dave Butler, author of the Jenny Willson mysteries

“A fine time in the company of the well-matched detecting duo in Koetting’s debut.” ~ Kirkus


Alexis Koetting

Alexis has been working as a professional actor on stage and screen for over twenty years. Her debut novel, Encore, received nominations for both an Arthur Ellis and Bony Blithe Award in 2016. Alexis lived in Niagara-on-the-Lake for ten years and currently makes her home in St.