Review: UNNATURAL HISTORY by Jonathan Kellerman

A long time fan of Jonathan Kellerman’s Alex Delaware mysteries,I was happy to accept and read an advance copy of the next book in the series. Unnatural History is scheduled for release on February 7, 2023.

Description*

Los Angeles is a city of stark contrast, the palaces of the affluent coexisting uneasily with the hellholes of the mad and the needy. That shadow world and the violence it breeds draw brilliant psychologist Dr. Alex Delaware and Detective Milo Sturgis into an unsettling case of altruism gone wrong.

On a superficially lovely morning, a woman shows up for work with her usual enthusiasm. She’s the newly hired personal assistant to a handsome, wealthy photographer and is ready to greet her boss with coffee and good cheer. Instead, she finds him slumped in bed, shot to death.

The victim had recently received rave media attention for his latest project: images of homeless people in their personal “dream” situations, elaborately costumed and enacting unfulfilled fantasies. There are some, however, who view the whole thing as nothing more than crass exploitation, citing token payments and the victim’s avoidance of any long-term relationships with his subjects.

Has disgruntlement blossomed into homicidal rage? Or do the roots of violence reach down to the victim’s family—a clan, sired by an elusive billionaire, that is bizarre in its own right?

Then new murders arise, and Alex and Milo begin peeling back layer after layer of intrigue and complexity, culminating in one of the deadliest threats they’ve ever faced.

*As appears on Amazon.

My Review

As typical of this series, Det. Sturgis calls in his good friend, Alex Delaware, to help with a puzzling case. The victim is a young photographer of considerable means who had a fascination with the city’s homeless. Donny’s intentions were good, however may have been a key factor in his demise. He is an interesting player, identifying a variety of suspects and motives along the way, Although the pace builds as the story progresses, the level of tension and suspense seemed tamer than in other works I have read by this author. Nonetheless, a well-written and interesting read that highlights the plight of the homeless, a real-life topic many prefer to ignore.

FTC disclosure: I received an advance review copy of this book from the publisher via NetGalley. This has not affected the content of my review.

Review: MURDER UP TO BAT by Elizabeth McKenna

I read and enjoyed the first book in the Front Page Mystery series by Elizabeth McKenna, so I looked forward to reading this next in series. Needless to say, I was happy to accept and read an advance review copy of Murder up to Bat.

About the Book

After falling in love with the quiet lake life and a certain police detective, former Chicago Tribune reporter Emma Moore trades interviewing jocks for chasing champion cows at the county fair. As a small-town newspaper reporter, she covers local topics both big and small, but when her friend Luke is arrested for the murder of the head coach of his club softball team, she’ll need to hone her investigative skills to clear his name. Emma calls up best friend Grace for help, and together the women go up against cutthroat parents willing to kill for a chance to get their daughters onto a premier college sports team.

The game is tied with bases loaded, and murder is up to bat. Can Emma and her friends bring the heat and win the game?

My Review

In this well-written mystery, reporter-turned-amateur-sleuth Emma Moore is trying her best to figure out who killed the kids’ softball coach and why. The characters in general, and Emma in particular, are likeable and relatable. Suspects abound, from romantic entanglements to overly involved parents of the team players who are uncompromising in their determination that their children be selected for sports scholarships.  The suspect pool is slow to drain, leaving the identity of the killer a mystery until almost the end.   

I enjoyed this nicely paced mystery, with its unique backdrop and subject matter, which is likely to please fans of cozy mysteries.

FTC disclosure: I received an advance review copy from the author. This has not affected the content of my review.

For my review of The Great Jewel Robbery, the first book in the series, click here.

About the Author

Elizabeth McKenna’s love of books reaches back to her childhood, where her tastes ranged from Nancy Drew and the Hardy Boys to Stephen King’s horror stories. She had never read a romance novel until her sister gave her the latest bestseller by Nora Roberts. She was hooked from page one (actually, she admits it was the first love scene).

Her novels reflect her mercurial temperament and include historical romances, contemporary romances, cozy mysteries, and dark mysteries. With some being “clean” and some being “naughty,” she has a book for your every mood.

Elizabeth lives in Wisconsin with her understanding husband and Sidney, the rescue dog from Tennessee. When she isn’t writing, reading, editing, or walking the dog that never tires, she’s sleeping.

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Review & Giveaway: DIAL M FOR MEOW by Ruth J. Hartman

As a bookwom and a confessed fan of almost all things furry, I was happy for the chance to read Dial M for Meow, a recent release by Ruth J. Hartman, and the first book in the new Bookshop Kitties Mysteries.

About the Book

When children’s book author, Christy Bailey, receives a call from her aunt Betty to help out at her bookshop, she drops everything to go. Christy packs up her two cats—Milton and Pearl, the stars of her children’s mystery books—and leaves busy Philadelphia for tiny Green Meadow, Indiana. The timing of the call is perfect, as Christy’s letch of an ex-boyfriend has just cleaned out her savings, leaving Christy with a pile of unpaid bills and a desire to start over. And what better place to do that than a charming small town in Middle America?

But when Christy reaches her aunt’s bookshop, instead of small town hospitality she finds a dead body! Even worse, her aunt is passed out in the corner, hands covered in blood. The dead woman is an old frenemy of her Aunt Betty, and while Christy knows her aunt is innocent, the local detective isn’t so sure. With Milton and Pearl prowling for clues, Christy is determined to find the real killer and clear her aunt’s name… before her story ends in tragedy!

My Review

Christy has only just arrived when a body is found in her aunt’s apartment. Predictably, she is determined to provide her Aunt’s innocence. In the course of her investigative efforts, she becomes acquainted (in some cases reacquainted) with the key players in the small town. Christy is strong willed and decidedly enamored of her real-life cats, who happen to star in her children’s books as well. With the help of friends, she discovers several persons who were quite happy to see Nan dead and buried, suspense builds, and the identify of the killer remains a mystery until almost the very end.

Overall, the story is well written. I loved the cats and their antics, but I think some of the cat-centered narrative could have been trimmed down to focus more on the mystery and its human characters and improve the overall place and flow of the book.

Cat lovers will particularly enjoy the personalities of Milton and Pearl, playful kittens who do their part in bringing the culprit to justice in what I found to be an enjoyable mystery.

FTC disclosure: I received an advance review copy of this book from the publisher. This has not affected the content of my review.

Giveaway

Enter a rafflecopter for your chance to win one of four copies of Dial M for Meow from the author.

About the Author

Ruth J. Hartman spends her days herding cats and her nights spinning mysterious tales. She, her husband, and their cats love to spend time curled up in their recliners watching old Cary Grant movies. Well, the cats sit in the people’s recliners. Not that the cats couldn’t get their own furniture. They just choose to shed on someone else’s.

Ruth, a left-handed, cat-herding, farmhouse-dwelling writer uses her sense of humor as she writes tales of lovable, klutzy women who seem to find trouble without even trying.

Ruth’s husband and best friend, Garry, reads her manuscripts, rolls his eyes at her weird story ideas, and loves her despite her insistence all of her books have at least one cat in them. See updates about her cozy mysteries at Ruthjhartman.com.

Author Links

Purchase Link – Amazon 

Release Spotlight: MARRIAGE, MALICE & MURDER by Christa Nardi

I can honestly say I have read and enjoyed all of the books in the Stacie Maroni mystery series by Christa Nardi, which features a strong woman at a crossroads in her life who works with victims of domestic violence. And the eighth book in the series is now available.

About the Book

Love is in the air on what should have been the perfect day for a wedding, that is, until someone offs the wedding planner.

The wedding planner had done a great job. Predictably, he did his best to jack up the price with extras to please the mother of the bride who insisted on a traditional, monochromatic wedding. Even so, the bride prevailed and Trina and Bill’s wedding burst with color.

The victim also worked as event planner at the local country club, where he was popular with the men for his organizational skills and with the ladies for other reasons. Due to special circumstances, a detective is called in from county to run the investigation. Everyone is treated as a suspect – including Stacie, momzilla, the wedding party, and all the guests. With happy and less happy clients, an ex-wife, and more, the suspect pool seems endless.

As the investigation goes sideways, Stacie’s instincts kick in as she tries to identify the killer on her own. As a result, a series of suspicious incidents ensue with Stacie as the target. Can she figure out who killed the wedding planner?

The book is currently available on Amazon for just $0.99.

About the Author

Christa Nardi is an accomplished author of cozy mysteries. She has always loved mysteries – reading them, writing them, and solving them Christa’s background is in higher education and psychology, much as her protagonist, Sheridan Hendley in the Cold Creek mystery series. Christa also authors the Stacie Maroni Myseries and the Izzie Di Sante mysterries. She is a member of Sisters in Crime. When not writing or reading, Christa and her husband enjoy travel, three grandchildren, and their dogs.

Spotlight & Giveaway: DUMPSTER DYING by Michelle Bennington

Today’s post showcases the first book in a new cozy mystery series by an accomplished author – Michelle Bennington. I haen’t had a chance to read Dumpster Dying: A Hazardous Hoarder Mystery yet, but it sounds like a fun read to me.

About the Book

Birdie Harper is a widowed hoarder who lives with her husband’s ghost. The only thing she enjoys more than a good yard sale is a good dumpster dive. When she finds her latest treasure—a ceramic angel— she knows just who to bring it to.

Jenna Lawson is a cashier at the Blue Market convenience store where Birdie often shops. The two women have formed a strong bond to assuage the losses in their lives, and Birdie thinks of Jenna like the daughter she lost long ago. So, when Jenna goes missing, Birdie is determined to find out what happened to her.

As she works to unravel the mystery, a man at church, Neville Miller, shows interest in Birdie, leading her to wonder if the lonely days are finally coming to an end. But her ghostly husband, Walter, sure isn’t going to like it.

Birdie is on a hunt that may claim the ultimate price—her own life.

Giveaway

Enter a rafflecopter for your chance to win an amazing prize package from the author: A mug, a paperback, candy, pen, and a home-made candle!

About the Author

Born and raised in the beautiful Bluegrass state of Kentucky, Michelle Bennington developed a passion for books early on that has progressed into a mild hoarding situation and an ever-growing to-read pile. She delights in spinning mysteries and histories. Find out more on her website: www.michellebennington.com

Author Links

Purchase Link – Amazon 

Review: EXERCISE IS MURDER by Bruce Hammack

Exercise is Murder. Well, I think so, too. That might be why this title caught my eye. Of course, it’s not really about exercise. Instead, this first book in the Smiley and McBlythe Mystery series by Bruce Hammack features an unlikely team investigative duo, a blind homicide detective and his new partner.

Description*

Found at the bottom of his exercise pool, police believe the death of Steve Smiley’s friend is an accident. Smiley doesn’t buy it.

There are a lot of things a blind man can do, but solve a murder alone isn’t one of them. He needs a partner… one who knows their way around a crime scene. In walks Heather McBlythe. She can help him solve the crime, but can she keep him out of danger? Steve doesn’t have a choice. Without her someone will get away with murder.

Armed with years of experience as a homicide detective and his new partner, Smiley sets out to find a killer. He knows he’s on the right trail when a bullet whizzes past his ear. Will Steve resurrect his life as a master crime solver, or will his sleuthing get them both killed?

*Description and cover from Amazon

My Review

This mystery features a blinded homicide detective Steve Smiley who teams up with a new partner, Heather McBlythe, to investigate the suspicious death of a friend.  The pair are interesting as characters and make an unusual team, a twist in and of itself.  Despite their many differences (he dislikes cats, for one), they work well together as they doggedly investigate every aspect of the case, and the banter between them is humorous and provides insight into their personalities. The murder mystery itself was a good one, with the requisite twists and turns en route to a satisfying resolution.  An enjoyable, well-paced read. 

Tip:  The last time I checked this book was free on Amazon.

Guest Post, Release Spotlight & Giveaway: DEATH ON A DEADLINE by Joyce St. Anthony

It’s always a special treat when a fictional sleuth stops by to visit. Today’s post features a new release from Joyce St. Anthony – Death on a Deadline with the main character of her Homefront News Mysteries, Irene Ingram, as my special guest. Enjoy.

From the desk of Irene Ingram – A Character Guest Post by Joyce St. Anthony

Hello everyone!

I’m Irene Ingram, editor-in-chief of the Progress Herald in western Pennsylvania. My pop left me in charge when he wrangled a gig as a war correspondent. He’s in the Pacific somewhere and so far he’s staying safe. Mom, my kid sister Lily, and I all worry about him, especially since a war death has hit so close to home. I was shocked when a neighbor boy I’d know all my life was killed at Midway when his plane was shot down. I have a feeling there will be a lot more of that before this war is over. I’m thankful my fiancé, Bill is still in training with the Third Armored Division. There’s talk they’ll be sent to Africa soon.

Fortunately the county fair is coming up. This year actors from the Hollywood Victory Caravan are coming to put on a war bond drive. Ava Dempsey, town beautician and all around busy-body is positive Clark Gable is going to be among the stars. Apparently her younger sister (who knew she even had a sister?) is an actress and Ava swears her sister knows what she’s talking about. Frankly, I’ll believe it when I see it. 

My sister Lily will be helping out at the cotton candy booth at the fair. I did the same thing when I was her age and can’t stand the smell of that spun sugar to this day. Lily is excited but I doubt she’ll feel the same way by the last day of the fair. 

I’ll be covering the fair for the Herald along with my best friend Peggy, Ken—our sports reporter and Peggy’s fiancé, and the other reporters Rex and Frank. Other than the usual war news, it’s been kind of quiet news-wise in Progress. After everything that happened last month at Tabor Ironworks and the murders, I’m glad for the break. I just hope nothing goes wrong with the fair. With Hollywood stars in town for a week, though, who knows what could happen?

About Death on a Deadline

Editor-in-chief Irene Ingram pencils in her newest mystery in Joyce St. Anthony’s second captivating Homefront News mystery, perfect for fans of Anne Perry and Rhys Bowen.

As World War II rages in Europe and the Pacific, the small town of Progress is doing its part for the soldiers in the field with a war bond drive at the annual county fair. Town gossip Ava Dempsey rumors that Clark Gable will be among the participating stars. Instead of Gable, the headliner is Freddie Harrison, a B-movie star. When Freddie turns up dead in the dunk tank, Irene Ingram, editor-in-chief of The Progress Herald, starts chasing the real headline.

There are plenty of suspects and little evidence. Ava’s sister Angel, who was married to the dead actor, is the most obvious. The couple had argued about his affair with the young starlet Belinda Fox, and Angel was the last person to see Freddie alive.

Irene discovers there’s more than one person who might have wanted Freddie dead. As Irene draws on her well-honed reporter’s instincts to find the killer—nothing is what it seems in Progress, and now her own deadline could be right around the corner.

Giveaway

Enter a rafflecopter for your chance to win a copy of Death on a Deadline from the author.

About the Author

Joyce St. Anthony was a police secretary for ten years and more than once envisioned the demise of certain co-workers, but settled on writing as a way to keep herself out of jail. In addition to the Homefront News Mysteries, she is the author of the Brewing Trouble Mysteries and the upcoming Cider House Mysteries written under her own name, Joyce Tremel. She lives in the beautiful Laurel Highlands of Pennsylvania with her husband.

Author Links:

Purchase Links: Amazon – B&N – Kobo – Penguin Random House 

Review: SUSPECT by Scott Turow

What draws you to a book? Well for me, first off – the cover. And this one definitely caught my eye. Then when I saw the author’s name and the description, I knew I wanted to read it. Hot off the presses, Suspect released last week.

Description*

For as long as Lucia Gomez has been the police chief in the city of Highland Isle, near Kindle County, she has known that any woman in law enforcement must walk a precarious line between authority and camaraderie to gain respect.  She has maintained a spotless reputation—until now. Three male police officers have accused her of soliciting sex in exchange for promotions to higher ranks. With few people left who she can trust, Chief Gomez turns to an old friend, Rik Dudek, to act as her attorney in the federal grand jury investigation, insisting to Rik that the accusations against her are part of an ugly smear campaign designed to destroy her career and empower her enemies—both outside the police force and within…
 
Clarice “Pinky” Granum spent most of her youth experimenting with an impressive array of drugs and failing out of various professions, including the police academy. Pinky knows that in the eyes of most people, she’s nothing but a screwup—but she doesn’t trust most people’s opinions anyway. Moreover, she finally has a respectable-enough job as a licensed P.I. working for Rik on his roster of mostly minor cases, like workman’s comp, DUIs and bar fights. Rik’s shabby office and even shabbier cases are a far cry from the kinds of high-profile criminal matters Pinky became familiar with in the law office of her grandfather, Sandy Stern. But Rik and Pinky feel that Chief Gomez’s case, which has attracted national attention, is their chance to break into the legal big leagues.    
 
Guided by her gut instinct and razor-sharp investigative skills, Pinky dives headfirst into a twisted scandal that will draw her into the deepest recesses of the city’s criminal networks, as well as the human mind. But she will need every scrap of tenacity and courage to unravel the dark secrets those closest to her are determined to keep hidden.

*Cover and description as they appear on Amazon.

My Review

Although I have read several of this author’s previous works, this book caught me by surprise. The main character, Pinky, is a somewhat flaky young PI, with a nail through her nose and tatoos galore. Pinky is working in the family law office, where her boss is defending a female police chief who has been accused of forcing male officers to have sex with her. Despite her quirks, Pinky’s investigative instincts are good – even if her methods are a bit untraditional. And she lacks impulse control. She just does whatever comes to mind (not always realistic). Pinky is excited about the case and intrigued by her new neighbor, handsome of course, and does her best to investigate both at the same time.

It took me a while to warm up to Pinky (I cringed at every mention of that nail) and to get into the story. I also had trouble relating to Lucy (the alleged sex offender) not so much because of her actions in the past, but more because of her attitude and demeaner. Once I got further into the story, I enjoyed the book more as the plot took a circuitous route to its resolution, with more than one surprise in store for the reader. Overall, an engaging read that spotlights issues related to gender and law enforcement in today’s world.

FTC disclosure: I received an advance review copy of this book from the publisher via NetGalley. This has not affected the content of this review in any way.

Spotlight, Excerpt & Giveaway: IT’S NEWS TO ME by R. G. Belsky

Today’s post features the latest addition in R. G. Belsky’s Clare Carlson Mystery series – It’s News to Me, which features a persistent journalist in search of the truth.

About the Book

Dashed dreams: she wanted to run for president one day, now she’s dead at 20

When Riley Hunt—a beautiful, smart, popular student at Easton College in Manhattan—is brutally murdered, it becomes a big story for TV newswoman Clare Carlson.

After days of intense media coverage, a suspect is caught: a troubled Afghanistan war veteran with a history of violent and unstable behavior. The suspect’s mother, however, comes to Clare with new evidence that might prove her son’s innocence.

As Clare digs deeper into the puzzling case, she learns new information: Riley had complained about being stalked in the days before her murder, she was romantically involved with two different men—the son of a top police official and the son of a prominent underworld boss—and she had posted her picture on an escort service’s website offering paid dates with wealthy men.

Soon, Clare becomes convinced that Riley Hunt’s death is more than just a simple murder case—and that more lives, including her own, are now in danger until she uncovers the true story.

Read an excerpt:

Chapter 1

I met Brendan Kaiser, the owner of my TV station Channel 10 and about a zillion other properties, for lunch on a sunny spring day at a restaurant called Tri-Bar in lower Manhattan.

Tri-Bar is what’s known in New York as a celebrity restaurant. In other words, whenever you read the gossip columns, there’ll be an item about how “so and so said such and such over dinner last night at Tri-Bar . . .”

Robert DeNiro sometimes ate there. So did Jimmy Fallon and Alec Baldwin and Julia Roberts when she was in town.

I’d been to trendy hotspots like this a few times to see if I could spot someone famous. Mostly all I ever saw were a lot of other people like me hoping to see if they could recognize anyone. The closest I ever came to a celebrity was when I ran into Sally Struthers once in the ladies’ room of a restaurant on the Upper East Side. It had been a long time since Sally was a big star on All in the Family. My last memory of her had been doing those late-night infomercials about world hunger, and she sure didn’t look much like Gloria Bunker anymore. I decided not to ask for her autograph.

There was some kind of a maître d’ standing at the entrance to Tri-Bar. He wore a black tuxedo like outfit, highly shined shoes, and white gloves. I had on a pair of tan Calvin Klein jeans, a chocolate-colored silk blouse, and beige sandals. I thought my outfit was pretty swell, but he looked me over coolly.

“Is there something I can do for you, ma’am?”

“I’m looking for Brendan Kaiser. My name is Clare Carlson.”

“And?”

“I’m the news editor of Channel 10 News.”

He still didn’t seem too impressed.

Maybe he didn’t like my color coordination.

“And what might your business be with Mr. Kaiser?”

“Well, I might be here to pick up his dry cleaning, but I’m not. How about I discuss my business with him?”

He scowled and picked up a phone to check with someone inside.

The truth was I wasn’t sure why Brendan Kaiser wanted to meet me here. I’d had a few dealings with him in the past on big stories in my job as the news director for Channel 10—but he’d never invited me to lunch. Maybe he was going to give me a raise. Maybe he was going to tell me I’d been named Employee of the Month. All I knew is that when the big boss asks you to go to lunch with him, you go to lunch.

The maître d’ still looked unhappy when he got off the phone, but he eventually directed me to a table inside. Brendan Kaiser was already there. Kaiser was in his 50s, with thick gray hair. Not a bad-looking guy, but he did have a bit of a paunch. I noticed it when he stood up to greet me. Probably from eating too many lunches at a place like Tri-Bar.

“Thank you for coming on such short notice, Clare,” he said. His office had just arranged the meeting with me a few hours earlier. “I hope I didn’t interfere with any other lunch plans you had for today.”

“Well, until I got your call, my lunch plan had been to go for a Big Mac at McDonald’s. That special sauce they put on it is to die for.”

He smiled.

We made small talk for a few minutes, and then a waiter came over and took our orders. Kaiser was having some kind of duck dish with orange sauce and shoestring potatoes. I went for the tortellini with a salad. According to the menu I’d scanned, this meal was going to cost a lot of money. What the hell—he was paying, not me. Whatever happened next, maybe I’d at least get a good meal out of it.

“So do you want to tell me what this whole lunch deal between me and you is all about?” I said after a bit more conversation.

“You do get to the point, don’t you?”

“I’m a journalist. I used to be a newspaper reporter. I like to get to the lead of the story as quickly as I can.”

He nodded.

“The reason I asked to see you like this was to discuss a situation we need to deal with, Clare.”

“What kind of situation?”

“A situation involving Channel 10 News.”

“I didn’t know we had a situation.”

I took a drink of some iced tea I’d ordered with my meal. I wished now it was something stronger.

“Look, I think that everyone at Channel 10 news is doing a really terrific job,” Kaiser said.

“Glad to hear it.”

“Especially you as news director.”

“Glad to hear that too.”

“And you’re a star, besides being the news director. You’ve broken some big stories for us, gotten a lot of publicity and notice in the media world. The Charles Hollister murder case. The serial killer you helped catch. I appreciate that from you, Clare. I appreciate all of your success and all your hard work. I really do.”

“But?”

“Excuse me?”

“There is a ‘but’ coming here, right?”

“Yes, there is,” Kaiser sighed. “Despite all your hard work, the ratings—and, as a result, the advertising revenue—isn’t quite at the level we need at Kaiser Media to run a profitable news operation. I want to do better. I think we can do better.”

The waiter brought our food. We both ate in silence for a few minutes. I waited to see what Brendan Kaiser would say next. I didn’t really have anything to say. So I stuck my fork into the tortellini and bit into a piece. Pretty tasty. Good cream sauce too. Almost as good as the sauce on a Big Mac.

“I’ve decided to make some changes at Channel 10 News,” Kaiser said finally, nibbling on a shoestring potato.

“What kind of changes?”

“Changes at the top.”

“Wait a minute—are you firing me?”

“No, of course not.”

“Demoting me? Is that the reason for this lunch?”

“You’re still going to be the news editor.”

“But you said you were making changes at the top so . . .”

That’s when it hit me.

“Jack Faron?” I asked.

“Yes.”

Jack Faron was the executive producer at Channel 10 News. My boss.

“I’m replacing Faron. Jack’s done a good job, but he’s more old school than we need right now. I’d like to put someone in the job with more drive, more energy, more new ideas. So I’ve hired a new executive producer. Jack will still be with us at Channel 10 News. But moving forward, he’s going to be in a more . . . uh, advisory role.”

“Does Jack know about this?”

“Not yet. I know you’re close to him, so I wanted to make sure you were the first to hear about this.”

I wasn’t sure what to say. Jack Faron had been my mentor at Channel 10 News. The one who had hired me when the newspaper I worked for went out of business. The one that stood by me when my early on-air appearances as a TV reporter bombed. The one who promoted me to news editor and had backed me on every story and crisis since then.

And now he was not going to be there for me.

At least not in the same way.

I asked Kaiser the obvious question.

“Who’s replacing him as executive producer?”

“Susan Endicott,” he said. “Do you know her?”

“Not really.”

“I think you two will get along really well. That’s why I wanted to have this conversation with you. I want you to accept this. I want you to understand the reason for it. I want you to be happy. I want you to help make Susan Endicott feel welcome here. Are you good with all that, Clare?”

“Hey, you know me—I’m a team player.”

“No, you’re not.”

I sighed. “Yeah, you’re right, I’m not.”

“Let’s try to make this work, huh?”

I wasn’t sure what to say next, but it turned out I didn’t have to. I got a break. My phone rang, and—when I looked down at it—saw it was from Maggie Lang, my top editor at Channel 10 News.

“Where are you?” Maggie said.

“At lunch.”

I hadn’t told anyone who I was having lunch with.

“We’ve got a big story breaking. A murder. Female college student found murdered near Washington Square Park.”

“Who is she?”

“Her name’s Riley Hunt. She came here from Ohio to go to school at Easton College, not far from the park. Family has money, it sounds like. Her father’s a doctor back in Ohio, her mother a lawyer.”

“All hands-on-deck for this one,” I said.

“Already done. We’re gonna lead the newscast with it at 6.”

After I hung up with Maggie, I told Kaiser what was happening. I said I needed to get back to the station right away to direct the news coverage. That wasn’t totally true, Maggie could have handled it on her own. But I wanted to get out of here, and this seemed to be the perfect excuse. I didn’t like what was happening to Jack Faron. I didn’t like the fact I knew about it before him. And I was pretty sure I wasn’t going to like Susan Endicott, even though I’d never met her.

And so I did what I do anytime I can’t deal with problems in my life. I threw myself into a big story. And this murder sounded like a big story.

I said goodbye to Kaiser, walked through Tri-Bar and out the front door to catch a cab back to the Channel 10 newsroom.

The maître d’ didn’t bother to say goodbye.

Excerpt from It’s News to Me by R.G. Belsky. Copyright 2022 by R.G. Belsky. Reproduced with permission from R.G. Belsky. All rights reserved.

Giveaway

Enter this giveaway for your chance to win a $20 gift card from the autho.

About the Author

R.G. Belsky is an award-winning author of crime fiction and a journalist in New York City. His new mystery, It’s News to Me, will be published on October 4 by Oceanview. It is the fifth in a series featuring Clare Carlson, the news director for a New York City TV station. Belsky has published 19 novels—all set in the New York city media world where he has had a long career as a top editor at the New York Post, New York Daily News, Star magazine and NBC News. He also writes thrillers under the name Dana Perry. He lives in New York City and is a contributing writer to The Big Thrill magazine.

Catch up with R.G. Belsky:

www.RGBelsky.com
Goodreads
BookBub – @dickb79983
Instagram – @dickbelsky
Twitter – @DickBel
Facebook – @RGBelsky

Get the Book: Amazon

Book Blast, Excerpt & Giveaway: IN THE MOOD by M.W. Arnold

A historical saga, complete with mystery, suspense, and romance – combination of some of my favorite types of fiction. I haven’t read it yet, but In the Mood sounds like a promising read. Recently released, it is the 4th book in the Broken Wings series by M. W. Arnold.

About the Book

During a hectic couple of weeks in February 1944, the girls of the Air Transport Auxiliary Mystery Club must face devastating personal loss amongst their number. A member of an illegal faction blackmails Betty, whilst a mystery at Mary’s ancestral home threatens to cause more trouble than anyone thought possible. In the midst of what should be the happiest of times, the portents seem to be catching up and little is what it seems to be. Can the girls find the strength to battle forces both internal and external, yet still maintain their dignity and friendship?

Giveaway

To celebrate the release, M. W. Arnold will be awarding a $10 Amazon or B/N gift card to a randomly drawn winner via rafflecopter

Read an excerpt:

After lowering the shoebox into the newly dug hole behind Riverview Cottage, Walter stood up
straight again.
“Over to you, Ruth,” he said, bowing his head.
Ruth nodded, bowed her head, and clasped her hands before her. “Dear Lord, in whom we trust
and worship, accept this, a symbolic foot, to your mercy. Look over my son in his time of need,
all his friends, and the subjects of His Majesty, King George the Sixth. Amen.”
“Amen,” Walter echoed and handed Ruth a trowel.
Bending down, Ruth shoveled some dirt over the box before passing the tool back to Walter,
who did the same. Turning around, Ruth called for Bobby and placed him on the leash once he
came to a halt at her ankles. Walter now filled in the rest of the hole and patted it down with the
back of the trowel.
Dusting some dirt off his knees, Walter got to his feet. “Ready for work?”
Ruth cast one glance down at the small mound of earth. “I suppose.”
“There’s the enthusiasm I love!” he joked, offering Ruth his arm.
Taking it, Ruth led him toward the side entrance with Bobby pulling on his leash, eager for an
early morning walk. Squeezing Walter’s hand, Ruth told him, “At least I can put in my next letter
to my son that we’ve held a funeral for his foot. I feel a little guilty, as it’s a while now since I told
him I’d do one.”

About the Author

M. W. Arnold lives near Northampton, UK and is known to his family and friends as, Mick. He was
in the Royal Air Force for 16 years, visiting many different countries and very much enjoying
himself. If he ever meets the Queen, he will have to thank her. He began writing as these
characters needed their own voices. For a few years now, he’s been a member of the Romantic
Novelists Association, a wonderful group of writers who’ve welcomed this bloke into their fold
with open arms. He’s active on Twitter and Instagram as @mick859.

Follow the author:

Buy links:

  • Amazon universal link – mybook.to/ITM
  • iBooks – tinyurl.com/5n96bwkc
  • Nook – tinyurl.com/3zmu3a79