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A Drizzle of Trouble by Jo A. Hiestand is a Cozy Mystery Event pick #cozymystery #mustread #giveaway



Title: A Drizzle of Trouble

 

Author: Jo A. Hiestand

 

Genre: Cozy mystery

 

Book Blurb:

 

Nero may have fiddled while Rome burned, but at least he wasn't murdered while playing his harp. At any rate, that's the police conjecture when mayor of Beaudin Trace, Missouri is found dead in his living room, lying next to his beloved instrument.

 

The death produces a quartet of angry suspects, all with scores to settle with the overbearing mayor. Was one of them tired of the way he was conducting town business, or was there a different motive?

 

To prove her friends innocent, bakery shop owner Kate Dunbar investigates. But trouble drizzles down like rain, threatening to wash out her work. Luckily for her, she's helped by two cats who seem to lap up the problem and help solve the case without twitching a whisker.

 

Excerpt:

 

"As much as I enjoyed our vacation, it's good to be back home. Even if this March temperature is a shock to my system." Ron Bailey, a fifty-five year old man who kept his graying hair covered with dye and his burgeoning beer belly covered with an over-sized denim shirt, slammed his car door shut. He walked to the rear of the vehicle, opened the lid of the car's trunk, and grabbed the two suitcases. "Sun and sand and sea are wonderful things as a whole, but I hold to Dorothy Gale's motto."

 

Sherry Bailey, his wife of thirty-seven years, struggled out of her car seat but stood at the door, frowning. "What are you talking about?"

 

"You know. Dorothy. From The Wizard of Oz. She said there's no place like home." He set the suitcases on the driveway and closed the trunk. "Don't you agree?"

 

 “Ordinarily, I might. But the happiness of this homecoming's a bit diluted.” She pushed a lock of her brown hair behind her ear and nodded toward the house. "In case you haven't noticed, take a gander at our palatial palace."

 

Ron shifted his gaze from the luggage to the house and took a hesitant step forward. "Lord! What on earth..."

 

The roof directly over the living room was devoid of shingles, and a tree limb straddled the roof's edge and gutter. Ron stared at a few of the shingles lying on the grass, speaking more to them than to Sherry. "It must've rained."

 

"Brilliant." Sherry scuffed her shoe across the puddle near the car's front tire. "I bet you got that hint from the water dripping from the smashed gutter."

 

The suitcases forgotten, Ron took a hesitant step toward the house, then stopped and turned toward his wife. His voice faltered slightly, portraying his confusion. "Why didn't Tara phone us?"

 

"She might have tried. We weren't exactly in a heavy cell tower area."

 

"But she had the hotel's number."

 

"I don't know, Ron. Try as I do, I'm not a mind reader. This could've just happened and she hasn't been able to reach us. Have you turned your phone back on?"

 

Ron pulled his cell phone from his jacket pocket and touched the screen. It lit up, revealing a slash mark across a small bell graphic. "No. Mia culpa. Ah, here's a message," he added as his finger pressed the 'Messages' icon. He read it aloud. "I tried to get you but I guess you were enroute. Your house has been slightly damaged. Not bad. Don't worry." He looked up. "I don't know what she means by slightly damaged, but it looks bad from here. This is gonna cost us some money."

 

"You always do see the glass half empty. Come on." She grabbed her two suitcases and walked past him as she headed toward the front door.

 

Ron hurriedly extracted his luggage from the car trunk and shuffled after her before unlocking the house door. Pushing it open, he peered inside, then expressed his feelings in a four-letter word and exhaled deeply. "If a man's home is his castle, I'll hate to see the rest of the estate."

 

Sherry set her suitcases on the floor and walked into the center of the room. Most of it was intact, as they had left it a week ago before their vacation: the pale blue painted walls, the floor-to-ceiling oak bookcases bracketing the large stone fireplace, and the large bow window looking onto the front lawn. But the wall-to-wall carpet was wet near the fireplace, looking as if it were more a sponge than a floor covering, now that it was wet from the water still drizzling from the ceiling. And some pieces of furniture—the bocote wood coffee table and a satin-fabric wingback chair, to name a few—were stained with water and obviously ruined. She strolled over to the large pedal harp sitting a few feet from the wet table and thumped the instrument's column. Without turning toward Ron, she said, "At least you can still fiddle around while the walls crash down beside you. That should comfort you. Hello, dears. Glad to see mama?" She bent as two cats—a Siberian Forest and a Scottish Fold—sauntered up to her. Petting them, she added, "At least you two are safe and dry.  Has Tara fed you yet? It's past your lunchtime."

 

"Ours too, Sherry. I'm starved."

 

Ignoring his statement, she turned toward him as the front door crashed against the wall. "What are you doing, Ron?"

 

"Sorry. Didn't mean to pull so hard on the door. Hope the wall's okay."

 

"What difference does it make with the living room like it is? This thing's going to take some major work."

 

"I'm going to look at the exterior. There could be more shingles off the roof in the rear. And maybe another part of the tree. If you're going to make a sandwich, would you make me one? This reconnoitering won't take long."

 

"If you're as starving as you claim, have lunch now. Surely Alex can see what needs mending when he comes over to give us a repair estimate. Isn't that right, Piper?" She picked up the Scottish Fold cat and cradled him to her chest. "Let's go get some lunch. You look hungry. Come along, Max," she added as the second cat sniffed the base of the harp. "Mama's got a new can of yum-yum for you." Sherry walked into the kitchen as Ron stepped outside.

 

Buy Links (including Goodreads and BookBub):

 

Trade Paper –

 

 

Ebook –

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


What makes your featured book a must-read?

 

If you love cats, you will probably like this book.  Two cats (a Maine Coon and a Siberian Forest) help the protagonist, Kate Dunbar, solve the murder.  The book features humor as well as some darker spots of mystery.  All in all, I think it’s a nice mix for animal lovers who also love a cozy mystery.

 

Giveaway –

 

Enter to win a $15 Amazon gift card:

 

 

Open Internationally.

 

Runs February 21 – February 28, 2024.

 

Winner will be drawn on February 29, 2024.

 


Author Biography:

 

Jo A. Hiestand grew up on regular doses of music, books, and Girl Scout camping. She gravitated toward writing in her post-high school years and finally did something sensible about it, graduating from Webster University with a BA degree in English and departmental honors. She writes a British mystery series (the McLaren Mysteries)—of which three books have garnered the prestigious N.N. Light’s Book Heaven ‘Best Mystery Novel’ three years straight. She also writes a Missouri-based cozy mystery series that is grounded in places associated with her camping haunts. The camping is a thing of the past, for the most part, but the music stayed with her in the form of playing guitar and harpsichord, and singing in a folk group. Jo carves jack o’ lanterns badly and sings loudly. She loves barbecue sauce and ice cream (separately, not together), kilts (especially if men wear them), clouds and stormy skies, and the music of G.F. Handel. You can usually find her pulling mystery plots out of scenery—whether from photographs or the real thing.

 

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1 Comment


N. N. Light
N. N. Light
Feb 23

Thank you, Jo, for sharing your book in our Cozy Mystery Bookish Event!

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