Title: Artful Dodging: the Torpedo Factory Murders
Author: M. S. Spencer
Genre: Cozy Mystery, Romantic suspense
Milo Everhart is waiting out the rain in a pub when she is captivated by the handsome man next to her. Blocking the road to romance are two mysterious corpses who turn up in the tower of her Torpedo Factory Art Center. As if that weren't enough, a second crisis erupts--a proposal to gut her beloved Art Center.
Tristram Brodie, hard-driving lawyer and former Marine, is focused on his plan to convert the Torpedo Factory into a box store. He is drawn to the beautiful Milo, but their mutual attraction will be frustrated by both the murders and his intentions. As they edge closer to love, they must find a way to overcome not only their differences but also the still-fresh memory of her late husband.
Excerpt: The Body
“Hello! Hello? 911?”
“Please state the nature of your emergency.”
“A body. There’s a b…b…body.” The word came out as a gurgle.
“Yes, ma’am. Now tell me where you are.”
Milo looked wildly around the darkened corridor. “Second floor. No lights.”
“Ma’am? Second floor of what?”
“Oh, er, the Torpedo Factory. I ran downstairs. I…”
“The Torpedo Factory? You mean the building at 105 North Union Street?”
Milo almost snapped, “How many torpedo factories do you know?” but thought better of it. “Yes.”
“All right, ma’am. Now, you say you’ve found a body? Is it dead?”
“Don’t be ridiculous. Of course it’s dead. Dead. A dead body. In the office.”
“The tower. Look, can you send the police? I’m all alone in the building. Except for the body, of course. I mean, it’s pitch black in here. Please?” She knew she sounded less than rational, but weren’t 911 operators trained to weed out the gibberish and cut to the chase?
“I’ve already sent out a call. The police should be arriving any minute. Now, will they be able to enter the building?”
“Oh! Er. I don’t know. Archie’s already locked up.”
“The super. He’s long gone, though.”
“Can you get to a door to let them in?”
Milo’s shoes must have found bubble gum on the floor all by themselves, since they appeared to be stuck. “I…uh…I can’t get to the doors.” Nothing but silence on the other end. She must think I’m lazy. Or a coward. I’ll bet she knows how to wait people out, to force them to do her bidding. “I’m not lazy, miss. I’m just…I’m wondering. What if the murderer is hiding somewhere, still in the building?”
“Murderer? You think the victim was murdered?”
Every CSI show she’d ever watched, plus a couple of X Files, fast-forwarded through her brain. Somewhere in the reruns she found the answer. “I don’t know. That’s for the experts to decide.” Thank you, Gil Grissom.
“Okay, ma’am. Listen to me carefully. If the building is locked, the police will have to break the door down, but first they’ll have to go to a judge and get a search warrant. So you see, the quickest way they can help you is if you let them in. Now, do you think you can go down the stairs to the door?”
Milo drew in a long, ragged breath, holding it until her head began to spin. As she let it out, she managed, “Yes. I’m on the landing. Can you stay on the line with me in case I’m attacked?”
“I sure will.”
Milo felt her way with one hand toward the middle stairwell. “I’m on the stairs now. Now I’m walking down the stairs.”
The central staircase of the factory only had a single metal railing and thus was exposed to the entire main hall. If anyone still lurked in the building he could easily see (and hear) her. She stopped halfway down and looked across the main lobby to the front entrance, a set of doublewide, glass-paned sliding doors. “There are flashing lights and sirens coming from Union Street.”
“Yes, ma’am. That would be the police.”
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Why is your featured book a must-read?
How about this? I have a friend who read it when it was first released and has called me Milo after the heroine ever since. Anyone who likes quirky artists, sexy romance, and a cozy mystery in a setting replete with history and scary venues will love Artful Dodging.
Enter to win an e-book bundle of all 42 books featured in the Cozy Mystery Bookish Event:
Runs October 13 – 19, 2020.
Winner will be drawn on October 23, 2020.
M. S. Spencer has lived or traveled in five of the seven continents and has published thirteen murder mystery or romantic suspense novels, with a fourteenth due out this year. She holds several academic degrees and worked for the US Senate and the Dept. of the Interior. She loves opera and country music, deep blue skies, bodies of water, and cats. She has two fabulous grown children and an incredible granddaughter, and divides her time between the Gulf Coast of Florida and a tiny village in Maine.
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Linked in: www.linkedin.com/in/msspencerauthor