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New Release | Death by Cutting Table by Susie Black #cozymystery #cozy #newrelease #bookboost



Title: Death by Cutting Table


Author: Susie Black


Genre: Cozy Mystery


Publisher: The Wild Rose Press


Book Blurb:


There wasn’t an honest bone in Mermaid Swimwear CEO Butch Oldham’s body. He was an equal opportunity scoundrel who screwed anyone and everyone in his wake. So, the question wasn’t who wanted the bastard dead. The question was, who didn’t? After Mermaid Swimwear sales exec Holly Schlivnik finds colleague Queenie Levine standing over Oldham’s bloody corpse nailed to a fabric cutting table with a big honkin’ pair of cutting shears plunged deep into his chest, the cops soon find Queenie’s hidden blood-soaked sweater, discover her stormy relationship with the victim, and her public threats to make Butch pay for destroying Mermaid by stealing it blind. When Queenie is arrested for Butch’s murder, the wise-cracking, irreverent amateur sleuth jumps into action to flesh out the real killer. But the trail has more twists and turns than a slinky, and nothing turns out the way Holly thinks it will as she tangles with a clever killer hellbent for revenge.


Excerpt:


Siggie’s frantic, loud barking woke me with a start in the pitch dark. If this kept up any longer, he’d wake the whole dock. Or was I just dreaming? A glance into Siggie’s empty basket across from my bed answered the question. My heart jackhammered in my chest with the strength of a piledriver.


I flipped the light switch next to the bed but it just made a clicking sound. The face of the clock radio was dark. My watch said one AM. I shook my head to clear the cobwebs. Siggie never did anything this crazy before. Why would a power outage send him over the edge? Must be something more to it. I pulled the baseball bat out from under the bed. With only a sliver of moonlight as a beacon, I felt my way like a blind guy past the main salon. I pulled a flashlight from the tool drawer in the galley. A quick check of the doors and portholes said security wasn’t breached. Thank heavens. So why was my dog going nuts? Siggie’s ears lay flaps back plastered to the sides of his head. His fur stood on end as though he’d stuck a paw in a light socket. He stood rigidly at full attention and barked his head off in front of the forward door. I pulled him by the collar and shushed him from barking to a low growl in the back of his throat.


I cracked open the forward door and stuck my head out. I scoped a one-eighty around the dock. The street lights were on, as well as the lights at the top of the gangplank. A half-dozen apartments were also lit. A single light shined inside a cabin cruiser two boats from mine. My boat seemed to be the only thing in the marina with no power.


This isn’t the first time I’d been the only one with no power. When I first bought the boat, I learned the hard way don’t let the coffee maker, microwave oven, and television run at the same time or the circuits overload. But in the middle of the night with no appliances running or an electrical storm to cause a power outage? The blood froze in my veins. The answer isn’t inside the boat. I hoisted myself over the forward deck onto the dock with my heart in my throat.


A faint hint of smoke wafted from the breaker box and power outlet as I reached the end of the dock. I yanked the damaged plug out of the outlet and threw it in the water. I blasted the dock power outlet and breaker box with the fire extinguisher and pulled the other end of the power cord out of my boat power outlet. Eight minutes after my nine-one-one call, the cavalry arrived in force and all hell broke loose.


****


The psychedelic light shows of the emergency vehicles flashing strobe bubbles created an eerie specter as they bounced off the walls of the apartment buildings across from the marina. While the firemen examined the breaker box, two LA County Deputy Sheriffs kept my dock neighbors at a distance from my houseboat now swathed with yellow crime scene tape.


After the Deputy Sheriffs arrived, Antonio, the security guard, called the Dockmaster to bring her up to speed. Twenty minutes later, Dock Mistress Audrey Camarillo showed up at my slip to consult with me and the first responders.


A fireman squatted in front of the breaker box and electric outlet. “See this?” Siggie sidled over next to the fireman and the nosy parker hound rested his head on the guy’s shoulder for a closer look. The fireman laughed and gave my curious canine a howdy-do scratch behind the ears.


The fireman pointed to the marine power cable connected from the outlet to my boat. The interior guts of the marine cable are covered by a protective rubber encasement. The cable was slit open, exposing the wiring inside mid-cable to the prongs of the tampered plug. Several strips of aluminum foil anchored in place by a fistful of pennies laid on the dock adjacent to the breaker box.


The fireman said, “Whoever did this is no amateur. They knew exactly what they were doing. If they hadn’t been interrupted, they would’ve jammed the pennies in the breakers and wrapped the breakers with the aluminum foil. The breaker would’ve blown and ignited a fire. With the rubber-coated power cable serving as a connector, the fiberglass boat would’ve burned to a crisp in a matter of minutes.” He stroked his gloved hand across Siggie’s head. “It’s a darned good thing Ms. Schlivnik’s dog scared them off.” He turned a one-eighty around the basin. “With all the gasoline-powered motors, they came within a hair of blowing up the dock and burning this entire basin to ashes.” The fireman shoved his helmet to the crown of his head and whistled through a gap in his front teeth. “Somebody wanted Ms. Schlivnik dead. They came mighty close to succeeding.”


The Los Angeles Sheriff’s Department detective turned to me and asked, “Any idea who is responsible?”


I motioned to the gate above the gangplank. “That’s a security gate. You need a key to get into the basins. Every tenant has a key to the gate and their key works on every gate in the marina. I’m not saying boaters don’t let outsiders in, because we all do. But this time of night, I doubt if a boater is still out, and if someone was, they certainly wouldn’t let a stranger in.”


Audrey shrank back in horror. “You’re saying one of our tenants is responsible?”


I nodded. “Yeah, and I’ve got a pretty good idea which one. She was aboard her boat last night.”


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Author Biography:


Named Best US Author of the Year by N. N. Lights Book Heaven, award-winning cozy mystery author Susie Black was born in the Big Apple but now calls sunny Southern California home. Like the protagonist in her Holly Swimsuit Mystery Series, Susie is a successful apparel sales executive. Susie began telling stories as soon as she learned to talk. Now she’s telling all the stories from her garment industry experiences in humorous mysteries.


She reads, writes, and speaks Spanish, albeit with an accent that sounds like Mildred from Michigan went on a Mexican vacation and is trying to fit in with the locals. Since life without pizza and ice cream as her core food groups wouldn’t be worth living, she’s a dedicated walker to keep her girlish figure. A voracious reader, she’s also an avid stamp collector. Susie lives with a highly intelligent man and has one incredibly brainy but smart-aleck adult son who inexplicably blames his sarcasm on an inherited genetic defect.


Looking for more? Contact Susie at:



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