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Death by Surfboard by Susie Black is a Stress Busting Festival pick #cozymystery #funny #giveaway



Title: Death by Surfboard


Author: Susie Black


Genre: Cozy Mystery


Book Blurb:


Set in the competitive Los Angeles apparel industry, Death by Surfboard is the story of how one man’s life of lies, delivered by smoke and mirrors, cost him everything. No one is more stunned than Mermaid Swimwear sales exec Holly Schlivnik when a fisherman hooks her unscrupulous colleague’s battered corpse attached to a surfboard and hauls it onto the Washington Street Pier. The ME ruled Jack Tyne drowned, but “had help dying”, and Holly’s boss is wrongly arrested for the crime. To save the big cheese from a life behind bars, the wise-cracking, irreverent amateur detective dons her sleuthing hat to find Jack’s real killer. But the trail has more twists and turns than a pretzel, and nothing turns out the way Holly thinks it will as she tangles with a clever killer hellbent for revenge.


Excerpt:


As he picked up his fishing pole and took another restorative gulp of java, a strong yank on the rod almost pulled Pop out of the chair. Siggie barked when Pop cursed out loud as the old guy spilled hot coffee on the front of his T-shirt. The rod practically bent in half as Pop set the coffee cup under the chair and used his free hand to try to regain control of the line. The old man’s voice shook. “I hope whatever I caught doesn’t snap the old rod in two. I’d hate having to replace it.” Pop’s false teeth clacked as he smiled at the memory.” I’ve fished with this rod since the time I wore short pants. They don’t make ‘em this sturdy anymore.”


The old man gripped the fishing rod tightly in two gnarled hands. He leaned back in the chair and braced his feet against the wooden pier rail and prepared to do battle. The seasoned fisherman slowly let out some line to ease the pressure on both him and the fish. Pop pinched his squint and let out a groan from the strain of fighting the monster he’d hooked. He pulled in and released a few lengths of the nylon line several times. “The fish is getting tired.” He laughed a gravelly laugh. “Good thing. I am too. I’m not as young as I used to be. Hooked something huge; a great white shark or Moby Dick’s great, great-grandson.” As he reeled the catch in, the old man glanced at the plastic pail and snorted. “I’m gonna need a much bigger bucket.”


Despite the cool onshore wind blowing in hard from the ocean, Pop used the sleeve of his windbreaker to swipe at the perspiration pouring from the old man’s scalp line and drenching his face. Exertion colored his neck to the same shade as an eggplant.


As the old man cranked the spinner and slowly hauled the catch in, short, chubby, alabaster-skinned Andy sauntered across the pier. Andy stood next to Pop and mumbled good morning. Andy leaned over the railing to check the catching progress and yelled. “Holy mackerel! Old man, you’ve hooked you a surfer!”


Pop and I gave Andy a pitying you must be crazy or something glance. Pop summoned a burst of energy, hauled the rod over his left shoulder, and gave an enormous tug on the line. My eyes bugged as the battered, wet-suited body of Jack Tyne, still attached by his surf leash to his surfboard, flopped unceremoniously onto the pier. Pop, Andy, and I stared at one another. As long-time pier locals, we’d seen a lot of crazy things, but nothing compared to this. We inched closer to the crumpled body hopelessly entangled in the fishing line for any sign of life. Andy cautiously toed his faded deck shoe against the left leg of the prone body. “Is the guy dead?”


Nearsighted, the old man squinted into the sun and shrugged. Pop bent closer for a better look. Siggie rested his head on Pop’s arm as the old man studied Jack’s pummeled face. “He reminds me a bit of the guy who surfs every morning. Gets to the beach at the same time as me.”


Andy blinked his confusion. “Which guy?”


Pop said, “The middle-aged guy and the hot blond stacked chick usually wrapped around him on the beach. You’ve seen them around. They’re the ones making out like a couple of horny teenagers or taking photos of one another on their phones. Sometimes she stands next to me and takes pictures of the idiot daredevil surfers coming in through the pier pilings.” Pop jerked his chin at Jack. “Another one of those hotshot morons.”


Andy glanced at Jack’s ravaged face. “No way to tell now. Besides, I never got close enough to see the guy. What about you?”


Pop said, “I mighta, but Mebbe not.” Pop took his cap off and scratched the crown of his head. “Hard to remember the brand of cereal I ate for breakfast most days, let alone some surfer and his groupie chick.”


I pointed at Jack. “This guy works at the same company I do.” Pop and Andy looked at me surprised, as though they’d forgotten me standing right next to them. “And the woman you’re describing is someone who works with us too. Did either of you guys see them this morning?”


Pop shook his head no.


Andy’s double-chin quivered with the gyrations of a bowl of Jell-o as he jerked it towards the end of the pier. “Not him, but on my way to the pier, I passed a woman walking east on Washington who might be the chick Pop described.”


Since Jack hadn’t so much as twitched, Pop angled his leathery face closer to Jack’s pasty grayish kisser to see if he was as dead as he looked. Pop leaned in and passed a hand over Jack’s mouth. Pop took a breath, and Siggie barked when the old man jumped back as though he’d been burned by a cattle prod. The sickening stench wafting out from Jack Tyne’s wetsuit could easily fell an entire herd. The old man gagged as his eyes followed a wavy line of caked yellowy vomit haloed around Jack’s blue lips, chin, and the stub of a beard. Pop dragged his eyes past Jack’s ravaged face to the watery streams of greenish-brown crap leaking out of the sleeves and legs of the torn wetsuit. Pop jumped a helluva lot faster than you’d expect a guy his age ought to as the liquidy turds slowly coursed onto the deck of the pier.


Andy playfully poked his elbow in the old man’s ribs and joked. “Whatssamatta? The guy’s breath that bad?”


The old man pointed a crooked index finger at Jack’s pummeled body. “Poor bastard doesn’t have any breath at all. He’s dead as a doornail.”


Naturally, I burst out laughing.


Buy Links (including Goodreads and Book Bub):






What’s your favorite way to combat stress?


My favorite way to combat stress is to read a funny book while out on a sailboat with smooth jazz playing softly in the background.


Why is your featured book a stress busting read?


Laughter is the best medicine. My laugh-out-loud, hilarious whodunit will allow readers to escape the stress in their lives for a few hours and feel refreshed when they are finished with the story.


Giveaway –


One lucky reader will win a $75 Amazon US or Canada gift card



Open internationally. You must have a valid Amazon US or Amazon CA account to win.


Runs May 1 – 31, 2023.


Drawing will be held on June 1, 2023.



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:



Social Media Links:


4 Comments


andreadrake1
andreadrake1
May 21, 2023

Yoga & reading helps my stress!

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Rita Wray
Rita Wray
May 19, 2023

I love cozy mysteries. Sounds like a good book.

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Jan K Sikes
Jan K Sikes
May 19, 2023

Writing humor is not easy and Susie has accomplished that in spades! Love the excerpt!

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N. N. Light
N. N. Light
May 19, 2023

Thank you, Susie, for sharing your book in our Stress Busting Book Festival!

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