Title: Death Southern Style
Author: Beverley Bateman
Genre: Romantic Suspense
When Perrine Dupré dies under suspicious circumstances her daughter, Julie Ann Dupré, returns to New Orleans to find the truth about her mother’s death. She uncovers a family secret, hidden for years. Now someone is trying to kill her. Will the little dog who appears after her mother’s death help her? Is the sexy detective out to help her, or is he part of police corruption?
Detective Connor O’Reilly, a native of New Orleans, comes from a family of police. He’s an honest cop but realizes there is corruption in the division. His father may have died as part of that corruption. He meets Julie Ann, checks out her mother’s death and finds it was badly handled. Julie Ann deserves the truth and he wants to find it for her.
Julie Ann and Connor work together to unravel the real reason behind Perrine Dupré’s murder, Julie Ann’s mysterious past, and why people want her dead, while developing their challenging relationship. Can they both survive? And can their relationship survive?
Perrine Dupré hurried down the street. She needed to get home. Dark New Orleans clouds hovered overhead. Thunder rolled. Large drops of late May rain pelted the streets of the French Quarter. It sounded like hail as the fat globs bounced off the pavement behind Perrine. The ozone mixed with the scent of magnolia and the smell of shrimp and fish cooking in the area.
The older African American woman struggled against the wind. It whipped her umbrella inside out. She clutched it tightly so not to lose it. Rain blurred her vision. Thunder crashes caused her to jump. She stumbled up the three steps to her front door. Her daughter was coming home for a visit. Perrine’s pulse increased and a smile sneaked out.
Perrine loved her New Orleans. She hated to travel, but two years ago she’d gone to New York to see Julie Ann and her new business. It was a mass of busy airports and crowded flights, but she’d enjoyed seeing the city and staying in her daughter’s apartment. Her daughter had showed off her new interior design business, introduced Perrine to a few of her friends and dragged Perrine to some of the typical tourist activities. Julie Ann had been getting her designing business established then and had a challenge taking time off to leave and come home. Recently she’d taken on a partner. It freed up a little extra time. Tomorrow Julie Ann would be home in New Orleans and Perrine could give her a big hug.
Juggling her parcels, umbrella and the key Perrine jabbed it in the direction of the lock. Finally, the key found the opening and turned.
Thunder rumbled a little louder, sounding like pins crashing in a bowling alley.
Perrine turned the doorknob and froze.
One of her psychic visions flashed in front of her. Her shoulders sagged. A man stood inside. Her visons didn’t lie. She wasn’t going to see Julie Ann after all. And she'd miss their regular telephone call tonight, too.
She wasn’t prepared to die. A single tear shimmered down her cheek. Her heart pounded. She clutched her parcels to her chest. Why now?
Lightning flashed. Thunder crashed again.
He waited for her to come inside.
The vision showed her crumpled on the ground in front of the house. She’d run, but obviously she wasn’t going to get far. Even if she managed to escape, they would kill her eventually. And after tonight Julie Ann would be home. She would also be in danger.
The family was too rich and powerful. They didn’t care about collateral damage or anyone who might get hurt. Had they killed off all the other people involved? Was that why the documentation wasn’t important anymore? The birth certificate should have been enough.
There was so much she should have shared with Julie Ann. At least then she would be aware of the threat.
Perrine didn’t want to die in the house. It would leave a permanent stain and memory. Julie Ann might never enter the house again if Perrine’s body was found inside.
In her mind, Perrine stared into the depths of the house, hands trembled, freezing cold filled her chest. She had to make a decision. He was getting ready to make a move. Perrine dropped her parcels, turned and raced down the steps.
The skies opened wide and lightning flashed across the sky, turning it an electric white. Perrine crumpled to the street. No one heard the shot. An icy shroud of death enveloped over her.
The front door closed. The lock clicked.
She felt no pain, not even when a boot kicked her sharply in the ribs - twice.
The feet moved away.
A gate squeaked.
A car engine roared to life.
The phone rang. No one answered it tonight.
Her spirit prepared to leave.
Perrine regretted that she’d never shared any information about Julie Ann’s real mother with her daughter, or how her mother had been murdered. She’d tried to protect her baby.
Julie Ann’s birth mother had kept records and passed them to Perrine, to be used for blackmail purposes for everyone’s protection.
It hadn’t saved Elizabeth, Julie Ann’s birth mother. She’d been killed before Julie Ann was a year old. That had been an ominous sign. Perrine had spent years looking over her shoulder, but there had been no issues. No one ever threatened them. Even today, there had been no demands or threats.
To the best of Perrine’s knowledge, no one else had been in danger since. Although she had never looked up any of the people involved at the time of Julie Ann’s birth. Now, for whatever reason, death had reared its ugly head. The documents hadn’t saved her. There’d been no threats, just the shooter.
What had changed? Why now?
She wished she’d at least told Julie Ann about the documents. It might help save life.
Perrine’s mind dimmed. She prayed to her god to help her keep Julie Ann alive. Her spirit gradually left her body and floated away. Using her fading power, Perrine pulled on the power of the Priestess to allow her to remain on earth, in any form.
Julie Ann would be at risk. Perrine might still be able to protect her. She needed to be there, at least in spirit, for her daughter.
What’s the first binge-worthy book you read and why was it a must-read?
The first binge-worthy book? Wow, that’s hard. There are so many. I think I’ll go with The Girl in the Moss by Loreth Anne White. Loreth writes books with well-defined, interesting characters that draw you into their lives and emotions. Her plots are full of twists and turns that make it impossible to put the book down.
What makes your featured book a binge-worthy read?
It’s set in New Orleans. It has touches of paranormal (think Marie Laveau), voodoo and interesting characters. It has murder, mystery, romance and a happy ever after ending. What more could you want?
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Beverley Bateman now lives in Medicine Hat, Alberta. She recently moved from the Okanagan Valley in BC, Canada. Instead of vineyards, orchards, lakes, and mountains she has ranches, farmers and a close community. She lives there with her husband and her Bichon-poodle rescue dog. During the cold Alberta winters, she snowbirds to Arizona and does glass fusion, watercolor painting and plays the ukulele besides working on her latest romantic suspense. Hunted, Missing and Targeted are part of her Montana series. She also has her Holly Devine series; A Cruise to Remember, and a Murder to Forget. Don’t Go is her darker romantic suspense.
Social Media Links:
Website – https://www.beverleybateman.com
Facebook Authorpage - http://www.facebook.com/AuthorBeverleyBateman?ref=hl
Amazon author page http://www.amazon.com/Beverley-Bateman/e/B008M01F5E
LinkedIn - firstname.lastname@example.org
Instagram - Beverley.Bateman
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