top of page
  • N. N. Light

Gone Astray by @TerryIsWriting is a Cozy Mystery Event pick #cozymystery #cozycrime #giveaway

Title: Gone Astray

Author: Terry Korth Fischer

Genre: Cozy Crime

Book Blurb:

A heart attack sends detective Rory Naysmith reeling. Too young to retire, he accepts a position in small-town Winterset, Nebraska. Handed an unsolved truck hijacking case, with the assistance of a rookie, Rory sets out to prove he is still able to go toe-to toe with younger men. When the body of a Vietnam veteran turns up, he dons his fedora and spit-shines his shoes. But before he can solve the murder, an older woman disappears, followed closely by a second hijacking. He doggedly works the cases, following a thread that ties the two crimes together. But can Rory find the mental and physical strength to up his game and bring the criminals to justice before disaster strikes?


Rory looked around the dispatch room. There were no visitor chairs, and once inside, there was a clear view of the overnight lockup room. They’d had a drunk in residence the night before. Luckily, he’d been sent to county jail that morning, but not before he’d deposited the evidence of his debauchery all over the concrete floor. The odor still permeated the office. An old gray metal desk with two chairs sat in the alcove, and somehow it didn’t seem appropriate for the women.

“Where do I take them?”

“Use the interrogation desk. Lydia and her daughter won’t be a problem, but Marilyn…Trust me, you don’t want them to be too comfortable, or they’ll stay all day.” Rory led the women to the gray metal desk, snagging the sergeant’s chair on the way and rolling it to a spot alongside the two already there. He arranged them so the women would be comfortable.

“I’ll stand,” the daughter said as the others settled onto chairs. She leaned against the wall where the rule used to take vital statistics was painted. Even slouched, her head hit the six-foot mark easily.

“As you like,” Rory said. “So, ladies, what’s this about?” He gave them his full attention. It didn’t appear Powell would be back anytime soon; he’d have to deal with the women himself.

“I’m Marilyn Beauregard,” she said. He placed her in his mother’s generation, mid-seventies. And like his mother, he assumed she had a penchant for gossip and drama. “I’ve lived in Winterset for over forty years, way before the foreigners began to invade. Winterset is my home, and it isn’t right that a person can’t be safe in their own home.”

“You say there’s been a crime?”

“I hope you’re qualified.”

Rory patted his breast, checking his gun’s position in the shoulder holster. He knew he’d brought with him the weapons a real detective needed—experience, attitude, and a ball-point pen. He held his tongue, recognizing his first opportunity to work on the “respect of all citizens.”

“Yes. It is criminal. Criminal behavior.” Marilyn Beauregard laid her hand on the arm of her friend. “Lydia is… Oh my, I’ll need to start at the beginning.” She looked over her shoulder at Sunny and then straightened. “It’s convenient that when we need the police, the only time we’ve ever needed the police, Sergeant Powell is out.”

The daughter shifted her body weight and began to study the toes of her shoes as if she’d just discovered she was wearing a pair.

“Lydia Mullins is my dear friend,” Marilyn said, squeezing her partner’s arm. “My dear friend and her daughter, Esther, have lived in Winterset all their lives as well.”

Bingo. The young woman’s relationship with the others was confirmed. And he had a name to put with her—Esther Mullins.

“All their lives,” Marilyn repeated, “and now they are being terrorized.”

Rory raised both brows. “Terrorized?”

Both women clutched the handbags in their laps and leaned forward. “Yes, Detective, terrorized.”

The cell phone on Rory’s hip vibrated. He unclipped it and looked quickly at the display. The chief, he noted, and put it back.

The phone rang at Sunny’s desk. “Police department,” she said. A moment later, she swung around to face Rory, her eyes wide, her mouth a straight line.

The door connecting the police department to the city offices opened, and Sergeant Powell stepped in. He cleared his throat, ran a finger around his starched collar, eyed the civilian trio, and gave Rory an accusing scowl. Leaving the scent known only to dental offices in his wake, he crossed to the duty desk in three long strides. He turned abruptly and faced the interrogation desk. “Stay on your own side of the road, Naysmith.”

Marilyn Beauregard jumped to her feet. “Thank goodness.” There was relief in her voice. “Dicky, that fellow is after Lydia again.” Taking Lydia by the elbow, she wrestled her friend to her feet.

Rory stood and only then noticed Sunny frantically waving the phone receiver. Marilyn addressed Powell. “When are you going to do something? This isn’t the first time, and I guarantee you it won’t be the last.”

Powell didn’t answer. Instead, he grabbed the chair belonging to the duty desk and began to roll it back toward his desk. The older women followed, Marilyn’s voice rising as they went. “You promised to take care of it, Dicky. It’s not right that we have to live in fear while foreigners run around free to threaten and terrorize…”

Across the room, Sunny drew a finger across her throat, frantically gesturing for Rory to cut it short. Esther, he noted, hadn’t moved, her expression looking as bewildered as he felt.

“Powell’s back,” he said to Esther.

She pushed off from the wall. “Thank you.” They stood toe to toe, Esther’s chin level with his eyes. “I think Sunny wants you.”

Rory looked in the dispatcher’s direction, his gaze passing over the security monitors on the way. On the center screen, Chief Mansfield’s face stretched from edge to edge. Clutching the phone to his ear with a beefy hand, he glared into the camera. The chief wanted him.

Rory swallowed hard as the first hit of adrenaline kicked in. Hot damn—it was about time!

Buy Links (including Goodreads and BookBub):

Amazon buy link:

Barnes & Noble buy link:

What makes your featured book a must-read?

More than simply a detective mystery, this is the story of a small town. The plot keeps the reader on edge with enough twists and turns to keep every reader engaged. A mystery that will appeal on many levels, the classic detective, an eager rookie, layers of small-town life, and a big city-type conspiracy. Plus, one can't overlook the simple value of a nice old cat.

Giveaway –

Enter to win a $25 Amazon gift card:

Open Internationally. You must have a valid Amazon US or Amazon Canada account to win.

Runs October 5 – October 14, 2021.

Winner will be drawn on October 15, 2021.

Author Biography:

Terry Korth Fischer is a Texan, writer of short stories, memoir, and mystery. When she tires of heat and humidity her heart wanders to the country's heartland. Gone Astray, a cozy-crime mystery released in 2021. Watch for Gone Before, the second Detective Rory Naysmith mystery set in Northeastern Nebraska, releasing in early 2022 by The Wild Rose Press.

Social Media Links:


N. N. Light
N. N. Light
Oct 08, 2021

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


C. Lee McKenzie
C. Lee McKenzie
Oct 08, 2021

I enjoyed reading your blurb and excerpt. Your detective hero sounds quite fun!

Unknown member
Oct 08, 2021
Replying to

Thanks. He is one of a kind.

bottom of page