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Husband in Hiding by Karina Bartow is a Book Series Starter Event pick #mystery #bookseries #giveaway

Title: Husband in Hiding


Author:  Karina Bartow


Genre: Mystery


Book Blurb:


Most wives think they have it hard when their husbands forget to take out the garbage or leave the toilet seat up, but Minka Avery has them beat:  Hers ends up in Witness Protection!


As a deaf police detective, she’s overcome many challenges, but none prepare her for the ones she faces in Husband in Hiding.  Immersed in a heated investigation into the abductions of NBA players, Minka and Cael, her partner and brother-in-law, find nothing but dead ends.  That all changes, though, when Minka’s husband, Wes, meets up with a former classmate, Shantelle Brayden.  One of the Orlando Magic’s dancers, Shantelle leads Wes and the detectives to a big break...but it comes with a price.  Wes's meddlesome ways land him on the mob’s radar, forcing him into hiding.


Now without her childhood sweetheart or any hopes of their future together, Minka's more determined than ever to put an end to the case.  Will she find the culprit? Will she find her husband?




          “What happened?” Cael demanded, as the EMTs crouched down beside the victim. 


          “My brake lines were cut, and I thought I could come over here and turn off and hit the emergency brake, but I didn’t slow down enough.  The car rolled when I tried to turn around, and before I knew it, I smelled fuel and jumped out right before the blast.”


          While the medics looked over the scratches on Wes’s face from his fall, Cael stepped away to call Gus, leaving Minka to ask her husband, “Where were you going?”


          “To the hospital.  Somebody called me and claimed you and Cael were in an accident.”


          “We were. We both started to trust you again!” she retorted, her anger beginning to return to the fore.


          “Honey, don’t do this,” Wes begged, not wanting to argue in public.


          “Considering a mobster just informed me about your latest antics, I think I’m allowed to do whatever I want.”


          Not liking where this was headed, he tried to buy at least a few seconds.  “You talked to DeSoto already?”


          “Yes, and he was as shocked as we were to learn of your second attempt at detective work,” she related, arriving at the destination he’d been dreading.  “What were you thinking?”


          “I just couldn’t sit by idly while everybody has to clean up my mess.”


          “So, you make another one?”


          Hanging up the phone, Cael joined them, both to break up the fight and to inform them, “Gus wants us at the precinct, as long as you don’t need to go to the hospital.  I just have to call for back-up to stick around with the fire department.”


          “He wants me to come, too?” Wes verified, less than eager to face the lieutenant.


          “Guess you’re in trouble with more people than just me,” Minka taunted.


          At his desk when the three arrived, none of them remembered seeing a tenser expression on the commanding officer’s face.  Of course, they all cared about the people they tried to protect, but the mood was heavier when discussing a case so close to home.  More than that, the four had spent countless hours as friends, and they knew that whatever came out of this would affect them greatly.


          Wes sat down in front of Gus to relay the details of both the accident and his latest rendezvous with the mob, even as Minka paced the floor behind him.  Cael tried to get her to calm down with entreating looks, as he often did during stressful investigations, but as always, she just ignored him.  Instead, she continued to frantically shake her head and wasn’t afraid to interrupt her husband’s narrative when she had something to add.


          Once Wes and Minka had said their piece, Gus began to analyze the situation.  “Well, I say it’s clear that this came from DeSoto.  That guy could’ve easily followed you home from the garage, if they didn’t know your address already.”


          Despite her rage, his comment brought to mind Minka’s observation that morning.  “There was a black SUV I didn’t recognize across the street when we left for work today.”


          “I noticed it, too, but figured the neighbors just had company,” Cael agreed.  “That must be how they knew to tell you both of us were hurt.  They would’ve seen us leave together.”


          “This is just getting creepy, guys,” Gus remarked, momentarily taking off the objective front he always had to manifest.  “I’m honestly beginning to wonder if we should contact WITSEC on it.”


          “Please, Gus,” Minka disputed.  “The Witness Protection Program isn't out there for cases like this.  This is a stupid case about basketball, for crying out loud!”


          “That’s what it used to be, but not anymore,” Gus countered.  “I mean, we played into their hands with Elmway at first, but now that he’s off the hook, what’s in this for them?  Their operation’s been stopped, costing them their ‘hard-earned’ money, and one of their main men was busted.  To them, Wes is the one responsible for it all and keeps trying to wiggle his way into their business.  Chances are, they’re out for revenge…and they usually don’t stop till they get it.”


          The possibility of her husband—and possibly her—having to abandon their lives terrified Minka, so she suggested, “Couldn’t we take Wes into protective custody until this blows over?” 


          “When can we count on that to happen?  The mob holds grudges, especially when someone introduces them to law enforcement,” Gus reasoned.  “Look, I don’t like this anymore than any of you do, but I have to handle this the way I would any other case.  I just don’t see another solution to keep Wes safe.  They know where you live, what you drive—or used to drive—and they clearly aren’t afraid to come after you.”


          Still determined to make Gus reconsider, Minka begged, “Can't we wait this out a little longer?”


          Shaking his head with a frown, he had to tell her, “I’m afraid to see what happens if we do.”


Buy Links (including Goodreads and BookBub):





What makes your featured book a must-read?


Husband in Hiding has a little bit of everything—a mystery, a love story, an underdog tale, and a family comedy. Because of its clean nature, youths all the way up to adults have enjoyed it. Brenda Weeaks of calls it a “rare treat for those who… like Hallmark mystery movies.” 


Giveaway –


Enter to win a $40 Amazon gift card:



Open Internationally.


Runs January 9 – January 21, 2024.


Winner will be drawn on January 22, 2024.

Author Biography:


Karina Bartow grew up and still lives in Northern Ohio.  Though born with Cerebral Palsy, she’s never allowed her disability to define her.  Rather, she’s used her experiences to breathe life into characters who have physical limitations, but like her, are determined not to let them stand in the way of the life they want.  Her works include Husband in Hiding, Forgetting My Way Back to You, Brother of Interest, Wrong Line, Right Connection, and Accidental Allies.  She may only be able to type with one hand, but she writes with her whole heart!


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1 Comment

N. N. Light
N. N. Light
Jan 17

Thank you, Karina, for sharing your book in our Book Series Starter Bookish Event!

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