New Release | Redemption in Mariposa Beach by @Teresam0410 #cozymystery #newrelease #bookboost
Title: Redemption in Mariposa Beach
Author: Teresa Michael
Genre: Cozy Mystery
Welcome back to Mariposa Beach for the fourth book in the Mariposa Café Mystery Series, where it’s all about fun Florida mysteries featuring fearless, female sleuths.
It appears that dead bodies continue to be following Libby Marshall all through the otherwise quiet little beach town of Mariposa Beach, Florida. And this 4th of July is no exception. The problem is that the recently deceased was someone who had very important information for Libby regarding the man who had kidnapped her not so long ago – Max Holden.
The question really is who knows what about Max … and that includes how much Libby’s boyfriend, Detective Jack Seiler, knows too. And what does Max’s status have to do with the trafficking ring that seems to be attempting to get back to business as usual?
The Mariposa Café Mysteries are Friends meets Miami Vice.
Libby looked around her favorite local bar. The scent of draft beer and French fries filled her nostrils, and the strains of a Garth Brooks song pulsated through the room. She loved this bar, and the bonus was that it was only two blocks from home. She wanted to go home, peel off her stupid sparkly tank top, and shower off the hot, sweaty, July-in-Florida day. If she dared to lay her head on the bar, she knew she’d fall asleep in an instant. But yet, she smiled. The Second Annual Mariposa Beach Freedom Festival had been a tremendous success.
Libby scanned the bar again and smiled at her friends and neighbors dancing, drinking, and having fun. But the person she sought was neither a friend nor a neighbor. Charlie Winslow, a private investigator, had shown up at the café the day before. He’d asked if she’d seen or heard from Max Holden, the criminal who had once assaulted her. The mention of Holden’s name was like a punch to her gut.
If Max Holden is as smart as I think he is, he’s on some tropical island with no extradition.
The sound of her name snapped Libby back to the present and the noise of the busy bar. “I’m sorry. What did you say?”
The bartender topped off her coffee. “You zoned out for a minute. I asked if you were looking for someone.”
“Did you see that man in the porkpie hat? Late fifties or so, brown hair, about my height. He sat here next to me while I was eating lunch,” she said, gesturing at the stool to her left.
“I know who you mean. I saw that guy later in the afternoon talking to Jack. That was around four, but I haven’t seen him since. It’s been busy in here all afternoon.” He excused himself and moved down the bar to take another order.
Mimi slipped onto the barstool to Libby’s right. “Have you heard anything about the truck? This is way past my bedtime.” Her blonde ponytail, pulled through the back of a Mariposa Café ball cap, fell to her shoulders and bobbed back and forth with each shake of her head.
“Not yet. Thanks for agreeing to stay and help with the clean-up.”
Mimi chuckled. “Thank Paul. He’s at home putting the kids to bed. It’s like a night out for me. I think I’ll have another beer.”
Libby picked up her coffee cup. “Aren’t you over your limit of one?”
“I’m ready to live a little.”
Libby was still giggling when Jack appeared and placed his hand on her shoulder. His dark brown eyes looked tired, and his black hair had a bad case of hat-head. It was his day off from the sheriff’s office, and, as a favor to her, he’d been working festival security all day in the scorching sun. He’d told her multiple times that she owed him big time. She smiled as she wondered what kind of payback he had in mind.
He slid half onto a bar seat and leaned into Libby. “Truck’s here. Can you give us a hand? The streamers need to be pulled off the flatbed. Can you remove them? Please?”
“Of course. It’s about time Leroy got here with the truck.”
A strand of hair fell across her face. Jack pushed aside the red curl and kissed her forehead.
Mimi slipped off her stool. “So much for that second beer,” she said as she followed Libby and Jack through the bar’s front door.
The night was clear, and the waxing crescent moon added shadows to the glow from the streetlights. A breeze had kicked up off the beach, causing the streamers to twist and flip around the trailer.
Mariposa Beach Police Officer Bobby James directed the driver with a flashlight as he backed the truck toward the flatbed’s front end. Once they had connected the trailer to the hitch, Jack joined the men and helped hook up the lights.
Libby pointed toward the front of the flatbed. “Why don’t you start on this side, and I’ll go around to the other? We’ll meet in the middle.”
Mimi nodded. “Let’s roll them into a large ball. If the streamers are in good shape, we can reuse them next year.”
Libby headed around the rear end of the trailer to the opposite side, where she pulled the stapled plastic red, white, and blue streamers off the wooden edge of the flatbed. Mimi proceeded toward the front and began the same process.
After a few minutes of pulling and rolling the decorations, Libby glanced across the semi-sized flatbed they’d used for their makeshift stage. Noticing that Mimi was way ahead of her, she picked up the pace. Libby heard voices behind her and turned around to see Jack calling to the driver about the lights. She returned her attention to the task at hand. When she glanced across the flatbed to check Mimi’s progress again, she’d disappeared. Libby stopped, wondering where Mimi had gone.
Moments later, Mimi popped up and called out, “Hey. Hold up. Someone’s passed out under the trailer.”
Dropping the streamers, Libby ran around the flatbed, irritated and nearing the end of her rope. “You’ve got to be kidding me.”
Jack and Libby reached Mimi with Officer James and Buster close behind them.
“No, I’m not.” Mimi pointed.
Libby glanced in the direction Mimi pointed.
A man’s stubby fingers and thick hand curled around the rear tire, but the rest of him disappeared into the darkness.
Bending down, Libby ducked under the trailer. Jack knelt beside her shining a flashlight at the body. Her eyes followed the bare arm up a red-flowered shirt sleeve to the man’s pale face.
His eyes were vacant and wide-open—the porkpie hat still on his head.
Jack looked up at the ladies. “He’s not drunk. He’s dead.”
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Teresa Michael is an award-winning mystery author. Her Mariposa Café Mystery, “Murder in Mariposa Beach,” received a 2021 Firebird Book Award in the mystery category. Teresa enjoys reading, writing, chocolate chip cookies, great food and wine, and traveling with friends and family. She was the Team Manager for US Archery at the 1996 and 2000 Olympic Games, has visited 49 states and many foreign countries. Teresa lives in Sarasota, FL with her husband and two cats and hopes to someday visit that 50th state.
Social Media Links:
Facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/teresamichaelauthor
Goodreads Author Page: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/18633273.Teresa_Michael