When Harry Killed Sally by @Beth__Henderson is a Best Books of '21 pick #cozy #mystery #bestbooks
Title: WHEN HARRY KILLED SALLY
Author: Beth Henderson
Genre: Paranormal Lite Cozy Mystery Comedy
Lyst Whichur knew the Cosmos had delivered a whammy when she heard her godmother had been killed, but did it have to stick her with Connor Wolfe, a werewolf, to help solve the murder?
Emmalyst Whichur had obviously ordered her food while I’d been at the Higson table because the menu was missing, and a steaming mug of coffee sat near her right hand. She wore no rings and lacked any telltale marks of one having been in place. In other words, nothing marred the light, even tan of either hand. She’d also forgone polish on nails kept short and evenly filed. Her hair swung just above her shoulders and when she looked up passed the brim of her hat when I stopped by the banquette seat across from her, there was a challenge in her green eyes.
“We can forego the FMP groping,” she said.
Have to admit, it was not what I’d expected her opening broadside to be.
“You’re familiar with the Full Moon Protection festival then?”
She sighed. “Harry used to do it. Are you picking the practice up while he’s incarcerated to exercise your lecherous tendencies?”
“Actually, he handed the sacred duty over to me two years ago. We had a ceremony, and everything thing. People cheered,” I added.
“People cheered.” She said it flat and doubting.
I held my hand out, offering her one of my business cards. “Connor Wolfe. I believe I’ve got something that you need.”
“Don’t count on it, buddy,” she snarled, ignoring the card, so I dropped it on the table.
Having supplied my most charming grin—at least, that’s what my mother had called it. I’d had well over a hundred and fifty years of it proving its worth, too—I dangled a keyring before her eyes. “You probably need these to get into Sally’s place.”
“Oh. Yes, thank you. I do need those,” she agreed accepting the offering. “Sorry I misread your intentions.”
“Not a problem. Mind if I join you?”
“And the reason that you should?”
“And how exactly are you involved in this?” she demanded. “Other than having been cheered when you inherited the FMP duties, which I take it means you two are friends.”
“Brothers beneath the skin is how Harry terms it. Do I get to sit down or just continue to loom over you?”
“By all means, Mr. Wolfe, please join me, won’t you?”
She sounded sarcastic as hell.
“Make it Connor,” I said. “We’ll be working closely on this case. Much better to be on friendly terms. What would you prefer I call you? Ms. Whichur or Emmalyst?”
She gritted her teeth. I detected a slight shutter of revulsion. “Just Lyst, Connor. I know everyone’s on a first name basis on the mountain. Probably because they’re all related.”
“You really know nothing about Killaman Falls, do you?”
“Hick town on the side of a mountain and nowhere near civilization. Or do you finally have cell service here?”
“Nope. No handy tower.”
“Only if you own a dish and it and the satellite are in a committed relationship,” I admitted.
“So, communication off the mountain is still via ham radio or did the phone company run cables to make landlines the up-and-coming thing here?”
“Yes, they did, on poles. Then a tree fell over and wiped service out. As they haven’t made it back to repair things, it’s still on our wish list. A few people do know how to send smoke signals.”
“Ah,” she said. “You’re being factious. What exactly do you do on the mountain beyond the Full Moon hogwash, Connor Wolfe? Forest ranger? Lumberjack?”
“Closer to local gigolo, although the clientele is very select. I do have an opening on my schedule if you’d like to make an appointment,” I offered. And, yes, I was being factious.
Which was the point when Omay, the tavern owner’s wife, set a bottle of Guiness in front of me and cocked her head. “The usual Friday night fare, sheriff?”
“No imagination, have I?” I said. “I’ll abandon caution tonight and have what Ms. Whichur is having. What is it?”
“Your usual,” Omay answered and returned to the kitchen.
I met Sally’s niece’s eyes across the table. “We have something in common already. Huzzah!” I lifted the sweating bottle and took a slug.
“Dial it down, buddy,” Emmalyst ordered. “Since Mrs. Whatever called you ‘sheriff’ it sounds like the population has reached the desired number to acquire their own cop in Killaman Falls.”
“Devil a bit, darlin’. It’s an honorary title. The county needed someone with a smattering of police know how who’d be their liaison. For some reason they felt the Falls needed one on the scene. I’m the lucky stiff to land the non-paying job.”
“Perhaps the reason they thought one was needed was that the name of this widening in the road is Kill-a-man,” she said.
“It’s likely a tumble over the Falls is what killed the lad, not an honest to God maniac who specialized in killing them with a push. Besides, no one knows how far back in time that supposedly took place.”
Emmalyst shrugged. “I’ve certainly never heard. Perhaps the question should be why hasn’t the name been changed to something less…er…fatal?”
“No, the question is why did Sally Whichur choose to move here twenty years ago?”
Emmalyst chocked her head. It made her look sorta wrenish. “You don’t know? And here I thought she’d be high on your list of clients as the local gigolo.”
“You’d think,” I agreed, “but she wasn’t. And honestly, I’m retired from that gig. Unless you’d fancy…”
“No.” She said it decisively, like my charm wasn’t working its magic on her.
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What makes your featured book a must-read?
Personally, I’d read this book even if I hadn’t written it because it has loads of the sort of things that I require in a “read it more than once” title. Snarky delivery by the two main characters, outrageous flirting, murders to solve, a cozy mystery with amateur sleuths who are both writers, a brief brush of the paranormal because Connor Wolfe is a 170 year old werewolf, so I can drop in historical bits from his past, and while there is no magic involved, there are a lot of dogs that get interviewed and act as Connor’s personal Baker Street Irregulars—though there is no Baker Street in Killaman Falls, New Hampshire. Partly because I invented the town. Did I mention it’s a comedy? That it’s the first book in a series of four? Did I mention that reviewers love it, proving they do with 5* gushing reviews? I didn’t? Well, I have now! The Whichur-Wolfe Detection books were a folic to write and even more fun to read! Escape along with me!
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BETH HENDERSON spent a dozen years writing and rewriting the same three books during the 1980s, but all those rewrites paid off via a romance spinning career now 30+ years long. Romantic-comedy and historical romantic adventure are her forte. She also writes urban fantasy PI mystery comedy and Weird West Steampunk, 1920s Dieselpunk and Victorian Gaslamp mystery comedy under different pennames. Between all the genres she’s danced through she’s closing on the 36 novels mark (When Harry Killed Sally is #33), 9 novellas, and 15 short stories. She is also a regular writing workshop presenter at Savvy Authors and various online RWA chapters and is the author of non-fiction how-to-write-fiction titles based on previous workshops. The most recent one is How To Write a Funny Mystery by Beth Daniels, her real name!
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