Title: WHEN KENEDY STRANGLED BRISCO
Author: Beth Henderson
Genre: Paranormal Cozy Mystery, Comedy Romance
THE GRIM REAPER CONTINUES TO HANG OUT IN KILLAMAN FALLS!
“Considering this is the third murder this month and doing folks in hasn’t been a local tradition, there’s no precedence to fall back on. You found Sally, and the guy at the campsite was an outsider. Could be Honeycutt refreshed his mind on murder investigation protocol, slick, so I’m counting on you to fill me in after he spills the details,” Omay…I’m gonna say warned because it sounded like dire consequences would result if I didn’t cough up what she wanted. Those consequences would likely involve the fresh cinnamon rolls she knew I was addicted to.
“How’s the arm doing today?” she added as though she gave a groat.
“It itches,” I said, because it had over a week ago.
“It’s healing,” she said. “By the way, I went seasonal today so it’s pumpkin pie on the menu rather than apple or cherry.” Which were the nearly year-around standards.
“If there’s a piece piled high with whipped cream and sprinkled with cinnamon, I’ll leak what information I can in exchange for it after talking to the sheriff,” I dickered.
“Information first, pie second,” she countered.
The items being exchanged lacked the same heft, but, hey, it was pie.
Naturally I made no mention of the deal to Sheriff Filmer Honeycutt. “Well, you took your time,” he snarled in answering. “I could have driven to the Falls and back twice while waiting to hear from you.”
“Not doable considering the state of the roads,” I said. They were nearly all steeply graded switchbacks. “Unless, that is, you’ve spouted wings.”
“Wouldn’t chance it in duck hunting season even if I had ‘em,” he said.
“So, what did you want? It’s not the time of year for your youngest daughter to be taking Girl Scout cookie orders. And too early for the holiday wrapping paper hustle from her school.”
It sounded like Filmer took a deep breath, one that sounded resigned rather than urgent. “It’s not like I can’t handle this myself,” he insisted, “but chain of command pushed your name up the ranks until it reached the governor’s office. They want you and Ms. Whicher to take on this case.”
“The governor himself heard our names and personally requested our assistance?”
“No, Con, the ‘people’ in the governor’s office worked their way back through various offices and asked how two amateurs could solve two murders quicker than I could.”
“Then they pinned you against the wall.”
“A very uncomfortable wall,” Honeycutt agreed, “so I might have mentioned that Ms. Whichur was a hot shot investigative reporter and you . . .”
He paused. That meant bad news.
“And you wrote those true crime books as Cace MacClery.”
Which was my birth name and one I hadn’t used since resigning from the New York City police force in 1873 after getting bitten by a werewolf in Five Points. It had seemed the perfect choice as a pen name because no one could find me under that moniker.
So much for secrecy.
“What the hell?” I snapped. “I should never have told you.” Of course, nearly everyone in Killaman Falls knew it but we didn’t have a bookstore and, while I’d donated a copy of each book to the token library, not a one had ever been checked out. “Happy books” were the preferred reading material on the mountain.
“Did you tell them I’m not interested in solving current crimes. I prefer historical ones?”
“You just solved two current ones with Ms. Whicher in an amazingly short time. But the real reason they want you on this is that you’re a celebrity and it’s another celebrity who lives on the mountain who just got offed,” the sheriff confessed.
“We had another celebrity living on this mountain?” I’d never heard of one, and certainly didn’t consider myself a celebrity. It wasn’t like I’d become a millionaire by writing seven books in ten years’ time.
“How could you not know that Brisco Abernathy is a big shot?”
“I live in Killaman Falls, that’s how. I’m lucky to know the name of anyone in the public eye. We don’t get cable here.” At least not decent reception and it was only through my internet provider that it was possible to watch shows. So far, I hadn’t heard of much to tempt me to buy a subscription service.
“Yeah,” the sheriff agreed, “but until he was killed, Brisco Abernathy lived in Killaman Falls, Wolfe.”
“The only person named Brisco we have up here is Brisco Zahn. Big guy, overweight. Looks like he’s probably a lumberjack related to Paul Bunyon, so I suppose if he’s our dead guy and a big name, he used a moniker that got him listed higher in the alphabetical lists in the world of scripted wrestling?”
“Same guy but he was the top designer of women’s clothing on one of those shopping channels. The state gods above me want this wrapped up as fast as you did the other murder investigations. You and Ms. Whichur are expected at the crime scene toot sweet.”
“Tout de suite, huh?”
“Just head there, Con.” He sounded resigned to putting up with me. “And drag Emmalyst along.”
“If Brisco is such a hot stuff designer of women’s wear, maybe this is something she’d rush toward.”
There was silence on the line, which usually meant he was thinking. “Considering I’ve seen the kind of stuff he designed, I have a feeling she’d rather get a colonoscopy.”
I thought he was joking.
What makes your featured book a must-read?
WHEN KENEDY STRANGLED BRISCO is the third outing for amateur sleuths Connor Wolfe and Emmalyst Whichur, ergo, to keep up with this dynamic, and flirty, duo, snagging a copy should be considered derigueur, right? Not only are dogs being interviewed, there’s a new pack on the mountain who want to kill our hero and heroine. Who’d a thought?
Enter to win a $25 Amazon gift card:
Open Internationally. You must have a valid Amazon US or Amazon Canada account to win.
Runs December 7 – December 15, 2021.
Winner will be drawn on December 16, 2021.
BETH HENDERSON has written a lot of romantic comedy, romantic suspense, and historical romantic mystery titles, but when the temptation to do a “proper” Rapid Release series, she went for paranormal cozy mystery comedy with a gentlemanly werewolf hero and a feisty investigative journalist who doesn’t believe she’s a witch—even though her mother told her she was one. Fortunately, the reviews have raved about this slight twitch in genre niche. It’s got to be the only cozy mystery series were dogs get interviewed by the amateur sleuths.
Social Media Links:
@Beth__Henderson on Twitter