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Wrenched at the Reindeer Run is a Black Friday/Cyber Monday deal #cozymystery #giveaway #cybermonday



Title: Wrenched at the Reindeer Run

 

Author: Barbara Barrett

 

Genre: Cozy Mystery

 

Book Blurb:

 

Interior designer Rowena Summerfield is ready to add her festive flair to the reception for her Florida town’s first marathon, even if a local Scrooge turns down her request for a donation. But when he’s found dead under the wreckage of the race’s reviewing stand, it’s clear someone’s reindeer game has turned deadly.

 

Former homicide investigator Ro is once again recruited to help her former partner, Herc Morgan, find the killer. All of their suspects could be on Santa’s naughty list. And given that the victim dumped coal on every life he touched, any one of them could have decided to frost him.

 

Ro and Herc are eager to wrap up the case so they can get back to their yuletide fun. Herc’s agonizing over picking the perfect gift for his new girlfriend. Ro’s boyfriend, Chuck, hints that he has a very special ornament in mind. While Ro sorts through clues to discover the murderer, she must also sort through her loyalty to her late husband and her growing love for this new man in her life. Will the twinkle of the tree lights in her living room be outdone on Christmas Day by the sparkle of a rock on her finger? Maybe, but only if a killer doesn’t murder their merriment first.

 

Excerpt:

 

“I’d better go check on things outside,” Chuck said. “Can you take over for Shane until I return? Something tells me my trusty manager will need to go off and lick his wounds the rest of the evening.”

 

“Yes, of course. Go. I’ll help Ellen Garvey reassure our guests nothing is amiss.” Although I wasn’t sure that was the case.

 

Chuck returned along with Herc after a few minutes. “I sent Shane home to cool off,” Chuck told me. “Henson said he’d remain with Seiser until Shane was out of here.”

 

“Can’t believe I was actually helping Henson,” Herc said. “But I’m glad you warned me ahead of time he’d be here. For once, I don’t have anything negative to say about him. He was johnny-on-the-spot to keep that argument from getting out of hand, although it appeared to be mainly a matter of calming down your friend. The other guy reminded me of a snake charmer. All he had to do was keep playing his tune and your friend got more and more agitated.”

 

“Funny, that. Shane never loses his cool. He told me he knew the guy way back. There must be extreme feelings there.”

 

To my surprise, Ellen Garvey also fancied herself a bit of a stand-up comedian. Her jokes went a long way toward regaining the earlier tone of the evening. “A funny thing happened on my way to this mic,” she’d begun. She attempted to convince the crowd they’d just witnessed a skit featuring two of the event’s volunteers, only they’d neglected to inform their crack security guy, who thought it was real and broke it up before they could finish.

 

I wondered how Henson would’ve reacted to being blamed for the abrupt end of the so-called drama. At least she referred to him as a “crack security guy.”

 

The race was to begin at seven in the morning. Short night, but I felt I should show up at least for part of it to show my support. Chuck would’ve gone with me, but he wanted to check the restaurant and wine bar to make sure the cleaning crew had put everything back in order, and after that, he planned to stop by Shane’s.

 

The run was to take place in Busse Park, a large plot of land donated to the City several years ago by an entrepreneur who’d made his fortune in early internet marketing and leveraged it into a monumental online magazine empire before selling it a few years ago and retiring to Fiji. He’d run high school races in the park as a boy and purportedly didn’t want to see it sold off to developers once he left town. I didn’t come here often, but it was a great place to sneak off to when I needed to think by myself.

 

I barely got inside the front entrance when I was stopped by a patrol car. “Sorry, ma’am. You can’t go any farther.” She was a younger officer who didn’t recognize me.

 

“I came to watch the race. Isn’t there any visitor parking?”

 

“The race has been canceled,” she said tersely. “At least for today.”

 

“Canceled? What happened?”

 

She bit a lip, wanting to say more but held back by orders.

 

“It’s okay to tell me. I’m Rowena Summerfield, formerly Lieutenant Summerfield. I was a homicide detective for the city.”

 

“Oh, Lieutenant Summerfield. I’ve heard about you. You still work with the force from time to time, right?”

 

I nodded.

 

“Are you here for the accident?”

 

I wanted to act like I was, but I didn’t want to get this young woman in trouble. She seemed new and a bit overwhelmed by the situation. “Accident? No, I just came to support the marathon. I was a volunteer at last night’s Rendezvous.”

 

“I’m not supposed to let anyone in that isn’t here on official police business, but I can at least tell you. The viewing stand collapsed. They think there was someone under it.”

 

The viewing stand? Wasn’t that the structure Terry Seiser claimed he’d been working on? “That’s horrible. Do they know who it was?”

 

She shook her head. “I just got here a little while ago. All I know is that it wasn’t a runner.”

 

My phone rang. She allowed me to pull off to the side to answer it.

 

“Did I interrupt your beauty sleep?” Herc asked, his typical way of greeting me when he called early in the morning. He knew better because I’m still an early riser, a habit that carried over from my days on the force.

 

“There are so many possible replies to that question, but I think I’ve exhausted them over the years. What’s up?”

 

“Funny you should ask. Actually, not funny. That guy that disrupted things last night, Seiser?”

 

“Yes?” I replied, my fingers tingling, knowing what was to come.

 

“He was in an accident here at the marathon. The whole viewing stand collapsed on top of him. They just pulled out the body.”

 

Buy Links (including Goodreads and BookBub):

 

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BN


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GooglePlay

 

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What makes your featured book a must-read?  

 

Wrenched at the Reindeer Run combines a compelling mystery with the impact the Christmas season has on the series’ main characters. Hardware store and lumber yard owner Terry Seiser is despicable and unfriendly, and yet at least three women support him: his housekeeper of several years; the business manager of his hardware store; and most recently, a wealthy philanthropist who trusts him with the construction of a viewing stand for the holiday marathon she is planning. Interior designer Rowena Summerfield once again sets aside her current building project to help her former homicide partner, Herc Morgan, find the killer. Even as they work on the case, they’re both involved tracking down the “perfect” gifts for their loved ones. Readers won’t want to miss the close of this episode in the series because major life changes are on tap, changes that will affect the future direction of their stories.

 

Giveaway –

 

Enter to win a $10 Amazon gift card:

 

 

Open Internationally.


Runs November 24 – November 29, 2023.


Winner will be drawn on November 30, 2023.

 


Author Biography:

 

Barbara Barrett started reading mysteries when she was pregnant with her first child to keep her mind off things like her changing body and food cravings. When she’d devoured as many Agatha Christies as she could find, she branched out to English village cozies and Ellery Queen.

 

Later, to avoid a midlife crisis, she began writing fiction at night when she wasn’t at her day job in human resources for Iowa State Government. After releasing eleven full-length romance novels and two novellas, she returned to the cozy mystery genre, using one of her retirement pastimes, the game of mah jongg, as her inspiration. Not only has it been a great social outlet, it has also helped keep her mind active when not writing.

 

Though not an interior designer, that occupation has always fascinated Barbara. Her father was a carpenter and her husband has his own woodworking business. Exposure to their work got her interested in watching numerous home improvement shows on HGTV. Ro and Val are an amalgam of several HGTV hosts. Barbara used that combination of personality traits for Ro and turned her into a female sleuth who rehabs older houses.

 

Barbara is a member of Sisters in Crime, Sinc-Iowa and Florida Star Fiction Writers.

 

She is married to the man she met her senior year of college. They have two grown children, eight grandchildren and two great grandchildren.

 

 Now retired, she is a resident of Florida, although she spends her summers in Iowa, her home state, and Minnesota. She earned her B.A. degree in History from the University of Iowa and her Master’s Degree in History from Drake University.

 

When not in front of her laptop creating her next story, she plays mah jongg, watches TV detective shows and enjoys lunches with friends. Most recently, she has begun to paint in acrylics and is working to evolve her skills.

 

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