Nothing can kill a good book group discussion like cold-blooded murder. Especially when the victim is one of the group’s own. Cyanide is the topic du jour for the mystery fanatics of Murder on Tour, but for their poor hostess, Carlene Arness—who just published her own whodunit—it makes for a surprise ending. One minute, Carlene is speaking animatedly about featuring the poison in her new book. The next, she’s slumped over in a chair, dead from a sip of tea. Did the writer take her research too far? Or did one of the group’s members take a love of true crime to the extreme?
Founding member Hazel Rose is rounding up suspects. Any of her fellow bibliophiles could be the killer. And she soon discovers that almost all of them had a motive. Even Hazel herself, whose ex-husband married Carlene, could be accused of harboring jealousy. The truth is, Carlene wasn’t just hard to read, she was also hard to like—and the scandalous secrets Hazel unearths would make Carlene’s idol, Agatha Christie, turn over in her grave.
When high-powered executive Roxanne Howard dies in a pool of blood outside the Moonshine Inn, Richmond, Virginia’s premiere redneck bar, the victim’s sister enlists Hazel Rose to ferret out the killer. At first Hazel balks—she’s a romance writer, not a detective. But Brad Jones, Rox’s husband, is the prime suspect. He’s also Hazel’s cousin, and Hazel believes in doing anything to help family. Never mind that Brad won’t give her the time of day—he’s still family.
Hazel recruits her book group members to help with the investigation. It’s not long before they discover any number of people who feel that a world without Rox was just fine with them: Brad’s son believes his mother died at the hands of Rox and Brad; Rox’s former young lover holds Rox responsible for multiple tragedies in his family; and one of Rox’s employees filed a wrongful termination lawsuit against her. The killer could be an angry regular from the Moonshine Inn—or just about anyone who ever crossed paths with the willful and manipulative Rox.
When a second murder ups the ante Hazel must find out who is behind the killings. And fast. Or she may be victim #3.
Murder at the Moonshine Inn: ON SALE November 15, 2016
Virginia is for Mysteries Volume II is an anthology of nineteen stories, set in and around the Commonwealth, feature Virginia landmarks and locations such as Virginia Wine Country, Poe Museum, Luray Caverns, Colonial Williamsburg, Great Dismal Swamp, Nimrod Hall, Barter Theater, and Mill Mountain, to name a few.
I’m privileged to have my story included in this great anthology with Virginia authors Judy Chalkley, Meriah Crawford, Adele Gardner, Debbi Holmes, Teresa Hewitt Inge, Maria Hudgins, Cindy Lane Vivian Lawry, Michael McGowan, Kris Kisska Mehigan, Kathleen Mix, Jayne Ormerod, Yvonne Quinn Saxon, Rosemary Shomaker, Rosemary Stevens, Linda Thornburg, Heather Baker Weidner, Ken C. Wingate.
Here is a synopsis of my story, “Reunion in Shockoe Slip”:
One cold and blustery January day bestselling mystery author Nancy McGregor and Internet security expert Roger Rucker meet by chance in Richmond, Virginia’s historic Shockoe Slip. Thirty years before they were lovers in sunny Southern California. Their reunion sets off a series of memories and events that change their lives forever.
Order your copy of Virginia is for Mysteries Volume II here.
Virginia Is for Mysteries is a collection of short stories set in and around the Commonwealth of Virginia. All stories are written by Virginia residents with murder in mind. Each author is a member of Sisters in Crime, either the Central Virginia chapter or the Mystery by the Sea (Chesapeake) chapter. Virginia Is for Mysteries can be compared to Chesapeake Crimes, Fish Tales, Fish Nets, or Best New England Crime Stories.
Contributing authors are Meredith Cole, Maria Hudgins, Teresa Inge, Maggie King, May Layne, Vivian Lawry, Michael McGowan, Smita Harish Jain, Jayne Ormerod, Yvonne Saxon, Rosemary Shomaker, Fiona Quinn, Linda Thornburg, and Heather Baker Weidner.
Here is a synopsis of my story, “A Not So Genteel Murder”:
A birthday party at Richmond’s historic Kent-Valentine House sets the scene for this tale of betrayal, loss, and the power of family ties.
Sharon Taylor groans when she receives the invitation to Deb Carnachan’s party at the Kent-Valentine House. She’d rather stay home and watch old movies with her Westies. After two years, Sharon is still reeling from the deaths of her husband and daughter. But she and Deb are friends from way back and so she drags herself to the big do.
When Olivia Thompson’s husband leaves her for a younger woman she’s desperate to snag hubby #2. She invites Sherwood Aimsley to the party and is outraged when he shows up with a statuesque beauty on his arm.
Sharon and Olivia keep each other company while their happier friends whoop it up and spread cheer. Until truth and illusion collide … and the evening ends in tragedy.
Order your copy of Virginia is for Mysteries here.