Facing a ghost, a dead body, and a cat, Hetty Fox has her hands full. Recently widowed and new to town, she also must find her place among a village of strangers. That effort is how she discovers her first dead body and launches herself into her first murder investigation. Grab your free copy today.
He hunched his shoulders and picked up his pace. The man had followed this path home through this tiny park hundreds of times. He knew it better than he knew his own hand. So why on this night was his pulse racing? His hands sweating?
The word nerves came to mind, and he cursed himself for giving way to them.
He shook his head. Stephanie had threatened him. Had told him she would never forgive him. He had never seen such anger, but what could she actually do? She had no power, no contacts.
He tightened his coat collar and cast his gaze over the glistening snow. It was a frigid night. A night better spent driving home instead of wandering home through a deserted park.
He sighed and lifted his head. Dumping Stephanie had sounded so simple. It was the perfect solution, probably the only solution really. How could he know she would take his decision so hard? He had never promised her forever. Still, he could hardly believe the trauma his decision had cost him.
He stepped past a string of pine trees. A punishing north wind pushed him sideways. He danced through a couple of quick steps, arms flailing, to avoid plunging to the frigid ground.
Recovering, he swore softly and shoved his coat sleeve back, and glanced at his watch. Late now. The street lights were on. But it was the puddle of blackness between lights that made him shiver.
He needed to think. Needed to come up with an excuse for missing dinner.
He paused, cast a glance backwards. Had he heard something? He squinted., peered around bushes. Shook his head. “Nothing there,” he reassured himself.
He set out again, his thoughts shifting now to Angela. Beautiful, faithful, boring Angela. The perfect wife. The woman who would one day morph into an exceptional mother.
He inwardly cringed. What had he been thinking? He was lucky to have her.
Had it been old habits or the siren song of a first love that had driven him back into Stephanie’s arms? That woman was like a fine wine. Difficult to put down. But so what? He needed to stay focused on what he wanted. A respectable life. An organized home. A family.
He rounded a corner. A figure stepped in front of him, blocking his way. She held a knife in front of her. Lamplight glinted off the hard steel of the blade just before it found his beating heart.
“Angela,” he cried as his breath failed him, but his prayer was lost to the roar of the wind.
A midwife has been arrested on suspicion of murdering a child, but the hangman doubts she’s guilty. It goes against everything he knows about her. But can he find the killer before he’s required to begin torturing her to win a confession?
The story is set in Bavaria in the mid-1600s, For a helper in his search for the real killer, the hangman has a young physician, who believes there’s more to being a doctor than the less than scientific approaches of the past. The good doctor also has an eye for the hangman’s daughter.
The hangman’s daughter, meanwhile, likes the young doctor back but there’s a problem. In Bavaria in the 1600s, a hangman’s daughter can only marry a hangman’s son.
I can’t call this a cozy mystery. This is, after all, the story of a hangman. But it is a good read with interesting characters and details of a profession you’ve probably not known much about before. In addition to providing a compelling mystery, the book also contains some internal graphics that are well worth the viewing.
I habitually post reviews of books I’ve enjoyed reading here. It you like them too, good on you! But publishing a book is hard work. So if you like any book here, I encourage you to post a review of it. It helps readers know there’s a good or interesting book out there, or at the very least, you’re recommending a reasonably good read to your friends who are as anxious to find a pleasurable read as you are!
So please, don’t be shy. As difficult as it may be for your to find a good, satisfying read, it’s even more difficult for an unknown author to find a reader who’s willing say, “Dang, that book was good.”
If you didn’t like it, feel free to post that opinion, too. All views matter. And thank you, for reading the blog and my books.
Best wishes, Anna Drake.
The first book I published has gotten a new face. Murderous Relations, my very first published novel, now has a new cover. First reactions seem promising.
This is not only my first book, but it is also my best selling book. It enjoyed a good run when first published at one retail outlet but languished at others. There is even one outlet where the book only sold two copies throughout the many years it’s been on the market. But since slapping on a new cover, I’m up to 13 sales in one month on that particular site. Could one cover really make that much a difference?
Of course, I REALLY like the new cover. I hope you like it, too.
Murderous Relations was awfully close to being a romantic suspense story. But to reach that level, I’d have had to increase the percent of the story that was dedicated to romance. It’s in there. And is a lovely bit of matchmaking if I may say so. But I would have had to cut back on the mystery and suspense elements to fulfill the romantic suspense genre expectations.
Now, I’m working on a true romantic suspense story. During my writing of what is a new genre for me, I’ve been playing around with covers for the story, which I have titled: Blind Faith. Here’s my latest effort at a cover for my first romantic suspense book. I think I like it. And I’d be thrilled if you did too:
Follow Me is a romantic suspense novel featuring the young computer programmer, China Mack, who suddenly finds herself in charge of a project in which fellow workers are dropping dead. She quickly learns she’s in harm’s way, too.
In addition, there’s her handsome boss, Jackson Cooper, who put her in charge of this mysterious project and a new next door neighbor by the name of Clark, who unfortunately reminds her of Clark Kent of Superman fame.
Light and funny with some equally tense moments, it also includes a couple of bedroom scenes which are easily skipped if you’re like me. But overall an engaging read.
I picked it up at Amazon through the Kindle Unlimited program.
Mix in the usual challenges posed by her resident ghost and her cat, and Hetty is hard pressed to keep up. But our amateur sleuth likes her life in downstate Illinois, and she is determined to thrive here. To that end, Hetty grabs a deep breath, turns her thoughts to the killer, and throws herself into her work.
Read a sample:
I’d hate to know when trouble is headed my way. Being blissfully clueless protects me from experiencing life’s meaner moments until they actually arrive. And so it was on this day.
It was a Thursday. I was seated in my favorite chair with knitting in hand. Blackie, my cat, lay in his basket next to my feet. Andrew, my resident ghost, hovered near the window. He was watching the day’s heavy rainfall and rattling off ways to improve Blackie’s life.
Yeah like he cared diddly squat about my poor cat.
Andrew turned to me and started in again on his list of improvements. “You really must put Blackie out at night. It isn’t good for a cat to be locked up indoors all the time. Besides, he’d get more exercise that way. That would help with his weight.”
Blackie lifted his head and glared at Andrew.
I pulled more yarn free from the skein. “That’s sheer nonsense. Blackie isn’t the least bit fat.”
“Well… if you’d look at him objectively, you’d see he’s not exactly skinny, either.”
I shook my head. “The vet says cats should always be kept indoors. He claims it solves most of the problems people have with cats.”
Andrew scoffed. “I suspect your cat could stand up for himself quite well out in the wilds or anyplace else for that matter. He’s not nearly as helpless as you’d like to believe.”
Andrew was a recent addition to our household. He had appeared in my living room shortly after my move here. He was the ghostly remains of a young man I’d loved during my college days. I’d hoped to marry him some day, but he’d died in a tragic auto accident before that could happen.