The Baying Witness

Sheriff Delton Ross shifted in his chair. Through his office window, he watched late-August heat waves rise from the department parking lot. Halfheartedly, the sixty-year-old Ross listened to the improbable tale coming from the mouth of Ennis Archer.

She was a local woman, a sister to Dave Fairmont, the man who had recently run off and abandoned his wife of the last thirty years. The whole town of Willow Grove had heard the story.

Dave had left a letter for Lila upon his departure, and she’d run around showing the entire town its contents.

Case closed to his mind; had been for months, except for Ennis.

“I’m telling you Delt, my brother wouldn’t take off like that. Not without getting in touch with one of us. The ones he really loved. Somehow, sometime.”

That was a fact, Ross thought. The Fairmonts had always been more of a clan than a family. They were a tough bunch to get inside. Still, it was odd that the man hadn’t been heard from.

“And then there’s Edgar,” Ennis continued with a firm nod.

“Edgar? Edgar who?” Ross couldn’t believe Lila had taken up with another man already. She hadn’t seemed like the type. Besides, he couldn’t think of a single man in Hartford County named Edgar. Where’d this fellow come from?

“He’s the neighbor’s dog,” Ennis added, as though she had read Ross’ thoughts. “That poor thing sits and howls over that rose garden of Lila’s, day in and day out. Lila’s even built a fence to keep the beast away from her land. But the dog just sits on the other side of that fence and howls, anyway.”Ennis’s hard, gray-green eyes gave the sheriff a look that said, “There, now. What do you think of that?”

Ross blinked before leaning forward in his chair. Ennis now had his full attention. “What kind of dog is it?” Ross asked, taking care to keep his deep voice neutral. An avid sportsman, Ross knew his dogs. This could mean something, but he sure didn’t want to get this woman any more riled up than she already was.

“Oh, heavens,” Ennis answered. “How on earth would I know?”

Ross bit back a sigh and slumped back in his seat. “Which neighbor of hers is it that has this dog?”

“Ed Bracken. He lives in the house just behind Lila’s.” Ennis studied the sheriff a moment, then asked, “You gonna go out there? You gonna follow this up?” Continue reading “The Baying Witness”

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Mud Pie, a Delightful Free Novel

Oh boy, I  have another free book to recommend. It’s Mud Pie, written by Emma Lee Dole. It’s cute. It’s fun. And it’s a decidedly complicated mystery. I could not figure out who “dun” it  until the very last minute, and I read a LOT of mysteries.

It’s set in England, near Manchester, and features a young cook, Lannie Herron, being chased by an evil bunch of young thugs. They want to kill her for exposing their drug dealing. She is fleeing in hopes of escaping their retribution.

(Mud Pie, by the way, is a dessert, although I can’t really describe it since I’ve never had it. But needless to say, Lannie makes a great one.)

So there she is working in some small pub, praying to escape detection and death. Who said survival was easy?

The e-book is an engaging read full of rugby players, flirtations, and narrow escapes. I truly enjoyed it, and since it ended with her future not fully spelled out, I suggest Dole use this as the first  book in a series of Lannie adventures. I’d certainly read them for whatever that’s worth.

Mud Pie is available FREE for Nook, iTunes, and Kobo. I downloaded my copy at Smashwords.

I cannot end this post without also mentioning Widowmere, which is also written by Emma Lee Dole, and is also FREE. I read it. I loved it. But this book is heavy on description which bothers me not a whit. In fact, I reveled in the language used to tell this story. This tale features an artist as a protagonist who is as far removed from Lannie as possible. She’s sensitive, observant, romantic, and charming.

Widowmere begins when a beautiful young woman fills her pockets with pebbles and walks into the lake as the artist is painting the scene. It is more of a  literary mystery, but that bothered me not at all. This book is also available from the above outlets. Enjoy!

Ghosts?

B&BfinalWith my latest book, I’m moving into new territory — ghosts. Or, more accurately, a ghost. He’s Hetty Fox’s lost love who died when they were young. His presence gives Hetty a problem. She doesn’t believe in ghosts, and she doubts this thing hovering in the middle of her living room is real. So what’s she to make of it? Her first fear is that she’s losing her grip on reality. So before she stumbles off to help her friend, her order to her cat demands that he drive the thing out of their new home.

She should be so lucky.

But the ghost is also a bit of a challenge for me. Like Hetty, I’m not a big believer in ghosts. But I like this one. And in the end, I think Hetty will as well.

The other hangup is that I write mysteries, so there’s not only the reality of the ghost to solve, but there’s a murder to untangle as well. What fun.

Currently this novella is in edits, but it should go live soon. This is the first book in the series. I’m hoping Hetty and her charming ghost will have a long and happy run.

In the meantime, thanks for reading!

Death among the Roses Free Today

RosesThe first book in the Melanie Hart Cozy Mystery series is free today at Amazon. It features two female sleuths who track a deadly killer. There’s also a touch of romance mixed in with the murder. You may download your free copy today here.