Monday, March 27, 2017
I am so excited to have Jo A. Hiestand here at Paranormal and Romantic Suspense Reviews with a Spotlight, Excerpt and Giveaway.
Thanks Jo and Goddess Fish Promotions for allowing me to join A Staged Murder Blog Tour!
Please take it away, Jo!
A Staged Murder
by Jo A. Hiestand
Bonfire Night! The four hundred-year-old tradition of burning the straw effigy is beginning in Upper Kingsleigh, England. The torch extends… But it’s no mock figure at the end of the rope; it’s the body of a man, an American tourist. Brenna Taylor, Derbyshire C.I.D., is assigned to the case on a team of detectives under Detective-Chief Inspector Geoffrey Graham. It is the chance Brenna has been waiting for, and she is anxious to impress him.
Most villagers suspect an outsider as the killer. But when the frost-covered body of a resident is discovered, apprehension shifts and suspects multiply. Among them are the American's brother-in-law, still angry over his sister's death; the husband, who fears his wife will desert him for the American; the inebriated, penniless uncle, who clings to his nephew's fortune tighter than a cork in a wine bottle. Then Brenna becomes the target of a series of frightening pranks -- the work of a harassing male colleague, or a deadly warning to leave the case? Her hunt is personal now.
The vicar bent over and tugged at the wooden torch pushed into the ground near the woodpile. Cotton batting covered in layers of paraffin-soaked gauze topped the stick giving it the grotesque appearance of a giant cotton swab. He held the wooden torch as high as he could, letting everyone see and snap a few photos if desired. Then, from somewhere in the darkness behind him, a match scraped against something rough. The smell of sulfur filtered downwind, and a small blue and ochre flame bored a hole into the blackness. The flame moved forward as if floating through the gloom. There was a stronger scent of kerosene as the cotton batting ignited, and the vicar’s thin face leapt out of the dark, bathed in crimson, gold and yellow. He slowly walked forward, his ink-black robes one with the night, his shadow bobbing behind him while the torch flames danced. The instant he struck the torch into the base of the gigantic woodpile, the crowd cheered.
Without a word, he walked over to the huge oak. He handed the burning torch to Byron, who held it over his head and angled toward the top of the ladder. The bright ochre flame threw a woman’s slender form into silhouette against the blackness of the night sky. Quiet descended on the crowd as they watched the woman steady herself on the ladder and the effigy rotate from the massive oak limb that held it in mid air.
The woman bent forward slightly to get closer to read the declaration scribbled on a slightly wrinkled square of paper stretched across The Guy’s chest and held upright by an old knife. Its wooden hilt and naked blade gleamed in the firelight and threw hideous shadows across the whiteness of the paper. The crowd cheered, urging her on as she peered at the effigy’s face. Ebony and saffron-yellow alternately washed the face as shadow and firelight flitted across the form. At another vocal urge, the woman took the torch from Byron, ready to light the straw-filled figure. Now that she held the torch, she raised it to peer at the face before her. A moment later her scream rose against the clamor as she fell in a faint.
AUTHOR Bio and Links
A month-long trip to England during her college years introduced Jo to the joys of Things British. Since then, she has been lured back nearly a dozen times, and lived there during her professional folksinging stint. This intimate knowledge of Britain forms the backbone of the Peak District mystery series.
Jo’s insistence for accuracy -- from police methods and location layout to the general “feel” of the area -- has driven her innumerable times to Derbyshire for research. These explorations and conferences with police friends provide the detail filling the books.
In 1999 she returned to Webster University to major in English. She graduated in 2001 with a BA degree and departmental honors.
Jo founded the Greater St. Louis Chapter of Sisters in Crime, serving as its first president. Besides her love of mysteries and early music, she also enjoys photography, reading, creating recipes, and her backyard wildlife. Her cat, Tennyson, shares her St. Louis home.
BOOK WILL BE $0.99 DURING THE TOUR
Jo will be awarding a handmade lapis lazuli necklace on a bamboo cord to a randomly drawn winner via rafflecopter during the tour - International giveaway. The cord is adjustable and the necklace is comprised of three stones ranging in length from 1 5/8" to 2 1/8". (It's like the one Brenna Taylor in the book wears)
Please follow the rest of the tour here, thanks:
Posted by Paranormal and Romantic Suspense Reviews at 12:00 AM
Labels: Excerpt and Giveaway, Goddess Fish Promotions, Jo A. Hiestand's A Staged Murder Blog Tour with a Spotlight