The IrisesYou’re welcome to come by my apartment in the business district if you like. Come into the lobby and I’ll buzz you up. Have you ever been to New Orleans by chance? It’s a great city. . .the alluring, mysterious, macabre sister of Baton Rouge. I love it even though it harbors a few things I’m not willing to face. Don’t get me wrong. I have faced them. . .it. . .a ghost, the supernatural. Around nine months ago. I don’t want to discuss it right now but like I said, you’re welcome to stop by. I’m in a high rise…I know. It’s not something a cop or detective usually lives in but I bought it at a good price and for the time I spend there, it’s been worth it.

I haven’t left my apartment that much lately so excuse the messiness. It’s not like me. I’ve been known to be a borderline clean freak with matching kitchen towels and placemats, food organized in my refrigerator by expiration dates, that sort of thing. I lost someone close to me and it’s been. . .difficult. I’ll pour you a glass of merlot and maybe tell you some about it. I haven’t had a lot of guests over so having you tell me about Your life sounds refreshing. I mean that. There may be a phone call I have to take though so I apologize. I’m waiting on one from my partner, Jake LaRocca. I’ve known him for a long time. Good man. I’ve been “on leave” for several months now and he’s trying to drag me back into an investigation, pull me out of my reclusive state.

I met him earlier today in the park. He visited my normal bench where I’ve been hanging out since the end of last April. I can’t believe it’s 1979 already. . .I’ve been laying low, avoiding holidays, New Years, all of that. Anyway, he stopped by to tell me about another murder in the city. . .a unique one. I live in New Orleans, right? Murders happen all the time but this one. . .she was twenty, found in a small cemetery with mardi gras beads hanging around her neck. She had been strangled, a look of fear on her face. Whatever she saw before she died. . .it scared the hell out of her. Here’s the thing. The cemetery is next door to this funeral home. . .Martin’s Funeral Home. It’s owned by this young guy, Daniel Martin.

There are things I won’t go into right now. Maybe if I have three glasses of merlot I’ll tell you more about what I experienced last year with my former partner, Brenda Shapira. But let me be clear. She was more than my professional partner. . .and I lost her. But enough of that for right now. Tell me something about yourself, get my mind off of all of this. God knows it’s all I’ve thought about for months now. I can’t tell you any additional information about the investigation right now. . .that’s why I’m waiting for LaRocca’s call. All I know is this. According to LaRocca, Daniel Martin is a mortician, plain and simple. Except it doesn’t appear to be that plain or that simple.

You can read more about Roy in The Irises, the second book in the “Southern Spectral” mystery series, published by RiverRun Bookstore, Inc. The first book in the series is The Feathers.

About The Irises

In 1979 New Orleans, detective Roy Agnew faces the loss of his professional partner and lover. Thrown into another murder investigation, he re-enters the world of the supernatural and realizes that he may be the only person able to stop the killer. In order to catch a paranormal murderer, Roy must rely on the one thing he struggles with the most: his faith.

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Meet the author
Cynthia Lott is a librarian and researcher. The Irises is the second book in her Southern Spectral Series. Her debut novel, The Feathers, was released in August of 2014. She is a member of both Sisters in Crime, Inc. and International Thriller Writers, Inc. She enjoys reading across genres, vegetarian cooking, hiking and listening to other people’s life stories over a glass of good wine. Visit Cynthia at

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