A year ago, I quit my high-powered financial consultant job at Stramp Investments in Kansas City and bought the old dime store in my hometown—Shadow Bend, Missouri, population 4028. At the time of my resignation, I had no idea that my boss had been stealing investors’ life savings. However, a lot of people thought Ronald Stramp’s employees were as guilty as he was, and having left several months before he was exposed didn’t spare me from the accusations or the venom. I was even persecuted for a murder that I didn’t commit, because one of the funds Stramp had ripped off belonged to a police officer’s group.
Thank goodness, with the help of my friends and a hunky U.S. Marshal named Jake Del Vecchio, I was able to figure out who the real killer was before the detective in charge managed to railroad me into the electric chair. After that incident, I had hoped never to be involved in another police investigation. Sadly, my wish wasn’t granted and I now have two more cases under my belt.
A few months after I was falsely accused, my BFF Boone St. Onge suffered the same fate when he was discovered standing over the dead body of one of his law clients. Once again, we had to rally the troops to discover whodunit. The troops being my other BFF, Poppy Kincaid, owner of Shadow Bend’s hottest club, Gossip Central and daughter of the police chief.
This time, my old high school boyfriend, Dr. Noah Underwood, joined us to lend a hand. It was a little awkward having Noah as part of our crew. The rivalry between Boone and Noah started way back in sixth grade over a campaign for class president, continued throughout high school, and into their adult lives. When Noah and I were dating, he and Boone pretended to get along. But the minute Noah dumped me, Boone’s true feelings had reemerged. And from then on, he never bothered to hide his contempt for the good doctor. Noah had since explained why he broke up with me right after my father was sent to prison, and even if I believed him, Boone didn’t.
However, we all managed to play nicely, find the real killer, and clear Boone’s name. After that, I was sure I had solved my last case. Apparently, I was wrong again. Recently, I allowed the local book club to meet at my store. Who knew that bad poetry could mean life or death? I should probably let the police solve this case, but I think I might have been bitten by the sleuthing bug. Besides, the creep got killed on my property and I’ve never been one to disrespect like that lying down.
You can read more about Devereaux in Dead Between the Lines, the third book in the “Devereaux’s Dime Store” mystery series, published by Obsidian. The first book in the series is Little Shop of Homicide. Books are available at retail and online booksellers.
Dead Between the Lines debuts on March 4, 2014
Opening an old-fashioned five-and-dime shop in her small Missouri hometown has been a great change for Devereaux “Dev” Sinclair. To keep her new business in the black, Dev opens up her shop to local clubs. But in the first meeting of the Stepping Out Book Club, the speaker storms out after members attack his poetry’s sexism and scorn for small towns. Later that night, the poet’s body is found outside Dev’s store.
Dev can’t afford for the murder to close her down, so she does a little stepping out of her own to investigate, with help from her two sexy suitors, Dr. Noah Underwood and Deputy U.S. Marshal Jake Del Vecchio. But when the killer threatens Dev, they will have to use every trick in the book to solve the case before she becomes the final chapter in this murder mystery.
“Delightful.…Readers will look forward to seeing more of the quick-witted Dev.”—Publishers Weekly
“[A] spunky new heroine with a Missouri stubborn streak.”—Library Journal (Starred Review)
“Swanson puts just the right amount of sexy sizzle in her latest engaging mystery.” –Chicago Tribune
GIVEAWAY: Comment on this post by 6pm EST on March 16, and you will be entered for a chance to win a copy of DEAD BETWEEN THE LINES. One winner will be chosen at random. Unless specified, U.S. entries only.
Meet the author
New York Times Bestselling author Denise Swanson writes both the Scumble River and Devereaux’s Dime Store mystery series. Denise was a practicing school psychologist for twenty-two years and grew up in a small town similar to Shadow Bend and Scumble River. She is married to classic music composer David Stybr and lives in Illinois with her cool black cat Boomerang.
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