Lost Under a LadderHello, I’m Rory Chasen. I’m here to introduce myself because I’m about to be featured in a new mystery series, the Superstition Mysteries. The first one is Lost Under A Ladder, and it’ll be available in October.

Why are they called Superstition Mysteries? Because that’s what they’re all about–kind of.

You see, I currently live in the town of Destiny, California. Superstitions are a way of life here. Everyone who lives in Destiny loves and believes in superstitions, or at least they pretend to, since a lot of tourists come here trying to learn more of what superstitions are all about–and spend their money.

Many store names reflect the town’s theme, such as the Lucky Dog Boutique, where I’m now the manager. Next door is the Broken Mirror Bookstore. Also here are the Shamrock Steakhouse, the Knock-on-Wood Furniture Shop, the Wishbones to Go Eatery, Buttons of Fortune, Beware of Bubbles Coffee Shop, Wish-on-a-Star Children’s Shop… well, you get it.

So why am I here? I came to Destiny to learn whether superstitions could actually be real. I’m skeptical but needed to know. Not long ago my beloved fiancé Warren walked under a ladder–and died a few minutes later after being struck by a car. Did the ladder have anything to do with it? I’m still hoping to find out.

My dog Pluckie, a delightful spaniel-terrier mix, came with me. She’s black and white–and I learned very quickly after getting to Destiny that black and white dogs are lucky. I was told that by Martha Jallopia, owner of the Lucky Dog Boutique, when Pluckie made me enter her shop and go into the back room, where we found Martha ill. Pluckie helped to save her life–which is definitely lucky. And when Martha asked me to stay to run the Lucky Dog for a while, I couldn’t refuse, especially when her good friend Justin Halbertson, the town’s police chief, also pleaded with me to help her.

I also met Kenneth Tarzal, one of the owners of the Broken Mirror Bookstore and the author of the definitive guide to superstitions, The Destiny of Superstitions, which had been one of the things that had drawn me to Destiny.

What’s my usual day like? Well, I wake up early at the Rainbow Bed & Breakfast and take Pluckie for a short walk. Then we go back inside for breakfast.

Next, we walk to the Lucky Dog because Destiny is compact enough that you can walk nearly anywhere. I straighten out our inventory on the store shelves. It’s fun merchandise, all involved with superstitions: stuffed toys that include black cats and black and white dogs, and horseshoe shapes; collars and leashes and pet clothing and bedding all decorated with superstition themes; and more.

Sometimes I’ll call Martha, then go upstairs to say good morning, since she lives on the second floor of the building housing the Lucky Dog. I soon open the shop whether or not either of our two assistants have arrived. And because Destiny is Destiny, we usually have a huge crowd of customers, tourists who often have their dogs along, and who also come in and buy a lot.

Around lunchtime I’ll either bring in food for us including Martha, or let one of the assistants do it. We don’t close the shop until early evening, and then I’ll often go out to dinner–sometimes with Justin, the police chief, or other friends I’ve met here. After that, Pluckie and I return to the B&B.

Things started to settle fairly quickly into a routine here, including attending the weekly Destiny Welcome to introduce tourists to the town. But then Pluckie pulled me one day into the Broken Mirror Bookstore, as she had when she’d sensed Martha ailing in the Lucky Dog. That day, Tarzal wasn’t as lucky. He was dead. And when Martha becomes the main suspect in his murder, of course I to try to clear the sweet older woman of suspicion.

I’ve been told it may be good luck to read the Superstition Mysteries. I can’t be sure of that. But I’d suggest you try them to find out.


Meet the author
Linda O. Johnston writes the Superstition Mysteries for Midnight Ink. She has also written the Pet Rescue Mysteries and the Kendra Ballantyne, Pet-Sitter Mystery series, for Berkley Prime Crime. In addition, she writes the Alpha Force miniseries for Harlequin Nocturne, about a covert military unit of shapeshifters, as well as novels for Harlequin Romantic Suspense. And watch for Linda’s upcoming Barkery and Biscuits Mysteries for Midnight Ink. Visit her at www.LindaOJohnston.com.

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