Handcuff and High HeelsMy love nugget and I had just climbed into bed after a romantic dinner at Bella Napoli when I felt inspired to write this account of my typical day. Clint asked if I could just put it off until tomorrow, but I quieted his grumbling with my standard reply. “You know the rules,” I said. “People first. Then work. Then shopping.”

“But I’m people,” he moaned.

“I know you are,” I said, pinching his gorgeous cheek. “And we just enjoyed a delicious meal and some energetic va-va-va-voom. Now, why don’t you go to sleep, so I can take care of business?”

Clint made a face, rolled over and burrowed under a pile of feather pillows. I gave his rump a little swat and fired up my laptop.

As the only private investigator in the upstate New York town of Wormwood, I’m used to working at all hours of the day and night. Clients call on the phone or stop by my office, located above Smith’s Pharmacy in the downtown business district. They want me to help them with a wide variety of cases, from jewel heists and cheating husbands to stolen wedding gowns, kidnapped artwork and fraudulent heirs.

I start most days at Rolls with Holes. It’s the only place in town to buy fresh bagels. We used to have two bagel shops, but last year during a blinding snowstorm a semi loaded with adult diapers missed the sharp left turn where First Street intersects with Bird Pond Road. The ensuing crash soiled thousands of pristine undergarments and obliterated the Quonset hut that had been home to Shimmel & Sons Bagels for three generations. Anyway, I stop in most mornings at Rolls with Holes to talk with Eunice and buy my usual: a cinnamon raisin bagel and cappuccino.

After breakfast, I’ll tackle whatever is on my list for the day. From telephone interviews, covert surveillance to online research and surreptitious sleuthing, the daily agenda can cover a lot of territory. Since I like to keep my life balanced, I also generally find time during the day for another cup of coffee at Just Java, a little retail therapy at Fashion Forward or a visit to see my ex-husband, Hank Martin, who also happens to be the sheriff of Haverstraw County. Our marriage didn’t make it, but our professional relationship is convivial and positive. Hank and his top two detectives, Lana Krenshaw and Nina Spenser, give me access to important information about cases. They also ask me to assist them every now and then.

Despite the pastoral setting, friendly atmosphere and hospitable temperament, Wormwood seems to be a hotbed for all types of trouble. Between the cheating spouses, business squabbles, kidnappings and robberies, we also have more than our fair share of outsiders who bring their own brand of crime to town.

For example, not too long ago, I worked a case that involved an unidentified body found in the alley behind King Tut’s Donut Hut. When I learned that my name was linked to the deceased, I decided to jump in to identify the victim and track down the killer. Like most of my work, the situation took me on a zigzag tour through Wormwood. Along the way, I met the title character from an Agatha Christie classic, a helpful bus company clerk named Moonflower, an abstract artist obsessed with buttocks and a tight-lipped shop clerk who unwittingly supplied me with an essential clue that helped identify the murderer.

I love my job. Before I became a PI, I tried the big city and a career on Wall Street. But when that opportunity ended in a nightmare, I decided to pursue my childhood dream. To meet the New York State requirements for a licensed PI, I first worked for a well-known sleuth with a large agency in Albany. Once I had my license, I returned to Wormwood, rented an office and launched my new enterprise.

As I mentioned earlier, I’m the only private investigator in town. That makes life incredibly interesting, challenging and rewarding. At the end of most days, after chasing the bad guys and helping the good ones, I like to return home for a quiet dinner with Clint, a glass of wine on the back deck and a chance to reflect on the amazing opportunity I have to unravel mysteries, solve crimes and stop a ragtag bunch of ne’er-do-wells from wreaking havoc on my neck of the woods.

You can read more about Ruby in Handcuffs & High Heels, the first book in the new “Ruby Widsom” mystery series, published by J.M. Edwards. The second book in the series is “Death by Donut, released in September 2014.”

GIVEAWAY: Leave a comment by 6 p.m. eastern on November 5 for the chance to win an e-book copy of HANDCUFFS & HIGH HEELS. The giveaway is open to everyone.

This is the 12th stop on the J.M Edwards Great Escapes Virtual Book Tour. For other stops on this tour, click HERE

About the author
J.M. Edwards loves crime. But only when it’s fictional. A lifelong fan of mystery novels, police procedurals and JMEdwardsthrillers, J.M. has worked as a copywriter, bartender, dog walker and newspaper reporter. When it comes to reading, she has a few favorites (Robert B. Parker, Sue Grafton, Dashiell Hammett, Lee Child), but always enjoys learning about new authors to add to the TBR pile. In addition to writing the new Ruby Wisdom cozy mystery series, J.M. spends time gardening, traveling, spoiling a small herd of cats and dogs, doing volunteer work and taking the occasional nap.

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