Dying is as perilous as secrets and lies. Depending, of course, on who is keeping the secrets and who is telling the lies. Trust me, I’m in the secrets and lies business—I’m a homicide cop. Well, I was. Secrets and lies can lead to big problems—like murder—although it’s not in the secrets or the lies themselves. It’s that someone always wants to tell. The urge is like an addict needing a fix. You need to tell—you cannot help it—you have to tell. Sometimes it’s out of guilt. Sometimes it’s for revenge. Sometimes it’s just spite. No matter, in the end, someone is always dying to tell.
Considering the bizarre case I’m up against this time, it’s the telling in Dying to Tell that causes all the problems. Especially for me—it’s hard enough to be the finest homicide cop in little Winchester, Virginia. But when I’ve got swanky bankers, mysterious archeologists, and World War II spy-capers mixing in with good old fashion killing, it’s a real bi. . . bugger.
Oh, and on top of it all, did I mention I’m dead? Yep—I’m Tuck, formerly Detective Oliver Tucker of the Frederick County Sheriff’s office. I was a hotshot homicide detective before noises in my house put a bullet in my heart. You see, dead and gone are two totally different things. I’m dead, but as Angel and Hercule will tell you—well, maybe not Hercule, he’s my dog—I’m just not gone.
So my day started just after seven a.m. when I caught my Angel, that’s Professor Angela Tucker, former wife, er, widow, sneaking off for a secret meeting with the local nut-job-banker, William H. Mendelson. Angel is the whole prize—beautiful, brilliant, great job, loves Hercule—and best of all, she can see and hear me. Big plusses in my world of boo. And you gotta understand, it’s been two years since my death and you know what that means, right? No steak, no wine, no candlelight dinners, and worst of all, no, er, lights-out-tango.
But, I digress.
This morning started bad. Someone tried to rob the bank and take Angel hostage. Before I could save the day—that’s what I’m good at—suave, handsome, do-good bank executive, Franklin Thorne shoots it out with the would-be robber and saves Angel. Well, mostly saves the day. Unfortunately, I found old William Mendelson dead inside a secret vault in his bank’s basement. Well, it was supposed to be secret. He thought it was secret. The only real secret was that everyone in town knew it was there. And obviously, so did the robber.
Anyway, all hell broke loose. William had a few more secrets, and not just at the bank. He kept a stash of Egyptian antiquities in his secret vault. Where they came from is sort of interesting, too. He and some newcomers to Winchester, including Keys Hawkins, the owner of a new 1940’s jazz club called the Kit Kat West, have a history from Cairo during World War II. There was some goings on involving the Germans, the Allies, and one Oliver Tucker—no, not me, my grandfather. On top of that, this crazy lady, Dr. Raina Iskandr, an Egyptian Archeologist, is snooping around. Add in William Mendelson’s un-scrupled son, Marshal, Franklin Thorne, a couple odd bank employees, and holy-Seth-the-Egyptian mummy, what a nightmare!
But, they’re not the problem.
It’s my Angel.
She’s starting to get a little fidgety. Two years of having to keep the blinds down in the house to have any normalcy with me is getting to her. We can’t go out, we can’t even have a conversation in public. And, as I’ve said before, we can’t be husband and wife. Look, she’s gorgeous and smart and all and she has life to live. Is it unfair that I keep her from it?
Yes it is. No, no it’s not—she’s my wife for Pete’s sake. No, really, it’s … oh, hell, you get it. Our marriage is on the rocks. And the worst part? I have to sit back and watch as she starts to live a little.
And no fear, Poor Nic Bartalotta is back with a vengeance. And he’s sort of in a bad mood. His empire, and his life, are on the line. But hey, dying isn’t all that bad, right? After all, it doesn’t mean that he can’t be a character in the future. And holy Cab Calloway—when did Cal Clemens become a big-shot jazz musician?
So that’s sort of how my day is shaping up. Bodies. Spies. Handsome bankers, and spirited visits to 1942. What more could you ask for? Oh yeah, Bear Braddock and Hercule. No fear, Bear is helping me chase the bad guys and Hercule is keeping the home front free of suave playboys.
It’s true, though, everyone is Dying to Tell. The problem is, telling leads to the dying. For you though, be careful following this case. Nothing is as it seems. Nothing. And, in the end, telling is to die for.
Dying To Tell is the third book in the “Gumshoe Ghost” mystery series, published by Midnight Ink, January 2016.
About the author
TJ O’connor Is The 2015 Gold Medal Winner Of The Independent Publishers Book Awards For Mysteries and the author of Dying to Know, Dying for the Past, and Dying To Tell. Tj is an international security consultant specializing in anti-terrorism, investigations, and threat analysis—life experiences that drive his novels. With his former life as a government agent and years as a consultant, he has lived and worked around the world in places like Greece, Turkey, Italy, Germany, the United Kingdom, and throughout the Americas—among others. He was raised in New York’s Hudson Valley and lives with his wife and Lab companions in Virginia where they raised five children.
Dying to Know is also a 2015 Bronze Medal winner for the 2015 Reader’s Favorite Book Review Awards, a Finalist for the 2015 Silver Falchion Award, and a Foreword Review’s 2014 INDIEFAB Book of the Year Award finalist.
Giveaway: Leave comment below for your chance to win a copy of your choice from the “Gumshoe Ghost” series (Dying To Know, Dying For The Past, Dying To Tell). US entries only, please. The giveaway will end January 22 at 12 AM EST. Good luck everyone!