Annabelle Starkey and Mickey Paxton by Zoe Burke

No Gun IntendedLet me tell you about the leading man in my life, Michael Thomas Paxton, though everyone calls him Mickey. He used to be an NYPD detective, but now we have our own detective agency, partnering with our best friend, Luis Maldonado. He’s an ex-cop, too.

As for me, Annabelle Starkey, I drew the lucky card when I met Mickey a couple of years ago. It was pure happenstance, and even though I unknowingly led him into a mash-up of murder and mayhem, he somehow fell in love with me.

I still find that wondrous. Mickey and I do have lots in common—for instance, we love the movies. He once told me, “You are exceptionally odd,” which I recognized right away as a quote from A Beautiful Mind, and I came right back at him with the movie’s line: “I bet you’re very popular with the girls.” We’re cinematically copacetic.

But we’re very different, too. He’s contained, thoughtful, doesn’t reveal too much too soon. In fact, I’m certain there’s more to him than even I know. I, on the other hand, tend to blurt out immediately everything that comes to mind.

Mickey is rich. His parents died in an accident when he was only 25, and they left him a pile of money. It was newly earned—Mickey grew up working-class, until his plumber father invented a pipe sealant, the patent for which paid out big time. So Mickey doesn’t have airs, if you know what I mean. He’s a solid, straightforward, no-nonsense kind of guy. Except when we’re yucking it up. He needs yucking. He’s wound pretty tight from those years of being a New York City cop.

I suppose that’s why he’s attracted to me. I know I can be flighty and impulsive, and while those qualities have, admittedly, gotten us into some scrapes, I do have good instincts. Mickey has told me that, lots of times.

Just last night, in fact, I told him I thought it was time to go to bed. He complimented me on my instincts.

Mickey quickly became part of my family. My parents, Jeff and Sylvia, live in Portland, Oregon, and they treated him like a son from the get-go. In fact, they knew he was in love with me before I figured it out. They’ve helped us out a lot, even though I’ve brought trouble to their door twice. Mom told me early on that Mickey was “a goddamned keeper” and I better not “screw up and end up with some loser twitbrain instead of him.” Mom is very expressive in her use of the English language. Dad, he’s more like Mickey. Big heart, usually quiet, generous to a fault.

These days, we’re back in our Chelsea flat in Manhattan, having just spent a harrowing week in Portland. It was supposed to have been a relaxing visit with the ’rents, but it played out more like a Ridley Scott movie—no aliens, but plenty of bad guys.

Here’s what happened: I arrived a few days before Mickey, ready to settle in for a week of chilling out, when I discovered my backpack had been switched for one holding a gun—a gun linked to a murder.

My infallible instincts told me that this could not be good.

I didn’t know if I had been set up or was simply in the wrong place at the wrong time. The Portland PD wasn’t sure, either—they were figuring me as some sort of criminal. Then a frantic young woman got in touch with me, claiming the gun was hers. And besides all of that, I spotted the man who sat next to me on the plane twice, on the streets of Portland. Was he stalking me?

So, I was freaked out but held it somewhat together until Mickey and Luis arrived. That’s not to say I was lost without them. But I do better with them around. We’re a good team. We complement each other. I don’t pretend to be an Olivia Benson clone, but with my partners, I think the three of us could solve any Law and Order crime that fell into our laps. Whenever Mickey and I don’t see private eye to private eye, that’s when Luis steps in. He keeps us on track.

I’ll leave it to you to find out more about the Portland caper.

But one last word about Mickey: every morning he makes me coffee, tells me he loves me, and insists that my hair looks great. He can be overly protective, but he’s always on my side, and by my side.

Mickey’s my rock.

And I guess you could say that I’m his roll.

No Gun Intended is the second book in the “Annabelle Starkey” mystery series, published by Poisoned Pen Press, January 2016.

Meet the author
Zoe Burke lives in Portland, Oregon. She has written several children’s books as well as her Annabelle Starkey mysteries. She is also the vice president and publisher of Pomegranate Communications, an art book publishing company, and she enjoyed a brief singer/songwriter career as Katie Burke in the 1990s. Visit Zoe at

Giveaway: Win a copy of each of Zoe Burke’s Annabelle Starkey mysteries—Jump The Gun and No Gun Intended! Since Annabelle is such a movie nut, in 50 words or less, tell us what your favorite movie is and why. Leave your comment below. US entries only, please. The giveaway will end February 15 at 12 AM EST. Good luck everyone!

43 responses to “Annabelle Starkey and Mickey Paxton by Zoe Burke

  1. I love Ghost because the romance is beautiful, the music is fantastic, and the plot is fast paced and intriguing. Just like a good book, except then, I have to provide the music.

  2. My favorite movie is Mrs. Doubtfire and/or Patch Adams. Of course both include Robin Williams and both are comedies. They addressed serious issues but also provide an enjoyable time.

  3. Annabelle and Mickey clearly love each other. Refreshing in this day and age of divorce, broken homes, etc. The fact they solve mysteries is an added bonus. Thanks for the chance to enter the contest.

  4. Barbara Hackel

    My Cousin Vinnie~I love the typical Jersey guy image. When it becomes obvious he is in over his head and BS isn’t going to work, he reads and learns the law he needs. His love of his family and the final courtroom scene are favorites!
    Thanks Dru and Annabelle for this great opportunity! 😮 🙂

  5. I love musicals and dancing. Can’t tell you the number of times I’ve watched Grease, Grease 2, and Dirty Dancing.

    • I love musicals, too! I recently saw the Broadway theater version of An American in Paris. It was fabulous. Now I must go back and watch the movie again. I love the three that you mention. Thanks!

  6. Hm, favorite movie? That’s hard. So many to choose between. I think I’ll go with Barbara and say My Cousin Vinnie. We frequently find ourselves quoting parts of it. It’s got to be one of the funniest and best done movies ever.

  7. My favorite movie is Cinema Paradiso. This beautiful, emotional and unforgettable movie tugs at the heartstrings and is moving and extremely well portrayed. The characters and their roles fit perfectly. The movie is meaningful, heartwrenching and memorable. This Italian movie evokes the era, the place, the trials and tribulations with which the people face and we are drawn into their lives and when the movie ends we are still enthralled and cannot escape the beauty and the emotions that take place.

  8. elainehroberson

    For some reason, I love the movie Overboard. I have liked Goldie since she was on Laugh-in and enjoyed Kurt Russell as a child actor. Most movies I don’t watch more than once. But Overboard is funny and a movie that I have watched and enjoyed many times.

  9. Fav has to be Chjristmas Vacation, can watch it at christmas and during the summer, just so funny.

  10. I love Annebelle! I want to BE her.

  11. Mary Jane Hopper

    I love Annabelle’s story! And Mick sounds like a great find. My favorite movie is Funny Girl with Barbra Streisand, I love a funny story with a human side.

    • Thanks so much, Mary Jane. Yes, that’s a great movie. I remember seeing that when it first came out (long, long ago!) and cried my eyes out at the end when she sings “My Man.”

  12. Sounds like an interesting and fun series. My favorite movie? Hmm…I would have to say Raiders of the Lost Ark because….Harrison Ford. Enough said! LOL. Thanks for the chance to win.

    • How fun that you picked a Harrison Ford movie, because Annabelle loves Harrison Ford, too . . . and so do I. Did you ever see the movie starring him and Anne Heche titled “Six Days Seven Nights”? It didn’t get good reviews, but I loved it. Thanks!

  13. My favorite movie is Dr. Strangelove—because it is so funny and also because it has become so timeless.

    • Oh, indeed. It is one of the best movies of all time. You can’t beat Peter Sellers. Did you ever see “Being There”? I think it was his last film. It’s wonderful. Thanks!

  14. Doward Wilson

    I have to admit that it is a tie between these three movies, because each of them opened up whole new worlds for me to enjoy. Funny Girl, Star Wars IV and Raiders Of The Lost Ark.

  15. Mickey sounds like a great guy. My favorite movie is Last of the Mohicans–great history, music and Daniel Day Lewis!

  16. Vic,ki Highley

    The African Queen. Watching the love grow between Rosie and Charlie always makes me feel good no matter how bad my day is,

  17. A new-to-me author/series….
    thank you for the heads-up & giveaway……

    • Thanks for your comment! If you want to be considered in the contest, please let me know what your favorite movie is . . . in 50 words or less! But in any case, thanks for checking out Dru’s Book Musings.

  18. It’s got to be Mr. Blandings Builds His Dream House, an old Cary Grant movie featuring Grant’s perfect comedic timing and a glimpse into a slower time. Zoe Burke’s book sounds great.

  19. Della Williamson

    Doris Day in the Glass Bottom Boat. It was lighthearted fun. The false assumptions. 3 ring circus. It was great for teaching my kids about the dangers of making assumptions. Things are not always what they seem. We had fun while doing it.

  20. My favorite movie is Imitation of Life. It stars Lana Turner and Juanita Moore. It is one of the best tear jerkers of all time. Every time I see it , it makes me cry. It is about love and passing for white. Lana Turner was a star who played the femme fatale in most of her movies, but this one was one of her best.

  21. Karen–Thanks so much for this. I don’t know this movie at all, so I will look forward to checking it out.

  22. I loved Avatar, it kept me absolutely spellbound

    • I might be the only person on the planet who didn’t see that all the way through. I, unfortunately, was watching it on a hotel TV! I must try it again. Thanks!