Dating DeathI first met Elizabeth (Beth) Bowman about five years ago. During the intervening period, we’ve become fast friends, and I’ve learned a lot about her. With each factoid, I’ve become more of an admirer. She is quite a lady.

Beth grew up in Richardson, Texas, a suburb of Dallas. When she was twelve, a burglar broke into their home. Her father awoke, and a struggle ensued. The burglar pulled a gun and Mr. Bowman died from the wound. The villain escaped and was never brought to justice. This created in Beth a drive to become a policewoman. After attending college and majoring in criminology, she joined the Dallas Police Force. However, political correctness and the weighing down of the force eventually got to her, forcing her to resign.

While a policewoman, she married a Dallas lawyer. After all, her mother always said, “Marry a lawyer or a doctor.” The marriage went south when she walked in on her husband and his secretary in a scene not normally shared with other than the two involved. Obviously, a divorce followed.

After resigning from the Dallas Police Force, Beth applied for, received a Private Investigator license, and landed a contract with one of the more prestigious law firms in Dallas. However, her cases seemed to keep crossing the path of her ex-husband, so she decided Texas wasn’t big enough for the two of them. With that, she packed her credentials, Letters of Recommendation, and moved to South Florida. She landed a retainer with the Bergstrom and Bergowitz Law Firm, which paid her rent, but little else. When not on business for the firm, she freelanced with other cases. Sylvester (Sly) Bergstrom became a true and fast ally.

Beth’s mother, never remarried, still lives in Richardson. She is a typical mom with ESP. Whenever Beth is heading into trouble, she receives a call from her mother asking, “What’s happening there? Are you okay?” This often forces Beth into crossed-fingers mode. You know, the old, “If your fingers are crossed, lies to parents don’t count against you.” Anyway, Beth reassures Mom that “Everything is fine.” We’ll never know if she buys the story.

Beth’s mom is a bit of a distraction. She not only has ESP, but she is disappointed in Beth. She wants Beth married and producing grandchildren for her—like Beth’s brother. He is younger than Beth and lives in Wisconsin. He pleases their mom because he has a stable marriage and two children, a boy and a girl. The perfect example of the ideal family, as Mom keeps reminding Beth. Beth crosses her fingers, shrugs, and agrees with her mother. Of course, her mom’s choice for Beth’s next husband is a doctor. After all, she tried a lawyer and that didn’t work out. That only leaves a doctor.

Strangely enough, not long after I met Beth, she meets Doctor David Rasmussen when she’s admitted to the hospital after getting conked on the head. Soon, they develop a mutual interest beyond her lump. It could be a match made in heaven—at least, that’s what Beth’s mom says. David isn’t so sure about this PI life of his loved one.

While pursuing the first case she briefed me on, she formed a strange cadre of friends. Bob is the leader, but the others have names like Dot, Dabba, Street, Blister, Viaduct—there is even a Ralph. They are the invisible denizens of South Florida—the homeless. Each of her cases seems to find new friends entering the picture. Initially, I had a problem with this, but they welcomed Beth with such open arms and helped her so much, I had to change my opinion. Now, I’m a firm supporter of Beth’s homeless. Their stories are heart breaking, yet they survive in a hostile world.

Beth has allowed me to chronical three of her cases: Hot Rocks, Best Defense, and now, Dating Death. Don’t blame Beth. The names are my responsibility. Anytime I mention one of them, she gives me that look that only a woman can generate toward a man. And, if she fails to do so, Dot quickly picks up the role. Dot is a pro. Dot is also one of the kookiest people I’ve ever met. If you get the opinion I’m in love with Dot, you won’t be far wrong.

As with each of Beth’s adventures, her latest kept me spellbound. I know she’s not stupid, so why did she agree to become the consort of a dirty politician. That’s just nuts. David shares my misgivings, and I fear it could be the silver bullet that ends their relationship. Also, how could such a simple situation end up on such an incredible, messy trail? Unimaginable. Yet, I totally trust Beth. I believe every word of Dating Death. I think you will, too.

Dating Death is the third book in the Beth Bowman P.I. mystery series, published by White Bird Publications, April 2016.

The Chief of Police of Coral Lakes, FL has the goods on Roger Adamson, a dirty politician. However, the chief knows Adamson has additional information that could bring down a drug lord and disembowel his organization. Chief Elston asks Beth Bowman, a South Florida PI, to assist by becoming Adamson’s consort/bodyguard while Adamson parses out data. Beth agrees, not realizing multiple homicides, a kidnapping, a tight frame for murder, and the loss of the man she loves await her. If not for Beth’s homeless friends, all might be lost.

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About the author
Randy Rawls lives in Delray Beach, Florida, slap-dab in the middle of paradise. Not only is the weather perfect, but the writing environment is wonderful.

Before retiring in Florida, Randy grew up in North Carolina, and then spent a career in the Army. After retirement, he returned to work with the Department of Defense as a civilian, the aspect of his career that led him to South Florida. Somewhere along the way, he fell in love with writing. The writing was a natural progression since he has always been an avid reader.

Randy welcomes comments at .

Giveaway: Leave comment below for your chance to win a print copy of Dating Death. US entries only, please. The giveaway will end April 22, 2016 at 12 AM EST. Good luck everyone!

All comments are welcomed.

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