Moving Day with the Martinis by Tracy Kiely

Killer Cocktail“Nigel,” I yelled from the kitchen where I stood surrounded by random stacks of unopened moving boxes, “Remind me never to let you be in charge of labeling the boxes again. I have no idea where anything is!”

Nigel’s dark head popped into view from the dining room. “What’s wrong with my labeling?” he asked.

“Well, for starters I’m looking at seven different boxes, each with various misspellings of the word ‘miscellaneous.’ How am I to know where anything is?”

Nigel glanced around the cartons scattered throughout the gourmet kitchen. “I labeled the important stuff,” he said indicating one of the larger boxes on white marble counter top.

I rolled my eyes. “Nigel, marking which box contains the scotch isn’t labeling the important stuff.”

Nigel rolled his eyes. “Well, that’s crazy talk,” he said, “and only proves that you need a break. Luckily, I know just the cure,” he continued as he crossed the room toward the box of scotch. “And, thanks to my excellent labeling system, I know exactly where it is.” He quickly cut through the packing tape and poured out two glasses.

“Come on,” he said with a smile as he handed me one. “Moving day is supposed to be fun.”

“Says the man who grew up with servants,” I replied clinking my glass against his.

Nigel tipped his head in agreement. “That may have had something to do with it. But, don’t worry – we’ll get everything put away.” He draped his arm around my shoulders. “And when it’s all done, the house will be perfect.”

I leaned my head against him and took a sip of my drink. Nigel was right. The house was a modern Mediterranean with views of the city, the canyons, and the mountains. It was also exactly what we’d been looking for; spacious with plenty of room for entertaining, but not so much room that family might be tempted to overstay their welcome. As for the backyard, it was something out of a magazine. There was a spa, an outdoor kitchen, two terraced patios, and a pool. Our giant Bullmastiff, Skippy, was currently in the latter, happily floating on a raft.

“I know what will make you feel better,” Nigel said as he took my hand and threaded his fingers with mine. “The attic.”

I raised my eyebrow. “The attic?”

Nigel nodded as he began to pull me toward the stairs. “Remember last week when we played Never Have I Ever? And we both answered ‘Never’ to the attic question?”

I burst out laughing. “Are you serious?”

“Absolutely,” he answered, pulling down the access ladder. “Besides, you can’t tell me you’d rather unpack dishes.”

I glanced up at the ladder and then back at Nigel. “You have a point,” I conceded.

Nigel informed me he had much more than that.

It wasn’t until later that we noticed the cardboard boxes in the far corner. Covered in a thick layer of dust, and beginning to decompose, they’d at first resembled a pile of rags. Nigel pulled back the lid of one. Inside were upwards to one hundred cassette tapes; each labeled in the same childish handwriting; ‘A Winter’s Night Property of Danielle Samuels’.

“Holy shit,” Nigel said as he picked up one of the tapes. He looked up at me with wide eyes.

“Wait. A Winter’s Night?” I said. “As in the cult classic? Didn’t somebody die making that film?”

Nigel nodded. “Melanie Summers. She was cast as the lead but died of a drug overdose six weeks into filming.”

“I don’t understand. Who’s Danielle Samuels? And why would her videos be in our attic?”

“Don’t you remember the realtor telling us that Frank Samuels once owned this house?” Nigel asked as he pulled more tapes from the box. I nodded. “Well, Frank produced A Winter’s Night. I think he has a daughter.”

“So she could have made these tapes?” I asked.

“Only one way to find out,” Nigel said as he pulled me to my feet.

Unpacking would have to wait.


Killer Cocktail is the second book in the Nic & Nigel mystery series, published by Midnight Ink, May 2016.

Former detective Nic and well-heeled wag Nigel star in their own Hollywood whodunit

Walking the red carpet at the Academy Awards with a bow-tied Bullmastiff draws Nic and Nigel Martini plenty of attention from the press. But that’s nothing compared to the attention they receive at the A-list after party, when Hollywood royalty learn they’ve discovered behind-the-scenes footage from an acclaimed film that left one of its stars dead.

Returning home after the party, Nic and Nigel find their house in shambles and their employee DeDee Evans beaten within an inch of her life. And when the weapon used to pummel DeDee implicates a beloved actress, Nic and Nigel drink and banter their way into a modern-day version of a golden-age crime caper.

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About the author
Tracy Kiely, a Mary Higgins Clark finalist, is the author of the Jane Austen inspired mysteries Murder at Longbourn, Murder on the Bride’s Side, Murder Most Persuasive, and Murder Most Austen (St. Martins). Her latest series from Midnight Ink features Nic and Nigel Martini, a modern-day version of Dashiell Hammett’s iconic sleuthing duo. The first book, Murder with a Twist, came out May 2015. The second, Killer Cocktail, was released on May 8, 2016.

Giveaway: Leave a comment below for your chance to win a print copy of Killer Cocktail. US entries only, please. The giveaway will end May 24, 2016 at 12 AM EST. Good luck everyone!

All comments are welcomed.

38 responses to “Moving Day with the Martinis by Tracy Kiely

  1. KSue Anderson

    Sounds interesting. Hope I win. Loved meeting you in Phoenix, Dru

  2. Thank you for the chance to win a print copy of Killer Cocktail.

  3. This sounds fun! Looking forward to reading this second book in the series.

  4. Karlene Barger

    I’ve been looking forward to this book and would love to win!

  5. Linda Herold

    This is a new author to me and I’d love to read this book!

  6. Sounds like an interesting read. I’ll find my scotch and cuddle with my dog! Thanks for the chance to win.

  7. Sounds like a great series. I just put the first one on my library list!

  8. I love the Jane Austen mysteries and bet I’ll love these too since the “originals” are long time favorites. Thanks for the chance to win.

  9. Mmmmmmmmmmm… This sounds delicious! I want it for sure.

  10. Jacki Robertson

    Love the Austen series. Can’t wait to get into this one.

  11. Lynne Moody

    Sounds like a Awesome read !! Thank you for a chance to win 💟💟

  12. Loved the first book in the series. This one sounds wonderful too. Thanks.

  13. Donna Gantt

    I really like books set in Hollywood! Thanks for a chance to enter.

  14. Susan Slovinsky

    Sounds like a fun read and love the take-off on the old Nick and Nora series.

  15. I love the sound of these characters and will add this to my must read list.

  16. Barbara Hackel

    Nick and Nora Charles (and Asta) were some of my favorite detective movie characters from the past. Somehow I have missed this series that sounds like the modern replacement for that wonderful duo. I am so glad you featured this book/author today Dru! I am ordering MURDER WITH A TWIST right now. I’ll hold off on KILLER COCKTAIL until after the lucky winner is chosen-just in case. Thanks Tracey for the generous opportunity to win a copy. 🙂

  17. wendynewcomb

    And this is a good excuse for NOT drinking cocktails, lol, but I would still love to read this book.

    wfnren at aol dot com

  18. I do not drink alcohol but it doesn’t stop me from reading books with titles that involve alcohol. Thanks for including this book on your blog. robeader53@yahoo.com

  19. I love the mix of modern day with a very old mystery.

  20. This feature and giveaway sounds intriguing. Thanks.

  21. Sounds like a great mystery.

  22. I loved Murder with a Twist–such a fun read!! I’m looking forward to reading Killer Cocktail. Thanks for the opportunity to win a copy.

  23. Doward Wilson

    Loved the first book and can’t wait to read this one!

  24. This sounds like a fun book. I’m looking forward to reading. Thanks for a great giveaway.

  25. I have the first book and enjoyed it. I’ve been looking forward to the next one in the series. Thank you for the giveaway, Dru!

  26. Peggy Hyndman

    Another “new-to-me” author and series. Thank you for the introduction and chance to win a print copy of Killer Cocktail.

  27. I loved the first book and look forward to reading this one.

  28. carlrscott

    Sounds like a fun read and I love the retro cover. Thanks.

  29. Sounds like an intriguing read! Thanks.

  30. rosemary pfeiffer

    sounds like an awesome mysterious read..thank you

  31. Vicki Highley

    I love the Thin Man Movies and this series sounds just like them. I would love to win. This book and Murder with a Twist have been added to my TBR list. Again, thanks for introducing me to fabulous authors and their books.

  32. Nic and Nigel sound like a fun couple.

  33. Jill Broussard

    Sounds interesting, and just the mention of Skippy, which was my first dog’s name, interests me even more. Thankyou for the opportunity!

  34. Thank you for the opportunity to win!

  35. new series to me. thanks for the chance!

  36. After this week at work, I could use those cocktails on the cover!!!
    Thank you for the giveaway….

  37. Janet Senk

    I would love to win this book to read. Thanks.