Not Madison McKenna’s Best Day by Kennedy Quinn

The Last, Best LieMaybe the judge will go easy on me. No one got hurt. Yes, I flower bombed a couple of government officials, but how bad is that?

Yeah. I’m screwed.

I looked up at the blue summer sky. It was over 90°F, but the marble bench on which I sat felt cool on my palms. I glanced at the brick courthouse across the green lawn. It might have been a beautiful day in a sleepy Midwest town. If I wasn’t probably going to jail.

I nervously ran a hand over my shoulder-length dark hair. On a job for my boss’s two person Chicago-based detective agency, I’d only brought blue jeans. But I’d found a white sundress with red roses in a thrift store. Hopefully it made me look more small town innocent than big city delinquent accused of vandalism, assault, attempt to poison and littering. That latter charge was bogus; Hunter had it added for spite.

Hunter is my boss’ best friend, a rich, handsome, complex, and infuriating man nearly two decades my senior. And, no, I’m not into him. Yes, he’s hot—Gerard Butler hot—and he’s challenging. But he’s a jerk. I would have to have some real daddy issues to be attracted to him.

I’d been on a case in the small town of Clark with my boss, Jake. Hunter came down so he and Jake could go on a kill-something-helpless-in-the-woods weekend. Anyway, he was being even more condescending than usual, so I had to teach him a lesson. Understandable.

Given that I nearly have my doctorate in Physics, I generally resort to high-tech revenge. But I was in a hurry. I got a can of air freshener and wrapped a plastic zip tie around the trigger to which I tied twine, attaching its end to the driver’s door of Hunter’s car. I wedged the can between the seat and the center console so that when Hunter yanked open the door, the zip tie would lock up and fill his car with a cloud of “summer fields delight”. Harmless.

But how was I to know that Hunter was meeting the mayor and sheriff and the regional FBI chief? I didn’t arrange it so that they were already in the car when Hunter pulled open the door!

But here I now am, waiting to see the judge. Normally, there would be little chance of charges sticking. But given the people involved. . .

The wet snuffling sound of a toddler drew my attention right. It came from a blond boy of about four. He stood by his mother, who was professionally dressed in black slacks and a blue blouse. I scooted over and the woman smiled as she sat beside me, pulling the boy on her lap. She looked at him with the same bright green eyes as his. “Brandon, please finish your orange slices,” she said, as she pulled out a plastic bag of segments from her purse.

Lowered his head on his mother’s shoulder, he closed his eyes. “Don’t wanna.”

The mother jostled him lovingly. “What is going to take?”

I pulled out a napkin, a paperclip and my breakfast banana from my purse. Catching her attention, I straightened the clip and poked it through the skin of the banana, moving it in a slicing motion without breaking the skin. Withdrawing the clip, I rubbed the hole shut and made several more slices while Brandon’s mom looked on.

“Brandon,” I said, “Do you like pre-sliced bananas? They’re yummy!”

The boy raised his head. “No such thing.”

“Here’s one.” I peeled the banana slowly, letting the slices fall onto the napkin on my lap.

Brandon’s eyes shot wide.

I popped a piece in my mouth. “Yum! If you are good, I’m sure your mommy can find some for you.” Brandon beamed, as did his mother, nodding to indicate that she knew what to do.

My phone alarm beeped and I tossed the banana into my purse. I stood. “Got to go.”

“I have to give him back to his nanny and get to work, too. Thank you. You’re a nice young lady.”

“I hope the judge thinks so.”

“Oh?”

“I pranked a guy who was being a jerk. It was harmless. Mostly. But he’s powerful and I’m not.”

“Maybe you’ll get off lightly if the judge believes you’re truly sorry and will make amends.”

“Oh, I am so sorry! I would personally detail his car and hand wash his clothes. I was being a brat. But this guy is very rich.”

“A fair judge won’t let that matter.”

“Let’s hope I get that judge.” I waved goodbye as I sprinted away.

Soon, I was sitting beside my lawyer, fretting. What if the judge was good friend with the mayor? What if I got the maximum? I’m such an idiot!

“All rise,” came the bailiff’s sonorous voice.

I stood, licking dry lips and looked into the green eyes of the judge, her blue blouse peeking above black robes. So, maybe it wasn’t going to be my worse day ever after all.


The Last, Best Lie is the first book in the NEW Madison McKenna mystery series, published by Five Star Publishing, February 2016.

Not many could save a man’s life with lip gloss, car keys and condoms while under gunfire. But Madison McKenna can.

And it’s not the least of the devices the sexy young physicist-turned-detective kludges together in The Last, Best Lie, first in the Chicago-based McKenna Mystery series. Blending wit, sensuality and science into a unique and exciting new format, this female-MacGyver uses counter-top technology and fierce determination to solve the attempted murder of her boss, Jake Thibodaux. It won’t be easy; science-savvy she is, street-smart she isn’t. Worse, Jake’s powerful ex-partner, Hunter, is determined to freeze her out of the investigation, and the local police would happily toss her in jail to keep her out of their hair.

As Jake clings to life, Madison and her helpers—a charming bull-rider and his prize calf, Spinal Snap, a pair of bickering cops, and Jake’s hard-bitten mistress—delve into Jake’s past, revealing a man very different from the one she thought she knew. Even her subconscious comes to her aid, infusing her dreams with tantalizing, surreal, clues. Driven by need, Madison and Hunter form a steamy, antagonistic, partnership; until she learns that he his own motives for murder. As even more allies fall under suspicion and innocents are killed in her stead, the increasingly-desperate Madison uses science, cunning and doggedness to find the killer. And she’ll continue to school all around her in the power of technology, fueled female ingenuity, as this distinctive new series evolves.

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About the author
Kennedy Quinn has a Ph.D. in Physics and Master’s in Nuclear Science and is a director of research by day. But this KennedyQuinnscientist-turned-administrator didn’t get there the easy way. She enlisted in the Air Force immediately after high school and served as an aircraft mechanic before achieving an officer’s commission and earning her multiple degrees. After a diverse military career, she retired to federal service where she continues to lead research on a wide array of science and technologies. By night, she grows roses in Northern Virginia with her family; they’re owned by two rescue cats. Kennedy can be reached at kennedyquinn.com.

Giveaway: Leave a comment below for your chance to win a print copy of The Last, Best Lie. US entries only, please. The giveaway will end July 26, 2016 at 12 AM (midnight) EST. Good luck everyone!

All comments are welcomed.

27 responses to “Not Madison McKenna’s Best Day by Kennedy Quinn

  1. Donna Gantt

    Sounds like the author is putting her physics education to work in this book! Thanks for a chance to enter.

  2. Linda Herold

    I’d love to win this! Thanks so much for the opportunity!

  3. This is a series I will be interested in reading. Sounds like lots going on and plenty to hold one’s interest.

  4. Missy Davis

    This sounds like a great fun read. I love stories with strong women!!!

  5. This book sounds like so much fun . Most definitely going on my tbr.

  6. I think I’m going to love this. Gimmicks are always great fun. Not that my Mom thought so. I think Quinn has a winner with this one. Looking forward to reading this. Thanks for the heads up to a new author and hopefully long series. Della at deepotter@peoplepc.com

  7. Sounds like a fun read.

  8. Gail Arnold

    This sounds so different from the usual mysteries. Hope I win!

  9. Wow…a fun read for sure!

  10. Captivating and intriguing.

  11. Oooweee! I really want this book!

  12. Tricia Conner

    What an interesting sounding book! And an unusual author!

  13. Barbara Hackel

    First I need to get a paperclip and a banana…
    Sounds like a good book and different from what I often read. I will give it a try! Thanks Dru Ann for bringing it to my attention. 🙂 Thanks Kennedy for the opportunity to win a copy of this book. You know my dad was a physicist, and he never showed me that banana trick! We call one of my sons MacGyver..wonder if he knows about that? 😉

  14. I love the authors background. I have two cousins (one my wife’s) who were in the Air Force. My cousin joined and they “made” him a dentist. The other is my wife’s cousin who wanted to learn how to fly. She was offered a seat at the Academy out in Colorado and learned to fly. She was at the Pentagon on 9/11 and helped save a few people in the aftermath. (an aside to this is her brother who was Defensive Capt at The Point)

    Toss my name in the magic hat please Dru. I’d love to win this book.

  15. If I could follow only one blog, it would be yours Dru Ann. You always provide me with great new books to check out along with authors that I’ve not had the opportunity to read. Kennedy Quinn is another author who I’ve added to my list of authors to check out their books. The Last Best Lie sounds to be a book that will hold my interest. It would be wonderful to win this giveaway so my fingers are crossed. robeader53@yahoo.com

  16. elainehroberson

    Always looking for new-to-me authors to try. Thanks for a chance to win a copy.

  17. Sounds great, would love to win, ty

  18. This books sounds like it will be a great mix of fun and informative which I love. Thanks for the giveaway!

  19. Sounds like fun reads I will have to watch for these books when I have the money to get some, they will be well worth my entertainment funds

  20. OMG! This description has zipped this book to the top of my TBR list! I love it!

  21. I spent many nights sitting next to my young son watching episodes of MacGuyver (many years ago–LOL). It was his favorite show. When I read Madison is a female MacGyver, I just knew I had to read this book. It sounds wonderful! Thanks for the chance to win a copy of The Last, Best Lie.

  22. Doward Wilson

    Loved MacGyver & this series sounds so good. Thanks for adding to my TBR List. I would love to win a copy of this.

  23. This book sounds like a great start to a new series. Flower bombing, that’s a new twist. Looking forward to reading “The Last, Best Lie”.

  24. Mary Jane H.

    I loved your review Dru, you give us the best information. This book really sounds like a good book. Thanks to Dru and Kennedy for the chance to win.

  25. Peggy Hyndman

    The Last, Best Lie sounds like a fun read. Thank you for the review and introducing me to Kennedy Quinn’s book.

  26. Great post, looking forward to another new series! Thanks for the intro and chance to win!

  27. Sound like a fun, quirky read. Thanks for the giveaway.
    suefarrell.farrell@gmail.com