Tag Archives: Minotaur Books

A day in the life with Macy Greeley by Karin Salvalaggio

I can see them now. My son Luke and my boyfriend Aiden are a hundred yards ahead, resting in the shade of a thin stand of pine trees. We’re on a high mountain trail in Montana’s Glacier National Park. I’ve been trying to catch up with them for hours. My legs feel so heavy I can barely lift them, my rucksack is warm against my back and a heavy summer sun is making me thirsty. I’m losing patience with the man I love. Luke is only four years old so he can be forgiven but I don’t understand why Aiden won’t wait for me.

The alarm clock I’ve set on my cellphone wakes me from my dream.

The hotel room is pitch dark and full of unfamiliar smells ― carpeting, cleaning fluid and something I can only describe as salami, which is troubling. The sheets are so crisp they pin me down to the bed like an envelope. The hotel is one of many dotted along Route 89 that cater to tourists in the summer and unlucky souls like myself in the winter. It is bitterly cold outside. The curtains are cracked open a fraction. I can just make out the hotel’s vacancy sign.

It feels like I’ve been living in hotels forever, but it has only been a week since I kissed my son and boyfriend goodbye. Wilmington Creek, the town I now call home, seems a lifetime away. I’m heading north into the heart of the Black Feet Indian Reservation where I’m hoping to get information on the whereabouts of a Native American girl who’s gone missing whilst hitchhiking the rural roads that lace the northern part of the state. She is one of many, but I don’t know that yet.

My cellphone rings again. I try to paw it into silence with my hand, but it isn’t the alarm so it doesn’t stop. Someone is calling me. I clear my throat but still croak.

“Special Investigator Macy Greeley, Montana Department of Justice,” I say. “How can I help?”

“You can cut the formalities for a start,” says Ryan.

I am now wide-awake. Ryan is a senior forensics investigator and one of my best friends. We’ve been working cases together for more than a dozen years. Hearing from him is a mixed blessing. It’s usually bad news.

“We’ve found a body – young, female and in all probability your missing person’s case. I’ve just emailed my preliminary findings. We’ve put in a request for dental records. Should know for sure if it’s Tamara Creek by the end of the day.”

I switch on the bedside lamp and reach for my laptop. It’s 6am and this is how I’m starting my day.

“Crap,” I say. “When she sent those text messages to her mother a couple of days ago I was feeling hopeful.”

“It wasn’t her. She’s been dead at least a week.”

“A week? Are you absolutely sure?”

“Yep.”

“So, some sick fuck has been making her friends and family believe she’s been alive all this time?”

“Looks that way. The hotel manager here called it in. No one was supposed to be in the room so he had no idea she’s been lying dead here all week. The guests that checked in late last night had a nasty shock. How soon can you get down to Great Falls?”

“An hour tops. Cause of death?”

I have the file Ryan sent me open on my computer but I can’t focus once I’ve read that the victim had a tattoo of a humming bird on her shoulder. I’ll have to wait for dental confirmation before informing the family, but I already know it’s Tamara, a 14 year old high school student from Missoula whose mother refused to accept that her daughter was a runaway. It was only by chance that a security camera had caught her being forced into a dark colored SUV.

“We’re not sure at this point but I’m guessing strangulation. There’s evidence of rape.”

I close my laptop and slip out from under the covers.

“I’m on my way,” I say.

I put on the coffee maker and throw on my clothes. Ten minutes later I’m on the road. The rest of the day goes by in a blur of interviews, heartache and takeaway food. I will drink 5 cups of coffee and 3 Diet Cokes. A Snickers Bar will see me through an afternoon lull. I will drive more than 400 miles but I never tire of the views and how they unfold. Montana’s snow covered mountains, valleys and rivers shimmer under an endless blue sky.

I end my day back home in Wilmington Creek. The house is quiet when I park my state issue four-by-four in the garage. Our Springer Spaniels come find me in the kitchen where I’m pouring myself a strong drink. The whiskey burns but in a good way. Luke has left a few drawings out on the dining table for me to see. Stick figures of Aiden, Luke and me stand in front of our small house. Against all odds we are now a family.

Aiden wanders in a few minutes later. His face is thick with sleep. His hair is pressed to the side of his head. I’d called him earlier so he already knows how difficult my day has been. It is only when he takes me in his arms and holds me tight that I finally allow myself to cry.


You can read more about Macy in Silent Rain, the fourth book in the “Macy Greeley” mystery series.

Grace Adams has spent three years trying to move on―mentally, physically, emotionally―from the traumatizing events of her past. But it’s not easy when the world is morbidly curious about the crimes that shaped her childhood, when despite her changed name, people still track her down for the sensational details. Now in college in Bolton, Montana, the one person Grace has trusted with the truth about her past has betrayed her. The bestselling novelist Peter Granger wants to use Grace’s story in his next book, regardless of how desperate Grace is to keep the details to herself. And then, on Halloween night, Peter Granger’s house burns to the ground and his and his wife’s bodies are found inside.

Montana state detective Macy Greeley is sent to Bolton to handle the investigation into the fire and deaths. . .which soon appear to be arson and murder. It doesn’t take Macy long to realize that Grace isn’t the only one whom Peter Granger has betrayed, and there are no shortage of others in town who took issue with him and his wife. What at first looked like a straightforward investigation is poised to expose some of Bolton’s darkest secrets, and the fallout may put more than one life in danger.

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About the author
Karin Salvalaggio received an MA in Creative Writing from Birkbeck at the University of London. Born in West Virginia and raised in an Air Force family, she grew up on a number of military bases around the United States. She now lives in London with her two children.

All comments are welcomed.

A day in the life of Frangelica “Sister” McFee by Carolyn Haines

My days are always extraordinarily busy and filled with exciting events and people, smart and beautiful people not dullards and ugly people. As a very famous author, I’m always in demand. Before we go any further, I want to be sure you’re pronouncing my name correctly. No one in Zinnia calls me Frangelica. They call me Sista. Not Sister. Sis-ta! Sis-ta McFee.

My daddy is running for the U.S. Senate seat from Mississippi and he’s going to win big. People adore him. He’s almost as popular as I am, and even though he’s married to that gold-digger Susan Simpson McFee—who has gotten herself pregnant just to be sure she gets a share of the McFee fortune—he’s going to make the best senator ever. I hope he leaves Susan in Memphis to raise her spawn of Satan child. My daddy will be so much more effective if she isn’t hanging on his coattails.

I told you I was a wealthy novelist. I write fiery romances that capture the hearts and minds of millions of women. I’m really a household name. More of a brand really. Say my name to any woman who’s ever read a romance, and she’ll tell you how wonderful I am. A lot of writers would be satisfied to have cornered the romance market and become a beloved figure of fiction, but I know I have so much more to give my public. I’ve recently published a memoir about my family.

I’m a child of tragedy. Which makes it even more remarkable that I’ve accomplished all I have. Yes, it’s true that I had the best private schools and more money than Midas could spend, but I have suffered. I’ve suffered bigly. My daddy loves me but sometimes he forgets I even exist. My mother and brother, Daryl, mostly called Son, died in a tragic automobile accident several years ago. It was my brother’s fault. He was high and drove off into the Sunflower River during a terrible flood. They both died, but Son’s body was never found. Which at least saved us the cost of a funeral. That may sound bitter to you, but think about it. My mother could never see Son for what he was—a common addict. He was always the golden child, the star athlete, the business genius. I was just a plump, dumpy girl, emphasis on the gender part. The McFee family has great pride in the male children and heirs, but not so much with the girls.

Strange as it may seem, I’m going to be the only McFee heir now. There are no males, unless that contortionist Susan Simpson McFee shoots out a male brat. But it will be too late by then. I’ll already have taken control of Great-Grandfather Jamie’s trust. And it will all be mine. The Delta mansion, the stocks, the bonds, the land, the utilities—the whole she-bang.

And if that’s not enough, they’ll be filming the movie based on my tell-all book about my family. The movie crew is already in town scouting for locations. It’s going to be wonderful. Really wonderful. And I can tell the whole world how worthless Son was and how I have finally become the real winner in my family. Except for Daddy, of course. He’s going to be a U.S. Senator. He’ll have power and I’ll have money. What a combo!

The only flies in the ointment are Stinky Tinkie Richmond and her sidekick, that awful Sarah Booth Delaney. They think they’re private investigators or some such idiocy. And they are everywhere I turn. They’re at my home, they’re in town, they’re stuffing their faces at the local café. They are intolerable, and Stinky Tinkie had better watch out or I’ll tell all about her college days. You know, it’s really special to come home and realize how far superior I am to all of the people I grew up with. They just can’t hold a candle to me. I shine like an LED super lantern to their Triple A battery light.

But enough about them and back to me, a far more worthy subject. When I inherit everything, I’m going to write a new series of young adult fantasy books. I have the perfect idea. I just have to get this movie behind me and make sure my daddy gets his heart’s desire and is elected. Maybe I’ll buy my own Hollywood studio and make movies from all of my books. Now that would be a great cause. The world needs more romance and adventure, and I’m just the woman to give it to them.

So much to do; so little time. I’m off to tackle the winds of war. Be sure and learn all about me in Sticks and Bones. I really am worth your time.


You can read more about Sis-ta McFee in Sticks and Bones, the 17th book in the “Sarah Booth Delaney” mystery series.

Private investigator Sarah Booth Delaney and her friends are celebrating New Year’s Eve at the party of the year, a smashing Winter Garden party at the Prince Albert Hotel. It’s a dazzling success…until Frangelica “Sister” McFee walks through the door. Sarah Booth knew Sister in college, before Sister became a bestselling author and moved to New York, and fame and fortune don’t seem to have tempered her arrogance and cruelty.

Sister’s latest book is a memoir about the death of her mother and brother many years ago. Now, a film about the book is in the works, and a film crew has descended upon Zinnia, Mississippi, to tell the complete tale. The film crew soon realizes there may be more to the story than meets the eye―or is told in Sister’s memoir―and they hire Sarah Booth to discover the absolute truth about those deaths so many years ago. But Sarah Booth quickly realizes that someone is desperate to keep the truth hidden and will go to any lengths necessary to protect a long-held secret.

Carolyn Haines’s next Sarah Booth Delaney novel, Sticks and Bones, is sure to delight series fans and newcomers alike.

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About the author
Carolyn Haines is the author of the Sarah Booth Delaney Mysteries. She is the recipient of both the Harper Lee Distinguished Writing Award and the Richard Wright Award for Literary Excellence. Born and raised in Mississippi, she now lives in Semmes, Alabama on a farm with more dogs, cats, and horses than she can possibly keep track of.

Connect with Carolyn at carolynhaines.com, on Twitter, on Instagram, on her Amazon Author page, on BookBub, and on Facebook.

All comments are welcomed.

My Musing ~ Your Killin’ Heart by Peggy O’Neal Peden

Your Killin’ Heart by Peggy O’Neal Peden is the first book in the NEW “Nashville” mystery series. Publisher: Minotaur Books, May 2017

Contrary to popular belief, not everyone in Nashville is an aspiring country music star. Campbell Hale, for one, just wants to get her travel agency off the ground and move on from a break-up. But when she gets the opportunity to visit the mansion of mysterious country icon Jake Miller, she jumps at the chance. After all, who knows what clues are lurking around the long-dead star’s last home?

But as Campbell pokes around, she discovers more than a few sequined suits and priceless memorabilia. She finds Hazel Miller, Jake’s widow, quietly resting in a bedroom on the main floor. But Hazel might just be dead quiet. And Campbell might just be the last person to have seen her alive.

Juggling the twisty plots of high-profile country stars with her blossoming business―not to mention the tattered remains of her love life―Campbell thinks she’s got everything figured out. But when the danger becomes personal, she must uncover a killer who will stop at nothing to get what they want―or face the music.

With Your Killin’ Heart, award-winning author Peggy O’Neal Peden has given us a witty debut full of Nashville charm and generous heart.

We are introduced to Campbell Hale who had the misfortune of being slightly inquisitive and found herself involved in a murder investigation, one of which she was not suited to perform. This was a fast-paced and action-packed whodunit that pulled me in immediately and I couldn’t put this book down until it was all said and done. The author did a great job in staging this production with Nashville serving as the backdrop as insider information was spouted during the course of this story. Who killed Hazel? That’s the story and I liked how the author presented the suspects where some were easy to spot, others not so much, and that’s is what kept me engrossed in what was happening on the pages. The narrative was visually descriptive putting me in the middle of all the action as I gasped here and there at the various mishaps that plagued Campbell as she sought a killer’s identity, coming a bit too close to losing her own. Boasting a likable cast of characters that includes Campbell, Sam and MaryNell and engaging dialogue, this was an enjoyable read and I can’t wait for the next book in this pleasant appealing series.