SHOWCASE: What The Fly Saw by Frankie Bailey


Posted by Ryder Islington, Author of Ultimate Justice, A Trey Fontaine Mystery, and coming this spring, Ultimate Game, A Trey Fontaine Mystery Ms. Bailey has an eye for detail. I’ve read some of her previous work and was quite impressed. This has to go on my TBR list. Check out Frankie Bailey’s latest novel:

What the Fly Saw

by Frankie Bailey

on Tour Feb 1 – March 28, 2015

Book Details:

Genre: Mystery (near-future police procedural) Published by: Minotaur Books Publication Date: March 3, 2015 Number of Pages: 336 ISBN: 10:1250048303 | 13:978-1250048301 Series: Detective Hannah McCabe #2 Purchase Links:

Synopsis:

Albany, New York, January 2020 (parallel universe) A blizzard sweeps up the coast and shuts down the city. When it is over, funeral director Kevin Novak is found dead in the basement of his funeral home. The arrow sticking out of his chest came from his own hunting bow. A loving husband and father and an active member of a local megachurch, Novak had no known enemies. His family and friends say he had been depressed because his best friend died suddenly of a heart attack and Novak blamed himself. But what does his guilt have to do with his death? Maybe nothing, maybe a lot. Three people — the minister of the megachurch, the psychiatrist who provides counseling to church members, and a medium visiting from the South – say they reached out to Kevin Novak. One of them might know why Novak was murdered. But Detective Hannah McCabe and her partner, Mike Baxter, must sort through lies and evasions as they try to find the killer. The relationship between the partners is threatened as McCabe deals with a political controversy involving her family, unanswered questions about their last high-profile case, and her own guilt because a young woman died after McCabe failed to act.

Read an excerpt:

Chapter 1

Saturday, January 18, 2020 5:47 AM After the storm had passed, in the chilly hour before dawn, the last of the “space zombies” found their way back to their nest in the derelict house. From his command post, the squad leader gave the signal. “Go!” A black van pulled up in front of the house. Albany PD vice cops wearing protective gear jumped out and stormed up the walk. They used a battering ram to smash open the wooden door. “Police! Albany PD!” “Police!” Their high-powered torches illuminated the grotesque horror movie creatures in the 3-D posters on the walls. One of the cops ripped down a dangling black plastic replica of the 2012 UFO. He tossed the boomerang-shaped object to the floor. Hippiefreaks, he thought. Ought to make them all go live out in the Mojave Desert and wait for the mother ship to arrive. He kicked at the nearest mattress on the floor. “Police!” he shouted down at the long-haired occupant. “On your feet!” Blank eyes in an eerie white-painted face stared up at him. “Hands up! Hands up!” the cop yelled as the kid stumbled to his feet. He shoved him against the wall and patted him down. Upstairs, in a bathroom, another cop had found a girl sprawled out, unconscious, on the dirty tile floor beside the toilet. She had vomited in the toilet bowl. Her jeans were stained with urine and feces. Reaching down, he shook her, and then rolled her onto her side to see her face beneath the mop of dark hair. A nasty bruise on her cheekbone stood out against the streaked white paint. He moved her red scarf aside to feel for a pulse in her throat. The scarf was damp, like her tee shirt and soiled blue jeans. “Whaddya have?” another cop asked from the doorway. “Looks like an OD,” the cop inside the bathroom said. “Still breathing, but the wagon had better get here fast.” “Got it,” the other cop said, touching thecomm button on his helmet. The cop in the bathroom spotted a smear of blood on the corner of the sink. That explained the bruise. She’d banged her face on the sink when she passed out. Downstairs in the kitchen, cops surveyed the debris of dirty dishes and rotting garbage – and an impressive array of drugs and paraphernalia. One of them lowered her weapon and observed, “With a stash like this, they could have stayed zonked out until the next UFO came to visit.”

Chapter 2

Saturday afternoon 3:17 PM Funeral director Kevin Novak stared at the Cupid and Psyche bronze clock on his host, Olive Cooper’s mantel. He had allowed himself to become marooned on a conversational island with Paige, Olive’s great niece. As Paige complained about the conversation and laughter filling the long room — the “rabble babble,” as sheput it — Kevin found a name for what he had been feeling for the past forty-eight plus hours. Grief. He was experiencing first-hand what he had often observed when relatives came into the funeral home after the unexpected death of a loved one. That first stage of grieving the experts described as denial, but he often thought of as amazement and disbelief. The stage of bereavement when family members spoke of their dead loved one in the present tense because they couldn’t yet believe their lives had been ripped apart. It seemed in this state of mind, one went through the usual motions, saying what was expected. But the shell was thin. His was developing cracks. He could tell because he felt no inclination at all to warn Paige Cooper that he had glanced over her shoulder and seen her Great Aunt Olive headed their way and Paige had better shut up. So he must be moving into the next stage: anger. “Where in the galaxy did Aunt Olive find these people?” Paige said. “Look at them.” “Some of them are from the church’s community outreach,” Kevin said. True, Olive’s guest list for this celebration of her life reflected her eccentricities. An odd assortment of guests: old friends, relatives, church members and business associates, and other people who tickled Olive’s fancy or touched her big heart. But they had all cleaned up and put on their best in Olive’s honor. “It’s freezing in here,” Paige said. She pulled the belt of her hand-knit cardigan tighter and held her hands out toward the fireplace. “Feels fine to me,” Kevin said. “It really is annoying we have to come out for this farce when there’s a blizzard on the way. The least Aunt Olive could do is heat this mausoleum. Everyone here except her will come down with pneumonia, and we’ll still have to do this all over again when she finally does kick off.” “When I finally do ‘kick off’, Paige,” her great aunt said, right behind her. “You may feel free not to attend my funeral. In fact, if you die first – maybe of the pneumonia you expect to catch – you’ll spare us both that annoyance. And for your information, it was your father who insisted on including you in this shindig.” Paige flushed an unbecoming shade of scarlet. “Aunt Olive, I didn’t mean –” “I know what you meant. Get yourself a glass of champagne, now you’re actually old enough to drink, and make the best of the situation.” Olive’s sharp gaze fastened on Kevin. “And since you already know you’re going to get to bury me when I’m dead, you can relax and enjoy the party.” “I always enjoy your parties, Olive,” Kevin said. “Come with me,” she said. “There’s someone I want you to meet.” Aware of Paige’s suspicious glare, Kevin smiled in her direction. That would teach the little brat to say funeral directors reminded her of vultures without first checking for one of the species within hearing distance. Vultures sometimes exacted their petty revenge. “At your service, Olive,” he said, offering his arm to the woman, who was eighty-five years old and counting and might well live to be a hundred. “How have you been?” she asked him. “Fine,” Kevin said. “Never better.” “Don’t give me that. Anyone who knows you can tell you’re still taking Bob’s death hard.” “Having your best friend collapse with a heart attack while you’re beating him at tennis and then die on the operating table can have that effect.” “It’s been over four months since it happened. You should be coping with it by now.” “I am coping with it.” “You’re still off-kilter. Not your usual self. That’s why I want you to meet Luanne Woodward.” “Luanne? That medium or spiritualist or whatever she calls herself that you found somewhere?” “I didn’t find her ‘somewhere’. She was the featured lecturer at a fundraiser.” “Lecturer? Don’t you mean ‘performer’?” “She talked about being a medium and answered questions. She’s an interesting woman. I think you could benefit from talking to her.” “I don’t believe in that hocus-pocus, Olive.” “I don’t believe in most of it, either. I’m almost ancient enough to remember the Fox Sisters and their flimflam. But, as I said, Luanne’s interesting. I invited her today so you could meet her.” Kevin noticed one of Olive’s guests filling his plate high with the urgency of a man who expected the bounty in front of him to disappear. “And do what?” he said in belated response to Olive. “Sign up for her next séance?” “That might not be a bad idea. Spiritual therapy, so to speak.” “I get my spiritual therapy at church on Sunday from our minister. You might consider doing the same.” “At my age, I take what I need from wherever I happen to find it. And the fact you’re going all righteous on me instead of laughing about my eccentricities, as you like to call them, proves you’re off-kilter. We need to get you putto right.” “Olive, I don’t think a medium and a séance will do the trick.” “You need an opportunity to confront your feelings.” “I have confronted my feelings. I confronted them after Bob died. I sought counseling from both Reverend Wyatt and Jonathan Burdett.” Olive stopped walking and glared at him. “Now, if you want to talk about hocus-pocus, psychiatrists are right up there. You lie on their couch spilling your guts. And they mumble an occasional Freudian pearl of wisdom while they’re thinking about how they intend to spend what they’re charging you.” “Burdett offers the option of sitting in a comfortable armchair, and, as you well know, his services are free to church members.” “The church pays his salary, so he’s not free. He’s full of his diplomas and his jargon, that’s what he is.” “And what about your medium? Is she one-hundred percent jargon free?” “Not a chance. They all have their language intended to impress, but she’s a hell of a lot more fun then Burdett. So come along and meet her.” “I suppose it would be a waste of time to say no?” “Yes, it would. You said you were at my service.” “Yes, I did say that.” Not much sleep last night or the night before. His moment of irritation with Paige had given way to weariness. No doubt he would feel the anger later. No chance he’d be able to skip over that stage. Not with the piper to pay. “Luanne,” Olive said to the plump, blonde woman sipping from a champagne glass as she observed the people around her. “I’d like you to meet Kevin Novak, the friend of mine I was telling you about.” “I’m so happy to meet you, Mr. Novak,” she said in a Southern drawl that suited her pleasant, round face. Her blue gaze met and held his. If he believed in such things, Kevin would have sworn she’d looked past his tailored suit and crisp white shirt, straight into his tarnished soul. He took a step back, and reached out to steady Olive, whose hand rested on his arm. “Sorry,Olive” he said. “I just remembered something I need to do.” Luanne Woodward said, “It’s all right, Kevin, honey. You don’t have to run away from me.” But he did, Kevin thought. He had to run as fast as he could.

Author Bio:

Frankie Y. Bailey is a mystery writer and a professor in the School of Criminal Justice, University at Albany (SUNY). Her academic research focuses on crime history, popular culture/mass media, and material culture. She has done research and writtenabout topics ranging from local history and women who kill to African American characters in crime and detective fiction. She is currently at work on a book about dress, appearance, and criminal justice. She is the author of two mystery series, featuring crime historian Lizzie Stuart, and Albany police detective Hannah McCabe. Frankie is a past executive vice president of Mystery Writers of America and a past president of Sisters in Crime. A dog lover, she now shares her home with a Maine Coon cat/mix named Harry.

Catch Up:

Tour Participants:

1. 02/02/15 Showcase @ The Book Divas Reads 2. 02/05/15 Guest Post @ Writers and Authors 3. 02/08/15 Radio Interview @ Suspense Magazine 4. 02/08/15 Review @ Literary R&R 5. 02/09/15 Review @ Rhodes Review 6. 02/16/15 Review @ A Dream Within A Dream 7. 02/17/15 Guest Post @ Babs Book Bistro 8. 02/18/15 Guest Post @ Mythical Books 9. 02/19/15 Review @ Vics Media Room 10. 02/20/15 Review @ Real Army of Moms 11. 02/23/15 Review @ GoodReads 12. 02/24/15 Review @ Bless Their Hearts Mom 13. 03/02/15 Review @ Booksie’s Blog 14. 03/03/15 Review @ The Top Shelf 15. 03/04/15 Review @ Booked on a Feeling 16. 03/10/15 Showcase @ The Pen & Muse 17. 03/16/15 Review @ Bunnys Review 18. 03/20/15 Review @ FictionZeal

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SHOWCASE: The Silence by


Posted by Ryder Islington, Author of ULTIMATE JUSTICE, A Trey Fontaine Mystery

 

 

The Silence

by Alison Bruce

on Tour July 2014

 

Book Details:

Genre: Fiction, Thriller, Crime

Published by: Witness Impulse

Publication Date: 06/24/2014

Number of Pages: 293

ISBN: 9780062314208

Purchase Links:

Synopsis:

DC Gary Goodhew searches for the link between an old woman’s terminal illness, a brutal murder, and a series of suicides in Cambridge.

Joey McCarthy is stabbed to death in a parking lot in a random act of violence. Shortly afterward, Charlotte Stone’s terminally ill mother dies and then, within weeks, two of her teenage friends commit suicide. With her home life disintegrating and both her father and brother racing toward self-destruction, Charlotte realizes that her own personal nightmare is just beginning.

When Gary Goodhew, a loveable, warm-hearted detective, finds the body of another suicide victim, he is forced to recall some deeply buried memories of an investigation that had a profound effect on him-memories that lead him to Charlotte Stone. Working together, they begin to wonder whether all these tragedies are somehow linked. And if they are, who will be the next victim?

 

Giveaway:

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Read an excerpt:

 

ONELibby wrote: Hi, Zoe, thanks for the friend request. How are you? Iheard you died.

‘Doing well for a dead person. LOL.’

There was a gap of a few minutes before Libby replied. Sorry, that was bad taste.

Then there was a gap of a few minutes more.

‘I heard about your sister,’ Zoe wrote. ‘You know she was in my year

at school?’

Of course. Your profile picture comes from your class photo. I think you’re standing just behind Rosie. She’s got a funny look on her face, told me once how you pulled her hair just as the flash went off.

‘Yeah, I was in the back row and we were all standing on gym benches. The kids in her row were messing around, trying to get us to fall off. Mrs Hurley saw me wobble and yelled at me. I tugged Rosie’s hair to get my own back. I reckon that was Year Seven or Eight. I don’t remem- ber seeing Rosie much after that.’

Libby had hesitated over the keyboard. She didn’t want this to become nothing more than awkward and pointless chit-chat. She had an opportunity here and, although she guessed it was going to be difficult to get things started, she knew that she needed to do it.

I have a proposition . . . a favour, I suppose. You see, I don’t have anyone to talk to. Rosie’s death left a hole, but there’s more and, if I’m honest, I’m struggling a bit. I’ve tried writing it down, but it just doesn’t

work. I get so far, then I’m stuck. So I wondered if I could message you?

‘Do you think that would work?’

I don’t know, but I’d like to try. I thought you might ask me some ques- tions, prompt me to look at things differently. Or maybe I just need to let things out, I’m not sure. The point is, I need to talk.

Those first messages took up little space on her computer screen, yet Libby felt as though getting even that far had taken up the equivalent effort of a 2,000-word essay. She had worked hard to balance her words, to load them equally between truthfulness and understatement. I need to talk had been a tough admission, as it stank of being unable to cope. The last thing she had wanted, through all of this, had been to load anyone else with any part of this burden. But she now accepted that it was the only way to move forward. She thought of Nathan and wished she could speak to him or her parents even, but they were almost as inac- cessible as her brother.

And what about Matt?

No, when she looked at him she recognized what other people saw when they looked at her. It was a hollowness that scared her.

She read Zoe’s ‘Okay’ and nodded to herself. This was something

she had to do.

I’m not sure where to start, she told Zoe.

‘Begin with Rosie.’

Libby took a deep breath. Rosie, Rosie.

Rosie was in your year, Nathan was one year below, and then there was me, two years below him. I’m 18 now, just to save you working it out, and I’m at sixth form college. The course is a bunch of ‘A’ levels and the college propectus calls them a ‘Foundation in Accountancy’. I’d always wanted to work with small children, but I assumed I’d just leave school and get a job in an office or something.

Instead I chose this course. I gave them all the spiel but, in truth, the only reason I’m doing it is because they were the same ‘A’ levels that Rosie took. She was going to get a degree. She wanted to be a primary school teacher one day, and I bet she would have managed it.

I’m explaining it this way because it shows what Rosie and I were

like; how we were similar but different. On a parallel track except I was always a little bit behind, and a little bit in her shadow.

‘But she was three years older?’

Yes, and I’m almost the same age now, but I still haven’t caught up with her in so many ways. And you’re misunderstanding me if you think I feel that’s a bad thing. I was happy in her shadow: it was always a safe and comfortable place to be.

For my entire childhood I could look up and see Rosie and Nathan. Rosie teased Nathan, and Nathan teased me; that was our pecking order. And if Nathan ever upset me, Rosie stepped in, or the other way round.

I can’t remember one single time when I didn’t have one or other of them to look after me.

Anyhow, now I feel like I need to follow in her footsteps, at least for a little while. I’m not ready to let go of her yet, so I sit in the same lectures and try my hardest to get grades as good as hers. That’s what got me through school. It’s like she’s been there before me and I can feel her looking over my shoulder. She says ‘Go on, Bibs, you can do it.’ No one calls me Bibs any more, and I wouldn’t want them to.

Then after a gap of almost twenty minutes, Libby added, Can I mes- sage you tomorrow?

‘Of course.’

TWO

What do you know about Rosie’s death?

‘Just bits and pieces – you know how fragments of information fly about.’

Can I tell you?

‘Only if you want to.’

The short version is that she went to the cinema and never came back. The short version is important to remember, because to me that’s how it happened. I was in my bedroom – my hair was three or four inches longer then, and I was straightening it. Rosie heard me swear- ing, came into the room and finished the section that I couldn’t reach properly.

I told her she looked nice, but I was too wrapped up in my own night out to pay her much attention; later that night, Mum and Dad asked me what she’d been wearing and I just couldn’t remember. I knew that, when she put the hair straighteners on my dressing-table, I noticed that she’d had her nails repainted a slightly metallic shade of purple.

And that’s really all I could remember. I can’t remember which cinema, which film or if she said who she was going with. I can’t remember a single word she said, just the touch of her fingers as she separated the strands of my hair, and the colour of her nails as she finished.

I tell myself that I can’t remember all those things because I never knew them, that she’d never shared the details with me. I don’t believe though that she would have ever gone to watch a film on her own. And I find it equally hard to believe that I wouldn’t have said, ‘Who are you going with?’

I went to the beauty salon a couple of weeks later and bought a bottle of that same nail polish. I’ve still got it in my drawer.

I returned home just before 1 a.m. I came back in a taxi and, as it pulled up, I noticed the lights on in our front room, with the cur- tains open. I could make out Mum and Dad standing apart from one another. It was only a brief glimpse but I felt uneasy and hurried inside.

Nathan was there too. You can see our kitchen as soon as you walk through the front door and he was standing by the kettle, pouring boil- ing water into three mugs.

‘What’s happened?’ I mouthed at him.

‘They tried to ring you because they can’t get hold of Rosie. But your

phone was off.’

In that case, I reasoned, they wouldn’t get hold of me either, would they? Why were they so worried about her when they weren’t worried about me?

I can’t really remember how I felt at that moment. I think I wondered why there was this amount of fuss. Or maybe I realized something was up. Mum’s always been a bit paranoid, and Rosie had only passed her driving test a few months before.

Dad called through from the front room and asked me what Rosie had said to me about her plans for the evening. Mum snapped at him, told him to get to the point. He snapped back.

Then he turned to me and started, ‘It’s probably nothing, but . . .’ Even now those words always fill me with dread.

Rosie had told Mum that she’d be back by eleven. No biggie on its own, but Nathan had been playing an away match for the Carlton Arms pool team, and she’d promised him a lift home. Her phone kept going straight to voicemail, so he waited for her till 11.30, then rang our par- ents as he walked home.

Like I said, it never took much to make Mum start worrying, and this was plenty. Nathan said she’d made Dad phone the police at half-past midnight. I suppose there wasn’t much the police could say at that point, except to let us know that they’d had no incidents involving anyone called Rose, Rosie or Rosalyn, or with the surname Brett.

Straight after I got home, Mum told him to call the police again. He was kept on hold for a while, and said they were being very polite and understanding, but I could tell that they’d left him with the feeling that he was totally overreacting.

I don’t know if you remember much about my dad, but he’s a stub- born bloke, and when he makes his mind up about something, it’s really hard to get him to shift. ‘That’s enough now,’ he decided, and demanded that we all go and get some sleep.

So of course Mum started to argue with him, and he refused to budge. I looked at Nathan, and he just raised his eyebrows. It wasn’t like we hadn’t seen it all countless times before.

We left them there to wrangle, although I don’t remember hearing another sound from them.

I lay down on my bed fully dressed, and let the rest of the house think I’d gone to sleep. I heard Nathan’s door close, and imagined him in the next room, doing exactly the same. I don’t think I slept at all. Maybe it wasn’t like that, but that’s how I remember it.

If I did stay awake, it wasn’t because I was scared for Rosie. I didn’t believe for one second that I’d never see her again. It was more that I kind of felt out of kilter.

Funny phrase that: out of kilter. I don’t even know what a kilter is. And that’s the point. I knew something was up, but I didn’t have enough experience to guess . . .

Libby’s intended words had trailed off to nothing. The minutes ticked by as she tried to finish the paragraph, but didn’t think she could. For a moment she was tempted to delete the whole page, but that would amount to avoiding talking about Rosie. She could promise herself to type it again, but she knew that it wouldn’t happen.

She pressed ‘send’.

Zoe’s reply was typically short: ‘Can you tell me what happened?’ Libby gave a little smile. In Zoe’s photo she had cropped dark hair

and the type of face that looked serious even in the middle of a grin. Zoe didn’t need her messages surrounded by frilly words. This was exactly the reason she had picked Zoe to talk to; with her it was okay to be blunt, which in turn took away the excuse to give up. Libby typed quickly.

They found Rosie’s car first, parked up on a bridge crossing the A14. Her body was about half a mile away down on the carriageway. She’d been run over. More than that, actually, but I think, to explain it all . . . I just can’t do that right now.

Can I just say ‘multiple injuries’ and tell you the rest some other

time? The press referred to it as suicide.

The police were more cautious and listed other factors: bad weather, poor visibility, heavy traffic and so on. The A14 is notorious for its high accident rate. They never found out what had really happened. At least that’s what they told us, but I have a feeling that they did know. They just couldn’t prove it, and in the end, the verdict was left open.

I couldn’t grasp it at first. It didn’t seem possible. Even at Rosie’s funeral it didn’t seem real, then finally, when I understood that she really was dead, the questions started to form in my head. Little things at first. Had she ever made it to the cinema? Which film had she seen? Who had she gone with?

I asked myself: what was it that had prompted her to drive out any- where near the A14?

I also wondered how long it’d taken for her to die. I didn’t go to the inquest, Mum and Dad were there, but I could hardly ask them. It’s questions like that which make me worry that I have become overly morbid.

My list of questions grows, and I can’t stop it. And when I don’t have proper explanations, I start to invent the answers. It’s a bad habit and I feel like my life is only half lit now, and instead of looking to the light, I’m turning towards the darkest corners. I’ve got it into my head that there is some evil lurking just out of sight. And I’m straining to see it.

You see, I thought things couldn’t get worse, and that losing Rosie was enough.

In fact, it was enough. But what has happened since is too much.

Author Bio:

Alison Bruce was born in Surrey but moved to Cambridge in 1998. She is the author of three other Gary Goodhew books, Cambridge Blue, The Siren, and The Calling. She is married with two children.

Catch Up With the Alison:

Tour Participants:

Schedule:

7/01 ~ Showcase @ Deal Sharing Aunt (USA)
7/03 ~ Interview @ 3 Partners in Shopping, Nana, Mommy, & Sissy, Too!
7/07 ~ Review @ Savingfor6
7/08 ~ Showcase @ X-Mas Dolly
7/09 ~ Showcase @ The Pen and Muse
7/15 ~ @ Babs Book Bistro
7/16 ~ Showcase @ Books Books & More Books
7/22 ~ Review @ Real Army of Moms
7/24 ~ Showcase @ Ryder Islingtons Blog
7/28 ~ Review @ bless their hearts mom
7/29 ~ Showcase @ Hott Books
7/30 ~ Showcase @ A Blue Million Books