Tag Archives: coming soon

A snippet from Drugged to Death

Just a little something to whet your appetite. Nine more days!

As Bill Frazier had predicted, there wasn’t much that was helpful in Rick Ramsey’s personnel file. There were, however, a couple of intriguing findings.

Ramsey’s one-page resumé was included. Jon read it, frowning, then waved the page at Kevin. “Why would a guy with a master’s degree in public health turn to truck driving?”

“He has a master’s degree?”

“Yup. Bachelor’s in health science and a master’s in public health, both from Sacramento State.”

“Maybe the money was better. Maybe he had the urge to travel.”

Jon snorted. Kevin said, “Yeah, I don’t believe that either. Whoever’s staging all of this called his old buddy Rick and ordered him to change careers.”

“Probably paying him over and above what he’s making from Southland.”

“That, or he knew something about Rick that was coercive. Are his references listed there?”

“Nope, says ‘on request.’ Do you have ‘em?”

Kevin scanned through the employment application. “Here they are.” He laid the page where both he and Jon could see it. “You want to do the talking?”

“With pleasure.” Jon dialed the first number, and put his phone on speaker.

The voice that answered was male, raspy, and elderly. “Yell-ow.”

“Hello. Is this Mr. Burmeister?”

“That’s right. Who’s this?”

“This is Jonathan Eckhoff with the City of Palmdale, California. I’m calling about Rick Ramsey. He’s applied for a part-time job as a coach in our city’s recreation department, and I’m checking his references.”

Kevin chuckled at the smoothness of Jon’s deception. Burmeister said, “A coach, eh? Well, I never knew Rick to have anything to do with kids, but I reckon he’d be okay.”

“How do you know Mr. Ramsey?”

“I was his neighbor for a couple of years before he moved down there. Nice guy, no wild parties. Had a few girlfriends.” Burmeister chuckled. “Lookers, all of ‘em. But never caused any problems.”

“Mr. Ramsey never had any trouble with the law that you were aware of?”

“Nope. Kept his nose clean, from what I could tell.”

“Is there anything else you can tell us about Mr. Ramsey that might help us make the hiring decision?”

“Naw. Only knew him for the past couple of years, but he seemed okay.”

“All right. Thanks for your time, Mr. Burmeister.” Jon said goodbye and hung up.

Kevin said, “Only knew him for two years.”

“Mm hm. Not much to go on there.” Jon dialed the next number.

A woman’s voice answered, “Alameda County Public Health Department.”

Jon raised an eyebrow at Kevin. “Hello, this is Detective Jonathan Eckhoff with the Los Angeles Police Department. Could I speak with Leslie Chambers?”

“Do you know which department she’s in?”

“No, ma’am, I’m sorry.”

“Okay, hold on.” There was a click, and Jon and Kevin were treated to a repeating series of admonitions, in both English and Spanish, about vaccinating their children and getting their flu shots.

Kevin said, “Alameda County.”

“What about it?”

“Jason Poe was from the Bay Area before he moved to Alamogordo.”

“Huh. Think Poe and Ramsey knew each other?”

“Dunno. But if they were both working for the owner of the conversion camp…maybe.”

The phone clicked again, and the woman’s voice returned. “I’m sorry, sir. Ms. Chambers doesn’t work here anymore.”

“Oh, that’s too bad. Could you transfer me to your human resources department?”

“Sure. Hold on.”

Jon and Kevin waited through another message about vaccinations. Then a different woman said, “HR.”

Jon introduced himself. “We’re doing background on a potential witness to a crime down here, and we believe that he used to work for you. The name is Rick Ramsey.”

“He’s not a current employee?”

“No, ma’am.”

“Okay, hold on.”

They held on. Kevin said, “If this keeps up, I’m gonna have to go find someone’s kid to vaccinate.”

Cover small

Jamie Brodie Mystery #20

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What day is it again?

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Alhassan Abdul-Manan [CC BY-SA (https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/4.0)%5D

It hit me yesterday, when I was trying to figure out the date to write on a check. (Yes, I still have to write checks a couple of times a month.) Today – April 21 – is one month before May 21.

Duh, you might say. What’s May 21?

It’s the publication date for Drugged to Death. 😀

Thought that would make you happy.

I hope you all are safe and well. I’ve been working from home since March 18 – a luxury afforded to me by virtue of being an academic librarian. Best job in the world. But the days do tend to run into each other. I can usually tell you what day of the week it is, but dates have occasionally escaped me.

Not today!

May 21 will be a double treat. Not only will Drugged to Death hit the virtual bookstands that day, but I’ll also be interviewed by Brad Shreve on the Gay Mystery Podcast. Which you should be listening to, if you’re not. It’s a fantastic resource for all sorts of new-to-me (and some not so new) gay mysteries and a fun look at the process for other writers.

So mark May 21 on your calendar! I’ve ordered up the cover from my graphic designer, and I’ll show it to you as soon as I can.

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After a long dry spell…

Finally, stuff is starting to happen!

One week from today, the Footsteps in the Dark anthology of gay mystery/romance will be released. I should have pre-order links soon. Here’s the cover for it:

Release date May 31!

Here’s the playlist for the anthology, featured on Josh’s blog today:

Playlist for Footsteps in the Dark Anthology

And here’s a couple of teasers for my novella that’s included in the anthology. It’s called Twelve Seconds.

A mysterious phone call, a missing executive, and an exploding rocket throw space reporter Justin Harris and Air Force Special Agent Greg Marcotte into an investigation that will change their lives…if it doesn’t kill them first.

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Created by the VERY talented Dianne Theis of Lyrical Lines.

I am super excited for this! I never thought I’d have the opportunity to be included with a lineup of authors like these. Also, Twelve Seconds is the first in a new series, The Space Coast Mysteries, featuring the further adventures of Justin and Greg.

I think you’ll like these guys.

No worries; the next Jamie Brodie book is also coming soon. More on that later.

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Cover reveal: Trapped to Death!

Here it is! Still on track for publication on Cyber Monday, November 28.

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The cover for Stacked to Death

The cover art is finished! Here it is:

Stacked cover 2

I intended it to convey a sense of menace – I think Stephanie (my graphic artist) achieved that!

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