Thursday, May 23, 2019

Mystery, Magic & Murder

Don't we all love to solve old mysteries, find hidden gems and learn about new places? New authors, new story ideas and especially new mystery novels always grab my reading attention. That's exactly why I was pleased to discover Canadian author, Vanessa Westermann, and get the opportunity to check out her debut novel, An Excuse for Murder.

I'm so pleased to say Vanessa is another suspense fan. She says she has always loved reading mystery novels, beginning with Nancy Drew, like so many other mystery writers. She says when she first started writing this book she wanted to write a village mystery, complete with quirky characters, but she also wanted it to have the momentum and feel of a thriller. She has done it by using the viewpoints of male and female protagonists. As someone else who writes romantic suspense, that certainly sounds like a great combination to me!

 But as a lover of fairy tales, she also wanted to include a  touch of the fairy tale land, and she says she has done that through the setting. Here's the blurb:
As a former bodyguard, it should be easy for Gary Fenris to kill, especially when the motive is revenge. But Gary has made two mistakes in his life. The first was letting the woman he loved die on his watch. The second was thinking vengeance could bring him peace. 

Local bookstore owner and amateur lock pick Kate Rowan loves nothing more than a good mystery. Her curiosity soon leads her down a trail of blackmail, obsession and death. Despite the risk - or maybe because of it - Gary finds himself drawn to Kate. 

When danger strikes, Gary is forced to face the fact that he used love as an excuse for murder. And he's got one last score to settle. 

Let's get an excerpt:

     The ghost of her laughter teased across his skin, raising the hairs on his arms.  
     There she was, vibrant as though she was in the room with him. "Don't tell me you don't like it." She gave her new dress a twirl, barefoot and beautiful, all ready for a night out but for the heels she would wait to put on to the last. Her toe-nails were painted red. The arch of her foot flexed strong and graceful with the movement. Her blonde hair shone in the light of memory. She stopped short, the soft blue fabric swinging against her legs, and grinned at him.  
      It went straight through him. He raised the bottle of Scotch to his lips, holding on to the vision. It wavered beneath the intensity of his gaze.  
     Then there was nothing on the floor but scuff marks and the shimmer of dust. His trainers, mud-caked from that morning's eight kilometer run, took up the space where her heels should have been. He had almost forgotten the way she used to toe her shoes off, always sliding the left one off first for some inexplicable reason. 
     The wall was cold and hard against his back, the Scotch smooth and warm.  
     There was no other choice. He'd made his decision two years ago. It was time. 
     Tomorrow, he would commit murder.

This sounds like the sort of story that can catch you and hold you until you turn the last page. No wonder reviewers have called it "a mesmerizing page-turner," and a "lyrical thriller that crackles with defiance and danger."  If you want to read more, here are the buy links:

The Wild Rose Press
Amazon | B&N | Indiebound | Kobo | Books-A-Million

Thank you for being my guest today. If you would like to learn more about Vanessa or get in touch with her, here is her contact info:

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