by Cynthia Chow
Details at the end of this post on how to enter to win a copy of Lethal Lifestyles. We also have a link to order it from Amazon, and from an indie bookstore where a portion goes to help support KRL.
Richmond Telegraph crime and cops reporter Nichelle Clarke had one goal as the maid of honor for her fellow reporters Melanie and Grant Parker; deliver the perfect fairytale wedding. Those plans were to begin a week before the ceremony with a weekend getaway for the entire wedding party at the luxurious Calais Vineyards. The derailment begins even before the first dinner’s salad course, when the staff discovers a body stuffed inside a Calais wine barrel.
Not even Nichelle’s professional wedding planner mother would have had contingency plans for murder, but this is right up Nichelle’s alley. Managing to keep the bride in the dark turns out to be far easier than coping with the fact that the prospective groom may be the most likely suspect. The unfortunately pickled Mitch Burke had resented Parker ever since high school, beginning with Parker’s baseball win at the State Championships, continuing with his triumph at the College World Series, and never pausing even after Parker’s professional career-ending injury. Blaming Parker for all of his failures, Burke had been emailing threats against Parker to the Telegraph. That they mentioned Melanie in those sociopathic attacks meant that even their beloved editor accepts that Parker snapped and took the ultimate step to protect his fiancée.
For Nichelle, being a reporter isn’t just a career, it is her life. Working eighty-five hours a week for over a decade ensures that Nichelle has considerable skills at tracking down and then working her sources. When she discovers that the owner of the winery may have ties to organized crime, it brings in the protective involvement of Nichelle’s boyfriend, and perhaps the love of her life, Joey. His own shady connections have forced them to keep their relationship a secret, not exactly easy when Nichelle’s closest friends are reporters with finely tuned senses of detecting secrets. She’s fortunate that she’s not the only one keeping confidences, as Burke left a trail of broken hearts, debts, and bad business deals to keep investigators and her coworkers busy. Too bad the police, including Nichelle’s hostile publisher, are still focusing their attention on Parker, pushing that dream fairytale wedding further and further out of reach.
Even while in Augusta County and out of her journalistic territory, Nichelle continues to wield her stellar investigative skills to uncover clues and follow them to a completely surprising end. Perhaps it is because she is at a wedding that Nichelle is at her least cynical, even pondering whether she may someday find that same happiness with an equal partner. That doesn’t mean that she still won’t deftly do whatever it takes to protect her beloved profession and the ethics she holds dear.
This sixth in the Headlines in High Heels Mystery series masterfully depicts investigative reporting at its best, from the journalists’ acerbic wit to their competitive need to get the story first. As funny as it is compelling, this continues to be a sharply written and thoroughly entertaining mystery series.
This book was published by Henery Press. To learn more about their books check out their website: henerypress.com.
To enter to win a copy of Lethal Lifestyles, simply email KRL at krlcontests@gmail[dot]com by replacing the [dot] with a period, and with the subject line “lethal,” or comment on this article. A winner will be chosen October 29, 2016. U.S. residents only. If entering via email please include your mailing address, and if via comment please include your email address.
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