Thursday, June 21, 2018

A New Mystery

Fifty Shades of Dead: A New Orleans Mystery
by Louise Hathaway 

New Orleans Homicide Detective Yvonne Dauphin returns in a gripping murder mystery that explores the dark side of kinky sex and what happens when things go horribly wrong. 

Three young librarians get together for a girl’s night out at the movies to see Fifty Shades of Grey where they meet a handsome stranger who bears a striking resemblance to the film’s main character. He invites them to dinner, but only one goes with him—a vulnerable redhead who has just been served divorce papers. A few days later, her body is found behind an abandoned house in the 9th ward. Was she the victim of erotic asphyxiation? Or did her soon to be ex-husband strangle her?

Saturday, June 16, 2018

Father's Day

Happy Father's Day everyone! I was very close to my father and different versions of him appear in many of my Nancy Keene Mysteries. Here's a chapter from The Buried Treasure on Route 66 in which Nancy tries to persuade her father into letting her go on a trip on Route 66 in order to help an elderly woman find a missing will.

Chapter Nine: Buttering Up Dad

Nancy is waiting for her father’s flight to land at the airport in Phoenix.  She has bought a lei at her favorite flower shop and is planning to say “Aloha” when she greets him.  Finally, the 5:00 flight comes in from La Guardia.  She waves at her father as he comes to her. 

“Did the plane make a wrong turn and land in Honolulu?” he asks.

“Welcome home, Dad!” she says as she places the lei over his head. “It’s so good to see you, Dad!  I missed you!!”

“Me, too, honey.  Thanks for picking me up. It’s good to be home.”

“Why didn’t you let me drive you to the airport instead of having to call a taxi?  You should’ve woken me up.”

“I figured that you needed your beauty rest after your previous night of 2:00 a.m. cooking.”

“Speaking of cooking, I’ve made your favorite meal for dinner.”

“Coq au Vin?”

“Bien sur, Monsieur.”

“I can’t wait to get home.”

When Mr. Keene arrives home, he is escorted into the dining room by his daughter, who pours him a glass of Moet & Chandon.  “Care for some lobster bisque to start, Dad?”

“Oh, boy!” he says, as Nancy ladles out the soup from their best Villeroy and Boch tureen.

“What a welcome home!  You’ve really outdone yourself this time!”

“Thanks, Dad.”

“Okay.  So, what’s up?  Why are you buttering me up like this?  What’s on your mind?”

“Well, Dad.  Since you’re asking, there is something, but let’s finish our meal together first.  Tell me all about your trip.”

“Oh no, you don’t.  Tell me right now what your latest scheme is.”

“Well, Dad.  You know how I’ve been trying to help Mrs. Wood find that will I was telling you about?”

“Nancy!  I told you to let it go.  Stop being involved in that mess.  Those stepsons mean business.”

“Well, it’s funny you should bring that up because I was thinking of getting her away from them for a while.”

“She’s not staying here.”

“Dad.  That thought didn’t even cross my mind.”

“What thought did?”

“Well, I’ve been looking at all of the clues and everything points to the newer will being buried at the Blue Swallow Motel in New Mexico.”

“So you want me to hire some people to go there and start digging?”

“Dad!  I can’t believe these thoughts coming out of your head.  Being in New York has made you very cynical, all of a sudden.”

“Okay, Nancy, what’s your plan.”

“Let me pour you another glass of champagne and I’ll tell you all about it.”


After two hours of telling her Dad everything that’s been happening with Mrs. Wood, his heart starts to melt.

“Nancy, you’ve always had a way of wrapping me around your little finger.  Okay. You may do it, but here are my rules,” her Dad says, putting his foot down.  “You may go on your road trip with Mrs. Wood and Ned, but I’m going to be coming with the three of you. I’ve been worried about this whole situation with those two stepsons, and I want to stay as close to you as possible right now.”

“Oh, Dad.  You can’t protect me forever.  I’m an adult now,” she says, wrapping her arms around his neck.

“I don’t know what I’d do if I lost you, honey.”

“That won’t happen.  We will have a long and happy life together, Dad.  The best is yet to come.”

“Well, my dear.  Once again, you certainly have lifted my spirits.  I’m even starting to get excited about the thought of taking a road trip, too.”

“That’s the spirit, Dad!”


Would you like to read more?  Here are some links where you can purchase this cozy mystery as an eBook or a paperback.

Wednesday, May 9, 2018

Who love mysteries with Female Detectives?

Do you like female detectives as much as I do? I love Helen Mirren's, Jane Tennison, from the series "Prime Suspect"; Rachel McAdams' character in the second season of "True Detective"; and looking further back in time: Agatha Christie's "Miss Marple"; and every baby boomers' favorite teenage sleuth, Nancy Drew.

I've created three female characters who solve mysteries in my novels.  The first is Nancy Keene and she stars in a five book series: The Nancy Keene Mysteries.  These books are funny PG-rated stories inspired by the adventures of the famous teenage sleuth Nancy Drew. She was my childhood hero. My Nancy Keene Mysteries take place in some of my favorite travel destinations, so they are travelogues in addition to being cozy mysteries. 

Female Homicide Detective Clarissa Santy from Orange County, California stars in my four-book series entitled, "The Detective Santy Mysteries".  The series begins with the murder of her father when she was a young girl. When she turns 18, she looks into the court records of the murder trial and realizes that the wrong man was arrested.  As the series continues, she discovers who killed a priest at a nearby abbey and finds love where she wasn't expecting it.  While on her honeymoon in Savannah, Georgia, she becomes involved in a murder investigation when her cousin, a famous chef, is murdered.  All of the books in the series can be enjoyed as standalone stories.

My most recent detective, Yvonne Dauphin, struggles with bipolar disorder and lives in New Orleans. She risks her life and sanity when she checks herself out of the hospital after a meltdown, determined to prove to her boss and coworkers that’s she still up to the job of capturing a serial killer who has been terrorizing New Orleans. To further complicate matters, she’s hoping to reunite with her ex-husband while feeling a blossoming attraction to a young fellow detective.

I hope you like our latest leading lady and come along with her story in our latest mystery, "Fighting Demons: A New Orleans Mystery."

All of my books are available on Amazon, iTunes, Google Play, Smashwords, Barnes and Noble, and Kobo.

Here are the buy links for my books:

Saturday, April 28, 2018

Author Spotlight--Mystery Writer Chloe Sunstone

After over twenty years in HR, Chloe sprinted back to her first love, writing. She peeked behind the corporate veil to write compelling mysteries with a twist.  She lives in the greater Cleveland area with her husband, Mike.

"The Mentor" kicks off a series featuring Domenic Griffin, a brave, Black Christian family man. Domenic teams up with his close friend, Detective Alex Victona to changes lives, one day at a time.

“The Mentor” highlights Arthur Cracknel, a brilliant, but socially awkward software engineer. Arthur works for Coupled Inc., an online dating app. When Arthur receives the opportunity to mentor the beautiful Sage Gonzalez, everything changes. Arthur and Sage are thrust into a dark world of corruption and unspeakable revenge.

Arthur turns to his own mentor, Domenic Griffin, for help. Arthur must protect himself and Sage while unraveling the secrets lurking beneath the corporate veil. In a corrupt world, can Arthur emerge unscathed? Will Arthur be towed under the wave of deceit and become another victim?

Readers can enjoy this thrill ride by accessing via this Amazon link.

Here's where you can find Chloe Sunstone:
Contact the Author:
Phone: 216-856-1021

Silver Summit Software, LLC 
5900 Som Center Road, Suite 12-161 
Willoughby, Ohio 44094

Saturday, April 21, 2018

Author Interview: Mystery Writer C.A. Asbrey

Today I spotlighting a mystery writer, C.A. Asbrey.  

She has experience as a young police officer in Scotland who learned that talking people down from spiraling emotions was a powerful tool in keeping people safe, and more potent than violence. She also learned that listening to detail is vital too. Noting the small things helped to push cases along in gathering evidence. 

She has a new mystery that has just been released:

Here is an interview with this writer:

Did you ever consider writing under a pseudonym?
I kinda do. I write under my married name and feature on social media under my maiden name for social interactions. I also write under initials. I don’t hide my gender, but it’s not immediately obvious when you look at the book cover.
Do you want each book to stand alone, or are you trying to build a body of work with connections between each book?
‘The Innocents’ is most definitely part of a larger body of work. It’s the first of a trilogy, but if people like them there’ plenty of scope to keep them going. I would still continue with each book being a self-contained mystery with the larger universe of the characters providing an over-arching connection between the books. The third book is written and at editing stage, but there are plenty of trials I can still put the characters through yet.   
What is your writing Kryptonite
Emotional upset for sure. My last book took me a year to write as I was distracted by my husband being injured in an accident and my mother-in-law passing away from a long illness. I was very lucky to have a lovely mother-in-law. She is sorely missed.
What other authors are you friends with, and how do they help you become a better writer?
I’ve met many wonderful people on this journey and I’ve found them to be an incredibly generous and open community. I’d really encourage new writers to reach out and make contact. Not only will you find that they share resources, but you’ll probably make all kinds of new friends too. There are too many to mention but Kit Prate and Joanie Chevalier deserve a special mention. Both have been so supportive and inspiring to a brand new writer and have gone the extra mile in helping me cross over so many barriers. Kit introduced me to her publisher after reading my work, and helped me out of the slush pile. Joanie helped to point me towards the various groups which help a new writer with marketing and publicity. Not only that but she actually made up some advertising material and told me to ‘get my swag on.’ I was being far too Scottish—reticent and unwilling to look like I was bragging by saying my book was good. Both ladies have been incredible and I can’t thank them enough. Read their books and you’ll soon see how lucky I was to be assisted by them.
What was an early experience where you learned that language had power?
That would be in my work as a young police officer. I learned that talking people down from spiraling emotions is a powerful tool in keeping people safe, and more potent than violence. I also learned that listening to detail is vital too. Noting the small things helped to push cases along in gathering evidence. I also learned the complex and intricate ways people use language to put you down and grab power in a situation. Understanding that really helps you stay in control of a situation.
What’s your favorite under-appreciated novel?  
That would have to be ‘The Moonstone’ by Wilkie Collins. Not only is it considered the first proper detective novel in the English language, it also shows working class females as rounded characters instead of foils for male attention. It also is the first to introduce many of the elements we take for granted in mysteries such as red herrings, false suspects, the skilled investigator, and a final twist. Collins was actually vastly more popular than Dickens in his day, but is now largely forgotten in comparison.
As a writer, what would you choose as your mascot/avatar/spirit animal? 
Lol, maybe a giant sloth? Or one of those dogs or cats which go viral for bumping into glass doors or falling off things.
What kind of research do you do, and how long do you spend researching before beginning a book? 
Copious amounts. ‘The Innocents’ has taken years of research into the work of the early Pinkertons, especially the female agents and the kind of work they did, including their methodologies. I research everything, even the stationary which was in use and the correct codes for the telegraph stations mentioned in the books. The theatrical make up used as disguises in the book began to flourish right around the period the books are set in as lighting improved and people could see the flaws in the rudimentary stuff previously only lit by candles. The forensics are fascinating to dig into too. You name it I researched it.
How do you select the names of your characters?
As I write 19TH century characters I try to keep them in period and maintain a sense of place. I’ll research popular or unusual names as well as using names of people I know if they’re appropriate. I’ve also been known to add really unusual names to my note as I come across them. Some are too good not to use.
Who is the most famous person you have ever met?
That would be either the Pope of the Queen – on a protection duty. When the Pope visited Scotland I was the police officer at the bottom of the aircraft steps. We then moved with him into the city. As a fun aside, the glass-covered vehicle he used was nicknamed the Pope Mobile by the press. The crowds were all still there when we returned to the airport in the Pope mobile without him. We stood in full uniform waving flowers out the top to cheering crowds as we drove the full length of Prince’s Street in Edinburgh (the big main street in Scotland’s capital city). The crowd cheered us and waved flags as we passed. Only a Scottish crowd could hail a car full of police officers like that. Great fun.
What kind of research do you do, and how long do you spend researching before beginning a book? 
Copious amounts. ‘The Innocents’ has taken years of research into the work of the early Pinkertons, especially the female agents and the kind of work they did, including their methodologies. I research everything, even the stationary which was in use and the correct codes for the telegraph stations mentioned in the books. The theatrical make up, used as disguises in the book, began to flourish right around the period the books are set in. Lighting had improved and people could see the flaws in the rudimentary stuff previously only lit by candles. The forensics are fascinating to dig into too. You name it I researched it.
What was your hardest scene to write?
The interrogation scene. I had to inject a sense of menace into it to make it work. I know it’s not usual to make your hero do bad things, but he’s a professional criminal and he has to find out who this mysterious woman is and how much danger the heroine poses to him.
How long have you been writing?
I’ve been playing with the characters for about ten years, but work and life got in the way. I started writing seriously about two years ago and spent about a year being turned down by everyone. I acted on every bit of feedback and continually got my work reviewed and improved until it was polished enough to be accepted.
What inspires you?
Often fact is stranger than fiction, so I’ll start with real crime or criminals. I‘ll then change it to ensure that even people familiar with that particular crime can’t guess whodunit. The stories are inspired by real crimes and people but they are not a memoir. They are stories where everything is historically possible. It either happened or could have happened.   
How did you come to write The Innocents?
My grasp on the methodologies used by law enforcement, when applied the law in day to day enquiries in the days before technology was available, as well as historic weaknesses and blind spots in the both the legal and court systems, make for an authentic backdrop to the characters.    
I was always a voracious reader, my mother teaching me with flashcards at the age of two, and graduating to the adult section of the library about the age of ten. I easily finished three books a week for years and was lost without one. Mysteries were a real love and I consumed the works of writers old and new constantly. The one thing I always wanted to do was to write but never had the confidence or time to do more than dream about it.
As a child I loved to run lines with my actor father when he rehearsed, and peeked in on the parties full of creative people singing, dancing, telling jokes, performing and discussing the issues of the day. Childhood taught me that creativity was something you do, not something you passively watch. That carried over to a love of singing, professionally and with choirs, as well as playing some dodgy fiddle music, alongside far better musicians who either made me sound okay or drowned me out entirely. Either way I managed to carry it off for a bit and even bagged a musician husband.  
I first became interested in the female pioneers in law enforcement when I joined the police in Scotland. History has always held a draw and the colorful stories of the older officers piqued my interest, making her look even further back.
The very first women in law enforcement had been in France, working for the Sûreté in the early 19th century. They were, however, no more than a network of spies and prostitutes, the most infamous being the notorious ‘Violette’. Now there’s another story which needs to be told!
The first truly professional women in law enforcement worked for the Pinkerton Agency, and they were trained by the first female agent Kate Warne, an ex-actress and an expert in working undercover. Kate Warne was an expert at disguise, adopting roles, and accents. She was said to be daring and able to pass her characters off, even in close quarters. In the only known photograph of her she is dressed as a man. This was a skill set my childhood had prepared her to understand.  
These women were fully-fledged agents, with their skills being held in high regard by Alan Pinkerton who once said, “In my service you will serve your country better than on the field. I have several female operatives. If you agree to come aboard you will go in training with the head of my female detectives, Kate Warne. She has never let me down.”
I started to wonder why one of the female agents couldn’t be a Scottish Immigrant. After all, Alan Pinkerton was one. He came from Glasgow. Being a Scot in another land is something I know well. They do say you should write what you know.    
My work has taken me all over the world, but working in the USA and visiting the places where these women worked deepened my  passion for finding out more about how they lived. I also researched the tools and equipment available to them at the time. Connections to police and Home Office experts allowed me to research the birth of forensics with people who knew their subject intimately.   
The topic for ‘The Innocents Mystery Series’ simmered in the background for years, and all the time I was researching more and more deeply into the period. I love the rapid pace of innovation and invention in the 19th century. Nothing pleases me more than finding spy gadgets available at the time which were invented far earlier than most people would think possible.

Work and life got in the way of the books being anything more than an idea until I was suddenly grounded by a serious accident. The enforced leisure time of recuperation focused my mind and the old dream of writing resurfaced. It started as a short story which took on a life of its own when it grew and grew—then grew some more.

Eventually, ‘The Innocents Mysteries’ evolved and I found the perfect home for it at Prairie Rose. This is my first foray into fiction. I have produced magazine and newspaper articles based on consumer law and written guides for the Consumer Direct Website. I was Media Trained by The Rank Organization, and acted as a consultant to the BBC's One Show and Watchdog. I have also been interviewed on BBC radio answering questions on consumer law to the public.

I run a blog which explores all things strange, mysterious, and unexpected about the 19th century. It was a huge compliment to be told that another writer finds it a great resource. The link can be found below.
I live with my husband and two daft cats in Northamptonshire, England—for now. Another move is on the cards in 2108 to the beautiful city of York.

Blog which includes things obscure and strange in the Victorian period
Facebook group for The Innocents Mystery Series

Sunday, January 28, 2018

A New Orleans Mystery

After two years, my husband and I have finally finished writing this mystery which takes place in New Orleans. We hope you will like it! Here's what it is about:

In this intriguing New Orleans mystery, two murder investigations take center stage in the Crescent City. First, a young woman is gunned down during a wedding at St. Louis Cathedral; then 13 bodies are found in a shipping container on the docks. Could these two seemingly unrelated cases be connected? Discover the seamy underworld of human trafficking as two homicide detectives search for answers.

Available in both print and eBook formats at Amazon:

Also available at the following retailers:

Sunday, January 21, 2018

Have You Seen the Neon Museum in Las Vegas?

I traveled through Las Vegas many times when I was growing up and my Dad drove us to see family in Colorado from our home in Southern California, but it wasn't until recently that I spent the night in Vegas and visited for the Neon Museum for the first time.  I've always loved Neon and the beautiful look of Art Deco buildings in South Beach Florida and the Route 66 landmarks such as The Blue Swallow Motel.  My husband and I traveled to Las Vegas so I could do some research for the cozy mystery I was writing which took place at the Adult Entertainment Expo in Vegas.  The climax of the book happens at the Neon Museum; so here's an excerpt from my story The Salacious Scribes Mystery:

I returned to the Bellagio and met my husband for dinner and a bit of sight-seeing. After we ate a very expensive but delicious meal in the hotel, he drove us to the “poor side of town”—the Fremont District—the Real Downtown Las Vegas—as the locals insist—as opposed to The Strip. We wanted to see the Neon Museum, home to some of the most treasured and world-famous signs of Las Vegas.  It is an outdoor museum that houses discarded neon signs ranging from the 1930s to the present day. When I think of neon—I think of Las Vegas and some of the neon signs from Vegas’s yesteryears were impressive and beautiful in their own kitschy way. The neon museum looked like a weird junkyard; but at night, it was a wonderland for any fan of glowing neon signs and Googie architecture, a style that thrived in the 1950s and early 1960s that is also known as Coffee Shop Modern or Space Age. Some of the buildings in this style remind me of the cartoon series The Jetsons: especially the space age structure at LAX.  Many of Vegas’s old hotels and businesses were designed in this style and the La Concha Hotel was a prime example. Before being torn down, the shell of its lobby was saved and transported to a new location, which was now the welcome center for the Neon Museum.  
My husband and I entered the reception area and were told to wait either in the gift shop or patio area until our tour began.  I was dying to find out what the “neon boneyard” as they called it looked like after seeing the postcards in the museum’s gift shop, but a low rod iron fence reigned us in until the tour guide was ready.  Finally, it was our turn and we were herded into a larger group and made our way towards the outdoor museum.
The “boneyard” as the guide called it, was strewn with large signs lying on their sides.  Lit neon arrows now pointed nowhere. Our guide, who looked about 35, brought us over to the neon sign for the former Stardust Hotel and said, “I’ve lived in Vegas all my life and the Stardust sign was always my favorite.”

He continued, “Until the Stardust was torn down to make way for the glitzier hotels on the Strip, this was always my favorite sign. For a little kid, it was magical: Aladdin’s lamp used to be lit and the smoke and mist coming out of the lamp meant that the genie was about to appear.”  
Next, he took us to a large statue of a man playing pool that had rust streaks, making it look like he was dripping blood and could be a character in a Zombie Apocalypse movie. My favorite neon sign was the one for the Sahara Hotel.  It showed a scene from a desert oasis, complete with roaming camels, palm trees, and a domed building.  I really felt the vibe for Vegas’s Rat Pack days of the fifties and early sixties.  What was once thought kitschy is now considered art.
After my husband and I returned to our hotel, he pulled out a half bottle of wine from the minibar, and we sat down in two chairs. We clinked our wine glasses together in a toast and looked out the window of our room on the 26th floor. We watched the dancing fountains with the illuminated Eiffel Tower in the background. It was magical. 
After such a glorious night, romance was in the air; so, we gave each other a massage and unpacked our silver bullet vibrator.
In the afterglow, I was feeling so warm and high that, completely naked, I plopped myself down in front of our window to watch more of the dancing water show. “I don’t care if anyone sees me naked,” I told my husband, throwing caution to the wind.
He laughed; then grabbed a chair and sat down beside me.  “Life is good,” he told me and reached over for another kiss.

Would you like to read my cozy mystery that took place here?  It's available for only $1.99 at the following eBookstores: