Audiobook Review & Giveaway: Killer in the Band by Lauren Carr

Summer of Love & Murder

Joshua’s eldest son, Joshua “J.J.” Thornton Jr., has graduated at the top of his class from law school and returns home to spend the summer studying for the bar exam. However, to Joshua’s and Cameron’s shock and dismay, J.J. moves into the main house at Russell Ridge Farm, the largest dairy farm in the Ohio Valley, to rekindle a romance with Suellen Russell, a onetime leader of a rock group who’s twice his age. Quickly, they learn that she has been keeping a deep dark secret.

The move brings long-buried tensions between the father and son to the surface. But when a brutal killer strikes, the Lovers in Crime must set all differences aside to solve the crime before J.J. ends up in the cross hairs of a murderer.

Praise for Lauren Carr’s Mysteries:

“Lauren Carr could give Agatha Christie a run for her money!”

– Charlene Mabie-Gamble, Literary R&R

“As always, Lauren Carr brings an action-packed story that is almost impossible to put down. Her mystery plots have so many twists and turns that I didn’t know if I was coming or going. And the action just didn’t stop from the very beginning till the very end.” – Melina Mason, Melina’s Book Reviews

Buy the Book:

Amazon  ~  Barnes & Noble

Add to Goodreads

My Review

I chose to listen to this book after receiving a free audiocopy. All opinions in this review are my own and completely unbiased.

I had read this book about Cameron Gates and Joshua Thornton and was happy to listen to the audiobook, since I liked it the first time. Even though this is the third book in the series, it definitely stands on its own.

Killer in the Band is about Detective Cameron Gates solving some cold cases that affect members of the Thornton family. There are several stories occurring at the same time about the different members of the Thortons: murder mysteries, family discord, new friendships, and a May-December romance.

The characters are complex and, as usual in Lauren Carr’s books, there are many of them. She always makes it easy to keep them separate, though.

I like that the characters are all flawed in some way just like “real” people and that they try to overcome those flaws as the story progresses. My favorite characters, however, are the animals. From the horse who opens stalls to the rooster who attacks almost everyone, they bring humor to an otherwise suspenseful story.

I’ve listened to enough of Lauren Carr’s books that the narrator seems like an old friend. He does a great job narrating the stories, and I hope he continues to be the narrator in the future.

I definitely recommend Killer in the Band, whether you read it or listen to it, and look forward to reading more of Lauren Carr’s books.

Author’s Bio

Lauren Carr is the international best-selling author of the Mac Faraday, Lovers in Crime, and Thorny Rose Mysteries—over twenty titles across three fast-paced mystery series filled with twists and turns!

Book reviewers and readers alike rave about how Lauren Carr’s seamlessly crosses genres to include mystery, suspense, romance, and humor.

Lauren is a popular speaker who has made appearances at schools, youth groups, and on author panels at conventions. She lives with her husband, son, and four dogs (including the real Gnarly) on a mountain in Harpers Ferry, WV.

Connect with Lauren: Website  ~  Twitter  ~  Facebook

Giveaway

Win a $50 Amazon Gift Card courtesy of Lauren Carr, author of The Root of Murder (open to wherever Amazon.com delivers)

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Book Review & Giveaway: A Flair for Flip Flops by Deborah Garner

New Release

A vacation on the Southern California coast promises rest and relaxation for flamboyant senior sleuth Sadie Kramer and her mischievous Yorkie, Coco. But when the body of a heartthrob celebrity washes up on the beach outside her luxury hotel suite, Sadie’s fun-in-the-sun soon turns into sleuthing-with-the-stars.

The resort’s wine and appetizer gatherings, suspicious behavior of hotel guests, and casual strolls along the beach boardwalk may provide clues, but will they be enough to discover who the killer is?

Or will mystery and mayhem leave a Hollywood scandal unsolved?

*Recipes included!

Available to buy from….

Amazon Kindle    Paperback 
*Free on Kindle Unlimited

My Review

I chose to read this book after receiving a free copy. All opinions in this review are my own and completely unbiased.

I read A Flair for Chardonnay and A Flair for Drama which I enjoyed, so I was happy to read another book in the Sadie Kramer Flair Mysteries.

A Flair for Flip Flops is a murder mystery with a quirky main character who likes solving mysteries. Sadie often seems to be in the right place at the right time, and she tends to discover clues that detectives overlook. This time, she is on vacation and looking forward to a relaxing week on the beach. Right! The night Sadie arrives, she attends a dinner at which a celebrity is supposed to be the guest of honor, but he never shows up. She does make a new friend, Myrtle, who enjoys mysteries as much as Sadie. The next day, they jump right in and try to solve the possible murder of the celebrity.

I always enjoy the characters in the Flair Series. Sadie is 50ish and dresses rather flamboyantly. Her Yorkie Coco (my favorite) always accompanies her wherever she goes because Coco is so small and easy to hide; although, he tends to get into trouble on occasion.

Although this is a quick read, it’s a fun read and has a surprise or two. Of course, Sadie figures things out before the police do because that’s what she does! If you like a quick, fun mystery, you’ll definitely enjoy this book.


“Deborah Garner is gifted at bringing each character to life. She adds details seamlessly, making it seem like you know these people. She presents scenarios that have you thinking you know who did it, and then in the next sentence you are second guessing yourself. And that is to say, this is a great “who done it” … it gets 2 thumbs up from me :)” – reviews Tracy Helps You


“I love the way Deborah Garner describes everything in this book, and I can’t wait to read more in this series! This book literally kept me guessing until the very end.” – reviews Sanity is for those without children

“Deborah Garner has created a unique and very flamboyant main character who seems to find trouble all by herself and turns into an amateur sleuth!” – reviews Miki’s Hope


Above reviews from A Flair for Chardonnay (A Sadie Kramer Flair Mystery Book 1)

About the Author

Deborah Garner is an accomplished travel writer with a passion for back roads and secret hideaways. Born and raised in California, she studied in France before returning to the U.S. to attend UCLA. After stints in graduate school and teaching, she attempted to clone herself for decades by founding and running a dance and performing arts center, designing and manufacturing clothing and accessories, and tackling both spreadsheets and display racks for corporate retail management. Her passions include photography, hiking and animal rescue. She speaks five languages, some substantially better than others. She now divides her time between California and Wyoming, dragging one human and two canines along whenever possible.

Find the author on the following sites…

Facebook   Twitter   Google+   Goodreads   Amazon Author Page   Bookbub


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Sharon Martin
Blogger & Promoter at Beck Valley Books

beckvalleybooks@gmail.com | http://beckvalleybooks.blogspot.com

Book Review: Death at the Dakota by M. K. Graff

Nurse Trudy Genova is making plans to take her relationship to NYPD detective Ned O’Malley to the next level, when she lands a gig as medical consultant on a film shoot at the famed Dakota apartment building in Manhattan, which John Lennon once called home. Then star Monica Kiley goes missing, a cast member turns up dead, and it appears Trudy might be next. Meanwhile Ned tackles a mysterious murder case in which the victim is burned beyond recognition. When his investigations lead him back to the Dakota, Trudy finds herself wondering: how can she fall in love if she can’t even survive?

Readers of Death Unscripted, the first book in the Trudy Genova Manhattan Mystery series, will find the same pleasures in this sequel: fast pacing, engaging characters, twists and turns on the way to a satisfying close. Once again M.K. Graff reveals her talents in crafting this delightful mix of amateur sleuth and police procedural.

Find all of Marni Graff’s books here
Universal Amazon Link ~
Good reads ~

My Review

I received a free ecopy of this book for an honest review. I enjoyed reading Death Unscripted so I was looking forward to reading Death at the Dakota.

This is my favorite kind of mystery. Even though there’s murder involved, it’s still a fun and quick read. I was also a bit surprised a couple of times which is always good.

I like the main character, Trudy Genova. She appears strong and independent, and she’s finally getting over her trust issues with men thanks to Detective Ned O’Malley. They have trouble finding time to be together because they’re both so busy with their jobs, but they’re finally ready to take their relationship to the next level. Will it ever happen?

There’s not one but two murder mysteries and both end up being Ned’s cases, one being on the set where Trudy works. The way everything was solved was both interesting and exciting. I’m looking forward to the next book in this series.

 

 

About the Author

 
Marni Graff had a successful career as a registered nurse who wrote on the side before writing full time. She has a degree in English Lit and studied Gothic Mystery at Oxford University in England. She also wrote articles for Mystery Review magazine, where she interviewed many of the authors whose work she admired.
 
Marni is the award-winning author of The Nora Tierney Mysteries, set in England. The Blue Virgin introduces Nora, an American writer living in Oxford. The Green Remains and The Scarlet Wench trace Nora’s move to the Lake District where murder follows her.  In process is The Golden Hour, set in Bath, England. Premiering in the next few months will be Graff’s new Manhattan series, Death Unscripted, featuring nurse Trudy Genova, a medical consultant for a New York movie studio. This new series is based on Marni’s favorite nursing job in real life.
 
Marni is also co-author of Writing in a Changing World, a primer on writing groups and critique techniques. She writes crime book reviews at Auntie M Writes and is Managing Editor of Bridle Path Press, an author’s cooperative. A member of Sisters in Crime, Marni runs the NC Writers Read program in Belhaven which allows writers experience reading their work out loud and getting immediate feedback. 
 
 

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Book Review & Giveaway: Medellin: Acapulco Cold ( Rick Fontain Book 3) by Bill Fortin

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Publisher:  Cold War Publications (May, 2019)
Category: Action/Adventure, Cold War, Military, Crime, Historical Fiction
Tour dates: July/August, 2019
ISBN: 978-0996478670
Available in Print and ebook, 356 pages

 Medellin Acapulco Cold

In March 1987, the CIA’s Operation Acapulco Cold took on the Medellín cartel. The journey would be dangerous. The alternative for not recovering the nuke would be too horrible to imagine.  

A theft occurs as a result of President Ronald Reagan and Mikhail Gorbachev’s treaty agreement in January 1986. Russian SS-20 medium-range missiles were removed from Eastern Europe and their nuclear MIRV packages removed. A shadow group inside the failing Russian government steals three of the nose-cone assembles.

A Russian named Geonov is charged with selling one of these devices to the Medellin cartel. The asking price was $40 million dollars in cash. Pablo Escobar did not even blink when he was offered one.  Operation Acapulco Cold is the detailed action taken by the CIA to address this life-altering situation.

Buy Medellin: Acapulco Cold

Amazon
Barnesandnoble
Indebound

Guest Review by Sol A.

An absolute thrill ride from start to finish– I’ve been a fan of the Rick Fontain books from the very first novel and this installment (the third in the series) did not disappoint.  Action-packed and jam-packed with well written, fast-paced sequences, “Medellin: Acapulco Cold” follows Fontain on his quest to recover a stolen nuclear warhead. 

Set in 1987 during the height of the Cold War, ‘Medellin’ perfectly captures the fear and loathing of that ever-present 80’s boogeyman, the Russians. Fontain has to go to work finding the warhead while simultaneously battling the Russians and struggling internally with his own guilt over being partially responsible for the lapse in security in the first place. I don’t want to spoil anything, so I won’t go too far into the details, but let’s just say that Fontain’s character develops very interestingly throughout the novel and by the end, I was impressed by the author’s ingenuity and creativity. 


Speaking of the author, one of the things I love so much about these books (and the reason I never miss a new one) is Bill Fortin’s cutting sense of humor and talent with words. In his capable hands, a novel that easily could have been another dry spy novel becomes a witty romp. You grow to like Fontain’s character very quickly in these novels for the simple reason that he is a funny guy. Something a lot of thrillers inexplicably leave out for their main character. 


The situations that Fontain gets himself into, the circumstances that he faces with humor and presence are enough to entertain even the most lackadaisical reader and keep them guessing up until the very last page. I cannot recommend this book highly enough and will be eagerly looking forward to the next installment of the Rick Fontain series! I give it a 5 out of 5.

About the Author

Bill Fortin served in the United States Army, 3rd Armored Division, from 1968 to 1970.  He retired from AT&T/Lucent Bell Labs in 2001 and is currently the CEO of Cold War Publications. Bill earned a Bachelor and Master degrees in Management Sciences from the University of Baltimore.

A native of Westminster, Maryland, Bill is an active member of Rotary and retains membership in the Association of the 3AD. He is married to Judy and is surrounded by a host of 4-legged children (Border Collies and cats) plus 2 very noisy feathered companions.

Website: www.coldwarpublications.com
Book Launch Website: https://booklaunch.io/704732506290559/medellin-acapulco-cold
Blog: http://billfortin.com
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/bill.fortin.104
Twitter: https://twitter.com/BillFortin

Giveaway

This giveaway is for 3 winners choice of one print or ebook copy of the book. Print is open to the U.S. only and ebook is available worldwide. This giveaway ends August 30, 2019, midnight pacific time. Entries are accepted via Rafflecopter only.

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Book Review: 17 Marigold Lane by R.M. Gilmore

In a town like Flintlock, Prudence Penderhaus was a freak. A weirdo. A loser of epic proportions.
That was until one word changed her life, and the town of Flintlock, forever.
When a moment of long-awaited courage brings her to the porch of the town-dubbed spook house, uncovering an odd boy no one knew existed is only the beginning.

My name is Prudence Penderhaus. 
I’ve never done anything remarkable. 
​Never even bothered to look up. 
Until the day I found out I was dying.

Buy links:

Print:

https://www.rmgilmore.com/store/p44/17MarigoldLanePaperback.html

eBook:

https://amzn.to/2kfhWLf

https://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/17-marigold-lane-rm-gilmore/1122621843?ean=2940161215838

https://www.kobo.com/us/en/ebook/17-marigold-lane-1

https://play.google.com/store/books/details?id=lumjDwAAQBAJ

My Review

I chose to read this book after receiving a free e-copy from the author. All opinions in this review are my own and completely unbiased.

I’ve read most of R.M. Gilmore’s books so 17 Marigold Lane was not exactly what I expected but it was amazing! I especially like the way she depicted Asperger syndrome in a realistic and relatable way.

I was hooked from the beginning. Poor Pru just found out that she has cancer and believes that she’s going to die. Instead of wallowing in self-pity, she decides to make the rest of her life count. Pru’s sudden bravery not only changes her life but the lives of many people in Flintlock, especially the family at 17 Marigold Lane.

17 Marigold Lane contains well-formed characters, hateful classmates, loyalty, hope, despair, mystery, and a few twists. What more could you want? It’s a book that’s difficult to put down, and I can’t wait to read the next book, 19 Marigold Lane.

Other Reviews:

“…one of the best portrayals of high functioning autism I’ve read in a long while if not ever.” – Shannon N., Triple A Book Blog and ASD mom

“What would you do if you found out you may die soon?  Well, if you’re Prudence Penderhaus, you get brave.” – Tonya Allen, Abibliophobia Anonymous 

“I couldn’t hug this story tight enough! 5 stars!” – T.L. Manning, author of the Six Feet High series, and Cursed series. ASD Mom of 15 years.

About the Author

R.M. Gilmore is a paranormal and mystery/suspense writer and creator of the bestselling occult series Dylan Hart Odyssey of the Occult. 

R.M. resides in California with her family and a ton of pets. Choosing to behave ‘outside the box’, R.M. prefers to think and live freely without the constraints of social stigma or the ideals of literary rules. That being said, she truly is not your mother’s author.

Website http://www.RMGilmoreAuthor.com

Twitter RMGilmoreAuthor

Giveaway

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Book Review & Giveaway: A Monster Of All Time by JT Hunter

Genre: True Crime
Published by: RJ Parker Publishing
Publication Date: September 4th 2018
Number of Pages: 304
ISBN: 1987902521 (ISBN13: 9781987902525)
Purchase Links: Amazon | Goodreads

Description

Ambitious, attractive, and full of potential, five young college students prepared for the new semester. They dreamed of beginning careers and starting families. They had a lifetime of experiences in front of them. But death came without warning in the dark of the night.

Brutally ending five promising lives, leaving behind three gruesome crime scenes, the Gainesville Ripper terrorized the University of Florida, casting an ominous shadow across a frightened college town.

What evil lurked inside him?

What demons drove him to kill?

What made him A Monster of All Time?

My Book Review

I chose to read this e-book after receiving a free e-copy. All opinions in this review are my own and completely unbiased.

I like true crime, but I didn’t remember this story. I was young and busy with college and a young child, so I didn’t keep up with the news on a regular basis. So I was happy to read this book when I had the opportunity.

The information about the first prime suspect and how the media affected his and his family’s lives was good information to include. People don’t often realize how horribly innocents can be affected by the media. I also appreciated knowing that he was able to overcome that negative publicity.

Although Danny Rolling’s childhood wasn’t a good one and he had a below-normal IQ, that’s not an excuse for being a peeping Tom or committing robberies, rape, murder and more. He deserved the sentence he got.

I did find the information in A Monster of All Time interesting but I found it repetitive and difficult to follow.

About the Author

J.T. Hunter is an attorney with over fourteen years of experience practicing law, including criminal law and appeals, and he has significant training in criminal investigation techniques. He is also a college professor in Florida where his teaching interests focus on the intersection of criminal psychology, law, and literature.

JT’s bestselling true crime books include:Devil in The Darkness: True Story of Serial Killer ISRAEL KEYESThe Country Boy Killer: The True Story of Serial Killer Cody LegebokoffIn Colder Blood: True Story of the Walker Family Murder as depicted in Truman Capote’s, In Cold BloodDeadly Deception: True Story of Tampa Serial Killer, Bobby Joe LongDeath Row Romeo: The True Story of Serial Killer Oscar Ray BolinThe Vampire Next Door: True Story of the Vampire Rapist and Serial Killer

Catch Up With J.T. Hunter On:
jthunter.orgGoodreadsBookBub, & Facebook!

Giveaway

This is a rafflecopter giveaway hosted by Partners in Crime Virtual Book Tours for JT Hunter. There will be two (2) giveaway winners. Each winner will receive one (1) Amazon Gift Card. The giveaway begins on July 1, 2019 and runs through August 2, 2019. Void where prohibited.
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Click here to view the A Monster Of All Time by JT Hunter Participants

Book Review & Giveaway: Swann’s Down by Charles Salzberg

Genre: Detective/Noir/Mystery
Published by: Down & Out Books
Publication Date: May 14, 2019
Number of Pages: 300
ISBN: 978-1-64396011-1
Series: Henry Swann 
Purchase Links: Amazon | BN.com | Goodreads

When Henry Swann is asked by his quirky partner, Goldblatt, to find a missing psychic who’s swindled his ex-wife out of a small fortune, he just can’t say no. Although he doesn’t actually expect to get paid, he figures it might give him a chance to finally learn more about his partner’s mysterious past. His search takes him into the controversial, arcane world of psychics, fortunetellers, and charlatans, while raising questions in his own mind about whether or not there is an after-life.

While working his partner’s case, he’s approached by a former employer, attorney Paul Rudder, to track down a missing witness who might be able to provide an alibi for his client, Nicky Diamond, a notorious mob hitman who’s scheduled to go on trial for murder he claims he didn’t commit in a week. Swann’s search for the missing witness, who happens to be the defendant’s girlfriend, takes him from Brooklyn to a small beach town across the Bay from Mobile, Ala. But what does she really know and will she even come back with him to testify for her boyfriend?

My Review

I chose to read this book after receiving a free e-copy. All opinions in this review are my own and completely unbiased.

Even though this is the fifth book in the Henry Swann series, it stands on its own. In fact, I didn’t know there were other books in the series until I was done and getting ready to write my review. Just what I need…more books to add to my TBR list!

Henry Swann has two mysteries to solve at once. Neither is a run of the mill missing person, and he finds himself doing more investigating than he normally would. It’s too bad he’s not a PI since he’s good at figuring things out.

Swann’s Down is a fast-paced mystery that kept my interest throughout. It’s one of those books that I didn’t get attached to the characters, but they were quite unique! This is a light and fun read. I look forward to reading the first four books in the series.

Praise for Swann’s Down:

“Psychics, double-crosses, missing persons—Charles Salzberg’s latest Henry Swann book has it all. Swann’s Down is a gritty, no-frills PI novel that brings to mind greats like Reed Farrel Coleman’s Moe Prager and Michael Harvey’s Michael Kelly. Whether this is your first Swann adventure or the latest, you won’t want to miss the brass-knuckle punch that is Swann’s Down. Trust me.”
— —Alex Segura, author of Blackout and Dangerous Ends

“From Manhattan to Coney Island to the steamy shores of Alabama, Charles Salzberg delivers a top-flight mystery with his latest Henry Swann outing. Highly recommended.” 
— Tom Straw, New York Times bestselling author as Richard Castle

Swann’s Down gives readers two intriguing mysteries for the price of one, as skip tracer Henry Swann pursues a woman who might alibi a murderer and a psychic who swindled the ex-wife of Swann’s partner. Shamus Award-nominated Salzberg does a superb job cutting between the two investigations. I kept turning pages to stay with both chases as the suspense increased to the very end. Whatever is going on, Swann is at the center of this story. His wry wit, quotes from authors and philosophers, genius for questioning suspects, and dark past make him a character readers will follow anywhere as he seeks his quarry. This is another thrilling addition to this excellent series.
— Rich Zahradnik, Lights Out Summer, winner of the 2018 Shamus Award for Best Paperback Private Eye Novel

Henry Swann dives in where others fear to tread in Swann’s Down: Fast. Funny. And Smart. This time out, Swann crosses paths with a psycho hitman, a phony psychic and Swann’s mysterious partner, a disbarred lawyer. Who could ask for more? I hope we’ll see a lot more of Swann in the future and that this isn’t Swann’s swan song.
— Paul D. Marks, Shamus Award-winning Author of White Heat and Broken Windows.

Read an excerpt:

1
The Age of Aquarius

“We’re partners, right?”

Nothing good can come from that question when it comes from the mouth of Goldblatt.

“I mean, all for one and one for all, am I right?” he quickly added in an attempt, I was sure, to seal the deal.

“I think you’re confusing us with the three musketeers. May I point out there are only two of us, and I’m afraid that’s not the only fallacy in your declaration. But you might as well finish what you’ve started.”

We were having our weekly Friday lunchtime sit-down to discuss what Goldblatt likes to refer to as “business.” I have another name for it: waste of time.

Our venue changes from week to week but the concept is always pretty much the same: a cheap diner-slash-coffee shop somewhere on the island of Manhattan. Today’s eatery of choice (Goldblatt’s choice, my destiny) is the Utopia Diner, on Amsterdam, near 72nd Street. And as for the business we’d just finished discussing, well, to be honest, there never is very much actual business to discuss and today was no exception.

At this particular moment in time, we were going through a bit of a dry spell, which always makes me a little nervous because no matter how much I banish it from my mind, the rent is due the first of every month and at least three times a day I seem to develop a hunger that must be quenched. Still, a good fifteen, twenty years away from Social Security, and with precious little dough in the bank–okay, let’s be honest, no dough in the bank–and no 401-K to fall back on, I need to keep working. And, as much as I don’t like to admit it, lately it’s been my “partner,” as he likes to refer to himself, as opposed to my preferred albatross, who’s brought in the bulk of our clients.

We’d already finished eating–though technically, Goldblatt never actually finishes eating which means a meal can easily turn into an all-day affair, if I don’t apply the brakes–and we were just waiting for the check to arrive. This is a crucial point of any meal with Goldblatt because it is the opening gambit in what has become our weekly routine of watching the check sit there in no-man’s land somewhere between us until I inevitably give in, pick it up, and pay. Otherwise, I risk one of two things: either we’d be there all afternoon or, worst case scenario, Goldblatt will decide he’s still hungry and threaten to order something else. Neither one of these options is the least bit appealing.

“I’ll get right to the point,” he said.

Just then, out of the corner of my eye I spotted the waiter, like a white knight, approaching with our check in hand. If I acted quick enough I might be able to get out of there before I can be sucked into something I don’t want to have anything to do with.

“That would be nice,” I said, reaching for my wallet. “What is your point?”

“I need to hire you.”

I was stopped in my tracks before I got my wallet halfway out of my back pocket.

“Really? To do what?”

“I want you to find someone for me. Well, to be more precise it’s not really for me. It’s for my ex-wife.”

Wait a minute! Goldblatt married? Goldblatt with a wife? Goldblatt a husband? This was a new one on me, something I’d never even considered.

“You…you’ve been married?” I stammered.

Truth is, I never pictured Goldblatt being in any relationship other than with, yes, as irritating as it might be, me. I mean the guy isn’t exactly anyone’s idea of Don Juan, although I suppose in theory there are women who might find him if not attractive in the conventional way at least interesting in a specimen-under-glass way. Or maybe as a project. Women love a project. They love a challenge. They love the idea that they have the opportunity to remake a man in their image. Maybe that was it. But whatever it was, my world was shaken to the core. And what would shake it even more would be to find that he was actually a father, too. But one shock per meal is more than enough, so there was no chance I was going to pursue that line of questioning.

“Unfortunately, the answer is yes. More than once, in fact.”

“Holy Cow,” I blurted out, channeling the Scooter. “You’re kidding me?”

At this point the same bald, squat waiter who seems to serve us in every diner we patronize, reached our table and dropped the check right in front of me.

“This is not something a man usually kids about.”

“How many times?”

He held up three fingers.

“Three times! You’ve been married three times?”

“Yeah.”

I gulped.

“Are you married now?”

He shook his head. “Nah. I’m kinda between wives. Giving it a rest, if you know what I mean.
But chances are I’ll be back in the saddle again soon enough.”

“Okay, so let me get this straight. You’ve been married three times and now you’re single but you would consider getting married again?”

“Man is not meant to be alone, Swannie. You might consider the possibility that your life would be enriched if you found your soulmate.”

You’re fortunate if you find one soul mate in life and I’d already had mine. She was yanked from my life as a result of a freak accident, a matter of being in the wrong place at the wrong time. I didn’t know if Goldblatt knew the circumstances of her bizarre accidental death, but I wouldn’t have been surprised because he seems to know a lot of things he has no business knowing.

“Some men are meant to be alone, Goldblatt. I’m one of them and after three failed marriages maybe you should consider the possibility you are, too.”

He smiled and puffed out his chest. “What can I say, Swann? I’m a friggin’ babe magnet.”

I would have laughed, should have laughed, but I was still processing the scary fact that he’d been married three times. That meant there were three women in the world who not only were willing to marry him but did marry him. I wanted to know more. Much more. Everything, in fact. But this was not the time and certainly not the place to delve into Goldblatt’s mysterious, sordid past. Nevertheless, I promised myself I would revisit this topic in the not too distant future.

Still in shock, I avoided our weekly “who’s paying for this meal” tango, grabbed the check and reached for my wallet…again.

“So, wanna know the story?” he asked.

“Which story would that be?”

“The story of why I want to hire you?”

“Desperately.”

***

Excerpt from Swann’s Down by Charles Salzberg. Copyright 2019 by Charles Salzberg. Reproduced with permission from Charles Salzberg. All rights reserved.

 

About the Author

Charles Salzberg is a freelance writer whose work has appeared in New York magazine, Esquire, GQ, Redbook, The New York Times Book Review and other periodicals. He has written over 20 non-fiction books, including From Set Shot to Slam Dunk, an oral history of the NBA, and Soupy Sez: My Zany Life and Times. He is author of the Shamus Award-nominated Swann’s Last Song, Swann Dives In, Swann’s Lake of Despair, nominated for two Silver Falchions, Swann’s Way Out, Devil in the Hole, named one of the best crime novels of the year by Suspense magazine. He was a Visiting Professor of Magazine at the S.I. Newhouse School of Public Communications at Syracuse University and he teaches writing the New York Writers Workshop where he is a Founding Member. He is a member of the MWA-NY Board.

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Giveaway

This is a rafflecopter giveaway hosted by Partners in Crime Virtual Book Tours for Charles Salzberg. There will be 6 giveaway winners. There will be 1 Grand Prize winner of one (1) Amazon.com Gift Card. There will be 5 2nd Prize winners of one (1) Print Edition of Swann’s Down (U.S. Mailing Addresses only). The giveaway begins on May 1, 2019 and runs through July 2, 2019. Void where prohibited.
a Rafflecopter giveaway