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Scream Muddy Murder (Big Lake Murder Mysteries)
by Lesley A. Diehl
About the Book
Scream Muddy Murder (Big Lake Murder Mysteries)
3rd in Series
Creekside Publishing (September 27, 2018)
Paperback: 352 pages
Print Length: 272 pages
Digital ASIN: B07H2NZQ7C
EMILY RHODES DOES IT AGAIN! This time she nosedives into a mud puddle at a Seminole War battle reenactment and finds she’s sharing the muck with a dead body. As usual the hunky detective she loves to aggravate, Stanton Lewis, cautions her against getting involved in the case, and as usual she ignores him. Emily’s sleuthing pays off, revealing disturbing information about the victim’s past. Is it the reason behind his murder? With the help of her family and friends, Emily sets out to uncover secrets kept too long and puts herself and the people she loves in the killer’s path. Too late she realizes Detective Lewis was right. Her snoopiness proves to be a deadly idea.
Character Guest Post
Character Guest Post
written by Naomi, Emily Rhodes’ daughter
Hi. My name is Naomi. I’m Emily Rhodes’ (the protagonist in the series) daughter. When my mother told me the third book in her adventures as an amateur sleuth in rural Florida came out recently and she wanted me to write something for a stop on the book blog tour, I was hesitant. There are so many other people in Mom’s life who are more important in solving the murders she’s helped on than me, and they lead much more exciting lives, but she insisted I could give an unusual perspective on her adventures.
She’s right about my perspective on her life being unique. The thing is, Mom and I have only known each other a few years. How can that be? Well, Mom put me up for adoption when I was born. She was a single mother, and she did the best thing for me. It was an arrangement in which my adopted parents and Mom knew of each other. I was told early that I was adopted and informed that I could contact my birth mother at any time. I never did get in touch with her until I ran away from my abusive husband. It’s a testament to Mom’s wisdom and love for me and my parent’s love and their raising me so well that I could reach out to Mom and retain my relationship with my adopted parents.
My husband is gone now—that’s another story where Mom’s sleuthing skills came in handy. I spend part of my time with Mom in rural Florida but have found an apartment and a job on the coast where my adopted parents live. I see them as often as my busy schedule allows. I spend more time with Mom than I do with my parents. I think I’m trying to make up for the time we weren’t together. I’m also going to college, something all of my parents have encouraged.
Mom has some interesting friends here as well as some horrible enemies. Her nemesis is Toby Sands, a crooked cop who lost his job when he arranged to have my husband kidnap me. Then, when given a second chance at redemption, he collaborated with an international crook to have Mom and me sold to white slavers. The rumor is he’s reformed but neither Mom nor I believe that.
Mom’s boss at the country club has left her job of manager there and returned to her work as an attorney. Her name is Clara and she now is a law partner with her father, Hap, an octogenarian who likes the ladies. He operates his share of the law practice out of his room in the local retirement center. He’s quite a character with his snow-white hair and preference for white linen plantation owner suits—very dapper if you can ignore the smell of mothballs emanating from the suits. He looks a bit like Colonel Sanders.
Another friend of Mom’s is her next-door neighbor, Vicki who knows more about the community than the police or the local newspaper. She’s also a terrific cook, and Mom insisted that we include some of her recipes in the back of the book. Don’t expect them to be for the calorie conscious.
When Mom and I took a trip to Jekyll Island, Georgia, we met a fun couple on the golf course, Daisy and Rodney. Mom convinced them she could use their help in searching a suspect’s trailer. That almost resulted in a too close encounter with an alligator. Despite being confined most of the time to a wheelchair, Rodney likes to play golf and pool. Because of his condition, his opponents underestimate him, and he’s won more than a few dollars off those who think they can make a quick buck off a cripple. Daisy and Rodney are always up for a caper, so their visits to rural Florida usually result in their involvement in one of Mom’s cases.
I guess I shouldn’t call the search for killers “Mom’s cases.” Her intervention in helping find a murderer is only because she can’t help getting involved in other people’s lives. The cases are really those of Detective Stanton Lewis, the detective on the local police force. Detective Lewis constantly reminds her not to stick her nose in his work, but she ignores him. He’s in love with her. He thinks no one suspects, but we all know how he feels except for Mom who gets so worked up about his disparaging attitude toward her sleuthing skills that she ignores the obvious signals others see so plainly. I guess you could say that the only people who are in the dark about the romance are Mom and the detective. Detective Lewis is also thrown off by the obvious attraction another man has for Mom. That guy is Donald Green, a part-time bartender at the country club and the lake’s most famous and successful bass fisher. True to the nature of all men, Donald has no idea how he feels about Mom, but he and Stanton always lock horns when Mom is around.
Mom is a truly unusual woman. She’s tiny, blonde and an absolute snoop, and she has the unfortunate habit of stumbling over dead bodies, three of them, to be exact. Much as I love my adopted parents, their life is no way as exciting as Mom’s. It’s no wonder I’ve had a hard time staying away from rural Florida and her. Working and going to college will be boring by comparison. I know I’ll find myself spending most of my weekends with Mom. With her luck, she’s bound to find another dead body at her feet, and the chase will be on.
Scream Muddy Murder is the third adventure for Mom and me. I think you’ll find the people in it fascinating. It will give you a taste for “old Florida” a place only recently touched by development. The people there are rugged individualists, the kind of folks you would have found in the wild west a hundred years ago. How does a little gal like my mom, a transplant from the North fit in here? With difficulty and a lot of attitude. I enjoy her work, and I hope you will too.
About the Author
Lesley retired from her life as a professor of psychology and reclaimed her country roots by moving to a small cottage in the Butternut River Valley in Upstate New York. In the winter she migrates to old Florida—cowboys, scrub palmetto, and open fields of grazing cattle, a place where spurs still jingle in the post office, and gators make golf a contact sport. Back north, the shy ghost inhabiting the cottage serves as her literary muse. When not writing, she gardens, cooks and renovates the 1874 cottage with the help of her husband, two cats and, of course, Fred the ghost, who gives artistic direction to their work. She’s presently interviewing for a coyote to serve as her muse for her books and stories set in rural Florida.
She is the author of a number of mystery series and mysteries as well as short stories, most featuring her quirky sense of humor and a few characters drawn from her peculiar family.
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