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Two Heads Are Deader Than One
by Elena Hartwell
…the author does a great job of weaving details and people together making a ‘Who Dun It’ that mystery lovers will want to read!
~The Journey Back
Eddie’s witty no-nonsense personality and Hartwell’s well-paced writing style make the chapters fly by. This book is a buy.
Don’t miss this intense story that grabs your attention from the very beginning .
Two Heads are Deader Than One (Eddie Shoes Mystery)
2nd in Series
Camel Press (April 15, 2017)
Paperback: 286 pages
Private Investigator Eddie Shoes is enjoying a rare period of calm. She’s less lonely now that Chava, her card-counting mom from Vegas, is sharing her home. She also has a new companion, Franklin, a giant dog of curious ancestry.
Hoping for a lucrative new case, Eddie instead finds herself taking on a less promising client: her best friend from her childhood in Spokane. Dakota has turned up in Bellingham in jail, where she is being held on a weapons charge. Eddie reluctantly agrees not only to lend her friend money for bail but to also investigate who is stalking her. Soon after Dakota is freed, she disappears again, leaving Eddie to answer to the local cops, including her ex-boyfriend Chance Parker. Has Dakota been kidnapped? If not, why did she jump bail? What are Eddie’s business cards doing on the bodies of two murder victims?
Character Interview With Eddie Shoes
You dropped out of high school and then traveled a bit before you ended up in Bellingham. What kind of places did you go to?
For the most part, I stayed on the West Coast. I went as far south as San Diego, but realized very quickly that wasn’t for me. I enjoyed the beach a great deal, but that wasn’t going to be enough to keep me there. I had a great little apartment for one summer on the water in Ocean Beach, a neighborhood full of tattoo parlors, motorcycle shops, and bars. I loved the community, but it felt like I was melting away with all that sun. So come September, I worked my way north. I’d come into a new place, find a job, and earn enough to move on. I stopped in Goleta, just north of Santa Barbara. I worked in Solvang and Lompoc, and no, not at the prison if that’s what you’re wondering. Then I made my way through Oregon. Medford, Klamath Falls, The Dalles. After working in smaller towns, doing everything from picking grapes at a vineyard to night watchperson at a mostly empty mall, I decided I should give a bigger city a try. I got to Seattle and settled in. I met my mentor, Benjamin Cooper, who taught me everything I know about being a private investigator, and a lot about life in general. I stayed there until he died. From there I moved to Bellingham, and the rest, as they say, is history.
What do you feel were some of the biggest takeaways from those travels?
I confirmed I can take care of myself. That there’s work if you’re willing to get your hands dirty. That having brown skin can make people have assumptions about who I am and what my story is. It taught me not to make assumptions of my own when I meet a new person. We’ve all got stories, and some of them would surprise other people if they knew about them. I read a quote once, that said something like “everyone has troubles you don’t know about, so be kind.” After moving to so many different communities, that stayed with me. We’ve all got difficult things to overcome, so we should treat people with kindness, have a little compassion if someone else is having a bad day. It also taught me I’m very comfortable picking up and starting over. There’s a certain kind of freedom in that. It can also be an easy out. If things get difficult, to just leave. It’s harder, in some ways, to stick things out and put down roots. I’m trying that now and I think it’s going to be worth it. Ask me in a year and I’ll let you know.
Any particular fond memories from those times?
I had a morning on the coast of Oregon, when the gray whale migration was going on. It was late March, so they were heading north for the summer. I sat on a promontory over the ocean and watched these massive beasts cruising past. It made me feel small, but in a good way, like I was part of something larger. I always loved the first day I arrived somewhere new and the day I left. The sense of starting something, being new in town or heading out is a feeling I almost always enjoy. That changed when I left Seattle and moved to Bellingham. Leaving Seattle was the first time I experienced the grief of losing someone important to me in such a permanent way. I guess you could say, that was the first time I fled instead of left, if you understand the difference. I remember mornings, driving onto a half-empty highway, the sun just barely breaking the horizon line, the radio on in my old Subaru. My heart would soar with the endless possibilities of what lay ahead of me. When you’re tethered by family, friends, responsibilities, that’s not something you experience in the same way. I wouldn’t trade my rootless years for anything. Though I feel pretty good about where I am now.
Anything that particularly surprised you?
Did you know you can manufacture a fan belt out of a pair of pantyhose? I was broken down at a rest stop, my fan belt had given up the ghost and I was trying to figure out what to do. An older couple in an RV was nearby walking their little white dog. They came over to see what the problem was, I had my hood up in the universal signal for “help,” and when I told them, they solved the problem for me. She had a pair of nylons in her suitcase, which she’d brought along to wear to church on Sundays, when they found one on their journey. We cut one leg off the pantyhose and tied that around the pulleys as tight as we could and it worked. I couldn’t believe it. I drove all the way to the closest auto parts store, about twenty miles away, and got a replacement. They even followed me to make sure I got there safe and sound. We probably didn’t have anything in common, except we were at the same rest stop at the same time and they could help out a stranger. That surprised me throughout my trip, the kindness of strangers.
Did you ever, at any point, miss home or were you always happy just to be away?
I didn’t miss “home” per se. I enjoyed growing up in Spokane, but I didn’t feel sad about leaving it. I did feel sad about being away from my mom sometimes. I’d wish we were closer. She’d moved to Las Vegas and was having a life of her own, for the first time in her life as an adult, since she was only sixteen when she had me. Sometimes I’d wish she’d call and ask me to come stay with her. But that never lasted very long. I wouldn’t have wanted to live in Las Vegas, way too hot for me! and we might not have gotten along very well. I think everything worked out great, she’s staying with me now at a time when we’re both ready for it.
It’s been a pleasure talking with you.
About The Author
After twenty years in the theater, Elena Hartwell turned her dramatic skills to fiction. Her first novel, One Dead, Two to Go introduces Eddie Shoes, private eye. Called “the most fun detective since Richard Castle stumbled into the 12th precinct,” by author Peter Clines, I’DTale Magazine stated, “this quirky combination of a mother-daughter reunion turned crime-fighting duo will captivate readers.”
In addition to her work as a novelist, Elena teaches playwriting at Bellevue College and tours the country to lead writing workshops.
When she’s not writing or teaching, her favorite place to be is at the farm with her horses, Jasper and Radar, or at her home, on the middle fork of the Snoqualmie River in North Bend, Washington, with her husband, their dog, Polar, and their trio of cats, Jackson, Coal Train, and Luna, aka, “the other cat upstairs.” Elena holds a B.A. from the University of San Diego, a M.Ed. from the University of Washington, Tacoma, and a Ph.D. from the University of Georgia.
Webpage – http://www.elenahartwell.com
Twitter – https://twitter.com/Elena_Hartwell
Blog – http://www.arcofawriter.com
Pinterest – https://www.pinterest.com/emhartwell/
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