Title: THE SQUEAKY WHEEL GETS SNUFFED
Genre: Cozy Mystery
Word Count: 82,000
Local artist and church choir soprano Dez Werner turns amateur sleuth when a former eco-terrorist is murdered at a popular burger joint.
But in the not-so-average town of Amaia, Arizona, where the world’s master criminals have come to retire and “get away from it all”, Dez has her work cut out for her. With a mob hit man turned restaurateur, KGB agent turned librarian and so many other former felons, an investigation suspect list consists of, well, the town phone book. The only exceptions are Dez and her two friends – a pastor’s wife with a foul-mouthed parrot and a shoe-obsessed choir director. These three younger members of the church choir are the only women in town without a criminal history… unless lusting after a neighbor’s shoes is a crime.
As a menacing group of strangers lurks about and the victim’s family threatens to bring police into the town of former, high-profile criminals, everybody’s on edge. The ex-bootlegger mayor decides to find the killer through the application of baseball bat to kneecaps, but Dez opts for a more humane approach. To protect the kneecaps of all Amaians and to prevent a generally unwelcome visit from the real police, she and her friends volunteer to investigate.
With droll wit, friendship and a possibly unhealthy love for shoes on their side, Dez and her sleuthing sidekicks set off on an adventure to unmask a murderer and save the day… and not die in the process.
THE SQUEAKY WHEEL GETS SNUFFED is a completed 82,000-word cozy mystery. It’s the first of a planned mystery series, but the book can also stand as a single title. Wholesomeness tempered with a splash of irreverence, this story features loveable, fun characters and entertaining banter that should appeal to fans of Krista Davis’ Domestic Diva mystery series and Rita Mae Brown’s Mrs. Murphy books. Though the main characters are a part of a church choir, the book is not overtly “churchy” and does not present religious storylines.
It’s strange how choir practice breeds lunacy. Dez Werner had been there for the past half hour, and she was ready to throw her songbook at the next person to arrive late. It wasn’t that Dez really cared whether or not others were tardy, but if she’d known ahead of time, she could’ve spent thirty more minutes painting or drawing, or she could have at least brought a puzzle. Now she sat… and waited... without even a sketchbook. It was enough to drive the artist mad.
The evening’s most recent arrival was Berkeley, who strutted straight into the practice room and held up his hands as if to quiet the already quiet group.
“I have an announcement,” he said importantly. “Jillian Harris is back in town.”
Berkeley’s words were met with gasps and sighs, and Dez immediately forgave his tardiness. This was news. This was big. After all, everyone had known Jillian Harris.
“Wait, who’s Jillian Harris?” asked Vicki, the choir director, amid the gasps and sighs.
Almost everyone had known Jillian Harris. But Vicki was relatively new to Amaia, Arizona and was as yet unacquainted with much of the town’s history, which might also be called “gossip”.
“She was a pain in the…” Lex Pragner stopped short and cleared his throat. He owned and operated the Arbogast Inn and sometimes spent so much time alone there that he forgot his manners. But he remembered them just in time. His gray eyes sparked as he self-edited his comment. “She was a handful.”