Life on a lake is just the ticket, Booker Krane figures. After recovering from a bullet wound that carved up his chest, took a bloody
chunk out of his self-respect and opened a hole in his confidence, he’s had enough of big-city fraud investigation. He wants out.
But at forty-six, he’s too young for retirement. This is his chance to try his hand at commercial photography. After a week of rain, he
finds himself smack against a deadline to complete his first commissioned photo-spread for a regional magazine. His assignment is to photograph interesting country homes, and finally the weatherman promises sunshine. Watching for the perfect light on the lake and the house in front of it, he prepares to snap the trigger then tosses a rock to make a few ripples.
Instantly, his dog, Pup, tears into the lake to fetch, knocking Booker and his camera into the mud. All is not lost, if Pup will just
get out of the picture frame. He swims happily, dragging a dead tree limb across the lake while Booker changes his broken lens. Only after he’s set up again for the shot does Booker realize the prize Pup has brought him is a dead body.
Drawn by the sheriff into helping with the murder investigation, Booker quickly gets to know his neighbors, who turn out to be a
zany cast of characters that drive him batty at times. None seems capable of the crime, but everyone seems to have a motive. The more Booker learns about the victim, the more he realizes that Chuck Fowler was one wicked son-of-a-gun who deserved to die.
From Chris: I confess to falling in love with my characters while writing this book, especially the loud-mouthed Lady golf pro,
retired, who creates her neighbors’ astrology charts so she’ll know what everyone’s up to. Then there’s Roxanna Larkspur, owner of the local B&B, who’s rapidly stealing Booker’s heart. When these and other likable characters land on the suspect list, I want Booker to solve the puzzle fast—and please let it be a stranger.
Here Lies A Wicked Man
When Booker Krane retired early from his career as a white collar corporate investigator, he was sure of only two things: he was done digging up buried secrets, and he loved being near water. After recovering from the bullet wound from his final case, he settles into a leisurely lifestyle at his new home on Turtle Lake—including his new part-time job as a freelance photographer. But the morning his dog drags a dead body onto the shore, Booker and his camera are commandeered by Sheriff Ringhoffer, and in less time than it takes the elusive perfect lighting to disappear, he’s deeply embroiled within the investigation.
While the deceased, a prominent yet awfully wicked man, had many people who’d likely have motive and opportunity to kill him, Booker wants to believe it was simply an accident. An arrow would be an unusual murder weapon, and he can’t picture any of the suspects—the victim’s wife, sons, business partner, sexy mistress, or attractive lessee—as cold-hearted killers. But it turns out more than one of them knows how to draw a bowstring, and Booker’s curious mind can’t ignore the evidence against the victim falling on his own arrow—even when the sheriff rules the death an accident.
Putting his own life at risk, can Booker solve the case for the residents of Lakeside Estates? Or will magazine deadlines, his budding attraction for Roxanna Larkspur, or tension with his only son interfere with his search for the truth?
A lover of art and storytelling since grade school, I opened one of my favorite books one day and wondered if I could ever write half as well as Dean Koontz or Minette Walters or Steven King. How did they create such intricate plots? I started with children’s books – after all –
I was a mother … I should understand kids, right?
Well, not so much. So I wrote a romance novel –I’d been married, so I should know a little about romance.
A little was about it. A very nice rejection letter told me there was more mystery in my story than romance. So I owned up to my true calling and, when my suspense thriller Bitch Factor was published, Romantic Times magazine gave it four-and-a-half stars. Rage Factor and Chill Factor also earned high marks for the romantic thread.
The truth is, mystery and suspense novels have always intrigued me, but I also enjoy romance, science-fiction, horror and fantasy, as well as the occasional mainstream novel by such wonderful authors as E. Annie Proulx.
My literary niche, it turns out, is dark and gritty with an occasional humorous twist. If you like that sort of story,
you’ll find my books and short stories thoroughly engaging.