Tuesday, 9 October 2018

New Release Spotlight: Redneck's Revenge by Joan Livingston

Redneck’s Revenge by Joan Livingston

Her next case. She’s in it for good.

Isabel Long is in a funk months after solving her first case. Her relationship with the Rooster Bar’s owner is over. Then the cops say she must work for a licensed P.I. before working solo.

Encouraged by her ‘Watson’ — her 92-year-old mother — Isabel snaps out of it by hooking up with a P.I. and finding a new case.

The official ruling is Chet Waters, an ornery so-and-so, was passed out when his house caught fire. His daughter, who inherited the junkyard, believes he was murdered. Topping the list of suspects are dangerous drug-dealing brothers, a rival junkyard owner, and an ex-husband.
Could the man’s death simply be a case of redneck’s revenge? Isabel is about to find out.

Ellesea Loves Reading: Redneck’s Revenge Excerpt
In this scene, Isabel Long meets Lin Pierce, a private investigator. She needs to work three years with a licensed P.I. before she can go solo. Let’s say Lin’s best years are long behind him. By the way, the Old Farts she mentions are a group of gossipy old men who station themselves in the backroom of the town’s general store. She has nicknames for the six regulars who are a great source for leads. Oh, and she lives with her 92-year-old mother, her ‘Watson.’

Lin Pierce hums as he ponders my proposal. I got a visit from the state cops after I solved the Adela Collins case. Without any show of gratitude, the sergeant informed me I needed to get a license if I planned to do any more investigating. He didn’t even know Adela’s father, Andrew Snow, paid me. Cash. That’s a secret between us two. Could there be other juicy mysteries to solve? Sure. The hilltowns may seem like sweet little spots with their quaint homes and maple trees, but they have country-style darkness. Some real nutcases live here. I’ve seen bad feuds and bad blood. Cheating. Thievery. Fights. Grudges. Revenge. They just don’t take pictures of that stuff and put them on calendars. Norman Rockwell didn’t paint them either.
The paperwork the sergeant left me says I have to be honest and of good moral character, which strikes me as amusing. Plus, I have to find three citizens willing to testify that’s true. Really. They can’t be blood relatives. I may ask the Old Farts to vouch for me. I bet they’d get a kick out of it.
I also can’t have committed a felony. Check on that one. The sticking point is I must have been a cop, no thanks, or work for a licensed private investigator for three years. I didn’t want to work for a P.I. in the city. I do have my mother to think about. Lin Pierce’s office is in Jefferson, the last hilltown before the closest city, Hampton, the county seat actually. Jefferson is rural but not as rural as Conwell and the other tiny towns around it with populations of a thousand and under.
When I told Ma about Lin, she asked, “What did he sound like over the phone?”
About himself or you?”
Oh, definitely me.”
Did you check him out? What’s it say on that Google thing?”
I smiled. My mother has never touched a computer, but she’s picked up on Google.
Better than that. I asked the Old Farts.”
Oh, them,” she said with a bit of scorn in her voice. “What did those fellows have to say?”
Well, the Fattest Old Fart said Franklin Pierce used to be an ambulance chaser, but he hasn’t been doing much of that these days.”
That doesn’t sound too promising.”
The Serious Old Fart said he did insurance cases, like catching somebody who’s faking he’s hurt. He also spied on cheating husbands and wives. But I got the feeling the Old Farts were leaving something out. I even mentioned it, but the guys were tight-lipped. Now that’s a bit unusual. Maybe he’s kin to one of them.”
My mother frowned.
You’re going to do things like that? Spy on people?”
I shook my head.
I’m not planning on it. All I want is for Franklin Pierce to say I work for him. If I get paid for a case, I’ll give him a cut.”
You think he’ll go for it?”
I tip my head forward. I believe I’m about to find out.

Joan Livingston is the author of novels for adult and young readers. Redneck’s Revenge, published by
Crooked Cat Books, is the second in the mystery series featuring Isabel Long, a long-time journalist who becomes an amateur P.I. The first is Chasing the Case.

An award-winning journalist, she started as a reporter covering the hilltowns of Western Massachusetts. She was an editor, columnist, and most recently the managing editor of The Taos News, which won numerous state and national awards during her tenure.

After eleven years in Northern New Mexico, Joan returned to rural Western Massachusetts, which is the setting of much of her adult fiction, including the Isabel Long series.

Twitter: @joanlivingston 
Litsy: JoanLivingston

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