Rose Strickland Mystery, Book 3
Terri L. Austin
Genre: Cozy Mystery
Publisher: Henery Press
Date of Publication: November 7, 2013
Number of pages: 240
Cover Artist: Lauren Snedden
After shunning her overbearing parents' wealthy lifestyle, waitress and part-time college student, Rose Strickland, is drawn back into their world when she tries to prove the impossible: the innocence of the town's crooked police chief. He's suspected in the gruesome death of Delia Cummings, his secretary and mistress, and all the evidence points to him. While she tracks down clues with the aid of her anime-loving bestie, Rose's pal, Axton, and his Klingon gang are feuding with their Starfleet rivals. Things get hairier than a pile of well-fed Tribbles, so Rose gets involved. In between interrogating Trekkies and quizzing socialites at high tea, she discovers the secrets Delia Cummings took to her grave. Suspects abound, but when Chief Mathers threatens to bring down Rose's criminally mischievous and maybe boyfriend, Sullivan, she makes it her mission to find the real killer before Sullivan finds himself in prison.Excerpt:
They say you never forget your first time, but of course some firsts are more memorable than others. A first kiss. A first car. That first disastrous sexual encounter with a prom date because you figured what the hell, might as well see what everyone’s talking about. Turns out, they were talking about something completely different than what James Palmer and I did, fumbling around in the back of a white limo. The point is this: life’s chock full of first times. Some good, some bad, but all of them are turning points, dividing lines separating your life into befores and afters.
My name is Rose Strickland and tonight I racked up two more firsts. A clandestine meeting with a cop and a visit to a restaurant called Bob’s Fine Italian Cuisine. I still wasn’t sure if agreeing to meet with my nemesis was wise, but Bob’s definitely fell under the bad idea category.
Situated on the edge of Huntingford, Missouri and the county line, Bob’s wasn’t fine. The only lighting came from drippy white candles placed at all twelve tables and the darkened interior sucked me in, left me a little disoriented, able to make out only vague shapes and silhouettes spread throughout the small room. What it lacked in illumination it made up for in odor. Overpowering garlic and the stench of fish that had not only gone bad, but had turned downright evil. In fact, if I could have seen two feet in front of my face, I’m sure I would have been horrified at Bob’s lack of fine. Either this was the best place in town to bring a mistress or they didn’t want customers to notice the numerous health code violations.
Thrusting my hands in my coat pockets, I hunkered down and glanced through the deep gloom, searching for Officer Andre Thomas, or as I liked to call him, Officer Hard Ass. Somewhere in his early thirties, he was built tight, with long, lean muscles and chiseled features. His dark wavy hair was cut so short it was just a whisker shy of buzzed and his café au lait skin accentuated his hazel eyes. Those sharp eyes watched the world from behind frameless glasses and didn’t miss a thing. Smart, handsome, observant. Unfortunately, he also had a stick shoved so far up that firm ass, I wasn’t sure how he managed to sit down.
Today, we welcome Terri L. Austin to Musings and Ramblings. Let's all give her a big Geeky welcome!
I have some questions for you that are writer specific as well as some fun stuff so that we can really get to know the real you. *grin* Plus we will finish things off with round of Think Fast. Ready to begin?
1. Tell us something about yourself that's not in your bio.
I love Hello Kitty. Obsessed might be a better word. When our Japanese foreign exchange student arrived, she brought me little Hello Kitty treats and sent back HK trinkets and fuzzy pillows from Tokyo. Now I’m an HK fangirl.2. What do you like to do when you are not writing?
Beads. All kinds, every color. Beading becomes an addiction—you can never have too many beads. It’s a very relaxing hobby and oh, so shiny!3. How did you choose the genres you write in?
I write multiple genres (mystery, romance, urban fantasy) because I’m more creative when I’m mixing it up a little. Like most writers I have those what if moments. What if a former-rich-girl-turned-waitress had to solve a crime? Sometimes I start out in one direction, but the characters correct me if I’m headed down the wrong path. They’re very insistent about telling their own stories.4. Is there any particular author or book that has influenced you or your writing?
Janet Evanovich—laugh out loud funny. Karen Marie Moning—fantastic storyteller. Kresley Cole—amazing sexual tension. I’ve always been a hardcore reader (they’re a lot like beads—you can never have enough). I write the types of books I’d like to read. I try to create characters I’d want to know in real life—usually plucky, funny, sarcastic heroines and sexy, flawed heroes.5. What has been the toughest criticism given to you as an author? What has been the best compliment?
It’s wonderful to hear the compliments, naturally. When someone says they enjoyed my characters or laughed at a particular scene, those moments are very surreal. I’d like to be all cool and say I don’t let the bad stuff bother me, but the truth is when someone doesn’t like one of my characters or doesn’t find my humor humorous, it’s like saying my baby is fugly. It hurts a little. But I’m still glad they gave my book a chance. The fact that a stranger would take time out of their lives to read something I wrote is always humbling.Fun Stuff
6. If you could have dinner with anyone, past or present, fictional or real, who would it be and why?
Miss Marple. She’s genteel, yet so wily in the ways of human behavior. She flies under the radar. You think she’s this little old lady knitting in the corner, when in reality, she knows everyone’s dirty secrets and sees past the façade. Marple is the shiz.7. You are going to be stranded on a deserted island and bring 3 luxury items. What would they be?
A burly marine—that’s a luxury, right?—a giant bottle of sunscreen, and a compilation of Jane Austen’s works.8. Pick two celebrities to be your parents. Who are they and why?
Jimmy Stewart because he seemed so normal. You probably wouldn’t turn out too crazy with a dad like Jimmy. Megan Fox—the face, the hair, the boobs. I’d hope to inherit some of those fab genes. And that would be quite a coupling. Now you can’t get it out of your mind, can you? You’re welcome.9. What would we find in your refrigerator right now?
Leftover pizza, because you know, pizza.10. If someone wrote a biography about you, what do you think the title should be?
Hot and Bothered. Ha! I kid. They’d probably title it: Oh! That Girl. I Sort of Remember Her. Not as smexy, but possibly more apt.Think Fast
Summer or Winter? Winter
Coffee or Tea? Coffee. No, tea. Don’t make me choose!
Cake or Pie? Seriously, why are you doing this?!
Car or Truck? Car. I couldn’t drive a truck without taking out a light pole, and forget about parking.
Print or Electronic? Both. Print for the keeper shelf, electronic for everything else.
Thanks for coming by and spending some time with us. Any final words of wisdom to pass along?
Thank you so much for having me on today, Judith. The questions were really fun. Big virtual smooches to all your readers. *Mwah*Review:
This is the third book in the Rose Strickland Mystery series by Terri L. Austin and I was lucky enough to get started on it shortly after finishing book 2. There is something wonderful about finishing one book in a series, coming up for a small breath of air, and then diving right back down into a fantastic world of impressive and intriguing characters.
This story starts approximately 5 months after the end of the book 2, with Officer Hard Ass, aka Officer Andre Thomas, asking for Rose's help looking into a murder. The police chief's secretary and mistress was found murdered in her bed. Rumors abound that the Chief of Police did her in due to an unwanted pregnancy, but Officer Thomas has his doubts. Especially since the Police Chief was his mentor early in his career. Officer Thomas wants Rose to do what he can't do, go where he can't go and find out what really happened to the dead woman. Since Rose knows all about the Police Chief's illegal gambling addiction and since he was cheating on his wife, at first she doesn't see why she should get involved. But then Officer Thomas plays the innocent wife and kids card. Rose can't bear the thought of the children having to deal with the rumors and scandal, so she reluctantly agrees to take the case.
Little does she know that she will soon be getting a call from her mother, asking her to dinner and pulling out all the stops to play nice with Rose. It seems that the Chief of Police's wife is a good friend of Rose's mother. Such a good friend that she can't stand what is happening, and wants Rose to investigate and figure out what happened.
There is also a secondary mystery going on. Axton, one of her best friends, asks her to look into the theft of a signed Star Trek uniform. His group of Klingon's was supposed to present the uniform back to the Starfleet group after they won their bowling competition. Axton asks Rose for help, because their Honor is at stake. Axton is always great fun and I really enjoy whenever we get to see him.
This was another wonderful addition to the Rose Strickland series. It looks like Rose is slowly figuring what she wants out of life. She isn't worried about what society thinks she should have or be, but what will make her happy and fulfilled in the long term. I think we should all strive to be a little more like Rose. This book was a 4 star read for me.
Book Tour Info:
Don't forget to check out the other stops on the Book Tour:
Musings and Ramblings – Review, Interview & Excerpt
Everything Books and Authors – Excerpt
Literary Chanteuse - Excerpt
Jersey Girl Book Reviews – Review & Excerpt
Chick Lit Plus – Review
Ai Love Books – Review & Excerpt
Me, Bookshelf and I – Excerpt
Evolved World – Review
As a girl, Terri L. Austin thought she’d outgrow dreaming up stories and creating imaginary friends. Instead, she’s made a career of it. She met her own Prince Charming and together they live in Missouri. She loves to hear from readers.
To connect with the author online:
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