So simple. Five dogs dead by smoke inhalation, bagged, tagged, and cremated. Papers all in order. Ashes in specialty urns on the desk of Dixie Halifax, track and casino co-owner. In jail, a young employee charged with arson to cover a murder he’s blamed for committing.
Then the body of kennel owner Jackson Sanchez is found face down in a pool of blood, a knife stuck in his back. But Sanchez didn’t die from a knife wound. Someone has carved “thief” on his forehead. The blood pooled underneath his body isn’t his. Should Dan be looking for a second corpse? And the one man who can answer questions, the track vet, dies in a motorcycle accident.
Working this case is not as complicated for Dan as having his mother Maggie move into the FBI’s favorite mob slob haven in nearby Palm Coast, while his fiancée Elaine Linden, on sabbatical, works on a PI license. Perfect the FBI can set Maggie up to spy on her boyfriend who may be laundering cash in some geriatric mafia scheme in this follow-up to Flash Flood and Rollover.
* from Poisoned Pen Press
I fell in love with Susan Slater’s personality as soon as I read the first Chapter of Hair of the Dog. Check out the excerpt & you’ll understand. Meanwhile, here’s a bit of a eavesdropping from our recent conversation:
It sure looks like the bodies pile up in Hair of the Dog! How do you manage to write about such things without making your work, well, icky?
Wow! What a great question in that it got me to thinking . . . almost 20 years ago when I was writing my very first mystery, I wasn’t comfortable killing anyone with a knife or gun. My protagonist was a psychologist—a field not known for gun-toting. So, I needed another killer—something not so full of blood and guts. Not that I ever wanted to write a Cozy, I just wanted things neater—and more original.
I remember mulling over my dilemma at breakfast one morning when the headline of the local paper caught my attention: “Mystery Illness Claims Thirteenth Victim”. Of course. How neat and tidy . . . well, sans lots of blood and guts anyway. This was a unique way to kill lots of people and bypass the “icky” element. The mystery illness was, of course, what proved to be the Hanta Virus, a virulent killer in the Southwest. So, what if the bad guys could manufacture it, insert it in a food stuff and kill at random? Worth a try and The Pumpkin Seed Massacre was born.
Yes, I’ve graduated to knives and guns and have developed tough skin when it comes to the “icky” stuff. I find it interesting and heartbreaking that any 6 pm news cast has more “icky” than any one mystery that I’ve written. Sadly, I’m immune.
I love how you lightened up Hair of the Dog with the investigator’s mother in add to the plot. What is it about her that you most envy?
A free spirit at any age should be celebrated! I remember seeing the bumper sticker: Florida—God’s Waiting Room. Funny at the time but now that I’m a resident, I realize fully that my reading public is what we euphemistically refer to as “mature”. So why not give them a character to relate to? Or, perhaps, aspire to? Boyfriend jeans, dance cruises in the Caribbean, dyed red hair . . . an actual boyfriend from Match.com—and, yes, she can drive at night! I see her as a poster child for an age group that we once called “elderly”. I don’t envy her as much as she inspires me. She’s on top of her game and isn’t about to slow down anytime soon.
How soon can we anticipate another Matt Mahoney Mystery from you?
A perfect segue after talking about Maggie Mahoney . . . her popularity is encouraging me to increase her “page-time” in the next Dan Mahoney, Epiphany. I have the story mapped out but not fleshed out.
I know for a fact that Maggie moves to Casadaga, FL—where you have to be a medium or psychic just to live there. Yes, it’s a real place! And there are those relics stolen from the Basilica in St. Augustine . . . highly insured, of course. And Elaine? She goes undercover as a nun.
I hope you can tell that I’m excited to start this one. I’m planning on a little more of a thriller element than books in the past. HOWEVER, I’m famous for cleansing my writing palette every once in awhile and veering from what I’m known for (mysteries) and writing something from another genre. I just finished a “family saga” and am interested to see where it might lead me.
So . . . the next Dan Mahoney might be a fall 2016 or spring 2017.
Well, I for one can’t wait! Thanks, Susan!!
|Source:||Partners In Crime Virtual Book Tours|
|Publisher & Date:||Poisoned Pen Press; July 2015|
|Series:||Dan Mahoney Mysteries, #2|
Hair of the Dog
More About Susan Slater:
Susan is the author of the Ben Pecos series (Pumpkin Seed Massacre, A Way to the Manger, Yellow Lies and Thunderbird), a stand-alone (Five O’clock Shadow), a women’s fiction novel (0 to 60), a paranormal short story in Rod Serling’s commemorative Twilight Zone Anthology (Eye for an Eye), and the Dan Mahoney series. Susan lives on the Atlantic coast and writes full-time.
This is a giveaway hosted by Partners In Crime Virtual Book Tours for Susan Slater & Poisoned Pen Press. There will be one US winner of 1 Box of Poisoned Pen Press books including Hair of the Dog by Susan Slater. The giveaway begins on August 1st, 2015 and runs through August 31st, 2015.
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