July 17, 2017 by Valerie Ullmer
Book Spotlight – The Marquesa’s Necklace by P.J. MacLayne
A Message from P.J. MacLayne
When I started writing this book, I thought it was going to be a romance. In fact, the working title of the story was “The Ghost Who Loved Me.” I soon realized I was wrong, and it was a cozy mystery. The characters insisted I keep the romantic element, however. And although I’d originally planned on it being a stand-alone, I fell in love with Harmony, my main character, and it’s now the first book in the Oak Grove Mysteries series.
Harmony Duprie enjoyed her well-ordered life in the quiet little town of Oak Grove—until her arrest for drug trafficking. Cleared of all charges, she wants nothing more than to return to the uneventful lifestyle of a historical researcher she once savored.
But when her beloved old car “George” is stolen and explodes into a ball of flames, it sets off a series of events that throws her plans into turmoil. Toss in a police detective that may or may not be interested in her, an attractive but mysterious stranger on her trail, and an ex-boyfriend doing time, and Harmony’s life freefalls into a downward spiral of chaos.
Now she has to use her research skills to figure out who is behind the sinister incidents plaguing her, and why. And she better take it seriously, like her life depends upon finding the right answers.
Because it might.
And here’s a taste of Harmony’s unorthodox personality:
“Harmony Duprie?” he asked, stopping his fist just before it made contact with my chest.
Yeah, that’s my name. Obviously, my parents didn’t hang around many strip clubs before they came up with the moniker. I took a step backwards. “Yes?” I asked, wondering what I had done wrong now.
“I’m Officer Felton. Do you own a,” he checked a slip of paper in his hand, “a 1979 blue Ford Pinto?”
“George? Why yes I do, he’s parked out on the street.” The car was around the corner and I couldn’t see him, but I parked him the same place every time. The local police knew my car, so why was the officer asking about him?
“Did you loan your car to anyone, Ms. Duprie?”
“No.” I felt a tickle of worry at the base of my skull. “Why?”
He sighed. “I have bad news. It appears your car was stolen.”
I pushed past him, leaned over the railing and tried to see my parking spot. “Did you find him?”
“George. My car. I call him George.” Because like the Abominable Snowman in a Bugs Bunny cartoon, that’s what I always wanted. My own little car.
“Your car has been totaled, Ms. Duprie.”
Stomach churning, I leaned against the door frame with a casualness I didn’t feel. “What happened?” Not that it would take much damage to total George, as old as he was.
His radio beeped and his eyes took on intense stare of someone listening intently to a voice I couldn’t hear. He leaned down and spoke into the black box on his shoulder. “10-4. We’re on our way.”
He looked at me. “Detective Thomason would like to speak to you at the office.”
Now it was my turn to sigh. Detective Fred Thomason and I are not the best of friends. I have tried to avoid him, with little luck, since the first time he handcuffed me. “I seem to be minus a car,” I pointed out dryly.
P.J. MacLayne can be found on Facebook: https://facebook.com/pjmaclayne
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