Today it is my pleasure to welcome author Brenda Gayle and her historical mystery novel, A Shot of Murder.
In 1948, Charley Hall resents giving up her job as city reporter for the Kingston Tribune to a returning soldier. But her demotion to the women’s pages is the least of her worries since Gran is organizing a surprise birthday party for Charley’s older brother, Freddie. Trouble is, Freddie hasn’t come back from his latest bender. When Charley goes looking for him, she discovers the dead body of a woman, last seen with her brother. Beside the murdered woman is a torn newspaper article about local politician Dan Cannon, who also happens to be Charley’s best friend. To make matters worse, a police detective from Toronto shows up and begins nosing around. Charley is not about to stand by and let her brother nor her friend take a fall for a murder based on circumstantial evidence. Not by a long shot.
I’m a longtime fan of crime novels and continue to be amazed at the creative ways authors find to put their protagonists into murder investigations. One of the most compelling has got to be having a family member involved and author Brenda Gayle plays this approach like a fine violin.
I appreciate a novel of any genre that also manages to capture a piece of history, and A Shot of Murder does just that with its interesting view of the soldiers of WWII returning home. Both the soldiers’ trauma and the required adjustments of the women who’ve held down the fort in their absence, are examined with sensitivity.
And, I’m also a sucker for stories involving women who just want a chance to use their talents and pursue their dreams. So clearly A Shot of Murder was tailor made for me.
All in all it is an enjoyable and easy to read book. The writing is smooth and the pace is quick. Too often I get annoyed at amateur sleuths who come across as annoying busybodies but Charley is both likable and competent as a trained investigative reporter. I enjoyed walking in her shoes and I won’t hesitate to read more books in this series.
About the Author
Life is messy and I try to reflect that in my stories while still leaving readers with a feeling of hope. I want them to see themselves and people they know in my characters.
You could say writing is in my genes. My paternal grandmother was a formidable diarist; my father was a journalist and poet; my sister and cousin are both published authors; even my son has shown a talent for putting pen to paper (or fingers to keyboard) to tell awesome stories. So, it came as no surprise to anyone when I returned to my love of fiction after more than 20 years in the world of corporate communications–although some might argue there was plenty of opportunity for fiction-writing there, too.
A fan of many genres, I find it hard to stay within the publishing industry’s prescribed boxes. Whether it’s mystery, romantic suspense or women’s fiction—my greatest joy is creating deeply emotional books with memorable characters and compelling stories.
Find the Author
I love hearing from readers. You can connect with me via my website at BrendaGayle.com (https://brendagayle.com/)
Follow me on Amazon (https://www.amazon.com/Brenda-Gayle/e/B005V2FKDY)
Follow me on BookBub (https://www.bookbub.com/authors/brenda-gayle)
Sign up for my newsletter (https://www.subscribepage.com/l2u6i9)
Buy the Book
The book is on sale for only $0.99. Find it on Amazon.
Yes, there is a giveaway
The author will be awarding a $30 Amazon/BN gift card to a randomly drawn winner via rafflecopter during the tour.
This post is part of a tour sponsored by Goddess Fish. Check out all the other tour stops. If you drop by each of these and comment, you will greatly increase your chances of winning.
My Favorite Excerpt
Charley watched the pale liquid trickle into the fine china teacup. She’d have preferred a black coffee—or something stronger—but this afternoon ritual seemed to mean a lot to her grandmother, and despite their differences, her grandmother meant the world to her. When Gran had taken her first sip, Charley went on the offensive. “You fought for a woman’s right to vote. You marched in the streets. You were arrested. You taught me to be strong and independent. How can you not see the injustice in this?”
“You are not being fired from the paper. You are merely being reassigned to a position more suitable to your sex and social standing.”
“I’m not going to take it. I don’t want to get dressed up and go to all these hoity-toity social events—”
Gran had begun to giggle, quietly behind her teacup at first, but now her laughter shook her whole body and she had to put the cup down on the table or risk spilling its contents.
“What is so funny?”
“You.” Bessie sobered. “As a Stormont, you already get dressed up and go to ‘all these hoity-toity social events.’ John is giving you the opportunity to do more than simply look pretty at them. You can write about who was there and who were the big contributors to whatever charitable cause was being celebrated. You will wield far more clout with the power brokers of Kingston on the women’s pages than you ever could on the city ones.”
“I don’t want to do it,” Charley said.
“Then don’t.” She shrugged and picked up her teacup. “There are many ways to be useful. The Imperial Order Daughters of the Empire is always looking for intelligent young women to join our ranks and aid in service to our country.”