Murder of a Good Man, by Teresa Trent: a Texas Town’s VIP Bites the Dust

murder_good_manCamel Press will release Murder of a Good Man ($15.95, 256 pages, 5×8 Trade Paperback, ISBN: 978-1-60381-635-9), by Teresa Trent, the first cozy mystery in a series set in the fictional small town of Piney Woods, Texas, and featuring amateur sleuth and hotelier Nora Alexander. After a young woman arrives in town to deliver a sealed letter to the town’s most beloved citizen, the man is murdered, making her the prime suspect.

** Click the cover image to order online **

** Or order it for your Kindle, Nook, or other digital formats through Smashwords **

“…funny, a page turner, and very unpredictable…. The plot and the vivid descriptions of the town and characters, give readers a warm, cozy feeling. If you think at any time during the reading that you know ‘who did it,’ you are in for a big surprise.” Read more….
—Carol Hoyer for Reader Views

4 Stars: “There is nothing more enjoyable than to read a book with no ‘hiccups’ in the rhythm. Well, this first book in the Piney Woods Mystery Series was a waltz. I enjoyed every moment of it and the author truly never missed a step.” Read more….
—Long and Short Reviews

“This story has a great vibe to it and fits the cozy mystery category perfectly. It starts off with a doozie of a murder to solve, but as Nora investigates, juicier small-town secrets come to light, making it much more than just that. I thoroughly enjoyed all of the twists in the story, some I did not even see coming. All of the characters were well-developed and each added their own touch to the story. I would recommend this to anyone who enjoys a good cozy mystery.”  Read more….
—Llaph for Coffeetime Romance & More

“This is the first in Trent’s series set in Piney Woods, and it bodes well for the series. As cozies go, this is not only a fun read, but it moves along quite well. She has a respectable number of characters—not so many as to confuse the reader but enough to have a growing number of possible perpetrators! This is a keeper.”
—Judith Reveal for the New York Journal of Books

“Teresa Trent’s recipe for an outstanding cozy mystery: A mother’s dying wish. A mysterious letter. A dutiful daughter who shows up on the doorstep of the nicest man in town. A guy who suddenly turns up dead. Mixed well with small town Texas charm and a fabulous eye for detail.”
—Joanna Campbell Slan, author of the Kiki Lowenstein Mystery Series

“A delightful cozy romp!”
—Maggie Toussaint, author of the Dreamwalker mystery series

Teresa has written eight other cozy mysteries and contributed stories to six anthologies. Several of her short stories have won awards from Texas writers groups. Readers and reviewers have enjoyed her colorful, salt-of-the-earth characters and sleepy small-town settings.

When Nora Alexander arrives in Piney Woods, Texas, to fulfill her dying mother’s last wish, she has no idea what awaits her. First she is run off the road, then the sealed letter she delivers turns out to be a scathing rebuke to the town’s most beloved citizen and favored candidate for Piney Woods Pioneer: Adam Brockwell. Next thing you know, Adam has been murdered in a nasty knife attack. Suspicion instantly falls on Nora, one of the last people to see him alive. After all, everyone in Piney Woods loved him. Or did they? Nora learns that her mother had a complicated past she never shared with her daughter.

Told not to leave town by Tuck the flirty sheriff, Nora finds a job with Tuck’s Aunt Marty trying to get the rundown Tunie Hotel back in the black. The old hotel was Piney Woods’ heart and soul in its heyday as an oil boomtown. Now the secrets it harbors may be the key to getting Nora off the hook. She’s going to need to solve the mystery quickly to avoid arrest, or worse: becoming the killer’s next victim.

Says the author, “My brother has worked in the hotel industry for the last twenty years and I’ve enjoyed the many stories he told me about his job, from naked people ‘frolicking’ in the lobby to a stabbing in the carport area. I wanted to create a cozy mystery that would traffic a world of characters in and out of my fictitious hotel.”

Teresa Trent lives in Houston, Texas with her husband and children. She has been writing cozy mysteries since 2011. For more information, click here.

Keep reading for an excerpt:

“Tucker Watson, don’t tell me you finally have a date and you brought her to a funeral,” a woman with short, spiky salt-and-pepper hair said as she walked up to Nora.

“Aunt Marty. Should have known you’d be here.”

“Why not? Adam Brockwell had more money than God.”

“Yes, and sadly he’s one of the few people who didn’t buy real estate through you.” Tuck turned to Nora. “Aunt Marty, this is Nora Alexander. She … will be in town for a little while.”

“Yes, well, he calls me ‘Aunt Marty,’ but I’m only ten years older than he is. I was a late child for my parents.”

“Nice to meet you.”

“And you as well.” She tapped Tuck on the shoulder. “I like this one, sweetie.” Marty grabbed her key out of her purse. “Well, I’ve paid my respects. I need to get back to work. I’m a little overwhelmed right now.”

Tuck Watson reached over and kissed his aunt. “Don’t work too hard.”

Marty laughed and waved over her shoulder as she exited the funeral home.

Azalea Fredericks and her sister moved closer, as quiet as kudzu in the summer. “You came all this way to deliver your letter. What did it say, exactly?”

“Um ….”

Tuck jumped in before Nora could reply. “Nothing important.”

The crowd became quiet. “Who was your mother?” Violet Fredericks now asked. “Adam Brockwell was up for Piney Woods Pioneer, you know.” Violet’s voice was identical to her sister’s.

Azalea leaned forward. “Although our vote was going to be for Bubby Tidwell. I’m one of the fourteen, you know. One of the fourteen people Bubby has rescued. He gave me mouth-to-mouth resuscitation. His lips were like pillows, they were.” She started blushing and bit her bottom lip while Violet sighed. Nora tried not to think of Bubby Tidwell’s lips, but it was difficult to brush that whole vision to the back of her mind. Azalea glanced around, “Where is Bubby today?”

“Getting fitted for that new suit he’s going to need when he is pronounced Piney Woods Pioneer. Going back to the subject at hand?”

Nora checked Azalea’s lips to be sure they weren’t moving.

“I don’t know,” Nora answered, trying to be polite. “I didn’t even know about the letter until right before she died.”

Azalea started fanning herself with her hanky. “And you’ve come here to avenge your dead mother ….”

Nora feared Azalea would get the vapors, if women still came down with vapors.

“No,” Nora snapped, “of course not. I didn’t know about her dislike for the man. I didn’t even know that she knew him. This is all news to me.”

A man in a crisp brown suit joined their cozy group. “I say, you’ve got a lot of nerve coming to the funeral of the man you killed.”

“I did not kill him,” Nora said through clenched teeth.

A woman stepped up beside him. “Of course you’d say that.”

Nora feared she was about to be lynched as more of the men and women around her started closing in.

“Listen …” Nora tried to reason with the crowd.

“Quit picking on her!” a man yelled as he stepped out from the group now crowding around her.

Nora recognized him as the drunk from in front of the hotel. The same man who’d run from her at the bar. He had on a worn suit and a green-felt fedora. She smelled liquor on his breath, but he seemed to be almost sober.

The man addressed the small crowd. “This is what’s wrong with this town. You’re all just a bunch of bullies, starting with the man in the casket. Bullies!” The drunk walked over and put his arm around Nora. As he did so, he stepped back and gazed at her. Tears formed in his bloodshot eyes. “It’s amazing,” the drunk said, staring at Nora.

“What is?”

“How much you look like your mother.”

“Excuse me?” Nora asked.

The man removed his tattered fedora. “Shpitting image. Just amazin’.”

Comments are closed.