Confound It, by Maggie Toussaint: A Suspicious Fire Leads to Supernatural Clues

Confound It ($16.95, 232 pages, 6×9 Trade Paperback, ISBN: 978-1-60381-595-6), by Maggie Toussaint, is the fifth book in A Dreamwalker Mystery series. Dreamwalker, sheriff’s consultant, and amateur sleuth Baxley Powell is called upon to help investigate a suspicious fire. A meth cook is dead, but the homicide investigation leads to more than a drug supply chain. Someone is pulling the strings behind the scenes, and it’s up to Baxley to find out who.

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“Maggie has done it again in delivering another fast-paced and intensely intoxicating drama that had me completely enthralled, quickly became a page-turner as I could not put this book down until all was said and done. [….] Expertly written with engaging dialogue, the author kept me immersed … well done. This is the best book in this series and I can’t wait to see what new adventures await….”
—DruAnn Love for Dru’s Book Musings

“Readers will need all their powers of acuity to guess whodunit until the final surprise at the end. A quick easy read spiced with a supernatural twist!”
—Nancy J Cohen, author of the Bad Hair Day Mysteries

“In her fifth Dreamwalker novel, Maggie Toussaint pairs a tricky murder plot with her amazingly original supernatural setting—Confound It is a dream come true for fans of paranormal mysteries.”
—Leigh Perry, Author of the Family Skeleton Mysteries

“Toussaint’s deft writing makes Baxley leap off the page. This may be a mystery, but the love Baxley shares with her daughter, her parents, her pets and her community shines throughout.” Read more….
—RT Book Reviews

While hosting out-of-town guests at her Georgia home, Dreamwalker Baxley Powell is called upon to help investigate a suspicious fire. One of her guests, close friend and fellow dreamwalker Deputy Sam Mayes, accompanies her to the scene.

A meth cook is dead, and when Baxley visits her beyond the Veil of Life, she determines that the woman was murdered. Baxley pities Mandy Patterson, a single mother with aspirations for her teenage son Doodle. Unconcerned about the death of a criminal, the authorities pursue the drug-supply chain angle. Baxley worries about Doodle and vows to find out who killed his mother.

As the case grows more baffling, Baxley struggles against her attraction to Sam. Although her husband is missing and declared dead, she does not feel free to love again until she is sure of his fate.

Two suspects have the strongest motive, but Baxley has reason to believe they are pawns in a deeper game. And unless she can stop them, the world will never be the same.

Maggie Toussaint has published seventeen books, fourteen as Maggie Toussaint and three as Rigel Carson. She is president of the Southeast Mystery Writers of America and has a seat on the national MWA Board. She is also a member of Sisters In Crime and Low Country Sisters In Crime. Toussaint won the Silver Falchion Award for Best Cozy/Traditional mystery in 2014. Additionally, she won a National Readers Choice Award and an EPIC award for Best Romantic Suspense. She lives in coastal Georgia, where secrets, heritage, and ancient oaks cast long shadows. For more information, click here.

Keep reading for an excerpt:

My palms tingled as I stared at the suspenders on the table. I’d made arrangements for Larissa, I’d heard the client speak the truth about her plight, but something in the air besides the musty spices around the woman’s neck made me hesitate. I wished my medium friend was here instead of visiting his daughter in Florida. It would be nice to have the extrasensory backup. “Is there anything you’re not telling me?”

Cipriona shrugged. Nerves. Had to be. With company coming later today, I couldn’t afford to dither, so I set aside my misgivings, reached for the suspenders, and opened my senses. After crossing the veil of life so many times, I knew what to expect. The weightlessness. The feeling of falling. The unrelenting darkness. The numbing cold.

Dreamwalking was no picnic, and this journey into the afterlife proceeded as expected. Once I reached the spinning stage, I righted myself until my feet touched down again. Not my actual feet. In this other realm, I’m in spirit form only.

Gradually the fog thinned, and I found myself outside a bar. The dim light over the door illuminated a painted sign, Low Spirits Bar. There was nothing else in the murk, no wandering bad-boy spirits, no guardian angel, no nothing. Which meant Damond Marsden was inside or he wanted me to see this place.

I entered through the door, and the gloom didn’t lift. “Damond?”

“Back here.”

Feeling like I was blindfolded, I edged in the direction of his voice. “I came to see you.”

“I don’t want to be seen. Go away.”

“You’re spending the afterlife sulking in a bar?”

“What’s it to you, lady? A man’s entitled to a drink every now and then.”

His voice sounded slurred, as if he’d been actually drinking. How was that possible? “My name’s Baxley Powell. I’m a Dreamwalker. Your daughter asked me to find you.”

He muttered something I couldn’t hear. I kept inching toward him, hands outstretched. “What’s that?”

“Don’t trust that witch.”

I stopped short at the half-truth ringing in his words. What part was truthful? The not-trusting part or the witch part? “I don’t understand.”

“Cipriona and my mother are thick as thieves. Always have been. Always will be.”

“Why are you telling me this?” I stopped, upset with him for keeping me in the dark. “Why are we here?”

“I got nowhere else to go. Nobody wants to see me looking like this.”

Irritation coated my voice. “Like what?”

A spotlight shone on Damond. I gagged at the raw flesh and bone of what was left of his face.

“I’m a freak. She did this to me.”

“You don’t have to look like that,” I hastened to explain. “All you have to do is imagine how you looked before you got shot.”

“What if I don’t wanna? What if I’m sitting here waiting for her to join me in this hell? What if I want to scare the shit out of my own flesh and blood?”

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