*A Note from the Author:
The Smart Investigations, Inc. series is not your typical mystery series. There are two things you might like to know about it. First, the pace is fast, like a great suspense novel, and the mood is tense…a bit darker than your average cozy mystery but not too dark. The romance in the books is sweet, with sensual overtones, like an old time murder mystery from film noire days. And of course there's a cute little dog named Max, a dachshund, who pees on bad guys because…well…he can! And because he's a dachshund and they always have an opinion.
And secondly, you'll notice a second author's name on the cover. Edric Honeybun is one of the brothers from my popular Honeybun Heat series. In the Heat, Edric is a thriller/suspense writer and the Smart Investigations, Inc. series was originally his before I stole it. So I thought it was only fair to give him some credit. Thus the co-authorship.
Read the reviews, check out the blurb and if it sounds like something you might enjoy, I hope you'll give this exciting new series a try. I don't think you'll be disappointed!
Fractured love, treachery and cold-blooded murder…
A nightmarish new case plunges Alex and Matthew into personal and professional chaos as they pursue a killer who traffics in the most vile of human traits. They quickly learn that the current killings are somehow tied to a decades old murder, which comes with a hefty mix of suspects. As they begin to dig into the cold case, they start to realize that one of their suspects is hiding an evil so horrific it can barely stand the light of day.
Unfortunately, the evil they stalk is only one side of a multi-sided problem. Twisted around old loves and never forgotten treacheries, the case threatens their growing feelings for each other and dangerously undermines their professional relationship, while pitting them against a killer more deadly than any they've faced. Can they survive the dual threat? Will they reach for each other when things get rough? Or will they let misunderstanding and menace kill the future they've started building together?
Alex filled Matthew in on what she knew. When she described the incident in the alleyway his pulse picked up. “When did Ben say this happened?”
Suddenly unable to sit still, Matthew stood and began to pace. Dread clawed desperate fingers in his gut as he realized he would have to tell her what he knew. And that her friend had lied to her. She would assume…
He shook his head. “This isn’t what it seems, Alex.”
“What isn’t what it seems?” She stood too, tenting her long fingers on the surface of his desk and leaning toward him. “Do you know something about this?”
He stopped. When he looked at her she paled. “I don’t know anything about Ben or his involvement, except that the police are reporting they have a suspect. They haven’t released a name yet.”
“Okay, so why did you say it wasn’t what it seemed?” She frowned. “And why do you look like someone just killed your cat?”
“Because the murder you’re talking about happened five days ago, Alex. If Ben was there. Where has he been for five days? And why is he still covered in blood?”
Alex’s eyes widened. “Five days? That’s impossible.”
“Exactly.” Matthew started pacing again. “And the body wasn’t found in an alley. It was located along the walking path in Engles Park.”
Two lines formed between Alex’s slim, dark brows. “I don’t understand.” Her long fingers curled into fists on the desk, no doubt to hide the shaking he’d already seen.
Seeing how hard she took the news, Matthew experienced a jolt of regret. He shouldn’t have flung the information at her that way. It had been callous. He moved closer, grasping her long, cool fingers and forcing her to lift her gaze to his. “I’m sorry, Alex. I know this must be a shock.”
Her gaze skittered away from his. “It must be a different murder…”
Matthew tightened his grip on her hands, longing to pull her into his arms. To comfort her.
To comfort himself.
“It’s the same case, Alex. Ben’s description of the victim is spot on.”
“But then, why is the timing so off? Why did he say it was an alley?”
“I don’t know. But we need to ask him.”
When she frowned, Matthew caught her gaze again. “Do you trust me, Alex?”
She held his gaze for a long moment, emotion turning the gray-blue of her eyes stormy. Finally she nodded. “With my life.”
Her words made him catch his breath. “Good. Then let me help you figure this out. Whatever Ben’s gotten mixed up in we’ll figure it out together and help him move forward.”
She nodded once, a brisk dip of her sexy chin, and then stepped away from him. “I’ll go get him.”
Watching her move toward the door, Matthew felt a bone deep sorrow settling into his bones.
He’d lost her.
And it was entirely his own damn fault.