Toxic Tech

Gainfully Employed Mystery Book 4

Currently part of the Summer Snoops and Cozy Crimes 12 book collection!

A dead vet tech…an activist group bent on destruction…and an adorable little dog that proves moxie has nothing at all to do with size.

For Blaise Runa, a job working the front desk at the local veterinary clinic is a fun but temporary diversion…a chance to spend every day with Miss Ivy, her adorable fur baby, while she continues to search for a career.

Unfortunately, the fun is soon sucked right out of the job when Blaise discovers one of the veterinary technicians poisoned in the kennel. The attack is quickly labeled the work of an activist group that resents the medical and financial resources “squandered” on pets.

But is there something less obvious…and possibly more sinister…at work?

Working alone and swimming against the tide of general opinion, Blaise soon suspects that she and her yummy fiancée, Dolfe Honeybun, might be fighting for more than justice for the vet tech. They might actually be battling to save a whole clinic full of beloved pets from someone who would be happy to see them dead. And if they’re not very careful, sweet little Miss Ivy might take her place at the top of a killer’s list.

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Praise for Toxic Tech

Storeybook Reviews

I think my favorite was Toxic Death by Sam Cheever. I was totally surprised when the murderer was revealed, did not see that one coming at all! And of course there were dogs involved and I love any story involving dogs.

Laura's Interests Reviews

Talk about personalities! Even the canine characters were well developed and added much to the story. The suspects and motives varied, keeping me guessing until the end. It was both fun and exciting.

Read an Excerpt

The giant yellow snake slithered more tightly around Blaise’s throat, its tongue snapping out to taste the air beside her ear.

Blaise swallowed hard and reached up to tug on the thick body, trying to gain some air. 

The reptile’s body shivered, easing the pressure just enough to give her hope, and then oozed back to the place where discomfort lived on the edge of fear. 

Blaise gritted her teeth and fought through it, knowing that to give in to the fear was to let the snake win.
The woman standing across the desk from her was wearing golf balls for eyes behind her oversized square glasses. Blaise wasn’t sure the woman had even swallowed since arriving there. 

“Punkin’s gonna need to come back and get those stitches checked,” Blaise said in a strangled voice. She held the receipt out to the client but the woman didn’t move to take it. 

The massive yellow body oozed another quarter inch tighter and Blaise had to jam a hand behind the coil at her throat, tugging a little harder to show the snake she meant business. “Ma’am?”

The woman blinked her golf balls and shook her head, turning on her heel and all but running out the front door, her fat, little pug struggling to keep up. 

Blaise turned to the gangly millennial with his head in the giant terrarium. “Adam, are you about done? I think Odyssey’s settling in for the kill.”

He gave the inside of the tank a final swipe and straightened, eyeing the snake’s habitat with a critical and, Blaise was learning, nit-picky eye. “I just need to go grab his branch. I hosed it off out back.”

Blaise rolled her eyes and twitched as something crept through her peripheral vision. The snake’s head hovered on the air a few inches from her face. 

If she’d been squeamish it would have been very disconcerting. 

She gave the snake side-eye and its tongue forked the air an inch from her cheek. 

Okay, she was a tiny bit squeamish. “Adam?”

The bell on the front door jangled and a gruff, familiar male voice said, “Holy crap!”

Blaise turned to grin at her very sexy fiancée. She was slightly concerned to see that he’d turned an unattractive pale green color. “What’s wrong? Is Miss Ivy okay?” Panic flared. “What’s Badly gotten into now?”

The puppy in Dolfe’s arms gave her a happy yip, too delighted to see her to worry about the massive reptile wound around her neck. But a high-pitched shrieking commenced from the area around Dolfe’s big feet. Blaise looked down at the tiny dog bouncing on the end of a leash, her brown eyes bulging and her enormous ears twitching with alarm. 

“It’s okay, Miss Ivy…” she started to say. 

“Don’t move, Blaise!” Dolfe took an uncertain step in her direction and then stopped, looking from the snake to his hands and then to the two dogs. “I need a weapon.”

Miss Ivy was becoming more alarmed by the second. She was barking in rapid-fire bursts and her voice had reached dolphin pitch. The staccato emissions were coming so hard they tugged her off the ground, until she pinged off the floor with every bark. 

“Why do you need a weapon?” Blaise asked Dolfe on a frown.

He saw an umbrella stand by the door and reached for the biggest one, snatching it up and advancing toward Blaise with murder in his eye. “Don’t worry, honey, I’ll save you.” 

Despite his brave words, she took note of the way he seemed to have to drag his big feet forward the closer he got to the snake. 

Blaise opened her mouth to tell him not to worry when Ivy shot forward, her tiny body jerking in desperation against the leash. 

Odyssey’s big head lowered and his eyes locked on the little dog. His tongue scraped Ivy’s scent from the air. 

“No!” Blaise shrieked. 

“Ivy!” Dolfe roared.

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