Move over Veronica Mars and Stephanie Plum! The first book in the Bexley Squires mystery series delivers a gripping tale with offbeat characters, action, and humor. The elite seaside community of Papaya Springs is a twisted playground for the rich and famous. Can Bexley Squires save her missing sister before it’s game over?
Targeted Age Group:: 17+
What Inspired You to Write Your Book?
I've always adored a good mystery with a witty female sleuth! I grew up watching Murphy Brown, then fell in love with Veronica Mars and Olivia Benson as an adult.
How Did You Come up With Your Characters?
My heroine is a combination of my personality and someone with more issues and intelligence. My characters always simply come to me as I get into the story. I hadn't planned on including a romantic interest, but Grayson appeared out of nowhere!
Brooklyn, New York
“Help me, Bex!”
The sight of her sister’s face covered in blood ripped Bexley Squires from a hard, deep sleep. The nightmare had been so real she would have sworn Cineste had been in her room.
It reminded her of the time Cineste had sliced the heel of her foot open on a metal drain grate. The sight of bone and a small river of blood had triggered a numbing terror in the pit of Bexley’s stomach. At the time, their mother had been too weak from chemotherapy to leave her bed, and their father was on deployment. It was up to Bexley. She had been convinced Cineste would die so she did the only sensible thing the mind of a twelve-year-old could think of, and stole the neighbor’s car.
Cineste’s unknown fate had consumed Bexley’s every waking thought since she received the fateful call from her father nearly two months prior. The conversation came back to her in bits and pieces.
“The Peachtrees hired her as a nanny…turns out she was involved with the Commander’s adult son…he held a gun to his father’s head…they absconded with all the Peachtrees’ cash.”
When Bexley pushed him to explain, he’d ended the conversation. She’d never forget the aggravation in his voice, or the way he announced he had washed his hands clean of both his daughters. He hadn’t called since, not even for Thanksgiving or Christmas.
She swiped a framed selfie off her nightstand that the sisters had taken when Cineste came for a visit last spring. They looked so much alike that they could almost pass for twins. They’d both inherited their mother’s thick mahogany locks, heart-shaped face, and freckled olive skin. Also like their mother, the sisters were petite and average height, although Cineste still had a full inch on Bexley. The only thing linking them to their father were their bright green eyes, sharp noses, and distaste for bullshit.
She ran her thumb over her sister’s image. Cineste’s safety was the only reason she'd agreed to meet with an anonymous source who wouldn’t offer any more information beyond a free flight and generous compensation.
She wasn’t completely surprised, considering she’d been in high demand since the piece she wrote on Richard Warren. But when the source requested to meet in Los Angeles, she was convinced fate was involved. She’d been planning to head out to California to re-trace her sister’s footsteps once she had more than a few hundred dollars to spare.
Her eyes skipped across her Brooklyn loft. After losing her last apartment to an attempt on her life, it had taken months to achieve the boho chic look she’d strived for within the exposed brick walls, patiently adding each detail whenever her tight budget would allow. A set of patterned Wingback chairs from an estate sale faced a 70s cigar-colored leather sofa from the thrift store down the street. In addition to a few thriving house plants, mismatched rugs in various shades of blue helped to brighten the effect of the refurbished walnut flooring. The print that hung over her kitchen table, taken by a local photographer, had been her only splurge. The remaining decor she’d either found while dumpster-diving, or had been gifted to her by a friend. The only effort Bexley made to celebrate the holidays involved a sad little spruce tree adorned with white lights and silver bulbs.
The square footage was barely enough for one resident, which proved to be true on the rare occasions Bexley brought an overnight guest. But it was in a family-friendly area with decent neighbors and friendly shop owners. And it was all hers.
Now she was terrified she would lose it. Her payout from the Warren article was depleted, and the odd jobs she’d taken—walking neighborhood dogs and bartending for the pub a few blocks down—weren’t enough to continue paying the rent. It was yet another reason she felt compelled to find out whether the offer she received was legit. Considering they’d followed through and sent her a gift card from an airline that more than covered the cost of her flight to L.A., Bexley wanted to believe.
She grabbed a shower inside the claw-foot tub in the corner of her loft, then threw three changes of clothes meant for warmer weather into her only carry-on. For a time, she’d been as close to Cineste as two sisters with an 7-year age gap could possibly become, then she’d left for New York without looking back.
It was plausible that Cineste ran away because the standard had been set by her big sister, proving there was only one way out. Bexley wasn’t going to let her little sister down like that ever again.
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Buy The Dead Girl’s Stilettos: A Bexley Squires Mystery Print Edition at Amazon
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