Cover, Excerpt & Book Trailer Reveal
A Daisy Dunlop Mystery Book One
Daisy Dunlop thinks “heir hunting” is a perfect career. Too bad she has to work with her husband’s best mate, Irish PI Solomon Liffey. They’ve barely spoken since he took her husband Paul’s request to keep her safe far too literally and handcuffed her to the kitchen sink.
Solomon has no interest in babysitting a new partner, especially this one. The woman’s a bleedin’ liability. She has no concept of danger and could flirt for England at the next Olympics. As if that isn’t bad enough, she has a habit of sticking her nose where it’s not wanted, including into Solomon’s very private life.
Determined to keep Daisy safely out of his way, Solomon sets her the task of finding a missing lord. Her investigations land her in the middle of his case. Bullets fly, bombs explode, and the body count rises. When Solomon goes missing, the tables are turned. Now it’s his life that is in Daisy’s hands, and she has two missing men to find before it’s too late.
Genre: Contemporary Mystery
Content/Theme(s): Humor, Heir hunting, PIs, Cozy, Women Sleuths
Release Date: September 14, 2014
Trailer, Excerpt & More
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A real P.I. would have thought to get the address before she was running late. Not that hunting heirs made Daisy a P.I., or that she even wanted the title, although having a handgun would be cool. However, she couldn’t imagine any need to shoot people when she was about to tell them they had inherited their dearly departed’s worldly goods.
She slowed down to check the street numbers. Even though she was in the backstreets of Southampton the office and shop fronts along the row were all chrome and glass, swanky and very upmarket but still quintessentially English. She passed twenty-six and stopped, there was no twenty-six B. She tugged her phone from her bag and checked her husband Paul’s response to her SOS. He had definitely said twenty-six B.
The door to the In Bloom florist at twenty-six opened and a blonde stepped out carrying an advertising sandwich board.
“Excuse me,” Daisy said. “I’m looking for number twenty-six B. I’m running late, and now I can’t find the office.”
“Ah, you must be looking for our mysterious tall, dark, and handsome neighbor.”
“So Solomon’s office is near here, then?”
“The entrance is around the side. You can’t miss it.”
Daisy glanced around the corner of the florist. “Do you mean down the stairs? Is his office in the cellar?”
“According to the landlord, it’s more a bespoke bijou basement.”
“Great, a pokey, run-down cave. Why am I not surprised to discover Solomon dwells underground?”
“Why are you looking for him?”
Good question. Daisy considered her options. To work as his slave? To be trained as an heir hunter, family historian, and finder of the lost, because her husband didn’t trust her to work alone? Employee? None of the options appealed. “I’m his new partner.”
“So you know what line of business he’s in? What does sultry Solomon do?”
“I could tell you, but then I’d have to shoot you.”
The blonde’s laughter was light and melodic. “I’m Belinda.”
“If you get bored doing whatever it is you do with Mr. Mysterious, drop in for coffee.”
Belinda’s clobber was definitely more Harvey Nicks than Primark, and her accent indicated she was posh totty. Not the sort that Daisy usually hung out with. However, Belinda had a twinkle in her hazel eyes, and laughter lines around her beautifully penciled and painted red lips.
“I might take you up on your offer. See you later,” Daisy called, waving good-bye and ducking around the corner. She took a moment to tug her ponytail tight, pull her distressed leather jacket straight, and get her breath back, before descending the stairs. A shiver ran up her spine. The black door with the word SOLOMON’S above it in a square blocky font was hardly inviting, and the large brass knocker appeared to be the only way to announce her arrival.
She pushed her shoulders back, grasped the knocker, and rammed it hard against the dark timber a couple of times. The door swung open, and she met the frosty blue-eyed glare of the man in question.
“Hello, Solomon. Lovely to see you too. Yes, I will come in. Thanks for asking.”
“Don’t be a smart-arse.”
“Don’t be an obnoxious pig.” She met his fierce gaze as she stepped around him. “If you keep glowering like that you’ll get wrinkles and a permanent unibrow. How attractive would that look?”
“I don’t care how I look.”
Daisy stepped back, her focus drifting up and down him. His feet were bare. His dark jeans rumpled. His charcoal-colored shirt could use an iron. Day-old stubble darkened his chin and jawline. If his black hair were longer she had no doubt he would have treated it with the same disregard he’d given the rest of his appearance.
“Clearly. So where do I start?”
Solomon shoved his hand in his pocket and pulled out a twenty-pound note. “Coffee shop, across the street. Mine’s black, two sugars.”
“I’m not the bloody tea lady. I’m here to learn to do detecting stuff so I can become an heir hunter.”
“You can start by detecting your way to the coffee shop, and when you get back I’ll give you something else to detect.”
Daisy tried to stare him down, but the Irish git had eyes that made her stomach plummet to her knees, and left her feeling mentally violated when she looked into them for too long. He probably got people to confess to all sorts of things with his death stare. It was a wonder the Americans hadn’t stolen him from the British army and used him as a CIA interrogator. “Fine. Whatever.”
She snatched the money and flounced out the door. When she got back he’d better have something for her to do that was real detective work. Two police cars rushed past, apparently on their way to the waterfront. She stopped at the curb and stared after them. What the hell was going on down at the marina that had the cops so stirred up first thing on a Monday morning?
Daisy’s voice broke into Solomon’s thoughts. “The Internet is full of speculation about this Tobias Wareham. Apparently he was abducted by aliens, or joined MI5. There is absolutely nothing of any use. Solomon, are you listening to me? How about some help? Or are you going to sit there with that stupid grin on your face all day?”
He hadn’t realized he’d been grinning, but apparently the thought of Daisy getting more and more frustrated had caused an outbreak of happy to take over his face.
“Why did you agree to let me work with you if you’re just going to ignore me?”
“Because Paul asked me to.”
“And do you always do what Paul asks, or did he blackmail you over the butt-shooting incident?”
“What do you know about that?” Why, or how, Paul got shot in the arse was supposed to be a well-guarded secret. Solomon stared at her until she turned away.
Daisy shrugged. “Nothing.”
She tapped at her keyboard for a few more minutes before turning her chair so she faced him. “Why am I looking for Lord Tobias Wareham?”
“Have you not been reading the papers? He’s the second son of the late Duke of Mardon, who was unfortunately eaten by a lion in Africa. Now Tobias is heir to a vast fortune, but the man remains elusive, and the late duke’s estate is offering a reward for his return.”
Solomon shoved his chair away from his desk. “Now, as much as I would love to stay here and chat, I’ve got something important I need to be taking care of.”
“And finding the missing second son of a dead duke isn’t important?”
“Not to me. Paul says you’re all fired up to become the heir hunter, so hunt away.”
Solomon put his empty cup on the desk, pushed to his feet, and strode barefoot across the office.
“This is not heir hunting, it’s looking for a bloody missing person, which is your forte, not mine. Clearly the man is hiding. Can’t you at least tell me what else I can do to find him?”
Solomon chuckled. “Well, you could try using those finely tuned feminine charms that you used on Paul to get you working here to begin with.”
Daisy stared at him. “On you? Use my charms on you?” She shuddered with apparent revulsion at the thought.
He didn’t care about Daisy’s opinion of him. He wouldn’t want her if she were the last female on the planet. Other far more appealing women were amenable to his particular brand of seduction. “No, on whoever knows where your Lord might be hiding. I have no interest in your charms.”
“For your information I never wanted to work here. In fact I’d rather have an enema than spend a day in your employ. If Paul hadn’t insisted, I’d be working on my own.”
“And do you always do what Paul wants?”
“Not likely. He wanted me to kiss and make up with you so that he could invite you to his last birthday party.”
“Are you planning on kissing and making up now?” He offered his cheek.
She glared at him. “I would rather eat shit than kiss you.”
Solomon grinned. “Whatever you say, darlin’.”
Daisy banged away at her keyboard. “Fine, believe what you like. I don’t need your help. I know exactly what I’m doing.”
“In that case, I’ll be on my way.”
Daisy kept her back to him. “Just one thing. What should I do if I find him? How do I claim the reward?”
Solomon held back a snort of laughter. “If you find him? Well, then, you best be getting right on it, chase him down and take him home kicking and screaming before someone else gets to him first and steals your prize. It says in the newspaper his big brother Elliott will give the reward money to anyone who shows up with the wayward Lord Tobias in tow.”
Daisy spun her chair around. Her arms were folded, pushing up her breasts and revealing the cleavage that he knew had been the first part of Daisy to steal Paul’s heart, quickly followed by other bits of his anatomy. “You don’t think I can do this, do you?”
“I have no opinion either way. I’m just helping out a mate.”
“Where are you going?”
“When will you be back?”
“What if I have to go out?”
“You don’t need to go out. Everything you need is here. If you come to your senses and decide to quit and go home, be sure to turn the lock and slam the door behind you.”
Solomon kept moving and grinned some more as he heard her grumbling under her breath. She had a unique way with words. Once he’d established she sucked at being a detective, perhaps he would suggest she pursue a career as a writer.
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