Her next case. She’s in it for good.
Isabel Long is in a funk months after solving her first case. Her relationship with the Rooster Bar’s owner is over. Then the cops say she must work for a licensed P.I. before working solo.
Encouraged by her ‘Watson’ — her 92-year-old mother — Isabel snaps out of it by hooking up with a P.I. and finding a new case.
The official ruling is Chet Waters, an ornery so-and-so, was passed out when his house caught fire. His daughter, who inherited the junkyard, believes he was murdered. Topping the list of suspects are dangerous drug-dealing brothers, a rival junkyard owner, and an ex-husband.
Could the man’s death simply be a case of redneck’s revenge? Isabel is about to find out.
Today I will let the author do the talking. Enjoy!
Who Exactly Is Isabel Long?
Isabel Long, the protagonist of my mystery series, is a former journalist who put the skills she used then to solve cold cases as an amateur sleuth. With her first case behind her in Chasing the Case, she’s onto her second in my new book, Redneck’s Revenge.
When I decided write a mystery, I wanted Isabel to be what the French call une femme d’un certain age. She’s just come off a bad year. First her husband died, and then she loses her job as the managing editor of a newspaper after it went corporate. She has three grown kids and a baby granddaughter — the one bright spot in that bad year — who also live in the same hilltown in Western Massachusetts.
Isabel is a sassy and savvy woman who’s proud of her Portuguese heritage. She’s also got the nosy gene, which is helpful. She doesn’t take crap from anyone, but she cares and is comfortable talking with anyone, whether it’s a junkyard dealer or the regulars at the Rooster, the town’s only bar. These are all useful traits for a P.I.
Isabel also has an unusual ‘Watson” — her 92-year-old mother who came to live with her. They have a remarkably close relationship now that Isabel’s much wilder days are long behind her.
And after that bad year, Isabel’s ready to reinvent herself. That includes having an adult romance with Jack, the owner of the Rooster Bar. Unfortunately, for Isabel, things have fallen apart at the start of Redneck’s Revenge.
Here’s an excerpt. Isabel and her mother return to the Rooster. It’s her first time back since she and Jack broke up.
My mother leans forward.
“You look nervous, Isabel,” she says.
“I am nervous, Ma.”
“Do you want to leave?”
I glance behind her as Jack walks our way. I bite my lip.
“Too late for that, Ma,” I mutter. “Incoming.”
My mother takes the paper menus stuck between the napkin holder and the salt-and-pepper shakers. Her head bobs down. She studies the menu as if she’s cramming for a test.
I study Jack instead. I can’t help it. He squints like he’s staring at the sun, but that’s impossible since it’s already dark outside and Jack keeps the lights inside the Rooster on the dim side. He’s got a grin I’m trying to read. Is it a happy to see me grin? Or is it why in the hell did you come back to my place grin? Remember that line from Casablanca about all the gin joints? Well, the Rooster is the only gin joint in Conwell and the hilltowns around it although I would say it is more like a beer joint.
Jack hasn’t dropped the grin.
He stops in front of me. He doesn’t say anything. Neither do I. But the air between us is thick and heavy like something is about to break although I don’t know what at this point.
“Nice to see you, Isabel. You, too, Mrs. Ferreira.”
My mouth keeps up a smile. I can’t help it.
“Same here,” I say. “How’ve you been, Jack?”
“Better, thank you.”
I will admit there is a lot of me in Isabel Long. The mystery is written in the first person, so I couldn’t help myself there. But then again, there are differences. She’s a widow and I’m not. She has three kids. I have six. She got canned when her newspaper went corporate. I didn’t. And after leaving the newspaper biz, I haven’t become an amateur P.I. I write about one.
So what’s Isabel’s second case in Redneck’s Revenge? A woman hires her — for free service on her car — to find out how her father died. The story is that he was passed out drunk when his house burned to the ground. She thinks he was murdered.
This case takes Isabel to a tough part of the country — think biker bars, junkyards, and some pretty hard men and women. But Isabel is game, and that’s another reason to like her a lot.
Thank you, Joan Livingston and RachelsRandomResources.
About the author
Joan Livingston is the author of novels for adult and young readers. Redneck’s Revenge, published by Crooked Cat Books, is the second in the mystery series featuring Isabel Long, a long-time journalist who becomes an amateur P.I. The first is Chasing the Case.
An award-winning journalist, she started as a reporter covering the hilltowns of Western Massachusetts. She was an editor, columnist, and most recently the managing editor of The Taos News, which won numerous state and national awards during her tenure.
After eleven years in Northern New Mexico, Joan returned to rural Western Massachusetts, which is the setting of much of her adult fiction, including the Isabel Long series.
Social Media Links – Website: http://www.joanlivingston.net. Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/JoanLivingstonAuthor/ Twitter: @joanlivingston Instagram: http://www.Instagram.com/JoanLivingston_Author Goodreads: http://www.Goodreads.com/Joan_Livingston