Since we last chatted last October, I’ve morphed from Isabella to Izzy. Gone is the woman who obsessed about everything from having perfect hair to the latest and best designer fashions. Now, I’m more comfortable having my hair in a ponytail and wearing yoga pants and a T-shirt. After coming face to face with a murderer and surviving, I figured it was time to stop sweating the small stuff.
As proof I’m a new woman, I’ve embraced my gift as an artist and learned to love painting once again. Rather than the stuck up social climbers I’d been hanging with in Manhattan, my BFFs are a group of women called the Qs who are in their 70s and 80s. I’m seeing a guy that I like a whole lot, and he isn’t a scum sucking, dirt bag. Win/win. I worry less and enjoy more. . .well. . .except for my penchant for discovering dead bodies.
I lived in Manhattan my whole life where there’s all manner of criminal activities 24/7. But I’ve reached a whole different level of mayhem now. If I didn’t know better I’d swear dead bodies and Iowa go hand in hand—at least for me—since nobody else seems to have this problem. I’ve lived here eight months and just stumbled across my second dead body.
What if I told you it got worse? My ex-husband appeared out of the blue, talking shade and sucking me into his mess. As the saying goes, I’ve got bigger fish to fry than him. The Qs and I are on a mission to find a killer while trying to keep our investigative efforts on the down low and avoiding my ex like the plague.
It started innocently enough. We’d just pulled into Winterset, Iowa where I’m the artistic director of a quilt show. The Qs were anxious to check out the inside while I went to the loading dock to organize the latest arrival of quilts. Needless to say, things didn’t go quite as smoothly as I’d planned:
Curious, I eased toward the back of the truck to see if there was some kind of display structure to help me organize. I figured while the workers were still MIA, I could get a lot done without their help.
I located some rolling display racks behind one of the boxes, complete with padded hangers. Sifting through the array of quilts I’d found in the first few boxes, I hung them up one by one, not bothering to sort yet. But I’d already run out of display rack space.
There had to be more racks somewhere amongst all these boxes. I shifted some of the smaller boxes around until I spotted a large box against the back of the truck. Since the box was too heavy and cumbersome to move, I ripped open a corner, peered inside, and spotted what looked like a blue moving blanket.
It looked promising, but I needed a closer look. I hoisted myself onto the top and looked inside with my trusty cell phone flashlight app. The sides started to buckle from my weight, and the box bulged at the bottom as the load shifted. I started to tumble and grabbed on to the corner of the box. The box ripped open, sending me sprawling to the bottom of the truck.
A blue blanket landed with a thump next to me. A shot of reddish fur peeked out the top, causing a girlish squeal to erupt from me. Since the fur didn’t move, I assumed the rodent was dead. But that didn’t make it less creepy.
I scrambled to a standing position, but just as I was about to walk away and wait for the manly types to deal with a dead animal, I spotted what looked like a pair of stilettos sticking out of the other side of the quilt. Scenes of déjà vu poked behind my eyeballs.
Do not faint.
You can read more about Izzy in Double Trouble in Iowa, the second book in the “Izzy Lewis” mystery series, coming September 5, 2017.
Amateur sleuth and artist Izzy Lewis’ life is getting more complicated by the moment. First, she has to deal with an ex-husband she thought she’d left in the rearview mirror. Then, she happens to discover a dead body while unpacking for a local quilt show. Now, the suspect in the murder is asking for her help in proving his innocence. Talk about a troublesome trifecta!
Despite the fact the accused is an ex-con, Izzy believes in his innocence and suspects the local detective is railroading the guy for personal reasons. With the help of the Qs—her Jessica Fletcher–wannabe band of seniors—Izzy sets out to uncover the truth. But with her budding relationship with her hot new neighbor on thin ice and a hyper-vigilant detective watching her every move, Izzy finds herself treading a thin line between sleuth and suspect. Can she catch a small-town murderer. . .or will Izzy be the victim of double trouble in Iowa?
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About the author
Wendy is a USA TODAY bestselling author who lives in the suburbs of Chicago with her husband. She loves to take long walks and think about plot twists and turns. Most days you can find her pounding away at her laptop spinning tales and inflicting mayhem on her hero and heroine until they beg for mercy. She writes everything from cozy mysteries to romantic suspense all infused with a touch of humor and, of course, the happily ever after.
All comments are welcomed.