Tag Archives: Nancy G. West

A day in the life of Aggie Mundeen by Nancy G. West

river-city-deadNot every city has a river running through it. And not many women plan a rendezvous at a San Antonio River Walk hotel during Fiesta Week after years of self-imposed celibacy. I was about to make history.

Sam and I were meeting at Casa Prima Hotel. Hopefully our first days and nights together in River City would be more fiesta than fiasco.

And we could avoid dealing with crime.

To calm the jumping beans in my stomach, I decided to make a quick detour to Barnes and Noble. Instead of turning south from Hildebrand toward downtown, I turned north on Highway 281 and headed toward Loop 410. If SAPD called Sam away, I’d need something to read. He assured me they wouldn’t contact him, but sometimes they had to rely on an experienced homicide detective for a difficult case.

Barnes and Noble was packed. After a lengthy search through half the store, I found aisles brimming with romance novels. I didn’t relish being caught scouring this area. In my Flash-News column, “Stay Young with Aggie,” I answered readers’ questions about everything from fitness to relationships. As an “expert,” I wasn’t supposed to need help.

It wasn’t as though I was innocent. I became painfully experienced after Lester the Louse seduced me when I was barely eighteen, impregnated me and vanished like mist. But stories of other people’s romances might be enlightening.

Slipping down an unoccupied aisle, I reached for a title that caught my eye, A Well-Spent Night. A bare-chested, muscled Scottish hunk wearing a plaid kilt bulged from the cover. I squinted at the title, which upon closer inspection actually read, A Well-Spent Knight. Worked either way. I flipped pages to the middle, found what I was looking for and started reading. There was a lot of heavy breathing and rippling biceps, but it never said why the guy wore a kilt or how he got it off. I’d wondered about that. Historical romance might not be the thing.

I replaced the book and continued down the aisle. The face-out cover of Steaming in Hawaii gleamed with electric blue ocean water and swaying palm trees. A gorgeous half-dressed couple grasped each other beside the cobalt ocean. Sam and I would have a swimming pool at our River Walk hotel. Close enough. I slipped the novel off the shelf and flipped through pages. The title did not refer to steam from Hawaii’s volcanoes. Skimming pages, I noticed contemporary novels offered details and felt my body parts tingling.

From the corner of my eye, I saw a young sales girl eyeing me. Was my face flushing?

“Can I help you?” About twenty-five with swinging hair and a pouty mouth, she looked sexy, bored, and all-knowing.

Whipping the novel under the arm laden with my shoulder purse, I reached blindly toward the shelf for another novel, hoping I didn’t look like a waif grasping for crumbs.

“So many choices.” I doused her with my superior bank-teller expression. “I doubt if any of these books are really that good.” Another cover caught my eye with the title The Long Hard Ride. A shirtless muscle-bound cowboy stood spread-legged front and center while a steer romped around behind him. I snatched the book off the shelf. “Imagine that,” I said. “You even have westerns.” She smirked. Some urge compelled me to jabber. “I don’t think he could ride a steer dressed like that.”

The new-fangled phone jangled in my purse. I resented the impertinent metal box. Digging to retrieve it, I dropped the books. The sales girl swiveled over and scooped them up. “I’ll keep these at the counter while you search for more.” She cocked a corner of her sulky mouth before walking away. I fumbled to flip open my Motorola StarTrac.

It was Sam, using his professional detective voice. “Where are you?”

“I just needed a few things. Have you seen the…our room?”

“You need to get down here, Aggie. We have problems. I’ll meet you in the lobby.” He hung up.

That was the last thing I wanted to hear. Scouting the quickest route to the exit to avoid the sales girl, I skirted through rows of books, sailed out into the sunshine and headed for my Wagoneer, convincing myself that whatever problem Sam encountered couldn’t be that bad.

I cranked up Albatross, my station wagon, headed south on 281 and turned right on McCullough toward Broadway, the main thoroughfare to downtown and the Fiesta parade route. Huge paper flowers with streaming ribbons decorated doors. Shop windows proclaimed “VIVA FIESTA

How perfect that Sam Vanderhoven and I would begin blending our lives during Fiesta. At least that’s what I hoped we were doing. Since he was a homicide detective, I naturally tried to impress him with my investigate skills. Unfortunately, my behavior frustrated him. The last time I intervened against his advice, I almost got myself killed.

The towering Casa Prima Hotel loomed in the next block, re-activating my jumping beans. What did Sam’s call mean? Had he discovered a crime, considered the burden of my pesky interference and decided to cancel our rendezvous?


RIVER CITY DEAD is the fourth book in the Aggie Mundeen humorous mystery series published by Henery Press, January 2017 (copyright 2016).

Advice columnist Aggie Mundeen and SAPD Detective Sam Vanderhoven plan their first rendezvous at a San Antonio River Walk hotel during Fiesta Week—sumptuous sights, sounds, and festivities in the middle of America’s Venice. A vacation from crime and a reset for their tumultuous relationship. But murder descends on the Casa Prima Hotel. Disturbing revelations surface about the Fabulous Femmes, Aggie’s new friends holding a convention. Evil emerges at parties in La Villita. Calamity plagues Aggie’s debut dance performance at the Arneson River Theater, the celebration skewed by carousing, crazies, and corpses. Even in idyllic River City, crime complicates relationships.

To watch Aggie’s crime solving capabilities grow and follow the developing relationship between Aggie and Detective Sam, read the books in order.

Books 1-3:
Fit to Be Dead, San Antonio health club fiasco. (Lefty Award Finalist and Chanticleer Winner, Mystery & Mayhem)
Dang Near Dead, Hill Country dude ranch caper. (Chanticleer Finalist)
Smart, but Dead, mayhem and murder at a premier San Antonio university. (Short-listed, Mystery and Mayhem)

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About the author
While writing her suspense novel, Nine Days to Evil, Nancy experienced a peculiar event. Supporting character Aggie Mundeen insisted Nancy write about her. Aggie was on to something.

Connect with Nancy and enjoy sights and sounds of the San Antonio River Walk at www.nancygwest.com, on Goodreads, on Twitter, on Facebook and on Pinterest.

All comments are welcomed.

Giveaway: Leave a comment below for your chance to win four e-books in the Aggie Mundeen series from Amazon or B&N.com. The giveaway ends January 21, 2017. Good luck everyone!

My Musing ~ River City Dead by Nancy G. West

River City Dead by Nancy G. West is the fourth book in the “Aggie Mundeen” humorous mystery series. Publisher: Henery Press, January 17, 2017

river-city-deadAdvice columnist Aggie Mundeen and SAPD Detective Sam Vanderhoven plan their first rendezvous at a San Antonio River Walk hotel during Fiesta Week—sumptuous sights, sounds, and festivities in the middle of America’s Venice. A vacation from crime and a reset for their tumultuous relationship.

But murder descends on the Casa Prima Hotel. Disturbing revelations surface about the Fabulous Femmes, Aggie’s new friends holding a convention. Evil emerges at parties in La Villita. Calamity plagues Aggie’s debut dance performance at the Arneson River Theater, the celebration skewed by carousing, crazies, and corpses. Even in idyllic River City, crime complicates relationships.

When a dead body interrupts a planned getaway, Aggie gets involved which may or may not hinder her relationship with the detective. What I liked best about this book was the interactions and exploits that awaited Aggie as she investigated this murder, despite being warned away from it. As this is my first time reading this series, the subplot was very interesting and gave me a better insight into Aggie and what she does. I like the writing style and the ease in how the story flowed from chapter to chapter. The narrative was visually deliberate in letting me see what was happening through the characters’ eyes and putting me in the middle of all the action. The mystery was well done and I had a good time figuring out who the killer was with all the clues planted for me to follow. This was a good read and I can’t wait for more adventures with Aggie and her friends.

FTC Full Disclosure – I received a digital ARC of this book from the publisher via NetGalley.

A Day in the Life with Aggie Mundeen by Nancy G. West

Smart But DeadAggie Mundeen here. I’m the person Nancy G. West writes about in the Aggie Mundeen mystery series. I’m so glad Dru is interested in my view of things. Do you wonder how I became the star? I popped up in a suspense novel Nancy had written about my young friend Meredith Laughlin (Nine Days to Evil). Whereas Meredith is in her 20s, I’m unfortunately pushing forty, so I have a more interesting background, a wry view of life, and strong apprehensions about tumbling into middle-age decrepitude. I also have a unique sense of humor and am fearless when it comes to investigating crimes. But we’ll get to that.

After Aunt Novena and Uncle Fred died, I moved to Chicago and started working in a bank, which, at age eighteen, was as exciting as a squirrel counting nuts. I decided to earn my BBA at night. I lived in the same apartment building as Detective Sam Vanderhoven and his wife Katy, who was my best friend. I was secretly in love with Sam but accepted the fact that I couldn’t allow that fantasy to take hold. I dated Lusty Lester for a while but it didn’t work out.

When Sam’s wife Katy and their daughter Lee were killed in a car accident, Sam and I were so devastated we couldn’t even grieve together. He moved to Texas to escape the brutal winters. And the memories.

I stayed in Chicago, a conglomerate bought our bank, and my bank stock skyrocketed. For the first time, I was financially secure enough not to work full time and free to live anywhere. After six months, I moved to San Antonio. I didn’t contact Sam, but I knew our paths would cross.

When we met, it was because Meredith found herself in dire trouble, and Sam and I both wanted to help. I discovered I loved sleuthing and still loved Sam.

Since I’d begun writing “Stay Young With Aggie,” I figured I’d better shape up before the locals discovered I wrote the column. I struggled through workouts at Fit and Firm until I stumbled on a dead body. Sam showed up from SAPD Homicide. Since I was intimately involved with the crime, I decided to assist with the investigation. He was not pleased. In the summer, I enticed him to join my dude ranch vacation: we’d get to know each other in an idyllic place. But crime interrupted my plan.

I had enrolled at University of the Holy Trinity to study aging, since I wrote about how to postpone it and was determined to avoid it. You guessed it: there was a murder at the college. Nancy is charged with sorting it all out: who committed murder in academia; how they did it; and how I got involved, accused, arrested and attacked by a killer. Sam grew close to apoplectic about my involvement in the case. Did I push, this time, beyond his capacity to forgive?

You’ll have to decide.


Smart, But Dead, the third Aggie Mundeen mystery published by Henery Press was released in November 2015 and is available now. To read about Aggie’s other escapades, Fit to Be Dead and Dang Near Dead, go to www.nancygwest.com or books by Nancy G. West.

Both books are Mystery & Mayhem finalists for the Chanticleer Awards.

For more about how Aggie first popped into Nancy’s head, read stayyoungwithaggie.wordpress.com. To talk to Aggie, leave a comment or ask Dear Aggie about a problem you’re having. She will answer.

Meet the author
When Nancy was seven years old, she and her mother wrote poems to each other on special occasions. The Nancy G Westpoetry was awful, but Nancy learned if you wrote something, people paid attention. In high school, the Library Journal Pegasus published her poem, a feat she ranked lower than cheerleading. At eighteen, since journalists were underpaid and English majors sold lingerie, she studied General Business at the University of Texas (Austin and Houston), slogged through boring courses and earned a BBA. Fortunately, she took a creative writing course.

After she married and had two daughters, she read numerous books on writing and then wrote articles, poetry, and an artist’s biography. She founded Book Publishers of Texas, produced their trade journal and promoted their books for seven years.

She returned to college to study English literature and began writing Nine Days to Evil, an award-winning novel of psychological suspense, Shakespeare, and nonstop-action. Her poem, Time to Lie, was featured by “Theme and Variations” and broadcast on NPR, and she wrote San Antonio Woman’s Book Shelf column for three years.

As she finished Nine Days to Evil, Meredith Laughlin’s story, Meredith’s “mature” graduate school friend, Aggie Mundeen, took over Nancy’s consciousness and demanded that the author write a book about her. Or maybe a series. Nancy created the Aggie Mundeen Mystery Series and concluded that writing is a lot more fun than accounting.

Visit Nancy at www.nancygwest.com, @NancyGWest, Facebook and LinkedIn.

Giveaway: Leave comment below for your chance to win a Kindle or Nook copy of Smart, But Dead. The giveaway will end January 20 at 12 AM EST. Good luck everyone!