One of the best things about being a mystery writer is that there are always murders to solve so I get to revisit a fantastic-to-write couple like Rook Stevens and Detective Dante Montoya. There are endless possibilities and plot lines for the characters, the city and their circumstances that I cannot wait to explore over the years. With the second book coming out, I wanted to do a blog tour that was just a bit of fun so in this serial, I welcome you to join Rook and his cousin, Alex, on what should be an estate sale of macabre curios but what awaits them is something neither of them planned for.
So sit back, be sure you read the whole story AND please enter the blog’s giveaway! One lucky winner will be chosen to receive a $20 USD gift certificate from the online store of their choice!
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I hope you enjoy this small jaunt as the cousins set out on their quest and be sure to pick up Tramps and Thieves, the sequel to Murder and Mayhem. Published by Dreamspinner Press, it will be out on September 18th on the DSP portal, Amazon and other fine book stores.
Tramps and Thieves by Rhys Ford(Book 2 of the Murder and Mayhem Series)
Release Date: September 18, 2017
Whoever said blood was thicker than water never stood in a pool of it.
Retiring from stealing priceless treasures seemed like a surefire way for Rook Stevens to stay on the right side of the law. The only cop in his life should have been his probably-boyfriend, Los Angeles Detective Dante Montoya, but that’s not how life—his life—is turning out. Instead, Rook ends up not only standing in a puddle of his cousin Harold’s blood but also being accused of Harold’s murder…and sleeping with Harold’s wife.
For Dante, loving the former thief means his once-normal life is now a sea of chaos, especially since Rook seems incapable of staying out of trouble—or keeping trouble from following him home. When Rook is tagged as a murder suspect by a narrow-focused West L.A. detective, Dante steps in to pull his lover out of the quagmire Rook’s landed in.
When the complicated investigation twists around on them, the dead begin to stack up, forcing the lovers to work together. Time isn’t on their side, and if they don’t find the killer before another murder, Dante will be visiting Rook in his prison cell—or at his grave.
Purchase from Dreamspinner Press: https://www.dreamspinnerpress.com/books/tramps-and-thieves-by-rhys-ford-8847-b
Purchase from Amazon: https://www.amazon.com/Tramps-Thieves-Murder-Mayhem-Book-ebook/dp/B074WNTXPC/
“Okay, not only does the house not have electricity, the phones don’t work.” Rook grumbled. “This is why it’s very important to always have a landline. In an emergency, a landline generates enough electricity to power a phone. Even if the lights been turned off, you’ll still have a phone.”
“If you’ve paid for the phone to be on,” Alex pointed out.
He wouldn’t say the finger gesture he got from Rook was family-friendly. Well, at least not for most families. For his family that was often a gesture hidden in between pointed words and sharp looks. A Martin never stooped to vulgarity, his grandfather often said — usually after unloading an entire string of profanity — but they sure knew how to tell you fuck off and die in the most cutting way possible. Rook seem to take a more practical approach, hence the gestures.
There was no avoiding ruining the crime scene in the foyer. Their only hope was to get deeper into the house with a cat couldn’t see them and it would give up and leave. From the sounds of the rumbling outside of the front door, it didn’t seem likely. If anything it seemed to be aggravated at the loss of its prey, doubling down on its efforts to break through.
“What did you do to that thing?” Alex wasn’t ready to be worried yet. There was plenty of time for worry. He would be concerned about the cat only if he heard the sound of glass or wood breaking. Judging by the empty rooms they found at the front of the house, there wasn’t anything to defend themselves with except for Rook’s sharp wit, and that didn’t seem to work too well the first time he ran into the mountain lion. “Maybe we’ll get lucky and get hit by lightning.”
“Only you would think getting hit by lightning would be lucky.” Rook was half buried in a closet off the front hall and his voice echoed back to Alex stood in what possibly had been a study at some point.
“I’m not saying will be lucky for him. I’m saying it would be lucky for us.” He was covered in gore and had a silent debate about whether or not he should try to wash it off or leave it for a crime scene technician to take into evidence. “There was going to be a sale here, where’s all the inventory? Are you sure we’re in the right house? So far all we have to show for the day is me being covered in blood, you making friends of the local wildlife, and we have no way of getting hold of somebody to help us.”
“I’m positive it’s the right house. I’m just not so sure that it’s an actual murder.” Rook walked out of the closet holding up what looked like IV bags half-filled with strawberry Jell-O. “Take a sniff at your armpit. Tell me if you smell fruity. Well, more fruity than usual.”
“And here I was thinking you were one of the nice Martins.” Still, he took a little bit of a sniff — after making sure Rook couldn’t see him — and was mildly alarmed and amused to discover he smelt like a fruit rollup. “Oh God…”
“I can totally see you smelling yourself. There’s a mirror right there.” Rook pointed at the very large reflective Art Deco piece hanging on a wall over a gas fireplace. “My guess is that they got hot because there is no AC and ruptured but that doesn’t explain the drag marks or why there is an anybody here for the sale.”
“Well it’s definitely a movie prop so we’re in the right place. Let’s see if I can find something to change into.” Alex longingly eyed the kitchen with its gleaming faucets. “And pray that they left the water on.”
The house was not only enormous, it was built on several levels and it was clear the architect had a deep hard on Escher. They made one turn after another, went up one small flight of stairs, turned a corner and then went down another flight of stairs without seemingly back tracking to where the originally started. None of the rooms make much sense or at least there was nothing left inside of them to figure out their purpose other than the occasional bathroom. One of the turrets held the inventory or at least that’s what Alex thought was in the mountain of boxes stacked in front of several banks of windows.
“Since no one but us is here, and there something outside that is not only willing but able to eat us,” Rook said, ripping the tape off of one of the boxes. “Let’s at least see what is for sale. First come first serve? That’s of the saying goes right?”
“That isn’t our property… What am I saying? Look who I’m talking to,” Alex grumbled, catching himself before he rubbed his face. “I’m going to go find a bathroom and see if I can’t get cleaned up. Wouldn’t you think in a house this big, there be a bathroom somewhere in the front?”
“In a house this big, I’m surprised there is in a mother fucking fountain in the middle of the living room,” Rook replied.
The tile in the foyer did run through the entire house, large antique Spanish tile in rustic sunset-hued patterns Alex would seriously consider putting into their kitchen at home. It had a graceful elegance to it and seemed like it would clean up extremely easily, fruity IV bags notwithstanding. His glasses were slowly driving him mad and the house was getting dark with the growing storm blocking most of the sun. As deep as they were into the house it was difficult to hear anything other than the thundering chaos and rain outside so he couldn’t hear if the cat was still outside but short of trying to find their way back to the front door, he had no idea the mountain lion was still laying in wait.
“Hey, there is a Grendel shirt in here and it still wrapped.” Rook pulled out something black swaddled in plastic and began to tear open its top. “It says it’s an extra large. Might be a little big for you but it’s better than walking around smelling like Strawberry Shortcake. Unless you want me to dig around looking for a Sailor Moon shirt? I know you have a thing for Pluto.”
“There is nothing wrong with Sailor Pluto. Just give me the shirt,” Alex said, holding out his hand. “On second thought, do you think it could been a collector’s item? I hate to ruin the value something —”
“You’re walking around looking like a little kid who’s fallen headfirst into his shaved ice. I could give a shit if this was the only Grendel shirt ever made. You look uncomfortable and about two minutes your OCD is gonna kick in and you’re going to say damn the mountain lion, strip naked and go dancing off in the rain. Then it’s going to eat you and I would have to explain to James why all that is left of you is your manky sneaker and the ringing in my ears from your screams.”
“You’re one to talk about screaming,” Alex sniffed. “You were coming around the house howling like an air raid siren. I’m pretty sure if there any World War II vets living in the area, they would think they were kamikaze pilots descended upon the valley.”
Rook stood there, silently assessing him. It was odd seeing parts of his face on another man and stranger still to sometimes hear his own voice coming out of his cousin’s mouth but the sarcasm dripping from Rook’s words was something Alex could never achieve.
“If you’re going to try to be a smartass, Alex,” Rook countered. “You are going to have to choose a cultural reference that is at least relevant in the past three years. You could’ve gone with anything and you choose kamikaze pilots? What’s wrong with tie fighters? Or even the little dog in Dark Crystal?”
“Fizzgig wasn’t a dog,” he corrected. “And you of people should know that —”
He would’ve gone on further, especially since it was on a topic both he and Rook knew intimately. He’d never forgiven his cousin for outbidding him on the Mystic statue and secretly hoped it would be eaten by termites in some of his daydreaming while doing the store’s books. But before he could launch into an explanation on why kamikaze pilots were a perfectly valid reference point, Rook kicked one of the boxes over…
… And out rolled a man’s arm — without anything else attached to it — and unlike the strawberry scented IV fluid they’d found in the foyer, it stank to high heaven, was partially decayed, covered with maggots and possibly the most vomit-inducing thing Alex had ever seen.
And vomit he did.
Be sure catch the entire story on the Tramps and Thieves Blog Tour and enter to win the giveaway featured on every blog!
14 MMGoodbook Reviews
15 Love Bytes
18 Sinfully Gay Review
19 Joyfully Jay
20 NDulgent Bloggers
21 It’s About the Book
22 The Novel Approach
23 rhysford.com (Epilogue)
She’s also quite skeptical about bios without a dash of something personal. Rhys shares the house with two cats, Yoshi, a grumpy tuxedo and Tam, a diabetic black shorthair, as well as a ginger cairn terrorist named Gus. She is also responsible for the care and feeding of a 1979 Pontiac Firebird and enjoys murdering make-believe people.
Rhys can be found at the following locations: