Monday, July 27, 2015

Lesley A. Diehl - A Sporting Murder - Review & Giveaway

About the Book

It's smooth sailing for Eve Appel and her friend Madeleine, owners of Second to None Consignment Shop in rural Florida's Sabal Bay, land of swamps, cowboys, and lots and lots of 'gators. Eve and her detective boyfriend Alex have joined Madeleine and her new beau David Wilson for a pleasure cruise on his boat. But cloudy, dangerous waters lie ahead. A near fatal encounter with Blake Reed, David's supremely nasty neighbor, is soon followed by a shooting death on the dividing line between David and Blake's land. Both men run sport-hunting reserves, but Blake imports "exotics" from Africa and promotes gator killing, while David stays within the law, pointing clients toward the abundant quail and turkey as well as the wild pigs that ravage the landscape. Nevertheless, when a mutual client is killed, it is David who is arrested and charged with murder.

Blake's nastiness is only exceeded by that of his wife, Elvira, who forces Eve and Madeleine out of their shop, intending to replace it with a consignment shop of her own. It seems that bad luck looms over them all, even Eve's brawny and hard-to-resist Miccosukee Indian friend Sammy, whose nephew has disappeared. As the case against David grows stronger and his friends' misfortunes multiply, Eve and her strange and diverse group of friends, including her ex, a mobster, her grandma, and Sammy's extended family, band together to take on the bad guys. But the waters are getting muddier and more troubled, and Eve and Madeleine may end up inundated in every sense of the word.

My Review

I'd love to introduce you to Eve Appel, but I think she'd do a much better job introducing herself.

"I find chasing down killers more exciting than selling fashionable used clothing." 
"Crying is not something I often give into; I'm more of a 'turn your troubles into anger and blame someone else' gal." 
"Nobody ever accused me of having generous thoughts about those I don't like."

In A SPORTING MURDER, Eve is often described as insensitive, a bully, and immune to the needs of others whenever she wants her way. Not exactly the most flattering traits one usually associates with a main character, but Eve's sense of humor redeems her in more ways than one.

"There's no worse romance spoiler than peanut butter breath." 
"How many killings can one sassy gal stumble into?" 
"There's nothing like work to take your mind off murder. Well, there are other things too. Like sex, food, dancing…"

She can be a tad self-absorbed, but her best friend and business partner, Madeleine, is the selfless balm to her constant dose of assertiveness. They run a consignment clothing shop together, but aggressive just isn't Madeleine's style. She's a petite redhead to Eve's tall, sexy blond. She worries about the money while Eve always assumes that thinks will work out. Madeleine is clumsy and naive, but she holds fast to her principles, refusing to let Eve talk her into asking a mob boss for a small business loan they so desperately need.

But when Madeleine's boyfriend, David, is convicted of first-degree murder, Eve tries to protect her from all of the ugly details related to the case. But this only angers Madeleine more when she feels that Eve doesn't think she can handle the truth, that she's too much of a wimp. Eve tries to help Madeleine by investigating what clues they do have, but she feels guilty leaving her BFF out of the loop.

"I should be a better friend to her instead of running all over, trying to play the tough little sleuth."

Alex, Eve's PI boyfriend, couldn't agree more. But Eve hates seeing others in action while she's forced to sit on the sidelines. Even when for the most part her plans never work out, she still dives in, headfirst. She thinks chasing clues will bring her and Alex closer together as a couple, but it really doesn't. Instead, she quickly turns into a problem for him, getting in the way, and endangering herself in the process.

"He wanted me to stay out of this murder investigation/possible abduction more than he wanted me naked between the sheets. Well, he couldn't have it both ways."

And that's when things start to get complicated, because there's another man, waiting in the wings, ready to take Alex's place.

Sammy is a Miccosukee Indian with dark skin and long black hair. He looks like a warrior. Eve readily admits, "I liked Sammy's understated handsome looks and rugged style." When she takes off with him to investigate and doesn't come back until morning, she knows she's in a heap of trouble.

"Alone with a handsome Indian. Talking? Who would believe that?"

Namely, Madeleine.

Eve knows she can con her into not telling Alex that she was out all night with Sammy, even though their friendship is already pretty strained.

"I waited for her anger to pass. It did. It always did between us. Nothing, but nothing could sever our bond."

But Eve's secrets soon catch up with her, putting both of their lives in danger. And as the action reaches its epic conclusion, Eve finds herself in quite a quandary.

"Here I was fashionably dressed with nowhere to go except my own death."

Will Eve and Madeleine both survive this harrowing ordeal? You'll have to read this page turner of a mystery to find out!


A Sporting Murder can be purchased at:
Barnes and Noble

Formats/Prices: $4.95 ebook, $13.95 paperback
Genres: Cozy Murder Mystery
Pages: 250
Release: July 15, 2015
Publisher: Camel Press
ISBN: 9781603819398
Click to add to your Goodreads list.

About the Author

Lesley retired from her life as a professor of psychology and reclaimed her country roots by moving to a small cottage in the Butternut River Valley in upstate New York. In the winter she migrates to old Florida—cowboys, scrub palmetto, and open fields of grazing cattle, a place where spurs still jingle in the post office, and gators make golf a contact sport. Back north, the shy ghost inhabiting the cottage serves as her literary muse. When not writing, she gardens, cooks and renovates the 1874 cottage with the help of her husband, two cats and, of course, Fred the ghost, who gives artistic direction to their work.

She is the author of a number of mystery series and mysteries as well as short stories. A Sporting Murder follows the first two books in the Eve Appel mystery series, A Secondhand Murder and Dead in the Water.

Links to connect with Lesley:
Web Site
Blog Tour Site

About the Giveaway

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