Most people consider Mackinac Island a paradise that harkens back to a genteel bygone era. But for Byrony Long, paradise turns into a nightmare when her half-sister Jessica is found dead near Mackinac’s Grand Hotel.
Convinced Jessica was murdered, Byrony hires private investigator Tate Madison to help her find the truth. But the more secrets they uncover, the higher the danger mounts around them. With the killer poised to strike again, will Byrony or Tate be the next victim?
Targeted Age Group:: Adults
What Inspired You to Write Your Book?
I’d always loved the movie “Somewhere in Time” which is set on Mackinac Island. When I finally got to visit the island myself in 2011 I kept thinking it would make a great setting for a murder mystery, and two years later, I published Dead Girl in a Green Dress.
How Did You Come up With Your Characters?
My characters usually find me. My stories tend to grow out of the characters who start chattering inside my head. However, I will admit that Tate Madison, the hero of Dead Girl in a Green Dress was partly inspired by the actor Josh Holloway, especially the dimples.
Tate lounged on the Starbuck’s patio sipping his dark roast and silently celebrating mission accomplished. Another case closed and in less than a week. A brunette in a blue t-shirt with a Chicago bears logo approached. She couldn’t be Paige’s straight-laced coworker.
But she was, because she walked right up to him and extended her hand. “Mr. Madison? I’m your sister’s friend, Byrony Long.”
“Tate,” he quickly corrected, almost knocking over his chair as he rose and grasped her palm. “Please, have a seat.” He sneaked a fast peek at her jean clad derriere before she sat down. Yes, indeed, even finer than he recalled.
She settled into the chair directly across from him. “Thank you for helping me.”
“Whoa!” Tate held up his hands in a time-out gesture. “I only agree to talk.”
But Byrony Long didn’t seem to hear him. Digging in her oversized purse, she laid a photo of a teen-aged girl on the table and pushed it toward him. “This is my half-sister, Jessica. She was found dead on August 19th on Mackinac Island.”
“I’m sorry for your loss,” Tate responded automatically, thinking that the girl with the long red hair and toothy grin didn’t much resemble Byrony Long. Then her last words sank in. “Did you say Mackinac Island?”
Byrony’s chin-length dark hair swished across her cheek as she nodded. “She was working at the Grand Hotel for the summer season.”
The images from a long ago Madison family vacation of the fancy hotel and the horse-drawn carriages sprang to Tate’s mind. He gave a low whistle. “Nice place. You think it was foul play?”
“The police say she was mugged, but they’re not even looking for a suspect.” Her tone held a familiar mix of sorrow and frustration. Tate had heard that combination too many times in his twelve years on the force. He hadn’t missed it in the two years since he’d left.
Knowing she wasn’t going to like what he had to say, Tate took a sip of coffee before he spoke. “Considering the number of tourists crawling all over the island, I can understand why.”
“But that’s not right!” She smacked her open hand on the table top. “Paige said you used to be a cop. Where’s your sense of justice?”
Ouch. Tate tried not to flinch at her verbal barb. “I didn’t say I liked it, Miss Long, just that I understood why.” She had the good grace to squirm with embarrassment, so he continued. “Sorry, but this isn’t my usual kind of case. I pretty much stick to insurance fraud and cheating spouses.”
Lips in a tight line, she pulled out a file folder, and shoved the photo into it. “Well, maybe you can recommend someone else? Or give me a few pointers on what to do once I get to Mackinac?”
Shit. Another one as stubborn as she was appealing. “Do you really think that’s a good idea?”
She blinked at his sudden question, and he noticed her golden brown eyes glittered with tears. “Maybe not, but I’m not going to sit around and do nothing. I’m not as lucky as you, Mr. Madison. Jessica is – was all the family I have.”
Loucinda McGary’s two great passions are writing and travel. To date she has visited 47 states, 34 countries, and taken 25 cruises. She likes to set her stories of romance and suspense in some of the exotic locations she has visited.
She has three traditionally published novels and seven that are Indie ebooks. Her stories have placed and won several contests and awards including the Romance Writers of America Golden Heart contest, the Australian Romance Readers Awards, and the Kindle Book Review’s Best Indie Book of 2012 and 2013.
Links to Purchase eBooks
Link To Buy Dead Girl in a Green Dress On Amazon
Link to Dead Girl in a Green Dress on Barnes and Noble