Lost Under a Ladder by Linda O. Johnston
Is it luck or is it . . . Destiny?
Are superstitions real? Rory Chasen doesn’t think so–until her beloved fiance walks under a ladder and is killed by a car five minutes later. Needing closure, Rory takes her dog Pluckie to a town called Destiny, where superstitions are a way of life.
Rory’s visit to Destiny takes an unexpected turn when Pluckie saves the life of Martha, the owner of the Lucky Dog Boutique. To show her gratitude, Martha offers Rory a job at the pet store. But when Martha becomes the prime suspect in the murder of the local bookshop owner, Rory refuses to believe that she would do it. Rory is convinced the real killer still roams Destiny’s streets, and she must uncover the truth before Martha is hauled off to jail.
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My past two mystery series have starred women with a passion for animals, and that isn’t changing in my Superstition Mysteries!
Before the first story, LOST UNDER A LADDER, begins, Rory Chasen is an assistant manager at a chain pet supply store in Los Angeles. She owns Pluckie, a black and white spaniel-terrier mix, and is engaged to CPA Warren Boltern. At first.
But Warren walks under a ladder and is struck by a car that swerves to avoid falling construction equipment. Rory can’t believe that Warren’s death is the result of walking under a ladder—or is it?
Rory is good friends with a librarian, Gemma Grayfield, who attempts to comfort her. Gemma checks out the premier book on superstitions for Rory, The Destiny of Superstitions, and urges her to seek out the author, Kenneth Tarzal, who lives a few hours north of LA. His bookstore is in a town called Destiny, where many residents earn a living teaching tourists about superstitions–and selling them superstition-related products.
So of course Rory and Pluckie head to Destiny. And when they arrive, Pluckie saves the life of Martha, owner of the Lucky Dog Boutique. Martha isn’t surprised. She tells Rory that black and white dogs are lucky! And then, needing help, Martha asks Rory to stay and manage her store while she gets better. Even the town’s chief of police, Justin Halbertson, encourages Rory to stay, and so she does.
She loves running the pet store, even though she isn’t sure she’ll stay in Destiny forever. Is that her destiny? Pluckie certainly is good luck for her, and she enjoys meeting not only the many Destiny tourists but the pets they bring along, too–mostly dogs. There’s at least one black cat that roams the streets of Destiny but fortunately it doesn’t seem to cross Rory’s path. At least not yet.
Then Martha is accused of murdering Tarzal. Rory can’t believe the sweet old woman would do it. Can she find the killer before Martha’s luck runs out?
Read LOST UNDER A LADDER to find out. And my fingers are crossed that reading the Superstition Mysteries is good luck!
Thanks to Brooke Blogs for hosting me here during my Great Escapes Virtual Tour.
—You’re welcome! Thank you so much for stopping by. 🙂
About the Author
Linda O. Johnston’s first published fiction appeared in Ellery Queen’s Mystery Magazine and won the Robert L. Fish Memorial Award for Best First Mystery Short Story of the year. Since then, Linda, a former lawyer who is now a full-time writer, has published more short stories, novellas, and 37 romance and mystery novels, including the Pet Rescue Mystery Series, a spinoff from her Kendra Ballantyne, Pet-Sitter mysteries for Berkley Prime Crime, plus Harlequin Romantic Suspense as well as the Alpha Force paranormal romance miniseries for Harlequin Nocturne.
Her latest cozy mystery series, the Superstition Mysteries from Midnight Ink, kicks off in October 2014 with LOST UNDER A LADDER. Linda believes that reading the Superstition Mysteries will bring good luck!
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Enjoyed the guest post!Destiny sounds like a great setting for some superstitions to come true.
This looks like the start of a fun series.