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High summer in River Bluffs, Indiana, is always sweltering and sweet. But the heat is really on when a decidedly dead body turns up in the neighborhood.
When established house flippers Jazzi Zanders and her cousin Jerod donate a week’s worth of remodeling work to Jazzi’s sister Olivia, they’re expecting nothing more than back-breaking roofing work and cold beers at the end of each long, hot day. With Jazzi’s live-in boyfriend and partner Ansel on the team, it promises to be a quick break before starting their next big project—until Leo, an elderly neighbor of Olivia’s, unexpectedly goes missing…
When the friendly senior’s dog tugs Jazzi and the guys toward the wetlands beyond Olivia’s neighborhood, they stumble across a decomposing corpse—and a lot of questions. With Jazzi’s pal Detective Gaff along to investigate, Jazzi finds her hands full of a whole new mystery instead of the usual hammer and nails. And this time it will take some sophisticated sleuthing to track down the culprit of the deadly crime—before the killer turns on her next…
Pets and Jazzi
Hi! I’m Judith Post and I write mysteries under the pen name Judi Lynn. I love cooking, entertaining, gardening, and pets, and somehow, all of those things end up in my stories. Jazzi, my protagonist, invites her family to her house every Sunday for a Sunday meal. That way, they can keep track of each other and stay in touch. Her live-in boyfriend, Ansel, has a pug, George, that he takes everywhere with him. George goes to every house that Jazzi, Ansel, and her cousin, Jerod, work on as fixer-uppers. George is a spoiled dog. He doesn’t like steps, so Ansel carries him up and down them. Ansel takes a dog bed to every work site, and George lies in it to supervise their work.
I grew up with pets. We lived just outside city limits, so my dad had a huge garden and a chicken coop in our backyard. If I fed the chickens and gathered eggs every morning before school, I was allowed to raise pigeons in a screened off corner of the coop. And we always had a dog. Our border collie, Lady, would herd all of the chickens back into their chicken yard every time my dad let them out to scratch in the garden.
When I grew up and got married, my husband and I favored cats more than dogs, so we always had a cat in the house. Our first cat, Sesame, climbed under the hood of our car and when we started it, the fan blade cut chunks out of her. We rushed her to the vet, and they shaved off her beautiful, long fur at each cut and stitched her up with bright, metallic stitches. She looked so odd, with stripes of shaved fur up and down her, that people who saw her asked what she was until her fur finally grew out.
When our daughters were little, we went through white mice—loved them as pets, but they don’t live very long–hamsters and a newt. My younger daughter wanted a garter snake, so we bought her one. I was pretty sure that was one pet I wouldn’t grow attached to, but I was wrong. It was so affectionate, she’d plop it on top of her head, and it would curl around her hair like a garland. She’d wear it everywhere. When she stood next to us, it would stick out its chin to be petted. My older daughter got a gerbil, and she’d let it out of its cage when she came home from school. It would sit next to her on the living room floor and follow her crayons back and forth while she colored. Our cats never bothered the girls’ pets.
Pets added so much to our lives, I had to put them in my books. So while Ansel fusses over his pug, Jazzi buys herself two kittens. And cats, as you know, are independent and have attitudes. It becomes a battle if Jazzi’s bouquets of flowers will survive when Inky is so determined to knock over their vases.
About the Author
Judi Lynn received a Master’s Degree from Indiana University as an elementary school teacher after attending the IPFW campus. She taught 1st, 2nd, and 4th grades for six years before having her two daughters. She loves gardening, cooking and trying new recipes.