Mixing a dash of Dallas society, a pinch of Janet Evanovich, and murder in the land of big hair, Blue Blood is the first installment in award-winning author Susan McBride's sassy Debutante Dropout mystery series.
To the dismay of her high society mother, Cissy, Dallas heiress Andy Kendricks wants no part of the Junior League life—opting instead for a job as a website designer and a passel of unpedigreed pals. Now her good friend Molly O'Brien is in bad trouble, accused of killing her boss at the local restaurant Jugs.
Though no proper deb would ever set foot in such a sleazy dive, Andy's soon slipping into skintight hot pants and a stuffed triple D bra to gain employment there and somehow help clear Molly's name.
But Andy's undercover lark soon brings her into too-close contact with all manner of dangerous adversaries—including a shady TV preacher, a fanatical Mothers Against Porn activist … and a killer who is none too keen on meddling rich girls.
About the Author
Susan McBride is the USA Today bestselling author of Blue Blood and the Debutante Dropout Mysteries that include The Good Girl's Guide to Murder, The Lone Star Lonely Hearts Club, Night of the Living Deb, Too Pretty to Die, and Say Yes to the Death. She also writes the bestselling River Road Mysteries and has penned three women’s fiction titles: The Truth About Love and Lightning, Little Black Dress, and The Cougar Club. She chronicled her bout with breast cancer in the short memoir, In the Pink: How I Met the Perfect (Younger) Man, Survived Breast Cancer, and Found True Happiness After Forty. She lives in St. Louis, Missouri, with her husband and daughter.
Read an Excerpt
A Debutante Dropout Mystery
Music played in the background, a soft tinkling of piano keys that filtered into the yellow-walled dining room at the Palm, a swanky restaurant with white linen tablecloths, pricey lobster and steak, and an even more expensive clientele that Mother had selected for what she'd told me was a "girls' night out."
I could swear the tune that teased my ears was "Mack the Knife," a fitting soundtrack for the murderous thoughts running through my head, though I could hardly hear the notes over the careful rise of her voice.
"Did I tell you, Andrea, that Trey has a Ph.D. in philosophy from Southern Methodist?" Cissy drawled above the hum of surrounding conversation, laying a smile so thick on Haskell E. Maxwell III that he blushed and nearly fogged up his Coke-bottle lenses.
"Hmmm," I turned away from Mr. Maxwell entirely to plant a glare on my mother that could've set her fashionably styled blond hair on fire. "Come to think of it, I don't believe you told me anything at all about Trey. "
She fluttered her eyes, playing innocent. Badly. "Oh, didn't I? Just an oversight, darling, I swear."
I swore as well. At her, under my breath.
Her "oversight" had started with a lie about dinner this evening -- "Oh, it'll be fun, Andrea, just us girls at the Palm, what do you say?" -- never letting on for a moment that -- surprise! -- our reservation would include a ménage à Trey, as it were. A blind date for moi. My prospective match, not surprisingly, was the son of a bosom buddy of Mother's. He was nearly forty, rather gawky (I'm being kind), and never married, which might be a chronic problem for him if what I'd seen so far was any indication.
"He's a musician, you know."
"Oh?" I arched an eyebrow at Trey, studying the long face, drooping hair, and geeky specs with black rims. Did he secretly wield a Fender Stratocaster for a rock band when he wasn't off philosophizing? For a moment, he almost seemed interesting.
Until Mother answered, just a tad too brightly, "He happens to be a brilliant pipe organist."
My eyebrow fell, along with any spark of intrigue that had flared at the idea of Haskell III as a closet Rolling Stone.
"It's a difficult instrument, Andrea, sweetie, one that requires years of study. Trey is nothing if not dedicated, and that's such a rare quality in men of your generation." She put the hard sell on me, like a Mary Kay cosmetics lady just a lipstick shy of a pink Cadillac. "Did I tell you he played the most breathtaking rendition of 'Ave Maria' at Highland Park Presby last Christmas?"
Cissy clasped a beautifully manicured hand to her silk-covered heart at the memory, drawing my eye to the triple strand of pearls at her throat so that I found myself wondering how tightly I'd have to pull them to cut off her oxygen.
"Please, Mrs. Kendricks, you're embarrassing me," Trey feebly protested, and I wondered how a man who'd grown up on a Texas cattle ranch the size of Rhode Island could be so meek and pale. Someone obviously hadn't eaten his Wheaties.
"A doctor of philosophy who plays the pipe organ. How ... unusual." I glanced at the bespectacled buttoned-down fellow across the table without a drop of my mother's enthusiasm, all the while thinking that a Ph.D. in basket weaving might have been handier. But, then again, Trey had a trust fund that could pay off the federal deficit, so employment probably wasn't his biggest concern.
"And he's a member of Mensa, if that isn't enough."
"Oh, it's enough already," I murmured and felt the pointed toe of a Prada pump poke me in the shin.
Cissy Blevins Kendricks strikes again.
How like her to fix me up with a guy who thought he was smarter than everyone else, played the organ (which doesn't sound like a good thing any way you put it), and who could quote Plato ad nauseam.
He fit right in with all the others she tried to foist on me when I least expected it. Last month it was an investment banker who wore a black eye patch but "had an impeccable nose for IPOs" and collected Lladro figurines. The month before, it was the heir to an ostrich farm whose long neck, receding hairline, beaked schnozz, and supersized Adam's apple lent him a striking resemblance to his feathered beasts. Though I was the one who'd wanted to bury my head in the sand.
I wished my mother could just let me be. It's not as if I were an old maid or anything, at least from my perspective. I was still on the sunny side of thirty and not desperate enough to settle for money instead of love. For Mother, good bloodlines superseded matters of the heart. Any son of Ross Perot would do, even if that meant her grandchildren would have Dumbo ears and a squeaky drawl that made nails on a chalkboard sound pleasant in comparison.
Trying to change her mind was a hopeless cause. Sort of like investing in Enron while they were making packing material out of financial reports.
Part of me wondered why I hadn't stayed in Chicago instead of coming home again, though I'd felt so guilty for leaving Mother alone and going off to art school after Daddy died that I'd nearly succumbed way back then and remained in Dallas to attend SMU. Cissy had her diamond-studded arrow badge ready to pin on me, expecting I'd go through sorority rush and pledge Pi Phi, as she did. But my father had always insisted I follow my dreams ...Blue Blood
A Debutante Dropout Mystery. Copyright © by Susan McBride. Reprinted by permission of HarperCollins Publishers, Inc. All rights reserved. Available now wherever books are sold.
Table of Contents
What People are Saying About This
“BLUE BLOOD is delightful, witty and oh-so-proper (not!). Susan McBride has Dallas society on its designer-clad toes!”
“Andrea Kendricks...is a treasure.”
“BLUE BLOOD has it allsuspense, humor, friendship, snobbery and televangelists...BLUE BLOOD is positively gripping.”
“All mystery readers should applaud!”
“Susan McBride has an engaging new heroine in Andrea Kendricks.”
“Susan McBride kept me laughing all the way through this delicious romp of a mystery.”
“BLUE BLOOD is a wry, dead-on social commentary masquerading as a can’t-put-it-down mystery. Highly recommended....”