This mystery featuring a crime-fighting mother-daughter duo is “smart, page-turning fun, with the most feisty and likable P.I. since Kinsey Millhone” (Deb Caletti, National Book Award finalist).
When private investigator Edwina “Eddie Shoes” isn’t fending off surprise visits from her troublemaking mother, she’s spying on cheating husbands, hoping to land hefty divorce settlements for their heartbroken wives. But when the latest mistress Eddie captures on film dies—and Eddie realizes she’s the last person who saw the woman alive—things begin to take a twisted turn. It doesn’t help that the detective on the case is her ex, Chance Parker, who’s none too happy with the way Eddie left things between them. So when Eddie’s mom, Chava, unexpectedly shows up on her doorstep, Eddie’s actually glad to see her for a change. Because there’s no one better acquainted with the criminal mind than her card-shark of a mother. And now that Eddie’s in deep with the dangerous crowd, she’s going to need all the help she can get . . .
“Private eye Eddie Shoes and her cardsharp mother plunge the reader into a tale of fractured relationships, mayhem, and thrills.” —Deborah Turrell Atkinson, author of the Storm Kayama Mysteries
“The writing is cinematic and vivid, the characters well-drawn, but the dynamic between Eddie and Chava, which reminded me fondly of Cagney and Lacey, is what makes the story. Fans of the Stephanie Plum series by Janet Evanovich should definitely check out One Dead, Two to Go.” —Max Everhart, author of the Eli Sharpe series“A fast, memorable and entertaining read.” —Scott Driscoll, author of Better You Go Home
About the Author
Elena Hartwell's writing career began in the theater, where she also worked as a director, designer, producer, and educator. Productions of her scripts have been performed around the U.S. and abroad, with some of her plays available through Indie Theater Now and New York Theatre Experience, Inc. She lives in North Bend, Washington, with her husband and their four-legged kids: Polar, Jackson, and Luna. When she's not writing, she loves to spend time playing with her horse, Second Chance, a twelve-year-old Arabian rescued from a kill pen. Just like Detective Parker, it has taken him time to trust again, but he's coming around. For more information, go to elenahartwell.com.
Read an Excerpt
"Come on in," I said, standing aside to let the two of them through the door. I shut it behind them, taking a deep breath before I turned around to face them.
Chance began to pace, his nervous energy filling the room. From the way he averted his gaze from the two of us, I could tell his mind was now focused solely on whatever brought him to my door. I respected that about him. His attention would be directed at you for a moment--intense, all consuming--then he'd turn outward again, as his work took precedence.
Chance was taller than Kate by at least six inches. I could look him in the eye if I were wearing tall shoes, so he stood just over six feet. His hair was brown, but if we were outside, sunlight would glint off red highlights. His eyes were the color of dark chocolate--that satiny look it took on when you melted it on the stove to make some delicious, fattening dessert you knew you shouldn't eat but couldn't help yourself from making.
"What can I do for you?" I asked, curious about why a Seattle detective--and my old flame--had appeared on my doorstep up here in Bellingham.
"We've got some questions about Deirdre Fox," Kate said.
That certainly threw me for a loop. I don't know what I thought they might question me about, but Deirdre Fox wasn't even in the top ten.
"Okay," I said, wanting to see where their questions would lead.
"Were you following her or working for her?" Chance asked, confusing me even further.
"Neither," I said, which was technically true.
"Care to explain this?" Kate handed me a photo that looked like a still picture taken from a video surveillance camera. It wasn't very high quality, but it was good enough to identify me in my Subaru taking pictures with my telephoto lens. I could tell from the background it was from my stakeout at Hallings' dealership.
"Why would you think I was tailing Deirdre?" Maybe the woman had filed a report she was being stalked and my name had come up as the stalker.
Maybe I wasn't as stealthy as I thought.
"Because she turned up dead this morning," Chance said, carefully gauging my reaction. Shock kept me quiet and he continued, "In recreating her final day, we scanned the videotapes from her place of business, looking for anything unusual. Then you showed up." Chance tilted his head in that way he had, eyes narrowed, reading your every move, like a cat getting ready to pounce.
"Dead?" I repeated, trying to absorb the fact that someone I saw yesterday in her lingerie was no longer breathing.