A Berkshire Hilltown Mystery

Wolf Bog by Leslie Wheeler Banner

Wolf Bog

by Leslie Wheeler

July 1-31, 2022 Virtual Book Tour

Synopsis:

Wolf Bog by Leslie Wheeler

It’s August in the Berkshires, and the area is suffering from a terrible drought. As wetlands dry up, the perfectly preserved body of a local man, missing for forty years, is discovered in Wolf Bog by a group of hikers that includes Kathryn Stinson. Who was he and what was his relationship with close friend Charlotte Hinckley, also on the hike, that would make Charlotte become distraught and blame herself for his death? Kathryn’s search for answers leads her to the discovery of fabulous parties held at the mansion up the hill from her rental house, where local teenagers like the deceased mingled with the offspring of the wealthy. Other questions dog the arrival of a woman claiming to be the daughter Charlotte gave up for adoption long ago. But is she really Charlotte’s daughter, and if not, what’s her game? Once again, Kathryn’s quest for the truth puts her in grave danger.

Praise for Wolf Bog:

“Wheeler’s deep sense of place—the Berkshires—illuminates a deftly woven plot and a quirky cast of characters that will keep you glued to the pages until the last stunning revelation. It’s always a pleasure to be in the hands of a pro.”

Kate Flora, Edgar and Anthony nominated author

“When a long-lost teenager turns up dead, a cold case turns into hot murder. A deliciously intriguing Berkshire mystery.”

Sarah Smith, Agatha Award-winning author
of The Vanished Child and Crimes and Survivors

Book Details:

Genre: Mystery/Amateur Sleuth/Suspense
Published by: Encircle Publishing
Publication Date: July 6, 2022
Number of Pages: 336
ISBN: 164599385X (ISBN-13: 978-1645993858)
Series: A Berkshire Hilltown Mystery, #3
Book Links: Amazon | Barnes & Noble

Read an excerpt:

Charlotte’s brow furrowed as she stared at the bog. “There’s something down there. A dead animal or…?” She raised her binoculars to get a better look.

“Where?” Wally asked. She pointed to a spot on the peat at the edge of the water. Wally had barely lifted his binoculars when Charlotte cried, “Oh, my God, it’s a body!” And took off toward it.

“No, don’t go there!” Wally grabbed at her, but she eluded him. When Charlotte was almost to the body−−if that’s what it was−−she began to sink into the bog. She waved her arms and twisted her legs, trying desperately to get out, but her struggles only made her sink deeper.

Kathryn’s heart seized. They had to rescue Charlotte, but how without getting stuck themselves? Brushing past Wally, Steve started down the slope. Wally caught him, pulled him back, and handed him over to Hal Phelps. “You stay put. Everyone else, too. I’ve had experience hiking around this bog, and I think I can get her out. Stop struggling and try to keep calm,” he called down to Charlotte. “Help is on the way.”

Wally made his way carefully to where Charlotte stood, caught in the mire. He tested each step before putting his full weight on it, backtracking when he deemed the ground too soft. When he was a few yards away, he stopped.

“This is as far as I can safely come,” he told Charlotte. He extended his hiking pole and she grabbed it. Then, on his instructions, she slowly and with great effort lifted first one leg, then the other out of the muck and onto the ground behind her. Wally guided her back to the others, following the same zigzag pattern he’d made when descending. Charlotte went with him reluctantly. She kept glancing back over her shoulder at what she’d seen at the water’s edge.

Kathryn trained her binoculars on that spot. Gradually an image came into focus. A body was embedded in the peat. The skin was a dark, reddish brown, but otherwise, it was perfectly preserved. Bile rose in her throat.

Charlotte moved close to Kathryn. “You see him, don’t you?” Her face was white, her eyes wide and staring.

“See who?” Wally demanded.

“Denny,” Charlotte said. “You must’ve seen him, too.”

“I saw something that appears to be a body, but–” Wally said.

“So there really is a dead person down there?” Betty asked.

“It looks that way,” Wally said grimly. “But let’s not panic. I’m going to try to reach Chief Lapsley, though I doubt I’ll get reception here. We’ll probably have to leave the area before I can.”

“We can’t just leave Denny here to die,” Charlotte wailed.

“Charlotte,” Wally said with a pained expression, “whoever is down there is already dead.”

She flinched, as if he’d slapped her across the face. “No! I’m telling you Denny’s alive.” She glared at him, then her defiant expression changed to one of uncertainty. “Dead or alive, I’m to blame. I’m staying here with him.”

***

Excerpt from Wolf Bog by Leslie Wheeler. Copyright 2022 by Leslie Wheeler. Reproduced with permission from Leslie Wheeler. All rights reserved.

 

 

Author Bio:

Leslie Wheeler

An award-winning author of books about American history and biographies, Leslie Wheeler has written two mystery series. Her Berkshire Hilltown Mysteries launched with Rattlesnake Hill and continue with Shuntoll Road and Wolf Bog. Her Miranda Lewis Living History Mysteries debuted with Murder at Plimoth Plantation and continue with Murder at Gettysburg and Murder at Spouters Point. Her mystery short stories have appeared in numerous anthologies. Leslie is a member of Mystery Writers of America and Sisters in Crime, and a founding member of the New England Crime Bake Committee. She divides her time between Cambridge, Massachusetts, and the Berkshires, where she writes in a house overlooking a pond.

Catch Up With Leslie:
www.LeslieWheeler.com
Goodreads
BookBub – @lesliewheeler1
Twitter – @Leslie_Wheeler
Facebook – @LeslieWheelerAuthor

 

 

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Get a Book, Help an Animal Shelter!

If you enjoy discovering new series and want to support an animal shelter, here’s a great opportunity to do both!

Abby Deuel, DVM has recently published her first cozy mystery, Farmcall Fatality. It’s about a veterinarian and amateur sleuth with a Border Collie sidekick who solve murders together.  To celebrate the launch of her book and to support her local animal shelter, Dr. Abby is donating a free spay/neuter for every 50 copies sold. The lucky beneficiary is the Clay County Animal Rescue and Shelter (CCARS) in Louisville/Flora, Illinois.  Here’s more about the author, straight from her Amazon author page:

Abby

Abby Deuel is a practicing veterinarian in a small town in the Midwest. She worked in the Dairy farming industry in New Zealand before attending vet school there. After graduating and practicing as a mixed animal vet in the North Island of New Zealand, she moved back to America. Deuel served as a relief vet for several years, until she set up her own practice.

While she pulls from real life experiences for some of the cases and characters for this series, everything is very much fictional. The only exception is that she too has a Border collie named Lyle that continues to serve as inspiration for upcoming books as well as a constant companion.

She is animal crazy, with her own little petting zoo. There are 6 chickens, 7 runner ducks, 4 goats, 2 sheep, 3 geese, 2 rabbits, 2 turtles, 1 tortoise, 4 cats, 3 ferrets, and 7 dogs. Her little mini farm is run as sustainable as possible, with rain barrels, solar panels, and composting gardens.

FarmCall Fatality: A Mandy Bell DVM Mystery Series

3D_FarmCall_Fatality_Final (1)In this first book of the series, Mandy is summoned to the small Midwestern town of Crestview. A colleague and classmate from vet school has passed away and left her veterinary clinic and house to Mandy. While Mandy has always been a traveling vet in her motor home, she finds herself drawn to the Midwestern hospitality that the town shows her and her sidekick Border collie, Lyle. Unfortunately, on one of her farm calls, she discovers a body that turns out to have been murdered.

She is determined to solve the murder to clear the name of the quaint little town. She uses her own intuition and careful questioning of townspeople and clients to piece together the culprit at fault. Lyle is by her side through the whole book, including at the town’s Halloween Hoedown, where she gets into trouble of her own. Read on to experience life as a small town veterinarian with a knack for solving murders.

Now available in the Kindle Unlimited program!

Follow this author!

Get the latest news about the series on Facebook. Have a question for Dr. Abby? Post a note to the Facebook page. And watch for her Goodreads author page, coming soon!

My Writing Process (A Blog Hop)

Susan Holmes Author Photo 300dpi

I’ve been tagged!  Tagged, that is, to participate in a blog hop for writers. My thanks to C. A. Newsome and Corrie Fischer for inviting me to play along!

Every Monday authors blog about their own writing process, using a standard format and answering the same questions.  This is definitely a multi-genre hop; I’ve seen mystery, paranormal, young adult, and romance. Follow the links to “meet” more writers.

What am I working on?

I’m writing Death Tracks, the second in the Waterside Kennels mystery series. This one picks up soon after the events of the summer chronicled in Deadly Ties. After the trouble she had over the summer, all Maggie Porter wants to do is run her boarding kennel and training business. And she wants to spend time with her own dogs—an aging Cocker Spaniel, a champion Labrador Retriever and a Beagle retired from federal service.

Alas, a quiet life is not to be. First, an abrasive community member launches a campaign to enact a “dangerous dog” ordinance which could force Maggie out of business—or into jail. When he’s found dead near the kennel, some in the community have their own reasons for wanting to pin the murder on Maggie herself. Under a cloud of suspicion and with her home and business at risk, she sets out to clear her name and finds herself caught in a murderous land feud that could tear the mountain community apart.

How does my work differ from others of its genre?

You’ll find elements of the traditional cozy mystery in my work: an amateur sleuth, a small community, connections to local law enforcement, and a mystery my sleuth is motivated to solve. There’s an eclectic group of characters, a hint of romance, and plenty of plot twists to keep you guessing.

You won’t find vulgar language or graphic violence in my books. I do push the traditional definition of a cozy, though, by introducing a bit more suspense, a bit more trouble than you might see in a typical light-hearted, whimsical romp. My characters—including the dogs!—are good, bad, and sometimes both. That might be why my work has been called “a cozy with an edge.”  Still, they’re the sort you finish with a sense of satisfaction. Mystery solved, justice served, the villains get their comeuppance, and you’re not left with violent images to disturb your sleep!

Why do I write what I do?

I like puzzles. I like writing about ordinary people in challenging situations. If my sleuth gets into trouble, she’s smart enough to figure a way out. She’s loyal and willing to stand up for what she thinks is right.

I write about the Ozarks because I love the region. I want readers to see beyond the stereotype and appreciate the beauty of the place and its people. I’m fascinated by Ozark myths and legends, and by the family stories handed down from one generation to the next.

How does my writing process work?

I start with a “What if …?” and tinker until I can see how the pieces fit together. Then it’s time for research. I won’t start writing until I know the end of the story. From there I work backward to identify key plot points, character actions, and major scenes. I’ve tried various software programs but eventually go back to what works best for me—sticky notes I can move around on a board.

For many years I wrote with my beloved spaniel, Alix, at my feet. Now I have a rescue kitty, Buddy, who keeps me company. He prefers to supervise me in my office, where he’ll watch my progress from the comfort of a window seat. When he thinks I’ve worked long enough, he strolls across the desk and stands on my keyboard.

Somewhere around the third or fourth draft (I’m a serial reviser), I’ll send bits to my beta readers. I work with three or four beta readers, each with a specific focus. One, for example, is an expert dog trainer. If she says something won’t work, out it goes and I’ll revise until she’s satisfied.  Another is a mystery writer, who is wonderful at spotting plot issues and talking through scenes. A third is an English professor and avid reader who understands the writing process, has a keen eye, and is a wonderful listener. And so it goes, until the book is the best it can be.

Keep on Hopping!

Thanks for reading. Be sure to check out author Corrie Fischer’s post from last week. And on March 10th, look for new blog hop posts by authors Rae DaviesGeorge Jackson, and L. A. Remenicky.

In the Spirit of Giving…

DEADLY TIES 

I’m sharing a free excerpt of Deadly Ties!

If winter weather has you shivering,  visit Eagle Cove where it’s sizzling hot and mystery awaits!

Come meet Maggie Porter and her dogs—a champion Labrador Retriever, an aging Cocker Spaniel, and a Beagle retired from federal service. Maggie’s returned home to reopen the family dog kennel business, where she’s plagued by problems from the start. Serious trouble arises when a gossip-loving employee turns up dead holding an heirloom locket belonging to Maggie’s mother. Anonymous threats and break-ins occur as the violence escalates, and Maggie becomes a target when she searches for answers. With her loyal dogs at her side, she must dig for the truth. Along the way, she learns that everyone has something to hide—and some secrets are worth killing for.

 Deadly Ties FREE EXCERPT