Title: An Excuse For Murder
Author: Vanessa Westermann
Genre: Mystery / Romantic Suspense
Publisher: The Wild Rose Press
As a former bodyguard, it should be easy for Gary Fenris to kill, especially when the motive is revenge. But Gary has made two mistakes in his life. The first was letting the woman he loved die on his watch. The second was thinking vengeance could bring him peace.
Local bookstore owner and amateur lock pick Kate Rowan loves nothing more than a good mystery. Her curiosity soon leads her down a trail of blackmail, obsession and death. Despite the risk – or maybe because of it – Gary finds himself drawn to Kate. When danger strikes, Gary is forced to face the fact that he used love as an excuse for murder. And he’s got one last score to settle.
The ghost of her laughter teased across his skin, raising the hairs on his arms.
There she was, vibrant as though she was in the room with him. “Don’t tell me you don’t like it.” She gave her new dress a twirl, barefoot and beautiful, all ready for a night out but for the heels she would wait to put on to the last. Her toe-nails were painted red. The arch of her foot flexed strong and graceful with the movement. Her blonde hair shone in the light of memory. She stopped short, the soft blue fabric swinging against her legs, and grinned at him.
It went straight through him. He raised the bottle of Scotch to his lips, holding on to the vision. It wavered beneath the intensity of his gaze.
Then there was nothing on the floor but scuff marks and the shimmer of dust. His trainers, mud-caked from that morning’s eight kilometer run, took up the space where her heels should have been. He had almost forgotten the way she used to toe her shoes off, always sliding the left one off first for some inexplicable reason.
The wall was cold and hard against his back, the Scotch smooth and warm.
There was no other choice. He’d made his decision two years ago. It was time.
Tomorrow, he would commit murder.
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Vanessa Westermann is a former Arthur Ellis Awards judge, and has given a talk on the evolution of women’s crime writing, at the Toronto Chapter of Sisters in Crime.
Her book review column entitled “Vanessa’s Picks” was published in the monthly newsletter of a popular Toronto mystery-specialty bookstore, from 2012 to 2016. The column was developed into a blog, featuring literary reviews and author interviews.
While living in Munich, Germany, Vanessa attained an M.A. in English Literature and went on to teach creative writing.
Vanessa currently lives in Canada and is working on her next novel, while drinking copious amounts of tea.
Readers can find her blog at www.vanessa-westermann.info and follow her on Twitter @VanessasPicks.
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