Wednesday, October 22, 2014

Mystery to Die For: Stacked to Death and the Jamie Brodie Mysteries

Meg Perry, author of the Jamie Brodie Mystery series, is here today answering four questions and treating us to an excerpt from her newest release, Stacked to Death.
If you haven't read any of these, get thee to a book dealer and dig in. They're...well, they're to die for.
Name three things you’re scared of.
Deep water, heights, and fire ants (I’m allergic). The main character in my books, Jamie Brodie, is an excellent swimmer because I wish I was.

You’ve been offered a guest spot on your favorite TV show. What is the show, and who is your character?
Dr. Who – I’d be the Doctor’s new companion.

You are planning a fundraiser for a charity. What is the charity? What does it mean to you?
The Elephant Sanctuary in Tennessee is a charity that I’ve supported for several years now. They provide a home on 20,000 acres for retired, sick, and/or abused zoo and circus elephants. Elephants are such fantastic animals and we shouldn’t use them for our own entertainment. The sanctuary gives them a chance to be elephants again, living in the open and forming their own family groups.

You’ve been tapped to organize a sports team for an LBGTQ youth shelter. What is the name of the team, and what is the sport?
It would be a rugby team called the Rainbow Warriors. I’m much too wimpy to play rugby myself, but I love watching it.


Blurb: Stacked to Death, Jamie Brodie Mystery #7
Library work-study student Austin Sharp upset a lot of people. When Jamie Brodie finds Austin dead, strangled to death in the library stacks, the police have plenty of suspects. When another library work-study student is found strangled, the focus of the investigation shifts – both students were from the same hometown. Then a third student is found dead. A serial killer is on the loose, and the police send in detectives from the elite Homicide Special unit.

And their favorite suspect is Jamie.

I went to circulation for a book cart, wheeled it to the elevator and rode up to the third floor. The books on my list were toward the far corner of the room.

I rounded the corner of the DS shelf and nearly tripped over something.

Someone’s foot.

I jumped back a step, startled, then looked closer. The foot was attached to a body, clothed in tight white pants and a lime green shirt.

Austin Sharp.

He was sprawled on his back, a couple of books scattered at his side. I leaned toward him as far as I could without moving my feet any further. “Austin?” I kicked at his foot a little. “Austin. Wake up.”

He didn’t move. He wasn’t breathing. His face was blue-purple, his eyes were bulging and his tongue, also purple, was poking out between his lips.

He’d been strangled.

Oh God. There was a sound in my head like a distant swarm of bees. Shit. Fainting would be bad.

I heard footsteps behind me and turned to see Andy from circulation coming up behind me. “Jamie? What’s-” He stopped and gasped. “Fuck. Is that Austin?”


“Did you call 911?”

“No.” I patted my pockets. “I don’t have my phone.” Where was my phone? Oh, yeah – it was locked in my office. I never brought it with me into the stacks.

“I’ll do it.” Andy pulled his phone out and dialed.

I backed against the wall for support and thought about not fainting. At one point Andy knelt by Austin’s ankle, touched him, and said, “He’s cool to the touch. I don’t feel a pulse. Okay.” He hung up as the stairwell door banged open and the cops arrived.

They were UCLA police. I’d seen both of them around – Don Greene and Antonio Jenkins, congenial guys retired from municipal departments, not used to finding dead bodies on campus. Jenkins knelt by Austin’s feet and touched him then stood back up. Greene walked up beside me and stared at Austin’s body. “Damn. Do you know who it is?”

Andy said, “His name’s Austin Sharp. He’s one of our work-study students.”

“And this is how you found him?”

I said, “Yeah. I didn’t touch him.”

“Good. I’m going to call LAPD. Tony, you want to clear this floor and call in some reinforcements?”

“Sure.” Jenkins went to round up anyone else in the area.

I was concentrating on breathing slowly and Andy was answering Greene’s questions when I heard a familiar voice. Jon Eckhoff and Tim Garcia turned the corner. They spotted me and Tim said, “You found the body?”

“My lucky day.” The buzzing was louder. I was starting to feel weak in the knees. Don’t faint. Don’t faint.
Twitter: @MegPerry2