My guest author this week is Christina Larmer
Ever since she picked up her first copy of The Three Investigators, C.A. Larmer has been mad about crime fiction. Now the author of seven murder mysteries, including the best-selling Agatha Christie Book Club and the Ghostwriter Mystery Series, Larmer also works as a journalist from Byron Bay in Northern NSW, Australia. When she’s not penning women’s health articles or plotting her next murder, she’s busy cheering her sons on the soccer sidelines, helping her husband in his music studio or wrangling wayward snakes on their hinterland property. Larmer has also worked in New York, Los Angeles and London but her heart forever remains with her hometown in tropical Papua New Guinea where she was born and bred.
Words Can Kill (Ghostwriter Mystery #5)
By C.A. Larmer
In her fifth and most heart-wrenching mystery yet, Ghostwriter Roxy Parker is hot on the trail of her estranged boyfriend, Max. He’s disappeared from a Swiss alpine resort, a perky blonde by his side, and his flatmate has shown up murdered in Berlin, bludgeoned by his own guitar. The German police suspect Max of murder but Roxy knows better.
Max Farrell may be a cad, but he’s no cold-blooded killer.
So it is that Roxy packs her designer luggage and heads to Europe to track him down—but she has to be quick! Max has just sent Roxy a cryptic text message, which proves his life is hanging by a thread.
In this fun, fast-paced story, C.A. Larmer takes us on another exciting adventure and proves, yet again, why she’s one of Australia’s most popular cozy crime writers. Fasten your seat-belts, guys, and come along for the ride!
WORDS CAN KILL EXCERPT:
“Max is missing.”
They were three simple words, spoken casually by a woman young enough and pretty enough to still believe she was the centre of the universe and therefore her missing brother a minor inconvenience that she was hoping to palm off (preferably to Roxy Parker), but they still managed to send a sliver of ice through Roxy’s heart.
She froze for a second, the warm glass of Merlot almost at her lips.
“Missing?” she said, then tried a little humour to dislodge the chill. “Like, missing his brain? Missing me desperately? What do you mean, missing?”
Caroline raised one spaghetti-strapped shoulder into the air and shrugged. It was late Thursday evening and not yet summer, but that didn’t stop her from donning a sexy slip of a dress that showed off her golden brown tan and the intricate rose tattoo on the back of her right shoulder. Her long, lean legs were wedged into stilettos as high as the Harbour Bridge and were poking out now from beneath the table.
“I don’t know, sweetie. Personally? I think it’s all a false alarm.” She scooped some lemongrass chicken onto her fork. “I nearly didn’t call you but, well, it’s got Mum and Dad in a bit of a tizz which is bizarre because they never get in a tizz. Unless somebody chops down a tree, of course, or mentions the letters CSG.” She rolled her big brown eyes and plunged the fork into her mouth, talking while she chewed. “Anyway, they haven’t heard from him in a few days and seem to think that’s a big deal—something he said freaked them out, apparently.” She offered her “go figure” look.
The two women were seated at a rickety table in an overcrowded Thai restaurant just a few blocks from Roxy’s inner-city Sydney apartment. When Caroline had called her, keen to “discuss something important”, Roxy had expected little more than boyfriend trouble or a change of career. God knows there’d been enough of both. This, however, was out of the blue.
She took a settling gulp of her wine and returned the glass safely to the table. “A few days is hardly a problem, is it?”
“My sentiments exactly but, well, Mum’s being all loopy on this one so …” She hesitated. “He hasn’t called you, has he?”
The sudden crinkle in Caroline’s otherwise flawless forehead was not without basis. The last time Roxy had spoken to her supposed “boyfriend” Max, just over six months ago, it had all turned very sour, very fast. They had been dating for almost a year and things were going swimmingly (albeit more treading water than doing laps) until Max mentioned a sudden job offer with Mercedes-Benz in Germany. Roxy had reacted badly, a little “Caroline-like” in fact, and had not managed to find her maturity in the meantime. She was still feeling raw from the rejection and had been hoping Max would do as he always did and make the first move: call with apologies, send her a surprise airline ticket to Berlin, something. But of course he hadn’t done that and so the silence had ensued.
Now it felt deafening.
“Anyhoo,” Caroline was saying, oblivious to Roxy’s internal discomfort, “I normally call Max when I have a problem; he cleans it up for me quick smart. Problem is, well, Max is my problem.” She laughed. “Then I remembered that you’re kind of good at looking into ‘mysteries’”—she used the two finger quotation mark symbol that Roxy abhorred—“so was wondering if you want to track him down for me and tell him to call his bloody parents so I can get them off my back.”
She raised one hand again to a waiter who had been tracking her from the moment she’d walked in and he scurried across, delighted to be at the stunning blonde’s beck and call. She ordered another glass of wine.
“You want?” she asked Roxy, almost as an afterthought, and Roxy tapped her glass.
“Merlot, please.” Then to Caroline, “Can we just back up a little? I still don’t understand why your mother thinks he’s vanished.”
“Oh she’s being so melodramatic, darling. I’m sure he’s just run off with some German flooz—” she caught herself and had the decency to blush. “Oops.”
Roxy shrugged her off. “I don’t care if he has a girlfriend, Caroline.”
“Sure you don’t. Anyway, I’m not saying he does have a girlfriend, I’m just saying—”
“So why is your mum so worried?” Roxy cut her off. “What did Max say when they last spoke?”
Caroline leaned forward, one dress strap dropping provocatively from her shoulder. “That’s the thing, he didn’t say very much and what he did say made absolutely no sense. Mum reckons he said he was heading to Brazil for a few days.”
“Brazil? For a few days? From Germany? Really?”
“I know! How bizarre is that? Mum must have heard him wrong. I mean, her hearing’s not what it used to be and Max was calling on his mobile phone, from the road apparently. Anyway, it’s not so much what he said, it was the way he said it.”
The waiter appeared with the wines and Caroline refitted her strap and then took her glass with barely a glance, causing the poor man’s shoulders to deflate considerably as he turned away. She swallowed a generous mouthful and said, “He sounded kind of strange.”
“How do you mean strange?”
“Mum says he sounded worried, stressed even, but you have to remember, Mum’s a hippie. She thinks she can read people’s cosmic energy down the phone line.” Again with the eye roll. “She says Max’s energy was ‘as black as a witch’s breath’.”
LINKS TO BOOKS/WEBSITES BY C.A. LARMER
• AMAZON: http://www.amazon.com/C.A.-Larmer/e/B006S9LC86/ref=sr_tc_2_0?qid=1406003680&sr=1-2-ent
• NOOK: http://www.barnesandnoble.com/s/C-A–Larmer?keyword=C.A.+Larmer&store=ebook
• KOBO: http://www.kobobooks.com/search/search.html?q=C.A.+Larmer
• APPLE iPAD: https://itunes.apple.com/AU/book/id834409708?l=en
• C.A. Larmer blog: http://calarmerspits.blogspot.com.au/
• TWITTER: @CALarmer
• FB: https://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=100006328031549&ref=tn_tnmn