Gail Lukasik – A Peak Season for Murder

This week, I’m delighted to host mystery author, Gail Lukasik

Gail Lukasik was born in Cleveland, Ohio, and was a ballerina with the Cleveland Civic Ballet Company. She has worked as a choreographer, freelance writer, editor, and college lecturer. Lisel Mueller described her book of poems, Landscape Toward a Proper Silence, as a “splendid collection.” In 2002 she was awarded an Illinois Arts Council award for her poem, “In Country.” She received her M.A. and Ph.D. from the University of Illinois at Chicago, where she taught writing and literature.

Her first mystery novel, Destroying Angels, was written as a result of her son’s suggestion: “You’re always reading mysteries, why don’t you try writing one.” Kirkus Reviews described her second Leigh Girard mystery, Death’s Door, as “fast-paced and literate, with a strong protagonist and a puzzle that keeps you guessing.” Mel Jacobs of Gumshoe Reviews said of her third Leigh Girard mystery, Peak Season for Murder: “The exciting climax will keep the pages turning. The intricacies of the characters and relationships add spice to the continuing story of Leigh Girard.”

Peak Season for Murder

Twenty-three years ago local actress Danielle Moyer vanished after starring in a play at the Bayside Theater—Door County’s professional residential theater. Her body was never found. And no one knows what happened to her.

Now the specter of her ghost seems to be haunting the Bayside Theater’s summer season. Two of the actors who appeared with Danielle that fateful summer have returned–Julian Finch, a renowned stage actor; and Nate Ryan, Hollywood’s reformed bad boy. Has their return unleashed the bizarre events now plaguing the theater? From a proliferation of bats invading the stage one night to the planting of a real knife in the prop box. And strangest of all, the unnerving clues someone is leaving inside the abandoned Moyer cabin.

Door County Gazette reporter Leigh Girard, who’s writing an article on the theater for their 65th Anniversary, chalks the pranks up to theatrical hijinks. She’s engrossed investigating the murder of Brownie Lawrence, a formerly homeless man she befriended. Desperate to prove Brownie’s long-time friend, Ken Albright didn’t kill him, Leigh digs into Brownie’s past and discovers Brownie had assumed another man’s identity. But unraveling the secrets to Brownie real identity doesn’t bring her any closer to proving Albright’s innocence.

Then things turn deadly. Leigh suspects that the fate of Danielle Moyer has triggered a deadly revenge. What she never expects to find is a killer so vengeful—anyone is fair game including her.

Here is a short excerpt from A Peak Season for Murder:

Prologue: Twenty-Four Years Earlier

The woman stood over her sleeping lover, watching the gentle rise and fall of his naked chest, listening to his breathing. In her right hand, she held the pistol, the one he’d given her for protection.

“Mostly from me,” he’d joked.

Small, compact with an ivory handle, she could cradle it in the palm of her hand, carry it in her jacket pocket, hide it in her purse, and no one would see it.

She raised her right hand and aimed the gun at his temple.

How easy it would be to kill him, she thought. And no one could blame me.

As if he sensed her, he took a deep breath and let out a soft snore, then settled back to sleep.

On his left hand she could see the glint of his gold wedding band.

“You knew what we were about. I never lied to you,” had been his explanation.

Was I that weak, she wondered? No, he was that strong.

Suddenly, lightning flashed against the window, lighting up the room for a second as if illuminating her weakness—his perfect face.

She pulled back on the trigger thinking how easily she could destroy it.

A clap of thunder crashed overhead.

Had his eyes flickered open for a brief second? she thought, holding her breath.

But it was just an illusion; he went on softly snoring, oblivious as always, wrapped up in his own dreams.

Reviews for A Peak Season for Murder: 

(Cengage/Five Star) 

“The intricacies of the characters and relationships add spice to the continuing story of Leigh Girard.” Mel Jacobs, GUMSHOE REVIEW 

“A small gem of a mystery novel.” Claudia VanLydegraf, MYSHELF.COM

Gail’s Web site: 

Facebook link: 

LInks for purchasing Gail’s books:

Gail and I would love to hear from you, so please feel free to leave a comment.

About Evelyn Cullet

I write mystery romance and romantic suspense novels. I'm an avid organic gardener, and I play the piano. I have a spoiled Black Lab mix., Bailey, whom I adore. Visit my blog every Monday to discover new authors and their novels at:
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