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Sample Chapter

A Kate's Mystery Books Selection

Shelly Reuben

Kate's Mystery Books/Justin, Charles & Co.
Mystery, 312 pp., 5 1/2 x 8 1/4
$13.99 pb., ISBN: 1-932112-20-0

“What seemed from the ground like a neat package that, at worst, had been subjected to some smoke and char was in fact Diablo’s House of Horrors, enclosed in a blue Tiffany box and positioned on top of the perfect dream house.

On the top of my perfect dream house.

I’d never seen anything like it.

Everything in the back two bedrooms was a chaos of collapsed beams. Timber jutted out at all angles like deranged pick-up sticks. Rusty nails menaced the air like piranha teeth, and warped flaps of sheet metal hung from ceiling beams. There was nothing left of what had once been a roof, and every charred surface exhibited the unmistakable burn pattern that mimics an alligator’s back and is called ‘alligatoring.’ What a mess.”


In the entire canon of tough-girl sleuths, gumshoes, PI’s, detectives and investigators there’s no one quite like Fritillary Quilter. A New York arson investigator, a sassy, fresh spirit with a nose for arson and an eye for dubious burn patterns, “Tilly” pushes the envelope of the traditional female investigator with a young, hip outlook and indefatigable zeal. “Weeping” is an arson investigator’s term, and also the usual state that befalls a fire’s grief-stricken survivors. So it’s with some surprise, and suspicion, that Tilly meets Faith Browning, whose sister Dorsey has just burned to death in their family home. When Faith puts in a quick claim without giving the insurance company a chance to look around, the company calls Tilly. Teamed with the arson pro Isaac “Ike” Blessing, Tilly and Ike must sift through the ashes to find the truth. Written by a real-life private eye and fire investigator, Weeping is fueled by technical authority, lively characters, and stylish prose.

© 2002 Justin, Charles & Co. All rights reserved.