A Good Man Gone, A Mercy Watts Mystery
by A.W. Hartoin
It’s summer in St. Louis and Mercy Watts is on vacation from her parents. The great detective and his nosy wife are on a cruise and Mercy thinks she’s off the hook for doing any investigating for them. But when a family friend has a fatal heart attack, Dad has one of his famous feelings and orders Mercy to look into it. Mercy tries not to get sucked in. She really does, but she’s her father’s daughter. Soon Gavin’s death leads to a more grisly one, the death of a bride on her wedding day. Can the two be connected? Was Gavin murdered? Now Mercy can’t stop. You do for family. That’s all there is to it.
Read an excerpt:
Dr. Grace held Gavin’s body for two days and then called me down from orthopedics for a talk, as he put it. I arrived at ten in the morning, and the morgue was hopping. There were no less than five detectives, a police photographer, and a couple of beat cops standing around drinking coffee. One of the detectives was my cousin, Chuck Watts.**My thoughts**
Chuck saw me and, before I could react, walked over with his patent self-assurance that that never failed to irritate me. He looked good as he always did. He once told me that only ten percent of the world’s population is attractive. He definitely considers himself in the top ten percent, maybe top five. I hated to admit it, but he was right. Chuck was a pleasure to view with his sinewy muscles, broad shoulders, and hooded blue eyes. Still, Chuck couldn’t be considered conventionally handsome. He had thinning hair and pockmarks on his cheeks, but those flaws added to his allure. Dad said it was lucky he had them or he would’ve gotten nowhere on the force. It doesn’t pay to be too good-looking in a job like Chuck’s.
“Hey, Mercy,” he said and gave me a hug that lasted a couple of seconds too long. No one else seemed to notice.
“Back off, you stink,” I said.
“Is that any way to greet your favorite cousin?”
“You’re not my favorite cousin. We’re not even blood-related.”
“Even better.” Chuck smiled the smile that melted the hearts of every single one of my friends, including my best friend Ellen. She took him to our prom. I haven’t quite forgiven her for that one.
Mercy Watts is a sassy nurse, who just happens to look exactly like Marilyn Monroe, and often ends up working as a detective under her father's orders. She really just needs to admit to herself that she loves to play detective, instead of constantly denying it. You can tell that she gets a thrill out of her sleuthing.
Her parents are away on vacation, so she thinks that she can get a break from playing detective, until a family friend drops dead of a supposed myocardial infarction (a.k.a. heart attack). Her father suspects foul play, and puts Mercy on the case until he and his wife can get home to take over. He is correct. Mercy now finds herself trying to follow Gavin's final days, to uncover the case on which he was working, and hopefully also his murderer. She finds help via her unusual relatives and friends (acquaintances?) and starts to piece together the story.
As you meet her family members, you can see from where she gets her saucy side. It would be impossible to grow up in that kind of environment and not turn out that way! The crazy characters help to keep the story entertaining. I found myself snickering out loud several times.
'A Good Man Gone' is actually a part of a series of mysteries that center around Mercy Watts. This is the only one that I have read at this point. It definitely works as a stand alone book, but just may whet your appetite for more! I am going to keep an eye open for more mysteries, because Mercy is a fun change of pace for me.
AUTHOR Bio and Links:
A.W. Hartoin is the author of the Mercy Watts mystery series and the Away From Whipplethorn fantasy series. She lives in Colorado with her husband, two children, and six bad chickens.
A.W. will be awarding a backlist ebook on each stop, It Started with Whisper, to a randomly drawn commenter, and a $30.00 Gift Card to one randomly drawn commenter during the tour. Follow the tour for more chances to win!