Tuesday, February 18, 2020

Excerpt Tour + #Giveaway: Ancestral Whispers by Jo A Hiestand @GoddessFish

Ancestral Whispers
by Jo A Hiestand
GENRE: Mystery (British)


Each year the residents of Nether Haddon celebrate the village’s founding in the time-honored way with games, music, and performances by their sword dancers. But something new is added to the fancy footwork this year: a team member dies ... murdered. Fear, jealousy and suspicion quickly engulf the group, emotions as tightly interlocked as the five swords used in the dance: a series of turns, jumps and clogging steps intricate as Celtic knots. Was the victim the intended target, or should it have been someone else? In the course of the CID investigation, a mysterious 17th century puzzle is discovered. Does it hold a clue to the murder? Detective Brenna Taylor and her colleagues have more than enough to worry about. But unbeknownst to her, career criminal King Roper has escaped from prison where he was serving time for murder. Now free and eager to settle the score for his capture, Roper tracks down Brenna’s whereabouts, ready for revenge...


It was too late to talk to anyone else that night, so Mark and I walked back to the village hall. Graham was making his statement to the press. Mark and I stood in the back of the room and listened while television cameras filmed his speech.

“Police are investigating the death of a thirty-year old man who died at three o’clock this afternoon in the village of Nether Haddon. The police are treating the death as suspicious at this stage. A postmortem examination will be carried out during the night, when it is hoped a cause of death will be established.” He concluded the announcement by saying that this was all he was prepared to explain at the moment. A flurry of questions followed him as he left the room.

Mark and I left soon afterwards and walked to the pub, where the team had rooms. The Stout Keg was a relic in an equally ancient village. Modernized to include indoor plumbing and electricity, the pub held little else of modern merit. Except the ale, Mark informed me, as we sat in the main room. Few villagers were about, and even fewer police officers. Margo and the other detectives were probably wrapping up their interviews about now but would start again tomorrow. Graham had finished giving the press statement and would’ve left to attend the postmortem exam. I often wondered how many folks who saw the police appeals on the telly actually gave it any thought. I said as much to Mark.

“An unanswerable question, Brenna.” He set his glass down squarely on the beer mat. “We just do our job, like anyone else, and hope for the best.”

“But ours is so public.” I traced my initials in the condensation on the side of the glass. “Whatever we do we seem to get criticized.”

“Is this about police work, or is it some cryptic inference I’m supposed to grab about your upcoming nuptial?”

“Why say that?”

“Because you wrote ‘BS’ instead of ‘BF’ on your glass.  Even ‘BT’ I could understand.  You’ve a nice name. But I don’t fathom ‘BS,’ unless it’s an abbreviation for the stuff we put up with on this job.” He smiled over the rim of his glass.

“Funny man.” I wiped my finger over the initials, erasing them.

“Just observant. Of course, your subconscious could be saying something else.”

“Like what?”

“Your name won’t end up being Brenna Fitzgerald, but rather Brenna Salt.”

I glared at him. “Bad joke, Mark. Try it on Margo.”

“Worse things could happen, Bren. Why not marry me?”

“I’m marrying Adam. I love him and will marry him. Besides, the wedding details are all set.”

“Oh, yes? Last time I heard you were squabbling over where to have the wedding, how elaborate it would be, and other little facets of hardly any consequence.”

“Yes, well, we’re beyond that. Thanks for your concern, Mark, but it’s not needed.”

He shrugged and finished his drink in one long swallow.

“Besides, we’ve put the deposits down on everything.”

“You trying to convince me or you?”

AUTHOR Bio and Links:

A month-long trip to England during her college years introduced Jo to the joys of Things British.  Since then, she has been lured back nearly a dozen times and lived there during her professional folksinging stint.

Jo’s insistence for accuracy--from police methods and location layout to the general “feel” of the area--has driven her innumerable times to Derbyshire for research.  These explorations and conferences with police friends provide the details filling both her Peak District mysteries and the McLaren mystery series.

In 1999 Jo returned to Webster University to major in English.  She graduated in 2001 with a BA degree and departmental honors.

Her McLaren mystery, BLACK MOON, received the ‘N.N. Light Best Mystery Book’ award for 2019.

Jo lives with her cat, Tennyson, and way too many kilts in the St. Louis-area.

Social Media Links


Trade Paper: Amazon

E-Book edition: Amazon ~ Kobo ~ Nook


$30 Amazon or B/N GC

Follow the tour and comment; the more you comment, the better your chances of winning.


Goddess Fish Promotions said...

Thanks for hosting!

Bernie Wallace said...

Who is your favorite literary character of all time?

James Robert said...

Your book sounds great and I'm glad I got to learn about it. Thank you!

Jo said...

Thanks for hosting this leg of my tour. I appreciate it!

Jo said...

Hi, Bernie. That's a tough question, but it's either D'Artagnan or Ross Poldark.

Jo said...

James, thanks for the compliment. Good luck with the raffle drawing.

Jo said...

Just wondering...has anyone been to Haddon Hall in Derbyshire? That's where a good portion of this book takes place, the Hall and the surrounding area.

Rita Wray said...

I liked the excerpt.

Victoria Alexander said...

Great cover & excerpt, thanks for sharing them :)

Jo said...

Thanks a lot, Rita. And thanks for logging on to The Avid Reader. Good luck with the raffle drawing.

Jo said...

Victoria, thanks for stopping by and thanks for your comment. I appreciate it.

Jo said...

Thank you for hosting me today, AR. I enjoyed it!