Double Barrel Mysteries by Barbara Ellen Brink ~ an intriguing series

I was intrigued by the intelligence of the DOUBLE BARREL MYSTERIES so I asked its author, Barbara Ellen Brink to share with my readers how this well-constructed series came about and evolved. This is one that has everything I love in mysteries suspense, plenty of twists and turns, laughs, and quirky characters.

Let’s turn it over to Barbara…

Blake and Shelby Gunner ARE Double Barrel Investigations

My husband and I took a road trip along Lake Superior to Michigan’s Upper Peninsula about three years back. It was a beautiful fall weekend and the changing colors were amazing. Soon after, I woke from a dream and started writing Double Barrel Mysteries. Rather than an actual storyline, my dream consisted of characters and setting.

The Double Barrel team of Blake and Shelby Gunner was in my head as clear as bold font. Blake is a cop. Shelby’s an actress who speaks Shakespeare as a second language. Together they make the perfect team. He’s got the experience of a seasoned detective and she can act like one.

Now all I needed was a murder for them to solve.

Roadkill

 

 

In ROADKILL, the Gunners consider moving from Minneapolis to the safe, small-town environment of Blake’s hometown. They take a road trip to Port Scuttlebutt in order to check out an old bed & breakfast on the market, and soon get pulled into the cold case of an unsolved hit-and-run. Surprisingly, Port Scuttlebutt isn’t as innocent as it appears on the surface. Their investigation stirs up danger as easily as a Lake Superior storm churns up waves.

I always begin one of my Double Barrel Mysteries by writing the murder scene. Once I’ve killed off someone, I start making up the story about how it came to be. Funny thing is, I don’t usually know who the killer is until at least the middle. In fact, sometimes it’s almost the end of the book before I know whodunit. If the author is surprised, I’m pretty sure the reader will be too.

Much Ado About Murder

 

In MUCH ADO ABOUT MURDER, Blake and Shelby have just begun renovating the old boathouse into offices for Double Barrel Investigations when they get sidetracked with a case of murder. Someone buried Pete’s ex-wife under his woodpile, making Pete look as guilty as a cocker spaniel surrounded by chicken feathers. Being the talk of the town after solving their last case, Blake and Shelby feel the pressure to find the killer and keep their newly hired construction foreman out of jail. After all, winter is coming on and the doors and windows have yet to be installed.

 

Midsummer Madness

The third book in the Double Barrel Mysteries was released this past weekend. In MIDSUMMER MADNESS, Blake and Shelby have a surprise announcement that everyone seems to know before they tell them. Shelby is working to get the new Port Playhouse ready for its grand opening when a local business owner asks the Gunners to look for his stolen fishing boat. A stranger’s body turns up in the Lake near the Drunken Sailor Bed & Breakfast and a missing boat quickly morphs into a case of murder. With new friends under suspicion and a killer still unidentified, the Gunners have to work quickly to solve the case before someone else is pulled into the madness.

Barbara’s Bio:

Barbara Ellen Brink

Barbara Ellen Brink is a multi-published author, wife of one long-suffering husband, mother to two adult children, walker to one very spoiled mutt, lover of funny baby-goat videos, and a black licorice connoisseur. She grew up on a small fruit farm in Washington State, but now lives in the mean “burbs” of Minnesota. In her spare time – when she’s not reading – she likes to take her motorcycle for a spin, hang out with friends, or catch up on the latest movies.

She is the author of the best-selling Fredrickson Winery Novels; young adult series, The Amish Bloodsuckers Trilogy; inspirational suspense series, Second Chances; and the Double Barrel Mysteries. Her speculative/thriller, Split Sense, won the 2012 Grace Award, and Much Ado About Murder won this year’s Grace Award in mystery/suspense/thriller.

handgun

Purchase Links:

ROADKILL

Amazon: https://www.amazon.com/dp/B00VN0A3QC

B&N: https://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/roadkill-barbara-e-brink/1121462059;jsessionid=E5F3028898CB93BC29D756AFF133EDA0.prodny_store01-atgap01?ean=2940154967577

iBookstore: https://itunes.apple.com/us/book/roadkill/id1311166714?mt=11

Kobo: https://www.kobo.com/us/en/ebook/roadkill-21

 

MUCH ADO ABOUT MURDER

Amazon: https://www.amazon.com/dp/B01FN1YIJ4

B&N: https://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/much-ado-about-murder-barbara-e-brink/1123747711;jsessionid=E5F3028898CB93BC29D756AFF133EDA0.prodny_store01-atgap01?ean=2940154996850

iBookstore: https://itunes.apple.com/us/book/much-ado-about-murder/id1311168692?mt=11

Kobo: https://www.kobo.com/us/en/ebook/much-ado-about-murder-4

 

MIDSUMMER MADNESS

Amazon: https://www.amazon.com/dp/B07798B882

B&N: https://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/midsummer-madness-barbara-ellen-brink/1127329433;jsessionid=E5F3028898CB93BC29D756AFF133EDA0.prodny_store01-atgap01?ean=2940154990186

iBookstore: https://itunes.apple.com/us/book/midsummer-madness/id1311176460?mt=11

Kobo: https://www.kobo.com/us/en/ebook/midsummer-madness-9

 

When Death Draws Near (A Gwen Marcy Novel) by Carrie Stuart Parks ~ a review

Book Three in a Series

When Death Draws Near

Forensic artist Gwen Marcey needs a job, so she and her daughter head for Appalachian hill country and Pikeville, Kentucky. She’s been hired to draw the likeness of the “Hillbilly Rapist” to help local law enforcement catch him. His victims and witnesses vanish. The author shows Gwen’s depth of character in a range of situations. Her heart goes out to the rape victims and she faces the fear of her own cancer scare.

Gwen is plunged into a second mysterious case surrounding a local snake handling church and a growing number of murders…some by snake bite. She is persuaded by a prestigious local family with White House aspirations, to scope out this church and its members. As she delves deeper into both cases, she thinks there may be a connection between the two.

Although she’s both attracted to and suspicious of handsome and mysterious Blake, she allows him to blindfold her and take her to their annual meeting where there will be snake handling. She’s not altogether sure he’s not the murderer, and neither is the reader.

My favorite aspect of the writing is the author takes chances. By no means is this a formulaic mystery read. It’s unique in its conception and execution.

 

Soccer, Murder, and Terrorists

 

Courtesy of FreeImages by zeafonso
Courtesy of FreeImages by zeafonso

 

 

I had the basic plot mapped out of DEADLY DESIGNS, the second novel in the Veronica “Ronnie” Ingels/Dawson Hughes series. Soccer featured prominently. One of the villains (perhaps the kidnapper and murderer…you’ll have to read the book when it comes out to find out) was a soccer fanatic. He also had links to possible Islamic terrorism.

 

 

Courtesy of FreeImages by tutu55
Courtesy of FreeImages by tutu55

 

So there I was, in my own world, writing along, strengthening the plot, deepening the characters, piling on conflict when I learned soccer could be seen as a huge crime to certain Islamists. A little research shook my sensibilities. I discovered in 2012 Iranian cartoonist Mahmoud Shokraiyeh was sentenced to 25 lashings for drawing a parliament member in a soccer jersey. More recently, 13 Iraqi fellows were executed by ISIS for watching a soccer game.  This floored me and gave DEADLY DESIGNS relevance I had not anticipated.

 

The final draft of DEADLY DESIGNS is close at hand. I don’t have a cover yet, and find my mind has been boggled by the insanity of real life. I do expect to have the novel released this spring.

 

 

 

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Why Do People Love A Good Murder Mystery?

Blood, Hand Print on Diary

Isn’t it strange that death and dying are fairly taboo topics, yet millions of readers rush to get the next novel in a crime/murder mystery series?

I know from reader feedback that many love to see the bad guy get their just deserts. They want to see justice done, the victimized avenged. A good murder mystery fits that bill perfectly. And it’s interesting to note the genre originated in the Christian west. There has always been a moralistic ethos about the genre. The fight between good and evil is ever present.

There are other reasons why readers purchase millions of dollars of detective stories, cozy murder mysteries, and thrillers each year. Readers like to follow clues, pick out the red herrings, and solve the puzzle, so to speak. Where the diabolical villain is known in a thriller, they like to match wits with the bad guy.

Readers love a flawed main character they can become emotionally involved with. Their hearts beats a bit faster and they catch their breath when because of the very psychological flaw they’ve come to love him/her for, the villain has put our detective/sleuth in jeopardy. Of course, in the end, the good guy wins in fiction. If it only were so in real life.

Photo courtesy of stock.xchng #8577