Our next episode of the Crime Cafe features another repeat appearance. I seem to be developing regulars. If two appearances count as regular. 🙂
In any case, I’ll be talking to Cathi Stoler in the episode after the one in the previous post, which will be in audio this Sunday. There, I said it.
In the meantime, be sure and take advantage of her book giveaway, which you can read about below!
So, let’s hear from the author! 🙂
A Murder On The Rocks Mystery
It’s New Year’s day and Jude Dillane, owner of The Corner Lounge on New York’s Lower East Side is cleaning up after last night’s celebration when she discovers the body of a man with a knife through his heart in the dumpster out back. She recognizes the victim immediately—it’s Michael Bevins, younger brother of her customer and neighbor, Art Bevins. Devastated, Jude becomes even more horrified when she learns that Michael is the latest victim of the New Year’s Eve Serial Killer whose horrible crimes stretch back more than twenty years. Determined to find this monster, Jude risks her life as she gathers evidence that leads her closer and closer to the killer and the staggering truth that he may be someone very close to home.
Cathi is giving away a copy of LAST CALL A Murder On The Rocks Mystery.
To enter, email her at firstname.lastname@example.org with the subject line Crime Café giveaway.
New Year’s Eve
Times Square was packed. Nearly half a million revelers were squeezed in as tight as the cork in a champagne bottle, ringed by barricades in an area forty blocks square. Many had been there since that morning, waiting in the cold for the glittering Waterford Crystal ball to drop.
Security was tight. It was the dawn of a new millennium which brought fears of a Y2K disaster bringing down computers and creating havoc amongst anything electronic. Over five thousand police officers were on hand to make sure nothing went horribly wrong—although the crowd was well-behaved, many of them wearing oversize glasses and waving banners as they cheered and yelled into the cameras.
No one was having a better time than the four young tourists from Denmark who had arrived in the city the day before. Worming their way through the crowd, the two men and two women pushed in as close as they could to have a close-up view of the ball drop and watch the entertainment, a popular band playing their latest hit.
One member of the group, Lukas Janssen, decided to step away from his friends for a few moments to buy a souvenir for his younger sister. “I think she would like one of those T-shirts,” he told his girlfriend, Isa Mulder, and pointed to a man a few yards away selling shirts with a millennium logo on the front. At six feet four inches, Lukas stood well above the crowd around him and had no trouble plotting a path to the vendor.
“Hurry back, Lukas,” Isa told him, giving him a quick hug. “The new year will be here in just a few minutes and I’ll want to give you a special kiss.” She smiled as he walked away and turned back to her friends, Elias and Sara, who were waving small Danish flags at a TV camera that scanned the merrymakers.
At ten seconds to midnight, the ball began its descent and Lukas was still not back. Isa thought he may have gotten turned around in the mass of people, and gave her attention over to the cheers and chaos that erupted at the stroke of twelve, sure he would join them shortly.
The crowd dispersed soon after, but Lukas was nowhere to be found. His three friends looked up above the sea of people leaving the area, searching for the tall blond man in a red ski jacket. Isa’s eyes widened with worry. “I don’t see him. Where did he go?” Tears began to spill from her eyes as she fought her way through the remaining crowd, calling his name.
“Maybe he stopped for a beer,” Elias ventured.
“Not without us,” Isa told him. “He’d never leave us here wondering where he is.”
She shook her head. “Something has happened to him. I know it.”
Three days later, Lukas Janssen’s body was discovered in Tompkins Square Park on the east side of Manhattan. No one knew how or why he wound up there. The young man had been stabbed through the heart and died instantly—the first victim of the person who would become known as the New Year’s Killer.
Cathi Stoler’s Murder On The Rocks Series features The Corner Lounge owner, Jude Dillane and includes, BAR NONE, LAST CALL and STRAIGHT UP, published by Level Best Books. She’s also written the suspense novels, NICK OF TIME and OUT OF TIME and the Laurel and Helen New York Mysteries. She is a board member of Sisters in Crime New York/Tri-State, MWA and ITW. And, a founding member of the Sirens of Suspense, a group of crime writers who came together to offer our expertise and knowledge to groups who might be interested in writing fiction. You can reach her at www.cathistoler.com.