Friday, June 25, 2021

Book Excerpt: The Case of the Peculiar Inheritance (McKenzie Sisters Mystery) by Samantha St. Claire

Title: The Case of the Peculiar Inheritance
Series: McKenzie Sisters Mystery
Author: Samantha St. Claire
Publisher: Trappers Peak Publishing
Publication Date: June 22 2021
Print Length: 248 pages
Genre: Western Cozy Mystery
Witty and irascible Rose McKenzie tackles Denver’s criminal cases with a woman’s intuition and a loaded Smith and Wesson tucked in her skirt pocket.

Eager for adventure beyond her scientific experiments, Rose accepts her uncle’s challenge to become Denver’s first female private detective. When a wealthy woman employs her to track down a burglar, Rose zealously applies her unique investigative talents to prove she can handle any job. After two more home invasions turn violent, Rose races to find the perpetrator before another innocent shows up on a slab at the city morgue.

With the stakes raised, Rose employs the help of her friend, the attractive Dr. Taylor Whitman, to lure the perpetrator out of hiding—with Rose as the bait. What Rose fails to foresee is the complexity of the crime, involving more than one perpetrator tasked with silencing her. Will her cunning be enough to unravel the clues before it’s too late?

Step into Denver’s bustling city streets at the turn of the century with Rose McKenzie, a spirited private investigator and a woman brave enough to undertake any case. Don’t miss The Case of the Peculiar Inheritance, a stand-alone novel in the delightfully entertaining McKenzie Sisters Mystery series.

Watch the book trailer by clicking here or watch below.
“That should do it.” Dr. Taylor Whitman sat back and studied Rose with amber eyes that reminded her of brandy in candlelight. At the moment, his eyes had a wolfish glint as he perused her with something more than clinical interest. The moment passed quickly, and the softness returned as his lips curved into a wide smile, revealing normal teeth with no pronounced canines. Except for the thin diagonal scar creasing his right eyebrow, he was a decidedly perfect specimen of manhood. Not for the first time, Rose wondered how a man of such bearing should have wielded a scalpel instead of a sword.

The doctor reached out and touched the tip of her nose. “You’re a very lucky young woman, Miss McKenzie. If that piece of metal had struck you an inch lower, you could have lost the use of that attractive blue eye.”

Rose touched her temple, fingering the stitches. “Only two?”

Dr. Whitman shook his head. “You have my deepest sympathies, Mrs. Pennyworth. I think the patient has not only a laceration but a brain injury as well.”

“Is that what you call it? A brain injury? If it is, I think she had it before the explosion.” Mrs. Pennyworth huffed and left the room, calling back, “If you’ve an interest, there’s breakfast chilling in the morning room.”

With less humor in his eyes, the doctor turned back to Rose, his smooth brow creased in disapproval. “Seriously, Rose, you need to be more careful. You push your studies too far sometimes. Magnesium is unstable in the best of situations. Do you know how many photographers have been maimed and even killed by mishandling it?”

Rose met his intense gaze with her own studious one.

The doctor frowned. “Did you hear me?”

“Did you know that your left eye has gold radial lines? It’s only in the left eye. Like striations one might find in gold ore. Fascinating,” she said as she shifted her focus from one eye to the other. “One day you must tell me how you came by that scar.” She touched her fingertip to his warm skin and traced the thin line stretching from his hairline to his eyebrow.

Dr. Whitman brushed her hand aside. “You’re impossible.”

“And you’re angry.”

With lips compressed and frustration apparent, he snapped his medical bag closed. For a long moment, he stared at her before shaking his head and taking a step to the door.

Rose reached for his wrist and gripped it firmly. “No, I can tell. You’re angry. Your right eye twitches, like now. You can feel it, can’t you? There! I saw it again. I wonder if it’s in rhythm with your pulse. Have you ever tried timing it?”

Dr. Whitman gently but firmly plucked her hand from his sleeve. “Let’s go to the museum, shall we? I believe we were going to try to arrive before the midday crowds.” “You’re right! What time is it?” Rose started for the hallway. “I’ll just pick up a wrap from my room.”

“Miss McKenzie?” Mrs. Pennyworth rounded the corner, nearly colliding with her employer. “Excuse me.” She stammered, bringing a hand to her breast. “There’s a lady here to see you.” The housekeeper looked over her shoulder, then leaned forward and whispered, “I think it’s a professional visit. She asked for the dee-tec-tive.” Mrs. Pennyworth always said the word in clearly distinguished syllables, making it sound like three separate words, and not very polite ones at that.

“Oh? Well, that’s wonderful! Please, show her in.”

“Perhaps I should leave you to speak with your client in private,” Dr. Whitman said, already starting for the door.

“Oh, no! If she’s distressed by some criminal activity, I’m quite certain your presence would comfort her. It’s necessary for a client to feel relaxed in order to recall all the details of a case.”

“If you think so.” Dr. Whitman set his bag on the table and took a step back, folding his arms across his chest.

She nodded approvingly. “That’s good. You look very professional standing just that way. How do I look?” She poked her fingers ineffectively into the precarious mass of curls atop her head. “I imagine my stitches give an impression of an adventurous nature. Do you agree?”

“Or that you are extremely clumsy.”
Samantha St. Claire is the pen name of an author passionate about American history and the people whose legacies are woven into the fabric of a nation. She writes these characters to life in her novels of the western frontier, their trials and triumphs. Coming from a family of pioneers, she honestly claims her roots as a Daughter of the American Revolution and descendant of a Scottish Laird. Never faint of heart, her signature protagonists face the hazards of the frontier with courage, wit, and a healthy pinch of humor. 

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"This intrepid heroine kept me guessing till the end and made me laugh out loud! Rose is the epitome of the perfect heroine that I love to follow. She’s colorful, amusing, ingenious, and brilliant. I loved the setting Colorado 1899 and the atmosphere with a delightful blend of humor and adventure." —Books & Benches, Top Pick (on The Case of the Peculiar Inheritance)

Rich descriptions and entertaining characters bring to life the beauty and struggle of life in the 19th-century West. This cozy tale grounded in the everyday will surely delight historical romance fans.” —Publisher’s Weekly Starred Review on Comes the Winter

"I thoroughly enjoyed reading this book. Samantha St. Claire's style of writing is captivating. She lures you in with vivid word imagery and takes you on a journey with a well written sequence of events that make this book very difficult to put down. Samantha St. Claire's language and storytelling skills combine to give us a very enjoyable, sometimes emotional adventure to another time and place." —Readers' Favorite

A wonderful book, and an auspicious start to The Sawtooth Range series!” —InD'Tale Magazine on Kat’s Law

"Miss St. Claire's stories unfailingly take readers to places and times of transformation. The author shows an affinity for confronting the crossroads in life. “Portrait of Dawn” is part of Samantha St. Claire’s “Sawtooth Mountain series,” but it stands on its own as a fully realized story and will be enjoyed by a first-time reader. I do recommend seeking out other titles in the series. These are sweet, heart-warming stories, perfect for relaxation, inspiration, and, sometimes, quiet introspection." —The Constant Reader

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