Thursday, January 16, 2020

Book Tour - Survival Can Be Deadly by Charlotte Stuart

Survival Can Be Deadly: A Cameron Chandler Mystery
Cozy Mystery
1st in Series
Publisher: Walrus Publishing (September 10, 2019)
An imprint of Amphorae Publishing Group
Paperback: 308 pages

Synopsis: When single mom and recent widow Cameron Chandler takes a much-needed job at Penny-wise Investigations, a detective agency conveniently located in a suburban shopping mall, she grabs the chance to reinvent herself. Her first case is to locate a runaway girl, something her predecessor had been pursuing before he disappeared. Following in his footsteps, the trail leads to a survivalist camp on a remote island in northern Puget Sound. Armed with only a Swiss Army Knife and her quirky on-the-job training as a suburban sleuth, Cameron uncovers more than she bargained for. She soon finds herself in a fight for her own survival in this lighthearted mystery set in Seattle and the San Juan Islands to the north.

Cameron announces to her two children that she just got a job:
“I got a job.” I mouthed the words for Mara so as not to interrupt Jason’s concentration.
“Oh, Mom!” She rushed over and hugged me.
Jason couldn’t stand it. He hit the pause button and turned to us with a look of irritation mixed with curiosity. “Something happen?”
“I got a job.” This time I said it out loud. It felt good.
“That’s great.” He turned back to the television and pressed the play button. The commercial ended and Anderson Cooper appeared. Jason’s eleven and a news junkie. He reads the local newspaper every day, scans the online headlines for the New York Times, The Huffington Post, and Fox News—to get a balanced perspective—and faithfully watches the evening news, flipping from channel to channel. Mom is always telling me that this is unnatural for someone his age, but she never complains to him.
“Doing what?” he asked temporarily muting Anderson Cooper.
This was the moment I had been waiting for. With a calm, firm voice, I said, “As a detective.”
“A what?” Mara shook her head as though she hadn’t heard properly.
“A detective,” I repeated with a smile.
At long last I had Jason’s full attention as he turned to look at me. “What kind of detective?”
“How many kinds are there?”
“Well.…” He gave it some thought. “You can’t mean a real detective.”
“Why not?”
“Because … because … well, you’re not the type.”

Cameron’s first morning at a survivalist camp retreat:
It seemed as though I had barely closed my eyes when bells began ringing. “Everyone up,” an authoritative voice ordered. “Breakfast in fifteen minutes.”
All around me women were leaping out of beds. I forced myself upright and managed to touch the cold floor with my warm feet without swearing. I wasn’t surprised to see Dinah looking bright and eager. Groaning, I dragged myself up and pulled on my clothes. Then I dutifully followed the others to the back room where I splashed icy water over my face and brushed my teeth. By the time I went out back to dispose of the basin water I was almost awake. And getting to the outhouse was becoming a necessity.
I rushed down the boardwalk alongside a couple of other women, all surreptitiously jockeying to be the first to get there. The outhouse was a two-seater, but I still had to wait in line. And as I stood there staring at the wood structure with the traditional moon in the door, it occurred to me how strange it would be sitting right next to someone while going to the bathroom. No partition. No need to pass TP under the stall wall. Just two survivors sharing a toilet.
“No frills is right,” the young woman next to me commented as we simultaneously relieved ourselves. She yawned widely revealing startlingly white teeth with no visible fillings. I was impressed. As soon as she finished yawning, I yawned, revealing my own dental history.

About Charlotte Stuart

In a world filled with uncertainty and too little chocolate, Charlotte Stuart, PhD, has taught college courses in communication, gone commercial fishing in Alaska, and was the VP of HR and Training for a large credit union. Her current passion is for writing lighthearted mysteries with a pinch of adventure and a dollop of humor. When she isn’t writing, she enjoys watching herons, eagles, seals and other sea life from her Vashon Island home office.

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