24 November, 2019

Hazards in Hampshire (A British Book Tour Mystery) by Emma Dakin Book Tour and Excerpt!


Hazards in Hampshire (A British Book Tour Mystery)
by Emma Dakin

About Hazards in Hampshire

Hazards in Hampshire (A British Book Tour Mystery)
Cozy Mystery
1st in Series
Camel Press (October 15, 2019)
Paperback: Number of Pages 190
ISBN-10: 1941890601
ISBN-13: 978-1941890608
Digital ASIN: B07V2K7QTB
Moving to a quiet English village should have been tranquil, but Claire Barclay learns that even an invitation to tea can be deadly. Who killed Mrs. Paulson, the president of the local Mystery Books Club? Was the motive for murder located in the archives of the book club? The members of the books club might have reason to want Mrs. Paulson’s out of the way. She had lived in the village all her life, been involved in many organizations and societies and knew many secrets of the villagers. Was one secret too dangerous for her to keep? She had been wealthy and left her money to a member of the club. Could the legatee have been impatient for her inheritance? Who cared enough to want her dead? Claire, an expert in solving problems in her job as a tour guide, decides to delve into the archives and into the lives of the villagers—and find out.About Emma Dakin
 CHAPTER FOUR

The cleaner arrived, bouncing on the top step. She was about thirty, slim,
athletic, sporting a big diamond ring on her left hand and a shiny wedding
band. The street behind her was shining as well. Rain had washed the
world last night, and this morning’s sunshine sparkled off the drops on the
willows lining the street and on the flagstones on my walk. It was going to be a
beautiful day.
“Jones,” she said. “I’m Rose Jones.”
We shook hands and I invited her in. Gulliver peered at her from behind
my legs.
Rose squatted down and held out her hand. “Who’s this gentleman?”
I introduced her.
Gulliver licked her hand, and she petted him. “Lovely dog. He’ll give us a fair amount of hair to vacuum, I expect.”
I hadn’t thought about the fact that every dog should come with a house
cleaner. It was funny to think of Gulliver needing a valet. Rose brought in a large
amount of supplies and equipment. She straightened and glanced around the
hall.
“Are you settled in?” She asked.
I imagined her calculating the amount of dust, dirt and dog hair she would
have to clean up. She looked like a dynamic elf about five-foot-four, short, dark,
straight hair and huge brown eyes. Energy bubbled from her and bounced around
the walls of my entrance. Not something I was used to.
“More or less settled, yes. Let’s talk in the kitchen. All right with you?” I said.
It was bigger than the hall. Maybe her energy would dissipate a little in a bigger
room, I hoped.
“Blimey! This is cool,” she said as she viewed the bright light coming through
the paned glass, picking up the warm earthy colors of the floor. I had a pot of basil
and one of parsley on the deep windowsill ready for the days I did cook. Eurasian
pottery from my sojourn in Italy sat on a high shelf beside the stained-glass vase
by Sara Cornwell I picked up in Suffolk and a hand-woven Salish basket from the
West Coast of America.
“Thanks.” I particularly liked my kitchen.
“What matters most to you?” was Rose’s first question, once she hung her
fleece jacket over a chair and pulled out her tablet.
It wasn’t a philosophical question. She didn’t want to know my values,
religious beliefs or my views on love. She wanted to know what housekeeping
priorities I had.
I thought for a moment, “The kitchen, bathrooms and windows.”
She typed that into her file and added comments.
“And, of course, vacuuming,” she said. “This house will be about a three-hour
job once a week. Is that good for you?”
I didn’t know if this was going to suit me, but I was willing to try it. I agreed.
“Fine. I’ll make good use of the time, no fear.” She stood. “Where are
your supplies?”
She was organized, sure of herself and she might be worthwhile. I had a new
house and a dog. I didn’t know what kind of cleaning I needed but I would find out.
I escorted her to the small closet under the stairs. She examined the cleaning
supplies and hummed a little. “I’ll use this up but is it okay if I buy the products
and bill you for them? I know what works most of the time, I use baking soda and
vinegar. It`s cheap, effective and not poisonous to the environment.”
I glanced at my environmentally hazardous cleaning materials and felt guilty.
“Yes, that’s fine. It will save me shopping.” I mentally squirmed a little, a little
ashamed of all the non-environmentally friendly products I’d bought just because
I always had. She was right. Time for a change. The environment was important.
I realized, I might never touch the vacuum or cleaning supplies again, if this
worked out. We exchanged phone numbers. I gave her a spare key. She stated her
rates which were fair. I calculated the fee for the morning and made out a cheque.
“Just leave it on the counter. I’ll pick it up when I leave.” Rose put her tablet
on the table and wiped her hands on her jeans. That seemed to be some kind
of trigger, a switch in her personality. The efficient, time-sensitive woman
disappeared. Her shoulders dropped a little, her hands hung more loosely at her
sides. She rocked back on her heels and smiled.
“Well, now, I’ll get to work, since I’m on the clock. I’ll start upstairs. I’m going
to like working here. Such a nice house. Small, convenient.”
It suited me and it wouldn’t take her long to keep it clean.
She returned to the supplies cupboard and hauled out the vacuum and a
plastic caddy into which she put items from the shelves. She moved quickly but
talked as she worked as if her constant chatter sustained her like electrical energy.
“Have the Stonnings been back to the house since you arrived?”
The other side of the wall of my semi-detached house was occupied only
periodically, as the owners lived in London most of the time—or so the estate
agent said.
“No, not yet.”
“They’re a loud bunch. Always partying. You’d think they’d know better, not
being so young, you know.”
I looked at her hoping for more information. That’s all it took.
“About 45, heading up into 50. Middle-aged and not very smart with it.”
Middle–aged? That was my age. I couldn’t be middle-aged yet.
“And her that’s the nice vet’s sister. They’re not a bit alike those two. He’s
steady. She’s flighty. And the noise they make---and drugs! You’ll want to buy
some ear plugs when they come. I bet the estate agent didn’t tell you about that.”
Did she take some satisfaction in imparting this news? I hoped not.
“No, he didn’t.” I didn’t want to hear any more gossip about the Stonnings. I
didn’t know Rose well enough to judge if her information was reliable, or if she
simply liked to gossip.
“Rowdy crew. You won’t like them. Snooty with it.”
I’d worry about the noise when it happened. Besides, I might find a little
noise and activity comforting, a sign that people were nearby and I wasn’t alone.
She paused half-way up the stairs. “Too bad about Mrs. Paulson. Isabel that
was, but no one called her by her first name. She liked her dignity. A bit of a know-it-
all. Bossed everyone. Not that she didn’t do a lot of work for the community, so
we’ll miss her for that. Did you know her real well?”
I shook my head. “Not at all. I don’t ever remember meeting her.”
She managed another few steps. “Oh, I thought you might have known her,
finding the body and all.”
This is Emma Dakin’s first series, set in Britain the homeland of Emma’s grandparents. Emma channels her mother’s inherited English culture along with the attitudes and sayings of the modern Brits. She travels widely in England and at one point this May while travelling through the Yorkshire Moors she had all the tourists in a tour bus looking for a good place to hide a body. As Marion Crook, she has published many novels of adventure and mystery for young adult and middle grade readers as well as non-fiction for adults and young adults and non-fiction on social issues. Firmly in the cozy mystery genre now, and committed to absorbing the culture and changing world of Britain, she plans to enjoy the research and the writing of cozies.
Author Links
Webpage/Blog  emmadakinauthor.com
Purchase Links – Amazon Digital   Amazon Paperback       B&N Kobo     IndieBound
TOUR PARTICIPANTS
November 11 – Reading Is My SuperPower – CHARACTER GUEST POST
November 11 – Readeropolis – SPOTLIGHT
November 12 – My Reading Journeys – REVIEW
November 13 – Literary Gold – SPOTLIGHT
November 14 – Brooke Blogs – SPOTLIGHT, EXCERPT
November 14 – The Pulp and Mystery Shelf – GUEST POST
November 15 – eBook Addicts – REVIEW, RECIPE
November 15 – Hearts & Scribbles – SPOTLIGHT, EXCERPT
November 16 – Cinnamon, Sugar, and a Little Bit of Murder – REVIEW, RECIPE
November 16 – FUONLYKNEW – SPOTLIGHT
November 17 – A Blue Million Books – AUTHOR INTERVIEW
November 18 – StoreyBook Reviews – CHARACTER GUEST POST
November 19 – Carole’s Book Corner – REVIEW
November 19 – Book Club Librarian – REVIEW
November 20 – A Wytch’s Book Review Blog – REVIEW, CHARACTER INTERVIEW
November 21 – That’s What She’s Reading – REVIEW, GUEST POST, GIVEAWAY
November 21 – Laura’s Interests – REVIEW
November 22 – Diane Reviews Books – REVIEW, RECIPE, INDIVIDUAL GIVEAWAY
November 23 – I Read What You Write – REVIEW, CHARACTER GUEST POST
November 23 – Escape With Dollycas Into A Good Book – GUEST POST
November 24 – Celticlady’s Reviews – SPOTLIGHT, EXCERPT
November 24 – Cozy Up With Kathy – AUTHOR INTERVIEW

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