Sunday, September 30, 2012

Greg McKenzie Book 2 Free Oct. 1-3

When I wrote the book that became my first published mystery, Secret of the Scroll, I had no idea of turning it into a series. But I fell in love with Greg and Jill McKenzie and decided they were too interesting to consign to the scrap heap of discarded fictional characters. I started looking around for a plot to get them involved in a good whodunit.

My brother had a condo on Perdido Key, Florida in those days, and my wife and I spent a couple of weeks there each spring and fall. It was an ideal place to do some writing. I decided to set the new book there. The most obvious sight in those days was a bevy of cranes lifting construction materials above the beach. It was boom days for high-rise condos.

Designed to Kill developed from that start. I looked back to characters from the first book for the basic setup. Greg and Jill McKenzie owned a condo in the same spot as the one Sarah and I stayed at on Perdido Key. The McKenzies' best friends, Sam and Wilma Gannon, had a son named Tim who was architect/engineer for a new high-rise designed after a Spanish castle. At a party marking completion of the project, a fifteenth floor balcony collapses, sending two people to their deaths.

When Tim's body is found the next morning at the Gulf Islands National Seashore not far away, the sheriff's sergeant who investigates calls it an obvious suicide. Sam Gannon disagrees and asks his retired Air Force investigator friend, Greg, to look into it. Greg, with Jill's help, finds lots of inconsistencies. When he's warned to butt out by a couple of Mafia enforcers, he knows it's time to solve a murder.

A cover blurb by New York Times bestselling author Phillip Margolin calls the book "A thoroughly enjoyable mystery with an intelligent plot, clever clues and characters who are like people you know."

It has a twist at the end and you probably won't guess the identity of the murderer.


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