His colleagues say he was a loose screw, even if he was wound too tight. But Ro and her former colleague on the police force, Detective Hercules Morgan, soon discover he was a lot more than that. And a lot of people might have wanted to wrench the life out of him, from disgruntled builders to his sneaky co-workers to a relative who stands to inherit everything.
The more Ro, Val and Herc interview suspects and other persons of interest, the less they are able to hammer down a motive. But as the case takes an unexpected turn and becomes doubly complex, can a voice from beyond the grave be just what they need to nail down the guilty party?
Barbara Barrett started reading mysteries when she was pregnant with her first child to keep her mind off things like her changing body and food cravings. When she’d devoured as many Agatha Christies as she could find, she branched out to English village cozies and Ellery Queen.
Later, to avoid a midlife crisis, she began writing fiction at night when she wasn’t at her day job in human resources for Iowa State Government. After releasing eleven full-length romance novels and two novellas, she returned to the cozy mystery genre, using one of her retirement pastimes, the game of mah jongg, as her inspiration. Not only has it been a great social outlet, it has also helped keep her mind active when not writing.
Loose Screw is the second book in the Nailed It Home Reno Mysteries Series. It features Rowena Summerfield, a retired homicide investigator who teams up with her daughter, Valerie Kowalski, to start their own home renovation business. After struggling to keep afloat the first few years, they are now building a solid reputation. That is, until Ro’s former partner, Herc Morgan, comes calling and begging her to help him solve his latest murder case, that of building inspector who’s been dragging his feet approving their building plans.
Though not an interior designer, that occupation has always fascinated Barbara. Her father was a carpenter and her husband has his own woodworking business. Exposure to their work got her interested in watching numerous home improvement shows on HGTV. Ro and Val are an amalgam of several HGTV hosts. She used that combination of personality traits for Ro and turned her into a female sleuth who rehabs older houses.
Barbara is a member of Sisters in Crime, Sinc-Iowa and Florida STAR Fiction Writers.
She is married to the man she met her senior year of college. They have two grown children and eight grandchildren.
Now retired, she is a resident of Florida, although she spends her summers in Iowa, her home state. She earned her B.A. degree in History from the University of Iowa and her Master’s Degree in History from Drake University.
When not in front of her laptop creating her next story, she plays mah jongg, watches TV detective shows and enjoys lunches with friends.