Once again, the Shasta Police Department drafts Ro to return to her role as homicide detective and help her old partner Herc find the killer. But uncorking the mystery proves challenging given the small pool of suspects, most of them artists like the victim. Before Ro can sip success, she must also deal with a missing-persons case—her construction supervisor’s sister—and sort out her feelings for Chuck as their relationship warms up.
Why would someone want to murder a loner whose career was just beginning to soar? And why would the benefactor who commissioned his new piece remain incognito? A palette of clues obscures the meaning of the murder, and Ro and her friends will have to strip away perplexing and dangerous layers to find the truth.
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.
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.