Welcome to my stop on the Great Escapes Virtual Book Tour for The Double Exposure Murder (A Robyn Cavanagh Mystery) by Jeanne Quigley. Stop by each blog on the tour for interviews, guest posts, spotlights, reviews and more!
The Double Exposure Murder (A Robyn Cavanagh Mystery)
by Jeanne Quigley
The Double Exposure Murder (A Robyn Cavanagh Mystery)
1st in Series
Setting – Garland, a fictional town in Orange County, NY
Number of Pages: 270
Robyn Cavanagh enjoys a thriving second career as a portrait photographer in her beloved suburban hometown of Garland, New York. Having built a large portfolio of high school senior photos and family portraits, Robyn is thrilled when math teacher Brooke Gibson hires her to take photos of a different subject: 16 Clover Lane, the house Brooke has recently inherited from her late great-aunt. Brooke will soon put the home on the market and wants Robyn to take the photos for the real estate listing. Robyn thinks the cozy house will attract prospective buyers—until she finds bride-to-be Brooke’s battered body in the garden shed.
When Brooke’s mother asks her help in canceling the wedding plans, Robyn plays amateur sleuth and gathers clues while also collecting refunds from Brooke’s wedding vendors. With help from her friend Will Vonderlin, Robyn assembles evidence of a possible love triangle, financial indiscretions, and neighborhood feuds and builds a suspect list that includes Brooke’s fiancé, a jealous relative, a longtime rival, and a shady bartender. The clues lead Robyn to the killer and a spectacular July Fourth finale complete with a marching band and a parade of howling dogs.
Guest post: A Cozy Setting
Thank for you this opportunity to introduce the first in my Robyn Cavanagh cozy mystery series, The Double Exposure Murder.
Creating a fictional town is one of the great pleasures of being a writer. I get to play urban planner, architect, and head of the Chamber of Commerce. I can place my town anywhere I wish, name all the roads and lanes, build homes for my characters, and line the main street with thriving businesses. Robyn’s hometown is Garland, New York, a picturesque Hudson River community in the northern part of Orange County. Garland’s revitalized business district and semi-rural beauty have turned the town into one of New York’s best places to visit and live. Residents of Manhattan and its boroughs take weekend day trips to Garland. Brides-to-be book local farms for their wedding receptions. Many visitors, enamored with Robyn’s Hudson Valley hometown, have bought weekend homes in Garland or moved their permanent residence to the town.
An important location in The Double Exposure Murder is 16 Clover Lane. Number Sixteen is a recent inheritance of high school math teacher Brooke Gibson, whose late great-aunt lived in the daffodil-colored house with a private backyard sanctuary. Bride-to-be Brooke is preparing to sell the small home and has hired Robyn to take the photographs for the real estate listing. Robyn is sure several offers will be made for the charming house as soon as it hits the market, until she makes a horrifying discovery in the garden shed: Brooke’s body. Beside her is the shovel used to deliver a fatal blow to her chest. In a matter of seconds, 16 Clover Lane has lost its appeal.
Garland’s main street is a frequent destination for Robyn as she hunts for clues to solve Brooke’s murder. Among the shops she visits on Hudson Road are Burt Yoon’s Antiques, the Belle Patti-sserie bakery, Stephanie Tomlin’s flower shop, and Schmidt’s Imported Clocks and Crafts. I didn’t overlook the Garland restaurant scene. Robyn shares a cheese pie with her friend Will Vonderlin at Andretta’s pizzeria and pays several visits to popular local eatery the Town Tavern. Robyn even gathers important information while shopping at Gessner’s supermarket, where she learns tidbits while selecting bananas and checking out the dairy aisle.
Where does Robyn relax after a day of investigating and taking photographs? At her cornflower (not robin’s egg) blue Craftsman-style home at 9 Lyons Lane that she shares with her mixed collie, Yogi. As a self-employed accountant and photographer whose office is a converted upstairs bedroom, Robyn loves that she can bring her beloved dog to work every day.
I hope you’ll pay a visit to Garland and help Robyn track down Brooke’s killer. You can tagalong as she and Yogi take their Saturday morning walk along Hudson Road, accompany Robyn into the various shops and restaurants, and attend a candlelight vigil for Brooke at Garland High School. Be sure to wear earplugs when Robyn pays a call on Maggie Schmidt at her import shop. Maggie has more than two dozen cuckoo clocks for sale and they’re all in full voice when ten o’clock strikes during Robyn’s visit.
I promise you’ll receive a warm welcome in Garland!
Yogi and I arrived at 16 Clover Lane a couple of minutes before 10:30. Brooke’s Ford Focus was parked in the carport.
Brooke didn’t respond to the first ring of the doorbell. I pressed the button again and waited a few seconds. The front door was open several inches, so I called to Brooke through the screen door. When she still didn’t answer, I assumed she was either in the bathroom or the backyard. I opened the screen door and entered the house, Yogi at my heels. The door to the powder room was open, and Brooke wasn’t in any of the first-floor rooms.
“Brooke! It’s Robyn.” I yelled up the staircase opposite the front door. I listened for a few seconds then headed into the kitchen. “Let’s go out back.”
The mystery deepened when I didn’t find Brooke on the patio. More possibilities ran through my mind. Brooke could be on a stroll around the block or in a neighbor’s house for a quick visit.
I called Brooke’s cell; when it went to voice mail, I ended the call without leaving a message. I’d text her, but before I started the message, a breeze blew open the shed door. The creaky door closed with a soft thud; then, another puff of wind urged it open again.
I spotted a can of paint on the ground outside the shed. “I should’ve known Brooke would fix the shed.”
Curious about the paint color Brooke had selected, I crossed the yard and bent over the paint can. I thought Brooke might have selected sunny yellow to match the house, but she had purchased a dark green shade. New paintbrushes and a drip pan lay on the grass next to the can. Did she plan to enlist me to help with the shed’s facelift?
The shed’s door creaked open and closed a third time. I moved to secure the door shut, but first I peeked inside and experienced an adrenaline rush like I’d never had. Fighting a growing sense of panic, I wrapped a length of the leash around my hand and pulled Yogi away from the supine form on the shed’s floor.
I took a second look at the still figure, clad in cut-off jeans and a white tank top. “Brooke!” Brooke’s mouth was open, and her eyes stared at the roof. Her nose was bloodied, and scratch marks stretched from her shoulders to her wrists. Her collarbone jutted out at a sickening angle.
I pushed back the door and told Yogi to lie down, making him a makeshift doorstop. He obeyed and watched me check Brooke for a pulse and breath.
It was a futile attempt, I knew, but a necessary one.
I stepped into the doorway and called 9-1-1, my glance fixed on the steel-blade shovel on the ground next to Brooke’s body.
About Jeanne Quigley
Jeanne Quigley is the author of the Veronica Walsh Mysteries and the Robyn Cavanagh mystery series. Unlike her fictional sleuths, she has never been a soap opera star or an accountant (though she was an accounting major for a few minutes in the spring of 1985), but she has worked for an educational publisher and in the music industry. A lifelong New Yorker, Jeanne lives in her native Rockland County.
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The Double Exposure Murder TOUR PARTICIPANTS
May 30 – #BRVL Book Review Virginia Lee Blog – SPOTLIGHT
May 30 – FUONLYKNEW – SPOTLIGHT
May 31 – Maureen’s Musings – SPOTLIGHT
May 31 – Christy’s Cozy Corners – GUEST POST
June 1 – Celticlady’s Reviews – SPOTLIGHT
June 2 – Novels Alive – REVIEW
June 3 – StoreyBook Reviews – REVIEW
June 3 – Books a Plenty Book Reviews – REVIEW, CHARACTER INTERVIEW
June 4 – Ruff Drafts – SPOTLIGHT
June 4 – Escape With Dollycas Into A Good Book – SPOTLIGHT
June 5 – Cozy Up With Kathy – REVIEW
June 5 – Nadaness In Motion – REVIEW
June 6 – Sapphyria’s Book Reviews – SPOTLIGHT
June 7 – The Mystery Section – SPOTLIGHT
June 7 – Mysteries with Character – AUTHOR INTERVIEW
June 8 – Girl with Pen – SPOTLIGHT
June 8 – I Read What You Write – GUEST POST