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7 March 2013

Hywela Lyn's feature - Doggone Dead, a Betty Livingston mystery by Teresa Trent mystery


Doggone Dead
by Teresa Trent


Teresa Trent lives in Texas and loves writing about small town life. She first got the idea to create Pecan Bayou after visiting the Texas Hill Country to view the millions of springtime flowers alongside the roads and highways. The town of Pecan Bayou does not exist in Texas, but there is a body of water in the state with the name. Pecan Bayou does exist in Teresa's imagination and heart.

Teresa is the parent of a child with Down Syndrome. After realizing there is so little fiction with characters having disabilities, she wanted to create someone with a developmental delay who worked, was part of a loving family and who even helped solve a few mysteries.






Book Genre-Cozy Mystery
Publisher – Tightwad Tess Press
Release Date February 2013

Book Description:
Give me land lots of land....and a puppy on the loose. When Betsy Livingston's puppy runs away, she has no idea it will lead her to a murder on a movie cowboy star's estate. Not only has there been a murder, but the town reports sightings of the dead cowboy himself. He's out to seek revenge on all who wronged his daughter who became the victim of her own money-loving butler. Enjoy a little time on the Fourth of July in the tiny town of Pecan Bayou Texas where old cowboys never die...



Doggone Dead Excerpt


His little butt wiggled as his wagging tail seemed to propel him down the street. Butch looked all around, happy to be exploring. He came upon the biggest house in the neighborhood, the old Loper home, and shimmied under two giant wrought-iron gates that joined the large segments of gray brick walls surrounding the house.
“He went in the cowboy house!” shouted Zach.
“Butch!” I yelled out, now grasping the black curlicues of the gate.
“Butch! You get back over here. Bad dog. Bad dog!”
Butch, not feeling the guilt, went right on taking time to pee on the historic fountain, a bronze depiction of Charlie Loper on a bucking bronco with his six gun shooting into the air. Once he’d finished tagging the statue, he happily scampered around the back of the house.
I shook the gate, the sound of metal rattling in our ears. There was a black box with a speaker and a button ner the bottom. I pushed the button.
“Hello?”
No answer.
I tried the latch on the gate. It was locked. God forbid someone from the other side of the park should get in to experience opulent cowboy luxury.
I hit the buzzer again. “Hello, is anyone in there? I’m sorry, but our dog just crawled under your fence.”
Again, no answer.
Zach now slid in front of me and pushed the speaker button. “Helllllllooooo …” He elongated his greeting as if yelling into an empty canyon. Feeling his approach might work, he repeated it.
The black box rustled. “May I help you?” a clipped British accent came over the airway. Not exactly the voice you would expect to hear while staring at a statue of a man on a bucking horse. Whoever this guy in the box was, he didn’t sound pleased we were pushing his button.
“Yes,” I answered. “Our puppy crawled under your front gate, and I’m afraid he’s running around on your grounds.”
Silence. I waited for around ten seconds until Zach pulled at my sleeve, urging me to push the button again.
“Are you there?” I asked. “Sir?”
More silence.
“Sir? Did you hear what I said? Our puppy has …”
“I heard you,” he cut me off.
“Have you seen him?”
“No. I have not. Please leave.”
I pushed the button, ignoring the black box’s command. “Are there any other ways out besides this gate?”
“I have not seen your puppy,” the increasingly perturbed voice said. “You are at the only entrance and exit of the estate. You must have been ... mistaken. Good day.”
We had been dismissed. Zach breathed in deep and exhaled with a cry. “Where’s Butch, Mom?”
“I don’t know, baby. Let’s walk down the block and call for him. Maybe he got out the other side somehow.”
“But the guy said …” 

I know what the guy said.” Upon looking at the grounds inside the fence a second time, I noticed overgrown foliage around the house. There was also a line of rust around the fountain. From the street all you could see was the fountain and paved area around it, but once you looked inside the gate, the façade of Hollywood elegance fell flat. The grass was too high, the shrubs looked like monsters from a second-rate horror movie, and there were no flowers. They might have an uptown butler, but the place was looking ragged.
 







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