by Barbara E. Brink
Book 1: Roadkill
The Gunners think they’re living the perfect life. He’s a hotshot homicide detective, and she is doing what she loves best, small theatre acting. But after an arrest goes badly and Blake is shot and injured, they decide to leave the crime-ridden city for the quiet, quirky little hamlet where he grew up. Nestled along Lake Superior in the upper peninsula of Michigan, Port Scuttlebutt isn’t as calm and serene as they anticipated. Below an innocent Mayberry surface are secrets as dangerous as the great lake’s rip currents.
Staying at The Drunken Sailor Bed and Breakfast, they learn that the proprietor’s wife was killed in an unsolved hit-and-run and there’s more to this mystery than meets the eye. The mayor, the librarian, a homeless man, and a rich old woman all have legitimate motives for murder. Can the Gunners figure it out before the killer’s next victim is lying dead in the road?
“I loved all the teasing threads and how she tied them together in unexpected ways. I admit, I was surprised by more than one twist.”
“Roadkill is a masterful mystery.”
“I cannot say enough good words about this book. I look forward to reading more in this great new series of Double Barrel Mysteries. Thanks for the fantastic read!!!”
Available on Amazon and Barnes & Noble
Book 2: Much Ado About Murder
Autumn in Port Scuttlebutt usually means a stormy Lake Superior, crisp temperatures, vibrant fall colors, and an invasion of deer hunters. This year, there’s also a shallow grave.
Someone killed Pete Dugan’s ex-wife and planted her under his woodpile. The police consider him the obvious suspect, but the Gunners have other ideas. What does the murder of a pet squirrel, the sighting of a mysterious car, a break-in at the bed & breakfast, and the reappearance of three ex-cons into the community have to do with the murder of a middle-aged legal assistant?
No detective worth a grain of salt believes in coincidence. So when things start piling up that seem too quirky to be happenstance, Blake and Shelby have to decipher the clues and come up with the truth before a killer gets away with murder.
“Blake and Shelby are a wonderful couple to spend time with while solving a murder mystery. Shelby’s soft heart and Blake’s no-nonsense-former-cop attitudes are the perfect balance.”
“I love Port Scuttlebut, quite a name, and it makes me want to move there to that small town feel and work with these people.”
“It’s like you are right there with the characters. I love love love her books!”
Available on Amazon and Barnes & Noble
CIR: What inspired this series?
BRINK: About two years ago, my husband and I took a road trip to the Upper Peninsula. It was fall, and the bold colorful forest leaves, the blues of the lake and sky, and the quaint little shops in every tiny town we drove through remained vivid in my mind. I thought it would make a great setting for a book one day, but didn’t really pursue it until about a year ago. I woke up in the middle of the night with the names of my characters, the town, the bed and breakfast in the story, and other crazy details as clear in my mind as if I’d been to this place. Usually when I get an idea at night, if I don’t write it down that very minute, I tend to forget about it. But the next morning, it was still nagging at me. So I wrote everything down I could remember and started doing online research. A few months ago, we took another trip to the area to fuel my writing. I still plan to go in the winter when the ice caves are open. I think that would be a great place for a body to turn up.
CIR: What did you learn about your characters?
BRINK: The first book in a series is sort of like those first months after the honeymoon. You think you know this person you said “I do” to, but once you’re living with them, it’s a different story. The same goes for writing characters. I learn more about them through each chapter I write. They have good days and bad, quirks and funny habits, just like regular people. Even though they are now in my head and my heart, it doesn’t mean they don’t continue to surprise me. Blake and Shelby Gunner and the rest of the regulars from Port Scuttlebutt are characters that will certainly grow on you and worm their way into your heart.
CIR: Who is your favorite character and why?
BRINK: Shelby Gunner. She is so far into her character (she’s an actress playing a private investigator in real life) that she thinks she knows what she is doing and doesn’t care what anybody thinks. The opposite of me.
CIR: What did you enjoy most about writing this book?
BRINK: I enjoyed the whole “coming home” aspect for Blake as he returns to his childhood town and reconnects with friends and townspeople from his past. There are a lot of surprises and humor along with the mystery.
CIR: What would you compare this book to?
BRINK: The Double Barrel Mysteries is sort of a hybrid of Murder She Wrote, Hart to Hart, Downtown Abbey, and CSI Port Scuttlebutt. Much younger, funnier, and with a lot less money.