Monday, May 22, 2017


Dumpster dying & Grilled, Chilled and Killed!
by Leslie A Diehl

Dumpster Dying: Book 1 in the Big Lake Murder MysteriesCozy Mystery
1st in Series
Creekside Publishing (December 31, 2016)
Paperback: 248 Pages E-Book 232 pages
ISBN-13: 978-0997234923

Emily Rhodes came to rural Florida for the cowboys, the cattle, and to do a little country two-step, not to fall head first onto a dead body in a dumpster. Ah, the golden years of retirement in the sunshine state. They’re more like pot metal to Emily, who discovers the body of the county’s wealthiest rancher in the Big Lake Country Club dumpster. With her close friend accused of the murder, Emily sets aside her grief at her life partner’s death to find the real killer. She underestimates the obstacles rural Florida can set up for a winter visitor and runs afoul of a local judge with his own version of justice, hires a lawyer who works out of a retirement home, and flees wild fires hand-in-hand with the man she believes to be the killer.

Donald Green, Curmudgeon from Dumpster Dying and Grilled, Chilled and Killed
Lesley A. Diehl, Author

Introduction: There are two men who are both an aggravation and an interest to Emily Rhodes, protagonist in Dumpster Dying and Grilled, Chilled and Killed . Today we are fortunate to have caught one of them at work. Donald Green is a bass fisherman and the part-time bartender Emily hired to help out in the Big Lake Country Club. According to Emily, “Donald is difficult to get along with, but he was the only choice I had for a hire on short notice. There isn’t a day that goes by I don’t want to fire him, yet he had surprised me on occasion with his generosity.”

My name is Donald Green, and I’ve lived around and fished the Big Lake most of my life. For those of you Yankees, the Big Lake is Lake Okeechobee, the freshwater lake in the bottom third of Florida. Before the dam was built to contain the lake, it fed the Everglades to the south, but now the water from it is controlled by a series of locks. It’s a shallow lake and recent hurricanes have stirred up the bottom of it, and run-off from farming, ranching and other commercial concerns to the north have created nutrient rich waters which, when allowed to flow into the canals leading to the coast, have created algae blooms on the east coast of Florida. Fishing her water is not what it used to be. There are still big bass to be taken, and bass tournaments to be won, but the lake is not as wild as it used to be, and winter visitors are fishing her to depletion. If it sounds like I’m not fond of tourists coming in here every winter and competing for the fish, you’re right. But I’m really not fond of any newcomers trying to fish waters I used to have to myself, but especially if they’re a snowbird.

The worst winter visitor I’ve met is Emily Rhodes. She’s a short, Yankee gal with attitude. I can’t think why I ever said yes to her offer of a job. Maybe I was feeling kindly that day. (Note from Emily here: I can’t remember any time when Donald felt kindly to anyone.) I guess the perks that come with the job tempted me: I make my own hours and my greens fees are waived when I want to play a round of golf. Free is always a plus in my book.

Nope, I’ve never been married. Never could understand why any man would want a woman around. My view is that they interfere with your life. My life is near perfect. I do what I want when I want. I must admit, however, that despite her pushy ways, Emily is a cute little thing who can tempt any man, and that includes me. The gal also has gumption. She backed up my duelie truck and pulled my bass boat up the ramp the day we met. I was almost impressed. Then I had to save her from that alligator she almost ran into. You’d think she’d be more grateful to me, but she’s still the same scrappy gal.

There is a dilemma for me concerning Emily. I know Stanton Lewis, a friend of mine and a detective  with the local police, is sweet on Emily. I don’t know if he knows how he feels yet, but when he does, he’ll be sure to make his moves on her. Stanton is smooth. And where does that leave me? I don’t like the idea of competing with the guy. And then there’s the matter of which of us Emily favors. She and I did have some difficult moments one night when both of us were close to dying. I almost gave myself away and kissed Emily, but was stopped just in time. I think she knew I was going to kiss her. She keeps giving me those funny looks. I feel like a durn fool, and she acts as if she’s got a one up on me because she knows I fancy her.

Women! I know my way around fish, and I can even deal with alligators, but women are an enigma. Like I said, my life is near perfect with the exception of working next to a woman I also made a fool of myself over. But then, I ask myself: How would I feel if Detective Lewis made a move and Emily decided she liked him? Maybe I should try to kiss her again. Maybe ask her out on a date. Maybe a real date and not just fishing on my bass boat.

Oh, oh. Here she comes, and I’ve been yammering away and not icing the beer for this afternoon’s  golfing crowd. Maybe I should ask her for that date now before anybody comes into the bar. Oh, gator barf! Too late. Here’s comes Detective Lewis.

“Hi, Emily,” said Detective Lewis, “ How would you like a cup of coffee with me when you get off work?”

Emily smiles at Lewis. Donald Green just growls and continues to ice the beer.

If you never thought of Florida as the Wild West, you will after reading this!
Fires and Gators and murder - oh my!
These are trying times for Emily Rhodes, who is still reeling from the loss of her long time love. Sadly, he was not her legal husband. Ex-es are making trouble for everyone no matter which way one turns throughout these pages.

There are plenty of men around this retirement community. Is any the sort one wants to see more than once - - if he can stay alive that long!
This is a strong novel about the power of friendship and family, no matter how you define it

                                                  Grilled, Chilled and Killed: Big Lake Murder Mystery

Cozy Mystery                                                                                

2nd in Series

Creekside Publishing (December 31, 2016)

Paperback: 330 pages E-Book 224 pages

ISBN-13: 978-0997234930

It seems as if Emily is destined to discover dead bodies. This time she finds one of the contestants at the local barbecue cook-off dead and covered in barbecue sauce in a beer cooler. She should be used to stumbling onto corpses by now and the question of who killed the guy should pique her curiosity, but Emily decides to let Detective Lewis handle this one, at least until she figures his theory of who did the deed is wrong, wrong, wrong. Lewis’ denigration of Emily’s speculations is condescending enough to stimulate her dormant snooping skills. As the two of them go on their separate paths to find the killer, Lewis’ old partner, Toby the dirty, tobacco-spitting cop interferes in the investigation leaving Lewis with the wrong man in jail. Killers, bootleggers, barbecue and feral pigs—it’s a lethal game of hide and seek in the Florida swamp.

You may enjoy this best if you had read the previous book in the series, Dumpster Dying (Big Lake Murder Mysteries, #1) , but it reads well enough as a stand alone. 

Emily is a petite spitfire trying to establish a new normal after the loss of her longtime love.
Now there are two men who may be trying to make a love connection with her and they are total opposites. The only thing they seem to have in common is a competitive nature and a desire to keep Emily from causing herself harm. That is a full time job.
Emily sees herself as a detective of the private investigator version. She doesn't look for murders to solve but somehow the bodies throw themselves in her path. The daughter she gave up for adoption decades ago had found her and together they manage to get deeper into trouble.

The book visits the wilds of Florida and some less civilized activities. 
It centers around a very competitive world of barbeque cook-off and sauce creation but the danger and action move beyond the fairground setting. Can Emily and Naomi survive this time?
Many decisions need to be made.

Spiders and gators and feral hogs all play a role. Some of the topics are quite dark but the author keeps the action moving and adds her brand of humor to keep this an enjoyable read

Lesley retired from her life as a professor of psychology and reclaimed her country roots by moving to a small cottage in the Butternut River Valley in Upstate New York. In the winter she migrates to old Florida—cowboys, scrub palmetto and open fields of grazing cattle, a place where spurs still jingle in the post office, and gators make golf a contact sport. Back north, the shy ghost inhabiting the cottage serves as her literary muse. When not writing, she gardens, cooks, frequents yard sales and renovates the 1874 cottage with the help of her husband, two cats and, of course, Fred the ghost, who gives artistic direction to their work. She is the author of a number of mystery series and mysteries as well as short stories. The third book in the Eve Appel murders (from Camel Press) A Sporting Murder was awarded a Readers’ Favorite Five Star Award and her short story Gator Aid a Sleuthfest (2009) short story first place. She has fired the alligator that served as her literary muse when she is in Florida and is interviewing applicants for the position.

Author Links
Purchase Links
Dumpster Dying – Amazon 
Grilled, Chilled and Killed – Amazon

1 comment:

  1. I know Donald is too shy or grumpy to say this, but he was just thrilled he got to be a guest on your blog!


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