One of the best things about being a mystery writer is that there are always murders to solve so I get to revisit a fantastic-to-write couple like Rook Stevens and Detective Dante Montoya. There are endless possibilities and plot lines for the characters, the city and their circumstances that I cannot wait to explore over the years. With the second book coming out, I wanted to do a blog tour that was just a bit of fun so in this serial, I welcome you to join Rook and his cousin, Alex, on what should be an estate sale of macabre curios but what awaits them is something neither of them planned for.
So sit back, be sure you read the whole story AND please enter the blog’s giveaway! One lucky winner will be chosen to receive a $20 USD gift certificate from the online store of their choice!
I hope you enjoy this small jaunt as the cousins set out on their quest and be sure to pick up Tramps and Thieves, the sequel to Murder and Mayhem. Published by Dreamspinner Press, it will be out on September 18th on the DSP portal, Amazon and other fine book stores.
Tramps and Thieves by Rhys Ford
(Book 2 of the Murder and Mayhem Series)
Release Date: September 18, 2017
Whoever said blood was thicker than water never stood in a pool of it.
Retiring from stealing priceless treasures seemed like a surefire way for Rook Stevens to stay on the right side of the law. The only cop in his life should have been his probably-boyfriend, Los Angeles Detective Dante Montoya, but that’s not how life—his life—is turning out. Instead, Rook ends up not only standing in a puddle of his cousin Harold’s blood but also being accused of Harold’s murder…and sleeping with Harold’s wife.
For Dante, loving the former thief means his once-normal life is now a sea of chaos, especially since Rook seems incapable of staying out of trouble—or keeping trouble from following him home. When Rook is tagged as a murder suspect by a narrow-focused West L.A. detective, Dante steps in to pull his lover out of the quagmire Rook’s landed in.
When the complicated investigation twists around on them, the dead begin to stack up, forcing the lovers to work together. Time isn’t on their side, and if they don’t find the killer before another murder, Dante will be visiting Rook in his prison cell—or at his grave.
Purchase from Dreamspinner Press: https://www.dreamspinnerpress.com/books/tramps-and-thieves-by-rhys-ford-8847-b
Purchase from Amazon: https://www.amazon.com/Tramps-Thieves-Murder-Mayhem-Book-ebook/dp/B074WNTXPC/
“It’s not real, Alex,” Rook said as he picked up a plastic trident from one of the boxes. Alex could see Rook was trying hard not to gag at the smell coming off of the decaying pseudo-flesh while he poked at the dismembered limb but it was a near thing. “It’s definitely a prop from some B-movie. However, this thing stinks. Makes me want to puke.”
“Thanks I feel so much better. Knowing that you have a stronger stomach than I do.” Alex, however, hadn’t been so lucky and he was still trying to get the bitter taste of his own sick off his tongue. “I don’t normally have such a weak stomach. And stop poking it. You’re spreading the smell.”
He lost everything he ate that day, including the cinnamon bun snagged from Rook’s kitchen. He might have mourned the coffee more than the cinnamon bun but mostly he regretted losing his dignity. Standing in the middle of the empty house, with the storm raging around them and a rotting animatronics arm flopping about on a sea of Spanish tile, Alex was struck by the sheer adequacy he felt compared to Rook. Their lives mirrored one another, both with the deep affection of pop-culture and an even more intense love for homicide cops but that there was something more about Rook that Alex knew he would never achieve — the innate ability to simply not give a fuck.
“Okay to be fair,” Rook conceded, “it does look like it is full of maggots but that is the microbeads they used to stuff the shell. And it’s covered with mold so it makes it look like they’re —”
“I appreciate you trying to make me feel better but you don’t have to,” Alex said softly. Sometimes the affection he felt for his cousin overwhelmed him, especially in times when they were knee-deep in something they really shouldn’t be into. Rook was actually trying to spare his feelings. With the teasing, the offhand sarcasm, and admitting he had been affected as well, his cousin was trying to make him feel okay… no, not okay… normal. Or is normal as either one of them could get. “I just realized something —”
“That it never made sense that Vader didn’t know Princess Leia was his daughter when he could sense Luke from across the fucking galaxy?”
“See it’s things like that that make me love you yet at the same time would cheerfully murder you by sticking a chopstick up your nose,” Alex sighed, rubbing at the bridge of his nose this fingers. “I realized that you are more than my cousin. I mean, theoretically I’m your double cousin because my parents are related but until I met you I never knew what it was like to have a sibling — a brother — we’re so much alike in so many ways that it’s like I’ve known you since we were kids. And I’m really sorry that we didn’t grow up together.”
“Do you think Los Angeles would’ve survived the two of us grown up together?” Rook cocked his head, looking so much like their grandfather Alex smiled at the glimmer of Archie in his cousin’s expression. “On the other hand, we could have grown up to be mortal enemies like Mojo JoJo and Bubbles.”
“I’m assuming,” Alex said dryly, “That I am the genius evil monkey with the bad hat in this scenario? Because if there is one thing you always like to project it is that air of naïve innocence that you can’t quite pull off. ”
“Of course you are.” Rook grinned. “If you were Bubbles, that would just be going for the expected stereo type. Everybody in his right mind would look to you to save the day and you’ve got admit sometimes it’s really nice to be really bad.”
“Tell me you don’t see the mountain lion,” Rook muttered from inside of the study. “The only thing I see here is a sheet of rain and that one of my tires is flat. I bet you that damned thing bit my tire. Cats are sketchy you know. That’s why people think they’re evil.”
“You totally should get a cat,” Alex replied. “If there’s anyone who deserves to be mauled in the middle of the night because he hasn’t clean the litter box it is you.”
“Are you kidding? Have you met Dante?” Rook joined him in the foyer, carefully stepping around the sticky pool covering most of the tiles. It was like watching somebody trying to traverse the bog of eternal stench — if that somebody was Alan Swan — and when Rook made it across to the other side, Alex gave him a golf clap. “Well done! And no, I don’t see the mountain lion but that doesn’t mean he isn’t out there. Are you sure this plan is going to work? Are you sure you didn’t leave it in the SUV? ”
“Well, I had my phone with me when I got out of the car but I probably dropped it when I found Hollywood Bagherra sunning himself by the pool. So we basically have two options, pray for somebody to have a premonition and come to find us or try to get to the car and get your phone.” Rook looked through the window then whistled. “Got you should see what he did to the front posts. I’m surprised the porch is holding up. I can’t imagine with the door looks like.”
“That could’ve been you, you know?” Alex shuddered at the thought. “Of course I don’t know the that many people who could out run a mountain lion.”
“Fear is a great motivator, my cousin,” Rook said with a shrug. “Maybe he’s feeble. What I’m hoping for is that he stupid. We’ve been in here for two hours now. No one is coming for an estate sale and no one is going to come and save us. So, what I want you to do is shut the door behind me as soon as I go outside. I’m going to try to get to the car before the cat can get me. Whatever you do, don’t open the door unless it is me —”
“How about if we agree that I open the door to anyone who is human?” The day was getting extremely dark, turning over to late afternoon and if he didn’t get a hold of James soon, there probably would be hell to pay — mostly because he would have to admit that things once again with Rook went seriously wrong. “I promise, I will slam the door in the face of anything walking on four legs. So whatever you do don’t come crawling back to me.”
It was like a synchronized, choreographed dance. They counted to three, Alex turned the door handle and Rook load his shoulder in preparation to sprint across the front drive. As plans went, it was one of the more sound ones they’d ever come up with although theoretically, the project mission of getting a tutu on a hippo technically was flawless, they just hadn’t had a chance to ever put it through its paces.
By all accounts, it should of worked. It really should have worked.
What they hadn’t taken into account, was the dead man lying on the front steps.
Be sure catch the entire story on the Tramps and Thieves Blog Tour and enter to win the giveaway featured on every blog!
15 Love Bytes
19 Joyfully Jay
21 It’s About the Book
Rhys Ford is an award-winning author with several long-running LGBT+ mystery, thriller, paranormal, and urban fantasy series and was a 2016 LAMBDA finalist with her novel, Murder and Mayhem and a 2017 Gold and Silver Medal winner in the Florida Authors and Publishers President’s Book Awards for her novels Ink and Shadows and Hanging the Stars. She is published by Dreamspinner Press and DSP Publications.
She’s also quite skeptical about bios without a dash of something personal. Rhys shares the house with two cats, Yoshi, a grumpy tuxedo and Tam, a diabetic black shorthair, as well as a ginger cairn terrorist named Gus. She is also responsible for the care and feeding of a 1979 Pontiac Firebird and enjoys murdering make-believe people.
Rhys can be found at the following locations: