Three Strikes, You’re Dead: A new Eddie Shoes Mystery (with character interview!)

Private investigator Eddie Shoes heads to a resort outside Leavenworth, Washington, for a mother-daughter getaway weekend. Eddie’s mother Chava wants to celebrate her new job at a casino by footing the bill for the two of them, and who is Eddie to say no?

On the first morning, Eddie goes on an easy solo hike, and a few hours later, stumbles upon a makeshift campsite and a gravely injured man. A forest fire breaks out and she struggles to save him before the flames overcome them both. Before succumbing to his injuries, the man hands her a valuable rosary. He tells her his daughter is missing and begs for her help. Is Eddie now working for a dead man?

Barely escaping the fire, Eddie wakes in the hospital to find both her parents have arrived on the scene. Will Eddie’s card-counting mother and mob-connected father help or hinder the investigation? The police search in vain for a body. How will Eddie find the missing girl with only Eddie’s memory of the man’s face and a photo of his daughter to go on?


Eddie, welcome back to Island Confidential! Last time we talked, you had a brand-new roommate–your mom. How’s that working out?

Well … here’s something I don’t usually admit to people, but since it’s just the two of us … My mother, Chava, is a big fan of American Idol and The Voice. I would never admit this to her, but I love watching them too. I let her think I only watch them to keep her company. But I love them. I love the challenges and hearing the contestants sing outside their comfort zones. I love the duets and the costumes and the judges’ comments.

Do you think you’ll ever be a contestant?

If I could choose one talent, one gift I wish I had, it would be to sing. I can’t carry the tune to Happy Birthday, so I have to live vicariously through the contestants on those shows. I like to pretend that’s me up there getting one of the judges to turn around.

So no problem, then, living with your mom? 

My mother and I have struggled for years, not that we didn’t love each other, but because we often rubbed each other the wrong way. But now that I’m an adult, she’s only sixteen years older than me, and she’s living with me, we’re doing a whole lot better.

Can you update us on your friend Iz? Last time we spoke, she was working in the Bellingham Police Department with your ex. How’s that working out?

Izabelle is an amazingly patient person. She puts up with my foibles. (Chava has been encouraging me to expand my vocabulary). She understands I’m not always good at talking about my feelings or letting people see me vulnerable. But she’s always there when I need to talk or just hang out. She’s been so good about listening to me complain about Chance. I’m so confused about our relationship, or if we even have a relationship, and she’s wonderful about letting me talk about it without trying to tell me what to do.

Where would you like things to go with you and Chance?

I want to be in a romantic relationship with him.

Fair enough. How does he feel about it?

He’s conflicted! Hopefully that will change soon … for the better.

How are you and your author, Elena, getting along these days?

She’s a bit of a worrier. You should see all the rewriting she does. Rewrite after rewrite after rewrite. It gets a little tedious to have to go through the same scene over and over and over again. And she’s never quite sure what she’s doing at the beginning of a new book, so I might get to the end and find out, we have to do the whole thing over again because she got something really important wrong … like who committed the murder! But I will say, I like her sense of humor a lot. And I know she loves me. So that’s a pretty great combination.

What’s next for you? 

I am currently involved in a brand new homicide investigation. I have no idea how it’s going to come out, that writer of mine is just winging it right now. I’ll let you know as soon as I can!


CREDIT MARK PERLSTEIN

About The Author

After twenty years in the theater, Elena Hartwell turned her dramatic skills to fiction. Her first novel, One Dead, Two to Go introduces Eddie Shoes, private eye. Called “the most fun detective since Richard Castle stumbled into the 12th precinct,” by author Peter Clines, I’DTale Magazine stated, “this quirky combination of a mother-daughter reunion turned crime-fighting duo will captivate readers.”

In addition to her work as a novelist, Elena teaches playwriting at Bellevue College and tours the country to lead writing workshops.

When she’s not writing or teaching, her favorite place to be is at the farm with her horses, Jasper and Radar, or at her home, on the middle fork of the Snoqualmie River in North Bend, Washington, with her husband, their dog, Polar, and their trio of cats, Jackson, Coal Train, and Luna, aka, “the other cat upstairs.” Elena holds a B.A. from the University of San Diego, a M.Ed. from the University of Washington, Tacoma, and a Ph.D. from the University of Georgia.

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