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.

Keep up with Elena

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New #Cozy with Character Interview and #Giveaway: One Dead, Two to Go (An Eddie Shoes Mystery)

>>Enter to Win a Print Copy of One Dead, Two to Go<<< 

Private Investigator Edwina “Eddie Shoes” Schultz’s most recent job has her parked outside a seedy Bellingham hotel, photographing her quarry as he kisses his mistress goodbye. This is the last anyone will see of the woman… alive. Her body is later found dumped in an abandoned building. Eddie’s client, Kendra Hallings, disappears soon after. Eddie hates to be stiffed for her fee, but she has to wonder if Kendra could be in trouble too. Or is she the killer?

Eddie usually balks at matters requiring a gun, but before she knows it, she is knee-deep in dangerous company, spurred on by her card-counting adrenaline-junkie mother who has shown up on her doorstep fresh from the shenanigans that got her kicked out of Vegas. Chava is only sixteen years older than Eddie and sadly lacking in parenting skills. Her unique areas of expertise, however, prove to be helpful in ways Eddie can’t deny, making it hard to stop Chava from tagging along.

Also investigating the homicide is Detective Chance Parker, new to Bellingham’s Major Crimes unit but no stranger to Eddie. Their history as a couple back in Seattle is one more kink in a chain of complications, making Eddie’s case more frustrating and perilous with each tick of the clock.


Q: Eddie, thanks for stopping by Island Confidential! Can you tell our readers a little bit about yourself–maybe something they might not guess?

Edwina “Eddie Shoes” Schultz: I grew up in Spokane, Washington, but live in Bellingham, where I work as a private investigator. I’m used to living alone, but have recently picked up a roommate. My mother, Chava! Can you believe it? I’m thirty-two years old and living with my mother again. Though I have to admit, Chava cooks and cleans, so it’s not as bad as you might think. Something you might not guess about me? I love to read People magazine. I know, I know, that doesn’t really fit with my tough, private eye image. Nor does it fit in with my lack of interest in Twitter, Instagram, or anything “Hollywood,” but I totally enjoy reading about the lives of stars, even when I have no idea what movie they’ve done or what TV show they’re on.

Q: Who’s the character you get along with the best?

ES: Definitely my best friend Izabelle. Iz is tough and feisty, I love that about her. Plus, she works for the Bellingham Police Department. She’s a civilian, but she still knows everything going on in the department, which helps me out when I’m trying to solve a crime. She can also keep an eye on my ex-boyfriend, homicide detective Chance Parker. Life sure has gotten more complicated now that he’s moved to town.

Q: Which other character do you have a conflict with?

ES: The aforementioned Chance Parker. He clearly hasn’t decided where we stand, not that I have either, but I’d sure like it if he’d make up his mind. He still makes my heart race, I just can’t tell if I have the same effect on him. I’m hoping to prove to him, he can trust me. If I can get that far, maybe we can try the whole relationship thing again.

Q: Just between you and me: What do you really think of your author?

ES: I enjoy hanging out with her, though she can be a bit of a loner and hard to get to know. I trust her, she’s got an old-fashioned sense of honor and she lets me do what I think is best, at least most of the time. I also love the fact she travels extensively to help promote me, because I get to go along for the ride. Just this last year we went to several cities, including New York City, Nashville, and New Orleans. Next year we’re going to Hawaii for Left Coast Crime. I’m going to suggest we leave Chava at home and bring Iz along instead. She also knows a lot about animals, so she helps me out now that I have a dog too. She has a golden retriever named Polar, three cats, Luna, Jackson, and Coal Train, and two horses, Jasper and Radar. They keep her very busy when she’s not spending time with me.

Q: What’s next for you?

ES: I’m heading off to Lake Tahoe with Chava for a little vacation. I’ve been working non-stop as a Private Investigator (you can read all about it in book two, Two Heads Are Deader Than One) and while I love my job, I could definitely use a break. What could possibly go wrong on a mother/daughter vacation? (Find out in Three Strikes, You’re Dead).


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.

Keep up with Elena

Website | Facebook | Blog | Twitter | Goodreads | Pinterest


Sign up for Frankie’s newsletter and get a free Professor Molly story

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