Wednesday, April 2, 2014

Pillow Stalk (A Mad for Mod Mystery) by Diane Vallere Excerpt

Pillow Stalk (A Mad for Mod Mystery) by Diane Vallere

Interior Decorator Madison Night has modeled her life after a character in a Doris Day movie, but when a killer targets women dressed like the bubbly actress, Madison's signature sixties style places her in the middle of a homicide investigation.

The local detective connects the new crimes to a twenty-year old cold case, and Madison's long-trusted contractor emerges as the leading suspect. As the body count piles up like a stack of plush pillows, Madison uncovers a Soviet spy, a campaign to destroy all Doris Day movies, and six minutes of film that will change her life forever.

Excerpt (from first page):

“Mr. Johnson, I’m calling to discuss the disposition of your mother’s estate,” I said into the yellow donut phone.

“Are you a lawyer?” asked a gruff voice on the other end of a crackly line.

“No, sir, I’m an interior decorator. Madison Night. I own Mad for Mod, on Greenville Avenue,” I paused, giving him time to react. When he didn’t, I continued. “I assure you I mean no disrespect. In my experience, you are about to be faced with the time consuming challenge of handling your mother’s affairs, and I am in a position to take a portion of that challenge off your to-do list.” Internally, I cringed at the holier-than-thou tone that had crept into my voice. It was an oral knee-jerk reaction to people not taking me seriously. “Mad for Mod specializes in mid-century modern design. Your mother’s house was—”

“What was your name again? Madison?” he snapped. “What are you, twenty?”

“Madison was my grandmother’s maiden name,” I offered. I pushed my long hair away from my face, then used my index finger to free a couple of strands that were stuck to my hairline, thanks to the Dallas-in-May humidity. “I’m forty-seven, and I’ve been in this industry for over twenty years.” The man was obviously more distraught over the death of his mother than the fact that my grandmother’s surname had come into fashion sometime in the nineties, but at times like these, minor details could change the course of our conversation.  

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