Friday, November 7, 2014

Suede to Rest (A Material Witness Mystery Book 1) by Diane Vallere Excerpt

Suede to Rest (A Material Witness Mystery Book 1) by Diane Vallere

Unraveling family secrets can be murder in Suede to Rest...


With her career as a dress designer in shreds, Polyester Monroe is looking forward to a fresh start. But as it all unfolds, the pattern to a new beginning looks a lot like murder.

When Poly Monroe was little, she loved playing in her family's textile store. But after a fatal family tragedy, Land of A Thousand Fabrics was boarded up and Poly never expected to see the inside again. Now, as inheritor of the long-shuttered shop, she's ready to restore the family business. However her two new kittens, Pins and Needles, aren't the ones causing a snag in her plans...

Not everyone wants Poly back in San LadrĂ³n, especially a powerful local developer pressuring her to sell--and leave town fast. But even when the threats turn deadly, she's not ready to bolt. Because Poly is beginning to suspect that the murder behind the shop is tied to a mystery in her family's unsettled past that she's determined to solve...before her own life is left hanging by a thread.

Excerpt from Chapter One:

A breeze rippled through the trees to the left and the right of the storefront. I stood across the street, taking in the blacked-out windows and the once-magnificent sign now covered in bird poop, decades of grime, and spray-painted curse words. Land of a Thousand Fabrics, it said. I wondered briefly if that had ever been true, if my great-aunt Millie and great-uncle Marius had ever actually counted the bolts of fabric in their inventory or amassed that number in order to avoid false advertising. And now that it had been left to me, I wondered if that would become my concern.

“Do you want to go inside or are you going to stand here all day?” asked Ken Watts. He looked very official in his navy-blue double-breasted blazer with Watts Realtor Agency embroidered over the left breast pocket in gold threads. More official than I remembered him looking the last time I saw him: at our high school graduation ten years ago, when he wore his football uniform under his cap and gown.

“Nobody’s been in there for years, right?”

Ken flipped through the pages on his brown clipboard. “Right. Since Mildred Monroe was murd—” He stopped talking midsentence. “I’m sorry. I shouldn’t have brought that up.”

“Don’t be sorry. Nobody in my family ever wants to talk about Aunt Millie, but I don’t mind.” I took a deep breath and lowered my head, preparing myself to march across the street, into the store. Times like these I wished I had a cascade of hair to hide my face, but my short reddish-brown hair, so overdue for a maintenance cut that it was starting to look like a shag, did little more than tickle my forehead when the wind blew.

“Poly, you don’t have to do this if you don’t want to. I can arrange for you to sell the store without ever having to go inside.” He stared at me. “You probably didn’t even have to make the trip. I could have faxed the paperwork to your office in Los Angeles. You could have signed it, faxed it back, and it would all be over and done with.”

“I wanted to come back. I would have come back ten years ago for Aunt Millie’s funeral or memorial service, only there wasn’t one. And now that Uncle Marius is gone, the store is the only thing left of them.”

“A lot of people were mad at your uncle because he didn’t have a service for her.”

“My parents said he couldn’t admit she was gone. That’s why he never sold the store.”

“He wasted a lot of money paying down the mortgage on this place when there was no income. Turned down a lot of solid offers on it, too.”

“If it protects your memories and keeps your heart from breaking, can it really be considered a waste of money?” I asked, looking again at the once-glamorous sign.

“That’s one way of looking at it.”

“He’s my great-uncle, and that’s my way of looking at it.”

“Suit yourself.”


  1. Your writing makes me feel like I'm listening in on a conversation between your characters. I want them to spill a few secrets which they probably will. I do love cozy mysteries with recipes and it's exciting to have a craft to tempt my fingers and brain.

  2. I just bought this for my Kindle from Amazon.

  3. I read this book and really enjoyed it - thought it was a great start to a new series and I'm looking forward to seeing what the author writes next!


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