Cassie Gwynne—cat lover, bookworm and daring detective—takes on her most challenging case yet…
Florida, 1884. It’s a new year and Cassie Gwynne is determined to be done with the unseemly business of murder. She’s made her resolution and she’s going to stick to it. Unfortunately, fate has other plans… The very next day, she happens upon the body of a newcomer to town—customs collector Chester Pence—floating beneath the boardwalk.
Never one to shy away from a puzzle, Cassie can’t resist getting involved in the investigation. It’s no secret that Chester made a number of enemies in his short time in Fernandina: confiscating a beleaguered bride’s wedding dress and a bossy businessman’s cigars among many other mean acts. It’s even rumored a well-to-do lady with a pampered dog has been leaving him nasty little parcels on his doorstep, but would she stoop as low as murder?
But Cassie’s only just gotten started on her suspect list when a witness comes forward and accuses one of Cassie’s close friends, Mr. Hu, of the crime. Much to her surprise, he confesses. She is convinced he is innocent. Is Mr. Hu protecting someone?
Cassie continues to investigate, but when she returns home one day to find her aunt’s beautiful house completely ransacked, she knows it’s a warning. Can Cassie uncover the truth, or will the killer ensure this is her final case?
A warm and witty Gilded Age cozy mystery with a heroine you’ll be obsessed with! Fans of Deanna Raybourn, Verity Bright and T.E. Kinsey won’t be able to put this down.
Botany Professor, drove us around winding mountain roads with one eye on the ground vegetation, constantly screamed at me to “stop reading and look at the scenery.” I assigned my books call numbers and insisted my friends “check them out” from my “library” (the fines for late returns were steep but, as it turned out, largely unenforceable). I wrote plays about forest fairies and figures from classical mythology and petitioned for special dispensation so I could stage them on the playground during lunch. My favorite school task was diagramming sentences.
So, when, many years later, I scaled back my other work to spend more time writing, no one really should have been surprised. Concerned for my sanity and financial well-being, maybe, but not surprised. And am I ever glad I did. I am truly blessed, and I make an effort every day to remember that.
What else... I'm half-Chinese and Florida-raised, Yale- and UVA- educated, and Chicago...buffed and polished? In any case, I now proudly call New Orleans home, and when I'm not writing or getting lost down research rabbit holes, I spend my time practicing law, shooting pool, performing operas and musicals, ogling old buildings, acting for film and television, futzing with inventions that address highly specific and possibly only-annoying-to-me problems, traveling, ranting at bartenders about the evils of straws, riding horses, and petting strange cats (though, since we've recently welcomed home a new kitten friend, Musette (pictured below), I might need to cut back on that last).
Yeah, I know.
If you have suggestions for additional hobbies or want to talk about my books, please message me using the chat function below, email me, or connect with me on social media (@essigauthor). You can also sign up for my email newsletter HERE.
One other thing about me: If you try to tell me the Oxford comma is wrong, I will fight you—before hugging you because I’m just so thrilled you care.
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