Monday, October 12, 2015

"The Devil's Hook" by Pearl R. Meaker

The Devil's Hook
(Emory Crawford Mysteries Book 2)
by Pearl R. Meaker

The Devil's Hook is the second book in Pearl R. Meaker's Emory Crawford Mysteries series. Also available: The Devil's Music (read my blog post).

The Devil's Hook is currently on tour with Goddess Fish Promotions. The tour stops here today for a guest post by the author, an excerpt, and a giveaway. Please be sure to visit the other tour stops as well.

Life is getting strange in Twombly, Illinois.
Jairus Twombly's familial intuition is faltering and his new personal assistant seems to be trying to replace his wife, Amy.
On the Twombly College campus, someone is breaking into the dorm rooms of female students leaving things instead of taking things: red colored objects including a red golf ball, a red ribbon and a tiny red stuffed dog.
When a recipient of some of the red objects goes missing and is returned after being told, "You're not her," and the personal assistant turns up dead with Amy Twombly's elegant Bloodwood crochet hook in her eye, things heat up for Emory Crawford and her chemist and forensic scientist husband, Dr. Jebbin Crawford.
Emory, along with the Twombly's Nancy Drew-like daughter, Madison, once more turns to her amateur detective skills and intuition to solve the mysteries.

“Yeah. Well.” Captain Henry looked into the box. “Weird things. An un-inflated red balloon. Round shaped, not like a condom or something like that. A red golf ball. I mean, where on earth do you get red golf balls? And six more things. The roommate said she’d gotten more of this junk than anyone else, so far. Here.” He plopped the box on Jebbin’s desk with a thud and stuck a clipboard in front of his face. “It’s all yours as soon as you sign for it. Items are all listed on the form. We didn’t do a bunch of separate sheets, but they’re all bagged and numbered individually.”
Jebbin signed the sheet and handed back the clipboard.
“I ‘suppose you’re gonna let her look through it all?” Henry said, looking at me. He held his right hand up like a cop directing traffic to stop. “No. Nope. Don’t tell me. I really don’t want to know. Like you said. Your office. Your little scientific, antiseptic, sterile world where, yep, they’re all your decisions.”
He walked out, though I caught his mutter: “Whole crime fighting world is goin’ to hell in a handcart.”  He gave me one last look before he closed the door.
“Can I see?” I sounded as much like an eager kindergartener as I could.
“Yes, little Emory. You can look if you’re a good girl and don’t open any of the baggies yourself and don’t touch the things inside them.”
We both got up, Sophie too, to take the box to the lab.
Jebbin paused to look around, as though he was forgetting something.
“What?” I asked.
“Where’s the handcart that you’re taking the whole of investigative procedure to hell in?”
I linked my arm through his. “I left it at home.”
[Want more? Read chapters 1 and 2 in full here.]

Praise for the Book
"The promise of a newly published author continues! Pearl R. Meaker's second book is as strong as the first if not stronger. Many of the characters in this writer's world have been well established with Meaker's first novel, The Devil's Music. With The Devil's Hook we are able to just get right down to business of getting to know these people better and solve a mystery or two. This book is sprinkled with tantalizing hints about the characters and stories yet to be told, I can hardly wait!" ~ Kelly Hulse
"I thoroughly enjoyed The Devil’s Hook by Pearl Meaker. Emory Crawford is a delightfully warm character; her quirkiness and down to earth sensibility are believable and realistic. [...] Reading the book was like visiting an old friend. It was a light read, with chapters short enough to read during the few spare minutes in my day. I won’t spoil the story for you, but I thought that the crimes were committed in creative ways, and I audibly gasped at least a few times. The book is a real page turner." ~ homeschool mom
"I was excited to read Pearl Meakers' new book. I enjoyed The Devil's Music her first book very much. Emory is a complex character with some of that good old 'horse sense' that can't be learned in college. I could relate to her love of home, family, dogs and cats. [...] It was good to see many of the local characters from The Devils Music, back again. A great read. Loved it." ~ MeLane Coulter
"I really enjoyed The Devil's Hook. The story has a lot of the same characters as the first book, but we learn more about them in this tale. [...] Pearl's writing style is so easy-going and comfortable; it is like talking to her in person. [...] I am looking forward to many more Emory Crawford Mysteries." ~ Sarah Strotheide
"Emory Crawford is back again in the 2nd installment of a delightful series. (If you missed The Devil’s Music, be sure to pick up a copy.) [...] And this time Emory has a young sidekick to help solve the mystery. The possibilities for a new cozy mystery crime-solving duo are endless! An interesting twist to this book is that you don’t really understand the motive for the murder until after the last chapter of the book. Fun characters, and a great read!" ~ VickiSD

Guest Post by the Author
A Place Named Twombly
Wherever did I come up with the name of Twombly for the town where Emory and her husband Jebbin live and work in the Emory Crawford Mysteries?
Driving north on Interstate Highway 39 from Bloomington/Normal, IL to Rockford, IL Twombly Rd. has a bridge over the Interstate a short way north of exit # 99 - which takes you west into Rochelle, IL in case you want a more precise location.
I was driving up to Rockford to spend a couple of days with my husband while he was working. At that time he worked teaching insurance seminars and was on the road over 250 nights a year. The drive up to Rockford is pleasant and the hotel and restaurant there were really nice, so he invited me up so we could see each other at lunch and the two overnights.
Some bridges over the interstates have the names of the road that’s crossing over posted on a sign on the bridge. And there it was ...
... Twombly.
I was writing Tolkien fanfiction at the time, Emory not even a distant thought, and the name caught my mind.
It sounded English. It sounded hobbity. I loved how it rolled off my tongue when I said it aloud. Shortly thereafter, I named a wood in the Shire "Twombly Wood" in one of my fanfic stories.
Time marched on, and I was creating my own story world and needing a name for the college where Jebbin would teach. I went back to the name I still liked so much – Twombly. And since smaller private colleges are often named after the town they are in I named the town Twombly as well. Then I thought about how the town might have began, who settled the area and ... why not! Jairus Aiden Merriweather Twombly the First was an immigrant from England who made his fortune and started a town on the Illinois prairie.
Now, in The Devil’s Hook, Amy Twombly is the primary suspect in a murder and she and Jairus the Sixth’s daughter Madison Twombly has become a junior sleuth, teaming up with Emory.
And it all started with a sign on an overpass on Interstate 39.

About the Author
Pearl R. Meaker is an upper-middle-aged, short, pudgy homemaker, mother, and grandmother who in 2002 became a writer. Initially writing fan fiction she soon tried original fiction at the encouragement of her regular readers. She has been a life-long lover of mystery stories and automatically went to that genre for her first book, The Devil’s Music. She and her husband of nearly 40 years live in central Illinois. They both love bluegrass music, playing fiddle and banjo and singing. Pearl also does many crafts – when she’s not reading or writing - knitting, crochet, origami, needlepoint, and cross-stitch among them. She also enjoys birding and photography and is a former fencer.

Enter the tour-wide giveaway for a chance to win a $25 Amazon or B&N gift card.