Saturday, January 24, 2009

Treasure Under Finny's Nose
by Dana Mentink

It’s the 150th anniversary of the wreck of the Triton, a ship that foundered off the coast of Finny, California. A team of college students arrives to fi lm a documentary, and a pregnant Ruth is pressed into service. She must reenact the life of survivor Indigo
Orson, a woman who managed the perils of gold rush California by disguising herself as a man. Indigo’s writing reveals there was treasure aboard the Triton, a treasure shrouded in secrecy.
While her beloved husband, Monk, is away, Ruth stumbles on the body of one of the film crew. His death turns out to be the furthest thing from an accident. Adding to the chaos, Ruth’s estranged son arrives and Monk’s niece faces heartbreak at the hands of Finny’s police detective. Faced with murder, mayhem, and mommyhood, Ruth had better find some answers fast.

About the Author

DANA MENTINK enjoys writing in many different capacities. Her three book mystery series, beginning with Trouble Up Finny’s Nose, debuted in 2008 with Heartsong Presents Mysteries. She also writes for Harlequin’s Love Inspired Suspense line. She enjoyed contributing to Tyndale’s Life Savors for Women and writing a traffic safety storybook for twenty local elementary schools.

Dana spent her college years competing in speech and debate tournaments all around the country. Besides writing, she busies herself teaching Sunday school, taste testing for the National Food Lab and freelancing for a local newspaper, covering stories about everything from bees to burrowing owls. When she’s not working on inspirational suspense for Harlequin, or cozy mysteries for Barbour Books, she is a cookbook reviewer for the newspaper.A former teacher, Dana enjoys life in the Golden State, living out her passion to write. Dana’s husband works for the fire department. They met doing a dinner theater production of the Velveteen rabbit. Long time California residents, they enjoy regular trips to Yosemite and the gorgeous Monterey Bay area. They have two daughters.

And now an excerpt. . .

       The birds swarmed back and forth, playing tag with the waves. They kept away from the few able bodied birds that poked in the sand. It made her sad, that her birds knew instinctively that they were not part of that wild flock anymore. She wondered if they felt a pang when they saw their able bodied brothers fly away on graceful wings. Did they realize they were forever earth bound?
       She walked carefully around the slick boulders, keeping an eye on Franklin. He was her delicate bird, after losing an eye and a foot to a cat. The vet had fashioned him a little plastic tube that slipped on his leg to protect his stump and help with balance. He despised having the contraption put on, but it helped him keep up or at least out of the way of the others.
       Looking back she saw Alva with his plastic shovel, digging for treasure. The image brought back the words of Isabel Ortiz. As she watched the gray waves scour the sand, she wondered what it had been like for the servant woman to cling to the wreckage and watch the people die all around her. All those people and their possessions, lost to the arms of an angry ocean.
       Franklin hobbled ahead and disappeared around yet another jagged rock.
       “Don’t go too far,” Ruth scolded. “I’m in no position to attempt a water rescue.”
       She edged around the obstruction.
       Franklin poked his slender beak in a pile of slippery black kelp.
       Ruth took another glance at the oddly shaped mound of seaweed.
       Her mouth went dry.
       “Alva,” she called in a shaky voice. “Can you come here for a second?”
       He trotted over, still holding onto the bucket. “Good news. I found a can opener. Ain’t that handy? You just never know when you’re gonna need a can opener. It don’t seem hardly rusted at all. Wonder why someone threw it away?”
       She pointed. “Take a look over there, Alva. Is that what I think it is?”
       The old man squinted, mashing a fist into his eyes before he peered again. “Well, would you look at that. It ain’t no sea monster.” He patted his pockets.
       Ruth fought hard against the bile that rose in her throat. It took all her strength of will to contain the scream that coalesced inside her. After a moment, she got her vocal chords to cooperate. “Alva, I think you better call the police.”
       “Who me? I ain’t got a phone, Sweet Cheeks.” He found the pencil and notebook. “I gotta add this to my report.” He licked the pencil point and began to write with relish. “Saturday. Seven fifty- five. We found ourselves a body.”

To read more of Treasure Under Finny's Nose be sure to subscribe to Heartsong Mysteries

Other Heartsong Mysteries by Dana:

Fog Over Finny's Nose
The worm business is thriving for vermi-culturist Ruth Budge. . . until a disembodied toe turns up on the golf course, and members of a strange cult begin to infiltrate the quiet seaside town of Finny, California.
Life is already crazy for forty-seven-year-old Ruth, juggling the needs of her worm farm, her new spouse, and a platoon of crippled seabirds bequeathed to her by her dead husband. Then there’s the insanity swirling around the first ever Finny Fog Festival and the discovery of a bizarre diary from one of the town’s seediest ancestors.
Things go from misty to murderous as a man plummets to his death from an exploding hot air balloon. Is the craziness a byproduct of the festival or a decades-old curse unearthed in the antique diary? Ruth had better find out fast or her worms won’t be the only things six feet under.

Trouble Up Finny's Nose

Dead bodies in the fountain? The discovery of her late husband's secret novel? Come join Ruth Budge in the not so quiet town of Finny, California where trouble doesn't stay buried for long.

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