Here’s the second “podcast” episode in Bleeder,  book #3 in the “Behind the Mic Mysteries,” called “Art of the Steal.” The leader of a local Red Hatter’s group, on a tour of a contemporary art gallery, finds the deceased body of the gallery owner in his office, and police have arrived on the scene:


Police officers, detectives and emergency medical personnel bustle about the gallery.

The pale, worried faces of the Red Hatters look at each other and at Pearl, now seated on a chair, her eyes closed. Margie mops the organizer’s perspiring face with a cloth hankie.

“What do you suppose happened?” whispers Trudy, a tall, thin woman with a red, sequin-covered Fedora on her salt-and-pepper colored hair.

“I heard an officer say, ‘forced entry,’” answers a Red Hatter standing next to her. “That means someone probably broke in, I think from the back door.”

“Ohhhh,” Pearl moans. “It was awful. So much blood…”

“There, there, Pearl, try to relax.” Margie dabs at her friend’s forehead. “Does anyone have some water?”

Trudy shakes her head in a negative response, but opens her purse and reaches in. She produces a small, silver flask, handing it to Margie. “Maybe this will help.”

Margie’s eyebrows arch in surprise, but she takes the metal container and brings it to Pearl’s lips. “Here, hon, take a little sip. It’ll calm you down.”

Pearl makes a face at the amber liquid, but takes a second drink. 

The door “beeps,” and a stocky man wearing a dark suit coat and light shirt ambles in and approaches the group. A metal bar with “L. McCullen” is pinned to his pocket. He flashes a gold police badge in a leather holder.

“Ladies, I’m Evergreen PD Detective McCullen, and I’ll be handling the investigation.” He stashes his ID, and draws out a pen and a small notepad. “Now, who can tell—”

“Officer, how much longer do we have to be here?” Elizabeth, the late-comer who arrived just after Pearl screamed, stands, hands on her broad hips. “I have a hair appointment in 15 minutes.”

McCullen looks up, a weary, disgusted expression on his ruddy face. “It’s Detective, and as soon as I ask a few questions, you may leave.” He looks around the group, and his eyes rest on Pearl. “Is this the gal who found Mr. Romano?”

The red hats all nod in affirmation.

“Mrs…” he starts.

“Heuser, Detective. H-e-u-s-e-r, but it’s pronounced ‘how-zer,’” Margie explains.

“Thank you.” He looks back at Pearl. “Mrs. Heuser, do you need some medical attention?”

He starts to wave one of the EMTs over, but Pearl puts up a hand, palm out, to stop him. “No, no, I’ll be fine.” She slowly sits up and opens her eyes, focusing on the policeman.

“Mrs. Heuser, would you tell me exactly what you saw?”

Pearl rubs her lips together as she recalls the scene. “I went into the office, looking for Mr. Romano, since he didn’t greet us when we entered. When I opened the door, I saw him lying there on the floor, so much blood around his head…” She breaks out in sobs.

“Detective, she is in no condition to talk.” Margie’s stern eyes bore into the Detective’s.

“I understand you’re upset, ma’am, but memories tend to fade with time.” He pauses a moment, and continues. “Did you see or hear anyone in the back?”

Pearl composes herself, thinking. “No, not that I recall.”

McCullen looks at her feet. “May I see the bottoms of your shoes, please?”

Pearl’s eyebrows furrow in confusion as she awkwardly lifts one, then the other sole toward the Detective.

“They’re clean. The bloody footprint in the office may be from our killer.” He pauses to look around the group. “Anything out of the ordinary anyone of you saw or heard?”

The women look at each other, the natural age lines on their older faces deepening with worry.

“The front door was unlocked, and all the lights were on,” Margie offers. “But it was just after 10 a.m., so of course we assumed the gallery was open for business.”

No one else says anything.

“Okay, let me get all your names and phone numbers, then you can leave.”

“Elizabeth Olufsen, 340-555-7733. Now, may I go?” Elizabeth already has her red felted hat in her hand and poised to exit.

“Yes, ma’am, thank you.”

As Elizabeth hurries out, Pearl lifts her arm and points to a large empty spot on the wall. Her gray face is aghast as she exclaims, “The Coleman! It’s gone!”




Meanwhile, here’s a scene from the studio recording session for the “Fade Out” audio book … complete with professional actors and sound effects! Now available through Amazon or Audible at

Dead Air Cover final lr

dead air podcast pix female gumshoe

Here’s another excerpt from the murder mystery podcast in “Dead Air,” book #2 in the continuing Behind the Mic Mysteries. It’s a take-off of the 1940s “film noir” days with a “gumshoe,” or private investigator and a “dame,” or woman, complete with a glossary at the end. Only in my story, the dame is the private eye, and a gentleman needs her help. This is Episode #2:


            The gent’s got sweat drippin’ down his forehead, nervous as a losing bookie at the track. He throws back the hooch and finally spills.

            “It’s…a woman.”

            “Ain’t it always about a woman? But I wouldn’t figure a good-lookin’ cat like you would have lady troubles.”

            “Actually, it’s my wife.”

            “Now we’re gettin’ somewhere. So, she’s stepping out? Fooling around?”

            “No, it’s about my wife.”

            “Oh, so you want me to find somethin’ on her so’s you can get a divorce?”

            “No, really it’s about me.”

            “You’re the one messin’ around? Spending time in a flophouse?”

            “No, no. I think someone’s trying to kill me.”

            The glass in my paw drops, shattering on the wood floor into a million pieces. 

Other Short Stories Available

DS anthology cover 2015 So West: So Deadly, Sisters in Crime Desert Sleuths Chapter Anthology (Volume 6)

Authors and Editors of the anthology: Isabella Maldonado, Nancy Hart Newcomer, Susan Budavari, Kate Joy Steele, Connie Flynn, M. Evonne Dobson, Teresa Waggoner, Bill Butler, Denise Todd, Merle McCann, Suzanne Flaig, Kaye Owen, Laurie Fagen, Yvonne M. Corrigan-Carr, Katherine Atwell Herbert, Robert Dukelow, Mary Ball, Kris Neri, Susan Cummins Miller, Lori Hines, Jacinda J. Power, Patricia Bonn. Lead Editor: Yvonne M. Corrigan-Carr. Editors: Susan Budavari, Susan Cummins Miller, Merle McCann, Meg E Dobson, Dana King-Esquer. Editorial Advisor and Formatter: Deborah J Ledford. Consulting Editor: Donna T. Hanna. Cover Layout: Kästle Olson

SoWest: Crime Time: Sisters in Crime Desert Sleuths Chapter Anthology (Volume 5)

SoWest: Crime Time: Sisters in Crime Desert Sleuths Chapter Anthology (Volume 5)

By Sisters in Crime Desert Sleuths Chapter Authors, Merle McCann, Margaret Morse, Kris Neri, Nancy Hart Newcomer, Toni Niesen, R K Olson, Cathy Ann Rogers, Martin Roselius, Amy Schuster, Jackie Sereno, Louise M. Signorelli, Kate Joy Steele, Shannon Baker, Susan Budavari, Yvonne M. Corrigan-Carr, Laurie Fagen, Katherine Atwell Herbert, Machelle Langseth, Kari Wainwright

SoWest: Desert Justice: Sisters in Crime Desert Sleuths Chapter Anthology (Volume 4)

SoWest: Desert Justice: Sisters in Crime Desert Sleuths Chapter Anthology (Volume 4)

By Sisters in Crime Desert Sleuths Chapter Members, Deborah J Ledford, Kris Neri, Susan Budavari, Shannon Baker, Laurie Fagen, Suzanne Flaig, Arthur Kerns, Elizabeth R. Marshall, Merle McCann, Margaret Morse, Nancy Hart Newcomer, Toni Niesen, Virginia Nosky, R K Olson, Cathy Ann Rogers, Martin Roselius, Amy Schuster, Judy Starbuck, Judith Starkston, Kate Joy Steele