Here’s an excerpt from the “podcast” in Bleeder,  book #3 in the “Behind the Mic Mysteries.” It’s a campy story about a group of Red Hatters, a dead gallery owner, a missing painter and a lot of suspects:

Art of the Steal podcast, Episode 1

“Is everyone here?”

            An enormous red feather plume dips up and down from the spectacular hat of a white-haired woman holding a clipboard. She peers over a sea of Red Hatters, older women touting glittery, feathery and otherwise heavily decorated, ruby-colored headwear of all shapes and sizes. They gather outside Art on The Square, a contemporary gallery and working studio spaces for artists in the historic downtown section of Evergreen, California, a small mountain town bustling with tourists during the summer.

            “Elizabeth said she would be late,” offers a prim lady wearing a tiny scarlet pill box hat with a veil. 

            “Thank you, Margie.” The feather plume takes another dive as Pearl Heuser’s head looks down again to her checklist. A stout woman with an ample bosom, she circles a name on the paper she is holding. “Then I believe all are present and accounted for. Shall we begin our gallery experience?”

            She opens the heavy glass door, which emits a brief electronic beep, and holds it as the others file in, nodding and smiling and murmuring pleasantries. When all the women are inside, Pearl enters, glancing around as if in search of something or someone.

            “Ladies, I’m sure the proprietor, Paolo Romano, will explain more in detail, but this is considered a contemporary art gallery, or art of today, according to Wikipedia.” She flips a sheet held on her arm and reads. “It’s produced by artists who are living in the twenty-first century. Contemporary art provides an opportunity to reflect on modern society and the issues to ourselves, and the world around us.”

            The group is surrounded by various artworks hung on the walls, sculptures on pedestals and jewelry in glass cases. Individual white lights from a ceiling grid focus on the art, illuminating the mostly bright, bold colors. Soft classical music plays from discreet speakers.

            Pearl glances at her wristwatch and frowns. “Let me find Mr. Romano. You may begin looking around.”

            Her sensible low-heeled shoes echo on the concrete floor as Pearl strides toward the back of the gallery, where the owner’s office is. “Paolo? We’re here.”

            Low whispers of appreciation, surprise and even an occasional “tsk” of disgust emit from the group as they begin to look at the art.

            “What is that supposed to be?” asks one woman, nudging the lady next to her, and pointing to an abstract painting in wild shades of orange, pink and yellow. Her furrowed brow and turned down lips indicate it’s not her style.

            “Well, it certainly wouldn’t go in my living r—” The woman is interrupted by a scream.

            All the red hats turn toward the sound of Pearl’s anguished utterance. Pearl runs into the gallery from a door marked “Personnel Only,” her hat askew, the long feather covering her face like a stripe of blood. “Call the police!” she shouts. “I think he’s dead!”

(To be continued!)


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