“Kate Rowan is the perfect heroine for our times; wit, charm, and spirit balanced by impressive skills in self-defense and lock-picking.” -Barbara Fradkin
As a former bodyguard, it should be easy for Gary Fenris to kill, especially when the motive is revenge. But Gary has made two mistakes in his life. The first was letting the woman he loved die on his watch. The second was thinking vengeance could bring him peace.
Local bookstore owner and amateur lock pick Kate Rowan loves nothing more than a good mystery. Her curiosity soon leads her down a trail of blackmail, obsession and death. Despite the risk - or maybe because of it - Gary finds himself drawn to Kate. When danger strikes, Gary is forced to face the fact that he used love as an excuse for murder. And he’s got one last score to settle.
“A riveting introduction to a charming, smart bookstore owner who can pick locks and solve murders – and this one she must solve at all costs. An Excuse for Murder is original, compelling, and a lovely launch for a great new sleuth.”
-Carolyn Hart, author of the Bailey Ruth mysteries
“A well-written, immensely readable debut novel by crime fiction reviewer, Vanessa Westermann. An Excuse for Murder skillfully interweaves the elements of spy thriller and cozy to create an engaging story with emotional resonance. Bookstore manager, Kate Rowan, who can deal in vintage books as easily as fighting off villains, makes an attractive amateur sleuth. Well-drawn supporting characters like Kate’s flamboyant friend, Marcus and the appropriately gothic Victorian mansion are especially enjoyable. Looking forward to Kate’s next adventure.”
-M. H. Callway, Arthur Ellis finalist, Best Novella and Best First Novel
“Vanessa Westermann’s debut mystery is a mesmerizing page-turner, filled with quirky, colorful characters and memorable settings. An Excuse for Murder is a compelling read. Westermann is a talent to watch!”
-Rosemary McCracken, author of the Pat Tierney mysteries
“Engaging characters, and an intriguing take on a classic murder mystery. The prose is lively and entertaining!”
-Sleuth of Baker Street Mystery Bookstore
“A lyrical thriller that crackles with defiance, danger, and uncertain romance. Kate Rowan is the perfect heroine for our times; wit, charm, and spirit balanced by impressive skills in self-defense and lock-picking.”
-Barbara Fradkin, author of the Inspector Green mysteries