Tuesday, March 28, 2017

A Staged Murder by Jo A. Hiestand | Blog Tour with Exclusive Excerpt and Giveaway

The Blurb

Bonfire Night! The four hundred-year-old tradition of burning the straw effigy is beginning in Upper Kingsleigh, England. The torch extends… But it’s no mock figure at the end of the rope; it’s the body of a man, an American tourist. Brenna Taylor, Derbyshire C.I.D., is assigned to the case on a team of detectives under Detective-Chief Inspector Geoffrey Graham. It is the chance Brenna has been waiting for, and she is anxious to impress him.

Most villagers suspect an outsider as the killer. But when the frost-covered body of a resident is discovered, apprehension shifts and suspects multiply. Among them are the American's brother-in-law, still angry over his sister's death; the husband, who fears his wife will desert him for the American; the inebriated, penniless uncle, who clings to his nephew's fortune tighter than a cork in a wine bottle. Then Brenna becomes the target of a series of frightening pranks — the work of a harassing male colleague, or a deadly warning to leave the case? Her hunt is personal now.

A Staged Murder is the newly rewritten/edited edition of Death of an Ordinary Guy
(A Taylor & Graham Mystery #1), first published in 2004.

A Staged Murder by Jo A. Hiestand
Series: A Peak District Mystery, #1
Genre: Mystery  
Publication Date: March 27, 2017; 2nd edition
Publisher: Cousins House
Paperback: 326 pages
ISBN-10: 1544695152
ISBN-13: 978-1544695150
e-Book File Size: 2363 KB
Amazon  | B & N | BAM! | Goodreads

Exclusive Excerpt

“There was nothing extraordinary about the dummy. The villagers passed it every day, whether to bring more wood for the fire, or just to see how the fire building was progressing. They were used to seeing it, so they really didn’t see it.”

“You see what you expect to see, Taylor. Especially if you’ve no reason to expect otherwise.” Graham scowled, looking annoyed with the hour, the murder, and the obvious tampering with the scene. He glanced again at the bough that stretched overhead like the arm of an ancient crossroads gibbet. “Who would have thought that the mundane practice of lighting bonfires, begun on the evening in 1605, would evolve into a tradition still observed more than four hundred years later?”

“Or that Guy Fawkes would evolve into the arch villain of the gunpowder plot, when it really ought to be Robert Catesby.”

He looked at me, either surprised I knew my history so well or unsure of his own. 

“Yes, sir. Catesby was the leader of the gunpowder conspiracy. Not poor Guy Fawkes, whom we love to revile.”

Graham regained his composure. “No wonder you turned to detection, Taylor. Your memory of the smallest detail does either your ancestral genes or your police schooling proud.”

I avoided his gaze, afraid I would color. “Seems a pity to hang the blame on the wrong lad. It’s like sending the wrong man to the dock.”


The Author

About Jo A. Hiestand

A month-long trip to England during her college years introduced Jo to the joys of Things British.  Since then, she has been lured back nearly a dozen times, and lived there during her professional folksinging stint.  This intimate knowledge of Britain forms the backbone of the Peak District mystery series.

Jo’s insistence for accuracy — from police methods and location layout to the general “feel” of the area — has driven her innumerable times to Derbyshire for research.  These explorations and conferences with police friends provide the detail filling the books.

In 1999 she returned to Webster University to major in English.  She graduated in 2001 with a BA degree and departmental honors.

Jo founded the Greater St. Louis Chapter of Sisters in Crime, serving as its first president. Besides her love of mysteries and early music, she also enjoys photography, reading, creating recipes, and her backyard wildlife.  Her cat, Tennyson, shares her St. Louis home.

Find Jo on the web at

Follow the tour, to read the other exclusive excerpts. The more you comment, the better your chances of winning.

The Giveaway

Jo will award a handmade lapis lazuli necklace on a bamboo cord
to a randomly drawn winner via rafflecopter during the tour.
The cord is adjustable and the necklace is comprised
of three stones ranging in length from 1 5/8" to 2 1/8".
(It's like the one Brenna Taylor in the book wears.)

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