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SUMMARY:

First in a new series from national bestselling author Kylie Logan, The Scent of Murder is a riveting mystery following Jazz Ramsey as she trains cadaver dogs.

The way Jazz Ramsey figures it, life is pretty good. She’s thirty-five years old and owns her own home in one of Cleveland’s most diverse, artsy, and interesting neighborhoods. She has a job she likes as an administrative assistant at an all-girls school, and a volunteer interest she’s passionate about—Jazz is a cadaver dog handler.

The Scent of Murder

Jazz is working with Luther, a cadaver dog in training. Luther is still learning cadaver work, so Jazz is putting him through his paces at an abandoned building that will soon be turned into pricey condos. When Luther signals a find, Jazz is stunned to see the body of a young woman who is dressed in black and wearing the kind of make-up and jewelry that Jazz used to see on the Goth kids back in high school.

She’s even more shocked when she realizes that beneath the tattoos and the piercings and all that pale make up is a familiar face.

The lead detective on the case is an old lover, and the murdered woman is an old student. Jazz finds herself sucked into the case, obsessed with learning the truth.

AUTHOR BIOGRAPHY:

KYLIE LOGAN is the national bestselling author of The League of Literary Ladies Mysteries, the Button Box Mysteries, the Chili Cook-Off Mysteries, and the Ethnic Eats Mysteries. The Scent of Murder is the first in a new series.

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Social Links:

https://twitter.com/KylieLoganBks

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CHAPTER 1

It had rained that afternoon and the sidewalks were still wet. When the last of the evening light hit them, the slate squares reflected Jazz Ramsey’s neighborhood—streetlights, and the neon signs that flashed from the windows of the trendy pubs, and a watery rendering of St. John Cantius church, an urban Monet masterpiece, its tan brick walls and bell tower blurred. Even though it was officially spring, the wind off Lake Erie was wicked. Jazz bundled her shoulder-length brown hair into a loose ponytail and pulled up the hood of her sweatshirt, then hunched further into her North Face jacket. She stopped at a corner, waiting for the light to change, and was pleased

when Luther sat down at her side even without a command. “Good dog,” she was sure to tell him at the same time she

breathed in the combined smell of damp earth and the dis- carded bag from Taco Bell crumpled near the curb.

To Luther’s credit, he ignored whatever bits and bites of

Mexican cuisine might still be in the bag. But then, he’d been trained to follow different scents. When the light changed, he trotted along when Jazz crossed the street, his pace as brisk as hers, and the way he pricked his ears and cocked his head, she knew he sensed the exhilaration that vibrated from her hand through his leash. Luther knew it was almost time to get down to business.

Here, College Avenue started its downhill trek into the Cleveland Flats, the city’s once-booming industrial heart. These days, Clevelanders were more likely to work in health care or IT than in foundries and factories, but one hundred years ago, this was the route thousands of workers took each day from their homes in bluecollar Tremont—it was simply called the South Side then—to the fiery furnaces that pro- duced America’s steel.

“Were not going far,” Jazz assured Luther at the same time she noticed the couple who stumbled out of the Treehouse just up ahead made sure to give the massive German shepherd a wide berth. “Just over here,” she told him once they’d passed the open door to the bar and the blaring music that seeped onto the street wasnt quite so loud. “Over to the new condos.” They stopped outside a sturdy brick building nearly ninety years old with solid walls and a slate roof. By the end of sum- mer, Jazz imagined there would be gleaming glass in the win- dow frames where there was plywood now, and window boxes, too, no doubt, and cars parked outside that reflected the status-conscious success of the young professionals she’d

heard were already lined up to buy.

But not tonight.

Tonight the building was empty and dark and she had it all to herself.

It was the perfect place to put Luther through his paces.

Still hanging on to the dog’s leash with one hand, Jazz fished the key from her pocket with the other and silently thanked Ken Zelinsky, the site supervisor, who’d agreed to give her an hour’s time inside the building.

It wasn’t easy to find urban training sites for a human remains detection dog.

She swung open the door and slanted Luther a look. So what do you think?”

Luther sat, his tail thumping out a rhythm of excitement on the front stoop, and before she unhooked his leash, Jazz did a quick run-through of what she’d learned from his owner. Luther was a little over two years old, good-natured. He could be as playful as any pup, but he had a serious side, too. Like now, when he had to work.

“He’s a smart dog,” Greg Johnson had insisted when he begged Jazz to help with the final stages of Luther’s training. “He just needs some reinforcement from a really good handler. That’s you, Jazz.”

It was.

Or at least it used to be.

These days, Jazz was feeling a little rusty. She was out of practice, not in the mood. It was one of the reasons that, after hemming and hawing and finding excuse after excuse, she’d finally agreed to Greg’s request. She needed to shake herself out of her funk, and to her way of thinking, there was no better way to do that than with a dog.

She stepped into the long, narrow entryway of the build- ing with its rows of broken mailboxes along one wall, and shut the front door behind her. The eerie quiet of years of ne- glect closed around her along with the smell of dampness and decay, rotted wiring and musty tiles carried by an errant breeze. Feeling her way, she unsnapped the leash from Luther’s collar and gave him the command she’d devised for all the dogs she worked with because it was less ghoulish than saying “Find the dead guy!

“Find Henry! she told him, and she stepped back and out of Luther’s way.

Like all HRD dogs, Luther was that rare combination independent enough to go off on his own and loyal enough to owner and handler to need praise. But he didn’t know Jazz well, and smart dog that he was, he wanted to be certain. He glanced over his shoulder at her.

You know what to do, Luther. You dont need Greg here to tell you.” She swept a hand along her side. “Find Henry!”

In fact, what Jazz hoped the dog would do was clear both the first and second floors in record time and head up to the third floor where that afternoon she’d hidden a human tooth (a donation from her mother, Claire, who, at the age of fifty- two, had decided she wanted the kind of sparkling smile she’d seen on so many models and had begun to see an orthodon- tist). Human teeth contained enough scent to attract a prop- erly trained dog’s attention. If Luther was on his game—and she hoped he was because she hated the thought of telling Greg his dog wasn’t ready for the grueling volunteer work done by dogs and handlers—he would locate the tooth, signal by bark-

ing three times, and chomp on the treat she would use as a reward while she secured the scene and made a simulated call to the cops, just as she would do if they made a real find.

“You gonna get a move on or what? she asked Luther, her voice falling flat against the pitted plaster. “Find Henry!”

In a flash of black and sable, the dog took off down the darkened hallway.

After nearly ten years training and handling cadaver dogs, Jazz knew the ropes. She couldn’t give Luther a hint about where to go or what he was looking for so she kept back, let- ting him work, refusing to influence him by her demeanor or her movements. She heard his claws scramble on the tile floor somewhere in the dark up ahead, flicked on her high-powered flashlight, and followed.

Some dogs, like pointers, are air sniffers. Some, like blood- hounds, keep their noses to the ground. No matter their breed, cadaver dogs, by virtue of their work, have to be pro- ficient at both. They are trained as trailing dogs to pick up the scent that has fallen from decomposing bodies onto the ground, and as air-scenting dogs as well, so they can detect any smell of decomposition that’s carried on the breeze. By the time she located him in a back room of what had once been a four-room working-class apartment, Luther was hard at work.

His eyes focused and every inch of his muscular body at the ready, he drew in a breath then hurried back and forth, side to side, through what had once been a kitchen, in an at- tempt to catch the strongest scent.

Not here. On the third floor.

Jazz knew better than to say it. Part of an HRD dog’s gift

was to eliminate one area so dog and handler could move on to the next. Luther was doing his job, and he was doing it well. She had to remember to compliment Greg on his training methods.

Nose to the fl or, his ears pricked, Luther cleared the kitchen and headed into the back bedrooms. Jazz kicked a piece of fallen tile out of the way, but she kept her place. She would wait quietly until the dog emerged from the back rooms and when he headed out into the hallway, she would follow.

At least that was her plan. Until Luther barked.

Once. Twice. Three times.

Getting_Hot_with_the_Scot_Tour_Banner

ABOUT THE BOOK:

The first in a new series, a journalist focused on her career and a sexy Scottish comedian turn a one night stand into forever. Cassie Crow leaves for vacation with two goals: fill up her empty charm bracelet and have a one night stand. For once, she wants to have fun instead of obsessively checking her work email. And kissing a man in a castle who’s dressed as a Scottish Highlander is the perfect solution.

Except when that man turns out to be Logan Reid, the host of a popular sketch show—and Cassie has just been roped into his latest prank. She wants nothing to do with his antics, but that was a really great kiss, and one night together couldn’t hurt.

It’s clear that one night isn’t enough and when Logan’s show brings him closer to Cassie, they decide to give dating a try. Can the woman who’s focused solely on her career and the man who refuses to take life seriously make it work?

ABOUT THE AUTHOR:

Melonie Johnson_author photo

A Star Wars junkie and Shakespeare groupie who quotes both Yoda and the Bard with equal aplomb, award-winning author Melonie Johnson—aka #thewritinglush—is a two time RWA Golden Heart® finalist who loves dark coffee, cheap wine, and expensive beer. And margaritas. And mimosas. And mules. Basically any cocktail that starts with the letter m. She met her future husband in that most romantic of places—the mall—when they were teenagers working in stores across the hall from each other. They went on to live happily ever after in the suburbs of Chicago with two redhead daughters, a dog that’s more like a small horse, and a trio of hermit crabs. After earning her Bachelor of Arts magna cum laude from Loyola University Chicago, Melonie taught high school English and Theatre in the northern Chicago suburbs for several years. Now she writes smart and funny contemporary romance and moonlights as an audiobook narrator under the pseudonym, Evelyn Eibhlin.

Buy this book: https://us.macmillan.com/books/9781250193094

Author website: https://meloniejohnson.com/

Author Twitter: @MelonieJohnson

Author Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/meloniejohnson/

Author Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/MelonieWrites/

SMP Romance Twitter: @SMPRomance or @heroesnhearts

SMP Romance Website: https://heroesandheartbreakers.com/

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SNEAK PEEK:

Would you look at that? The man is wearing a kilt.
Note to self: Cassie Crow—be careful what you wish for.
The man groaned again and raised a hand to shield his eyes from the sunlight now cutting across the hidden alcove.
“Are you all right?”
“I will be fine once ye douse that blasted light.” He squinted up at her. “Be ye a new chambermaid?”
Chambermaid? She eyed the wide sleeves and open neck of the old-fashioned piratey shirt he wore. “Not sure what kind of weird-ass stuff you’re into buddy, but I don’t
do RPG.”
“Weird . . . ass?” His dark red brows drew together as he shaped his mouth around the letters. “Are pee gee?”
“Role playing games. You know, like cosplay or whatever.” She pointed at him. “Look, you’re the one wearing that get-up and talking like a reject from Macbeth.”
He narrowed his eyes at her finger. “Be ye a witch?”
“What did you call me?”

With another groan, he lurched forward. Oh God, what if he was hurt? For all she knew he was a member of some historic castle tour who got lost in a back passageway and hit his head. She leaned down to inspect him for bruises. He threw a hand out, palm up, warding her off. 
“Back away, sorceress,” he hissed.
“Seriously?” She slapped his hand out of the way.
“Here, let me help you out of there.” Cassie tugged gently on his shoulder. The voluminous shirt was loose, but she could feel—and appreciate—the thick spread muscle
beneath the soft fabric. Just my luck, I finally run into a hot Highlander, and he’s delusional.
The man waved off her assistance and struggled to his feet, shaking a wild tousle of thick, red hair out of his eyes.

Cassie never fancied herself to be a ginger girl, but it worked on him . . . or maybe that was the kilt talking. She eyed the swath of plaid fabric wrapped around his hips and wondered, like any female in her position would, what might or might not be under there. Reluctantly, she raised her gaze and caught him scrutinizing her in return.
“What be these strange breeks ye wear?” he asked, moving in a circle around her.
Cassie swore she could feel the weight of each of his eyeballs resting on her denim-clad backside. Fair enough. After a prolonged moment, she glanced over her shoulder.
“Get a good look?”
“Aye.” He swallowed. “’Tis most unseemly, lass.” He shook his head, gaze still glued to her ass.

“They’re called jeans.” She pivoted to face him. “Are you for real?”
He met her gaze, his answer falling from his lips in a deep, rich brogue with trilling r’s that curled her toes, “Aye, lass, I’m real.”
Cassie’s heart hiccupped. Of course he’s real. Unless those shots were stronger than I thought. “Were you at the whisky tasting?”
“Whisky?” His green-gold eyes lit with interest. “Do ye have whisky for me, then? I could use a wee dram. Be a good lass and fetch it for me.”

“Ha! I think you’ve had enough, mister. Is that how you ended up stuck in there?” Even as she said this, Cassie doubted it. She didn’t smell a hint of alcohol on him, though she did pick up other pleasant smells. Mint and clove and man and . . . Stop being ridiculous.
His broad shoulders lifted and dropped. “I dinna ken.”
“How long were you in there?”

Another shrug.Cassie dragged her attention away from the wide curve of his shoulders and leaned past him, inspecting the dark, narrow space behind the bookshelf. He grabbed her wrist and pulled her back, panic edging his voice. “Nay, lass. Doona be going in there.”

“Why not?” She inched forward and tried to get a better look.
“It canna be safe.” He tugged on her wrist again, his fingers warm and firm.
Tiny butterflies danced along the path where his skin touched hers. She brushed away the tingling sensation and slipped out of his grip, careful not to snag her bracelet.
“Well, you were in there, and you appear to have managed.”
“Are ye daft, wench? I was trapped!”
She sniffed, not sure she liked being referred to as a wench, and frowned up at him.

“What’s the last thing you remember?”He closed his eyes and slumped against the shelf. “I canna recall anything afore the moment I woke to find my-self crammed within yonder wall.” He blinked and focused intently on her. “The moment I found you, lass.”Cassie decided she liked being called lass much better than wench, especially when he was looking at her like that. Gazes locked, her other senses sharpened, heightening her awareness of his body and its proximity to hers.

She cleared her throat. “Hm. I think it’d be more accurate to say I’m the one who found you.”

Telling herself she was only searching for injuries, she reached up and tentatively
skimmed her palms along his temples, her fingers trailing his scalp.

“Looking for devil’s horns?” The man cocked one wicked brow at her as he raised his arms to mirror her movements, running his hands over her head and shoulders before brushing his palms down her back.

“Ye’ve naught got any fairy wings, so I’d say we’re even. In fact,” he whispered against her hair, standing so close the low burr of his voice became a purr in her own chest, “ye feel perfect to me.”

Like the migrating monarchs her dad studied, the butterflies made a return trip, enveloping her in a fluttery haze. She shivered. Whether it was the Scot or the scotch or both, Cassie didn’t care. He was here and she was here, and damn it all, it was about time she skipped to the good stuff. With a forceful mental click, Cassie turned off her brain tilted her chin up, and caught his mouth with hers. He made a low sound in the back of his throat, of protest or surprise, she wasn’t sure. But then his hands settled at her waist, and he returned the kiss. His mouth was somehow soft and hard at the same time, and when he slipped his tongue between her lips, she felt more light headed than if she’d downed every shot of whisky that had been on that tasting list.

Cassie rolled her tongue against his, savoring the delicious contact. He met her thrust for thrust, deepening the kiss until she was swept away on a tidal wave of desire. This. This is what I’ve been waiting for. She clung to him, hands gripping his shoulders, swimming in sensation, drowning in it.

This is one of the most outstanding books I’ve read, as Pamela Clare pours life into this incredible story of courage, bravery and valor of the first responders and the support of the law enforcement team in the face of adversity. This is an outstanding story of a town that stands together, and people with hearts as big as the blue sky with unconditional support and love, to weather a calamity they face together.

ChasingFire-ITeamHighColoradoCrossover-PamelaClare-Mar2019

“Chasing Fire” needs to be read as the I-Team and Colorado High Country crossover and work tirelessly to protect their town from turning to ashes. Pamela Clare does an awesome job of portraying the danger, the adrenaline, the frustrations, the intense planning and things that can go wrong within seconds when facing a threat.

A fabulous read indeed!

Received a copy from Pamela Clare via NetGalley for an honest review.

No matter which series of Susan Stoker you read, everyone of her stories is as intense as the previous one and as captivating as the next one! There’s something very addictive and seductive about Susan Stoker’s various series of courageous and brave soldiers, their fight for justice and the fierce protectiveness of their loved ones.  

DefendingMorgan-MountainMercenaries#3-SusanStoker

“Defending Morgan”, book three in the Mountain Mercenaries Series, is another great write, bringing marine Arrow Kane to the rescue of kidnapped victim Morgan Byrd. An operation that was supposed to be the extraction of a kidnapped child, takes Arrow and his team members into the mysterious kidnapping of Morgan, who is protecting the very child that the Mountain Mercenaries are tasked to rescue. A kidnapping that draws Arrow and Morgan together as they fight against an unknown enemy bent on killing Morgan.

Susan Stoker is one fine writer that I was glad to have come upon and enjoyed reading her stories. From her Badge Of Honor Series, Delta Force Heroes Series to Seal Of Protection Series and now to Ace Security series, I’ve literally enjoyed every single one of her books. Protecting Caroline, Protecting Fiona and Protecting Alabama are my top favorites of her books that I’ve visited innumerable times…chicken soup for the soul!!!

Received an ARC from Montlake Romance via NetGalley for an honest review.

New series…new billionaires…. and the matchmaking continues…

Arden-UndercoverBillionaires-June2018

Melody Anne’s “Undercover Billionaires” continues with the second sibling “Arden” Forbes tackling the affairs of his heart on and off the field. Billionaire he may be but he is humble and working with high school kids and keeping them of out of trouble gives him satisfaction that his immense wealth doesn’t. Now if only the new school Principal falls in line with his heart as easy!

Keera Thompson is trying to escape a past and start fresh and the fresh start seems to be very tempting in the form of Arden Forbes. Keera has dangerous baggage that seems to burden her budding relationship with Arden, and unless she comes clean any chance of a future is in jeopardy.

“Arden” is so much more interesting to read than “Kian”. This is the second time I totally liked the character of Arden. So far the Forbes siblings are gaining ground over their heroines. Melody Anne gives us a far better story to this Forbes sibling.

Received an ARC from Montlake Romance via NetGalley for an honest review.

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