This is a Guest Author/Review week, so I asked my friend Diane Burton if she would come and share a little bit about her recent mystery, The Case of the Bygone Brother. Diane is a member of my local RWA (Romance Writers of America) chapter, and she’s made a name for herself as the author of several fascinating science fiction romances. If you like to read romances that take place in unique settings, be sure to check out her Switched books and her Outer Rim series. But recently, Diane branched out and started a new series featuring a charming female private detective named Alex O’Hara. I asked her to share a bit about the book and she sent me some great tidbits:
5 Fun Facts About THE CASE OF THE BYGONE BROTHER
- It takes place in West Michigan in a resort town similar to where I live. Although Fair Haven is a fictitious place, if you want to know where it’s “located”, draw a line from Grand Rapids to Lake Michigan.
- Settlers from The Netherlands came to West Michigan in the 1800s. You can see their influence in the names of villages, cities, and streets. Like Holland, Zeeland, Vriesland. Their cultural influences can be felt, too. Scrupulously clean (“scrubbing Dutch”), conservative and thrifty. Not bad values.
- If you aren’t Dutch, you aren’t much. That used to be the attitude of natives to newcomers to the area. Nowadays (love that word) there are so many newcomers and we add so much to the economy we’re pretty much tolerated. LOL The main character in Bygone Brother, female PI Alex O’Hara, is red-headed Irish in a sea (lake?) of Dutch blondes.
- Both sides of my family have Dutch ancestors. That means I get to park in the “Dutch Only” parking spaces in front of my favorite Dutch bakery.
- I used family names for many characters in THE CASE OF THE BYGONE BROTHER, including the last name of the title character, Harry Anslyn. My great-grandmother was an Anslijn (Dutch spelling); her father Louis fought in the Civil War, and his father Nicolas was appointed Vice Consul from The Netherlands to the state of Iowa in 1857 by President James Buchanan. That proclamation, which my mom found in my grandmother’s papers, started me exploring my family tree. More relatives’ names will appear in future Alex O’Hara books.
Alex O’Hara finally gets a case that will give her bottom line a much needed boost. She might even be able to change her diet from ramen noodles to prime rib. All she has to do is track down a man who’s been missing for over ten years. Piece of cake . . . until an old flame arrives and a mugger roughs her up with orders to back off.
My Review on Goodreads:
I stayed up far too late reading this book! So full of surprises I couldn’t put it down. Diane Burton weaves a fabulous tale, and I love the strong, feisty heroine. Can’t wait to see what she does next!
I dreamt about Harry Anslyn last night. An endless loop of a blond man in Dutch costume—black vest, hat, and baggy pants wearing wooden shoes—who popped up from behind cars and buildings and saying, “You can’t catch me, I’m the Gingerbread Man.”
I really needed to think about something else. Like Ellie’s latest heart throb.
Cup of coffee in hand, I sat on the floor with my back against the sofa, my tablet on the coffee table. I could sit at the dining room table, but I sat at a desk all day downstairs. They—you know, the ubiquitous ‘they’—say that a change of position encourages a different way of thinking. That’s my story and I’m sticking with it.
With the apartment a tad chilly—I hate turning on the furnace before Halloween—I stayed in my flannel sleep pants and a long-sleeve thermal shirt. I pulled on a quilted flannel workshirt. Do I have fancy sleepwear or what?
After searching several databases, I found more references to Craig MacKenzie but nothing I didn’t already know. A face-to-face meeting would give me a better idea of his character. My first thought was to pose as a reporter doing a piece on oil and gas exploration in Michigan. If their relationship led to Ellie’s hoped-for conclusion, how would she explain that her maid of honor was an imposter and a liar?
Maybe I needed to give this more thought. After a couple of minutes, I remembered Pop had a contact in the local oil and gas business. The guy had been a resource for a case last year. The oil and gas industry in Michigan was small enough that this guy was sure to know MacKenzie. I raced downstairs. The case file would be in the cabinet in Tony’s old office. I unlocked the door, flipped on the light, and was half-way across the room when a blur came off the brown couch. I whirled around and froze.
Nick Palzetti stood in a half crouch. His Glock 9 mil pointed straight at me.
Alex O’Hara will soon be up to her old tricks. Watch for The Case of the Fabulous Fiancé to be released next month.
About the Author:
Diane Burton combines her love of mystery, adventure, science fiction and romance into writing romantic fiction. Besides the science fiction romance Switched and Outer Rim series, she is the author of One Red Shoe, a romantic suspense, and The Case of the Bygone Brother, a PI mystery. She is regular contributor to The Roses of Prose and Paranormal Romantics blogsites. Diane and her husband live in Michigan. They have two children and three grandchildren.