Wednesday, April 5, 2017

Promo Blitz ~ Dam Witherston (Witherston Murder Mysteries, Book 3) Betty Jean Craige ~ Mystery, Cozy Murder Mystery


Dam Witherston
Witherston Murder Mysteries Book 3Betty Jean Craige
Mystery, Cozy Murder Mystery
Date Published: January 2017

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About the Book:

DAM WITHERSTON is a cozy murder mystery, the third in a series set in the fictive town of Witherston in the north Georgia mountains where Cherokees lived for a thousand years. This tale of blackmail and murder in the present involves interracial rape and pregnancy in the past, in 1977 and in 1828, when intercourse between Cherokees and whites was considered an abomination in the racist South.

The story takes place in March of 2017, when Mayor Rich Rather and attorney Grant Griggs receive blackmail messages from a "Donna Dam," whose name they don't recognize. Donna Dam threatens to expose their shameful activities of forty years ago if the two men do not take a paternity test and if Mayor Rather does not withdraw his proposal to build a dam. The dam would create a lake on top of sacred Cherokee burial ground. Donna Dam demands $9,900 in cash to keep their secret. The editor of the local online newspaper Witherston on the Web, who publishes Donna Dam's letter to the editor, reports that forty years ago the Kelly Barnes Dam broke in Toccoa, Georgia, leaving thirty-nine people dead and many more homeless. What is the connection?

The teen-age twins Jaime and Jorge Arroyo, who helped solve the mysteries of Downstream and Fairfield's Auction, have just discovered an ancient Cherokee burial site when they hear an explosion upstream. The twin's mother, Detective Mev Arroyo, investigates the fire at the fishing shed, where Rather and Griggs had left their blackmail money, and discovers a body. DNA links the deceased to the twins' friend Eric.

As in the earlier Witherston murder mysteries Mev is aided in her sleuthing by Jaime and Jorge, her husband Paco, and her aunt Lottie, who help her learn the truth of what happened in 2017 and in 1977 and 1828. DNA ancestry tests reveal kinship between the Cherokees and the present inhabitants of the north Georgia town that no one would have predicted and some would not have disclosed.

The reader participates in the detection by getting information from many different sources: the characters' dialogue, email, text messages, deeds, and Witherston on the Web, which carries news reports, weather forecasts, announcements, obituaries, Jorge's column about nature, Jorge's cartoon, and Lottie's column about Witherston's history.


Read an Excerpt: 

PROLOGUE


                Mayor Rich Rather grabbed his cell phone when a beep signaled the arrival of an email.

                "Excuse me," he said to Trevor Bennington, Jr., President of Bennington Financial Services and member of the Witherston Town Council. "I'm expecting an estimate from Appalachian Landscape Contractors."

                He opened his email.
               

From:  Donna Dam (donotreply@xxx.com)

To: Rich Rather


PAYBACK TIME

Fri 03/10/2017 9:31 AM.


Dear Mayor Rather:


Do you remember what you were doing on the night of November 5-6, 1977? I bet you do.  You will pay for it.


There is a wooden shed 1/4 mile upstream from Withers Fork on east bank of Saloli Stream. It's on the Zamora property. Bring $9,900 in cash at 5:00 pm tomorrow. Leave the money in an envelope inside on the table. If you do not show up on time, I will go public with your secret.


Donna Dam


Sent from my iPhone


                "Anything wrong, Rich?"

                "No, nothing, nothing at all. Thanks, Trevor." Rich stood up. "But I'm afraid I've got other business to attend to. I'm sorry to be cutting our meeting short. So sorry."

                The mayor showed him out of his office and deleted the email.


---


                Grant Griggs sat down for Friday morning coffee with Patrick Davis, President of Witherston Savings and Loan. As was their custom at the Witherston Inn Cafe they'd taken a back table.

                "Looks like Rich will give the contract to Appalachian Lakescape Contractors, Grant," Patrick said. "I lobbied him hard."

                "Thanks, Patrick. I promise that will work out for both of us."

                Grant's cell phone beeped.

                "Do you mind if I check my email, Patrick? I'm expecting a message from Phyllis Graph."


From:  Donna Dam (donotreply@xxx.com)

To: Grant Griggs


PAYBACK TIME

Fri 03/10/2017 9:31 AM.


Dear Mr. Griggs:


Do you remember what you were doing on the night of November 5-6, 1977? I bet you do.  You will pay for it.


There is a wooden shed 1/4 mile upstream from Withers Fork on east bank of Saloli Stream. It's on the Zamora property. Bring $9,900 in cash at 5:00 pm tomorrow. Leave the money in an envelope inside on the table. If you do not show up on time, I will go public with your secret.


Donna Dam


Sent from my iPhone


                "Shit," Grant muttered. "Patrick, I'm sorry to have to leave you, but I've got to see a client. I must go now." He deleted the email and walked out of the restaurant.


---


                Red Wilker was vacuuming the stuffed black bear the taxidermist had just delivered to Wilker's Gun Shop when he got the email.

               

From: Donna Dam (donotreply@xxx.com)

To: Red Wilker


PAYBACK TIME

Fri 03/10/2017 9:31 AM.


Dear Mr. Wilker:


Would you like for the people of Witherston to know that you are buying up property in Saloli Valley with inside information about the proposed lake? I bet you wouldn't.


There is a wooden shed 1/4 mile upstream from Withers Fork on east bank of Saloli Stream. It's on the Zamora property. Bring $5,000 in cash at 5:00 pm tomorrow. Leave the money in an envelope inside on the table. If you do not show up on time, I will go public with your secret. And you could get jail time.


Donna Dam


Sent from my iPhone


                "'What the duck is this? Look, Grace. Who in creation is Donna Dam?" He handed his cell phone to his wife.

                Grace read the email. "Is she referring to your land buy-outs in Saloli Valley?"

                "How could she find that out? How could anybody?"

                "Rich knows. Grant knows. Phyllis knows. Patrick knows."

                "They all have a stake in the lake. They won't be talking."

                "What are you going to do?"

                "Don't ask. You don't need to know."

                Red deleted the email.


Meet the Author:

Dr. Betty Jean Craige is University Professor Emerita of Comparative Literature at the University of Georgia. She has lived in Athens, Georgia, since 1973.
Betty Jean is a teacher, scholar, translator, humorist, and writer. After retiring in 2011, she published a column about animal behavior in the local paper titled "Cosmo Talks" and began writing fiction. Her Witherston Murder Mystery series, set in north Georgia, includes DOWNSTREAM, FAIRFIELD'S AUCTION, and DAM WITHERSTON.

Contact Links:


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