Author Name: Gail M Baugniet
Book Title: Blood Red Homicide
Book Genre: Soft-Boiled Mystery
Release Date: June 24, 2016
Synopsis: Insurance Investigator Pepper Bibeau would rather be in Vegas gambling. Instead, her boss sends her to New England to investigate a hefty life insurance claim on a Boston Red Sox player. While on the injured-list and recuperating with the club’s farm team, the popular left fielder died under suspicious circumstances.
Pepper’s main contacts in Boston are a big insurance company representative whose job may be in jeopardy and the homicide team assigned to the case. She may not understand all the rules of major league baseball, but she knows how to score answers when a questionable claim is on the table.
With local mobsters gunning for her, Pepper’s survival instincts escalate to high-pitch alert. She aims for a grand slam of clearing a questionable claim, helping to solve the homicide case, facing illusions of family security . . . and staying alive.
Excerpt: [From Chapter 2] The sound of shuffling papers filled the silence for a couple of minutes. Then Al continued. “The report first came across Carmella’s desk. You want to tell the story?” He shifted toward his assistant, signaling for her to take over.
“Part of my job at the front desk is handling any mail that comes in from the different medical departments.” Carmella’s voice expressed confidence as she spoke, though her right eyelid twitched often in an apparent nervous tick. “That includes all coroners’ reports.”
“Was it your job to read those reports?” Casey asked.
Carmella hesitated. I thought Al might take the question, but he only sat back and waited.
“I’ve been a Sox fan all my life,” she finally said. “Joe Miller was one of my favorite players. When I saw the name on the report, I decided to read it. My job doesn’t entail knowing the full content of what comes across my desk, but it isn’t against policy for me to read anything. We’re all held to strict standards, what happens here stays here kind of thing, and no talking to the press without authorization.”
“What caught your attention in the report?” I’d glanced over the few short paragraphs and didn’t see any glaring remarks that shouted “murder” or any other foul play.
Carmella took her cue from Al to continue.
“In the second paragraph, it says the blow wasn’t consistent with someone hitting their head on a flat surface.”
I thought of Jolynn’s remark at the Howard Johnson’s about Joe being found in a pool of blood but decided to keep that to myself for now.
“And that made you suspicious?” Casey’s tone sounded more challenging than I thought appropriate. “How?”
“It wasn’t the wording,” Carmella said, not reacting to Casey’s challenge. “The coroner didn’t follow-up or give an explanation for the anomaly. If the injury wasn’t caused by Joe hitting his head on the shower floor, then how was he injured? It wasn’t what the coroner said that raised questions in my mind, it’s what he left out.”
About the author: Gail M Baugniet is the author of the Pepper Bibeau Mystery series. She worked as an underwriter and claims adjuster for insurance companies in Wisconsin, and in law enforcement as a police officer and first responder in Minnesota. After living through many snowy winters in northern states, she moved to Hawaii where she worked as a security dispatcher for twelve years. She now writes fulltime at her home in Honolulu, often sharing space on her lanai with chirping birds and good luck geckos.
Gail is a member of Sisters in Crime, Inc. and current president of the Sisters in Crime/Hawaii chapter in Honolulu. You can visit Gail on her blog site.
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