Author Name: Catherine Dilts
Book Title: Stone Cold Blooded – A Rock Shop Mystery
Book Genre: Mystery – amateur sleuth
Release Date: October 10, 2016
Synopsis: When Colorado rock shop owner Morgan Iverson’s reclusive neighbor is blown to bits, the police believe he stumbled into his own trap. His granddaughter claims he was murdered, and asks Morgan and newspaperman Kurt Willard to find his killer. Park hippies, alien hunters, and local politics complicate the case. In book three of the Rock Shop Mystery series, amateur sleuth Morgan must follow a trail of dinosaur bones to solve a Stone Cold Blooded murder.
Excerpt: Del blasted a short note on a shrill whistle.
“Heads up, everyone,” he yelled to the two spectators. “Morgan’s going on the range.”
The homemade shooting range occupied an unused area of the Rock of Ages property, fenced off from the donkeys’ various paddocks and pastures, and with a berm of dirt built up against the natural slope of a low hill. Stray bullets were sure to be absorbed by dirt.
After Del gave Morgan the go-ahead, she walked to a target tacked to a straw bale in front of the berm. Morgan studied the square of paper printed with concentric circles as she approached, disappointed that the center of the target appeared intact. Then she noticed a small hole in an outer ring. She jumped in the air and whooped.
“I hit it!”
Del opened his mouth, possibly to congratulate her, but Morgan couldn’t hear his words.
An explosion rocked the air. Rapid gunfire followed. Del crashed to the ground. For an instant, Morgan feared he’d been shot.
“Hit the dirt!” Del yelled. “Somebody’s shooting!”
Morgan dropped to her knees, feeling every sharp rock through her jeans. Gravel dug into her elbows. Distant shouting ended with more gunfire. Kurt belly-crawled to Morgan.
“It sounds like a battle!” He shouted above the noise of another explosion.
“Terrorists,” Lorina yelled. “I’d bet my best horse on it.”
Morgan pulled her cell phone from her jeans pocket. Thankfully, she had signal on this part of the property. Deputy J. B. Parker answered. Before Morgan got very far in her explanation, another explosion shook the ground.
“What in the heck’s going on?” the young deputy asked.
“Gunfire,” Morgan said. “Explosions. World War Three.”
“On your ranch?”
“No, the noise is coming from north of the rock shop,” Morgan said.
“Probably old man Day’s place,” Deputy Parker said. “The Chief and I are headed that way, Ms. Iverson. Hold tight, and don’t go anywhere near Day’s property.”
Morgan relayed the gist of her phone call to Kurt, Del, and Lorina.
“Makes sense,” Del said. “If anybody around here was capable of starting a war, it’d be Eustace Day.”
About the author: Catherine Dilts is the author of the Rock Shop Mystery series, while her short stories appear regularly in Alfred Hitchcock Mystery Magazine. With a day job as an environmental regulatory technician, Catherine’s stories often have environmental or factory-based themes. Others reflect her love of the Colorado mountains, fishing, and running. Catherine caught mountain fever after a childhood vacation in Rocky Mountain National Park. Determined to give up her flat–lander ways, she moved from Oklahoma to Colorado where she lives with her husband. Learn more about Catherine on her website.