New Release Mondays: Lostar Street by Vinnie Hansen

Author: Vinnie Hansen

Book Title: Lostart Street, a novel of mystery, murder and moonbeams

Release Date: May 31. 2017

Synopsis: Cecile Knutsen abandons her old life in San Francisco to accept her first teaching position in a small California coast town. She rents an apartment in a newly integrated development for old and handicapped people, across from a woman she never sees. Mysterious thefts and a budding romance tug the lonely Cecile into this community of strange inhabitants. Blinded by the busyness of her new career, Cecile doesn’t see impending danger.

The Barracks

Not a soul stirred except the two of us. The mustard-colored apartment units could have been empty.

“It’s quiet,” I murmured.

“Yes, very quiet.” The manager, Bobbi Headland, was a tiny woman with tinted red hair and spiky eyelashes. Humans are already anatomical wonders, slender stalks balancing twenty-pound heads. Bobbi Headland added to this miracle with twiggy legs and large, Barbie-doll breasts. As we walked up the asphalt drive, all logic argued she should tip over, which perhaps accounted for her charged up, nervous air.

The alluring quiet of the place contrasted sharply with my life of MUNI buses rumbling past the flat I rented with my friend Imogene. Behind the three rows of apartments, birds fluttered in the ice plant covering a hill. A song sparrow on the tip of a stunted juniper threw open his beak and shattered the silent heat.

A humongous cat on the step of unit four, next to the vacant one, lazily lifted its head to acknowledge us.

“Hi ya, Buddha Belly,” Bobbi Headland chirped. “That’s Mrs. Bean’s cat and folks here call it Buddha Belly. Not in front of Mrs. Bean, of course. She’s very sensitive about her cat.”

The vacant apartment and Mrs. Bean’s stood alone, like individual houses. A nice feature.

Bobbi threw open the door. I weighed the plusses and minuses of the place: clean with new carpet and knotty pine in a minuscule kitchen. The rent was unreasonable, but affordable given my new salary. And with my first day as a high-school teacher looming in two days, I had no time to shop. I still faced the move from San Francisco.

As I peeked about, Bobbi scrutinized the place as though trying to fathom what a single, twenty‑eight-year-old would want in such a dead place. Why not choose hip downtown Santa Cruz instead of this little village? She chattered away, giving me the history of the apartments and telling me about the woman who lived across the asphalt drive in unit six. “She doesn’t come out much in the day. You might not ever see her.”

I should have paid more attention to this information, but it winged by.

Bobbi ducked into what I’d already decided was my bathroom. She stayed for a long time, but emerged seeming calmer. I should have paid more attention to that, too.

About the author: Vinnie Hansen fled the winds of the South Dakota prairie and headed for the California coast the day after high school graduation.

As a child, she read books while huddled on top the dryer. Vinnie grew up to write numerous short stories and the Carol Sabala mysteries. MURDER, HONEY is available in the bestselling e-collection: SLEUTHING WOMEN: 10 FIRST-IN-SERIES MYSTERIES.

Her story, MISCALCULATION, is forthcoming in SANTA CRUZ NOIR (Akashic Books).

Still sane after 27 years of teaching high-school English, Vinnie has retired and lives in Santa Cruz, California, with her husband and the requisite cat. Find her at

Find the book

35 responses to “New Release Mondays: Lostar Street by Vinnie Hansen

  1. Vicky, thanks for visiting and for putting Lostart Street on you wish list. 🙂 Do note, though, that it is a novel. If you read it expecting a traditional mystery or thriller, you will find it very odd.

  2. Judy Penz Sheluk

    Thanks Vicky. I hope you stop by again!

  3. I read mystery and thrillers quite often and this one sounds very good. I am having my daughter add it to her Amazon wishlist for me lol You have a neat blog and I was happy to stop by. #GetSocial2017

  4. Judy Penz Sheluk

    Thanks for stopping by Nicci.

  5. Hi from the #getsocial17 hop!

  6. Judy Penz Sheluk

    Thanks for stopping by Melissa.

  7. Judy Penz Sheluk

    Thanks for stopping by Ann!

  8. “Buddha Belly” LOL Sounds ike an interesting read.

  9. Thank you for the information! Visiting from Romancing the Readers Blog for #GetSocial17

  10. Thanks to everyone who dropped by and thanks to you Judy, for being my hostess!

  11. Judy Penz Sheluk

    Thanks for stopping by Shannon!

  12. Shannon Esposito

    Congrats & good luck on the new release! I absolutely adore the title!

  13. Hi Ed and ratmom–Thanks for checking out my new release. Just want to clarify that although I usually write mysteries, LOSTART STREET is a novel. There’s a murder and some mystery, but no murder mystery. 🙂

  14. While this isn’t the genre I usually read, this does sound interesting. #getsocial17

  15. Judy Penz Sheluk

    Thanks for stopping by Ed!

  16. This sounds like an unusual & interesting setting for a mystery. #getsocial17

  17. Thanks for popping in, Joelle!

  18. Thanks, Kass. It’s amazing, though, after two writing groups, editing and proofing at misterio press, and four beta readers, I still almost went to press with a male calico cat in the book!

  19. Thanks for the plug, K.B. Your encouragement was invaluable. Four beta readers and two sets of self-edits after your comments . . . .

  20. Popping in from the get social event.Happy Reading! Joelle from Angels with Attitude Book Reviews.

  21. Judy Penz Sheluk

    Thanks for stopping by K.B.! Now I HAVE to read this book!

  22. Hi Vinnie, congrats on your new release! I was one of Vinnie’s editors so I know I’m a bit biased, but Lostart Street is terrific – one of those books that will stay with you for quite a while after you finish – vivid characters, compelling story!

  23. Judy Penz Sheluk

    But Vinnie, you get to stay up past my bedtime!

  24. Judy Penz Sheluk

    Thanks for the feedback Kassandra! It certainly sound great. Adding to my TBR list!

  25. I’ve had the pleasure of reading an advanced copy of this book. It’s great!

  26. Thank you for checking out my new book, Kristina, Cindy, and “twimom227”! One thing I hate about Pacific Time is always being late to the party.

  27. Judy Penz Sheluk

    Thanks for stopping by Karen!

  28. Thanks for sharing – I’m stopping by to say hi for #getsocial17

    For What It’s Worth

  29. Kristina Stanley

    My pleasure. Love to see who is on you blog on Mondays.

  30. Judy Penz Sheluk

    Thanks for stopping by Kristina!

  31. Kristina Stanley

    Vinnie, Congrats on your new release! I hope it goes well for you.

  32. Judy Penz Sheluk

    Thanks for stopping by Cindy!

  33. cindysbookbinge

    I like the sound of this! Nice to meet you #getsocial17

  34. Judy Penz Sheluk

    Thanks for stopping by! Hope you decide to sign up for more blog posts! I introduce new authors every week! And agreed, Vinnie’s book sounds awesome.

  35. Greetings! I’m new to your blog. Stopping by as part of #getsocial17 event.

    I don’t normally read mystery/thrillers, but this sounds great… I’m already hooked in just from the excerpt and blurb. Thanks!

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