WHEN THE HOUSE BURNS
Barnes & Noble
Published by: Coffeetown Press
Release Date: February 14, 2023
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When death comes home, is nowhere safe? The quest for love and home becomes deadly when Detectives Erik Jansson and Deb Metzger search for the killer of an adulterous real estate agent.
A volatile real estate market, unrest in a homeless encampment, jealousies among would-be lovers, a case of arson—these circumstances thwart G-Met detectives Erik Jansson and Deb Metzger as they investigate the murder of an adulterous woman. The victim’s estranged husband has holes in his alibi. A property developer grieves too much over the death of the woman while his wife shuts him out. The developer’s assistant resents his boss and suspects that the developer was not only involved with the victim but is being scammed by the arsonist. A sexy young widow, friend of the victim, has past traumas triggered by the case and turns to the developer for protection. A homeless man stalked the dead woman and now stalks the young widow. All may hold secrets about the past burning of an apartment complex and the man who died there.
Before the clues come together, Erik Jansson is trapped in an abandoned house as Deb Metzger hunts for a sharpshooter at a remote construction site. The case will burn down around them unless they can scheme their way out of lethal surroundings.
This is a well-crafted novel with excellent writing, witty dialogue, and plenty of humor. There’s a murder mystery at its center, but it’s ultimately a character-driven story featuring real people with real problems. When the House Burns is a worthy addition to the stacks of those who enjoy reading detective mysteries featuring a cast of compelling characters.
When the House Burns is a sharp mystery novel in which domestic betrayals and concealed misdeeds complicate a midwestern murder investigation.
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Excerpt, When The House Burns: Detective Deb Metzger shivered off a haunted feeling as she stood where a body outline had been. That’s what made this condo unit cheap and available, the sudden death discount. Deb spread her arms, her blazer sleeves receding from her wrists, and attempted a spin in the open-plan room. Her athletic six-footer self couldn’t swing a dead cat in here, if she had a dead cat to swing. She went to the window hoping to see a swath of October foliage flaring across Minnesota’s Twin Cities. The view this Wednesday consisted of an early morning drizzle on the gray lanes of Highway 100, which ran north-south through the inner ring suburb of St. Louis Park. “Inner Ring” sounded magical, though the magic Deb experienced was a sinister chill seeping from the walls––likely a ghost from the past, given that the décor remained stuck in the 1980s of sponge-dabbed paint and tile countertops, in this case a counter harlequined pink and green. The chill sucked the life from the room, and Deb shivered again. Spaces should breathe.