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Authors: Casey Daniels

Wild Wild Death

BOOK: Wild Wild Death
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PRAISE FOR THE PEPPER MARTIN

MYSTERIES

Dead Man Talking

“There’s no savoring the Pepper Martin series—

you’l devour each book and stil be hungry for more!”

—Kathryn Smith,
USA Today
bestsel ing author

“My favorite ghost hunter, sassy Pepper Martin, is back in another hauntingly good mystery.”

—Shirley Damsgaard, author of
The Seventh
Witch

Night of the Loving Dead

“Gravestones,

ghosts,

and

ghoulish

misdemeanors delight in Casey Daniels’s witty
Night of the Loving Dead.

—Madelyn Alt, national bestsel ing author

“Pepper proves once again that great style, quick wit, and a sharp eye can solve any mystery.”


Publishers Weekly

“Pepper is brazen and beautiful, and this mystery is perfectly paced, with plenty of surprise twists.”


RT Book Reviews

“[A] wel -plotted paranormal mystery that…

shares some answers that fans have had since we first met this entertaining character, and adds several surprising twists along the way.”


Darque Reviews

Tombs of Endearment

“A fun romp through the streets and landmarks of Cleveland… A tongue-in-cheek… look at life beyond the grave… Wel worth picking up.”

—Suite101.com

“[A] PI who is Stephanie Plum-meets-
Sex and

“[A] PI who is Stephanie Plum-meets-
Sex and
the City
’s Carrie Bradshaw… It’s fun, it’s ‘chick,’ and appealing… [A] quick, effortless read with a dash of Bridget Jones–style romance.”

—PopSyndicate.com

“With witty dialogue and an entertaining mystery, Ms. Daniels pens an irresistible tale of murder, greed, and a lesson in love. A wel -paced storyline that’s sure to have readers anticipating Pepper’s next ghostly client.”


Darque Reviews

“Sassy, spicy… Pepper Martin, wearing her Moschino Cheap & Chic pink polka dot sling backs, wil march right into your imagination.”

—Shirley Damsgaard, author of
The Seventh
Witch

The Chick and the Dead

“Amusing with her breezy chick-lit style and sharp dialogue.”


Publishers Weekly

“Ms. Daniels has a hit series on her hands.”


The Best Reviews

“Ms. Daniels is definitely a hot new voice in paranormal mystery… Intriguing… Wel -written…

with

a

captivating

storyline

and

tantalizing

characters.”


Darque Reviews

“[F]un, flirtatious, and feisty… [A] fast-paced read, fil ed with likeable characters.”

—Suite101.com

Don of the Dead

“Fabulous! One of the funniest books I’ve read this year.”

—MaryJanice Davidson,
New York Times
bestsel ing author

“There’s not a ghost of a chance you’l be able to put this book down. Write faster, Casey Daniels.”

—Emilie Richards,
USA Today
bestsel ing author

“One part Godfather, one part Bridget Jones, one part ghost story, driven by a spunky new sleuth… A delightful read!”

—Roberta Isleib, author of
Asking for Murder

“[A] humorous and highly entertaining expedition into mystery and the supernatural.”

—Linda O. Johnston, author of
The More the
Terrier

“A spooky mystery, a spunky heroine, and sparkling wit! Give us more!”

—Kerrelyn Sparks,
USA Today

bestsel ing author

“[F]unny and fast-paced; her sassy dialogue…

her bravado, and her slightly off-kilter view of life make Pepper an unforgettable character… The only drawback is waiting for book two!”


Library Journal

(starred review)

“[A] fun cozy with a likeable heroine and a satisfying plot.”

—Suite101.com

“Fans of Buffy ought to enjoy this one.”

—MyShelf.com

Titles by Casey Daniels

DON OF THE DEAD

THE CHICK AND THE DEAD

TOMBS OF ENDEARMENT

NIGHT OF THE LOVING DEAD

DEAD MAN TALKING

TOMB WITH A VIEW

A HARD DAY’S FRIGHT

WILD WILD DEATH

BERKLEY PRIME CRIME, NEW YORK

THE BERKLEY PUBLISHING GROUP

Published by the Penguin Group

Penguin Group (USA) Inc.

375 Hudson Street, New York, New York
10014, USA

Penguin Group (Canada), 90 Eglinton Avenue East, Suite 700, Toronto, Ontario M4P 2Y3, Canada (a division of Pearson Penguin Canada Inc.) Penguin Books Ltd., 80 Strand, London WC2R

0RL, England

Penguin Group Ireland, 25 St. Stephen’s Green, Dublin 2, Ireland (a division of Penguin Books Ltd.) Penguin Group (Australia), 250 Camberwel Road, Camberwel , Victoria 3124, Australia (a division of Pearson Australia Group Pty. Ltd.) Penguin Books India Pvt. Ltd., 11 Community Centre, Panchsheel Park, New Delhi—110 017, India

Penguin Group (NZ), 67 Apol o Drive, Rosedale, Auckland 0632, New Zealand

(a division of Pearson New Zealand Ltd.) Penguin Books (South Africa) (Pty.) Ltd., 24

Sturdee Avenue, Rosebank, Johannesburg 2196, South Africa

Penguin Books Ltd., Registered Offices: 80

Strand, London WC2R 0RL, England

This is a work of fiction. Names, characters, places, and incidents either are the product of the author’s imagination or are used fictitiously, and any resemblance to actual persons, living or dead, business establishments, events, or locales is entirely coincidental. The publisher does not have any control over and does not assume any responsibility for author or third-party websites or their content.

WILD WILD DEATH

A Berkley Prime Crime Book / published by arrangement with the author

PRINTING HISTORY

Berkley Prime Crime mass-market edition /

January 2011

Copyright © 2012 by Connie Laux.

Interior text design by Laura K. Corless.

Al rights reserved.

No part of this book may be reproduced, scanned, or distributed in any printed or electronic form without permission. Please do not participate in or encourage piracy of copyrighted materials in violation of the author’s rights. Purchase only authorized editions.

For information, address: The Berkley Publishing Group,

a division of Penguin Group (USA) Inc., 375 Hudson Street, New York, New York 10014.

ISBN: 978-0-425-24582-8

BERKLEY® PRIME CRIME

Berkley Prime Crime Books are published by The Berkley Publishing Group,

a division of Penguin Group (USA) Inc., 375 Hudson Street, New York, New York 10014.

BERKLEY® PRIME CRIME and the PRIME

CRIME logo are trademarks of Penguin Group (USA) Inc.

PRINTED IN THE UNITED STATES OF

AMERICA

10 9 8 7 6 5 4 3 2 1

If you purchased this book without a cover, you should be aware that this book is stolen property. It was reported as “unsold and destroyed” to the publisher, and neither the author nor the publisher has received any payment for this “stripped book.”

I don’t know if there’s some publishing rule against

dedicating two books in a row to the same person, I only know that without Leslie Wey,

this book would not exist.

Thank you, Leslie, for welcoming me into your home,

introducing me to al your wonderful

friends (furry and human),

and showing me around New Mexico.

You, girlfriend, are the best!

Acknowledgments

Is there real y a curse on Cleveland sports teams?

Years of disappointing win/loss records and dashed hopes here on the north coast make people think so, and there’s even a legend to back them up.

It al starts with a Native American chief named Joc-O-Sot, who lived from 1810–1844. The chief performed in Wild West shows and while on a trip abroad, he became il . He desperately wanted to return to his people and be buried in Minnesota, but he only got as far as Cleveland before he died. Local tales say that he haunts the city and that he’s the one whose curse keeps the Cleveland Indians from winning a World Series.

Is it true? I can’t say, but I do know that on a visit to Joc-O-Sot’s grave, I commented that I was surprised some rabid basebal fans haven’t dug him up and taken him out of town. I was only kidding, of course, but the idea struck a chord and became the basis for
Wild Wild Death
. With any luck, what happens in these pages wil be the fictional catalyst that wil realign the universe and take care of that pesky curse. If the Cleveland Indians win the World Series anytime soon, I am more than happy to take credit for helping out.

There is also historical fact behind the labor troubles mentioned in the book. The Streetcar Strike of 1899 began in June, and as management tried to replace striking workers, riots broke out and explosives were planted to destroy streetcars and tracks.

A writer’s brain plays with facts like these, molds and shapes them to become part of the fiction that turns into a book. Nowhere is this more evident than in my creation of the Taopi.

There are many different Pueblo Indian tribes living in the Southwest. Taopi is not one of them.

They, too, are an invention of my imagination as is a pueblo on Wind Mountain. In fact, I didn’t know there was a town in Minnesota cal ed Taopi until after I had created my fictional tribe, or that the town was named in honor of an Indian chief who once lived there. Coincidence considering how Joc-O-Sot figures into this story? I can’t say. With the help of Jody Coffman, a Taos Indian I met while visiting the Southwest, I have tried to incorporate the customs and beliefs of real Pueblo peoples into the story. Any mistakes are the fault of a girl from Cleveland who doesn’t get to New Mexico nearly often enough. I’m also grateful to Jody and her mother-in-law, Judy Coffman, for introducing me to the wonders of frozen avocado pie. Yes, I know… sounds terrible, right?

BOOK: Wild Wild Death
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