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30 Second Death by Laura Bradford - Book Tour + Giveaway

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A Tobi Tobias Mystery #2
by Laura Bradford

Genre: Cozy Mystery

Pub Date: 7/11/2017

To help an old friend, Tobi Tobias gets a third-rate thespian a part in
a commercial, and learns that in the advertising business, bad acting
can lead to murder . . . 

When Tobi Tobias opened her own advertising agency, Carter McDade was there for her
every step of the way. A brilliant hairdresser, Carter has just
landed his dream project: doing hair and makeup for a theatrical
production of Rapunzel. But the dream turns into a nightmare when he
runs into Fiona Renoir, a cruel, talentless starlet who won’t let
Carter touch a hair on her head.

To get Fiona out of Carter’s hair, Tobi hires the difficult actress for a bit part in
her latest commercial. But true to character, Fiona is a terror on
set, and Tobi is starting to think she’s made the biggest mistake
of her life. But things get even worse when Fiona drops dead in the
hairdresser’s chair, and the only suspect is the man left holding
the tainted hair dye, Carter McDade. And unless Tobi can prove his
innocence, he’ll never do hair in this town again.

Hell had officially frozen over. And, oddly enough, there was no
swell of background music, no thunderous blast like I’d always
There was simply crunching.
Loud, deliberate crunching.
In fact, it was the cruncher and the crunchee that had turned the
fiery flames of the dreaded underworld into the clichéd icicles referenced
at the end of virtually every nasty breakup.
In English?
My best friend, Carter McDade, was standing less than five feet
from my sofa eating a bowl of Cocoa Puffs.
That’s right, Carter McDade—the same guy who lectured me daily
on the gaps (okay, seismic gullies) in my eating habits. The same guy
who could draw a textbook food pyramid in mere seconds. The same
guy who’d willingly and happily choose broccoli in a head-to-head
with a Caramello bar.
Which is why his puff-crunching pointed to one indisputable conclusion:
Carter was stressed. Big-time.
A rarity in and of itself, Cocoa Puffs or no Cocoa Puffs.
My upstairs neighbor was the most positive human being I’d ever
met. One of those happy-go-lucky, always-has-a-smile types. You
know, the kind of person everyone needs in their life, but few are fortunate
enough to have.
I was one of the fortunate.
I was also dumbfounded. Utterly and completely dumbfounded
by what to say and how to say it. So I took the not-so-subtle approach.
“What’s wrong, Carter?”
Now I’ll admit, I have a leg up when it comes to deciphering pufftalk
(it is, after all, my second language), but I was feeling pretty proud
that I could decode it from even the most novice of crunchers.
“Nothing? Nothing?! Do you realize what you’re eating right now?”
Carter looked at the bowl in his left hand and then the spoon moving
toward his mouth with his right. “Uh-huh.”
They’re Cocoa Puffs, Carter! Co. Coa. Puffs. As in chocolate
or as you call it, sugar central. You know, void of roughage. In fact, if
I do recall correctly, you refer to them as the downfall of mankind.
The reason for society’s ills.”
I guess I thought if I really hammered home the point, it might
sink in. Then again, I was living proof that tactic failed. Just ask my
Besides, it was hard to hammer home drawbacks when I didn’t
believe a word of what I was saying. Why? Because I, Tobi Tobias,
am a chocoholic. And proud of it, I might add.
So I did what any good chocoholic would do. I sauntered into the
kitchen, grabbed my Bugs Bunny melamine bowl and matching
spoon, filled it to the brim with the last of the crunchy brown puffs
(don’t worry, I’ve got four more boxes in the cabinet over the stove),
and headed back into the living room. I mean, let’s face it, the expression
“If you can’t beat ’em, join ’em” was coined for a reason,
Not that my commiserating helped. In fact, when I returned, Carter
showed no signs of having noticed my departure or subsequent return.
His facial expression was still void of its trademark smile, and his eyes
held a vacant look. Somehow, though, I managed to coax him onto
the sofa.
“C’mon, Carter, spill it. It’s Fiona again, isn’t it?”
Call it a lucky (or, really my only) guess, but it was worth a shot.
And judging by the look of complete mortification on his face as my
words (and thus, his choice of food) registered in his subconscious,
I’d hit the jackpot.
“Oh, good God, please tell me I’m not eating what I think I’m eating.”
Carter squeezed his eyes shut, then opened them slowly, cautiously.
A tortured gasp escaped his mouth, along with a partially
chewed puff.

Laura Bradford is
also the author of the Emergency Dessert Squad Mysteries,
Silence of the Flans and Éclair and Present Danger,
and the national bestselling Amish Mysteries, including 
Churn for the Worse 
and Suspendered Sentence.
Under the pen name, Elizabeth Lynn Casey, she writes the Southern
Sewing Circle Mysteries, including 
Wedding Duress and Taken In.
She lives in Yorktown Heights, New York, with her husband and their
blended brood.

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