Monday, November 16, 2020

The Funeral Murder by Nancy Lynn Jarvis - Book Tour + Giveaway

In The Glass House, the first book in the PIP Inc. Mysteries series Pat Pirard, recently downsized Santa Cruz Law Librarian, needed to find a new job in a hurry. She printed business cards announcing she was Private Investigator Pat and crossed her fingers, hoping she could earn enough money working for attorneys as a PI to survive.

Pat’s first investigation went well, so she’s excited when she gets a call from an estate attorney who offers her a second job. The attorney tells Pat his client died at a funeral and he needs help sorting out who is entitled to inherit her estate. 

Pat quickly discovers the dead woman’s past is as complicated as her estate. And when an autopsy indicates she had two deadly toxins in her body when she died, Pat’s new case becomes not only complicated, but dangerous. 


Nancy Lynn Jarvis left the real estate profession after she started having so much fun writing the Regan McHenry Real Estate Mysteries series that she let her license lapse. She’s enjoyed writing about Regan and her husband, Tom, but decided it was time to do a new series.

PIP Inc. introduces protagonist downsized law librarian and not-quite-licensed Private Investigator Pat Pirard. “The Funeral Murder” is the second book in the series.

After earning a BA in behavioral science from San Jose State University, Nancy worked in the advertising department of the San Jose Mercury News. A move to Santa Cruz meant a new job as a librarian and later a stint as the business manager for Shakespeare/Santa Cruz at UCSC.

Currently she’s enjoying being a member of Mystery Writers of America, Sisters in Crime, and Santa Cruz Women of Mystery. 

Excerpt #2

 You’re curious about the tox screen results for the woman who died at the funeral, aren’t you?”

“That’s right,” Tim continued.

“We understand a specialized tox screen was ordered. Any results yet?” Pat asked.

“Your timing is perfect. As of this morning, yes. The dead woman’s autopsy was inconclusive and her initial tox screen didn’t show any of the usual suspects, so they ordered one that looks for exotic toxins that can kill, mimicking a heart attack.”

“What kind of toxins do they look for?” Pat wanted to know.

“Several kinds, but what matters is they found something, well, two things, actually. They found traces of tetrodotoxin and batrachotoxin in her comprehensive tox screen.”

“In layman language, please,” Tim laughed.

“Batrachotoxin is the stuff South American Indians use on their arrows to poison their prey when they hunt. It’ll stop an animal’s heart, but not affect the meat. And tetrodotoxin is the neurotoxin found in some marine animals and talked about in the making of zombies.”

“Zombies?” Pat and Tim asked simultaneously.

“Not brain eating zombies from horror movies,” Jordan chuckled, “but zombies like Haitian Voodoo zombies. I have no idea if there really are such creatures, but books have been written about people being given some of the toxin and becoming living shells.”

“Spooky,” Tim responded.

“Yeah,” Jordan said. “Given enough of the stuff the neurotoxin kills, but the victim knows what’s happening right up until the moment they die. Ick,” she shivered.

“Where does that poison come from?” Pat asked.

“It’s found in things like blue ringed octopus, and some fish and shellfish. The one you’ve heard about most often are pufferfish. They’re a delicacy in Japan―you can eat them safely if they are properly prepared―but every year you hear about a number of people who die from a messed up dinner.”

“Why would people chance it?” Tim asked

“Supposedly they enjoy the slight buzz they get from it. You can buy the stuff online, too. Who knows what people do with it.”

“Was there enough of either toxin in her to kill her?” Pat asked.

“More than enough of both of them. The equivalent of two grains of table salt of batrachotoxin will kill a hundred-and-fifty-pound person in ten minutes. The heart muscle is very sensitive to it. The toxin causes heart arrhythmia, fibrillation and ultimately, the heart contracts and stops pumping.”

“Which means she was murdered.” Tim stated.


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