Coattails and Cocktails
by Rumer Haven
Genre: Historical Mystery, Romantic Suspense
Publisher: Fallen Monkey Press
Cover Designer: RoseWolf Design
Release Date: September 14, 2017
A body clearly shaken, but not stirring…
Summer, 1929. Murder isn’t on the menu when Chicago tycoon Ransom Warne hosts a dinner party at his country estate. But someone’s a victim—and everyone’s a suspect—when drinks and desires lead to disaster.
Hollywood starlet Lottie Landry has returned home to celebrate her engagement. She’s famous for her on- and off-screen romance with co-star Noble, but, privately, she’s having second thoughts. As her former guardian, Ransom doesn’t approve of the match. Yet his own affections raise questions when his wife, Edith, suspects him of having an affair—just as Noble suspects Lottie. Stirred into the mix are Lottie’s friends Helen and Rex, a young journalist and football hero who can feel tension building in the Warne mansion like a shaken champagne bottle.
And once the cork pops, a body drops.
Coattails and Cocktails is where Agatha Christie meets The Great Gatsby, a whodunit spiked with new love and old baggage, public faces and private vices. Filled to the brim with romance and mystery, it’s sure to intoxicate.
Lottie held her saccharine smile for exactly two seconds after the door had banged shut behind Edith. Then she dropped her lips just as fast as she reclaimed her highball from Noble.“Must she always be so patronizing?” With her free hand, Lottie fanned the lapel of her loose vest away from the sleeveless tennis dress beneath.
“Must you always be so attentive?” Noble cocked his head toward the lawn, his ice-blue irises particularly piercing. “Look, you’ve overheated yourself.”
Lottie turned on her heel to stare him down from head to toe. “That color doesn’t suit you. No, it doesn’t at all.”
Rolling the cuffs of his striped yellow shirt, he assessed his white vest and trousers. “I think it suits me fine.”
“I mean green. But then, jealous lover never was your strongest role.”
He stepped closer and fondled the bow hanging from her sailor collar. “Remember your place here,” he whispered firmly, then poked the skin above her neckline but once.
“I am. Everything at Belleau is mine to enjoy, too.”
“You flatter yourself, my little four-flusher.”
“As if you’re not counting on that being the case.”
Noble matched her steely stare until a throat cleared behind them.
“Lovers’ quarrel?” Ransom bellowed from the top step.
Lottie and Noble spun apart, her bow untying while still in his grip. He dropped the ribbon to give Ransom a robust pat on the shoulder. “Your little ward is only unhappy with her drink.” He seized the glass back from Lottie, leaving her to fist a now-empty hand onto her hip.
“That so?” Ransom frowned. Standing tall and broad in a cream linen suit, he stuffed his hands into his trouser pockets. “It’s not like Edith to mix a bad batch.”
“Everything’s jake, don’t worry,” Lottie said. “Just a little bitter on the tongue, that’s all.” She squinted at her costar with a wan smile as he downed her drink. “Luckily, Noble is dreadfully parched.”
“I only want to drink you in, my love.” He gave a little snort before swigging another deep sip.
Lottie clenched her fist for two beats, but willed herself to snake it around Noble’s back and slide against him. “Aw. You always deliver the right lines, baby.”
He tossed his cap away to wrap his arm around her waist, too, swinging her around to stand face to face.
“You never miss your cues either, doll.” Pressing her close, he brought his lips to where her earlobe peeked out from her bandeau. “Now stick to the script,” he murmured into the silk.
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Rumer Haven is probably the most social recluse you could ever meet. When she’s not babbling her fool head off among friends and family, she’s pacified with a good story that she’s reading, writing, or revising—or binge-watching something on Netflix. Hailing from Chicago, she presently lives in London with her husband and probably a ghost or two. Rumer has always had a penchant for the past and paranormal, which inspires her writing to explore dimensions of time, love, and the soul. Her novel What the Clocks Know won 1st Place in General Fiction for the 2017 Red City Review Book Awards.