Two churches, two ministers, two wives, one murder.
While on patrol in the central California foothills near Rocky Bluff, Officer Stacey Wilbur spots a car crashed into a giant oak tree. A woman is slumped against the steering wheel, blood pooling on the floor mats. Stacey calls the incident in to her colleague and special friend, Detective Doug Milligan, then secures the scene and waits for emergency crews. The rescue squad confirms Wilbur s judgment. The woman is dead, but it's soon apparent the crash had little to do with her death. The car belongs to the minister of a local church with an upscale congregation, and the dead woman on the front seat is his wife. When Wilbur gives the minister the bad news, it is met with aloofness bordering on unconcern. The typical suspect the spouse first theory ratchets up a few ticks in Stacey Wilbur s analytical mind. Before that jells, however, Wilbur learns there is a potential other woman in the mix. As she sorts through the elements of the case, Stacey tries to find enough time to explore her feelings for Doug Milligan.
Romance in Mystery Novels by F.M. Meredith
Though I write mysteries and crime novels, I’m a firm believer that romance needs to be in every book, no matter the genre.
In my latest Rocky Bluff P.D., No Sanctuary, which I wrote as F. M. Meredith, there is an ongoing attraction between Detective Doug Milligan and Officer Stacey Wilbur.
In earlier books, Stacey had a strict rule not to date anyone who worked on the Rocky Bluff P.D. Because she was the only female police officer, her fellow police officers at first weren’t thrilled when she turned up as back-up for them because of her small stature. However, it didn’t take long for her to prove herself. Of course the single guys flirted with her, and the bumbling Officer Butler actively pursued her to no avail. A widow with a young son, she didn’t want a relationship to complicate her life.
When she first worked with Doug Milligan she found herself attracted to him, but didn’t break her rule. Though they enjoyed each other’s company, Doug was still hurting from his divorce and the fact that his ex-wife quickly remarried and took their children to live in San Diego.
In Smell of Death Stacey and Doug succumb to the attraction and begin dating, though many obstacles pop up—including the fact that Doug rents a room of his house to Officer Gordon Butler. Gordon still has feelings for Stacey though it’s apparent her affections are directed toward Doug.
The romance heats up in No Sanctuary as Stacey helps Doug investigate a murder case. They continue to find it difficult to have any time alone as their jobs interfere, and she needs and wants to spend time with her young son and her parents.
Having Doug and Stacey fall in love has added a dimension to the Rocky Bluff series and is definitely influencing the way things are going to develop in future books. Doug is the perfect man for Stacey—-he misses his own children and will love helping raise Davey—that is if Davey embraces the idea of having a step-father.
Stacey is a fun heroine to write about. She’s gutsy and works on being the kind of police officer who helps people. She also is willing to take chances—-chances that in No Sanctuary give her the opportunity for a new and better paying job—-and another that will nearly cost her life.
To order No Sanctuary you can get it through the publisher at http://www.oaktreebooks.com or Amazon.com or for an autographed copy, from my website: http://fictionforyou.com
Marilyn Meredith a.k.a. F.M. Meredith
This guest post first appeared at The Book Connection.