In this excerpt, Kate goes to Pete’s Pets planning to sweet-talk Michael into adopting the murder victim’s dog, Bella. When she arrives, she’s surprised to find that Michael has hired a new employee, Tiffany.
The bell on the door announced my arrival as I purposefully strode through the entrance.
“Welcome to Pete’s Pets, can I help you?”
My smile vanished.
Sitting behind the desk was a woman—a child, really. She was no older than twenty. Her thirty-six D chest contrasted nicely with her size six hips, and her too-tight top and hip-hugging jeans left nothing to the imagination. I glanced back at the window. The “Help Wanted” sign was conspicuously missing.
“Um … I’m um … looking for the owner. I mean … I’m looking for … you know … Michael.”
Brilliant, just brilliant. You have such a way with words.
“He’s busy right now, but maybe I can help. I’m Tiffany.”
Seriously? Tiffany? Who in the world named their kid Tiffany? Parents who raised brain-dead sex kittens, that’s who. My esteem for Michael, not all that high to begin with, dropped several notches. My self-confidence rose by twice that amount, and with it, my ability to speak.
“I need to speak with Michael. It’s personal. When will he be back?”
Perhaps I shouldn’t have used the word “personal.” Perhaps I should have continued stammering. Regardless, her attitude toward me changed. Her smile thinned to a smirk, and her eyes shrewdly narrowed. She looked me up and down, mentally sizing up the competition. “I didn’t say he was gone. I said he was busy.”
If this licentious Lolita wanted a catfight, I’d show her my claws. I considered spraying her with my newly acquired vial of pepper spray, but decided that would probably be overdoing it. I impaled her with my oh-so-sharp-witted tongue instead. “Well, in that case, do you have any idea when he will get un-busy?”
No reply. I was as inconsequential as a housefly—annoying, but not worth the effort of swatting. She stared at me, clearly asserting her authority. I had two choices: I could either leave, or I could provide more information.
I chose option three.
I planted my feet and did my best impersonation of a statue, staring right back at her. Time ticked on, both of us childishly refusing to give ground. I imagined decades passing while we continued our passive-aggressive struggle for dominance. In my mind’s eye, dust and cobwebs covered us both, as our hair turned white and numerous body parts sagged with the inevitable effects of gravity.
Tiffany finally stood up, sighing. “If you wait here, ma’am, I’ll try to find him.”
Ma’am? Who was she calling ma’am?
She walked, or more accurately sashayed, back to the storage room. In a voice more than loud enough for me to hear, she said, “Michael, there’s some older lady out here who insists on talking to you.”
Michael emerged from the storage room, looking confused. His gaze bounced from Tiffany, to me, then back to Tiffany again. He tried, unsuccessfully, to suppress a grin.
“Hey, Kate. How’s that food working out for Bella?”
“Much better, especially now that I’ve figured out the enzyme routine. But that’s not why I’m here. I need to talk to you for a minute.” I looked pointedly at Tiffany. “Alone.”
Michael nodded for her to return to the cash register. She reluctantly left, but flashed me a look on her way. Don’t celebrate, it said. This battle is far from over.
When George and Bella—a homeless alcoholic and his intimidating German shepherd—disturb the peace outside her studio, yoga instructor Kate Davidson’s Zen-like calm is stretched to the breaking point. Kate tries to get rid of them before Bella scares the yoga pants off her students. Instead, the three form an unlikely friendship.
One night Kate finds George’s body behind her studio. The police dismiss his murder as a drug-related street crime, but she knows George wasn’t a dealer. So Kate starts digging into George’s past while also looking for someone to adopt Bella before she’s sent to the big dog park in the sky. With the murderer nipping at her heels, Kate has to work fast or her next Corpse Pose may be for real.
"Cozy fans will eagerly await the next installment." —PUBLISHERS WEEKLY
"Murder Strikes a Pose, by Tracy Weber, is a delightful debut novel featuring Kate Davidson, a caring but feist yoga teacher . . . Namaste to Weber and her fresh, new heroine!" —PENNY WARNER,AUTHOR OF HOW TO DINE ON KILLER WINE
"[T]his charming debut mystery . . . pieces together a skillful collage of mystery, yoga, and plenty of dog stories against the unique backdrop of Seattle characters and neighborhoods. The delightful start of a promising new series. I couldn't put it down!" —WAVERLY FITZGERALD, AUTHOR OF DIAL C FOR CHIHUAHUA
"Three woofs for Tracy Weber's first Downward Dog Mystery, Murder STrikes a Pose. Great characters, keep-you-guessing plot, plenty of laughs, and dogs—what more could we want? Ah, yes—the next book!" —SHEILA WEBSTER BONEHAM, AUTHOR OF DROP DEAD ON RECALL
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Genre – Cozy Mystery
Rating – PG
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