February 06, 2015

Blog Tour ~ Dead in a Dumpster (Leah Norwood Mystery #1) by B. L. Blair (Review, Excerpt and Giveaway)

Welcome to my stop in the Dead in a Dumpster blog tour, hosted by Twin Opinions. This is only the second mystery book I've read (yes, ever!), so read on for my review, excerpt and a tour-wide giveaway. Enjoy!


When Leah Norwood finds the body of Isabel Meeks in the dumpster behind her store, she can’t believe the police consider her a suspect. Sure, she didn’t liked Isabel, but then again, neither did anyone else. Isabel had a condescending attitude and a bad reputation. As manager of the antique store, Patina, she had made a lot of enemies.

There is Patina’s assistant manager, the handsome and charming Trent. Isabel was blackmailing him. There is Patina’s owner, the aloof and influential Anthony Thorpe.  Isabel was smuggling drugs through his store. And there is the entire drug dealing Cantono family. Isabel had lost a box containing heroin from one of their shipments. That is just to name a few and didn’t even include the stranger who was seen arguing with Isabel just hours before her death.

The police have too many suspects and too many soft alibis. Leah needs to prove to the sexy new chief of police that she had nothing to do with Isabel’s death.

Leah loves a good mystery. Can she find the killer before the police arrest her for murder?

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Dead in a Dumpster is only the second mystery books I’ve read, and I am happy to say that I was not disappointed and I actually finished it cover to cover.

I am happy to see that even though Leah Norwood is attracted to men, she did not go around swooning every time they are around. She knows her priorities. I like this woman. She’s portrayed as easy to talk to and she’s really good with people. This made her the best person to help for the investigation, though the stubborn Chief took a lot of time figuring that out.

This book is enjoyable enough, though there were some bumpy parts that I did not find appealing at all. For instance, I did not find the flow of the plot smooth. There are too many unnecessary back stories, which dampened my enthusiasm just when I was really starting to gear up. I mean, it’s great and all that Leah explained who’s who, but I found the back stories unnecessary long and not important enough for what was currently happening. I also didn’t like it that I almost immediately guessed who the culprit was, but then I have a knack for predicting culprits even though there’s no indication of who it might be. I dunno, I guess the mystery I will give a perfect rating is the one that will really make me think and never guess.

Dead in a Dumpster has a good mystery, surprising twists and turns, and likable characters. I found it to be a light read, but I will recommend it to mystery lovers.

~ Zee


 “So you found the victim about seven fifty?” asked the baby-faced young cop.
 Why was everyone so young?  The name on his badge read Keith Cisneros.  I have always been a little nervous around police officers.  I’m not sure why.  However, I couldn’t be nervous around Keith.  First, he was just too young.  Second, I didn’t have any nerves left.  I was too wet, too cold, and too miserable.  And third, I knew Keith.  Not well, but well enough to not find him intimidating.
 We were standing by the dumpster and trying not to look at Isabel.  I don’t think Keith had ever seen a dead body either because the look on his face made me think he wanted to follow in my footsteps – scream, run into the nearest building, and lose his lunch.  But the kid was made of sterner stuff.  My estimation of him rose as he held his ground and questioned me.
 “What were you doing out here?” he asked.  Okay, so my estimation of him fell a little.  I glanced at the trash bags sitting at our feet and tried to keep my voice even as I answered.
 “I was taking out the trash.”  I don’t think I succeeded as he looked at the trash and then flushed.   Now I felt bad, like I had kicked a puppy.
 “So did you …”
 “Cisneros.”  A deep, smoky voice cut through the night.  Both of us jumped and then turned toward the voice.  From the shadows, a figure emerged.  If I had any nerves left, I might have been a little anxious.  The man walking toward us moved like a stalking panther.  Smooth, long strides that ate up the space.
 He was breathtaking.  Not gorgeous or handsome but there was a power about him that drew the eye.  He wasn’t exceptionally tall, standing about five eleven, but his shoulders were broad and his hips narrow.  Dark hair cut short in a military style, covered his head.  His face was attractive in a timeless way.  Chiseled and clean-shaven but with just a hint of a five o’clock shadow.  He had a small indentation on the right side of his mouth that was trying very hard to be a dimple.  It was as if he was willing it not to appear with the strength of his personality alone.  He had intense green eyes that swept over me briefly before settling on Keith. 
 He looked familiar, but I knew we had never met.  I would have remembered him.  He stopped between us and turned to Keith.  “What have we got?”
 “Victim identified as Isabel Meeks.  Gunshot wound to the chest, close range.  She was found about seven fifty p.m. by Ms. Norwood.”
Keith pointed to me, and the man turned his eyes to mine.  His gaze swept down my body and back up.  He then dismissed me without a second glance before turning back to the rookie.  “Has the ME been called?”
 Now, I know that I am not the most attractive person in the world.  I am what most people would call average.  Average height, average weight, average looks, but being dismissed so completely really pissed me off.  I was cold, wet, tired, and quite frankly, still a little queasy.  And it had been a really bad day. 
 “Can I leave now?”
 Both of them turned toward me.  Keith seemed a little surprised that I was still there.  The other man just seemed irritated that I had interrupted him.
 “You found the body?” he asked and then continued when I nodded, “We will need to ask you some questions.”
 Keith had been asking me questions.  My nerves were shot and my temper short.  I am not usually such a bitch, but I had enough of standing out in the freezing rain.  I probably shouldn’t have mouthed off to a police officer, but I figured my day couldn’t get any worse.  I summoned up my inner diva, gave him my most haughty look, and asked in a snooty tone.  “And you are?”
 He stared at me a minute, his eyes hard and unyielding.  He raised his eyebrows just a notch, pulled out a badge, and held it toward me.  “Chief of Police Alexander Griggs.”
 Well, damn, my day just got worse.

Author Info:

B. L. Blair writes simple and sweet romance and romance/mystery stories. Like most authors, she has been writing most of her life and has dozens of books started. She just needs the time to finish them.

She is the author of the Holton Romance Series and the Leah Norwood Mysteries. She loves reading books, writing books, and traveling wherever and as often as time and money allows. She is currently working on her latest book set in Texas, where she lives with her family.


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