Music To Read By in Chasing the Case by guest author Joan Livingston

I am delighted to welcome my friend Joan Livingston to . Joan is an author and her new mystery novel, Chasing the Case, is published by Crooked Cat Books. Thank you for joining me today, Joan. Tell me what Chasing the Case is about!

It is about Isabel Long and the mystery she has to solve. That is how does a woman disappear in a town of a thousand people? That’s a 28-year-old mystery Isabel Long wants to solve. Isabel has the time given she just lost her husband and her job as the managing editor of a newspaper. (Yes, it’s been a bad year.) And she’s got a Watson — her 92-year-old mystery-loving mother who lives with her.

To help her case, Isabel takes a job at the local watering hole, so she can get up close and personal with those connected to the mystery. As a journalist, Isabel never lost a story she chased. Now, as an amateur P.I., she’s not about to lose this case.Chasing the Case cover

My new mystery, Chasing the Case, has its own soundtrack. Nothing fancy. Basically, it’s whatever the bands are playing Friday night at the Rooster Bar and Grille. My protagonist, Isabel Long, a longtime journalist turned P.I., takes a part-time job tending bar at the Rooster.

It’s a real country bar attracting real country folk who like to drink, dance, and socialize. For Isabel, it’s also an opportunity to get up close and personal with people connected to the missing person’s case she’s trying to solve. The Rooster hosts local bands. Some are good. Some are not so good. But they play tunes that get people on the floor. I know I danced when I had the chance at a local watering hole. Here is an excerpt from Chasing the Case.

Isabel and Jack Smith, the bar’s owner, are remarking on a new band. By the way, Isabel is the one narrating this mystery. I carry a tray of beers to a table at the Rooster while trying to stay clear of the drunken dancers. I have a close call one time, but dodge out of the way before we have a catastrophe. This band is called the Potholes. What did I say about all the best names being taken? Even Jack makes a comment. “It’s gonna be a bumpy night,” he tells me with a grin. “Maybe they mean the other kind of pot,” I say. He takes a look at the musicians, strictly redneck, and chuckles. “Could be.” The band’s repertoire is a crowd favorite at the Rooster: Country and Western, a bit of rock, and less blues. Yes, they know the local anthems, “Sweet Home Alabama” and “Free Bird.” Yup, Lynyrd Skynyrd is big here at the Rooster.

The Potholes’ lead singer has a voice that carries decently across the crowded room. She’s hitting the high notes well. It’s not often the bands that play here have a woman singer. I’m a little concerned though about the drummer, who’s been tossing back shots. He might not make it through the night. One song has a particular significance in this book: Waylon Jenning’s “Good Hearted Woman.” Jack coaxes Isabel onto the dance floor with that one. And although Isabel is amused — the song is about a woman who will put up with anything her bad boy of a guy will do — it becomes a thing between the two of them. 


Chasing the Case officially launches May 18. Here’s the link to order Chasing the Case in paperback or the Kindle version:

Joan Livingston is the author of novels for adult and young readers. Chasing the Case, published by Crooked Cat Books, is her first mystery and the first in a series featuring Isabel Long, a longtime journalist who becomes an amateur P.I.

An award-winning journalist, she started as a reporter covering the hilltowns of Western Massachusetts. She was an editor, columnist, and most recently the managing editor of The Taos News, which won numerous state and national awards during her tenure.

After eleven years in Northern New Mexico, she returned to rural Western Massachusetts, which is the setting of much of her adult fiction, including Chasing the Case and its sequels.



Twitter: @joanlivingston







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