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Janet Finsilver

Murder at the Marina Cover Reveal & Excerpt

In the fifth installment in Janet Finsilver’s cozy mystery series, Kelly Jackson’s got to solve this murder—or her friends are sunk . . .

Kelly Jackson, manager of the Redwood Cove Bed and Breakfast, is fond of the Doblinsky brothers, Ivan and Rudy, members of the Silver Sentinels, a crew of crime-solving senior citizens in their Northern California seaside hamlet. After she discovers a jewel-encrusted dagger—with what appears to be dried blood on the blade—on their fishing boat, they share their family history with Kelly, and she learns that the knife may be part of a set from their long-ago childhood in Russia. Its sudden reappearance is eerie, but the mystery grows much more serious when a body is found on the boat. The victim was staying at Kelly’s inn, in town for a Russian Heritage Festival, and some of the organizers were clearly harboring some bitterness. But the story behind this murder seems as layered as a nesting doll—and Kelly’s feeling completely at sea . . .

Excerpt from Chapter 1

I looked at my watch and saw I was early but decided to see if the brothers had already arrived. They had given me directions, but what was crystal clear to them had me a little confused. I walked in the general direction of where I thought I was supposed to go, aware of the slight smell of fish.

I spied a man in baggy denim bib overalls wearing a dusty black Giants baseball cap, his gray hair curled up over its sides. He basked in the sun outside a small bait shop in a rocking chair. Fishing nets and tackle equipment hung on the building’s gray boards. Handwritten signs advertising live sardines and bait shrimp were tacked on the wall. An old, personalized fluorescent clock declared it to be Tim’s Place.

I approached him. “Hi, I’m Kelly Jackson.” I smiled. “Are you Tim?”

“Nope. He ain’t here no more. Done moved on. I’m Joe.” The missing front tooth didn’t mar the congeniality in his voice.

“I’m here to meet the Doblinsky brothers at their boat, Nadia. I’m wondering if you could help me with directions.”

“Sure. Glad to.” He pointed an arthritic finger in the direction of a gate. “Walk on through there. It ain’t locked right now. The boat’s down apiece on the left.”

A few minutes later, I stood in front of a large white vessel with black trim. Nadia in large bold black letters on the bow assured me I’d found what I’d been seeking.

“Rudy…Ivan…are you here?” I called out.

I didn’t get a response and decided to knock on the cabin door. I grabbed the metal rails next to an opening and boarded the boat. My knock brought no response. I could clearly see into the galley below. A tidy compact kitchen, a boothed dining area, and a small table filled the area. A living room with built-in couches along both sides of the wall occupied the right side. The dining table was in clear view, with a shaft of sunlight illuminating it. I caught a glimpse of a multicolored object sparkling in the sun’s bright light at the table’s edge. I stepped a little to the side and craned my neck to see better.

What I saw was the hilt of a dagger.

The handle glinted in the sun, but the curved blade didn’t shine like the rest of it.

A dull, rust-colored material covered the metal…the color of dried blood.

The cold hand of fear squeezed my heart.

About the Author

Janet Finsilver and her husband live in the San Francisco Bay Area. She loves animals and has two dogs—Kylie, a Rhodesian ridgeback, and Ellie, a boxer/coonhound mix. Janet enjoys horseback riding, snow skiing, and cooking. She is currently working on her next Redwood Cove mystery. Readers can visit her website at www.JanetFinsilver.com.

Home Is Where the Dog Is by Janet Finsilver

After the introduction to tracking, we went on to agility. In agility competitions dogs go through an obstacle course where they are judged on time and accuracy. The dogs are required to interact with a number of different pieces of equipment such as tunnels, teeter-totters, jumps, and weave poles. Many people don’t have their dogs compete, they do it just for fun. It’s great exercise and mental stimulation for the dog (and the owner!).

We started on a large A-frame, which is two ramps put together in the shape of an A. The dog goes up one side and down the other. Just as in tracking, food plays an important role. To get the dogs started, you put a treat part way up the first section. You continue to put the food on the ramp ahead of the dog, and the dog follows the pieces up and over.

Most dogs were very hesitant and climbed cautiously. Enter Kylie. The first treat went into place and she bolted for it. I barely had time to toss the last treat at the bottom of the second ramp before she was there. She immediately wanted to go back and do it again. Why not? She’d found a new source for food. Continue reading “Home Is Where the Dog Is by Janet Finsilver”

Home Is Where the Dog Is by Janet Finsilver

The books in my Kelly Jackson cozy mystery series all have dogs with special abilities. This has led me to some fun and fascinating research. Two dog “hobbies” I’d like to share with you are tracking and agility. They both use food treats as incentives. My young Rhodesian ridgeback, Kylie, is a FOODIE! The capital letters are there for a reason, as you’ll see when you read the post.

I recently took Kylie to her first tracking experience. We were instructed to bring three hot dogs cut into nickel size pieces and two articles of clothing like socks that we wouldn’t mind losing or having destroyed. The dogs wore flat collars because no corrective gear such as no-pull harnesses was permitted. We used six-foot leashes. Five of us lined up on a road and partnered with another person who would put down the track for the dog to follow.

The handler was to act like a post embedded in the ground—no talking or encouragement, just hold onto the dog. My partner’s job was to get her excited by giving her treats and making “happy sounds,” then start putting down a trail of hot dog slices about a foot and a half apart. There are several treats and a piece of clothing at the first and last spot.

My friend began to walk away to make the track. Well, that’s when everything went awry. Kylie saw the hot dogs leaving and wasn’t about to let that happen. She’s a very muscular seventy-five pounds. The pole (me) began to bend and then was uprooted. I slid over the grass while Kylie pulled me, sled-dog style, determined to get more treats. My rubber boots had no traction. My partner laughed, and we started over.

This time I was prepared and braced my foot against a rock. My friend quickly put down the rewards, turned to the right after the last one, walked about six feet, and then turned and walked back to the road. You don’t walk back over the track you made.

I let Kylie move forward, staying behind her to allow her to figure out what to do. The first pile of treats was easy because she could see it. I was surprised at how much she had to look for the next one. She eventually got the idea that if she moved forward she’d find more hot dogs. When she got to the last pile, which the trainer called the jackpot, we all praised her as she gobbled the food.

These are the first steps. The course lengthens as does the space between treats as the dogs advance in their training. A diary is kept for professional dogs to show what they’ve been working on and how they’ve done. There are a number of titles dogs can earn, each requiring a different level of ability.

Other than my arms having gotten a couple of inches longer from the pulling, it was fun. From the look on Kylie’s face, I think she enjoyed it as well!

 

There’s a corpse among the chanterelles!

Redwood Cove Bed and Breakfast manager Kelly Jackson is hosting a cooking class during the Week of the Mushroom festival to attract guests, not drama. But soon after she finishes foraging for an edible mushroom species on sacred Native American land, a local newspaper reporter gets shot dead at the same site. With suspicions spreading like fungi in the quaint Northern Californian community over the culprit’s identity, Kelly and a savvy gang of sleuthing seniors known as the “Silver Sentinels” must uncover the truth about the secluded property before a tricky killer prepares another lethal surprise . . .

Cover Reveal! Murder at the Mushroom Festival by Janet Finsilver

There’s a corpse among the chanterelles!

Redwood Cove Bed and Breakfast manager Kelly Jackson is hosting a cooking class during the Week of the Mushroom festival to attract guests, not drama. But soon after she finishes foraging for an edible mushroom species on sacred Native American land, a local newspaper reporter gets shot dead at the same site. With suspicions spreading like fungi in the quaint Northern Californian community over the culprit’s identity, Kelly and a savvy gang of sleuthing seniors known as the “Silver Sentinels” must uncover the truth about the secluded property before a tricky killer prepares another lethal surprise . . .

 

Janet Finsilver and her husband live in the San Francisco Bay Area. She loves animals and has two dogs—Kylie, a Rhodesian ridgeback, and Ellie, a boxer/coonhound mix. Janet enjoys horseback riding, snow skiing, and cooking. She is currently working on her next Redwood Cove mystery. Readers can visit her website at www.JanetFinsilver.com.

 

View More Titles by Janet Finsilver

The Festivals in the Kelly Jackson Mystery Series by Janet Finsilver

My series takes place in Redwood Cove, a small fictitious town based on Mendocino, California, on the Pacific coast in the northern part of the state. Because of Mendocino’s remote location and the twisty roads a visitor needs to travel to get there, the community offers a wide array of events and festivals to attract tourists.

I’ve woven one these into each of my books. In Murder at Redwood Cove my affair is called A Taste of Chocolate and Wine Festival, although A Taste of Chocolate, Wine, and Ale is the name of the actual happening. Huge tents are set up and numerous tables are filled with—you guessed it—chocolate, wine, and ale!

The last one I attended had many beautiful and delicious artisan candies and cookies. It wasn’t all sweets, however. There were also entrees and side dishes using chocolate in the recipes. The area is known for its wine, and there were many to choose from. For those who preferred ale, that was available as well.

In addition to the food and drink, local businesses donated items for a raffle. Different bands played throughout the day. People could sit or dance as they enjoyed the afternoon. At the most recent one, the money raised went to the Mendocino Art Center.

Whales migrate past the area so Mendocino hosts a Whale Festival in honor of the giant aquatic mammals. Whale Frolic in Murder at the Mansion is based on this event. The morning starts with chowder sampling. The doors of the Crown Hall built in 1901 are flung open and people flood in. One side of the room is lined with tables holding huge pots of steaming soup. Representatives from the local restaurants donating the chowder ladle samples for attendees. The opposite side of the room has many tables with local crafts and other items for sale. Continue reading “The Festivals in the Kelly Jackson Mystery Series by Janet Finsilver”

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