"Fast-moving, compelling and consistently satisfying." -George Campbell
"...a terrific crime novel with compelling characters and a cracking good story." -Glenn McDonald
"I really enjoyed it and am now looking forward to the next one." -C. Workman
"Mona Breen, the narrator of Wood's promising first novel and series launch, covers crime for Vice Report, a seedy website based in Oakland, Calif., and brings in additional income by writing online sex fantasies for a site that requires the stories to be ones that "a slow reader" can finish in seven minutes or less. When her boss, Grant, gets a tip, Mona responds to the apartment of Veronica Wolfe, who was found dead after a neighbor reported a suspicious smell. The woman's sister, Dahlia Black, who's the wife of a noted crime writer, tells Det. Devin Powers, the investigating officer, that Veronica was an addict for most of her life. The authorities later determine that she died of an opioid overdose, but both Devin and Mona suspect foul play. Mona uses Veronica's case to persuade Grant to approve some serious journalism, allowing her to explore the human dimensions of the opioid epidemic. Fans of capable and complex female leads, who struggle to manage personal difficulties with professional ambitions, will look forward to future books." (BookLife from Publisher's Weekly.)
From the Author
I have long been a fan of the mystery genre. I like all of it but especially the San Francisco and Florida schools of hard boiled. For some reason, probably because the protagonist is almost always male, I never thought I would write one. But when my sister died of an overdose a couple of years ago, I realized that one element I love about mystery is that, usually, you meet one of the characters after she dies. The reader learns about that character's life from objects left behind, in reverse.
Once I knew that I wanted to tell my sister's story that way, a lot of other elements I had been playing with -- the slight difference between romance and tragedy, the tragic decline of marriage, how the hard-boiled genre works from a female perspective, and a piece I had been sketching that was a loose interpretation of Shakespeare's Othello
-- wanted to get in on it.
Somewhere along the way, I also found myself creating a world where journalists are heroes, chauvinists are villains, and people doing everyday jobs -- detective, owner of a sleezy clickbait site, bartender, IT guy -- band together to save the world from evil.
Someone once told me, "Don't save your ideas for something else. Cram them in." That runs counter to magazine writing, but it worked here, I think. In fact, it encouraged a story that started out as one mystery to become a long-form story arc with five parts. Each book is one piece of a larger story. I'm not saying any more about that until book five is completed.