Sunday, December 2, 2012

Mystery We Write Blog Tour - Evelyn Cullet

 Evelyn Cullet has been an aspiring author since high school when she
wrote short stories, but she didn't begin her first novel until
college, later in life. Afterward, she continued to take writing
classes and working on her novels while employed by a major soft drink
company. Now, after early retirement, she finally has the chance to
write full-time. Evelyn enjoys playing the piano, being an organic
gardener, and an amateur Lapidary. She's a former long-time member of
the Agatha Christie Society, and is currently a member of Sisters in
Crime. Evelyn and her husband live in a suburb of Chicago.

Masterpiece of Murder is a fast-paced romantic suspense novel
involving a broken-hearted art student, Charlotte Ross, who is so
intent on locating her errant fiancé that she submits someone else’s painting as her own in order to gain access to a Master art class being held in Bariloche, Argentina—the place her lost love was last seen. When the painting gets her accepted into the class given by a world-famous artist and womanizer, being a novice makes keeping up with the others nearly impossible as she struggles to fake her way though, while trying to win back the man she loves. But her fiancé has his own reasons for being in Bariloche that complicate Charlotte’s life and threaten her very existence as she stumbles into a downward spiral of deception, art forgery, and murder. After accidently finding the murder victim. circumstantial evidence begins to mount up against her and the local police suspect she is the killer. Now she must use the skills she learned from her mystery writer friend, along with the
help of her fellow art students, to discover who is really behind the murder. Not an easy task with a military police officer dogging her every step.

 Check out this excerpt:

     Charlotte couldn’t hear any more of what Jessie said to Ty, but she knew something wasn’t right in that house. She ran out the front door and finally stopped at the end of the driveway just as Raoul’s Jeep was passing. She flagged him down. Her face felt flushed from the heat and her breathing was labored from running.
     He stopped. “Is everything all right, señorita?”
     She nodded. “Hi,” she said, catching her breath. “Could you give me a lift to the museum?”
     He stared at her for a moment before gesturing to the car door. “Very well, I will take you.”
     She stepped into the front seat. “Thanks.”
     An uncomfortable silence passed between them for a few moments before he looked in her direction. “Alejandro Martinez, your tango instructor, was found dead this morning.”
    “Dead?” Charlotte wanted to sound shocked, but was afraid she just sounded nervous. “How awful! What did he die of?”
    “You do not know, señorita?”
    She tried her best to look innocent as the words caught in her throat.
    “How would I know?”
    “A witness saw you enter and leave the dance studio this morning.”
    She knew that was impossible. She’d paid the artist for his silence.
    But why would Raoul lie to her? “Who told you I was there?”
    “The proprietor of the cyber cafe.”
    She never thought of him. Tiny beads of sweat formed on her upper lip. There was no way she could deny anything now, so she said, “Yes, I admit I went to the studio.”
     “For what purpose?”
     She kept her eyes glued to the dashboard so he wouldn’t see the terror slowly creeping into them. “I went to see Alejandro, I mean, I went to see if Alejandro could give me more tango lessons.” Why was the truth so hard for her to tell?
     “Did you see him?”
     How could I not see him? “No,” she said. “I checked the studio and the back room, but Alejandro wasn’t there, so I left.”
     “Did you see anyone else?”
     He stopped the Jeep and turned to face her. “Are you sure?” His voice sounded insistent.
     Her mouth went dry. “I’m sure I didn’t see anyone.”
     He resumed driving. “Our investigation has found he died of an overdose of the alcohol and the drugs. Maybe self-administered, maybe not.”
     Alcohol and drugs? She didn’t understand. They couldn’t possibly have missed the blood pouring from the gash at the side of his head. “He looked fine when we saw him last night,” she said. At least, he looked fine when we first arrived. “Where was he found?” She asked as if she didn’t know.
     “On the bathroom floor, in a pool of his own blood.”
     “If he died from an overdose of alcohol and drugs, why the blood?”
     “We have concluded he must have hit his head on the sink just before he fell to the floor. There was blood and hair on the sink, and we found some brown paper towels near the body. He could have reached for the towels and then hit his head.”
     How could one little piece of evidence, like the bunch of paper towels she had dropped on the bathroom floor, completely change the conclusion of a possible homicide investigation—unless this was a cover up for something much worse? She pushed that thought from her mind. “So, there’s a chance he may have been murdered?”
     Raoul glanced at her. “What reason do you have for asking such a question?”
     She was suddenly sorry she mentioned murder. It was bad to question the police about anything.     “None at all,” she said in a casual tone of voice. “I just thought, you know, because you said there was blood.”
     “There is always a chance he was murdered,” Raoul said, his dark brows nearly touching his eyelids.
     Charlotte didn’t like the look on his face when he made the comment.Could he possibly suspect her? If she had reported the death to the police, it might have changed their conclusion. Then again, she might have been arrested on the spot.

Masterpiece of Murder is available in print and ebook from the publisher at: and from amazon:  Also available as an ebook for the Nook
from Banes & Noble:

I would love to hear from you, so please leave a comment and you'll automatically be entered in my book giveaway. You could win a signed print copy of Masterpiece of Murder. One lucky winner will be chosen at random and announced on my blog, on December 11th. Don't forget to leave your email address so I'll know how to contact you.


Patricia Gligor said...

Your blurb reminded me of the words "when first we practice to deceive." A great way to create suspense.

Evelyn Cullet said...

Thanks Patricia, I wanted to show how difficult it is to tell the truth when you know you might be arrested for a crime you didn't commit. And in this scene,Charlotte is already a suspect in a previous murder case.

M.M. Gornell said...

Quite suspenseful, Evelyn! I was immediately drawn into the scene, and agree with Patricia--once you try to deceive. Always liked the quandaries lies get people into. Wonderful excerpt!


Joyce Lavene said...

Sounds great, Evelyn! Looking forward to you visiting tomorrow!

Rionna Morgan said...

Great post! And I just love your cover...have I said that about a million times already?? I know I think it every time I see it! :)

Also, I can post on your blog...I was just there and I posted twice. Yee Hee!!

Thank you.

Evelyn Cullet said...

Thanks Madeline. Of course, if Charlotte had told the police the truth, it would have taken the story in a whole new direction. The possibilities were endless. But I had to chose one.

Evelyn Cullet said...

I'm looking forward to having you, Joyce. Thanks for stopping by.

Evelyn Cullet said...

Thanks Rionna, I never get tired of hearing that you love my cover. And I'm glad you were finally able to post on my blog.

WS Gager said...

Great excerpt Evelyn. Pulls you right in.
W.S. Gager on Writing

Evelyn Cullet said...

Thanks Wendy. I'm glad you were able to stop by.