** 2015 Best Mystery by the Texas Association of Authors **
** Semi-Finalist in the East Texas Writer’s Guild First Chapter Contest **
I’m so excited that Doubletake, the first mystery I wrote a number of years ago with a collaborator, Margaret Sutton, has found new life. The updated version of Doubletake is available as an e-book and a paperback. The book had a very short life some years ago with a small publisher who let it languish, and I am happy to have it available again, with this terrific new cover by Dany Russell. When first written, we used a pen name, Sutton Miller, and reviewers thought the book was written by a man. I guess we got the hard edges right. Buy for Kindle and Paperback at Amazon.
Also available for Kobo, iBooks, Scibd, Nook Page Foundry and Tolino via Draft2Digital
Death sneaks in the back door of the peaceful town of Twin Lakes, Texas and nothing is ever the same again.
Homicide detective, Barbara Hobkins, is thrust headlong into the investigation. A product of the ‘new direction’ in law enforcement, her strength comes from a degree is psychology and an intuition that has served her well. But will that be enough when up against a sadistic killer?
Her partner, Keith Reeves wants nothing more than to solve this case so he can have one normal night at home with his family. He fights the pressure to nail somebody, any ‘somebody’ to satisfy the powers above.
The suspect, Royce Wertco is a teenage punk; capable of the numerous petty crimes he’s been convicted of in the past, but not murder. Barbara knows this with every fiber of her being, but can she prove it?
Convinced the real killer is also responsible for a series of murders in Dallas, Hobkins tracks him to his seedy hidey-hole. There, her investigation turns into a chilling race for her life and she almost becomes a victim of Doubletake.
“You’ll hate to put this one down until you have read that last word. Highly recommended by a satisfied reader and I’m looking forward to the next book by this author. Enjoy.” Anne K. Edwards
“The book is well plotted and it is obvious that the author is an experienced writer.” Martha Grimes for Reviewing the Evidence.
“Wow – so much packed into this story. And then such a surprise ending! Seriously well paced. I am pleased to recommend this to my mystery reading friends. The main character was up to the task and the dialogue snappy. More please.” Five-star review on Amazon
“This book was well written and hard to put down. I can’t wait to read more from Maryann Miller.” Pamela at Amazon – 5 Stars.
Saturday, July 29 – Dallas
Dusty stairs, shrouded in shadows, groaned in protest under his weight.
Fourteen steps to the top. Six more to go.
His right hand slid across the rough, peeling banister and the harsh rattling in his chest faded, replaced by a tremble of apprehension.
What if someone else has been here since…
Forcing his mind to blank out that possibility, he opened the door and smiled. The room was exactly as he’d left it.
The intruding streetlight cast eerie ghost-like slashes across her bare form and the dancing quality of the light mesmerized him. Against his will, his gaze was held then transported back to the grisly scene that had played only twenty-four hours before with him in the lead…
He had been participant and spectator alike, until his brain seethed with a terrible hatred that jangled the very bones of his massive skull. His hands tore into soft flesh as he repeatedly slammed her limp body to the floor. Then her neck snapped with an audible crack When the body gave its final death twitch, he relaxed his fingers. Trembling hands wiped a river of sweat and tears across his face as he gazed at her. Madness filmed eyes didn’t see the horrid death mask.
“You really are so beautiful.” He ran his fingers through long chestnut hair, stroking it into some semblance of neatness. “There. That’s better, isn’t it?”
He hunched over the body, his mind switching crazily between reality and a foggy area of fantasy. Suddenly, a voice wailed at him. It seemed to come from the face in front of him: a face that no longer held any beauty but loomed like a buzzard waiting for its share of the spoils. It released a vile gush of abuse, damning him, mocking him, and castrating him.
He covered his ears in a vain attempt to block the voice, but it didn’t stop. “You weren’t even worth the moment it took to make you…”
“Noooo!” He cried, staggering into the fetid bathroom where the dank, dirty walls echoed his misery. “It’s not my fault. I never meant for anything bad to happen. Ever.”
As suddenly as it had come, the anger subsided, leaving him in a state of deathly calm. It was the only right and just thing he could have done.
He splashed cold water on his face and methodically dried himself with a well-used towel, careful to avoid the dark brown stains embedded in the cloth.
Closing the bathroom door softly, he stole one last look at the woman’s body, now mottled in death. “You look lovely in yellow,” he said.