A Natalie McMasters Mystery, Book 8
Date Published: 1/8/2024
Publisher: Tekrighter, LLC
Award-winning author Thomas A Burns Jr. spins another mind-blowing tale about twentysomething detective Natalie McMasters and her unlikely family that’s torn from today's headlines This time Nattie is preggers (?!) and unsure of the father. The candidates? Her husband Danny, the love of her life, or her biological father, who cruelly had his way with her.
Complicating the situation, her Uncle Amos's 3M Detective Agency is hemorrhaging money, and even the estate that houses Nattie, the agency and the fam is at risk.
Her quakeworthy solution? An infamous social media influencer and unapologetic misogynist is bringing his totally unwoke nude beauty pageant to Capital City and wants to hire 3M to provide security for its million-dollar prize. Her hormones raging, Nattie gets it that a cool mil would make all her money troubles vanish. But she doesn’t know that a malevolent enemy from her past is back and gunning for her…
Meanwhile, her foster son Eduardo has his own problems. Humiliated at school, he falls under a deadly influence that sends him racing toward an unimaginable act of violence that will change his young life forever. The astonishing ending is like nothing you've ever seen in contemporary crime fiction and will totally leave you reeling.
You'll truly get why Natalie McMasters is "a detective for the new millennium".
It takes me almost three months to get up the nerve to tell the fam I’m preggers. I spent all that time doing my best not to think about it, hoping that it would just go away. Finally, the growing bump in my belly forced me to say something.
“Holy shit!” says Danny. “Nattie, that’s outstanding!”
Obviously, there’s something else I didn’t tell them.
“It’s wonderful,” echoes Lupe. “Now Eduardo and Shannie will have another brother or a sister.”
I should have expected this reaction. They think it’s Danny’s baby!
“We should tell the kids right now,” Lupe goes on.
“And have a celebration,” says Danny. “Why don’t we call Mom, Amos and M.B., round up the kids, then all go out to dinner tonight? We can tell everybody at once.”
“We can go to that new seafood restaurant that just opened,” adds Lupe. “You know, Nattie, the one you said you really wanted to try.”
Come to think of it, it could be Danny’s. I’ve never been religious about taking my pill every day. It didn’t seem to matter much when he was the only guy I was with. Danny looks at me and suddenly looks alarmed. “Nattie, you’re crying!”
Of course, I’m crying, you idiot. How can I tell you this baby might be my biological father’s?
“Of course, she’s crying,” says Lupe. “Hormones! It’s what new mothers do.”
About the Author
Thomas A. Burns Jr. writes the Natalie McMasters Mysteries from the small town of Wendell, North Carolina, where he lives with his wife and son, four cats and a Cardigan Welsh Corgi. He was born and grew up in New Jersey, attended Xavier High School in Manhattan, earned B.S degrees in Zoology and Microbiology at Michigan State University and a M.S. in Microbiology at North Carolina State University. As a kid, Tom started reading boys’ mystery series such as the Hardy Boys, Ken Holt and Rick Brant, then graduated to the classics by authors such as A. Conan Doyle, Dorothy Sayers, John Dickson Carr, Erle Stanley Gardner and Rex Stout, to name a few. Tom has written fiction as a hobby all of his life, beginning with Man from U.N.C.L.E. stories in marble-backed copybooks in grade school. He built a career as technical, science and medical writer and editor for nearly thirty years in industry and government. Currently a full-time novelist, he’s excited to publish his own mystery series, as well as writing stories about his second most favorite detective, Sherlock Holmes. Tom’s Holmes story, The Camberwell Poisoner, appeared in the March–June issue of The Strand Magazine in 2021, and many of his other Holmes stories have been published by MX Books and Belanger Books. The sixth book in the Natalie McMasters Mysteries, Killers!, was released in September, 2021, and won the Silver Falchion award for best action/adventure book of 2021 at the Killer Nashville International Writers’ Conference. His latest Natalie McMasters Mystery, Sister!, was published on December 5, 2022, and was chosen as a finalist for the Silver Falchion award in 2023. Tom has also written a Lovecraftian horror novel, The Legacy of the Unborn, under the pen name of Silas K. Henderson‒a sequel to H.P. Lovecraft’s masterpiece At the Mountains of Madness. Tom also published his first volume of Sherlock Holmes stories, Sherlock Holmes and Dr. Watson: Ten Steps from Baker Street, on March 1, 2023.
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