Tuesday, March 3, 2015

Sharon St. George - Due for Discard - Review & Giveaway

About the Book

Aimee Machado is thrilled to be starting her first job as a forensic librarian at the medical center in the town of Timbergate, north of Sacramento, California. Her ebullient mood is somewhat dampened by her recent breakup with her former live-in boyfriend, Nick Alexander. And then there's a little matter of murder: on Aimee's first day on the job, a body is found in a nearby Dumpster and soon identified as her supervisor's wife, Bonnie Beardsley.

Aimee's heartbreaker of a brother and best friend, Harry, just happens to be one of the last people to see Bonnie alive, but he is hardly the only suspect. Bonnie was notorious for her wild partying and man-stealing ways, and she has left a trail of broken hearts and bitterness. Aimee is determined to get her brother off the suspect list.

Aimee's snooping quickly makes her a target. Isolated on her grandparents' llama farm where she fled post-breakup, she realizes exactly how vulnerable she is. Three men have pledged to protect her: her brother Harry, her ex, Nick, and the dashing hospital administrator with a reputation for womanizing, Jared Quinn. But they can't be on the alert every minute, not when Aimee is so bent on cracking the case with or without their help.

Book 1 in a new mystery series featuring amateur sleuth Aimee Machado.

My Review

There are a lot of things going on in this mystery.

Some definitively aid the plot while others turn out to be quite head-scratching. The plus side is that Sharon St. George offers up several quirky elements that really set her mystery novel apart.

For starters, her heroine, Aimee Machado, lives next to a field full of llamas. So even though she takes on the dangerous work of investigating a murder in her spare time, she has no need for an alarm system. Why? Because llamas let out a ferocious bleat whenever they sense a predator nearby.

Another factor is the zany pack of suspects that fall under Aimee's radar. The biggest shocker is the cross dresser who's later revealed to be the wife of a prominent community figure. St. George even has Aimee go on a date with her, thinking she's a man, before learning her true gender. Yikes!

Things get even more peculiar when Aimee's focus shifts to the dodgy couple, Mr. and Mrs. Underhill, who happen to be running a cryogenics non-profit organization called Everlasting Pets. This shady endeavor operates under the guise of one day being able to clone the family dog, cat, llama, whatever. These two turn out to be even more bizarre when they elude to the numerous three-way sex romps they used to have with the murder victim, even soliciting Aimee to take her place and become their new partner.

But the novel isn't all about shock value.

There's plenty of substance to the plot, particularly concerning the class structure of working in a hospital environment. There is a definite food chain mentality in the pecking order, especially when Dr. Beardsley, a noted plastic surgeon becomes the prime suspect in the killing of his trophy wife, Bonnie. She was beautiful and manipulative with a voracious sexual appetite that he just couldn't satisfy, but Quinn, the hospital administrator doesn't want to hear any of that. Oh no, his loyalty is to the hospital, and solidifying its reputation, and ultimately its profit margin. While the security attendant, Orrie Mercer, the person with the grave responsibility of guarding the outside entrance, is harshly reprimanded by Quinn for failing to use the designated restroom.

As the new hospital librarian, Aimee must weave her way through this complicated maze of conflicting interests. She's a college-educated professional, but she's only allotted two elderly women as volunteers and a space deemed of little value in order to set up shop. Her situation gets even more dicey when Quinn asks her to spy on Dr. Beardsley for him. Aimee quickly becomes disgruntled working under these conditions, feeling like this isn't what she signed up for.

Her frustration over her job begins to filter into her day-to-day life when her brother, Harry, comes under scrutiny for committing the murder. He was one of the last people to see Bonnie alive, and due to some bad blood he has with one of the cops on the small town police force, the circumstantial evidence against him begins to mount. Aimee refuses to let her brother go to jail for a crime he didn't commit, but Quinn makes it clear to her that he won't get involved in the way the investigation is heading, whether Aimee's brother is innocent or not. What's good for Dr. Beardsley is good for him and therefore good for the hospital.

Aimee, at her wit's end, starts taking a lot of unnecessary risks in order to get the spotlight off her brother, and the consequences are dire. Her tires are slashed. Her apartment is vandalized. Her body is physically assaulted. Yet Aimee's a tough cookie with a heart of gold, and she won't give up no matter who tries to stop her. She's loyal, passionate and unwavering in her support of her brother, and as she starts to piece all of the clues together, she finds out more about the people she's working with than she ever bargained for.


Due for Discard can be purchased at:
Barnes and Noble

Prices/Formats: $4.95 ebook, $15.95 paperback
Pages: 340
Genre: Detective Murder Mystery
Release: March 1, 2015
Publisher: Camel Press
ISBN: 9781603812238
Click to add to your Goodreads list.

About the Author

Sharon St. George had the good fortune to spend an idyllic childhood in a small northern California town, riding horseback and camping with her family in the nearby mountains. One of her favorite pastimes was reading fiction, and a trip to the library was always an occasion of great joy. She’s traded horses for llamas, but she still treks to the high mountain lakes near her home—always with a mystery novel in her backpack. Sharon’s writing credits include three plays, several years writing advertising copy, a book on NASA’s space food project, and feature stories too numerous to count. She holds dual degrees in English and Theatre Arts, and occasionally acts in, or directs, one of her local community theater productions. Sharon is a member of Sisters in Crime and Mystery Writers of America, and she serves as program director for Writers Forum, a nonprofit organization for writers in northern California.

Links to connect with Sharon:
Web Site
Blog Tour Site

About the Giveaway

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