Wednesday, November 13, 2013

Acorns from Oak Tree Press: Velda Brotherton's The Purloined Skull

Welcome to the second of what I hope to be many features of new crime fiction from Oak Tree Press, a small publisher formerly based in a town just a few miles from where I was born and raised in central Illinois. After becoming acquainted with some of the great Oak Tree Press folks, I'm more than happy to be able to spread the word about their books.

Join me in welcoming author Velda Brotherton as she tells us about her new book, The Purloined Skull!

Available Now!
Buried skeletons don't often turn up in the small Arkansas town of Cedarton, especially not headless ones. Well, let's face it, this is the first. There's not even a traffic light in town. Jessie West, a reporter for the rural newspaper, would just as soon avoid writing the story and revealing her whereabouts to a man who wants to punish her…for good reason. She ruined his life and her own. But she's been assigned the story and has no choice.

Cherokee lawman Dallas Starr, once an undercover narc on the mean streets of Dallas, has been hired as the Grace County Sheriff Department's first crime scene investigator, and he wants Jessie gone. He has his own way of solving crimes. He communes with the spirits of those involved in scenes of violence, and that's best done without a nosy reporter hanging around. Besides, reporters have no place mixing in a criminal investigation. They are liars who ruin lives just for a good story. He knows that first hand.

Jessie is soon hot on the trail of this story, and that sexy Dallas Starr, who has awakened her sleeping libido, can just get out of her way. Unexpected danger lurks in the darkness when she begins to get threatening notes. Has her past caught up with her or is she close to finding the killer? Can Dallas and Jessie solve this cold case without killing each other in the process?

Twenty-four years ago someone shot a man and buried him under a bluff. Now his head is gone. Even after the killer is found, there remains one question. What happened to the murdered man's head and why? Deep in the woods on a moonless night Jessie goes after a suspect, and Dallas is forced to run her down to solve the riddle of the missing skull.


Velda Brotherton
Writing this sexy, gritty, dark mystery was a joy for me. For nine years I worked for a small local Arkansas newspaper as a feature writer. So writing a series setting stories in the locale and involving characters and situations I was familiar with came naturally. In creating the crimes---there aren't that many in rural Arkansas---I fleshed out the fictionalized characters first, then had something terrible happen around them. In those nine years I collected boxes of stories. Each will fuel a dark tale in this series, oh, so loosely based on fact.

Meanwhile Jessie and Dallas will continue to fight battles from the bedroom to the crime scene, not even loosely based on fact. And each book will have a twisted title from Edgar Allan Poe's original works, such as this one, twisted from Poe's title, The Purloined Letter.


  1. Cathy - Thanks for hosting Velda.

    Velda - Thanks for sharing the background of your book. I'm intrigued by the mix of past history and present investigation. I wish you success.

    1. Thanks so much for commenting on this new feature, Margot. This is something that I enjoy doing.

  2. Thanks so much for featuring me and my book on this super site. I look forward to reading other features here where I may discover some great reads.


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