Monday, July 14, 2014

She's Back! - A Guest Post by Lesley Diehl

This month, Fabulous Florida Writers is pleased to welcome guest blogger Lesley Diehl.  Lesley is the author of a number of mystery series, mysteries, and short stories. Dead in the Water, her latest novel, follows "A Secondhand Murder" as the second book in the Eve Appel Mystery series. She was our featured writer on January 6, 2014.

Here she comes again.  Eve Appel is back in another story of murder in the swamps of rural Florida.  Dead in the Water is the second book in the Eve Appel mystery series.  Readers of her first adventure, A Secondhand Murder, know that the wilds of Florida can’t outdo the impulsiveness and sheer stick-your-nose-into-everything-that’s-not-your-business nature of our Eve. She stands out in any crowd, and not only because she’s taller than most women (and men) and has a mop of heavily gelled blonde hair (complete with dark roots), but she’s the go-to gal when you want someone to take action, even if the action is ill-advised.  And Eve’s often is.

All of Eve’s quirky friends, relatives and used-to-be relations like Jerry her ex-husband are back to tell her what not to do.  And I’ve added a few that will get your heart racing: a hunky Miccosukee Indian, Sammy Egret, and his charming and perhaps clairvoyant grandfather.  Others are not so friendly. Readers know that Eve has a mob boss as a friend, Nappi Napolitani who is less mobster and more advisor to Eve.  Dead in the Water adds to Eve’s mob connections.  This time it’s the Russian mob that seems to have killed her favorite uncle on an airboat ride Eve arranged to show her uncle the charms of the swamp.  Little does Eve know that her uncle is also mob connected, or mobs connected because he’s worked for one “family” most of his life and is fighting another at his death.  He visits Eve intending to end his mob career, but instead ends up dead trying to deliver a last cash payment to his bosses.  At least that’s what everyone thinks. But her uncle had another agenda - to save the life of his stepdaughter kidnapped by the Russian mob.  Mobsters of every variety, foreign and domestic, now abound in the swamps, and money goes missing.

Eve makes friends with Sammy Egret, a Miccosukee Indian who is willing to help her unweave the puzzle of her uncle’s death and the missing money.  Sammy likes Eve, perhaps too much, and Eve finds Sammy’s knowledge of the swamp a comfort especially when she and Sammy find themselves dumped in the swamp by a smarmy pair of crooks.  If there’s sizzle between them, it’s dampened by a tropical storm and the knowledge that Eve already has one man that makes her toes tingle, her current squeeze PI Alex Montgomery. 

And what does Alex think about Eve’s determination to find her uncle’s killer?  He advises caution as always as does her friend and business partner, tiny, red-headed Madeleine, the county’s sweetest, kindest and clumsiest woman.  Madeleine’s propensity for stumbling over things or into things could get her in trouble without Eve’s impulsiveness, but Eve’s schemes always put her and her friends in harm’s way, unintentionally, of course.  Outwitting mobsters is no less dangerous than trying to talk to alligators, but Eve insists she knows how to do it.  Eve arranges a final confrontation with the killers where the story began - in the swamp - but this time her usual back-up is not available.  Instead of going it alone, Eve finds she must count on the cleverness of an old man and his version of swamp back-up.

 Is all that money that her uncle carried into the swamp gone?  Grandfather Egret says that the swamp takes things away and sometimes returns them.  Will it return mob money?  Grandfather isn’t saying.  Can the swamp remain silent with half a million dollars floating in its water?

I hope you love this tale as much as I loved writing it.  The joy of being a writer for me is two-fold: laughing as I write and making my readers laugh, too.  Of course, there is a mystery to be solved, but why not have fun solving it?

For more about the Eve Appel Mysteries, visit Lesley's website at


  1. I loved both Eve Appel mysteries and, yes Lesley, you definitely made me laugh. Thank you!

  2. Hi Lesley. Wow! Sounds like a wonderfully quirky, wild, fun story! And being a Connecticut to Florida transplant myself, I've got something in common with Eve. Congrats on this release!

    1. I hope you enjoy reading it. I don't know if you're in rural Florida, but it is certainly a place a world away from Connecticut.

  3. Hi, Leslie, congratulations on your new series. Sounds like another view of this amazingly diverse state.

  4. Florida certainly is diverse and maybe that's why it's so much fun to set stories here as you well know.