The Five Santas
The Oncoming Storm Series Book #1
By- Jay Mims
Genre- Mystery, Detective, Cozy
Dan Landis is a private investigator who makes his living peeping in windows and taking compromising photos to make a quick buck. But, even adultery has an off-season, and to make some quick cash, Dan’s been hired by a department store to work as a loss prevention agent.
Then he finds Santa stuffed behind a dumpster. One Santa leads to another, and before he knows it, Dan’s up to his sugar plums in murder, intrigue and holiday cheer. It’s up to Dan to save Christmas, find the Kringle Killer and choose the perfect gift for the quirky blonde in his life.
The Cult of Koo Kway
The Oncoming Storm Series Book #2
By- Jay Mims
Genre- Mystery, Detective, Cozy
When Dan Landis wakes up handcuffed and threatened by a colander wielding high-heeled beauty, he knows it’s Tuesday. And when a hapless blonde is in danger of being mugged, his best friend shows up poisoned in his kitchen, and his sister wants him to track down a cowboy named Tex, Dan knows he’s in trouble.
Dan and his faithful sidekick Abbey return for this new mystery, as college professors keep disappearing, students end up poisoned, and someone keeps trying to kill Dan. And all signs point to an obscure film called The Cult of Koo Kway. As the clock ticks, Abbey and Dan must work together to save the day.
The Gray Ghost Inn
The Oncoming Storm Series Book #3
By- Jay Mims
Genre- Mystery, Detective, Cozy
Dan Landis had a simple plan. Drive to a quaint bed and breakfast, spend New Year’s with his best friend Doc, and enjoy a much-needed vacation. Except, he didn’t account for everyone’s favorite klutzy genius Abbey.
Now there’s a body in the library, snow all around, and a mansion full of suspects. Dan must call on his best detective skills, and his worst Hercule Poirot impersonation, to solve this latest mystery. However, the awful truth looms overhead everyone, whatever the answer, nothing will ever be the same.
Racing the Storm
The Oncoming Storm Series Book #4
By- Jay Mims
Genre- Mystery, Adventure, Detective, Cozy
The storm is here. Dan Landis, private investigator, has been hired by his defense attorney sister to do the impossible. In order to create a miracle, Dan must call on his friends and family, endangering them and putting a target on his own back.
Dan is on the run, his home is in flames, and the bad guys have murder on their minds. The skies reddened in The Five Santas, the clouds began to darken in Cult of Koo Kway, and the thunder rumbled in The Gray Ghost Inn. At last, the storm is here. And everything is about to change.
EXCERPT FROM RACING THE STORM
The Earth spins at roughly 1,675 kilometers per hour, or 465 meters per second. Dan Landis could feel it. It wasn’t fast enough. He picked up the two fresh magazines, feeling their thirty-six individual gifts combined into one enormous power. He suddenly had the ability to grant life or death. Again. He didn’t have to break his promise, because the person who made him promise, to SWEAR, to only carry blanks had given him the bullets. Now he knew what Barney Fife felt like.
He slipped the magazines into his jacket pocket and turned to the mental ghost of his long-time partner. She had lost some of her cheer; there was no longer a playful smile on her face. She was also the reason Dan promised Gary to never carry real bullets again.
“Come on Danny-Boy,” Maggie said, tilting her head toward the upstairs office they had once shared. She was using her calm, even, professional tone. She called it her ‘client voice’. “You’ve got trouble waiting on you.”
“Yep. You know, maybe you’re right. Maybe I should just get out of here. Like, I don’t know, just leave. Just run.”
Maggie stared at him and then stepped forward, her warm and calloused hands touching his cheek. It was a bit disturbing that he could feel the gentle weight of her palm, hear the heartbeat through her fingertips. It was more disturbing how much Dan missed having a woman touch him like that.
“There are two kinds of running, Danny-Boy. The kind where someone’s chasing you, where you’re running for your life. When you do that, no matter how hard you run, that person is going to always be behind you, catching up. Then there’s the kind where you do the chasing.” Maggie pinched his ear. Dan let out a yelp of pain. “Daniel Gertrude Landis, I think it’s time you stopped running away and started doing the chasing. Now get in there!”
She released him toward the apartment. Dan took a step back, rubbed his sore earlobe, glaring at her. She crossed her arms and returned the glare. She raised her eyebrows. He took a deep breath, let it out slowly, and nodded at her. Hands shaking, he folded up the envelope, shoving it into his other jacket pocket. He pulled out his keys, walked up the stairs to his second floor apartment, and closed his eyes. He took a breath. Then he unlocked the door, held it open chivalrously for Maggie, and locked it behind him.
“Well,” his sister’s voice called out, “are you ready or not?”
He sighed, releasing the door knob. “Honey, I’m home.”
“Gertie.” Julianne Jones née Landis stepped around the corner. She was wearing a severely cut black dress suit, her raven hair pulled back it into a tight bun. She was two inches shorter then Dan, her eyes were pale to the point of being translucent, and she was four years older than he was. Otherwise the two of them could have been twins.
“Jules,” Dan said evenly to the most feared defense attorney in town. “Sorry to keep you waiting.”
“How’s Gary?” Julianne Jones, attorney at law asked. She wandered over to the window. Her eyes swept the garden.
“He call?” The question came rushing out, Dan’s curiosity getting the better of him.
“Gunpowder smell?” Julianne raised one eyebrow, her movements twitchy, like a paranoid cat. She jerked the sheer window shades back, glaring into the back garden. “Where are they?”
“I told them a quarter till nine.” His eyes drifted to the cabinet beneath his sink. She walked past it and he breathed a sigh of relief. A cursory glance around the room told him nothing had been disturbed; all the little tells were still in place. That was a relief. “Anyone been in here?”
“Not since you left, no.” She stopped. “Why on earth am I babysitting your apartment? I know I wasn’t followed, I doubt you were followed. What exactly are you expecting?”
“Puerto Rican hit men, local subcontractors, ninety-nine red balloons.”
He took a step forward, looking over the small space had been home to him since Maggie died. The foldaway camp bed, second hand TV, mini-fridge, microwave, perpetually full sink. It wasn’t much, but it was his. He stepped through the beaded partition, into the much bigger space that made up his office. He could hear Jules following one step behind him. The shelves were filled with brick-a-brack, a thousand memories, and little reminders from cases. From adventures. Good times.
“I’m not taking any chances,” Dan said. “I’d say we’re in trouble, but I think we’re a bit past trouble at this point. So, are you all packed?”
Julianne crossed her arms. “I’m not leaving.”
Dan took a deep breath, meeting his sister’s steely gaze. They’d had this argument before. “The whole point of the Seven Potters is to get you out of here.” Abbey had come up with the name. It made Dan laugh. She had that effect on him.
“Who’s Potter? And why are there seven of them?” Julianne asked, her eyes wide. Her voice rose in alarm.
“Just a nickname. Better then Operation: Worst Plan Ever,” he smiled. It faded fast. “You need to start reading something other than law books. This was part of the plan, Jules.”
“Plans change, Gertie.” She used his childhood nickname, the one she always used when she wanted to boss her little brother around.
“This should be interesting,” Maggie chimed in.
Dan shot a glance at his imaginary friend, then turned back to his stubborn sister. “At what point did we start deviating from the plan? And when did you go from clever mastermind to making stuff up as you go along? Isn’t that sort of my job?”
“My leaving was never part of the plan.” Julianne checked her watch. “We are still going ahead with everything. You were the one who wanted me to leave. You set up this idiotic Kansas City shuffle. You organized this charade. I’m only playing along because it makes you feel useful.”
“Don’t do it,” Maggie warned.
Dan’s eye twitched. With great effort he bit back his reply, instead thinking, What? Don’t do what?
“If you knock your sister out and carry her away with you, she’ll never forgive you,” Maggie said, her eyes sparkling.
“You’re such a drama queen,” Julianne huffed. She turned her back on him. Dan glanced around for Jimminy, his faithful cricket bat. He shook his head, reminding himself violence wasn’t the answer. At least not right now. She stopped, looking at the shelf nearest the bathroom. “Where’s Roger?”
“Roger?” Dan asked, casual.
“Roger the Bear?” Julianne’s head whipped around so fast, Dan could hear her neck pop from across the room. Her perfectly coifed eyebrows raised in suspicion. She was not buying his casual attitude for a minute. “The stupid blue bear, the one Bernie bought you. The one that’s been a fixture of this dump for…you’re taking the bear with you, aren’t you?”
“Yes,” Dan lied. “I don’t like being in a strange place without my guardian bear watching over me.” With any luck, Roger had found a new home.
And somewhere, a small child would have a new toy. There was the sound of keys working the lock downstairs. Dan breathed a sigh of relief. “Right on time.”
“Bernie’s half an hour late,” Julianne said with a roll of her eyes.
“Like I said, right on time.” Dan’s smile never reached his eyes.
“I heard that,” a voice called out. It was heavy with a British accent, pure North, with a trace of annoyance and more than the daily recommended dose of mischief. “Do you know how annoying it is trying to check for tails? I spent half an hour making the loop. Then I got behind some wank on the phone, bloody fool had his indicator on the whole time.” Feet pounded up the stairwell. Two figures entered the room. Dan’s heart skipped a beat.
Bernadette Wilkins, M.D. was wearing his favorite bomber jacket, the brown leather one, with matching fedora. It was a size too big for her, though she made it look scandalously sexy. She also wore acid washed blue jeans, a hot pink top and matching sunglasses. But Dan only had eyes for Abbey.
She was eating a giant cinnamon roll, clearly having to juggle between the roll and the oversized cup of coffee. She was wearing a curly blond wig, poodle skirt, and black biker jacket. Bernice Agnes “Abbey” Smith; ask her to wear a disguise and this is what you got.
“Bernie, Sandra Dee,” Dan said, nodding at each of them in turn.
About the Author
Jay Mims, better known as Mimsey, lives two miles past nowhere with The Mimsus. He also accidentally adopted his neighbor’s cat, Eartha Kitty, has a lizard named Bob hiding in his house, and has a passive-aggressive Dalek roommate named Steve. When not writing cozy mysteries, Jay teaches and is learning knitting. Jay is currently working on knitting a cape. Capes are cool.
Social Media Links-
Barnes and Noble- http://www.barnesandnoble.com/c/jay-mims