Blog Tour: The Oncoming Storm Series by Jay Mims
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 front door yanked hard against its hinges when Dan burst through, running at top speed. He ran like the devil was after him. In this case, the devil wore a duster.
“All the yokels in all the world,” he yelled still running, “I got to hit the one guy with an iron jaw.”
Less talking and more running, his little voice advised.
Tex came strolling out of the bar at a far more relaxed pace. Both hands held a pistol, and he fired the pair of them into the air. A crowd was gathering around Tex, pointing and laughing at Dan’s retreating back.
“You better keep running,” Tex yelled, as Dan rounded the corner. For emphasis two more shots hit the brick wall, the masonry shattering.
Dan couldn’t help himself. He stuck his head around and shouted, “You missed.” He ducked as Tex fired twice more. The alley he had conveniently run into was a dead one.
And when Mortimer rounds that corner, his little voice added, you’ll be dead too.
Dan looked around, examining his options. On three sides were old brick walls that were severely lacking in doors. This was an obvious oversight. All blind alleys should have a door, preferably one you had to kick open. There was also a nasty looking dumpster, but Dan doubted it was bullet proof.
And speaking of bullets, his little voice mentioned, here comes your friend.
Tex had stepped into the alley’s entrance. His bulk blocked out the sun, casting a mightily impressive shadow. Dan had already ducked behind the dumpster.
“Come on out and face me,” Tex said looking around, still brandishing his twin six shooters. Dan wondered if Dental school was still accepting applications. Plan A and B are out, he thought grimly. Time for Plan C.
Which one’s that? his little voice asked.
The Dan Landis special, he replied, make it up as you go along.
Squatting behind the dumpster, he looked down. Something glittery caught his eye. With a quick glance to gauge Tex’s position, he picked up the soda can and tossed it straight toward the big man. He ducked back down. A single shot and a metallic clang echoed through the alley. Dan looked around; he now had a choice between a beer bottle and a brick. He chose the bottle, tossing it one handed into the air. Tex was so close that glass showered down on Dan’s jet black hair. With his finely honed observation skills, he realized the big man was now directly above him.
It was hard to miss a six-foot four cowboy pointing a gun at you.
On instinct Dan leapt out, pushing off against the brick wall with his feet. He shot forward, connecting solidly with Tex in a textbook perfect flying tackle. The wind came out of Tex in one enormous whoosh, and momentum carried them both down to the pavement. Dan rolled forward, just as he’d been taught, coming up on the balls of his feet. Coach Lipsey would have been proud.
Tex was down, hopefully dazed. And Dan had just spotted his way out. Hanging precariously over the dumpster was the fire escape. Connected to the fire escape was a ladder which led, presumably, to the roof of the bar. Running on pure adrenaline, he took two quick steps toward Tex. Instinctively the big man cringed. Dan had no intention of fighting this monster. Instead he leapt high into the air, his feet catching the rim of the dumpster. He bounced off the thin purchase and launched himself toward the fire escape. His gloved fingers barely grasped the curved metal. It was a one in a million jump, but it worked. However, he was now hanging by his sweaty fingertips over a dumpster. And an angry gunman was nearby. Also, pull-ups had never been Dan’s strong suit.
His shoulders screaming with the effort, he pulled himself up, reaching out for a firmer handhold. He slid onto the flat plateau of the fire escape, shaking with the cocktail of adrenaline and fear. Leadened gloves and weighted boots were great for a fight, but terrible for climbing. Dan could hear Tex getting to his feet. Pushing himself up, his arms wobbling like jell-o, he looked around. Instinct made him drop, kissing the rusty fire escape. That and the sight of twin pistols being pointed in his direction. Tex let off two more wild shots, and just above Dan’s head, powdered brick puffed out. He could feel it sprinkling into his hair.
Thank you Lord, he gratefully prayed, for giving this man the aim of a Stormtrooper. Dan peaked over the edge of the fire escape, staring down at Tex, who was still pointing his guns. He rolled against the wall, flattening himself as Tex fired another shot. He could feel the vibrations as the bullet hit the wall just above him. Masonry showered into his ear, causing Dan to jerk and flop like a fish out of water.
“Come on out you pipsqueak,” Tex yelled, “I got better things to do.”
Me too, Dan thought. “Yeah like what?” he yelled in answer, brushing the powdered brick out of his ear and hair.
There was a pause. Tex sneezed, and then yelled, “Like draining the lizard.”
“Don’t let me stop you,” Dan shouted back. That earned a dark laugh from Tex. At least the big man had a sense of humor.
Just above Dan’s head was the ladder leading up to the roof of the bar. Just below was a big angry man with a gun. Taking a breath, Dan shot his head up.
“Ha,” he shouted, and ducked. Tex fired again. Dan exhaled.
With a jump, he propelled himself up the ladder. He didn’t bother looking down. Dan knew Tex was tall enough to reach the ladder without the aid of the dumpster. It was a short jump for a guy like Tex. Heavy breathing and the scrape of metal told Dan that Tex had moved the dumpster out of the way. There was a thunk, and a groan of rusted metal. Tex was definitely following.
I hope you get Tetanus, Dan thought.
No you don’t, his little voice pointed out.
No I don’t, he admitted. It was hard to lie to the voice in your head.
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.
This wasn’t the first time Dan Landis had found himself under a bed while a couple was talking. Which said more about the kind of life he led, then anything else. At least they were still talking.
“I’m all twitterpated Professor,” Betsey confessed breathlessly.
“I see,” said Professor Brown. He sounded impatient, and a bit flustered.
There was the creak of the bed springs. Because of course they did. Dan once again wondered what it was like to have a normal life. Dentists never had to hide under a bed while their patients did the horizontal polka just above their heads. They also had better health insurance.
“It’s just that, well of course, I am deeply sorry for my brother’s passing.” Betsey bounced once on the bed, “Oh my this is a bit more squeaky then I realized. I hope it has not inconvenienced any of our guests.”
Dan had to bite his fist to keep from laughing.
“Well,” she continued, “Obviously, I do not want to pull you away from whatever previous engagements you were involved in.”
Dan’s shoulders began to shake with the suppressed laughter.
“I believe you said…” Professor Brown paused. There was the rustling of clothes. Dan imagined Leroy was crossing his arms. Or patting his head and rubbing his stomach. “You were in need of an extra set of eyes.”
“Yes,” Betsey said, and the bed gave another squeak as she stood again. Dan couldn’t help but notice she had immaculate sneakers. She probably scrubbed them with a toothbrush. “I am so sorry, Professor, I was hoping to find my brother’s receipt book. In all the rush, I forgot that he had borrowed it. Naturally, I want to make sure all of our guests have a receipt for their stay at the Gray Ghost Inn. Though, obviously, I would also like for them to sign the guest book. Have you signed it yet?”
“I am afraid that I have had other things occupying my attention between check-in and the present,” Professor Brown said. Dan buried his head in the expensive rug. He didn’t dare even choke back a laugh, for fear of coughing. Instead he pictured 99 red balloons.
“Yes, naturally,” Betsey said. She took a step closer to those big boots, her feet pointed out. “It’s been quite the reunion, hasn’t it, Professor?”
“Leroy,” the old dog responded, still suave as ever. “Betsey, I believe we’ve known each other long enough for you to call me Leroy.”
“Didn’t we just,” she replied. And an additional rustling made Dan think that one dainty hand was resting on Leroy’s well-toned chest.
Go Leroy, Dan thought.
The big boots took a step back. “I do appreciate seeing you again, Betsey. You were a friend when all other friends deserted me.”
“I wondered if you’d come back,” she took a step closer, her voice dropping to just above a whisper. “I knew after everything, that maybe you’d never come back. Obviously, you always cared a lot about Melody. And David.”
“And you,” Leroy didn’t walk away this time. “I care…cared, for all three of you, very much. The Butlers took in the lonely boy, with an unusual accent, and made him part of the family. For that, I’m forever grateful.”
“And now you’re back,” Betsey said, abruptly stepping away, and walking across the room. The big boots pivoted, Doctor Brown obviously wanted to keep an eye on her. Or he was admiring that well-toned butt. Betsey obviously worked out. “It’s such a strange thing. To be so happy and sad at the same time. I’m all twitterpated.”
“So you said,” he replied.
“Do you…if you had to do it all over again…do you think about what might have been?”
“I try not to reflect on the past,” he spoke the words aloud, and Dan knew he was lying. He wondered if Ms. Twitterpated knew as well. “To be honest, I find the past a difficult area. I have often found myself preferring to simply avoid the problem areas, and concentrate on those things I am more confident in.”
That’s what she said, Dan thought.
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.
Racing the Storm Excerpt #2
“I love the smell of gunpowder in the morning. It smells like victory. And scrambled eggs.” Dan took a step out of his assigned stall. The resident next door sighed, which was something people seemed to do a lot around Dan.
“I think you’re scrambling eggs wrong,” Gary Jones replied. The big man pressed the button to retrieve his paper target. He wore his usual frumpy brown raincoat, over a starched and pressed white shirt with a tie. Today’s tie was green with black dots. Probably in celebration of St. Patrick’s Day. At six-foot-four, two hundred and forty pounds, Gary didn’t look very Irish. Well, maybe Black Irish.
Dan mirrored the big man’s actions, the target whining down the firing lane.
“Really, what’s better than a little gunplay in the morning?” Dan asked. “You, me, some cheap paper targets. Get some dancing girls and this could be a real party!”
Gary unclipped his target, studying the gaping hole where his six shots overlapped.
“Always aiming for the heart, huh?” Dan asked, leaning against the metal curve of the stall. “You’d never make it in a zombie apocalypse.”
“I aim for vital organs,” Gary sighed. “Not all of us are hotshots.” The younger man grinned. “Good luck hitting the head of a moving target.”
“I make my own luck.” Dan’s lip curled up in a roguish grin as he waggled his eyebrows. He winked at the big man, then held the paper target up like a proud kindergartner showcasing a finger painting. “Check out that grouping; you couldn’t ask for a better line-up.” The close cropping of shots gave the target’s head a honeycomb appearance.
“If you say so,” Gary replied. He folded his target neatly and set it on the nearby stool.
“Ten bucks says you can’t hit the nail on the head.”
Gary turned to glare at the younger man. “Are you trying to goad me?”
“Do I look like a goading kind of guy?”
Gary raised one eyebrow.
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.