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Three grisly murders linked to five old cold cases, dubbed the Flower Girl Murders, pushes detectives to their limit to find a clever and extremely brutal serial killer, leaving a California town demanding justice. The District Attorney’s Serial Special Task Force retains the help of the reclusive Dr. Chip Palmer, a forensic expert and criminal profiler, to steer them in the right direction.
Palmer is known for his astute academic interpretations of serial and predatory crimes, along with his unconventional tactics that goes against general police procedures. He is partnered with the tough and beautiful D.A. Inspector Kate Rawlins, a homicide detective transplanted from Phoenix, and the chemistry ignites between the team—turbulent and deadly.
The Flower Girl Murders leaves three homicides, five cold cases, two seasoned detectives, three suspects, and one serial killer calling all the shots. The investigation must rely on one eccentric forensic scientist to unravel the clues to solve the case. But at what cost?
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I HATED THE CURIOUS AND often skeptical looks, which came from the audience in the gallery. I gently eased my body into the chair and faced them directly. It felt more like I was a participating target in a firing squad than a courtroom proceeding.
Shifting from side to side in the cushioned seat, I fidgeted with my tie. It was the only thing I could do under the circumstances.
I waited patiently trying not to nervously tap my fingers.
At least the chair was comfortable as I rested my forearms and hands on the armrest. It was not easy to avoid looking at the two burly sheriff deputy bailiffs stationed at the back corners of the room. They watched everyone with an extreme somber, statue-like presence. I was not even sure if they actually blinked or not.
All eyes in the courtroom fixated on me.
The room fell into complete silence. The audience readied themselves waiting for the show to begin. At least that was what I had imagined in my own mind.
I realized when the prosecutor had finally called my name to testify and the bailiff escorted me into the courtroom that I had forgotten to change my shoes. Dirt and mud had affixed deep into the crevices of the heavy-duty rubber soles, which donated little chunks of dried soil as I walked from the back of the courtroom to the witness area. There were little piles of mountain soil left behind with every stride. It looked like I had stolen shoes from a homeless person.
It was only yesterday that I had taken an extra-long walk down a wooded path that was barely passable even for the native wildlife, but I did not let the rugged terrain scare me out of adding another specimen to my collection of California sediment. In the process, my shoes sunk deep into the mud. At one point my foot had slipped from the left shoe and then plunged my sock-clad foot directly into the sticky muck.
I was all too aware of how disheveled I looked only two months before my fortieth birthday. It was not appealing. My appearance did not give the impression that I was an expert at anything, but somehow I managed to muddle through with an air of authority.
Crime scenes never lied, and it was my job to explain the scientific facts to the non-scientific community; but in the end, it was up to the jury to make the right choice of guilt or innocence. Twelve good people ultimately shouldered the justice burden, and I was just the messenger of facts—good or bad.
Author Guest Post: “Help Me, There’s No Coffee in the House!”
I don’t drink coffee or eat milk chocolate, but I’m a writer. So how can I even survive without coffee? I’m constantly asked how I can function without coffee to jump-start my day. My answer is simple. I cannot stand the taste of coffee—never have and never will. I do on occasion have a chai tea; it’s usually an iced chai latte with unsweetened almond milk. I’m a writer, so I’ll manage or write my way out of it.
Now, I probably have you wondering. I’ve learned to combine the most effective balance of foods that have helped me become a more productive writer. I write crime thrillers about serial killers, and forensic mysteries, so I need my strength.
One of my favorite combinations of food is what is usually for my lunch, which is a Chicken Salad. I know, that sounds a little bit boring. I wanted to share one of my favorite recipes with you—and you can be the judge.
MYSTERY AUTHOR’S CHICKEN SALAD
1 Cup of diced leftover chicken
1 Tablespoon of your favorite simple vinaigrette
1 rib of celery, chopped
1 scallion, finely chopped
¼ bell pepper, chopped
1 Tablespoon fresh parsley, chopped
1 Teaspoon Greek Yogurt
2 Tablespoons mayonnaise
Salt and pepper to taste
1 ½ Cup of favorite lettuce or mixture
1 small apple, thinly sliced
1 Handful favorite nuts (walnuts, pecans, etc.)
Toss the chicken, celery, scallion, bell pepper, parsley, yogurt, and mayonnaise in a bowl. Salt and pepper to taste. Add more mayo or yogurt if you prefer. Arrange lettuce on a plate, drizzle with vinaigrette and top with chicken salad mixture. Garnish plate with the sliced apple. Sprinkle nuts on top. Enjoy.
Well if the chicken salad doesn’t completely satisfy, then you can always take a break and go buy a mocha Grande.
About the Author
Jennifer Chase is a multi award-winning crime fiction author and consulting criminologist. Jennifer holds a bachelor degree in police forensics and a master’s degree in criminology & criminal justice. These academic pursuits developed out of her curiosity about the criminal mind as well as from her own experience with a violent sociopath, providing Jennifer with deep personal investment in every story she tells. In addition, she holds certifications in serial crime and criminal profiling. She is an affiliate member of the International Association of Forensic Criminologists.
Her latest book is the mystery suspense, Body of the Crime.