In this excerpt, Kate is at home late at night after finding her homeless friend George’s body. She has taken Bella, the victim’s dog, home to stay with her until the police locate his family. Kate feels guilty over a fight she had with George earlier that day.
I looked at the clock and almost cried. It was one-thirty, and my early morning class started at six. I’d never felt so bone-weary in my life. My head still throbbed, and my stomach ached from hunger. But all I could think about was sleep—deep, dreamless sleep. “Come on, Bella. It’s bedtime.” I showed her the bedroom. She hopped on the bed and flopped down, lying squarely on my pillow.
“Sorry, pooch. This is where I draw the line. I sleep on the bed. You sleep on the floor.”
I grabbed a blanket from the closet, laid it on the floor and pointed to it. “For you.” It took some convincing, but Bella finally relented. I collapsed on the bed and closed my eyes.
Images of George’s body, sounds of sirens, the smell of blood, and the full knowledge of the evening’s horror invaded every crevice of my being.
Bella paced the room, panting and whining. I tried to coax myself to sleep with “Kate’s Sleeping Pill,” my favorite breath practice for insomnia. No good. The horrible memories refused to leave. But at least now the room was quiet. At least that infernal whining had stopped.
My mind froze. My eyes flew open. Why had the whining stopped?
I rolled over and locked eyes with Bella. Her accusing glare scolded me. We stared each other down for what seemed like an eternity. Finally, I realized what was bothering her. Bella was used to sleeping on the ground, but not alone. She and George had lain next to each other every night for as long as she could remember. Changing that now seemed cruel.
“OK, you win. Come on up, but only for tonight.” I slapped the bed beside me.
Bella hopped up, turned a quick circle, and sank down next to me with a heavy sigh. Her brow furrowed, her ears drooped, and her head hung low. I could tell she knew something had changed. She didn’t know what or why, but she knew it was bad. Frighteningly bad. Life-changingly bad.
I suspected Bella couldn’t understand me, but she deserved an explanation nonetheless. So I told her that George was gone, but that he had loved her more than anything. I also promised her that, although I couldn’t keep her, I would make sure she was safe until I found someone who could.
I owed that to George.
You see, I firmly believed that George’s death was at least partially my fault. That if I had listened more and judged less, I might have prevented this awful night. I deeply regretted my stubbornness in not apologizing. I regretted suggesting he euthanize Bella. I even regretted not buying that damned paper. No one else would have blamed me for what happened, but I definitely blamed myself.
As I finished the story, Bella rested her chin on my belly, closed her eyes, and fell asleep. The warmth of her body on mine felt oddly comforting, and I finally relaxed enough to do what I’d needed to do for hours. I broke down sobbing as I held Bella and allowed her rhythmic breathing to rock us both to sleep.
About Murder Strikes a Pose:
Seattle yoga instructor Kate Davidson has unusually tight hamstrings encased in Miss Piggy-like thighs, and she often acts more like a champion fighting rooster than the Dalai Lama. When she’s not teaching yoga, she spends her time hiding from her creepy landlord and dodging her best friend’s relentless matchmaking attempts. Even though her father was a cop, Kate has zero crime fighting aspirations. She has enough trouble keeping her struggling yoga business afloat while trying to live up to yoga’s Zen-like expectations.
Then she stumbles over a body in the studio’s parking lot.
The police dismiss the murder as drug-related street crime, but Kate knows that George—a homeless alcoholic she had befriended—was no drug dealer. And if the police won’t take his murder seriously, she’ll just have to solve the crime herself. After all, “Drunk Dies in Drug Deal Gone Bad at Yoga Studio” isn’t exactly the free publicity she’s been hoping for.
Kate stretches herself and takes on two new challenges. First, solve George’s murder. Second, find someone—anyone—willing to adopt his intimidating, horse-sized German shepherd, Bella, before Animal Control sends her to the big dog park in the sky.
But with Bella’s time almost up and the murderer hot on her trail, Kate will have to work fast. Or the next time she practices Corpse Pose, it may be for real.
“Weber’s debut, which launches the Downward Dog series, should appeal to anyone who likes canines, yoga, and a determined sleuth. … Cozy fans will eagerly await the next installment.”
“What a treat! A charming heroine, a cantankerous pooch, and a clever page-turner of a mystery make for delightfully original entertainment. You don’t need to love yoga to love this series–its good karma makes it an instant winner.”
Hank Phillippi Ryan
THE WRONG GIRL (Forge)
THE WRONG GIRL (Forge)
When George and Bella—a homeless alcoholic and his intimidating German shepherd—disturb the peace outside her studio, yoga instructor Kate Davidson’s Zen-like calm is stretched to the breaking point. Kate tries to get rid of them before Bella scares the yoga pants off her students. Instead, the three form an unlikely friendship.
One night Kate finds George’s body behind her studio. The police dismiss his murder as a drug-related street crime, but she knows George wasn’t a dealer. So Kate starts digging into George’s past while also looking for someone to adopt Bella before she’s sent to the big dog park in the sky. With the murderer nipping at her heels, Kate has to work fast or her next Corpse Pose may be for real.
“Cozy fans will eagerly await the next installment.” —PUBLISHERS WEEKLY
“Murder Strikes a Pose, by Tracy Weber, is a delightful debut novel featuring Kate Davidson, a caring but feist yoga teacher . . . Namaste to Weber and her fresh, new heroine!” —PENNY WARNER,AUTHOR OFHOW TO DINE ON KILLER WINE
“[T]his charming debut mystery . . . pieces together a skillful collage of mystery, yoga, and plenty of dog stories against the unique backdrop of Seattle characters and neighborhoods. The delightful start of a promising new series. I couldn’t put it down!” —WAVERLY FITZGERALD, AUTHOR OF DIAL C FOR CHIHUAHUA
“Three woofs for Tracy Weber’s first Downward Dog Mystery, Murder STrikes a Pose. Great characters, keep-you-guessing plot, plenty of laughs, and dogs—what more could we want? Ah, yes—the next book!” —SHEILA WEBSTER BONEHAM, AUTHOR OF DROP DEAD ON RECALL
Buy Now @ Amazon
Genre – Cozy Mystery
Rating – PG
More details about the author