Critical praise for Christy!

For "Murder Hooks a Mermaid:"
"Author Christy Fifield creates the kind of characters that stay with you for a long time. Fifield’s new Haunted Souvenir Shop mystery, Murder Hooks a Mermaid has it all: a sunny, relaxed setting, captivating locals, delicious food, and—of course—murder! Delightful amateur sleuth Glory Martine is back with her wisecracking parrot and charming group of friends in this thoroughly entertaining adventure. Don’t miss it."—Julie Hyzy, National Bestselling author of the Manor House Mysteries and the White House Chef Mystery series
"A whodunit with a dose of the supernatural, "Murder Hooks a Mermaid" is a worthy successor to the series opener and showcases Fifield's talents for plotting, characterization and humor." - Richmond Times-Dispatch
"Quirky and unique, a heroine for whom you can't help but root. The story sucks you in." - The Maine Suspect
"With a lovable cast of characters, good conversations and a great setting, this well-written book is a terrific read." -- Dru's Book Musings

For "Murder Buys a T-Shirt:"
A refreshing new sleuth! - Lynne Maxwell, Mystery Scene Magazine
"A fun book that will make the dreariest of days a little brighter! Socrates' great Book Alert" - Socrates' Cozy Cafe
"An entertaining and clever Florida whodunit" - Harriet Klausner
"Hilarious! A great murder mystery with well-written characters" - Paranormal & Romantic Suspense Reviews
For the Georgiana Neverall Series:
"Christy Evans will find legions of fans with this new series" - Sheldon McArthur, Lincoln City News Guard
"Funny and entertaining -- a solid mystery filled with likable characters." - RT Book Reviews"
Cute cozy mystery debute -- wry humor -- adorable dogs" -Publisher's Weekly
"Will have you giggling out loud! Four Stars." - Kathy Fisher, The Romance Readers Connection"The Book is good! Keep them coming, Ms. Evans!" - Mystery Scene
"Evans delivers a fast-paced mystery with admirable finesse!" - Sharon Galligar Chance,
"Christy Evans has a hit on her hands" - Harriet Klausner,
"Christy Evans is aces. I'll be very suprised if Sink Trap isn't an instant hit with cozy readers!" -

Tuesday, September 22, 2009

A Problem in the Pipes - "Sink Trap," Chapter 1 (continued)

The first part of Chapter 1 was posted last week, here. (Go ahead, go read that post, we'll wait.)

Here's the rest of the chapter. I hope you'll enjoy it enough to want to pre-order the whole book, which you can do HERE. And, yes, there will be a Kindle version for you early adopters. Just follow the "other editions" link from the page that link takes you to on Amazon.

Chapter 1 (continued)

The inspection of the Tepper warehouse hadn’t gone well. So far, we’d discovered one restroom with some serious leaks, and a stopped-up utility sink.

Fortunately for me, clogged pipes are easier to diagnose than leaks, so Barry took the bathroom and I got the sink.

But on this job, nothing turned out to be simple. I’d struggled with a plumber’s snake for twenty minutes before I gave up, grabbed my tools, and crawled under the sink where my mother had found me.

Plumbers, in my limited experience, spent an inordinate amount of time under sinks. Or under houses. I’d take the sink any day.

From my cramped quarters back under the sink, I heard familiar footsteps echo through the empty warehouse. Over my shoulder I saw the worn steel-toe boots of my boss, Barry Hickey.

Lately, I identified everyone by their shoes.

“Hand me that work light, would you, Bear? I can hardly see what I’m doing under here.” The nickname fit his stocky frame and brown hair, though I didn’t use it often. It seemed a little too familiar.

But sometimes Barry felt more like the older brother I never had than my boss. And it didn’t hurt our budding friendship that I made the office computers do tricks he didn’t think possible.

Barry thrust the small round light under the counter, into my outstretched palm. “Getting late,” he said. “I’m done with that bathroom for now. We could knock off for the night, come back in the morning when you can see what you’re doing.”

I wiggled further under the sink and grabbed the wrench handle with my leather-gloved hands. I tightened the jaws around the connecting ring of the drain pipe, digging into seventy year’s accumulation of unidentifiable corrosion.

“I can see,” I protested. “Besides, another five minutes, I swear, and I’ll be done under here.” I grunted as I pushed against the wrench, my reward a scant inch of movement.

“And we can’t come back tomorrow,” I continued, as I braced myself for another push. “We have to do the walk-through on the Tepper house.”

The two properties were both owned by Martha Tepper, a retired librarian who’d left town a couple weeks back. I’d heard she was tired of Oregon winters and wanted someplace with sunshine.

I think she went to Arizona, though I wasn’t sure. I hadn’t seen much of her since I left for college, but I remembered her from summer vacations when I camped out in the mystery section of the library.

Now my mother and Gregory were working with Rick and Rachel Gladstone, Martha’s attorneys, on a deal for both properties.

“You promised Sandra it’d be done, and she wants to get back to the Gladstones before the end of the week.”

The wrench moved again. The pipes in the warehouse were old, but I had the right tools and a whole lot of stubborn.

“Sandra?” A disapproving tone crept into my boss’s voice. “Georgiana, she’s your mother.”

It bugged Barry when I called my mom by her first name, but it was one way I kept my personal and private lives separate. And as long as Hickey & Hickey worked for Whitlock Estates Realty, I needed that separation.

I’d already messed that up once today, talking to Sandra herself. I wasn’t going to do it again.

“She is. When I’m at her house for Sunday dinner or we’re visiting her sister in Sweet Home. Not when she’s paying for a job, Barry. Then she’s Sandra. Or would you rather I called her Mrs. Neverall?”

Barry’s feet moved away, out of my line of sight. He paced across the dirty concrete floor of the warehouse.

Barry wasn’t good at waiting.

I herked on the wrench one more time and the connector ring broke free. A couple good turns and I was able to put the wrench down and turn the coupling by hand.

The stubborn joint came free, releasing the end of the outlet pipe. A gush of stagnant water ran into the waiting plastic bucket. Judging by the stench, that water had been sitting in the pipe for a long time.

I dropped the rusty coupling in the bucket and wormed my way back out from under the sink.

“You know, Barry, you didn’t put ‘contortionist’ on the job description.” I reached back in for the work light and played the illumination over the end of the pipe to be sure the flow of stinky water stopped before I moved the bucket.

Barry chuckled. “You’re the girl who wanted to be a plumber,” he said.

“Woman, Barry. Woman. Your daughter is a girl. Maybe. But I am not a ‘girl.’ Haven’t been for years.” I reached under the sink to retrieve the bucket.

“Megan’s twelve. Of course she’s a girl.”

I glanced up, shaking my head. “Not so much anymore, Barry. She might tolerate you calling her that right now, but not for much longer.”

Through the high windows of the warehouse, the sky was nearly dark. I let go of the bucket and pulled back the cuff of my leather glove to glance at the scratched plastic bezel of my dime-store watch. I had learned the hard way never to wear a good watch when messing with pipes.

Nearly seven. How did it get so late? I was late for dinner with Wade.

I bit back a curse. Barry tolerated a lot from me, but one of his rules was no cursing in front of customers, which had morphed into no cursing on the job. Never mind that there wasn’t anyone in the building but the two of us, or that he was probably the only construction-trade guy in the country who didn’t swear a blue streak. It was still a rule.

The bucket stuck and I put my head back under the sink to see what the problem was, shining the light on the exposed pipe ends.

Something bright caught my eye. Given the condition of those pipes, there shouldn’t be anything bright under that sink.

Dirty, yes. Rusty, yes. Smelly, definitely.

But not bright and shiny.

I poked one gloved finger into the pipe, but the thick leather didn’t fit in the tight opening. I pulled the glove off, reached for the pipe, then reconsidered.

I had no idea what I was reaching for.

I grabbed a close-fitting latex glove from my pocket, stretched it over my hand, and reached back under the sink.

It was a lump of metal and stone, large enough to block most of the pipe. It should have been too large to have fallen down the drain, except the drain guard had rusted through, probably years ago.

The piece was lodged crosswise, and I pried it loose with my finger. It popped out of the pipe and landed in the bucket with a plop.

Curious, I fished it out.

It was a brooch. A very distinctive brooch, and one I thought I recognized. Martha Tepper, the retired librarian who was supposed to be in Arizona, had worn it every day, the same way a happily-married woman always wears her wedding band. If it was the brooch I remembered, she never went anywhere without it. So why was the librarian’s favorite accessory sitting in a glop of plumbing goo in my hand?

After being lodged in the drain pipe of an empty warehouse in Pine Ridge, Oregon?

And what was I going to do about it?

(To be continued...)

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Wednesday, September 16, 2009

Meet Georgiana Neverall!! (Read the opening to "Sink Trap!")

A Dirty Business

Always keep a Tyvek jumpsuit and a dust
mask on hand. Both can be purchased at
most hardware and home supply stores. You’ll
be glad to have them when you have to crawl
underneath the house, or through the attic.
When dirt and worse are flying everywhere, it’s
handy to have a tough outer layer to repel it.
—A Plumber’s Tip from Georgiana Neverall


“Georgiana? Georgiana Neverall , is that you under there?”

My mother, Sandra Neverall, the doyenne of Whitlock Estates Realty and one of the more demanding customers of Hickey & Hickey Plumbing, stood in the doorway. Her stylish stiletto heels, the only part of her visible from my position under the utility sink, looked impossibly out of place on the dirty concrete of the warehouse floor.

My mother could turn a simple hello into a referendum
on my entire life. “Yes, Mother. Who else would it be but
your only daughter?”

I regretted it the instant the words left my mouth. She
knew how to push my buttons, and I knew she knew, but it
didn’t stop me from rising to her bait.

“We-l-l-l-l . . .” She dragged the word out, and I could
picture her arching one perfectly penciled eyebrow. “I’m
really not sure. My daughter spent a fortune on a degree
from Cal Tech. I’d hardly expect to find her in ragged
coveralls under the utility sink of a filthy warehouse, now
would I?”

I bit back the impulse to answer in kind. We’d read that
script too many times already. I’d recently discovered I
liked wearing coveralls and crawling under sinks, and she
thought I should wear aprons and serve meatloaf to an
adoring husband. Or at least make some use of that pricy
college degree.

“And yet, you have.” I abandoned the stubborn pipe
joint and wiggled out from under the sink, standing up to
face my mother, work boots to stilettos. “So, what was so
important that you dragged yourself all the way out here
to find me?”

She widened her eyes in an attempt at innocence. She
held the expression for a few seconds, but then realized I
wasn’t buying her act and gave it up.

I love my mother, and I truly believed she loves me.
But that didn’t mean we dropped in on each other, or
palled around together.

Or understood each other.

To tell the truth, I was surprised she even knew where
to find me.

“I went by that charity house first. I assumed you were
there.” She refused to call the project by its proper name,
Portland Homes for Help.

“I finished there before I came to work.” For a moment
I remembered the rich odor of fresh-cut pine and the scent
of new carpet. The house was nearly done, smelling like
hope and the promise of help for one deserving family.

“It’s charity, Georgiana,” she said, as though reading
my thoughts. She says that’s a mom talent that never goes
away. She’d been really good at it when I was a teenager,
but you’d think it would lose its potency when I passed

Apparently not.

But it explained how she found me. The Homes for
Help crew ratted me out.

I nodded, bit my tongue, and waited for her to go on.

“I’m on my way out to the Clackamas Commons Development,”
she finally continued. “Gregory and I.” She
always referred to her boss as Gregory, not Mr. Whitlock,
and I wondered for a moment about the apparent level of
familiarity before I focused back on her words. “—so
we’re going to take over sales for all three hundred units.”

“Great, Mom. Really. If anyone can sell those places,
it’s you. I can picture the commissions stacking up.” I
grinned at her, to let her know I really was pleased. “But
you didn’t need to come all the way out here to tell me
that. You could have called.”

“It was on my way,” she lied, waving a freshly manicured
hand in dismissal.

Plum Crazy. The color registered without thought. I
hadn’t had a manicure in over two years—not since I left
the high-wire act of corporate competition—but it used to
be my favorite color. And it described perfectly the way
my mother made me feel.

I turned away and crouched back under the edge of the
sink. “That’s great news, Mom. Thanks for telling me. But
I need to get back to this job.”

I really didn’t expect it to work, and it didn’t. But it did
make her get to the point. Finally.

Her tone became all-business, as though someone had
thrown a switch. I found her ability to change so abruptly
a tad creepy. Then again, it was a useful talent.

“I just talked to Barry,” she said.

So she’d come to see my boss, Barry the Plumber, not
me. “He promised me the two of you would get this inspection
done by tomorrow.” She glanced around the warehouse,
her nose wrinkled in distaste. “And he said he’d
start on the house as soon as you finish here.”

She paused and I hoped we were finished, but she had
one more zinger before she left. “I asked for you on this
one, Georgiana, because I know you need the work. I just
hope you don’t waste too much time on that charity house
when you have a paying job waiting.”

She walked away, her heels clicking loudly in the
empty space, and I wiggled back under the sink. Charity, I
reflected, was not one of Sandra Neverall’s strong suits.

Be fair, I reminded myself, as I went back to work on
the corroded pipes. Charity was what forced her to go to
work after my dad died. The beloved Dr. Neverall of Pine
Ridge, Oregon, had treated his patients for free, and left
his widow with a stack of unpaid bills, and a load of resentment.

I promised myself I’d cut her some slack.

Or at least I’d try.

(Click to continue...)

Order "Sink Trap" now:

Tuesday, September 15, 2009

We Have A Winner Times Two - and A Bonus Giveaway!

I want to offer my congratulations to the winner of the Advance Readers Copy of SINK TRAP

(Drum roll, please!!!)

Louisa of Portola, California!!!

This is the part where I thank you all for playing, and offer some consolation. Whatever. But since I really appreciate the support from all of you, well

(Would another drum roll be too much?)

We're giving away another book!

Same as before, except I'll keep all the current names (except you, Louisa. Sorry!) in the drawing and add any new ones. You've got about a week to be sure your name is on the list, but I want to be sure I get the book to you before it hits the stores, so you can get a head start on the rest of the world.

And while I'm giving stuff away, there's one more thing to give away tonight. At the suggestion of my dear husband, I've made some knitted Kozy Kovers for the Kindle e-reader. Over at I collected names to give away a Kozy, and the winner of the first Kozy is:

(Hey, drummer, you should know the drill by now.)

Robin Page!!!

Now, before you all go away and plot how to make me draw your name next week, I am going to offer a consolation prize. On Thursday - really, it's on my calendar for Thursday - I'm going to post the first chapter of SINK TRAP right here on the blog! (And there might even be a few more pages between now and the release date...)

Once again, thank you all for stopping by, for your kind words and your support. This Road to the Bookstore is always made better by the company of friends and fans!

Congratulations to our winners, and WATCH THIS SPACE.

Chris/Christy - Georgie - Daisy - Buddha - and all the residents of Pine Ridge

Wednesday, September 9, 2009

A Great Bookstore - and a FREE BOOK!!

Last Saturday I gathered all my courage in both hands, and made a cold call on The Mystery Bookstore in Los Angeles. I was only in town for three days, and had the World's Most Beautiful Granddaughter in tow, but I wanted to see the store.
I am SO glad I did!! The store itself is exceedingly dangerous - books packed into every square inch of the store, and something for every mystery reader. They also had children's books, which the WMB Granddaughter immediately started checking out. Fortunately for me, Grandpa was on hand to help her while I talked with the store personnel.
I was nervous, and didn't write down names, which was a stupid mistake. But the guy I talked to was so welcoming and helpful and not only willing but actually interested in taking the ARC I had brought in.
I can't say enough about the gracious welcome and the sincere appreciation of all things mystery exhibited in the store. It was well worth taking the time out of our short visit to the Southland!!

I still have a couple ARCs of SINK TRAP left from the stash the publisher sent me, so I am going to offer them to my followers here. Leave a comment, anything you want, and on Saturday, September 12, I'll draw a name for a copy of SINK TRAP. I'll even pay the postage so you can read SINK TRAP before it hits the stores!!

Yes, there are more posts on the Road to the Bookstore coming, but I think they will have to wait. SINK TRAP will be out in just a few weeks, and there are some things I want to do before it goes on sale - including posting the first chapter right here!! That's right, in just a week you'll be able to get a little taste of Georgie, her mom, and the town of Pine Ridge. It will leave you wanting more, I promise!