Excerpt and Giveaway: The Dead of Summer by Jean Rabe



What It’s About:

Shouts of delight turn to screams of terror when a carnival ride goes berserk at the Spencer County Fair. Sheriff Piper Blackwell must contain the chaos and investigate the possible sabotage, even as she tries to solve a local businessman’s horrific murder.

But managing two investigations with at least one killer on the loose pushes the young officer and her tiny staff to their limits. Can Piper catch the murderer, or will the summer’s body count continue to rise?




Piper registered all the blood. It ran in rivulets down the side of the pink and white cotton candy food truck. A man’s arm hung loose where the hang-glider had impacted against the roof. His crushed head was halfway visible.

“Sheila!” Oren boomed. “Over here. Need some help.” Piper realized her chief deputy was calling on people he knew to work as a crowd buffer. She could deputize people if necessary, but she didn’t have time at the moment.

Were there other riders trapped next to the squashed teen? The baskets could each hold three, Piper had noted. There might be two more victims in that awful jumble. No chance of survivors. And where was the second missing basket?

“Give us some room!” Piper directed. She wanted to get back to the Odyssey, where there were living people to help.

“You heard the sheriff. Got ambulances coming. Give ‘em space to pull up.” This came from one of the men Oren had drafted.

She heard the faint keen of sirens. They warred with the happy, bouncy strains of Sweet Carolinespewing from nearby speakers, the constant conversation of the onlookers, and the curious shouts from people who were too far back to see what was going on. Screams still punctuated the racket.

Neal Diamond stopped singing and a voice crackled over the speakers: “The fair is closing. Exit the grounds. The fair is closing. The fair will reopen tomorrow at ten. The fair is closing. Exit the grounds.”

Dozens had their cell phones out recording the tragedy, either ignoring the announcement or not able to hear it above everything else.

“We need room for the ambulance crews!” one of Oren’s helpers yelled. “Go home!”

“Y’all don’t need to be seeing this!” said the man in the plaid shirt. “Don’t let your kids see this!”

“And make room for the coroner’s wagon!” Oren stepped close to Piper. “I was here with Millie. Righthere. We were buying some cotton candy–”

The fair is closing. Exit the grounds. The fair is closing. Exit the grounds.



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About the Author: Jean Rabe writes Mysteries, Suspense, and Uncozy Cozies.  She writes with dogs wrapped around my feet. She gets to wear sandals or bedroom slippers to work, and old, comfortable clothes. When the weather is fine she gets to write on my back porch. She loves summer.

She studied journalism at Northern Illinois University, then went to work as a news reporter…eventually for Scripps Howard, where she managed their Western Kentucky bureau. Getting itchy feet, she moved to Wisconsin and went to work for TSR, Inc., the then-producers of the Dungeons & Dragons game. She dipped her itchy feet into the fiction pool and wrote Dragonlance novels for several years.


Promotional materials courtesy of the author and Let’s Talk Promotions


4 thoughts on “Excerpt and Giveaway: The Dead of Summer by Jean Rabe

Add yours

  1. Hope to read this in the near future. My great-grandson is named Oren. That, and my own name, make me an ideal reader, I believe!


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