Adina Donati, Accidental Sleuth by Cassidy Salem Book Tour and Giveaway :)

Think Murder
Adina Donati, Accidental Sleuth Book 1
By Cassidy Salem
Genre: Cozy Mystery

Good friends, wine and conversation… Great fun – until somebody turns up dead.

Adina Donati came to Washington D.C. to find excitement, not a dead body. When a friend is murdered, Adina is drawn into the middle of the police investigation. Tensions rise as the suspect list expands to include Adina, her friends, and colleagues at the prestigious think tank where she works. But every cloud has a silver lining. Between the nice detective, the hot new volunteer at the dog rescue center, and the newly available preppy ex-boyfriend, Adina’s dating dry spell appears near its end. That is, if she doesn’t become the next victim.

“I understand that this is upsetting, however I need you to think back to what you saw. Close your eyes. Try to remember and describe everything you did and saw from the time you entered the restroom.” I took a deep breath and let it out slowly, then described the scene to him to the best of my recollection. I could almost envision the restroom as it had been when I entered. The white sinks, the gray and white swirly wall tiles, and the open stall doors. Seemingly empty, until I approached the end stall. It all came back to me and I started to tremble. “Hilary was laying on the floor, on her side, her hair falling into that pool of blood. Shockingly red and dark in contrast to the cool gray of the ceramic floor tiles.” Something wasn’t right, “Something bright green in her hair?” I opened my eyes to find the detective watching me. He nodded. “You did great.”

Dying For Data
Adina Donati, Accidental Sleuth Book 2

A rival suitor and a deadly attack are enough to put a damper on any date.

A romantic evening with a hot guy goes downhill fast when dinner is interrupted by the scream of sirens and the arrival of Adina's favorite police detective.  Afraid her bartender boyfriend might be accused of murder, Adina's neighbor enlists her assistance, and in the process exposes her to the seamier side of illegal immigration and crime in the city. Hard as she tries to limit her involvement, the more Adina learns, the more she needs to know - until a case of mistaken identity lands her in hot water. Will she uncover the truth before it's too late?

I shivered as we walked the short distance to our dinner destination. Although the cold wintry air provided some explanation, ingrained apprehension probably played a greater role than I’d care to admit. Don’t get me wrong. The Provence Bar and Grill isn’t in the worst part of DC, still it’s not in a neighborhood where I’d feel comfortable walking alone at night. Of course, I wasn’t alone. Bruce was right there at my side. His green eyes sparkled as he watched me scan the streets for potential dangers. “Adina, relax. It’s a regular neighborhood, with regular people.” He clasped my hand as we walked the short distance to the restaurant. His nearness helped, but didn’t entirely assuage my fears as we made our way down the busy street, passing an eclectic collection of humanity, from well-heeled businessman to the occasional homeless person. I’d been looking forward to dinner that night. It would be my third date with Bruce, and we planned to check out the restaurant where my neighbor, Elena, worked. She had lots of good things to say about the place, despite its less than lucrative location. Elena was perched on a stool at the hostess station just inside the restaurant. Dressed in a short black dress that accentuated her fair complexion and long blond hair, she greeted us with a bright smile. “I am so glad you came. You are going to love the food here.” She leaned in close and added, “Rafael is working tonight, too.” Elena and Rafael had been dating for three months, and she talked about him every time I saw her. I hadn’t met him yet and was curious to find out if he was as handsome and charming as Elena claimed. A table wasn’t available so she led us to the bar, promising that she would seat us as soon as a table was free. She called Rafael over and introduced us. “Rafael, this is Adina, my neighbor, and her friend Bruce. Take good care of them.” She hadn’t exaggerated, at least not about his good looks. Tall, dark, and handsome, his Latino coloring was set off by an olive green shirt with the restaurant logo embroidered on it. His penetrating black eyes followed Elena as she returned to the hostess station at the entrance. “So what can I get you guys?” He wiped down the countertop while he talked. “White wine?” Bruce asked. I nodded, and he ordered Chablis for me and a Heineken for himself. Rafael brought us our drinks and stayed for a few minutes to chat. “So you’re that Adina person Elena told me about. She really likes you. She doesn’t have a lot of friends so that counts for a lot as I see it.” “She’s told me good things about you, too.” “How do you like tending bar?” Bruce asked. “It’s a lot of fun. Most of the customers here are pretty decent. And, of course, this is where I met Elena.” He smiled. “So where did you two meet?” “Bruce and I both volunteer at a dog rescue center.” “Cool. I like dogs. I’ve never had one. Too much work if you don’t live in a house with a yard.” A couple sitting at the other end of the bar called him over, putting an end to our conversation. “I’d better get that. The other barman is on his break. I’ll try and catch up with you later.” I watched as he made a show of mixing up a colorful concoction in a tall glass for a well-dressed woman. She clapped her hands together like an excited child, making her appear far younger than the man at her side. Before we had time to finish our drinks, Elena seated us at a cozy table in the main dining room. We took our time looking over the menu before ordering. “When Elena recommended this place, I didn’t know what to expect. It’s quite nice. Don’t you think?” The décor was simple yet pleasing — plain white tablecloths, olive green napkins, and white and green dishes. A lit candle set in a green and blue glass vessel completed the tableau. He looked around and nodded. “Impressive range of options on the menu, too.” The food was excellent. Our plates were almost clean when the peaceful atmosphere was shattered by the scream of sirens. Minutes later, a uniformed police officer entered and asked to speak to the manager. Henri, the manager and owner, accompanied the officer outside and out of sight. The diners, ourselves included, watched the door for a few minutes before getting back to our food. Around 10 minutes later, two uniformed police officers entered the restaurant. The older of the two announced, “Folks, sorry for the inconvenience but we’re going to have to ask you all a few questions before you leave tonight. In the meantime, feel free to finish your meal.” A heavyset restaurant patron had just paid his check and demanded to go home. “But I’ve finished eating and paid my bill. You can’t make me stay here.” “Sorry, but I can’t let anyone leave until I get the OK from the lead detective. He’ll be here soon.” Seeing a uniformed officer posted on the other side of the glass entrance, the man scowled and stomped back to his seat. The younger officer moved between the tables taking down names and contact information, while the other officer headed for the bar to talk to the some of the wait staff. I could see a short blond guy pouring beer from the tap, but Rafael was nowhere to be seen. Henri returned around 10 minutes later. Head hanging low, he plodded over to the hostess station where Elena waited. They spoke for a few minutes before Elena dashed toward the door. Her face fell when she realized she couldn’t go outside. Elena wobbled on her high heels as she walked in our direction. Bruce jumped up and caught her before she could fall. She burst into tears. “Elena, are you all right? What’s wrong?” I asked. “The police told Henri there was a fight in the back alley. Rafael is hurt and they won’t let me go outside to see him.” Her mild Russian accent came across stronger than usual. The screams of another siren drew near and stopped, drawing the attention of restaurant staff and patrons alike. Soon thereafter, the flashing lights of an ambulance.

Killer Reputation
Adina Donati, Accidental Sleuth Book 3

Adina can’t resist snooping when someone she knows turns up dead. Again.

When a colleague at a prestigious think tank meets a violent death, Adina’s not convinced any of the obvious suspects disliked him enough to want him dead. Can the young research assistant, her quirky neighbor, and a lovable rescue pup help the police put together the pieces of the puzzle?

Killer Reputation is the third mystery in the Adina Donati, Accidental Sleuth Series by Cassidy Salem. The books are standalone reads and can be read in any order.

“Patrick, we saw the commotion at your house yesterday. How are you feeling? What happened?” Lynda asked. “Fine. Just a headache. No big deal.” “From what we heard it certainly was a big deal. I thought the neighborhood was safe. And, here you get clocked by someone from behind. Scary. I might have to rethink my early morning runs.” “I wouldn’t worry too much if I were you.” “Any idea who it was or why?” I asked. “Clueless. Probably some random crazy.” He looked at the floor. “Let’s hope the attacker doesn’t come back.” Jonathan looked at Lynda and me. “Keep alert.” Patrick’s eyes darted from left to right as he searched the room. When his eyes suddenly lit up, I followed his gaze to the entrance where Mona Blackwell stood. Mona, an exotic, dark-haired beauty worked in the Foreign Policy department. Her long hair was swept up on one side into an elegant knot. Patrick’s smile belied his admiration for the woman. His smile disappeared as quickly as it had appeared when a handsome man in his late-thirties took her arm and guided her into the room. She was accompanied by her husband, Gavin Blackwell, a successful criminal defense lawyer.

Cassidy Salem has always been an avid reader. She is especially fond of mysteries (both cozy and traditional) and police procedurals. Over the years, her favorite mystery authors have included Agatha Christie, Kathy Reichs, Mary Higgins Clark, and John Grisham. When she's not reading, she enjoys music and spending time with family and friends, and travels with her husband and son whenever possible. Her travels have taken her to destinations throughout the United States, Europe, and Scandinavia.

Cassidy is the author of the Adina Donati Mystery Series, which includes Think Murder, Dying for Data, and Killer Reputation. Cassidy co-authors, together with Christa Nardi, a YA mystery series, which includes The Mysterious Package, Mrs. Tedesco's Missing Cookbook, The Misplaced Dog, and Malicious Mischief.

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  1. Thank you, Erika, for featuring my mystery series on your blog today. I hope your readers enjoy Adina's adventures.


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