Karen’s Killer Book Bench #PI #Sleuth #Romance: MIRRORED MURDER, Shadow Watch Detective Agency Series 1 by Linda Kasten

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Shadow Watch Detective Agency Series 1



If only a mirror could deflect a broken heart…

After too many painful losses, Victoria Garrett changes scenery to lessen her grief, but tragedy strikes again, forcing her to return home.

This time, her adoptive mother mysteriously dies. Circumstances point to foul play, despite the autopsy labeling it an accidental death. Victoria can’t rest until she proves it was murder, requiring her to go undercover in the medical clinic where her mother worked… except trust is tricky.

Reluctantly, she recruits the clinic’s intriguing IT temp, Chance Englewood, to help in her investigation. He has no ties to personnel and has access to critical records. He’s also easy on the eyes.

Both have codes of the heart which keep their relationship professional, but the longer they spend time together, the harder it is to resist the chemistry sizzling between them.

As they close in on the perpetrator, secrets surface, but will an ultimate betrayal place her in the path of two desperate killers just when she learns to love again?

Shadow Watch Detective Agency Series 1


Background: Victoria Garrett is trying to deal with the loss of her fiancé to the war and her coworkers have recommended she do something to heal. After all, it’s been over a year and it’s time to move on. She thinks visiting the place where she and Zanith first met might be just the therapy she needs. 

She crossed the street, a few yards closer to the soup kitchen. Who would have thought such a place served up more than balanced meals? That she herself would find love in the most unlikely place? And lose it to her burdensome curse.

It didn’t matter that her coworkers didn’t understand. She’d made the mistake of befriending her neighbor in Apartment 2B, Darby, and unloading the truth about her evil hex. Only after too many margaritas did she reveal her misery. How do you confess something most people don’t believe exists?

“A curse?” Darby had sputtered, wide-eyed and straight-faced, as expected. “Are you serious?”

“What else could it be?”

“How can I help you if you don’t tell me exactly what the curse is?” Sometimes, Darby’s tone and attitude had perturbed her.

“It takes loved ones and friends away from me.” A suitable way to describe it, but Darby didn’t get it.

“Well, people move all the time… it doesn’t mean…”

“Into the cemetery?” Victoria should have never downed that third margarita.

Darby had dropped her glass. Lime juice and tequila splashed all over the table, but Darby didn’t even reach for a napkin. She just sat there, staring, her face translucent with twitches. Then a crackling chuckle escaped her lips. “That’s a morbid joke. Be serious.”

For a second, Victoria had considered taking the simple way out, but the tequila released her inhibitions, desperate for sympathy… or maybe hinting about ways to break her curse, not another margarita glass.

“Do you want my list? It started when I was eight. A drunk driver killed my parents. The count is somewhere around two dozen dead loved ones now.”

“But… It just sounds like rotten luck to me, or coincidence or just the reality of life.”

“It has to be a curse. I don’t know who… or why… but I’m tired of it.”

“If it were a curse, you could have broken it with a prayer.”

“Don’t you think I’ve tried?”

“Then, it’s not a curse.”

Victoria didn’t want to argue with her. Darby’s reaction was the reason she kept the blasted ‘thing’ to herself. Never again.

Victoria failed to distance herself from Darby or sever their friendship to protect her neighbor the way she did so many other acquaintances throughout her life, attempting to spare them. Two weeks later, a drive-by shooter fired at pedestrians where Darby walked home from a party. She didn’t survive the massacre. The last thing Darby had said to her was: “If you ask me, you’re the one giving power to your curse. I mean, if you dwell on it all the time, no wonder it consumes you…” She never finished. Victoria had hung up on her.

Another tragedy she needed to reconcile. Her cynical nature kicked in. Nothing shielded her from taking such debilitating ownership.

On some deep philosophical level, she had no power against the universe’s will, but if she were to bury her curse, she understood she must bury her past; and in burying her past, she had to deal with her grief.

No time like the present.

Meet Author Linda Kasten…

Linda Kasten wrote her first story in the sixth grade, and after winning the class’s favorite story award, she continued entertaining her classmates with more stories, even writing a play that her 8th grade class to perform. 
In college, her writing skills ventured into journalism. Writing for and editing the college newspaper taught her that writing facts was not as much fun as making up wild tales. 
She loves writing thrillers, romance suspense, and dabbles a bit in historical fiction. Using real-life events, news topics, or her own experiences, she drops her protagonists into tough situations and puts them through endless obstacles and tribulations. Justice is the primary theme that drives her plots. 
Living by proxy through extraordinary drama, she brings her characters to life while hunkering down in coffee shops, libraries, or any place with WiFi. A transplant from Kansas to Texas, she lives with her husband in a downsized house and enjoys playing with her grandchildren. Therapy consists of needlework and quilting while “watching” crime and medical shows. You can find out more about her and her books at lindakasten.com.


Links to Linda’s website, blog, books, etc.

Amazon: https://amzn.to/3Hhcxta

Barnes & Noble:  https://bit.ly/3xlJxMl

Author Website: www.lindakasten.com
(Email sign-up form is on the website.)
Twitter: @AuthorKasten
Instagram: lindakasten4794

**Special Giveaway** Linda will give away a signed hard copy (U.S. Only) of MIRRORED MURDER to one lucky reader who comments on her Karen’s Killer Book Bench blog.

Happy Reading!


Thanks, Linda, for sharing your book with us!

Don’t miss the chance to read this book!

18 thoughts on “Karen’s Killer Book Bench #PI #Sleuth #Romance: MIRRORED MURDER, Shadow Watch Detective Agency Series 1 by Linda Kasten”

    1. Thank you for commenting. I am definitely having fun with this series and book two is almost ready. Winter is the best time to devote to our reading lists!

  1. Good morning, Linda. I enjoyed reading about this book and the excerpt. I would love to see how Victoria “breaks the curse”. The plot has me intrigued.

    I also enjoyed reading about your lifelong love of writing. I signed up on your Facebook Page.

    I’m also a grandmother and enjoy spending time with my grandchildren when I can. Unfortunately they are around 7 hours away.

    1. Hi Helen,
      Glad you enjoyed reading the excerpt. Victoria has convinced herself of a lot of things that have upended her life, and Chance might be the only one who can help her see through the wall she’s erected.

      I know how difficult it is to have grandchildren so far away. That’s why we moved to Texas. Experts say grandparents are so important in children’s lives, but they bring so much joy and love to us, no wonder it’s so easy to “spoil” them. I know my two inquisitive angels love to hear stories about when I was growing up. Hope you can find more time with them and share all your family history with them. It might spark one of them to be a writer!

  2. Good morning, Linda, and welcome to Karen’s Killer Book Bench. Poor Victoria! She’s taken a lot of grief in her life. I think I’d begin thinking “curse”, too. It would definitely scotch any ideas of getting friendly with anyone, especially those you can love. Can’t wait to see how she handles her dilemma. Thanks for sharing your book with us today!

    1. Thank you, Karen, for the opportunity to share my passion with others. Yes, poor Victoria has and is not handling grief too well. Grief can spark such different reactions in people, and Victoria is experiencing a “death,” if you will, by not living life to its full potential. But now she has someone to challenge her… if she doesn’t reject him or think she has to protect him from her supposed curse as well.

  3. Good morning, very nice to meet you. Your book sounds very intriguing ! Thank you so much for sharing the excerpt, It made me want to read your great sounding book. I love psychological thrillers. Have a great day.

    1. Thanks for your nice note.

      Do you have a favorite psychological thriller writer? I’m always looking for great reads in this genre. I’m not sure how much mine follows that genre, but I think it has to be difficult to pull off these stories. I commend authors who write in that field as well as fantasy. Setting up new worlds takes so much imagination!

      Happy to hear from you.

  4. Alrighty then… One Heck of a set up!

    Thanks Linda, even if you did leave us hanging!
    Thanks Karen for the introduction

    1. Thank you for commenting.

      Karen offers such a fantastic service for readers. I feel honored to be a part of her list. It makes me wish I were a speed reader! I also wish I could read more than I do, but readers have only to stop here for their next great book, and it’s so wonderful to meet and read about other authors.

      Let me know what you think of “Mirrored Murder” if you decide to add it to your list! Book two is almost ready as well.

    1. Hi Eileen,
      Thanks for commenting. We writers might not know if we are truly keeping readers engaged because we are too close to the story, so it’s helpful to know if we are hitting the right marks.

      And a cup of hot tea actually sounds pretty good where I am today in this rainy, cold weather!

    1. Teresa,
      Thank you for commenting and expressing interest in my book. The opportunity is all mine. Authors love adding members to their audiences who enjoy reading their stories.

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