Karen’s Killer Book Bench: SILENT PARTNER, By the Numbers Series Book 9 #Mystery by Leeann Betts

KAREN’S KILLER BOOK BENCH: Welcome to Karen’s Killer Book Bench where readers can discover talented new authors and take a peek inside their wonderful books. This is not an age-filtered site so all book peeks are PG-13 or better. Come back and visit often. Happy reading!


By the Numbers Book 9


Carly and Mike take the vacation of a lifetime–an Alaskan cruise. Unfortunately, Carly can’t turn off her nose for trouble. Or mystery. Pretty soon she’s embroiled with a series of allegations, innuendoes, overheard conversations, and even a shoving match. And before she knows it–a body. Can Carly figure out who the killer is before she ends up floating on an iceberg—or worse?


The Story Behind the Story
By Leeann Betts


Readers often ask where I get an idea for a story, and my answer usually is, “I don’t know.” Which is usually correct. I don’t know. Most always when a story comes to me, it’s because of the crazy way my brain combines three or four separate incidents, characters, stories, or a combination of all three.

The idea for Silent Partner began about four years ago when my husband and I talked about taking an Alaska cruise. Seemed like the perfect setting for a cozy mystery—a captive audience, so to speak, as well as a contained pool of suspects all forced into close proximity to each other. Exactly what an author looks for in a mystery novel.

At the time, I played with the title Cold, Hard Cash because of the Alaska location, icebergs and glaciers, and because the body would be found on a glacier or a larger iceberg floating past. However, two things happened: I came out with an unplanned book because the cruise was delayed, and the title of that book was Petty Cash, so I didn’t want two books with similar titles; and I went on the cruise and learned that during this time of year when the story is set, in May, the icebergs floating south are too small—more like ice chunks, really—for a body, plus the only access to a glacier is by helicopter, which few people would do.

So, as I spent seven glorious days aboard the Amsterdam, I looked around for alternatives to where the body would be found. And one day, hubby and I were out walking the deck, and a crew member came out through a door leading to a part of the ship we hadn’t seen before, leaving that door ajar. Hubby headed for the door, but the crew member turned around and said he couldn’t go through there. Despite hubby’s protests, we were denied entry until a couple of days later when we sailed into a bay and sat before the impressive Hubbard Glacier for about three hours. Then we were encouraged to go onto the bow, and to eat pea soup at 3:00, and to wander around. And I learned there was nothing there but the bow of the ship. Not too interesting.

However, the next day as I passed the same spot where we saw the crew member exit the bow, I saw water on the deck and footprints leading toward the door. The perfect cover shot!

As I worked through my plot, the characters came to life. I had run a promotion where one winner won the opportunity to be named as the killer, one of the suspects, or the victim in this book, and that person wanted to be a suspect, which I wrote in.

I use much of the itinerary, the staff, the crew, and the events from our cruise as backdrop for the mystery, changing some names but leaving others intact. I’ve had help in research from a cruise ship law attorney, and from a man overboard detection system technician.

And as much as Carly and Mike are much like me and my husband, they are still very much their own “people”. I am not nearly as quick on the comebacks as Carly is, and my husband has never said I’m a full-time job. Apart from that – well, I’ll leave it to you to figure out where the imagination begins and ends.

About Author Leeann Betts…

Leeann Betts writes contemporary suspense, while her real-life persona, Donna Schlachter, pens historical suspense. Silent Partner is book 9 in her cozy mystery series. In addition, Leeann has written a devotional for accountants, bookkeepers, and financial folk, Counting the Days, and with her real-life persona, Donna Schlachter, has published two books on writing, Nuggets of Writing Gold and More Nuggets of Writing Gold, a compilation of essays, articles, and exercises on the craft, as well as a contemporary suspense, In Search of Christmas Past. She publishes a free quarterly newsletter that includes a book review and articles on writing and books of interest to readers and writers. You can subscribe at www.LeeannBetts.com or follow Leeann at www.AllBettsAreOff.wordpress.com All books are available on Amazon.com in digital and print, and at Smashwords.com in digital format.


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

Website: www.LeeannBetts.com
Receive a free ebook just for signing up for our quarterly newsletter.

Blog: www.AllBettsAreOff.wordpress.com

Facebook: http://bit.ly/1pQSOqV

Twitter: http://bit.ly/1qmqvB6


Amazon http://amzn.to/2dHfgCE

Smashwords: http://bit.ly/2z5ecP8


**SPECIAL GIVEAWAY**: Leeann will give away a print (US only) or ebook version of SILENT PARTNER to one lucky reader who answers the following question on her Karen’s Killer Book Bench blog. Question: If you could take a cruise anywhere in the world, where would it be and why?

Thanks, Leeann, for sharing your book with us!

Don’t miss the chance to read this book!

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16 Responses to Karen’s Killer Book Bench: SILENT PARTNER, By the Numbers Series Book 9 #Mystery by Leeann Betts

  1. Karen Docter says:

    Good morning, Leeann, and welcome back to Karen’s Killer Book Bench. I love this series. Thanks so much for sharing the beginnings of this book. It’s amazing where ideas come from and how they germinate without too much forethought…until we’re ready. Thanks for sharing your book with us today!

  2. Kathleen Bylsma says:

    My late husband and I had always planned on cruising the Panama canal. I would still like to do that.
    Thanks, Karen and Leeann.

  3. Judy Tulloch says:

    Unfortunately, my going on a cruise will never be. If I could go on one tho, I’d love to go on a cruise to Australia and to Alaska. Both of these countries fascinate me. Thanks Karen for introducing me to another author and to you Leeann for this giveaway. I often wonder how authors get their ideas for books. I loved reading how you got this one.

  4. Helen Rodin Drake says:

    Hi Leeann,
    My parents were fortunate to do an Alaskan cruise. The best I did was a 7 day cruise around the Hawaiian Islands. Someday I may get to do an Alaskan cruise.

    I love murders in contained places like a ship or a train. This one sounds very interesting.

    • Helen Rodin Drake says:

      I would also love to do a cruise around Tahiti. I take Polynesian Dance which includes Huka and Tahitian. Since I’ve been to Hawaii, my bucket List now includes Tahiti. I would love to see the places that are mentioned or alluded to in the music we dance to. I also love playing the Tahitian drum and would love to see the dancers dancing to it.

  5. bn100 says:

    Fiji sounds fun

  6. Eileen AW says:

    Thanks so much for joining us and sharing your book. I love how you came up with this story and the research you did. I’ve been on two Alaskan cruises, one in July and the second in May. I’ll be looking for your book.

  7. Not sure where we’d go on a cruise, if it worked out; maybe Alaska, or toward Israel. . . Thanks for the opportunity to enter a giveaway! Would love to win a print copy! Appreciate this “chance”! God bless!

  8. Linda Moffitt says:

    Thanks for sharing your book with us 😍❤😍
    Sounds Great 👍
    I would either chose Hawaii or Australia because BEACHES 🌴🏖🏝🌊 and SUN 🌞🌤☀🌺

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