Cash Kills by Nanci Rathbun
Angie is a believable blend of tough stuff and compassion, and uses both for her clients. But just like organizing all the dishes to a huge Thanksgiving dinner, Nanci Rathbun stirs up tension and keeps us licking our chops for the final sit-down.
~The Editing Pen
Mystery , Secrets, Suspense and murder all set the stage for this book! I was captivated and intrigued that I couldn’t put it down. This whodunit will keep you guessing till the very end.
~Shelley’s Book Case
What a fun cast of characters…
It’s an amazing cozy mystery! It ‘s full of suspense and mystery. Angie with her sympathy and her Sicilian-American family will captivate you from the first page.
Cash Kills: An Angelina Bonaparte Mystery
2nd in Series
Paperback: 258 pages
Publisher: Cozy Cat Press (June 3, 2014)
When her office mate, accountant Susan Neh, brings Angelina Bonaparte a client named Adriana Johnson, the PI wonders how she can help this bedraggled young woman. Adriana’s parents, immigrants from the former Yugoslavia, were murdered only a week earlier, in a robbery at their small hardware store. Now she has discovered that, despite living like the working poor, they were actually quite wealthy––with numerous large bank accounts located around the world. Adriana is suspicious about her newfound status and hires Angie to discover the nature of her deceased parents’ wealth. When Angie arrives to interview with the parents’ attorney, Herman Petrovitch, he is missing, but his secretary Dragana is there––lying dead on the office floor, with her head blown off. Homicide detective––and Angie’s own boyfriend––Ted Wukowski, cautions her against getting involved in the murder investigation. Of course, Angie pays little heed to his warning.
How much of a story did you have in mind before you started writing CASH KILLS?
I had the beginning in my head – a young woman, Adriana Johnson, who discovers she’s inherited millions after her parents are killed and has no idea where the money came from. The way the rest of the story unfolded came as a bit of a surprise to me – funny how often authors have the experience of their characters or story taking them to unexpected places!
What is your favorite scene in the book?
My favorite scene is near the end of the book and I can’t even describe it briefly without giving away too much of the story. It’s the truck stop scene.
I did a lot of research on the Bosnian War as I wrote Cash Kills. I really resonate with the scenes with Rua Kolar, a woman who survived the siege of Sarajevo and who helps Angie, my P.I protagonist, identify some artifacts that are found in the attic of Adriana’s family home. Rua touches me emotionally, with the depth of her suffering and her strength.
What about your characters surprised you while writing?
Some time ago, I started a thriller/suspense novel, with a working title of A Deceptive Calm. I never finished it, but characters from that story intruded (in a good way) into Cash Kills. Bram York and Spider Mulcahey are former special ops personnel who become part of a high-stakes security team for Angie and Adriana. I never expected them to move out of the other book, but they seemed so right for this one that I had to include them in Cash Kills.
If you could cast your characters in the Hollywood adaptation of your book, who would play your characters?
Angie observes, in Truth Kills, that Wukowski reminds her of Dana Andrews in the film noir classic, Laura. Since Andrews is deceased, I might like Tom Selleck in the role of Wukowski, who is a mature man in the series. Selleck has that gruff edge that embodies Wukowski. Angie is a fifty-something, fit and stylish woman. I could see Helen Mirren playing Angie – especially as she dons her sexy underclothes! As for Bobbie Russell, I consistently describe him as a “young Rock Hudson” in the books. Bobbie is definitely swoon-worthy! Zac Efron could fit that part very nicely. Papa would have to be played by Hector Elizondo. No other choice, in my mind. And Meryl Streep would give Rua Kolar the depth she deserves. As for Adriana, her innocence would be perfectly captured by Deborah Ann Noll.
Cash Kills is book two in the Angelina Bonaparte mystery series. How many books are planned for the series?
I don’t have a definite plan. Book three is in the works, though. I can see the series stretching out for quite a while. There is almost no limit to what “Kills.”
Characters often find themselves in situations they aren’t sure they can get themselves out of. When was the last time you found yourself in a situation that was hard to get out of and what did you do?
In my other life as a Congregationalist minister, I’m sometimes in situations where my past reflects badly on who I am now. I wasn’t always a person of faith and I didn’t always live in a way that I’m proud of. When those times come up, I take my mom’s advice: Tell the truth and shame the devil. So I don’t sugarcoat the reality of who I am or who I was. Angie and I are alike that way – we both desire to be honest with others and to be treated with honesty.
Is there any particular author or book that influenced you, in any way, either growing up or as an adult?
There are so many! I first read The Lord of the Rings in high school. It so clearly depicts the cost of acting in the face of evil. To Kill a Mockingbird portrays the reality of injustice and prejudice in such heartrending terms. And as a mystery author, I must tip my hat to Dorothy L. Sayers’ Lord Peter Wimsey series, an outstanding example of mystery as literature. I could go on for a long while!
What writing advice do you have for other aspiring authors?
Read widely. Write! Get words on paper. Be part of a critique group. Learn proper grammar, spelling and punctuation – these are your tools and your project will be unsatisfactory if you misuse them. Use an editor, not just a family member – you need someone professional who will be honest enough to point out the flaws in your work. Be prepared for some degree of loneliness and for rejection. Look for the grain of truth in even the worst reviews and learn from it. Savor the good reviews and look back at them in times of discouragement. And keep writing!
What are you working on now? What is your next project?
In Truth Kills, I introduced Marcy Wagner, a background character who hires Angie to locate her missing husband, Hank. In my work-in-progress, Deception Kills, Angie and Bobbie find Hank’s obituary online. Marcy needs the closure of knowing the details of her husband’s life after he walked out on their family, so Angie travels to Stevens Point, Wisconsin in search of the truth about the elusive Hank Wagner. In the process, Angie finds out some unpalatable truths about her own family.
As for next projects, I want to dust off that thriller/suspense novel one of these days. I also have a stash of research for a mystery set in the American West of the late 1800s. If only I could clone myself!
About This Author
Nanci Rathbun is a lifelong reader of mysteries – historical, contemporary, futuristic, paranormal, hard-boiled, cozy … you can find them all on her bookshelves. She brings logic and planning to her writing from a background as an IT project manager, and attention to characters and dialog from her second career as a Congregationalist minister. Her first novel, Truth Kills: An Angelina Bonaparte Mystery, is out in both paperback and ebook formats. The first chapter is available free on her web site and on her Goodreads page. Cash Kills is the second book in the series. Number three has a working title of Deception Kills, with plans to publish in 2015.
Nanci is a longtime Wisconsin resident who relocated to Tennessee to be closer to her granddaughters – oh, and their parents – and is planning an upcoming move to the West Coast for the same reason. No matter where she lives, she will always be a Packers fan.
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