I'm pleased to welcome Danielle Diaz to Cozy Up With Kathy today. You can find Danielle on the pages of The Case of the Llama Raising Librarian by Debbie De Louise. This book is the third in the Buttercup Bend Mystery series and was released earlier this month.
My name is Danielle Diaz. I’m the daughter of the murder victim, Doris Grady, in Debbie De Louise’s new book, The Case of the Llama Raising Librarian. I’m married to Dylan Diaz, a man I met when I visited a farm in Peru six years ago. We have a five-year-old daughter, Sheri and live on Oaks Landing farm in upstate, New York, where we keep llamas, alpacas, and other animals including horses because my husband enjoys riding.
I asked Mildred Hastings, an old friend of my mother who used to work with her at the Buttercup Bend Library before she retired, to help me prove that my mother didn’t die from the heart attack that the police termed her cause of death. Mildred brought along Cathy Carter, the new member of the Hunt, Meyers, and Carter Detective Agency. I sensed that Cathy came along because she needed to get away from some boyfriend problems she was facing, but I didn’t press her on that matter. I have enough of my own problems with my husband who has a fiery temper and is at odds with me about putting my grandmother, Betty Taylor, into a home because she suffers from an odd type of dementia where she takes on the personas of famous people and characters. He feels she’s dangerous, but I’m worried that he thinks that because, during one of her episodes, she fingered him as my mother’s killer. I try not believe that because I don’t know what motive he’d have unless she knew something about him that he was hiding.
Before you jump to conclusions, you need to know some things about the other members of my family and my mother’s death. No one believes me that Mother was murdered. She collapsed during a dinner at our house in early December. I believe she was poisoned, but since the autopsy showed no sign of a toxin, the police didn’t feel it necessary at that time to examine the food and drink she consumed that night.
The reason I think someone poisoned her is because several members of the family and those who worked on the farm had motives. When Doris left the farm to become a librarian in Buttercup Bend, she divorced my father, Chris Grady, who still lives on the farm. He’s great with Sheri and helped raise me after Mother left, but I know he felt she abandoned us. I’m also aware that he took up with my aunt Mavis who he used to date before he met my mother. Aunt Mavis never got along with her sister, and I believe she was very upset when Doris returned to Oaks Landing after she retired. I’m not sure if she was upset enough to murder her, but I know she must’ve been afraid that Doris would try to get Chris back.
Another suspect is Jodi, a young farmhand who lives on the farm but hasn’t spoken to me since my mother’s death. Doris accidentally ran over her beloved cat a few weeks before she died. Although Jodi knew Doris didn’t mean to kill her cat, I wonder if she still resented her for what happened and may have wanted revenge.
Then there’s Henry, a very pleasant older gentleman that Mildred seems to have taken an interest in. He’s the farm’s landscaper. Doris had planned to fire him because she said his fees were too expensive and she could get a younger landscaper to perform the same job. Even though Henry seemed to take it in stride and insisted that he was planning to retire, anyway, I still can’t rule him out.
Last but not least, there’s Stacy, the farm’s veterinarian. She was also being given a pink slip from Doris. What makes her motive stronger than the others is that she had brought her veterinary bag to the dinner. The bag had a medication in it that, in a large dose, could cause death in a human. Stacy claimed that she didn’t check her bag after the dinner but later discovered the medicine missing. I’m not sure I believe her story.
So, there you have it, the suspects and their motives. Now it’s up to Cathy, Mildred, and you, the reader, to solve my mother’s murder. I wish you all the best of luck.
The Case of the Llama Raising Librarian (A Buttercup Bend Mystery) by Debbie De Louise
About The Case of the Llama Raising Librarian
Cozy Mystery 3rd in Series
Setting - New York
Next Chapter (July 5, 2023)
Number of Pages 275
After solving two murders in the “peaceful” town of Buttercup Bend, Cathy Carter needs a rest. She also needs time to consider the marriage proposals she received over the holidays. But when the town’s librarian asks her to go undercover to solve the suspected murder of a co-worker who retired to a llama farm, Cathy leaves her kittens with her grandmother and her friends without an explanation.
The only person at Oaks Landing Farm who knows the true reason Cathy and Mildred have come there is Danielle, the murder victim's daughter, who is having trouble convincing relatives and the police that her mother Doris was killed and didn’t suffer the heart attack that was termed her cause of death.When it's proved that Danielle's suspicions are correct, the guests who attended the dinner at which Doris died are invited back for a reenactment of that night. These included the gardener, veterinarian, and farmhand who all had motives to murder Doris, as well as Doris' sister and her ex-husband. When the dinner is staged, the only clue Cathy receives is given by Danielle's grandmother who has dementia. Will this unreliable tip help Cathy deduce who murdered the llama raising librarian?
About Debbie De Louise
Debbie De Louise is an award-winning author and a retired reference librarian. She is a member of Sisters-in-Crime, International Thriller Writers, and the Cat Writers’ Association. She writes two cozy mystery series, the Cobble Cove Mysteries and Buttercup Bend Mysteries. She’s also written a paranormal romance, three standalone mysteries, a time-travel novel, and a collection of cat poems. Her stories and poetry appear in over a dozen anthologies. Debbie also writes articles for cat magazines. She lives on Long Island with her husband, daughter, and two cats. Learn more about Debbie and her books by visiting her website at https://debbiedelouise.com.
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