Nancy Gotter Gates grew up in Columbus, Ohio. She has had more than two dozen short stories published including one that won first place in a Sleuthfest short story contest. Her first mystery, A Stroke of Misfortune, is set in Sarasota, Florida. Nancy lives in Greensboro, NC with her cats, Stacey and Annie.
When Emma Daniels is approached by a stranger and asked to deliver a note about a gallery in Rochester NY to an artist who regularly paints on Siesta Beach she agrees because the man tells her he's been unexpectedly called out of town. But when the note turns out to be a ransom note for the artist's grandmother Emma unwittingly becomes involved. Her attempt to help Beth Wilkinson find 'Grandy' not only fails but Emma is drawn even further into this deadly game when Beth's body washes ashore after she leaves to deliver the ransom. The police believe Beth's boat capsized during a squall. But Emma has reason not to believe their theory. Once she begins to trace Beth's steps she finds not only is her own life in jeopardy but her son Mark has become a target as well
Tommi Poag joins the board of the condo homeowners' association and soon finds the members embroiled in a lawsuit filed by an irate homeowner whose show dog escapes when house painters inadvertently let it out. Not long after the same homeowner is murdered during the reenactment of the Battle of Guilford Courthouse a Revolutionary War battle where he plays the role of a sutler or merchant. Tommi's friend Garland Merritt a Captain in the Continentals is arrested when trace amounts of the victim's blood are found on his sword. When Tommi's ex-husband Bernard becomes Garland's defense attorney he enlists her help. She begins to unravel an intricate web of complicity that links several people involved in scams and larceny which leads to a second death. Her friend Frank returns to Greensboro from Wisconsin because of his daughter's ill health and he helps Tommi uncover the connections that finally solve the case. This makes them a prime target for the bad guys and they experience several close calls which temporarily slow them down before they ultimately flush out the villains.
Tommi Poag enlisted by her divorce lawyer and friend Evan McCandless to participate in a disaster exercise at a Girl Scout camp grudgingly agrees to be a 'victim.' Once the exercise is over Tommi is horrified to find Evan dead at the camp's border his fake blood commingling with the real thing. When Tommi's ex Bernard suggests that Evan had many enemies she considers it sour grapes because Evan had filed a malpractice suit against Bernard. Tommi is shocked when Bernard is arrested for Evan's murder and accused of the killing of an insurance investigator originally thought to be a robbery gone wrong. Tommi still harbors feelings of betrayal over the fact that Bernard left her for a younger lawyer after 33 years of marriage Bernard's new wife begs Tommi to look into these deaths and Tommi feels compelled to help. Her investigation brings her and her loved ones into grave danger that nearly stops her in her tracks.
Tommi Poag dumped by her lawyer husband after 33 years works in an insurance office where she meets Nina Sellars who's come to transfer her husband's million dollar policy from California to Oak Ridge NC where they now live. The two women discover that Tommi's ex-husband is a first cousin to Nina's father Frank but neither woman knows why the men have not spoken to each other in thirty Years. A few months later after Tommi and Nina have become fast friends Nina is accused of killing her husband when their car is pushed into Lake Brandt. Tommi's ex Bernard takes the case much to her chagrin and she decides to surreptitiously help Nina not sure that Bernard is capable. Another murder a fire at Tommi's condo and an attempt on her life do not deter her. Devastating truths are unlocked as she delves into the family relationships.
Joseph M Knight