When I found out L.C. Hayden’s 4th Harry Bronson mystery, When the Past Haunts You, was about to be published in mass market paperback by the wonderful Harlequin Worldwide Mystery online book club, I asked L.C. if she would like to give away a copy or two and let me promote the book on my blog. I hadn’t yet read When the Past Haunts You, so, of course, my first job was to read…..and that took awhile because I was between the two cataract surgeries when I received the copies. If you keep up with my blog, you’ll understand why I had to take my time.
Now, however, I can tell you that When the Past Haunts You is a darned good read, and I love the Harry Bronson character just as much as I loved him in the first book of the series, Why Casey Had to Die.
In this fourth book of the series, retired Dallas police detective Harry Bronson has been ignoring distress calls from his estranged sister Lorraine who lives near Pittsburgh. When he finally decides to make the trip and find out what Lorraine’s problem is, he’s a heartbeat too late. Lorraine is gunned down before his eyes.
Now Lorraine is dead and Harry feels obligated to find out why his sister wanted to talk to him, why she was murdered, and who did it. With the help of his former Dallas police partner Mike Hoover and a couple of Pennsylvania law enforcement officials who don’t mind looking the other way while Harry and Mike skirt the law and nearly get themselves killed, Harry manages to escape the clutches of an evil female assassin and solve the mystery.
Why do I like Harry so much? This statement from Detective Mike Hoover sums it up:
Mike exhaled audibly. “Damn it, Bronson. Why do you have to be so logical about what I should do and so damn stupid about what you’re doing?”
Harry is trying to play cupid between Mike and Mike’s ex-wife Ellen who loves him but can’t deal with being a cop’s wife…..and Harry will do anything to protect his friends, his wife, and his daughters, but will take exceptional risks himself. He goes rogue, often because he can’t deal with all the political, hierarchical, and criminal obstacles put in his path. It’s all in the name of justice and making right overcome wrong. I like Harry.
I contacted L.C. and asked her to respond to a couple of questions:
1. L.C., when you wrote your first Harry Bronson mystery, why did you choose a police detective forced into retirement instead of going for a straight police procedural with an active duty detective?
In the sort-of fourth Harry Bronson book, What Others Know, Bronson, an active homicide detective in Dallas, is vacationing in Las Vegas and gets involved in a case that forces him to break several rules. As a result, he is given the opportunity to either quit or be fired. Unfortunately, this takes place off-stage and in the fifth, but in reality the first real Harry Bronson book in the series, Why Casey Had to Die, he’s already retired and hating it.
The reason for the first vs. the fifth Bronson series number is that when I wrote the first four Bronson books, he’s not the main character. He simply helps the main character solve the case. Readers/fans kept emailing me begging me to give Bronson an entire book. Why Casey Had to Die then became the first full Bronson adventure; When Death Intervenes became the second, and When the Past Haunts You became the third. More to come!
Besides, it’s important to let folks out there know that retirement isn’t the end of the world, but the beginning of a new experience–which is what Bronson is learning.
2. What would you like to tell readers about this and other series you’re working on and/or any standalones you have planned?
I’ve just introduced a new series, the Aimee Brent Series. The first book, ILL Conceived, was released last year. I’m now putting the final touches for the second one in the series, Vengeance in My Heart. Aimee, a reporter in the S. Lake Tahoe area, travels all over to cover her stories and especially solve the problem introduced in the ILL Conceived.
In addition, I am currently writing a standalone, Secrets of the Tunnels. When I first started this book, I planned for it to be a standalone, but it’s beginning to look like it might have to be a series, or at least have a second book.
You can buy a paperback copy of When the Past Haunts You at Harlequin Worldwide Mystery as long as the supply lasts. It was released in August, so you might want to act quickly to secure a copy.
Meanwhile, we’re giving away two paperbacks to readers from the U.S. or Canada right here on the blog, but you must leave a comment on this post by midnight Mountain Time Saturday, August 30th. The winners will be selected using random.org and announced here on Sunday.