by Beth Barany
I love writing about adventure and about strong women having adventures. A few years ago, I decided to write mysteries set on a space station hotel casino because I thought it would be an exotic location, especially if I set my story in the future and especially if I wrote it from the point of view of my detective, Janey McCallister.
Janey is very concerned about justice and righting wrongs. She also needs her job at the hotel-casino to help her mom who is sick with an incurable disease. Yes, they have those in the future.
She had a tragedy in her past that changed her from a hopeful young woman who wanted to work as a scientist on a space station around Saturn, to a serious person who just wanted to leave the company town she grew up in to make a better life for herself a few thousand miles away.
When she got there, she thought she had it made: a boyfriend, a great job, and all her needs met. Then tragedy struck. Her best friend went missing. Then she turned up dead, and Janey was the one to discover the body.
The cops shut her out of the investigation, but she couldn’t go back to the way things were. Janey returned home, lived with her mom again, and then got a job in Space Wing Command. She soon found herself in Investigative Services traveling to the military and civilian space stations around planet Earth. Four years later when her commission was up, Janey was faced with a decision: re-up with Space Wing or get a better paying job to help pay for her mom’s expensive experimental medication.
That’s when Janey applied for and got the job as Lead Investigator at Bijoux de L’Étoile, the world’s trendiest and most expensive getaway, a fabulous hotel-casino in high earth orbit where a night’s stay could pay for a whole town’s food for a year.
After a five day journey in StarEl, the space elevator like a train, Janey and a few dozen other station workers arrived at the Jewel in the Sky.
Our story opens… excerpt from Into The Black (A Janey McCallister Mystery, Book 1):
Her implant flagged a quick movement in the crowd. Out of place, a shadow shifted. She clicked on her video. She’d get irrefutable evidence this time. Hope and determination fluttered in her chest.
A short, grey-haired man wove his way through the crowd, shoulders hunched, barely jostling people. Her implant flashed an ID: Mortimer Xang. His hotel record showed he’d arrived via space jet a week ago and he had a room in the mid-priced level. No others in his party. He was leaving on the next transport Earthside in a few hours. Payee: Xang Enterprises.
One minute left.
He looked innocent enough, except for how one corner of his mouth quirked up in a faint smirk even though his gaze was downcast. And how his arms seemed pasted to the side of his body. He took tiny steps, as if to make himself even smaller.
Classic moves of a thief. Suspicious, though not evidence.
Her vid was recording, but all the other thefts had happened under the casino cameras and not been detected.
She’d always trusted her intuition and her ability to read body cues before. But since she’d come to the station, she’d gotten it wrong twice. Should she wait for another sign that Xang was guilty? No, her gut told her he was up to something. She trusted that.
Pre-Order Into The Black (A Janey McCallister Mystery, Book 1) here: https://books2read.com/intotheblackbarany.
ABOUT INTO THE BLACK
She wanted to make her mark. How hard could it be?
In 2130, at Bijoux de L’Étoile, a high-end casino orbiting Earth, you can get anything you desire.
Newly-hired as an investigator, Janey McCallister wants to solve her first big case—the theft of a priceless gem.
When her case of theft escalates to murder and points to the seedy underbelly of world affairs, Janey has to rely on her new team and trust the mysterious insurance investigator, Orlando Valdez—before the killer escapes into the black.
ABOUT BETH BARANY
Award winning author, Beth Barany writes in several genres including young adult adventure fantasy, paranormal romance, and science fiction mysteries. Inspired by living abroad in France and Quebec, she loves creating magical tales of romance, mystery, and adventure that empower women and girls to be the heroes of their own lives.
For fun, Beth enjoys walking her neighborhood, gardening on her patio, watching movies and traveling with her husband, author Ezra Barany. They live in Oakland, California with a piano and over 1,000 books.
Sign up here to be notified when her new mystery series goes live: http://bethb.net/itbnews.
She loves hearing from her readers and answers all her emails from readers, though it may take a while!