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When The Wind Blows by Mark Mueller

When The Wind BlowsWhen The Wind Blows, by Mark Mueller, is a cozy mystery set in a small town. It was released in December 2017 published by Spruce Run Books.
Louis “Mac” McMurphy lives an idyllic life in Spruce Run, New Jersey. As editor of the “Spruce Run Bugler,” he enjoys nothing better than keeping up on current events and solving local crimes along with his best friend, a detective with the county sheriff’s department. He drives a late-model Dodge Charger and constantly dispenses jokes and one-liners as he tells his story.
When a former love unexpectedly re-enters his life and a young child is kidnapped, Mac’s idyllic life is turned upside-down as he is forced to confront his past in order to save his future.
What inspired you to write When The Wind Blows?
I’ve always loved reading mysteries, humor and stories about families in a small town. My goal was to combine these three genres into an adventure that would appeal to most everyone.
Can you share an excerpt from the book with us?
I inched closer to the cabin window. Just before I got to the window, I turned around so I’d have a better view. My heart was racing so fast that I could have opened my chest for business as a telegraph office.
At first, I didn’t see anything inside the cabin except for a card table and two metal folding chairs. On the table was a fashion magazine and a half-eaten bowl of cereal. I then noticed two sleeping bags on the floor next to the table and chairs. The bags appeared as if they had been just vacated.
Feeling bolder, I looked further into the room. I suppressed the desire to release one of my hands from my pistol in order to shield my eyes from the increasing morning sunlight. Instead, I squinted my eyes and continued to focus through the window, noting everything I could see inside.
A moment later, I saw her. Charlie was sitting on a chair, close to a corner that was almost out of my sightline. Almost.
I found her! My daughter was alive! And she appeared to be okay, at least from a cursory examination. I looked closer. She was dirty and her hair was messed up, but looked, at least from my viewpoint, that she was being fed. Getting her home to Maddy was a real possibility, now.
My heart surged and grew two sizes in an instant.
To get her attention, I raised my pistol to tap the window. I hoped she’d remember me from the other night at fireworks display. Otherwise, it would be very possible that I’d frighten her more than she already was.
But just as I tapped the window, I noticed some motion almost out of view. I pulled the pistol away from the window and strained to look further. Someone was in the cabin with Charlie, but I couldn’t tell who it was. Whoever was in there was just out of sight.
I decided I wasn’t in the mood to fool around. Charlie was in there and she was in trouble. I didn’t care who it was in there with her. Charlie was going to come home with me and I was going to take her to Maddy. The fear I had felt up to this point was gone.
Instead, I was enraged. This was going to end this now.
I stalked around to the cabin door. As I did, I pulled my cell phone out of my pocket and texted 911 to Ducky. Then, I counted to ten and dialed his cell. Once I heard the cell ringing, I put it in my jacket pocket without turning it off. I knew that once Ducky received my text, he’d know I needed help. And by leaving my cell on, he’d be able track where I was through the Sheriff’s Department GPS system. I wouldn’t be here alone for long.
When I got to the cabin door, I tried turning the door handle, but it was locked. The handle looked somewhat secure, and I considered taking a short running lunge to get it open. I decided against it, knowing that the odds were good I’d dislocate my shoulder. Instead, I pounded on the door and demanded that it be opened immediately. I hoped I sounded as good as Dirty Harry Callahan.
My demand was answered with a gunshot through the door. A bullet screamed past my head so close that it should have asked me out on a date. It was almost as if whoever was behind the door could see me.
“You did not just do that,” I growled. All bets were off now. I kicked at the door, just under the door handle with everything I had. The handle latch gave way like a two-dollar lawn chair, and the door slammed open.
I looked in. Charlie was directly across the room. She looked at me and I could tell by her surprised response that she had recognized me. I couldn’t tell how much, but at least it had shown in her eyes. She stood up. I put a finger to my lips and hoped she wouldn’t say anything. I then put up my hand to signal to her to stay where she was. I pointed to the door and motion-asked if someone was behind it.
Before Charlie could respond, another shot came through the door and almost grazed my left arm. Charlie screamed and started to whimper. I knew I had just one chance to connect with her and gain her trust. I got her attention again and motioned for her to get down on the floor.
Once I could see that she was as safe as I could get her, I turned my attention to the door. I held my pistol with both hands and kicked the door the rest of the way open. As I entered the cabin, I came face to face with someone who I’d never imagine to be a kidnapper, let alone someone I’d expect to know how to use a gun.
I was stunned, and shook my head.
Beth Henry was pointing a revolver at my chest.
Anything else you would like to share with our readers?
When The Wind Blows is available for sale on Amazon. The characters in the book are real. The names have been changed to protect the guilty. This is the first book in a trilogy.