If I Had a Hammer
by Teresa Trent
May 1-26, 2023 Virtual Book Tour
A new job, a brutal murder, and Camelot has ended.
In 1963, Dot Morgan’s life was changed forever. She witnessed the assassination of John F Kennedy through the lens of her boxy Kodak Instamatic camera, bringing traumatic aftereffects of the brutality that happened as they stood on the parade route in Dallas.
She starts her first real secretarial job with a boss who has no sympathy for her trauma. When Dot’s only work friend has a mysterious accident at a demolition site, she digs around on her own only to find very little love between two brothers and no one hammering out justice to find a murderer.
The suspects are all around Dot and as she tries to sift through their motives, her cousin Ellie is going through PTSD on her own, losing interest in work, and her fiancé all the while quoting some of JFK’s finest speeches.
With so much change in her world, can Dot still tell the difference between good and evil?
Genre: Historical Mystery
Published by: Level Best Books
Publication Date: March 2023
Number of Pages: 230
Series: The Swinging Sixties Mystery Series, Book 2 | Each is a stand alone
Book Links: Amazon | Goodreads
Read an excerpt:
A puzzling small-town mystery set during the aftermath of the Kennedy assassination.
If I Had a Hammer is the second book in author Teresa Trent’s nostalgia-inducing Swinging Sixties Mystery series. It is a miracle of a throwback to a different time and place. Dot is a determined and plucky heroine, operating within the confines of the times before women’s lib or even the summer of love, and she and her friends are questioning those constraints.
Dot is fearless in her pursuit of answers, especially in the face of so much male superiority and constant brushoffs. She’s repeatedly threatened and told to mind her own business, but she doesn’t back down. She perseveres in her horribly hostile work environment because she knows the hit her resume will take would be devastating to finding another job. She’s cautious toward her potential love interest, reported Ben Dalton, unsure of his true interest. Is it for herself or for the insider information she has as a witness to certain events that keeps him coming around?
The plot gets more complicated as the body count rises, alibis fall apart, and a major suspect ends up dead. The resolution ultimately surprised me; I never believed the final culprit would be the guilty party. My favorite aspect of the story was the attention to period details that replicated the atmosphere of the early ‘60s. The dialogue perfectly reflected the attitudes of the time, and even the main character’s inner monologue aligned. I felt transported back in time.
With its likable main character and moodily recreated time period, I recommend IF I HAD A HAMMER to readers who enjoy historical mysteries, stories concurrent with the JFK assassination, or settings in small-town Texas.
Teresa Trent is the author of over 15 books. She started writing cozy mysteries with the Pecan Bayou and Piney Woods Mystery Series. She sets her stories in different geographical areas of Texas and The Swinging Sixties historical series is set just north of Dallas, starting in 1962. You might think with so many books set in the Lone Star state, she was born there, but no. She has lived all over the world, thanks to her father's career in the army. After living in Texas for twenty-five years, she's finally put down roots.
Teresa is a hybrid author, self-publishing early in her career, which led her to traditional publishing with Level Best Books and Camel Press. She is the author of several short stories that have appeared in a host of anthologies. Teresa publishes the blog and podcast, Books to the Ceiling at https://teresatrent.blog where she loves to read the book excerpts of other writers and share in the writing community.
Teresa is a member of Sisters in Crime and lives in Houston, Texas with her husband and son.
Catch Up With Teresa:
Books to the Ceiling Podcast
BookBub - @TeresaTrent
Instagram - @teresatrent_cozymys
Twitter - @ttrent_cozymys
Facebook - @teresatrentmysterywriter
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