Wednesday, June 12, 2013

The Temporary Detective VBT

Phones, light typing...and murder.

Think breaking into show business is hard? Try landing a temp job without office skills. That's the challenge facing aspiring actress Isobel Spice when she arrives in New York City, fresh out of college and deficient in PowerPoint. After being rejected by seven temp agencies for her lack of experience, Isobel sweet-talks recruiter James Cooke into letting her cover a last-minute vacancy at a bank. New to his own job, and recently sober, James takes a chance on Isobel, despite his suspicion that she's a trouble-magnet. His misgivings are borne out by lunchtime, when she stumbles across a dead secretary in a bathroom stall. With her fingerprints on the murder weapon, Isobel sets out to prove her innocence by investigating the crime herself. While learning to juggle phone lines and auditions, she discovers an untapped talent for detective work--a qualification few other office temps, let alone actresses, can claim.

“I wouldn’t go back if I thought there were an insane murderer on the loose,” Isobel said. “On the contrary, whoever did this was very sane. Let me tell you, I wanted to kill that woman after three hours.”

Delphi looked askance at Isobel. “You…didn’t, right?”

For some reason, Delphi asking her point-blank bothered her less than James’s confused hinting. “Of course I didn’t. But I don’t blame you for asking. You hardly know me.”

“It sounds like whoever did it also wanted to humiliate her,” Sunil mused. “I mean, think about it. Captured for all eternity on the pot!”

“Could it have been somebody from outside who came in, waylaid her in the bathroom, pulled the emergency bell and left?” Delphi asked.

Isobel shook her head. “She was such an unpleasant person that it just doesn’t seem random.”

“Then you definitely should not go back there, paycheck or no paycheck,” Delphi said.

Sunil nodded. “Delphi’s right.”

“You’re sweet to be so concerned, but I’ll be fine.” Isobel smiled. “It was really nice meeting you both. Good luck with everything.”

“I think you need it more than we do,” Sunil said.

As Isobel rode south on the subway, sardined between a bike messenger in need of deodorant and a young mother juggling twin toddlers, she wondered whether to take her new friends’ advice. No job was worth risking her life. But what about the other people at the bank? They were all continuing to show up for work, weren’t they? They had no choice. They all had jobs to do.

Well, so did she. She needed the money. James didn’t have anything else for her, and even if he did, he might not send her out again. She still hadn’t proven herself, not really.

And that was what she had come to New York to do. Prove herself.

Joanne will be giving away the following prizes: At each stop, one ebook copy of her novel Pandora's Bottle, inspired by the world's most expensive bottle of wine. A grand prize of a $25 Amazon GC will be awarded to one randomly drawn commenter during the tour. One randomly drawn host will receive a paperback or ebook copy of her novel Pandora's Bottle.

Blurb Blitz for The Temporary Detective:
June 13:  Deal Sharing Aunt
June 14:  STOP 2  fuonlyknew

Standard tour (includes interviews or guest blogs) for The Temporary Detective:
June 19:  STOP 2  Fantasy Powered by Love

Blurb Blitz for Bad Publicity:
June 26:  Bea's Book Nook
June 28:  STOP 2  fuonlyknew

Review tour:
July 9:  Beckstar Reviews
July 12:  The Muse Unleashed
July 12:  STOP 2  Shelley's Book Case

Author Bio and Links:
Joanne Sydney Lessner is the author of BloodWrites Award-Winner and Awesome Indies Mystery Pick The Temporary Detective, which introduces Isobel Spice, aspiring actress and resourceful office temp turned amateur sleuth. Isobel’s adventures continue in Bad Publicity. Joanne’s debut novel, Pandora's Bottle (Flint Mine Press), which was inspired by the true story of the world’s most expensive bottle of wine, was named one of the top five books of 2010 by Paperback Dolls. No stranger to the theatrical world, Joanne enjoys an active performing career, and with her husband, composer/conductor Joshua Rosenblum, has co-authored several musicals, including the cult hit Fermat's Last Tango and Einstein's Dreams, based on the celebrated novel by Alan Lightman. Her play, Critical Mass, received its Off Broadway premiere in October 2010 as the winner of the 2009 Heiress Productions Playwriting Competition.

The Temporary Detective:

Bad Publicity:


  1. Great excerpt. Perfectly designed to make us all want more.
    debby236 at gmail dot com

  2. Thanks, Debby! Not always easy to choose an excerpt, so I'm glad you liked it. And thanks for hosting me today!

  3. I do love that excerpt. I'm also going to have to go and read PANDORA'S BOTTLE.