Reviews for
A GIFT FOR MURDER

"McCullough (A Question of Fire) shows real flare in describing the hectic trade show world, including an exhibitor with a smelly, malfunctioning popcorn machine."
- Publisher's Weekly

"What a great character Karen McCullough has developed in Heather McNeil. She is genuine, likeable and a bit complex. In 'A Gift for Murder' McCullough has produced an appealing setting that reveals to the reader what occurs during a trade show. Her writing is concise; her characters skillfully portrayed and her storyline stays on track, creating a most enjoyable and interesting read. I thoroughly enjoyed every page."
- Reviewed by Connie Gregory for Connie’s Reviews

"What can I say? I loved this book. It's rated as a cozy mystery, but it's got much more than that. The characters are great, the plot is wonderful and I was really into it from the beginning."
- Mary for Once Upon a Romance

"This delightful murder mystery introducing a new amateur sleuth includes some laughs, a touch of romance, and an abundance of red herrings. Heather is an engaging lead, and her supporting cast offers both contrast and balance to her role."
- Omni-Mystery News

"A Gift for Murder is a delightful mystery, with some laughs, a touch of romance, and an abundance of red herrings. Heather is an engaging lead, and her supporting cast offers both contrast and balance to her role. The murder venue presents plenty of opportunities for hiding clues in plain sight, and the author does a fine job of providing her new sleuth with the resources to get the job done. The behind-the-scenes look at what it takes to put on a convention center-sized trade show adds interest to the story without detracting from the murder investigation itself. This is a solid start to a promising new series."
- Mysterious Reviews

"Karen McCullough has got a winner in this latest mystery, and  A Gift for Murder really shows off the author’s talents in both mystery and romance.  I really enjoyed the light romance along with the insight into the world of Tradeshows... who knew a week of wholesale marketing could be deadly?  But with misplaced shipments, malfunctioning equipment and feuding competitors, eveyone is stressed to the max, and the trade show becomes the perfect stage for the mystery who-dunnit.

Best of all, I sure didn’t see the culprit until the very end. This is my kind of mystery, fun, breezy and skillfully crafted…a winning combination!"
- Review by All Mystery e-newsletter

 

"This Market Center Murders tale is an engaging tale that contains competing solid investigations and a fabulous look deep into what goes on behind the scenes to insure a successful trade show. Heather is an enticing protagonist who anchors the story line and the trade show as a cynical stable influence in the midst of chaos. The vivid glimpse at the trade show environs steals the plot from the whodunit whose spins and twists readers will anticipate in this charming cozy."
- Harriet Klausner,
Genre Go-Round Review
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Greed, jealousy, and anger often lurk below the surface of trade shows and business exhibitions, but murder isn't usually on the program.

Heather McNeil, assistant to the director of the Washington DC Market Show Center, handles many of the day-to-day issues that arise during the shows, exhibits, and conferences being held there. The first day of the Business Technology Exposition provides her with plenty of opportunities to demonstrate her skill at settling disputes, refereeing arguments, and even breaking up fights.

When the president of industry-leader MegaComp has a very public argument with a man who accuses the company of stealing an important technical concept, she watches it but doesn’t have to intervene. Later, though, the accuser returns a phone call from Heather, and she becomes an unwilling audience to his murder.

Heather is more than happy to leave the investigation to the police, but she’s the person everyone talks to and she soon learns more than she wanted to know about the victim and all the people who didn’t like him very much, including several who might have motives for murder.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Wired for Murder

Wired for Murder
Market Center Mysteries #2
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Excerpt:

Chapter One

Monday

Just two hours into setup day of the annual Business Technology Show at the Washington, D.C Commerce and Market Center, I was struggling to keep from screaming at an exhibitor. That was so not me. I was cool, calm, collected Heather McNeill. The person who could handle even the most troublesome people. Most of the time.

Dieter Gebhardt was pushing my buttons and he knew it.

“I do not understand vy you say ve cannot do this.” A hint of smirk leaked onto his face. The tiny curl of his lip belied his pretended ignorance of my meaning, much less the authority behind the words. The sales representative for Schwartz-Mann GmbH was playing me, and I couldn’t tell if he really thought he could get his way by feigning stupidity or if he was trying to score some machismo points. I didn’t care about the points, but he damned well wasn’t going to win the argument.

The whine of an electric screwdriver a couple of booths away almost drowned me out as I explained yet again why the market center couldn’t allow the huge, powerful, multi-colored strobe lights they’d set up on poles around their booth to flash all the time. If those weren’t bad enough by themselves, a set of sirens went along with them, blaring every few minutes. No way that could continue.

The complaints had started flooding in after the first blare shrieked around the show floor. I was dispatched to have a talk with the perpetrators.

When Gebhardt finally got the message that pretending stupidity wasn’t going to win the argument, he tried a different tactic, waving a piece of paper in my face “Ve haf planned lights and display many months ago. Rules say ve can haf the lights and sound. This is not so?”

I stared at him for a moment, irritated again by the smarmy smile that leaked past his attempt to maintain a straight face. Asshole. He was too good-looking for his own good, but too much of a jerk to be attractive. I was willing to bet his English was a lot better than he let on.