The Medusa Murders
by Joy Ann Ribar
November 13-24, 2023 Virtual Book Tour
Professor Bay Browning has more snake problems than the Garden of Eden in this twisted mystery. The English Literature instructor is busy preparing for a new semester when a serial killer, known as Medusa, bites her quiet life in the behind.
A wild ride ensues when Bay and her grifter sister, Cass, assist a perturbed Detective Downing with the investigation. What else can the sisters do, once they become Medusa’s targets? Will the slithering trail of mythology, art history, and family secrets help them catch a killer before she turns them to stone?
Praise for The Medusa Murders:
“This first-in-series held me captive on the edge of my seat where I frantically turned the pages of this intricately crafted story, desperate to solve the mystery. And, oh, what a revelation it is!”
~ Laurie Buchanan, author of the Sean McPherson crime thriller novels
“A gritty and intense mystery that grabs you and won’t let go until the end. The personal relationships are complex, just like many in real life, and the familial drama pulls you in.”
Kelly Young, author of A Travel Writer mystery series and Haunted and Harassed paranormal mystery series
“Ribar effectively wraps mythology, academia, archeology, and a touch of paranormal phenomena together to produce a more than satisfying read. Looking forward to spending more time with Bay.”
~ Debra H. Goldstein, author of The Sarah Blair Mysteries
“A well-written, fast-paced and vibrant debut novel.
A highly recommended new series.”
~ Christine DeSmet, writing coach and author of The Fudge Shop Mystery series and Mischief in Moonstone series
Genre: Amateur Sleuth, Mystery, Crime
Published by: Wine Glass Press
Publication Date: November 2023
Number of Pages: 316
Series: Bay Browning Mysteries, #1
Book Links: Amazon | Barnes & Noble | BookShop.org | BookBub | Goodreads
Read an excerpt:
Back at the parking space, Bay opened the passenger door and looked at the white particles in brighter light. They were sprinkled like powdered sugar over the right side of the back seat, directly underneath the bag of clothes Bay had gone through last night. She felt certain the particles must have come from the lululemon coat pocket. She remembered seeing Detective Harris turn the pocket inside out over one of the evidence bags. Had there been feathers in either of the pockets?
The empty parking lot at Giorgio’s put a smile on Bay’s face when she parked the Subaru a few minutes later. She was impatient to get to the bottom of the dry-cleaning mix-up and anxious to shake some details out of Giorgio. She could see him standing behind the customer counter, grooming his dark slicked-back hair and straightening his blue and white polo shirt that matched the building.
“Good morning, L.L. I see you have nothing in your hands, so what can I do for you today?” Giorgio’s velvety voice was smoother than grease.
“Cut the crap, Giorgio. You know why I’m here. Obviously, you sent the police to see me about my lululemon. What’s the story?” Bay frowned and her dark eyes narrowed.
Giorgio backed away as if Bay might punch him, marring his handsome face. He was Stasia’s youngest brother, probably around Bay’s age. Bay had learned more Andino family facts than she cared to after attending the mandatory gatherings at Stasia’s home the past year.
He held up both hands, placatingly. “I’ll tell you what I know, which isn’t much. My niece, Aria, was working on the day of the mix-up. She’s in back. I’ll go get her.”
“Get my lululemon, too, while you’re back there.” Might as well kill two birds as they say.
Aria was short and pretty with wide dark eyes and thick black hair pulled into a neat bun on top of her head. She wore the same blue and white polo over hospital-style light blue pants. Bay guessed she was barely out of high school. What was that expression: fear or guilt on Aria’s face?
“Good morning, Professor Browning. My uncle is looking for your raincoat.” Aria didn’t look Bay in the eyes.
Dialing down from accusatory to neutral tone, Bay began her questions. “I understand you were working when my lululemon was switched with the one the police confiscated.” No point in lollygagging her way to the matter at hand.
Aria looked down at her fingers, which were drumming methodically on the counter as if playing a tune on a piano. One hand stopped while the other slowed to a quiet tapping. “Yes. There were three other coats almost identical to yours when he brought in the one the police were after.”
Bay registered the information. “Who is he that brought the coat in, please?” The girl seemed quite fragile, so kid gloves were in order for this interrogation. Bay was accustomed to communicating with students Aria’s age, and she knew the best methods for building trust and rapport.
The finger tapping continued at a leisurely pace. Bay could almost pick out a rhumba beat. Aria continued to focus on her fingers, not looking up.
“He said his name was Chance.” She closed her eyes, conjuring his image. “He was wearing a black hoodie but took the hood off to talk to me. He had short dreadlocks swept up to one side and had smart glasses on. You know, his glasses made him look smart.” She smiled, caught up in the memory.
It was clear to Bay the boy had charmed Aria, and just maybe she would do anything for him. “Did Chance ask you for a favor, Aria?”
She blushed, then turned a deep red. “He used me…” She choked back tears.
“Yeah, boys are scum,” Bay empathized, glaring at Giorgio who had emerged from the back room empty-handed.
The finger tapping quickened as the incident unfolded, from a waltz to a cha-cha, Aria’s eyes remained closed during the telling. “He asked me if people brought their expensive clothing here. Like could we be trusted with their stuff, you know. He said he had his mom’s lululemon, and he was kind of flirting with me.” She paused, thinking.
“I told him we had three of those same coats in the back right now, and they were already cleaned and ready to pick up. I offered to show him, so he would know he could leave his mom’s coat here.”
Aria stopped tapping and looked at Bay’s face where empathy greeted her like a warm embrace. “I didn’t know Chance wanted to swap coats until he asked if I could swap one of the clean coats for his mother’s dirty one.” I figured that he was responsible for getting it dirty, and he didn’t want her to know about it.
“So, you randomly chose my coat and made the switch.” Bay wanted to sound helpful by filling in details, so Aria’s head shake surprised her.
“No. That’s when things got weird. He asked me if we had L.L. Browning’s coat. He specifically wanted to trade his coat for yours.”
Giorgio interrupted his niece, casting a warning look with shifty eyes.
Bay couldn’t be fooled. “Why didn’t you call me Friday to let me know about the switch or the police? You knew they were coming to question me.” She darted daggers at Giorgio, who winced and backed away.
“I didn’t think you were in danger, or I would have called you. How could I know that the lululemon was murder evidence?
Excerpt from The Medusa Murders by Joy Ann Ribar. Copyright 2023 by Joy Ann Ribar. Reproduced with permission from Joy Ann Ribar. All rights reserved.
Joy Ann Ribar is an RV author, writing on the road wherever her husband and their Winnebago View wanders. Joy’s cocktail of careers includes news reporter, paralegal, English educator, and aquaponics greenhouse technician, all of which prove useful in penning mysteries. She loves to bake, read, do wine research, and explore nature. Joy’s writing is inspired by Wisconsin’s four distinct seasons, natural beauty, and kind-hearted, but sometimes quirky, people.
Joy holds a BA in Journalism from UW-Madison and an MS in Education from UW-Oshkosh. She is a member of Mystery Writers of America, Sisters in Crime, Blackbird Writers, and Wisconsin Writers Association.
Want to mention her on Twitter/X? Use #JoyAnnRibar and share the love!
Tour Host Info:
Book Formats: ePub, Print
Hosting Options: Reviews
Giveaway: There will be a tour-wide PICT Giveaway
More: According to the author The Medusa Murders does not include: Excessive Strong Language, Graphic Violence, Explicit Sexual Scenes, or Rape. However, readers may encounter content that is considered to be another trigger situation. Generally the content is considered to be: Clean (mild language no more than a mild swear or two, no sex, mild innuendo) content. At this time, PICT staff have not yet read this book and cannot give additional information.
Thank you for your interest in this tour. We are no longer accepting hosts for The Medusa Murders. Please visit our open tours page to sign up for a current tour.