If you haven’t already, meet Madison Knight, the chocolate-loving detective, who is determined to solve murder and find justice for the victims—even if that means coming into contact with the sight of blood.
However, in Found Innocent, the latest release in the series (releasing October 16th!), she doesn’t have to face too messy of a crime scene, at least in one sense. What she does have to deal with is whether or not she’s willing to jeopardize departmental relationships and cross the wall of blue.
Here, this is what it’s about:
There’s one code when it comes to the wall of blue…and Madison Knight may have to cross it.
Any good cop knows you never report a brother for mishandling a case or accuse him of misconduct, but in order to find justice, Madison may not have a choice.
Lacy Rose had one goal for her twentieth birthday—to be found innocent of past sins—but her life is cut short.
When Lacy’s remains are found in a garden and the investigation becomes connected to a closed case, Madison must face her past. The lead detective on that case was Madison’s ex-fiancé. At the risk of jeopardizing departmental relationships, and churning up the attention of an old flame at the same time, Madison must push hard before the guilty are found innocent.
Excerpt from Chapter 40:
Stiles Steakhouse was located on the main street. It had a sidewalk patio, which was open and full of patrons on any given summer evening. Tonight, however, the spring air was chilly and damp, possessing the ability to seep its way, through clothing and skin, to the bones. The patio would have another couple months to go before it saw the checkered tablecloths and pitchers of beer.
Cynthia met up with Madison at her apartment and they took a cab to the restaurant. Cynthia lived on the outskirts of Stiles, while Madison lived a little closer to the action—not that there was usually much action in Stiles.
“Guess we’re going all out tonight.” Cynthia smiled at her as she got out of the cab.
“Dang right. It’s been a long week.”
“It’s been a long few, if you ask me.”
Both women shared a laugh and made their way inside. Normally, they’d meet up for drinks at one of their places, preferring the solitude and privacy that came with it. There were times they’d go out on Friday night for two-dollar martinis at a bar called TJ’s, but it had been months since they had done that.
“Yeah, we deserve this.” Madison placed a hand on her friend’s shoulder.
The restaurant hostess was slender with petite wrists and long fingers. They wrapped around the wax pencil she held for marking patrons on the seating chart, which sat beneath a pane of glass.
“Welcome to Stiles Steakhouse.” She offered a sincere smile, passing a glance at both of them. “A table for two?”
“Yes, please,” Cynthia said. She turned to Madison. “And tonight’s going to be about fun, okay, not work. Can you promise me that?”
Madison hesitated. Why make a promise she knew she couldn’t keep?
“Huh. I should have known.” Cynthia smiled. “I guess if you left the job completely behind I wouldn’t know I was with Maddy.”
“I suppose I can drop talk about work, but can you go without a cigarette?” Madison laughed.
A waitress came and spoke to the hostess for a few minutes before directing them to follow her. She sat them in a booth large enough to comfortably sit four and handed them each a menu. “Your server will be with you shortly.”
The tablecloth was red-and-white checkered and covered by a piece of brown craft paper. A small plastic cup held colored crayons. Madison reached for the red one.
“Seriously?” Cynthia laughed.
“You said it was about fun tonight.” Madison took the crayon and scrawled an X.
“X marks the spot?”
Madison laughed. “It’s the first thing that came to mind.”
“You really have to learn to let go sometimes.” Cynthia reached for the green one and drew short lines. She then reached for the brown one and drew a simplistic house made of a square and a triangle top.
“My name is Paul and I’ll be your server this evening.”
Both women looked up at the same time. Both of them laughed.
Paul was in his mid-twenties and had green eyes that seemed to see through to the mind. His blond hair was layered with his bangs slightly longer and curled over his brow. His cologne held woody overtures and made Madison think of Old Spice.
“We’re just fooling around.” Cynthia offered an explanation but didn’t make a movement to put the crayon back.
Madison withdrew her hand that held the red one, and put her arm under the table.
“That’s what they’re here for. May I bring you a drink while you look at the menu?”
Neither woman took their eyes off the server.
“Glass of red, Cyn?” Madison asked.
Madison glanced at her friend, confirming the smile she had heard in her voice. She looked back to the server. “A bottle.”
He smiled at her and she felt her heart tap.
Curse men. Curse good-looking men who smelled like that!
“Which one?” He opened a menu that sat on the edge of the table. “We have several reds. There.” He pointed to the wine list, and Madison made the executive decision. But instead of verbalizing the choice, she pointed. Her finger brushed his.
“All right. It’s coming right up, ladies.”
With him out of earshot, Cynthia said, “What was that?”
“What was what?” Madison drew another X.
“Don’t know what you’re talking about.”
“Like hell you don’t.”
“Maddy, it’s me.”
“Fine, so he’s fine. Big deal. Let’s move on.”
“When was the last time you got—”
“You say that word, I will slap you here.” Madison laughed and looked up from her drawing.
“He is good looking, and he smells good too.” Cynthia adjusted her black-framed glasses.
“Yeah, he does.”
“Huh.” Cynthia pointed a finger at Madison.
“Hey, I’m not blind or dull of senses.” She dropped the crayon in the plastic cup and pulled the menu over hoping to instigate a subject switch. “I already know what I have in mind anyhow.”
“Oh, yeah, beef.” Cynthia winked and then bobbed her eyebrows.
Madison didn’t say anything.
“What? What did I do now?” Cynthia splayed a hand on her chest. “Would I imply anything improper?”
“Yes, you would.”
“So, that’s why I luv ya, but if you tell anyone—”
“I know. You’ll kill me.”
“Yes, ma’am.” Madison smiled.
“He is really good looking though, don’t you think?”
Madison shoved her foot against Cynthia’s leg.
Cynthia put her hands up. “Fine.”
The Madison Knight Series is a clean, murder mystery series meaning mild graphic violence and language. Each book is self-contained so you can read any of the books, and out of order, if you wanted to. Books in the series in released order: Ties that Bind, Justified, Sacrifice, Life Sentence (Prequel in which Madison has a cameo role), and Found Innocent.
Carolyn Arnold started to take writing seriously six plus years ago when a co-worker said “tell me a story”. Since then she’s written nine novels and has plans to write many more. She has a love for the canine world and has two beagles that are affectionately named Max and Chelsea. Like her female protagonist Madison Knight, she loves her chocolate and has been known, on occasion, to speak her mind.
Madison Knight is back! Giveaway with @Carolyn_Arnold
In celebration of the release of Found Innocent you can enter for your chance to win a $25 Amazon Gift Card. You can enter as many times as you like and various ways. The contest lasts until October 31 2013.