Award-winning author Heather Haven has written ten mysteries with an eleventh on the way. She is also a writer of short stories, comedy acts, television treatments, ad copy, commercials, and plays. Learn more about her and her books at her website. Today we’re joined by Lee Alvarez, the protagonist of Heather’s Alvarez Family Murder Mysteries.
Hi, everyone! My name is Lee and I'm a ferret. Not the cute, four-legged kind. I'm the type of ferret who tracks down law-breakers in the hardware, software, and intellectual property game. I’m thirty-four years old, half Latina, half Palo Alto blueblood, and one hundred percent detective. On a good day, when I can control my hair, I’m told I look like a young Elizabeth Taylor. On a bad hair day, a chrysanthemum.
Along with my family, I run Discretionary Inquiries, a detective agency in the heart of Silicon Valley, specializing in cybercrimes. However, when I’m not looking, I seem to fall over dead bodies. I try not to think about it.
What I do think about is a martini, shaken, two olives, and served icy cold, especially at the end of a long day. Throw in a bowl of mixed nuts. Then I curl up with my cat, Tugger, and watch an old, black and white Barbara Stanwyck movie.
OMG. I just reread that. Does that sound as pathetic as I think it does? I mean, I date. I see guys. But Tugger’s been my best and steadiest guy ever since he wandered into my life. I don’t mean to complain, but I’ve learned the hard way that more often than not, when Cupid shoots an arrow it’s best to take cover.
Moving on. Roberto Alvarez, my dad, died unexpectedly two years ago from an aneurism. He taught me everything he knew about being a good detective. He hoped I would follow in his footsteps. I did. Of course, I have to work with the rest of my family who handle other parts of the agency. Again, I’m not complaining, but they can drive a person bonkers.
Like my kid brother, Richard. He’s the head of D. I.’s Research and IT Department. He’s always giving me some new fangled piece of equipment no bigger than a matchbox at the last minute. Then he gets huffy because I can’t make it work. I mean, I’m chasing down murderers in the middle of a San Francisco winter storm and it’s my fault the stupid scanner doesn’t work. Something about how I should have read the instructions.
Of course, there’s the blueblood half of the mix, CEO and mother, Lila Hamilton Alvarez. She’s one cool, blonde goddess and serious fashionista. The woman who gave birth to me has never had a bad hair day in her life. She can also chill a bottle of chardonnay at a single glance, never breaking stride in her Christian Louboutin pumps. It’s a lot to live up to.
On another note, Mom tends to send me out on jobs no other self-respecting gumshoe would take. She has this guilt thing down to a science. But God forbid I should be wearing navy blue with black. Then she’ll tell me to stop chasing the perp and go change clothes. L. H. Alvarez has her priorities. Always.
And last, but never least is Tío, my love bucket of an uncle. Everyone should have a Tío in their lives. A retired chef, he gives unconditional love while serving up the best chimichangas in the world. And his Christmas cookies are to die for.
Whoops! Badly phrased. Because that’s what a lot of people seem to be doing in my latest adventure, The CEO Came DOA. And really, all I’d like to do is concentrate on my own Christmas wedding. Ho, ho, ho.
The CEO Came DOA,
Someone is trying to sabotage the Initial Public Offering of a small Silicon Valley start-up, and Lee Alvarez is hired to find the culprit. Meanwhile, the first Alvarez grandchild is about to be born while Lee is planning her very own Christmas wedding; or rather letting her mother plan it. Lee finds the CEO hanging by the neck in his boardroom wearing nothing but baby blue boxer shorts. His apparent suicide becomes murder. But who? Business partners? Lovers? Famous rock star ex-wife? Bodies start piling up just in time for Christmas. Ho, ho, ho.