A Natalie McMasters Mystery, Book 7
Date to be Published: Dec 5, 2022
Publisher: Tekrighter, LLC
What do you do when you find out your twin sister is a stone-cold killer? Love her anyway!
Twentysomething detective Natalie McMasters comes face-to-face with the awesome power of money and privilege in her latest adventure. After she finds out that she has a twin sister who’s committed a heinous crime, her son Eduardo falls into the clutches of a perverted billionaire who plays with peoples lives for sport. Getting into his futuristic walled estate is a piece of cake, but getting out again is another matter entirely. While her friends and fam battle endless frustrations trying to convince the cops and the courts that Nattie and Eduardo are in deadly danger, she plays a risky game with a malignant narcissist, his venomous consort, and some unexpected houseguests, fighting for the souls of her sister and her son. How can she ever succeed against such impossible odds? The twisted ending packs a punch you won’t soon forget!
Sister! is the perfect read for fans of Karin Slaughter, Ruth Ware and Mary Kubica.
1. How many books have you written and which is your favorite?
I’ve written eight novels—seven in the Natalie McMasters Mysteries series and a standalone H.P. Lovecraft pastiche entitled The Legacy of the Unborn, under the pen name of Silas K. Henderson. I’ve also written about a dozen Sherlock Holmes stories, most of which have been published in the MX Books of New Sherlock Homes Stories. However one of them, The Camberwell Poisoner, made the Strand Magazine in 2021.
I have two favorites—the third Natalie McMasters, Trafficked!, and Legacy. Both are set in New York City—Trafficked! is contemporary and Legacy is set in 1931. The are my faves because NYC is one of my favorite places.
2. If you’re planning a sequel, can you share a tiny bit about your plans for it?
The tentative title of the next Natalie McMasters Mystery is Shooters!. That’s all I need to say about it.
3. Do you want each book to stand on its own, or are you trying to build a body of work with connections between each book?
Each of the Natalie McMasters Mysteries is a standalone, but like many good series, the character development continues from book to book. The best way to read them is to start with the first one, Stripper!, but I provide enough background in each of them so it can be enjoyed on its own.
4. How did you come up with the title for your book?
All of the Natalie McMasters Mysteries have one-word titles and contain an exclamation point. The title of each is an attempt to describe the story in a single word. In Sister!, Natalie discovers a twin sister she never knew she had.
A word about the exclamation points. When I wrote Stripper!, several of my beta readers told me they thought I used too many exclamation points. Apparently, the contemporary wisdom frowns on them. So I took out half of them, but decided to include one in the title as a branding device. If you know Natalie, you’ll know why!
5. How long did it take you to write this book?
Sister! was the most difficult of the Natalie McMasters Mysteries to write and took nearly a year.
6. What did you learn when writing the book?
Without giving too much away, I’ll say that I had to learn the details about the sordid exploits of one of the most infamous criminals in America. You’ll probably recognize him when you read the book.
7. What surprised you the most?
I think it was that Natalie’s son Eduardo became a major character in Sister!
8. Have you ever killed off a character your readers loved?
Yes, but I can’t tell you which one without spoiling a story.
9. What do you do to get inside your character’s heads?
Not much. I’ve written about these people for seven books, so I pretty much know how each one will react to a given situation.
About the Author
Thomas A. Burns Jr. writes the Natalie McMasters Mysteries from the small town of Wendell, North Carolina, where he lives with his wife and son, four cats and a Cardigan Welsh Corgi. He was born and grew up in New Jersey, attended Xavier High School in Manhattan, earned B.S degrees in Zoology and Microbiology at Michigan State University and a M.S. in Microbiology at North Carolina State University. As a kid, Tom started reading boys’ mystery series with the Hardy Boys, Ken Holt and Rick Brant, then graduated to the classic stories by authors such as A. Conan Doyle, Dorothy Sayers, John Dickson Carr, Erle Stanley Gardner and Rex Stout, to name a few. Tom has written fiction as a hobby all of his life, beginning with Man from U.N.C.L.E. stories in marble-backed copybooks in grade school. He built a career as technical, science and medical writer and editor for nearly thirty years in industry and government. Now that he’s a full-time novelist, he’s excited to publish his own mystery series, as well as writing stories about his second most favorite detective, Sherlock Holmes. Tom’s Holmes story, The Camberwell Poisoner, appeared in the March–June issue of The Strand Magazine in 2021. The sixth book in the Natalie McMasters Mysteries, Killers!, was released in September, 2021, and won the Silver Falchion award for best action/adventure book of 2021 at the Killer Nashville International Writers’ Conference. Tom has also written a Lovecraftian horror novel, The Legacy of the Unborn, under the pen name of Silas K. Henderson‒a sequel to H.P. Lovecraft’s masterpiece At the Mountains of Madness. In addition to publishing the seventh Natalie McMasters Mystery, Sister!, he is currently working on a book of Sherlock Holmes stories.
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