Excerpt & Giveaway: Devil by the Tail by Jeanne Matthews

Hello, dear readers! Today on the blog I am super excited to share an excerpt from Devil by the Tail with you! Authro Jeanne Matthews is currently touring the blogosphere for her new release and is getting great reviews! I hope you will check it out and be sure to enter the giveaway!

Devil by the Tail: A Garnick & Paschal Mystery by Jeanne Matthews

Publication Date: July 20, 2021
D X Varos, Ltd

Genre: Historical Mystery

What’s a 20-something Union war widow to do in 1867? Start up her own detective agency with a former Reb P.O.W. of course!

Quinn Sinclair, who uses the name Mrs. Paschal professionally, and her wryly observant partner Garnick get two cases on the same day - one to help a man prove he didn't kill his wife, another to help a lawyer find reasonable doubt that his client killed her ex-lover's new bride. As the detectives dig deeper, they unearth facts that tie the cases together in disturbing ways.

This tantalizing tale of 19th Century Chicago comes complete with corrupt politicians, yellow-press reporters, gambling parlors, and colorful bawdyhouse madams. At every turn in the investigation, Quinn discovers more suspects and more secret motives for murder.

Not least among her worries, someone seems intent on murdering her!

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[Quinn] slept with the derringer under her pillow and woke at six to the complaints of a jay outside her window. Happily, the boarding house had invested in wire cloth for the windows to keep out flies and mosquitos, so the night had passed in relative comfort. However the sun was already beating through the lace curtains and left no doubt that it was going to be another scorcher.

The aroma of Mrs. Mills’ coffee roused her to a pleasant state of alertness. Her landlady had a percolating machine, which meant fewer grounds to pick out of one’s teeth, and she was a fine baker, as well. Quinn looked forward to her morning slice of Sallie Lunn or apple crumb pie. But it was the feeling of waking up free and independent, accountable to nobody but herself that gave her the most satisfaction. If she could make a success of the detective agency, it would go a long way toward making up for those years she languished in her mother-in-law’s elegant tomb of a house.

She donned a modest gray dress she’d worn during her half-mourning, braided her russet mane, and pinned it under a prim spoon bonnet. She didn’t want to be mistaken for a nymph of the pavement as she walked in a neighborhood teeming with brothels. She didn’t discount Winthrop’s admonition, or Garnick’s advice to beware of Gentle Annie. Last summer Annie took a horsewhip to her faithless lover, Cap Hyman, and flogged him through the streets, a ferocious show of love that persuaded him to ask her hand in marriage. In spite of the madam’s legendary antics, or perhaps because of them, Quinn looked forward to the adventure.

About the Author

Jeanne Matthews graduated from the University of Georgia with a degree in Journalism and has worked as a copywriter, a high school English and Drama teacher, and a paralegal. An avid traveler and crime fiction reader, she is the author of the Dinah Pelerin international mystery series. She currently lives in Washington State with her husband, who is a law professor, and a Norwich terrier named Jack Reacher.

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Blog Tour Schedule

Tuesday, July 20
Guest Post at Novels Alive
Review at Booking With Janelle

Wednesday, July 21
Review at Bibliostatic
Feature at Books, Ramblings, and Tea

Thursday, July 22
Review at Michelle the PA Loves to Read

Friday, July 23
Excerpt at Passages to the Past

Saturday, July 24
Review + Excerpt at Older & Smarter

Monday, July 26
Review at Amy's Booket List

Tuesday, July 27
Review + Interview at Books & Benches

Wednesday, July 28
Review at Reading is My Remedy

Thursday, July 29
Review at Novels Alive

Friday, July 30

Review at The Enchanted Shelf
Review + Excerpt at Elodie’s Reading Corner


Enter to win a paperback copy of Devil by the Tail by Jeanne Matthews! We have 2 copies up for grabs!

The giveaway is open to US residents only and ends on July 30th. You must be 18 or older to enter.

Devil by the Tail


  1. I like a good tale of murder and I hope romance. Have fun.

  2. The 19th century Chicago setting ensures I will read this book. I am a Chicagoan.


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