Thursday, September 17, 2020

Book Tour ~ The Jason Davey Mysteries by Winona Kent


Lost Time
Jason Davey Mysteries Book 2
by Winona Kent
Genre: Mystery, Amateur Detective

In 1974, top UK band Figgis Green was riding high in the charts with their blend of traditional Celtic ballads mixed with catchy, folky pop. One of their biggest fans was sixteen-year old Pippa Gladstone, who mysteriously vanished while she was on holiday with her parents in Spain in March that same year.

Now it's 2018, and founding member Mandy Green has reunited the Figs for their last-ever Lost Time Tour. Her partner, Tony Figgis, passed away in 1995, so his place has been taken by their son, professional jazz guitarist (and amateur sleuth) Jason Davey.

As the band meets in a small village on the south coast of England for pre-tour rehearsals, Jason's approached by Duncan Stopher, a diehard Figs fan, who brings him a photo of the band performing at the Wiltshire Folk Festival. Standing in the foreground is Pippa Gladstone. The only problem is the Wiltshire Folk Festival was held in August 1974, five months after Pippa disappeared. Duncan offers Jason a substantial sum of money to try and find out what really happened to the young woman, whose mother had her declared officially dead in 1981.

When Duncan is murdered, it becomes increasingly clear to Jason that his investigation into Pippa's disappearance is not welcome, especially after he follows a series of clues which lead him straight back to the girl's immediate family.

But nothing can prepare Jason for the truth about Pippa, which he discovers just as Figgis Green is about to take to the stage on opening night—with or without him.

Notes On a Missing G-String
Jason Davey Mysteries Book 1 

"A highly entertaining caper set in a sleazy London underworld...Jason is a well-crafted reluctant hero, and Kent’s writing is slick and engaging throughout." - Kirkus Reviews

The first time we met Jason Davey, he was entertaining passengers aboard the Alaska cruise ship Star Sapphire, Eight ‘til Late in the TopDeck Lounge.

Then he came ashore, got a gig playing lead guitar at London’s Blue Devil jazz club, and gained a certain amount of notoriety tracking down missing musician Ben Quigley in the Canadian north.

Now Jason’s back again, this time investigating the theft of £10,000 from a dancer’s locker at a Soho gentlemen’s club.

Jason initially considers the case unsolvable. But the victim, Holly Medford, owes a lot of money to London crime boss Arthur Braskey and, fearing for her life, has gone into hiding at a posh London hotel.

Jason’s investigation takes him from Cha-Cha’s and Satin & Silk (two Soho lapdancing clubs) to Moonlight Desires (an agency featuring high class escorts) and finally to a charity firewalking event, where he comes face to face with Braskey and discovers not everything Holly’s been telling him is the complete truth.

As he becomes increasingly drawn into the seamy underside of Soho, Jason tries to save Gracie, his band-mate’s 14-year-old runaway daughter, from Holly’s brother Radu, a ruthless pimp, while at the same time protecting Holly herself from a vengeful Braskey—nearly losing his life, and Gracie’s—in the process.

Notes on a Missing G-String is the first novel in a new mystery series featuring jazz musican-turned-sleuth Jason Davey.

Disturbing the Peace
Jason Davey Mysteries Prequel  

Jason Davey's last job was aboard the Star Sapphire cruising from Vancouver to Alaska. Hired as one of the ship's entertainers, he played guitar in the TopDeck Lounge. You can read about those adventures in the novel Cold Play here.

Now Jason's back on shore, and he has a regular gig at a jazz club in London.

Jason's son, Dominic, is studying film at university. When Dom asks his dad to help track down a missing musician for a documentary he's making, Jason leaps at the chance.

Ben Quigley played rhythm guitar in Jason's parents' folk group Figgis Green in the late 1960s. And he dropped off the face of the earth four years ago.

Jason's search ultimately takes him to Peace River, Alberta - 300 miles from Edmonton in the Canadian north. And what he discovers there is both intriguing - and disturbing.

Disturbing the Peace is a novella which introduces readers to professional musician and amateur sleuth Jason Davey. Jason will soon feature in a new series of full-length mystery novels, beginning with Notes on a Missing G-String.


 I have never, in my entire life, been so fundamentally freezing fucking cold. 

I should have known what to expect when I looked out of the window of the plane and saw everything below completely covered in snow. I should have listened—really listened—when the Captain came over the PA to inform us we’d shortly be landing in Calgary, the local time was 2.55pm and the temperature on the ground was a balmy -26°C with a low that night expected to be in the vicinity of -30°C. 

But it didn’t really sink in. 

It’s one of those things you seriously cannot understand until you’ve actually experienced it. 

I had a three hour layover in Calgary before my flight to Grande Prairie. I got myself through the CBSA Primary Inspection and Customs, and lugged my suitcase off the carousel, and my next order of business was to find the airport’s smoking area. 

It was outside. 

I was wearing a short padded winter jacket and lined hiking boots that looked and felt more like trainers. I had a pair of leather gloves stuffed into my pockets. I zipped up the jacket and put the gloves on and stepped through the airport doors. 

I once had an uncle who worked for British Airways. He loved Canada. He flew there as often as he could for his holidays. He particularly loved the Canadian prairies in the winter. From Uncle Fred I learned that the winter weather in Canada was “exhilarantly bracing.” 

Those are not the words I would have used to describe the moment Calgary’s -26°C winter chill met my woefully unprepared face, hands, feet and body. It was penetrating, aggressive and relentlessly unmerciful. I couldn’t see myself lasting two minutes outside, let alone the time it would take to smoke one cigarette. 

I turned around and went back into the terminal and vowed, first, that my Uncle Fred was insane, and second, that I would give up my evil habit there and then. 

Over the next couple of hours I chewed my way through three packages of gum and managed to distract myself with a Bento box and massive amounts of hot green tea at a Japanese restaurant on the Mezzanine level of Canadian Departures. 

And then, after committing a further indignity to my unwinterized body by forcing it to walk across the tarmac to board a tiny, prop-driven Dash-8, I was on my way, at last, to Grande Prairie. 

Ben had done this journey in the summer. 

In the summer, Grande Prairie—and Peace River—would have stayed light until quite late in the evening. 

In the winter, this far north, the sun gave up early. and it was dark by the time we landed at the little airport and I braced myself, one more time, for the ball-shrinking icewalk from the plane to the terminal. 

I don’t think the guy at the car rental booth saw a lot of Brits come through at that time of the year. He seemed quite amused by my accent—then again, it might have been my completely inadequate jacket and useless leather gloves. I’d arranged for a decent midsize car and, as I was signing the forms and agreeing to every kind of insurance on offer, I had a clever thought, and asked about the possibility of snow tires. 

“Our cars come with all weather tires,” the guy said “They’re good as long as you don’t brake suddenly in the snow or hit glare ice. Where you going?” 

I told him, and he obligingly gave me a road report that included words like “mostly clear” and “some slippery sections” and “caution in low lying areas and on hills”. 

“So you’re ok driving in Canadian winter conditions?” he checked. 

“Absolutely,” I lied. 

He gave me the keys, and my contract, and reminded me that their cars all had a No Smoking policy and that if they found any trace at all of cigarettes, including the merest whiff of burnt tobacco, I’d be landed with a hefty cleaning bill. He told me where to find the car, and then added: “Don’t forget to unplug it.” 

I had not rented an electric car. And I wasn’t absolutely certain what he meant, until I’d trudged out through the snow, dragging my suitcase behind me like a defective sled, and located my vehicle, and discovered that it was, indeed, plugged into an outlet in the fence that ran along the front of the stalls. 

And then I recalled my insane Uncle Fred, and his wondrous tales of engine bloc heaters that kept oil and batteries from freezing in parked cars when the temperatures fell below zero. 

My car came with a handy heavy-duty bright orange extension cord, which I disconnected and stowed in the back with my luggage. I sat with the engine running and the interior heat blowing full blast for about ten minutes, trying to warm myself up. And then, I set the GPS on my phone to navigate me out of the little city and out onto Highway 2. 

It was about eight o’clock by the time the lights of Grande Prairie disappeared behind me. And my body and brain were reminding me that it was 3am in London. Three o’clock in the morning’s normal for me. But I don’t usually get up until noon. And I’d had an extremely early start and a very long journey and travelling knocks the wind out of you. I cursed myself for not letting Katey make my travel arrangements—she’d have sensibly suggested spending the night in Grande Prairie and setting out for Peace River the next day. 

It was a very long and a very dark drive on the wrong side of the road. The car had Bluetooth so on my way out of Grande Prairie I synch’d the music on my phone and had Ben Quigley’s Strat—and Figgis Green—to keep me company for the first part of the drive, and then Herbie Hancock and Charlie Mingus for the next bit. Other than the occasional truck coming at me in the opposite direction, and a few cars that were spaced out at intervals ahead of me, their rear lights shining red in the blackness, I was on my own. Occasionally the road, for no apparent reason, angled off to the north, and then back to the east, and even less occasionally, I had to slow down to pass through a settlement of people…Sexsmith…Rycroft… there was an interesting two-lane suspension bridge at a place called Dunvegan—I saw it lit up by the high beams of my headlamps—and then a long slow climb out of the valley towards a town called Fairview, which marked the halfway point of the trip. 

I was in the process of congratulating myself that I hadn’t encountered any ice or snow along the way when, all of a sudden, and with no warning whatsoever, the car began to slide. I was going about 100kph, the speed limit. I had microseconds to react and it took everything I had not to panic, not to hit the brakes, to remember Uncle Fred’s wisely-learned instructions for ice-driving: turn your wheels into the skid. 

I did, and the car gracefully completed a 360° turn in the middle of the highway and, after avoiding a spin-off into a snow-filled ditch, came to a complete stop on the other side of the road, facing the oncoming traffic. 

I sat for a few seconds, listening to my heart pounding and trying to get my breathing back to normal. Then I realized there were bright white lights roaring towards me and I slid the car back to the other lane three seconds ahead of a huge big-rig truck that likely would have flattened me if I’d waited any longer. 

I was in no shape to drive on. I needed a smoke. And a pee. Very badly. I didn’t dare stop the engine. I rolled the driver’s side window down about four inches and literally caught my breath as the freezing night air hit my face. I lit up and blew the smoke out through the gap, then opened the door a crack and

tossed the finished cigarette into the snow and extinguished it as I relieved myself. 

As I closed the window I caught sight of something I’d only ever seen in pictures and heard about from others: a magnificent burst of Northern Lights—a glimmering dance of luminescent green that made me think of the peaks and dips on a graphic audio display, with much-softened edges. 

They stayed with me for the next 100 km, all the way into Peace River, and then, inexplicably, faded away into the starlit night as I drove into the parking lot of the 12 Foot Davis Hotel. 

The night clerk was friendly and efficient. 

“You remembered to plug your car in, right?” she checked, as she handed me my keycard. 

I had not. I went back outside and retrieved the thick orange extension cord and connected it to the plug hanging out of the car’s front grillwork, and then shoved the other end into the outlet. 

“Gonna be a cold one tonight,” the clerk said, helpfully, after I’d run back inside, cursing my flimsy English jacket. 

“Minus thirty in Calgary,” I offered. 

“Minus twenty-three in the valley.” 

“Almost a heatwave,” I agreed. 

My room was exactly as it had been pictured—with the famous Jacuzzi occupying the corner, along with some fluffy white towels and a laminated instruction card. I imagined some randy trucker, fresh from a long haul even further north than this, stepping in for a soak with a preferred lady visitor, then repairing to the king sized bed with two tins of beer and a porn film on the TV. 

I undressed, skipped the soak and the porn, and collapsed into bed without bothering to unpack. 

And when I eventually woke up, it was past eleven in the morning. I’d missed the complementary hot breakfast, and I wanted to know where Ben Quigley had gone after vacating this room.

Winona Kent is an award-winning author who was born in London, England and grew up in Regina, Saskatchewan, where she completed her BA in English at the University of Regina. After moving to Vancouver, she graduated from UBC with an MFA in Creative Writing. More recently, she received her diploma in Writing for Screen and TV from Vancouver Film School.

After a career that's included freelancing for magazines and newspapers, long and short fiction, screenplays and tv scripts, Winona has now returned to her first love, novels. She lives in Vancouver, Canada.
Writing is Winona's passion.

Follow the tour HERE for special content and a giveaway!

$10 Amazon giftcard, ebook set of the series – 1 winner each 

1 comment:

  1. Thanks so much for featuring my Jason Davey Mysteries on your blog today :-)