Saturday, September 21, 2013

Excerpt from W.S Gager's A Case Of Volatile Deeds

Wednesday, you met W.S Gager, and today I bring you the excerpt from her latest book,
A Case of Volatile Deeds.

Read on ...

Mitch Malone finally scores a weekend dinner with a cute receptionist, but true to his reporter instincts, an explosion in a high rise office building makes him stand up his date as he runs for an exclusive. Mitch learns that much of what he knows about his date and her work aren’t what they seem. His world continues to twist when the police captain asks for his help and a city hall informant is found floating in the river. Mitch must keep his head down or a cute dog with a knack for finding dead bodies will be sniffing out his corpse.


Perfect, then a name near the top took me back. The All Star Realty made me gulp. Tasha Hardy, my date tonight, was an assistant or agent-in-training or something at the real estate firm on the eighth floor. I only gave it a passing thought and never considered calling to let her know I wouldn’t make dinner. I was on a story and she better get used to it. The story was first, especially a big one like this.

I followed the hose to the stairs and started climbing, my heavy breaths taking in the chalky dust even through the filter of my shirt that didn’t want to stay in its protective position. I looked like a half headless man and sounded worse with my ragged inhalations.

I felt my legs pulse with the strain of climbing after my run to the explosion site. I promised to get in shape but knew my twenty-four-hour quest for the news wouldn’t allow it. The adrenaline of a big story pushed me forward.

What had happened? Had the terrorist group I’d helped bust a couple of years ago returned? Did some drug dealer have a meth lab in a high rise? Possible scenarios flew through my mind. Each a bigger story than the last and I wondered if this building would drop like the World Trade Center towers. That thought only made me slow my steps for a couple of treads, but I was a reporter and must get the news, regardless of the consequences.

Voices drifted down in the haze that grew thicker with each flight. The stairs were dust covered but no smoke or damage that I could see. I slowed my pace as the minute particles made the steps slippery. Injuries from a slip didn’t happen to Mitch Malone.

“Can’t say what the explosion did to the structure. It will take weeks to make a visual inspection of all the supports. Longer to test the integrity. Can’t say how long that will take.”

I stopped to listen, realizing it was political rhetoric, but pulled out my notebook to jot some notes.

“What do you recommend?” Another voice said.

“Condemn the building.” The voice sounded like Darth Vader. I heard clinking and rattling, then the voice sounded normal. “Start inspections in the basement and test the integrity. Let them return as we check off the floors.”

“I’m not sure that is going to fly, especially with the pressure the mayor’s office will get.” This voice smooth and soft and carrying authority in every syllable. I needed names to go with the voices but my vision was blocked by the stairs.

I was only a floor away. A brown arm gripped the railing, a wingtip shoe rested on the landing. I forced my breathing to slow, not so much because I was tired but I didn’t want to alert anyone to my presence with my ragged attempts to get oxygen into my lungs.

Interrupting would get me kicked out of the building and my exclusive would go up in smoke like something did here. These officials seemed too relaxed to be in a structure that could kill them. Had the dispatch been too eager and overblown the danger?

“What caused the explosion?” I thought this was the voice that belonged to the wingtips but I couldn’t be sure.

“Not sure. Was on the eighth floor is all we know at this point.” The authority voice. The real estate office. Who would bomb a real estate office? Someone who wasn’t happy with the price for their house? That seemed improbable.

“Casualties?” “Only a few bumps and bruises in the pandemonium to get out. Most offices were nearly empty for the weekend. Panic broke out as people thought the building might collapse like 9-11.”

“It could yet, isn’t that what you said earlier?”

“In theory but I don’t feel any further movement of the building nor do I hear stress noises with the structure. If there was another explosion, then maybe. The building appears to have weathered the shock. The eighth floor could be a total loss from water damage. The sprinklers doused the flames quickly but until the smoke clears, damage estimates will be difficult. I can’t certify anyone’s safety.”

“Chief, we’ve found a body in the debris.” This voice came from higher above.
W.S. Gager has lived in Michigan for most of her life except when she was interviewing race car drivers or professional woman's golfers. She enjoyed the fast-paced life of a newspaper reporter until deciding to settle down and realized babies didn't adapt well to running down story details on deadline. Since then she honed her skills on other forms of writing before deciding to do what she always wanted and write mystery novels.

Her main character is Mitch Malone who is an edgy crime-beat reporter single-mindedly hunting for a Pulitzer Prize. A Case of Infatuation, the first in the Mitch Malone Mysteries, won the Dark Oak Contest in 2008 and nominated as a Michigan Notable Book.  A Case of Accidental Intersection took first place in the 2010 Public Safety Writers Contest in the unpublished category before its release. Her third book, A CASE OF HOMETOWN BLUES, was a finalist in the 2012 Daphne Du Maurier Award for Excellence in Mystery/Suspense. She loves to hear from readers at or on her blog at


Social links:
Twitter: @wsgager




  1. Thanks so much for letting me visit!

  2. Wendy, just noticed I didn't have? How can that be? I'm very fond of Mitch! Just downloaded to Kindle, and looking forward!


  3. Wendy,
    It's been a pleasure having you as my guest this week. I wish you much success with your books.


  4. Hi Madeline,
    Thanks for visiting. I too am going to download Mitch :) Looks like a great series.


  5. Madeline,
    You are a great friend. Let me know what you think! Hope all is well in your area.