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An Iris De Vere Mystery, Book 1

Iris De Vere may be immature and easily confused, but she's clear about one thing: she needs a job so she can stay in San Rafael with her grandmother. When the only thing available is office assistant at a one-man Hispanic detective agency, she takes it. When she discovers the reason for the vacancy -- the previous secretary's murder -- she prays for the woman and keeps her head down.
It's not long before Iris stumbles onto a witness to the murder, putting herself and Gram in the killer's sights. After her vintage Nova is vandalized and her grandmother is attacked, Iris manages to unravel the mystery and hold onto her job in this darkly humorous story. 

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Set in Napa, California, in the 1940’s, The Something in the Attic  introduces Kiki Moore, a girl whose family seeks refuge on a run-down prune ranch while the father, an Army officer, prepares to go off to war.  When Kiki’s mother, Emily Moore, becomes the target of dangerous, unexplainable accidents, the girl discovers a ghostly presence and is drawn into solving an old mystery.  This story weaves the complex dynamics of military families, rural California life, and father/daughter tensions into an absorbing paranormal coming-of-age tale.

This is B. Payton-Settles’ first novel. Her short story, “A Second Chance,” appeared in Cent’Anni: May You Live 100 Years. She is currently at work on a second novel, a mystery set in San Rafael, California.


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First of the dramatic mysteries

“I have read your book and will give it to my granddaughter for Christmas. Just to let you know, I am impressed. Good story!”

Mrs. Sue Wham, Educator


“I started The Something In the Attic and then couldn’t put it down; it’s a real page-turner!  When will we get the next adventure of Kiki?”

R. Jonas, Librarian


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