Saturday, April 7, 2018



Private investigator Eddie Shoes heads to a resort outside Leavenworth, Washington, for a mother-daughter getaway weekend. Eddie's mother, Chava, wants to celebrate her new job at a casino by footing the bill for the two of them, and who is Eddie to say no?

On the first morning, Eddie goes on an easy solo hike, and a few hours later, stumbles into a makeshift campsite and finds a gravely injured man. A forest fire breaks out and she struggles to save him before the flames overcome them both. Before succumbing to his injuries, the man hands her a valuable item. He tells her his daughter is missing and begs for her help. Is Eddie now working for a dead man?

Barely escaping the fire, Eddie wakes in the hospital to find both her parents have arrived on the scene. Will Eddie's card-counting mother and mob-connected father help or hinder the investigation? The police search in vain for a body. How will Eddie find the missing girl with only her memory of the man's face and a photo of his daughter to go on?

Book 3 in the Eddie Shoes Mystery Series, which began with One Dead, Two to Go.

Book Details:

Title: Three Strikes, You’re Dead

Author’s name: Elena Hartwell

Character’s full name: Eddie Shoes (Edwina Zapata Schultz)

Genre: Mystery/Suspense/Private Eye

Series: Eddie Shoes Mystery Series, 3rd in series

Camel Press (April 1, 2018)
Paperback: 288 pages
On tour with: Great Escapes Book Tours


Eddie was born to a teenage mother in Spokane, Washington. After dropping out of high school and spending a few years on the move, she settled in Seattle, Washington, where she worked for a private investigator. She earned a private investigator license not long before her mentor committed suicide. Unable to deal with the tragedy, and her feelings of guilt over her failure to save him, she fled her romantic relationship and headed to Bellingham, Washington to set up shop. Book one in the series picks up a few years later. Her estranged mother arrives on her doorstep and her ex-boyfriend moves to town. Then dead people start showing up.


Eddie, how did you first meet Elena?
According to her, she was on a road trip with her husband, and he came up with the name Eddie Shoes. She likes to say the name started it all. She claims I’m the love child of James Rockford and Kinsey Millhone. I think that’s a joke, but it’s a little hard to tell.

Why do you think that your life has ended up being in a book?

I blame my mother. Life was going along great before she showed up and butted her way into my house and my work. She keeps getting us tangled up in homicide investigations, which is not my forte, as I lean toward safer clients. Okay, maybe that’s not totally fair. My life wasn’t exactly great, but at least no one shot at me. Things have gotten a little more interesting having Chava around. And she takes great care of my dog when I have to work. I seem to be extending my circle of friends, I’m not quite the loner I used to be. All right, I’ll admit it. Life is going along great now with my dog, my friends, and my mother. But do me a favor, don’t tell Chava that.

Tell us about your favorite scene in the book.

The best scene to be in is when I get to eat this fabulous dinner at the resort where I end up with both my parents. They haven’t really seen each other since before I was born (you can read One Dead, Two to Go to find out how my father came back in my life). But the best scene to read is probably my escape from a forest fire. It’s very exciting!

If you could rewrite anything in your book, what would it be?

I would be independently wealthy and have at least one more bathroom now that Chava is living with me.

Tell the truth. What do you think of your fellow characters?

I wish I was some of my fellow characters. They have pretty great lives. My best friend Iz has it made. She’s sassy and gorgeous and tough, I’d love to spend time in her shoes. She’s smart and doesn’t get hung up over anything or anyone. Chance Parker is a homicide detective and my ex-boyfriend. People respect him because of the job he does. He’s smart, methodical, fair, and always solves his cases. He’s very sought after because he has such a high solve rate. If I could be him for a little while, maybe I could figure out how he feels about me. My friend Debbie Buse would be a lot of fun to be too. She lives above her bookstore with her two dogs, Indy and Gracie Allen. I’d love that life. I don’t want to be Chava though. Then I’d have me for a daughter … although maybe that would be okay too.

Do have any secret aspirations that Elena
doesn’t know about?
Rock star! She should totally write a scene where I sing karaoke! I know I could do it.

If you had a free day with no responsibilities and your only mission was to enjoy yourself, what would you do?

I would go get coffee at Rustic Coffee in Fairhaven, head over to The Book Keeper and peruse the shelves. Then I’d have lunch at the Skylark. I’d visit the dog park with Debbie Buse and her dogs. I’d probably get another coffee in the afternoon, then later, I’d have dinner with my mom. It doesn’t sound like much, but that’s probably my favorite day.

What's the worst thing that's happened in your life?

My mentor Benjamin Franklin “Coop” Cooper, committed suicide. I learned you can’t stop someone who’s serious about killing themself. I think I have more to learn from what happened, but I don’t know what that is yet. It shadows everything I do.


What are you most afraid of?
Missing out on the chance for true happiness.

What’s the best trait Elena has given you? What’s the worst?
The Best? I’m funny. The worst? My mother is funnier.

What’s Elena’s worst habit?
She really has a messy desk. I keep trying to get her to clean up, but she’s hopeless. She usually has a couple coffee cups, a half a bag of dark chocolate covered walnuts (which she will NOT share with me), and receipts she should have entered into her tax documents a month ago. Every couple of months I talk her into tidying up, but that only lasts a day or two and things start to pile up again. She also keeps killing her houseplant. I told her she should just get an air fern and call it a day.

Describe the town where you live.

I live in Bellingham, Washington. It’s a town of about 80,000 people not far from Vancouver, Canada. It’s a college town, so it has a lot of young people and that laid back college vibe. It has a beautiful “old town,” which was actually the town of Fairhaven, settled in the 1880s. Fairhaven became a part of Bellingham around 1900. It has brick buildings and cobblestone streets, and it sits near Bellingham Bay. In addition to the bay, there are also lakes and rivers around the area and the Cascade Mountain Range is nearby, so there’s a lot of natural beauty.

What makes you stand out from any other characters in your genre?

Besides being half Latina and half Jewish, I’m almost six feet tall, and my sidekick is my mother. Add in we live in the far northwest corner of the country, and I think I’m fairly unique.

If you could be “adopted” by another writer, who would you choose?

I would love to be written by the late, great Sue Grafton. My author attributes a lot of her voice to falling in love with Kinsey Millhone. I think Kinsey and I would be very good friends.

Will you encourage Elena to write a sequel?

I’m always after her to get me and Chance back together again.


Elena Hartwell is the author of the Eddie Shoes Mystery series, about a mother/daughter, crime-fighting duo set in Bellingham, Washington. The third book in the series, Three Strikes, You’re Dead launched April 1. Elena lives in North Bend, Washington, on the middle fork of the Snoqualmie River. When she’s not scribbling mysteries, Elena can be found playing with her horses. She loves reading, writing, and the Oxford comma. If you follow her on Facebook or visit her website, you can see cute pictures of all her animals.

Connect with Elena:
Website  |  Blog  |  Facebook Twitter  | Goodreads

Buy the book:
Amazon  |  Barnes & Noble