Advance praise for The Dead of Winter, coming November from Imajin Books

"For years I've admired Jean Rabe's work in the science fiction and fantasy genres, and now, with THE DEAD OF WINTER, she's applying her considerable talents to the field of mysteries. The first in a very promising series with an attractive main character, Piper Blackwell, a female county sheriff who faces obstacles both on and off the job while investigating a puzzling homicide. Very much recommended." 
- Multiple award-winning and three-time Edgar nominee author Brendan DuBois



Excerpt from The Dead of Winter

One
Monday, January 1st

Conrad Delaney's body leaned against a life-sized stuffed Santa on the seat of a glossy black sleigh. It looked like he was going for a ride with the jolly old elf.

The centerpiece of Conrad's front yard, the sleigh was red the last time Piper saw it. That was more than a dozen years back when her dad drove the family through the county to take in the Christmas lights. Piper had begged to stop so she could sit with Santa, but dad kept driving…on to the next display, and the next.

Large burlap sacks filled the back of the sleigh; artfully spilling from one were boxes wrapped in colorful plastic and tied with red and green bows, everything held in place with fishing line. The ribbons fluttered in the chill breeze that cut across the snowy landscape.

Piper shivered and turned her coat collar up.

For variety sometimes Conrad put big stuffed animals in the mix, and one Christmas he reported a four-foot-tall Teddy bear stolen. The sheriff's department recovered the bear about a month later, hanging from a telephone pole out on Highway 545 near the monastery, fluffy guts spilling out. It had been a hot news item for the town of Fulda, which boasted a population of two hundred.

One hundred and ninety nine now.

A thin layer of frost had formed on Conrad's face, the spotlight making it sparkle like he'd been dipped in glitter. His lips formed an "O" similar to the expression on Santa's plastic visage, and his eyes, the washed-out blue of a winter sky, were locked open.