Murder Before Dawn by Delta James – A Steamy Cozy Mystery

Cover of the Book Murder Before Dawn a Steamy Small Town Cozy Mystery by Delta James

Murder Before Dawn
Delta James

(Mystery, She Wrote, #1)
Publication date: November 3rd 2023
Genres: Adult, Cozy Mystery

The only thing more exciting than a famous local author staying at the bed and breakfast is a real murder mystery.

Mystery novelist and member of the Mystery Writer’s Murder Club, Jessica Murdoch, heads off for a staycation at a bed and breakfast in her hometown of Badger’s Drift, Maine for some rest and relaxation. When a murder takes place in her luxurious suite, she figures it’s up to her to uncover the town’s secrets and find the killer.

Thorn Wilder, a seasoned detective in the Badger’s Drift Police Department, is assigned to investigate the murder. Thorn, an astute and methodical investigator, is familiar with Jessica’s work and quickly recognizes her as a potential asset in solving the case. Jessica finds herself irresistibly drawn to the enigmatic detective and becomes an unofficial consultant in the investigation.

Join Jessica Murdoch, Tracer, her faithful basset hound, and Thorn Wilder as they unravel the dark mysteries that lurk beneath the surface of this small town, and discover the shocking truth that lies at the heart of it all.

Murder Before Dawn is the first story in the Mystery, She Wrote series. Four mystery authors meet at a book conference and discover they all live in small towns in Maine. After a fabulous weekend together they decide to form the Mystery Writer’s Murder Club. They meet monthly at a different house to check out cold cases in the area, write, and relax. They soon discover the only thing more exciting than a good murder mystery book is an actual murder mystery.

If you like fast-paced mysteries with quirky characters, an inquisitive basset hound, and unexpected twists, you’re going to love the Mystery, She Wrote series.

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Feeling much better about where she stood with Thorn as far as Thompson’s murder went, Jessica had the cop take her and Thorn back to her place to get her SUV. Upon hearing her enter the yard, Tracer, her beloved basset hound, came barreling out the dog door that had been incorporated into the back door.

Sudie followed close behind him, laughing. “He said you were back here, but I didn’t believe him. He always knows where his mama is.”

“Detective Thorn Wilder, this is my friend and housekeeper, Sudie. Sudie, meet Thorn.”

“Are you the one investigating what happened up at DeeDee’s place?”

“I am.”

“And you think Jessica had something to do with it? I wish Tracer was trained to attack; I’d have him bite you,” said Sudie.

“Not to worry,” said Jessica to Thorn. “The most Tracer would do is beat you to death with his tail or knock you down and drown you in drooly kisses. Other than that, he is completely harmless.”

“But that boy can track anything. If you need something followed, you get Jessica to lend you Tracer. He found a lost little girl last year. Everybody was so worried for her. By the time they caught up to him, he was bouncing and barking with her, and she was giggling away.”

“You trained your dog to track?” he said, kneeling down to offer his hand to Tracer to let him sniff it before giving him a tummy rub when the dog flipped over onto his back.

“It’s not hard with a basset. Their noses are the best in the business. They’re especially good at finding kids because they’re so non-threatening.”

Thorn stood up. “Are you saying that if we found some kind of scent item, we could use him to track something?”

“Not only that, you don’t have to have a scent item per se. If we let him sniff around that footprint, he’d probably be able to track where it went.”

“Good to know.”

By the book banner with blood splatter and a magnifying glass and the book Murder before Dawn by Delta James


About the Author


As a USA Today bestselling romance author, Delta James aims to captivate readers with stories about complex, curvy heroines and the dominant alpha males who adore them. For Delta, romance is more than just a love story; it’s a journey with challenges and thrills along the way.

After creating a second chapter for herself that was dramatically different than the first, Delta now resides in Florida where she relaxes on warm summer evenings with her loveable pack of basset hounds as they watch the birds, squirrels, and lizards. When not crafting fast-paced tales, she enjoys horseback riding, walks on the beach, and white-water rafting.

More about Delta, including a full list of her books and audiobooks, can be found at

Her readers mean the world to her, and Delta tries to interact personally to as many messages as she can. If you’d like to chat or discuss books, you can find Delta on Instagram, Facebook, and in her private reader group

If you’re looking for your next bingeable series, you can get a FREE story by joining her newsletter

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