I know it’s hard to imagine a woman getting offed by a tube of lipstick, but I’m here to tell you, it can be done …

So begins Ms America and the Offing on Oahu, and the amazing journey on which beauty queen and budding sleuth Happy Pennington embarks.

34-year-old Happy, born and raised in Cleveland, has been competing in beauty pageants all her life—thanks, or no thanks, to her mother. But it’s not until California contestant Tiffany Amber is murdered during the televised Ms America pageant for married women does this policeman’s daughter take home the first national title of her life—and find herself inexorably drawn into solving the crime.

Ms America and the Offing on Oahu is the debut novel in a madcap cozy mystery series in which Happy finds corpses strewn across the landscape as she travels the United States—and once competes overseas—in her year-long reign, which aficionados prefer to call a “year of service.” Happy is aided in her sleuthing by fellow beauty queens Trixie Barnett and Shanelle Walker, and by her retired cop father Lou. She is challenged in her life path by her mechanic husband, NASCAR pit crew wannabe Jason Kilborn, her teenage daughter, Rachel, and her stage manager of a mother, Hazel. Pageant emcee Mario Suave, as hunky as any beauty queen is gorgeous, cannot hide his growing attraction to Happy. After Happy learns Mario’s one big secret, the two get even closer. Mario also looms large as the one man in Happy’s life who fulfills her fondest wish by admiring her more for her brains than for her beauty.

Here's a sneak peak at chapter one

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