NEW RELEASE BLITZ: Shadow House by Joe Rielinger (Excerpt & Giveaway)

Title: Shadow House

Series: Terry Luvello, PI #3

Author: Joe Rielinger

Publisher: NineStar Press

Release Date: 05/07/2024

Heat Level: 2 – Fade to Black Sex

Pairing: Male/Female

Length: 74100

Genre: Contemporary Mystery, lit/genre fiction, contemporary, transgender, established couple, private detective, cops, murder mystery, crime procedural, dysfunctional family drama, incest, mental instability, guns

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An unexpected visit from the daughter of an old mentor launches private detective Terry Luvello into one of the most intriguing cases of his career. Margaret Reasoner, the matriarch of one of Cleveland’s wealthiest and most politically connected families, has recently passed away.

Not trusting any of her children, Margaret had added a clause in her will requiring a private inquest should her death take place under suspicious circumstances. Hired to investigate, Terry spends a week at the Reasoner’s sprawling estate dealing with the increasingly hostile family as he unravels the mysteries of the mansion known as the Shadow House.

Terry recruits his partner and girlfriend, Cleveland police detective Hannah Page to aid in the investigation. The two uncover a web of secrets and lies that stretch beyond anything they have ever experienced. As the deceptions pile up along with the body count, a killer plans the ultimate revenge.

Terry’s ingenuity and uniquely wry sense of humor help him navigate this complex case while juggling the demands of his clinical transition about to enter its final phase. In a household where no one is innocent, Terry must decide just how far he is willing to go to find the guilty party.


Shadow House
Joe Rielinger © 2024
All Rights Reserved

I hate adultery cases—every private detective does. Tawdry and nasty by their very nature, they inevitably lead to pain for both the client and the accused. That’s true even if the accused is one of those rare individuals who isn’t actually screwing around.

So why do we take these cases? We take them for the same reason the men and women we follow choose to cheat. As cynical as it sounds, every private investigator knows that it’s sex, not love, that makes the world go round. The two occasionally have some direct relationship, but those instances are not our concern. A PI’s livelihood depends on the man who suddenly realizes his secretary is far more good-looking than his wife or the woman who decides she’s just a little too lonely, waiting for her husband to come home after work. Their wronged partners pay our bills, and we take a deep breath, sigh, and spend one more night peering through a high-def camera next to yet another dirty hotel window.

Fortunately for my sanity, I didn’t rely strictly on those cases. As Terry Luvello, PI, I had developed a good reputation for competence, much of that gained while assisting my police detective girlfriend on two high-profile cases.

Detective Hannah Page stayed with me through it all, though we had some rough moments after the conclusion of both investigations. We got back together after our last case on what Hannah called a “trial basis.” Our reunion overjoyed my mother and my best friend. Hannah’s parents—not so much.

Hannah had also stayed despite the complications and occasional wide-eyed stares caused by my transitioning to male. With just two months to go before my actual surgery, we were now living together in Hannah’s Cleveland Heights home.

I loved her more than I could say, and I believed she loved me back. That love did not keep her from reacting negatively to my latest assignment.

Staring at me before I left that evening, Hannah asked, “Why do you take these cases? Trying to catch those shitheads in the act just depresses you, and we really don’t need the money.”

She wasn’t wrong on either count, but I reminded her of our agreement. “When I moved in here, we said we would split the household costs. Like them or not, the adultery cases pay my part of those bills.”

Hannah shook her head before giving me a kiss goodbye. “Get the hell out of here, but don’t go getting any ideas. Just remember what I said I’d do if I caught you screwing around.”

She had, in fact, told me exactly what she would do, a starring role in that scenario played by the woodchipper Hannah insisted on keeping in our backyard. I shivered despite myself—the cost of a self-assertive girlfriend who wouldn’t dream of going anywhere without her Smith & Wesson.

Tonight’s carnal shithead was one Seamus O’Donnell, a man who differed from the other shitheads I’d chased, if only because he didn’t seem to be, on the surface, a shithead. A computer programmer at Cleveland’s NASA Glenn Research Center, Seamus was outwardly the perfect family man—beloved by his wife, his three young children, and even his golden retriever puppy. I looked through both public and private records and found none of the usual indicators of infidelity. There were no unusual hotel bills, no significant cash withdrawals, and no sudden changes in wardrobe or hairstyle. When I spoke with his wife one week prior, she said Seamus had always been a model husband. Still, she had doubts.


NineStar Press | Books2Read

Meet the Author

Joe Rielinger lives in Cleveland, Ohio, with his wife, Lisa, and their two fun-loving, though often borderline crazy golden retrievers. With a lifetime love of mystery, crime, and detective novels, Joe is currently working on a sequel to his first book, And God Laughed. When he isn’t writing, Joe likes to cook, read, and pretend he might someday learn something about training his two dogs.

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