Book Extract: A Cocktail To Die For by Helen Golden

I’m so pleased to be welcoming Helen Golden back to Novel Kicks. She’s here with the blog tour for her novel, A Cocktail To Die For.

Cocktails, chaos, and an unexpected twist. Can Perry and his hens unveil the truth before time runs out?

Death at Prestigious Hotel and Spa, Chasingham House

We are hearing reports that a young woman has been found dead at Chasingham House, the exclusive venue in the Cotswolds. She has not been named, and the cause of death is unknown at this time. This will no doubt cast a cloud over the bachelor weekend being hosted there by Lady Beatrice (36), the Countess of Rossex, for her business partner Perry Juke (34) ahead of his wedding to bestselling author and celebrity chef Simon Lattimore (40). Also staying at Chasingham House are top models Camile Redmaine (35) and Mel Parks (35), who are celebrating newly-single Cammy’s birthday with a group of friends.

When one of the birthday girls is found dead in her room, it’s clear Bea plans for her, Perry, and their friends to chill around the pool, have a few treatments, and generally relax, seem to have gone down the drain. When the local police are quick to dismiss the death as an accident, Bea is determined to help investigate anyway, along with the rest of Perry’s party.

Can Perry and his hens catch the killer before the weekend is over and the trail goes cold?


Helen has shared an extract with us today. We hope you enjoy. 


*****beginning of extract*****


Lady Beatrice and her business partner Perry Juke are at Chasingham House, an exclusive hotel and spa in the peaceful Cotswolds, for his bachelor weekend. Among Perry’s hens is DCI Emma McKeer Adler from PaIRS and they are all looking forward to a relaxing weekend. But when the dead body of a guest is discovered, the hotel manager asks Emma if she will step in and secure the crime scene until the local CID arrive…

“It’s okay, chief inspector. I’ll take over from here.”

Em looked up and found herself face to face with a bald man of about fifty who was only a few inches taller than her.

“Detective Chief Inspector Alan Rivers from Chase CID.” He held out his hand.

Em took it, trying not to recoil when her hand found itself in a clammy grip.

Meed stepped forward. “We were just—”

Rivers held up his hand, and Meed fell silent. “I’m here now, sergeant, so I’ll decide what you do next. Understand?”


“Yes, sir.” Meed’s head dropped, and he took a step backwards.

That was so uncalled for…

Rivers gave an almost imperceptible smile before turning back to Em.

Smug so-and-so.

“Now, chief inspector, if that’s all?”

Em frowned. Is he dismissing me? “Don’t you want me to bring you up to date—”

The hand came up again. Em’s hackles rose. She stared at the man with the large bulbous nose holding up his black-rimmed glasses. She wanted to punch it.

“I caught up with the doc just as she was leaving. I know the time of death is about eleven last night, cause yet to be determined, but it seems most likely an accidental death.”

Had that really been what Doctor Romaine had said? That hadn’t been the impression she’d given Em.

“So,” Rivers continued, “I’m happy I can take it from here.”

His gaze flickered around the scene, then rested on Mercy’s body before glancing away. His reactions seemed to be those of someone who’d seen it all before and was bored with it by now. “I’m sure your charge will wonder where you are.” There was a sarcastic edge to his voice, and Em clenched her jaw.

Be professional. Don’t let the idiot get to you. She’d come across a similar attitude from police officers outside of London before. They seemed to think being an officer in PaIRS was some sort of glorified babysitting role for the royal family. A sharp twinge in her leg reminded her of how it had recently been smashed up in a failed attempt to kidnap the king’s brother. People like Rivers had no idea of the danger PaIRS officers put themselves in to perform their duties. He’s not worth it. “Very well. I’ll leave you to it, chief inspector. If you need any—”

“I’ll need to interview you and your party, of course, to find out where you all were at the time of this woman’s death.”

This woman? She gave him an icy stare. “Her name is Mercy Bright.”

“Yes, yes.” He waved his hand as he turned and moved towards the window. “Please join the others. I’ll come and address everyone when I’ve finished up here.”

Biting her tongue, Em gave the back of the man dressed in a dark shirt, chinos, and tweed jacket an evil look. Just as she swivelled round, she caught Meed’s gaze and saw the embarrassment in his eyes. She gave him a sympathetic smile before turning on her heel and stomping out of the room, her fists clenched tightly at her sides. She had a bad feeling Rivers was going to cling to this idea of an accidental death just because it offered the easiest way out. Well, she wouldn’t let him. If Mercy Bright had been murdered, she would find out who by whether Rivers liked it or not!


*****end of extract*****




About Helen Golden –

Hello. I’m Helen Golden. I write British contemporary cozy whodunnits with a hint of humour. I live in small village in Lincolnshire in the UK with my husband, my step-daughter, her two cats, our two dogs, sometimes my step-son, and our tortoise.

I used to work in senior management, but after my recent job came to a natural end I had the opportunity to follow my dreams and start writing. It’s very early in my life as an author, but so far I’m loving it.

It’s crazy busy at our house, so when I’m writing I retreat to our caravan (an impulsive lockdown purchase) which is mostly parked on our drive. When really need total peace and quiet, I take it to a lovely site about 15 minutes away and hide there until my family runs out of food or clean clothes.

Say hello via Instagram, Facebook, TikTok and Twitter

A Cocktail to Die For is part of the A Right Royal Cozy Investigation series. Click here to buy on Amazon UK and Amazon US


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I’m Laura. I started Novel Kicks in 2009. I wanted a place to post my writing as well as give other writers like me the opportunity to do the same. There is also a monthly book club, a writing room which features writing prompts, book reviews, competitions, author interviews and guest posts.

I grew up by the sea (my favourite place in the world) and I currently live in Hampshire. I am married to Chris, have a cat named Buddy and I would love to be a writer. I’m trying to write the novel I’ve talked so much about writing if only I could stop pressing delete. I’ve loved writing since creative writing classes in primary school. I have always wanted to see my teacher Miss Sayers again and thank her for the encouragement. When not trying to write the novel or writing snippets of stories on anything I can get my hands on, I love reading, dancing like a loon and singing to myself very badly. My current obsession is Once Upon a Time and I would be happy to live with magic in the enchanted forest surrounded by all those wonderful stories provided that world also included Harry Potter. I love reading chick lit. contemporary fiction and novels with mystery.

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