Wednesday, April 15, 2009

Wednesday's special is...The Surest Poison

The Surest Poison by Chester D Campbell

Three seemingly unrelated murders crop up during the investigation of a decade-old chemical dump that plagues a rural community west of Nashville. PI Sid Chance, a former National Parks ranger whose career as a small town police chief was cut short by malicious accusations of bribery, pursues the case after being coaxed out of self-imposed exile by Jaz LeMieux, a wealthy ex-cop. He soon finds himself tailed and threatened.

When Jaz offers her help, she is awakened by an explosion behind her mansion. Is it related to the abduction of her housekeeper’s grandson, or Sid’s case? As the tension mounts, Sid finds himself confronting the unsavory people responsible for his past troubles.


Sid smiled. There was no way around it. Jaz LeMieux was one helluva woman. She had the looks and the brains to be whatever she wanted, and she had the money and the contacts to pull it off. But it hadn’t come easy. Mike Rich told him about the struggles she’d faced after making an impetuous decision to leave college and go her own way. He admired what she had done, but he had too many issues of his own to go beyond that.

She cocked her head to the side. “Okay, Sid. What did Arnie have to say?”

“He wants me to find everything there’s to know about the polluter. It was a company named Auto Parts Rehabbers.”

He told her about his visit to Ashland City.

“And the company simply disappeared?” she said.

“Maybe not so simply, but it hardly left a trace. I’ll see if the old Chamber of Commerce guy can give me something to get a grip on. I plan to check with him in the morning.”

“Are you going to see Harrington tomorrow?”

“After I talk to Murray Estes.”

“Do a good job on this, Sid. Arnie can throw you plenty of business.”

He leaned back and tapped his fingertips. “You remember how reluctant I was to look into your employee problem.”

“Sure.” She waved a hand. “I had to twist your arm a bit. But you did a whale of job with it. You got a faithful employee reinstated and a crooked manager fired.”

“But after that I intended to head back to the cabin. You kept pushing me into the PI business. Why didn’t you let it go?”

She gave him an impish smile. “It was your scintillating personality.”


“Okay, I’ll admit, there’s more. You know I was once a Nashville cop.”

“Right. Mike told me a bit about your wayward career.”

“I guess it’s still in my blood. I’m taking part vicariously in something I can’t afford to do on my own. I have too much responsibility with the business. But I’d love to help you out on a case if there’s something I could do.”

“You’re serious.”


“You’d need a PI license to stay out of trouble.”

“I’ll let you in on a little secret. I’ve already put in for it and taken the test. I should be getting my license any day now.”

He leaned forward in his chair. “I’ll let you in on a little secret, Jaz. From what I’ve seen of this case so far, I may need a whole lot of help.”



What, in your opinion, really is the surest poison? (Literal or figurative.)

Find out more about Chester and order his books here:

Chester Campbell
The Marathon Murders (2008) The Surest Poison (2009)


Shona Snowden said...

A treat for the night owls.

The surest poison...hmm...a mother-in-law's tongue?

Charles Gramlich said...

The surest poison? Hate!

Chris Eldin said...

A koala smackdown is the surest poison.


Morning all!

bridget3420 said...

I'd say the surest poison is lying.

Pissenlit said...

The surest poison is Axe deodorant body spray.

Helen Ginger said...

I would guess the surest poison is greed.

Charlotte Phillips, Co-Author of The Eva Baum Detective Series said...

Lust, gluttony, greed, sloth, wrath, envy and pride - and now a mother-in-law's tongue, deoderant, and Koala smackdown? Do I want to know what a Koala Smackdown is?

Great to see you here Chester. Congrats on your new book. Sounds like a good one.

Chester Campbell said...

Good morning to all. You folks are out too early for me. It isn't 8 o'clock yet in the Central Time Zone. I'll give you a clue, "the surest poison" is from an essay by Ralph Waldo Emerson. You'll find Sid Chance mentioning it near the end of the book.

Beth Groundwater said...

Hi Chester,
I have a question for you instead. Is there a romance subplot in the book between Sid & Jaz? It sounds like, from the excerpt, that the possibility exists for one to develop.

Chester Campbell said...

Hi, Beth. Yes, the possibility for a romantic subplot exists, but this is just the first book in the series. Things haven't really heated up yet. Sid has his personal issues to get around.

Whirlochre said...

Home made wine you delude yourself into thinking you don't drink by the crateload.

T. Anne said...

Congrats on your novel Chester! I think the surest poison is money and the love of money.

Julie said...

Sounds like a great book, Chester. Can't wait to read it (and also find out what the surest poison is).

Chester Campbell said...

Thanks, T. Anne and Julie. Money and the love of it sound pretty poisonous, too. But the surest poison in this context is something I'm probably more aware of than most folks.

Shona's "a mother-in-law's tongue" sounds like a good one, though I've been married twice and never had a living mother-in-law.

Pissenlit said...

I'll give you a clue, "the surest poison" is from an essay by Ralph Waldo Emerson.Ohhhhhhhhh! That's quite true.

Jackie B. said...

Hello and welcome. This is a really good excerpt. I would love to read more. The surest poison is time indeed.

conarnold said...

You've really got me intrigued, Chester! I like all the suggestions for the surest poison. There are certainly many poisons, but which is the surest? hmmm...

Chester Campbell said...

We've had some good suggestions. Jackie B. got it right. You can read the first two chapters on my website. Or order the book from Amazon or or your favorite bookstore.

laughingwolf said...

welcome chester... cool excerpt, shona :)

the surest poison: salmon... no, wait, that'd be poisson :O lol

poison'd have to be haggis... to a non-believer... ie. a non-scot ;)

McKoala said...

I am responsible for Koala Smackdowns. Trust me, they're nasty.

McKoala said...

Just caught that remark, LW! Go to my blog and pick yourself up a Koala Smackdown badge for such cheek!

Bad, bad Wolfie!

Chester Campbell said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Chester Campbell said...

Thanks to everyone who visited and took part in the poisonous discussion. The judges have completed their deliberations and I have been handed the envelope. The winner is...

Jackie B.

Let's give her a hand. I'll send her an email.

laughingwolf said...

grats jackie... thx chester, and, uh, mc ;) lol

laughingwolf said...

hey mc, i must be blind... could not see the badge :(

Shona Snowden said...

Thank you Chester and to everyone who participated! Congrats Jackie B, please contact Chester to arrange delivery of your book.

X. Dell said...

The surest poison? Literal: sulfuric acid. Metaphorically? The words "I love you."

F. M. Meredith, author said...

I agree with Charles G. that hate is the surest poison--but the one it kills is the person who is filled with hate. May take awhile--but it's sure.

Hi, Chester, good luck with your book.

Marilyn a.k.a. F.M. Meredith

Michele said...

I think that insulin given to a diabetic if it is done in excessive quantities might be a perfect poison.

Having never killed anyone in this method though I'm not sure.