Monday, June 8, 2015

QK Agent Round: Guilt by Association - Adult Mystery

Entry Nickname: Guilt by Association
Title: Skeleton Key
Word Count: 80,000
Genre: Adult Mystery


Locksmith and security consultant Foley Munion’s life starts spinning out of control when her felon father breaks out of prison. Though he claims he’s escaped to protect her from being framed, Foley suspects he’s really after one last score. Soon the police and FBI show up to question her about a bank robbery. Since Foley installed the security cameras at the bank, local cops are convinced she’s involved. To make matters worse, the current robbery mimics another heist at a bank where Foley also installed the cameras. During that crime, Foley’s business partner was taken hostage, her charred remains later found in the desert.

As the daughter of a safecracker and B&E man, Foley is used to police scrutiny, but this time she’s their prime suspect. With her locksmith business already on the brink of failure, a police investigation could be the final blow that closes her doors. Getting arrested won’t help things either. While the authorities focus on linking her to the robberies and her partner’s death, Foley hunts for the real perpetrator, hoping to clear her name.

The more she digs, the more Foley questions what she’s being told bythe police, the FBI, and her father. When her quest to clear her name uncovers the person behind the robberies and murder, Foley finds her own life on the line.

First 250:

Foley Munion glared at the name on the window: Manley and Munion Lock and Key. The last time she had the plate glass replaced, she should’ve told the painter to leave off Allison’s name. Even if it still brought in the occasional customer. Foley opened the door and sighed. The way business was going, the point could be moot by the end of the month.

The small lobby felt colder than the parking lot. Foley nudged up the thermostat then lifted the walk-through section of counter. Metal shavings from the key grinder sparkled on the worn linoleum. Inside the back room, she froze, the nape of her neck prickling.

The heater whooshed on. Foley flinched, then took a slow turn. The bins of wire and alarm components sat undisturbed. But something was off. Hurrying to the safe, she crouched and spun the dial. When the lock clicked, she yanked the handle and pawed through the contents. Money untouched. Schematics secure. She leaned forward to sniff the locking mechanism. No tell-tale odor of oil or graphite. So why the heebie-jeebies? Standing, she closed her eyes and breathed deep.

Oh no. That smell. Soft, but with a slight edge. Partagas. Dad’s favorite cigar. Why’d she smell it now? A faint scuff came from the left. Her eyes popped open.

Her father stepped from the storeroom, unlit cigar in hand.

“Dad.” Foley’s right eyelid twitched while she did parole math. Even with good behavior, he shouldn’t be out yet. “Tell me you didn’t escape again.”


  1. I'd love to see this project. Please submit your query letter (in the body of your email) and pages (as a Word attachment) to Please include QUERY KOMBAT in the subject line. Thanks!

  2. I want to see more of this. Please send a query and the pages (attached as a Word doc) to