Today, author Stuart R. West is here to share his comedic cozy mystery, Bad Day in a Banana Hammock. As those of you who have read my Cassie Wynn Mysteries know, I love a good whodunit that makes me laugh. So without further ado, welcome, Stuart!

Bad Day in a Banana Hammock is my first straight-up comedy. It’s a cozy mystery. Sorta. Gone are teacups, replaced by male g-strings. A femme fatale using the (false?) name of “Kat” replaces the customary kitties. Comfy chats about food are relegated to spam and fast-food burgers. But it’s a cozy, I tell you!

Here, this explains it better:

Zach wakes up with no memory, no phone, and no clothes except his stripper g-string. And oh yeah! There’s that pesky naked dead guy in bed next to him. Problem is Zach’s not gay. Or a murderer. At least, he doesn’t think so. Only one person can help him, his sister, Zora. Of course Zora’s got problems of her own—she has three kids at home and is eight month’s pregnant with the fourth. So she’s a bit cranky. But that’s not going to stop her from helping her brother. With kids in tow, the siblings set how to find the true killer, clear Zach’s name, and reassure Zach he’s not gay.

Full disclosure time: I wrote the book on a dare. A writer friend dared me to pen a book about a vapid male stripper involved in a mystery. I did it. But it’s his sister that’s proving to be the fan favorite. Zora is a very pregnant, very irritable ex-detective who knows her stuff and ain’t afraid to use a gun. Forget about getting her husband dinner on time...the game is afoot!

“An hilarious murder mystery romp. Ride along with Zach and Zora on this most entertaining of mysteries.”
-Heather Brainerd, author of the Jose Picada, P.I. mystery series.

“A fun, quirky whodunit so full of wild antics, it will keep you guessing...when you’re not giggling.”
-Heather Greenis, author of The Natasha Saga.

“Bad Day in a Banana Hammock will have you wiping up tears of hysterical laughter.”
-Suzanne de Montigney, author of the Shadow of the Unicorn series.

Buy it here:

Amazon US:

Amazon UK:

Amazon CA:


Zora stared into the dryer, stuck in the deep knee bend of advanced pregnancy. Unable to get up. Of course that’s when the doorbell rang, the way it always seems to happen. Her knees wobbled, unsteady, threatening to dump her over. In her condition, she felt less than athletic.

“I’ll get it,” screamed Nikki, her six year old. Always ready to open the door to strangers, but can’t open and shut a clothes dryer. Maybe if Zora installed a TV above it.

By the time Zora rolled onto her side and negotiated the six-point maneuver necessary to get to her knees, the real screaming started.

Nikki. Justin caterwauled alongside her.

Eight months pregnant or not, Zora bounced to her feet.

Hold on, kids! Mom’s coming to the rescue!

She looked hurriedly around for the closest potential weapon and grabbed a bottle of stain remover. Hey! Any old port in a storm! Bottle in hand, she hustled down the hallway.

Nikki stood in the open doorway, still yelling at the top of her lungs. Her hands were fastened over her four year old brother’s eyes, not so much his screaming mouth. Zora took one look over her daughter’s head and joined the line-up, her hands slapping down over Nikki’s eyes. Figures. Zora’s brother Zach stood outside wearing nothing but a fur coat, a golden thong and a stupid, shameless grin.

“What in the…what now, Zach?” She turned her linked entourage away, shushing them.

“Oh my God, Zora, you’ve gotta help me! I’ve had the worst day! My wallet and phone and pants are missing, and I’m not gay, and I woke up next to a dead guy, and I just spent 45 minutes singing the EZ Brite song with a cab-driver, and he can’t sing at all, and—”

“Wait, wait, wait.” Like a traffic cop, Zora stuck her hand up. Zach could never tell a story for his life. Or keep it together in a crisis. Something she’d come to expect from him over the years. “Back up a minute. What’s this about a dead guy? No…wait…” She bent over, lightning ripping up and down her spine. “Kids, it’s just Uncle Zach. I need to talk grown-up stuff. Go do your homework.”

“It’s summer, Mommy!”

“Well go play, watch TV, torture the neighbor…whatever you do all day.”

They scampered off at a dangerous inside sprint, singing the EZ Brite song. “EZ Brite takes out the greeennn…”

“Get in here, Zach! Before the neighbors see you!” Still holding the stain remover, she wagged him in. Then thumped him in the head with the bottle.

“Owwww, dammit! Why’d you do that?”

“Because I know you and I know this isn’t gonna be good.”

“Come on, sis.” His grin blossomed into a face-wide smile, one that never worked on her. “I didn’t do anything. Really.”

“Yeah, right.”

He jacked a thumb behind him. “Um, I sorta told my cab driver you’d pay him. Please? Cash only, Bennie doesn’t like plastic. You know I’m good for it.”

Good for nothing, more like. With a sigh, she grabbed her purse.

Amazon US:

Amazon UK:

Amazon CA:


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Published on July 16, 2016 07:05 • 1,673 views • Tags: bad-day-in-a-banana-hammock, comedy, cozy-mystery, guest-blog, humor, mystery, stuart-r-west

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