Gone Before

One of my favorite small-town detectives is back! Rory Naysmith has been chosen as the grand marshal in the Winterset Nebraska Fourth-of-July parade. Sounds great, right? Nobody mentions there’s a curse on the job until it’s too late. We’ll hear more about the whole situation from Esther Mullins, Rory’s almost girlfriend and one of my favorite characters.

A Few Words With Esther Mullins, a Character From Gone Before

  • Please tell us about your involvement with Rory Naysmith in this story.

Rory Naysmith and I are close friends, but I wouldn’t say we’re romantically involved. We enjoy each other’s company and have mutual respect for one another. Good heavens, we’re in our fifties, old enough to be sensible. Besides, he keeps his feelings under wraps and never allows them to overshadow his duties. I’m flattered to be included in his network of confidants.

  • What do you think of Rory?

When Rory first arrived in Winterset, I hoped he’d use his experience to complement our small-town police department. He did, plus he has proven to be a top-notch detective and a man of integrity. That Rory is a curmudgeon, single-minded, and occasionally stubborn doesn’t seem to interfere with him being big-hearted. And as my sister, Jesse, says, he’s cute for a middle-aged, bald guy.  

  • Do you have any specific skills to help or block Detective Rory Naysmith?

I run a bookkeeping business out of my home, which means I’m good with numbers, computers and have a flexible schedule. Also, I keep a level head and have lived in Winterset for my whole life. So you could name balance and organization among my strengths and common sense as my superpower.

  • Do you get along with others? Tell us about people you do or do not get along within the story.

Having harmony in my life is important, so I won’t say I have a conflict with anyone. Although, Marilyn Beauregard can be trying. She’s a family friend who knows everyone, has done everything and can get bossy. But, I keep in mind that she is well-intentioned, even when she’s pushy.

  • What are you most frightened of in this story?

Rory is injured early in the story. You know how men are. He doesn’t take care of himself, and I had to step back, swallowing the fear he’d do more damage. Luckily, Jesse managed to come up with a plan, but even then, I was afraid he’d lose his spot in the police department. He wouldn’t be able to accept that, and it would break my heart.

  • Is there anything funny that happens to you or another character in this story?

The whole town gets excited about genealogy. Marilyn’s cousin-in-law, Henry, comes to Winterset touting the virtues of Family Lost & Found, an ancestry site he claims led to discovering unknown family wealth. It’s comical how everyone hopes to find they are related to royalty or some nefarious character. So, naturally, there is wagering and a competition. I thought Henry’s claims were bogus and his motives suspect. But, of course, I have a family Bible that tells me everything I need to know about my ancestors.

  • If I were to choose an actor or actress to play your part in a movie, who would that be? Do you see any other characters in your story as actors or actresses that our readers might know?

If you mean anyone, then I pick Julianna Margulies. I loved the way she portrayed the character of Alicia Florrick in The Good Wife. Alicia’sintelligence and conflicted emotions shine, and I thought the character’s quiet reserve spoke volumes. Julianna would be perfect. Of course, I’m six feet tall, and she isn’t, and I’d never ever wear spiky heels, and maybe, I’m a bit sturdier.

  • Are you in other mysteries you would like to tell us about? Is this the first book in the series, or have you been in on a few other cases?

Gone Before is Rory Naysmith Mysteries, Book 2. In the first novel, Gone Astray, Rory becomes Winterset’s first police detective and has to win over the town and solve crimes. When my mother is missing after a snowstorm, he gets assigned to the case. There’s graft, hi-jacking, and a dead body. It was a miserable time for me; Rory made it easier. He truly is a gifted detective.

  • Do you have any final words you would like to leave with our readers?

I want to encourage everyone to drop in for a visit. Winterset, Nebraska, is a small town filled with brave and friendly people. There are some quirky folks here, like my neighbor, Axel Barrow, but all-in-all, a batch of lovable, memorable characters. And ignore the rumors that the crime rate is rising. Detective Naysmith has it under control.

  1. Let’s give your author a chance to speak. Anything you would like to add?

I think Esther has summed it up. Although, I’d say Winterset would be a wonderful place to live as well as visit.

Read more about Gone Before below.

Book Description

Small-town detective, Rory Naysmith, thought he’d seen it all, but a young woman’s brutal murder is especially hard to stomach. Doubly so, when he recognizes the murder’s MO is identical to that of Tobias Snearl, the killer he put behind bars a decade before. His frustration grows after a series of senseless accidents plague those dearest to him, and a second woman dies. Searching for answers, Rory races against time, plunging deep into the murder investigations, drawing ever closer to becoming a casualty of the dark, angry deeds himself, until he finds no one is who they pretend to be—and none are beyond evil’s reach.

Purchase Gone Before on Amazon;or Barnes & Noble
Excerpt: Gone Before
The recovery crew was still working when Rory swapped worry for anxiety.
He’d always loved summer—heat, humidity, long days cooled by the night breeze. He’d been younger then and in top condition. His damn foot put him in an awkward position. He wasn’t tip-top, that was for sure. The endless day of inaction taunted him and wouldn’t allow him to shake the doubts running through his mind. Was he in shape to conduct an investigation? How long could he hide his condition from the chief? Would Mansfield push him into administrative leave?
He knew one thing. He wasn’t giving up his shield—even temporarily.

Purchase Gone Before on Amazon or Barnes & Noble



My Review

There has been a brutal murder in the small town of Winterset, Nebraska. Middle-aged detective Rory Naysmith stumbles upon a woman buried beneath rock while at a Fourth-of -uly celebration. What bothers him is this murder reminds him of one he solved years ago. The murderer now sits in jail, so what can be happening? I loved this story, the characters and setting all the way through. Rory has to overcome an injury in order to investigate which causes others to come to his rescue setting his apartment up as a workstation. The clues to the mystery are everywhere and Fischer does a beautiful job of keeping the reader fascinated. From Esther Mullins, the unassuming bookkeeper, Thatcher, the rookie cop and Axle the rough-looking loveable man to call on in an emergency, you will love spending time in Winterset with these characters!

About Terry Korth Fischer

Terry Korth Fischer writes short stories, memoirs, and mysteries. Her memoir, Omaha to Ogallala, was published in 2019. Followed in 2021, by her debut mystery, Gone Astray, introducing Detective Rory Naysmith, a seasoned city cop relocated to small-town Winterset, Nebraska. The Rory Naysmith Mysteries continue with Gone Before, coming in January 2022. Transplanted from the Midwest, Terry lives in Houston, Texas, with her husband and two guard cats. When not writing, she loves reading, frolicking with the kittens, and basking in the sun. Yet, her heart often wanders to the country’s heartland, where she spent a memorable—ordinary but charmed—childhood. Learn more about Terry at her author website: https://terrykorthfischer.com

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3 thoughts on “Gone Before

  1. Thank you, Teresa. Esther is one of my favorites!

  2. It’s great to be back in Winterset with all the friends from Gone Astray! Love the characters and the twists and predicaments that pop up throughout the book.

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