Death by Polka by Robert Jeschonek

When Polish Lou, the Prince of Polka Music, dies under mysterious circumstances, it's up to his prodigal daughter, Lottie, to solve the crime...and save Lou's secret polka legacy.

Death by polka

Who killed Polish Lou, the famous Prince of Polka Music? His daughter, musicologist Lottie Kachowski, comes home to the polka heartland of New Krakow, Pennsylvania, to find the answer. Lottie has an unbeatable talent for using music to solve crimes, and she does just that on the trail of her father's killer. But the stakes turn deadlier than ever when another polka legend comes to a tragic end. As the danger rises, Lottie recruits her father's wacky girlfriend, Polish Peg, to help her dig deeper into the wild world of small town polka. The investigation takes some fancy footwork, as Lottie dances her way through a maze of local rivalries and alliances to unearth the darkest secrets of friends and neighbors. At the same time, she fights to keep from getting dragged back into the polka scene she left behind long ago, though her father's will names her his successor as head of his polka empire. Ducking her legacy while catching a killer is the challenge of a lifetime, but with help from Polish Peg, an old boyfriend, and a mysterious cat called Ghost, Lottie might just stand a chance of cracking the case. She puts everything on the line, even as the killer puts her in his sights, and she won't give up. Because when you've got polka in your blood, you just know the bad guy's going to face the music.

Genre: FICTION / Mystery & Detective / General

Secondary Genre: FICTION / Mystery & Detective / Women Sleuths

Language: English

Keywords: mystery, crime, detective, murder, private eye, investigate, polka, music, polish, johnstown, pennsylvania, band, cozy

Word Count: 80,000

Sales info:

Though this book is set in my hometown of Johnstown, Pennsylvania, it has been my top-selling title internationally for years. It has done especially well on Kobo. As a cozy mystery, it has broad appeal to devoted fans of the genre around the world.

Sample text:

My father had been in the ground only two hours, and people were already dancing.

As I stood outside the door of the New Krakow Fire Department banquet hall, I could hear the polka music flowing from within.  No music was better loved in this Western Pennsylvania town where Polish heritage came before all others.

Not that I could claim to be one of the polka faithful.  Not after fifteen years in Los Angeles.

I certainly didn't look like a polka chick.  Sizing up my reflection in the glass door, I straightened my simple knee-length black dress and adjusted the stylish coil of black hair wound on top of my head.  If the coil came undone, my hair would fall below the small of my back...which is quite a ways, as I'm over six feet tall.

Satisfied that I was halfway presentable, I reached for the door handle.  When I pulled the door open, a wave of polka music washed over me, punctuated by whooping and yipping.  As I stepped inside and took off my sunglasses, I could see the hall was packed from corner to corner.  Everyone was dancing, singing, drinking, laughing, or some combination of all the above.

The clothes were about the only giveaway that most everyone had been at my dad's funeral two hours before.  Lots of folks were wearing black; some of the women still wore black hats and veils.  But some of the dancers spinning around the middle of the hall had actually changed into full polka regalia since the funeral.  I counted six middle-aged women in brightly colored skirts that lifted as they twirled across the concrete floor.

I stood at the edge of the mayhem for a while, feeling lost.  I knew this was exactly what Dad had wanted, what he'd asked for in his will.  They didn't call him "Polish Lou" Kachowski, Prince of Pennsylvania Polka, for nothing.


Book translation status:

The book is available for translation into any language except those listed below:

Already translated. Translated by Matteo Serrago
Already translated. Translated by Sara Dosil Amor

Would you like to translate this book? Make an offer to the Rights Holder!