Hattie Cooks Mysteries

Hattie Cooks Mysteries 

Great job. What man? And murder. 

Hattie Cooks takes a new job at the bridal salon, Wedding Wonderland, and is learning the industry from a woman she greatly admires. But when her former brother-in-law is found dead in his luxury SUV parked at Super Saver Grocery’s lot, all fingers point to Hattie’s sister, Tracey, who is in the middle of planning her own “I do’s.”

Detective Allan Wellborn is caught between a rock and a hard place—Hattie’s family and investigating the murder of a well-connected Sommerville resident, the same loser who was once married to Hattie’s sister. Determining who’s the bad guy—or gal—is not going to be easy and sure to piss someone off.

Can Hattie beat the clock to find out who murdered her sister’s ex before she is charged with the crime and her wedding is ruined?

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Sometimes, I felt like a small white mouse housed in a cage with lots of small white mice, whose playground activities involved eating, sleeping, and continually revolving on the exercise wheel. Just like one rodent friend—who I named Mr. Happy-Go-Lucky, having a field day back-flipping from the top of the spinning wheel—something happened. Unexpectedly, I found myself airborne.

Not hurt, a sense of disappointment overcame me, plus a bit of confusion, and a whole lot of colorful adjectives too numerous to list. I, mostly known as Hattie Cooks, shook off the pine shavings and joined the rat race. Sometimes, life sucked.

But wallowing? Not a good solution.

Being positive? A better one.

In most cases, a pitstop was a good idea, and I found comfort in my chocolate stockpile. And in most cases, I found empty shelves, for I had little dough to supply my habit due to the loss of my adored job as an assistant buyer at Sommerville’s top-class department store, Tucker’s, and the subsequent low-paying temporary ones I reluctantly took in the interim. Due to the expenses of rent, food, utilities, budgeting became my new compadr√©. However, for my recent birthday, Mom suggested friends and family provide me with treats. They were generous—gifting lots and lots of my favorite M&Ms in vast colors and flavors.

Mom’s idea totally rocked as the best birthday gift ever.

From outside my door, I heard Allan Wellborn smack the doorframe.

“You know how to find me.”

I roused from my ruminations and banged my forehead against the wall.  


-Apple:   https://podcasts.apple.com/us/podcast/new-release-temporarily-out-of-luck-hattie-cooks/id1557610139?i=1000512354212

-I loved it! It was a very entertaining and a fast read that kept me engaged throughout. The pacing was perfect. My only complaint is now I'm craving M&Ms and enchiladas. And donuts. And wedding cake. 

-I laughed. I wondered. Then I laughed some more. Every page of Temporarily Out of Luck delivers a satisfying story and heartfelt humor. Don’t miss this great read!

-Between a new job at a bridal shop, serving as her sister Tracey’s maid of honor, and learning to tango with hot cop Allan Wellborn, Hattie Cooks has her hands full. But when Tracey becomes the primary suspect in her ex-husband’s murder, Hattie knows it’s up to her to ensure her sister a happily ever after. Temporarily Out of Luck is the perfect pairing of romantic romp and cozy mystery.    

-Hattie Cooks has landed a great new job at Wedding Wonderland. With her sister Tracey poised to exchange nuptials, the timing couldn’t be better. And with sexy detective Allan Wellborn serving as the best man and Hattie as the maid of honor, the wedding promises to be an exciting event. Unfortunately, fate throws a monkey wrench in the happy couple’s plans when Tracey’s first husband, a cheater named Jonson Leggett the third, is found dead in the Super Saver parking lot. Can Hattie help clear her sister’s name in time for the big day? Readers will enjoy finding out in Temporarily Out of Luck.

-Temporarily Out of Luck is a light, funny mix of romance and suspense, set against the backdrop of a pending wedding. Say “I do!” to this delightful story!

-With charming characters, an intriguing murder plot, and lots of laughs, Vicki Batman’s latest book, Temporarily Out of Luck, is a total delight.

-A dead ex, a hot cop, and small-town secrets. Readers will enjoy spending time in Sommerville as Hattie Cooks attempts to prove her sister Tracey’s innocence—and learn the tango—before Tracey’s wedding day.  

-A romantic romp coupled with a cozy mystery, Temporarily Out of Luck will warm your heart, exercise your brain, and tickle your funny bone. Vicki Batman delivers pure entertainment--once again!

-Hattie Cooks might get lucky with investigator Allan Wellborn--if only his darn phone would stop getting in the way! Temporarily Out of Luck is a seamless blend of light murder mystery and romantic comedy that is sure to please readers of both genres.

New job. New romance. And murder.
Hattie Cook's dream job is down the toilet and her new SUV violated. Desperate for cash to cover the basic necessities of rent and food, she takes a temporary job at Buy Rite insurance company where she uncovers an embezzling scam tied to the death of a former employee--the very one she replaced.
Allan Charles Wellborn has secretly adored Hattie all his life. When the police determine there's more to the death of a former Buy Rite employee, he steps in to lead the investigation.  Overly dedicated, always perfect, he puts his job first, even if doing so ultimately hurts the one he loves.
Can the killer be found before Hattie's time is up?

Find Temporarily Employed at:  Amazon ebook   Amazon PB    B&N 

No frisking and no arrests were--so far, in my book--a good thing. As Sarah Anne’s older brother, I found it easy to eliminate him from the stalker, murderer, and rapist categories. The something in the truck line sounded similar to approaches used in past dating experiences. For instance:

“Want to come up and look at my etchings?”

Translated: A roll in the hay.

Or the ever popular “Would you like to meet Mr. Lizard?”

Translated: Mr. Wiggly Worm.

“How about coming to my place for a drink?”

Translated: To ply me with multiple drinks and the requisite roll in the hay.

I hadn’t fallen for those then and wasn’t going to be a sucker now.

He stuck his hands on his hip and said, “I know what you’re thinking. I’m not a stalker, murderer, or rapist." 

Apparently, he could read minds.

"Just a minute." I closed the door partially to release the chain, then opened it. “Why can’t you just tell me whatever it is?”

“No. I want to show you---”

“Not a Picasso?” I asked.


“Not an iguana?”

A perplexed expression crossed his face. “A what?”

“Not your pet worm?”

“What pet worm?”


              “Look, I don’t know what you’re thinking. The only worms I know about are for fishing.”


-Have you ever had a really, really, really bad day… and then had it turn worse?

We’ve all been there and that’s why I fell in love with Hatti Cook, the heroine of Vicki Batman’s Romantic-Suspense novel, Temporarily Employed. I’ve hit rock bottom and lived to tell the tale, but Hatti’s story is funnier and scarier and one heck of a lot more entertaining than my own. But be warned, while the story starts out light and funny, Batman’s skilled writing turns it into a dramatic tale of love.
The story opens with a hot cop catching Hatti at her worst moment and handing her a ticket. Her internal dialogue is a hoot. Self-deprecating, laugh-out-loud comments slid through her head into mine, from the very first page to the last.
Out of a job, with no love life and stuck in a town where everyone knows her business, Hattie takes a temp-job and tries to make sense of it all. Meanwhile her bad luck keeps getting “badder.”
A murder mystery swirls around her, her best friends want all the dirty details about her love life and a hometown that she once felt comfortable in is hiding a murderer.
Vicki Batman has a wicked sense of humor, but beneath the fun she hits strong chords about love and relationships. The story is more than a collection of the usual Romantic-Comedy, bunching-panty-hose and running mascara lines. It becomes a deep down, gut wrenching question of self-awareness and the trust required to make love work.

My favorite lines: “Nice day?” I gritted my teeth. “I’d kill for a really nice day.”
-A delightful sexy romp that kept me turning the pages.
-If you'd like to laugh out loud in the middle of Starbucks like I did then this book is for you! I garnered several curious looks but that couldn't stop me from buying another chocolate covered graham and forging ahead. Hattie is the girl we keep hidden inside all of us. She is self deprecating, funny, clutzy, a little insecure, but with a heart as big as Texas. Life just isn't going her way and the cherry on a horrendous job-searching day, she gets a ticket.
A. Wellborn is a by-the-book cop who just made detective and has had a thing for Hattie for a very long time. Unfortunately he's the one writing her a ticket! The humor kicks up a storm from there on.
This was a fun, light hearted romantic comedy and I can't wait to read her other book now. I'm off to load it on to my Kindle!!!

-Romance and wit...a winning combination in Temporarily Employed. 

No man. Bad job. And Murder. 

Hattie Cooks is still searching for her dream job and one might be available...in the Big Apple, far from friends, family, and Allan Wellborn, the man who still makes her heart race. In the meantime, she finds temporary employment at an accounting firm where two auditor friends turn up dead.

Detective Allan Wellborn dropped Hattie for Blonde Bimbo who, coincidentally, is employed at NLB where fishy things are taking place. When Allan interviews Hattie, he must determine why all signs point to her as a suspect.

Can Hattie discover why Allan dumped her and who is murdering auditors before death strikes again?

Find Temporarily Insane e-book at:    Amazon   Nook    iBook

Find Temporarily Insane paperback at:   Amazon

Trixie had some nerve.

“Stop it, Hattie!”

Her reprimand, the one which had shot a stabbing pain to my right eye, sounded terribly out of character, like she had little patience for me. Ordinarily, she was the nicest person I knew, didn’t have a mean bone in her body. The kind who rescued animals, picked up trash at Sommerville Park, and prepared food for the elderly.     

Not today. I narrowed my eyes and crossed my arms across my chest in a school girl flaunt.

Trixie tilted forward in her desk chair, her bosom almost resting on her desk. “This nonsense has to end. Your moan sounded like an obscure breed of a bizarre...untamed...wounded animal.” She returned to an upright and seated position and in tiny increments, rotated her chair from side-to-side, waiting for me to say something not stupid.

In truth, Trixie had pounded the nail on the head. I had nothing to add. My whole life had turned into an obscure, bizarre, bad reflection of itself, thus wounding me to my core. I sighed and pouted an if only.

Don’t go there.

My funsister friend owned the employment agency Jobs Inc., and on occasion, she’d happily assisted me in finding temporary work since my dream job had been flushed down the proverbial toilet a few months back, thus soiling my picture perfect life. For this newest assignment she’d located, I’d be employed as an administrative assistant for the managing partner at Northside, Lancaster, and Brookside, Certified Public Accountants, headquartered in my hometown of Sommerville.  

At first, she’d sounded oh-so pleasant when we began our yak about the opportunity. “Think accounting,” she’d teased, followed by a small chuckle.

Her laugh had spoken volumes of Encyclopedia Britannica proportions.


-Vicki Batman never fails to entertain. This novel is a perfect showcase for her humor and spunk. I've eagerly awaited its debut. --Kathleen Baldwin, award-winning, Amazon bestselling author
-Vicki Batman has a knack for revealing life's upside down moments, making us laugh while seeing ourselves revealed in her prose. Who hasn't twisted an ankle while trying to walk like a princess, or tried to be witty and come off flat? In Vicki's hands, these moments are golden -- and unforgettable. --Kayelle Allen, award-winning author, founder of Marketing for Romance Writers
-Nobody blends humor and great characters like Ms. Batman.--Harlie's Books
-I always get excited at seeing another Vicki Batman novel hit the bookshelves. It’s a fun and sexy ride where the writing is so real, the reader literally experiences the excitement unfold from the driver's seat view of the character.--Karen Cote’, Best Selling Romantic Suspense Author
-Vicki Batman is a master of short and sassy romance. I’m in awe of anybody who writes shorts, a whole story with believable characters in the same number of pages some writers use for a chapter or two! --Coffee Time Romance
-TEMPORARILY EMPLOYED is Jennifer Cruise on steroids.  I only stopped reading to laugh. Readers will love Hattie Cooks and Officer Whatshisname! -- Donnell Ann Bell, Bestselling author of The Past Came Hunting, Deadly Recall and Betrayed
-Temporarily Employed is one of those books that will keep you turning the pages while you’re giggling. I’ve read just about everything this author has written, and she never fails to disappoint with her witty dialogue and fast-paced narrative.--Liz Lipperman, National Best Seller of the Clueless Cook Mystery Series
-Temporarily Employed is another fun story by Vicki Batman that will leave you giggling and flipping pages to find out what happens next. --Karilyn Bentley, author of The Draconia Tales series
-Vicki Batman's stories are always fun and laugh out loud funny. She has a great voice and a real knack for storytelling! You don't want to miss TEMPORARILY EMPLOYED. --Michelle Miles, award-winning author
-Vicki Batman’s characters will take you on a ride that will keep you laughing out loud. Temporarily Employed is the perfect feel good read that will leave you smiling. Grab your copy and come along for the adventure.  --Sylvia McDaniel, Amazon bestselling author
-Temporarily Employed is an absolute gem. Batman's quick wit and eye for great story telling come through on every page. --Barb Han, Harlequin Intrigue author
-Buckle up for a rollicking, fun ride with a loveable, slightly wacky, heroine, a hot hero, and a cast of inept, shady characters. Temporarily Employed by Vicki Batman is a witty, amusing, exciting tale that will take you on a wild journey and leave you breathless and laugher.   --Award-Winning Author, Cara Marsi
-I never miss an opportunity to read Vicki Batman. Her stories are funny and entertaining. Always a great way to spend an evening. --Marian Lanouette, author Jake Carrington series.

-Anyone who follows this blog knows I’m a longtime fan of Ms. Batman. I loved the first Hattie Cooks Mystery, Temporarily Employed, and the second book, Temporarily Insane, does not disappoint.

I have to say, though, I would not want to share a temp assignment with Hattie. She’s had two so far, and people got killed at both. I’m beginning to think maybe she’s a jinx. First, she worked at a car insurance com...pany, and people got killed. Now they’re dropping like flies at the accounting firm where she works. Nope, I think maybe Hattie should become a writer. It’s a nice, solitary job.

But that wouldn’t be any fun for those of us who love to read about her escapades—and those of her fun-sisters, her family, and of course, her favorite detective (when he’s not dating Blonde Bimbo) Allan Wellborn.

-Wow—two choking hazards in a row. You’d think I’d have lost weight. Fortunately, with my twin addictions to reading and eating, I’ve gotten good at Hiemliching my self. This is another book you have to buy! Just don’t eat or drink while you read it, unless you’re good at rescuing yourself when you laugh so hard you choke.-Rose & Thorn

-Funny, drama, entertaining will keep you from the first page as favorite characters invite us back in their world of utter crazy. I really liked this book because it was a great funny story that kept me entertained from the beginning till the end. This book will have you falling out your seat laughing hard at Hattie and the trouble that seems to follow her. The writing was good and consistent. I never felt loss and I loved that this story kept up with the main characters so we knew are not lose or trying to figure out where they are going. Allen and Hattie are in another book that will take you back on the rollercoaster that has been going on for a while.

-This series is definitely worth reading the characters are fresh and enduring and they hold this book together perfectly. The writing, the plot, the characters all draw this book together and leave you wanting more. When this story ended I wanted more, wanted it to be longer, wanted Allen and Hattie together do many wants not enough book. I can’t wait to see what’s next for this series because whatever it is it will be great.  United Indie Book Blog

-“Temporarily Insane,” Vicki Batman’s follow up to “Temporarily Employed,” is an unpredictable combination of humor, romance, and mystery. Hattie Cooks is smart and sharp-witted. The author takes the reader right into Hattie’s head from the very first page and readers are with her every step of the way.

-Hattie makes her living as a temporary employee or “temp” accepting short-term job assignments. Her latest is as an Administrative Assistant for a CPA firm. The title of this book must stem from Hattie’s job interview because that entire scene was the zaniest of job interviews from start to finish. Nevertheless, despite her misgivings, Hattie needs the job and accepts the position, taking readers on a wacky ride.

-Detective Allan Wellborn is “hot.” He and Hattie had known each other from childhood. Hattie muses over circumstances from the previous novel that brought them together again, but not as close as Hattie would have liked. “Temporary Insane” finds Hattie and Allan still as “friends,” with Allan involved with another woman.

When two auditors at the CPA firm turn up dead, Allan and Hattie find themselves in the mix – both professionally and personally.

The humor is dry-witted, the mystery theme almost like something out of a Hallmark Channel movie, the identity of the killer freaked-out this reader, and the romance? Let’s just say Hattie is a true heroine.

-From Jane Reads: I just read a really good book, y'all — Temporarily Insane by Vicki Batman. Let me tell you a little about it.Temporarily Insane is a romantic comedy mystery, Book Two in the Hattie Cooks Mystery Series. Book One in the series is Temporarily Employed. Temporarily Insane is a fun, quick read that I had a hard time putting down. In Sommerville, Author Vicki Batman has created a setting that feels genuine, peopled with real and likable characters. I especially enjoyed the lead character Harriette (Hattie) Cooks, with her snarky wit and sass. The action is told by Hattie, in first person.

Hattie eventually realizes that, if she is going to continue to dress sooo well, she's going to have to suck it up and accept this dreaded accounting firm job, so she can pay for her couture habit. Since this is a murder mystery, you can correctly surmise that things don't go well for Hattie. To find out everything that happens regarding this temp job, and regarding Allan, you'll just have to READ THE BOOK!

-I recommend Temporarily Insane to all fans of romantic comedy mysteries. I think it will particularly appeal to fans of Vicki Batman's other books. I really enjoyed Temporarily Insane by Vicki Batman, and award it Four Kitties!

-Let me just start by saying, author Vicki Batman is a master at creating quirky characters. Ten minutes inside her heroine’s head is like a private trip to a padded room. Hattie is a delight. To cohabitate inside Hattie’s weirdly wired mind is strange at first but then, as you get to know her, you find yourself anticipating the next off-beat thought.


1. What is your favorite kind of mystery? I like a variety of mysteries, cutting on my teeth on Nancy Drew and Trixie Belden. In middle school, I discovered Agatha Christie and Daphne du Maurier's Rebecca. As a young adult, I segued to more romantic mysteries. Then I discovered different English mystery authors thanks to the PBS Mystery series.

2. Do you like humor in mysteries? I do! Mysteries tend to be dark. I relished those funny and snarky comments.

3. Who are your favorite mystery authors? I am particularly fond of Dick Francis and once told Handsome I wished I could write like him. I also like romance with suspense like those by Mary Stewart and M. M. Kaye. Julia Spencer Fleming is very good as is Elizabeth George and Sue Grafton.

4. Do you like series in mysteries? I do! Familiar characters are brought back to delve into new mysteries. And if there are romantic heroes, we all wonder "when?"

5. Why write humorous romantic mysteries? I believe this genre is an extension of my voice and I put that on the page.

6. Have you had "interesting" jobs? I have. And I've had to take jobs just to make ends meet. But I believe everything happens for a reason and maybe bits and pieces have ended up in my books.

Fact or Fiction?

I've had a wide variety of jobs and have worked with some "interesting" folks. So yes, it is possible some of them would show up in my work in some way. Maybe their physical description. Maybe something they said that has stuck with me all these years. Several years ago, I worked out at a local gym. The members received notification that someone had stolen parts off cars parked in the parking garage. That got me to thinking. And yes, I had a Jeep baby stolen--twice. The first time the bad dudes drove it down nearby railroad tracks. It should have been totaled, but wasn't. Not long after that incident, it was stolen again. This time found behind a local restaurant, running. However, it wouldn't go in reverse. That was very funny. Every year, the insurance industry publishes information about the top stolen vehicles. When mine was taken, Jeeps were at the top for that year. Jeep Cherokees were just about it in the SUV-type of vehicles. After that, other car manufacturers developed their version. I just wasn't a mini-van momma. When Handsome bought a very large motorcycle, I was VERY angry. I'd always wanted a Jeep Wrangler. That came out in our argument and two days later, I had one. Handsome says that was the most expensive motorcycle purchase ever. LOL. I'm always asked why I'm such a big Jeep fan. They are no-nonsense cars. Turn on a dime. Look awesome without all the silly stuff. I am not embarrassed to drive it. Easy to unload a baby from the car seat. Hauls stuff. I've had other brands of autos and two will remain my favs. But when I had the choice to buy a new one recently, I had to have a Jeep Patriot.

Book Club Questions:

1. Have you held temporary jobs? Love them or hate them?

2. Some families are extremely tight, like Hattie's. Is this a detriment?

3. We've all done stupid stuff. Does yours haunt you today?

4. Does romance combine well with mysteries?

5. How do you handle difficult people?

6. Would you be someone who would put themselves in danger?

Author Interview:

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