Jax Daniels was born in Chicago, raised in Denver, educated in Berkeley (go Bears!), and worked in the San Francisco Bay Area and Seattle. She and her husband currently live on a boat, inQuest, and cruise the eastern seaboard, from Canada to Florida, and the Mississippi to the Atlantic.

The Dead Man's Deal by Jax Daniels

Only after her husband died did Winki Witherspoon discover who he really was—the house champion of Witherspoon Mansion, a New Orleans home he hid from her. With this inheritance came his talents, magical abilities she also never knew existed, as well as his dangerous responsibilities.

The new domestic staff—her butler Jeeves, her maid Mrs. Black, her cook Mrs. White, and her mad-scientists, Mr. Smith and Mr. Wesson—prepare her for the annual Tournament, a brutal conflict where house champions vie to control the flow of good or evil energy into the mortal plane. Winki soon suspects one of them is a traitor, maybe even her husband's killer.

From beyond the grave Will guides her introduction to this new world, warning her about the temptations of evil. With the help of her silent Healer and her cockroach Familiar, Winki must master her newfound talent to defend her new home, expose Will's traitor, and protect the world before she is killed … or turns evil herself.


Can you envision a more decadent, atmospheric setting for a cozy paranormal mystery series than the city of New Orleans? Jax Daniels brings real-world experience to the pages from the years she lived at St. Elizabeth's, a U.S. National Historic Landmark located in the Uptown district. Her style is concise yet vivid and wonderfully evocative.

Allow me to demonstrate with a short excerpt from The Dead Man's Deal:

The stairs creaked in miserable protest under our combined weight. Mr. Wilson stood aside as he opened the door. I thanked him as I stepped into a grand entryway. Well, once grand, maybe one hundred years ago. Now it appeared faded and worn. The thick staircase curving gracefully into the hall, its finish discolored in hues of grey with no polish or shine. Cobwebs delicately dangled from the doorways leading to other rooms. Flowery wallpaper peeled away from the wall in spots and missing altogether in others, exposing the lathe and plaster walls beneath. I would have been appalled if the very look of the place didn't match the very feel of my soul.

Reading this passage, the feel of my soul matches the chills running down my spine. I love the eye-catching cover, and I can't wait to stay up all night with this page-turner.

The Dead Man's Deal is the first of two books in A Witherspoon Mansion Mystery series. – Melissa Snark



  • "I'm not even sure what it was about this book that caught my eye and made me buy it, but I am glad I did. The tone, the mood, the story....all of it was thoroughly enjoyable!"

    – Amazon review
  • "What a page turner. ... I want another Jax Daniels book."

    – Amazon review
  • "A very good and comfortable read!"

    – Amazon review



It happened again last night.

I sprawled lifelessly on my sofa, without the nerve to sleep alone in our ... my king sized bed the last few months. Will passed away unexpectedly last November. Since then I had spent miserable and depressed days flipping emotionlessly through TV channels, napping on and off as the rest of the world hummed and buzzed about its business with a vitality, or even vague interest, I no longer possessed. Driven from the world by my anguish, driven from the bed by my loneliness. As a result, I made my camp on the davenport.

But lately, in maybe the past week or so, this weird experience, or dream, or something kept happening. Just as I dozed off, just after the late-night host said his goodbyes, just as my attention lost its already tenuous mooring, it happened again. The TV and all the lights in the room popped and dimmed, as if a sudden brownout had hit the city. Then the clasp. Cold, very cold fingers clutched my forearm, just above my wrist. Just as it had the nights before.

I jerked upright. My heart raced as panic filled me. Let go of me! I looked down but saw nothing. Though I could see no indentations on my skin the grip remained tight and unyielding. I lurched off the sofa but the clutch never wavered. I felt trapped. I felt helpless. I felt like I was losing my mind. As I gasped to scream—another pop. The lights and TV brightened and the grip vanished.

Just as they had the other nights.

What the hell was happening to me?