(Revamping the blog. Please excuse the odd headings. Working on it!)

Writing History & Mysteries

When I'm not delving into historical research, I'm planning a character's demise.

Tuesday, April 02, 2013

B is for beheaded

Twenty-five-year-old Margie Webster’s body was found along a hedgerow between two farm fields—a place where she would have no reason to be. The forensics crew has collected only a small amount of evidence from the scene.

Margie’s body was taken back to the morgue. Sheriff Clayton Nazzaro finished the difficult part of having her parents identify her body. The sheet was only lowered just below her chin so her neck wound would not be visible to her parents. The next scene takes place in the sheriff’s office with Margie’s parents, Jack and Alice Webster.


Sure, he had to notify parents before, but not like this. There was no easy way to tell them their daughter had been beheaded—so he didn’t. He told himself the reason was that he didn’t want that piece of information to end up in the Lamont Weekly Times.

Alice’s hands wrung the sides of her dress into a tight ball. She didn’t look up. Her husband had his arm around her shoulder holding her close but Clayton doubted she was cognizant of it. He would have to handle this next part as delicate as possible. How to start?

“Jack,” Clayton began, still unsure what to say next, “I’m going to have to ask you some questions, and I’m sorry about that, but you understand we have to try and figure out what happened, right?”

“Yes. Yes, I understand,” Jack said. He looked at his wife, frozen in her own thoughts.

“Alright then. So was Margie still working up at McCormick’s Boat Rental?”

“Yes, just the weekends this time of year, until tourist season starts beginning of May.” Jack faced Alice as he answered. “Isn’t that right honey?” His wife gave no indication that she heard the question.

“So she worked yesterday then I take it, on Friday?”

“I believe she did. Every Friday til 4 o’clock,” Jack said.

“So after she got out of …”

“No, she didn’t,” Alice said, her voice barely audible.

Clayton was relieved there was a reaction from Alice. “She didn’t what Mrs. Webster?”

“She didn’t go to work Friday,” Alice said. She took a deep breath, her voice now clear. “She was supposed to. Normally did. But not last Friday.”

Jack’s face expressed his confusion. He released his hold on his wife as if she did something wrong, withheld a secret of dire importance from him. “She didn’t go in? I thought she had, she wasn’t home. Why didn’t you tell me?”

“She took the day off. Some event or day trip with that book club.” Alice was on the edge of collapse. “That stupid club of hers. You know the one, Jack. You forbade her to go.”

“So you didn’t tell me? Christ Alice!”

That was the final act. Alice broke down into a mass of tears.

Now Clayton was the one who was confused. What could possibly be wrong with a book club?

Today's word - B for beheaded - is brought to you by Zach Amrhein. 
If you would like to catch up, here is my 2013 A to Z Mystery Recap. 

This post is part of April's Blogging From A-Z Challenge and Camp NaNoWriMo. The rest of the A-Z bloggers can be found pinned in the links section of my sidebar. Hope to see you tomorrow!



  1. Are you writing a story for the Challenge? What a great idea. Will put you in my Follow After Challenge folder to find out what happens. Come visit when you can.

  2. Read this and then went back to A. You've definitely got me intrigued. I'll be back to see what happens next and who dunnit of course.

    Carol's Notebook

  3. Wow that was awesome!
    He murderous book club ! Were they reading on French revolution?

  4. Okay, I am hooked! Great idea for the challenge. I will definitely be back for more.

  5. Hi there! This is my first visit to your blog and I enjoyed it. Please visit us at http://citymusecountrymuse2012.blogspot.com/ and, if you like what you see, sign up to become a member.

  6. Nice snippet. Sounds like my kind of story.

  7. Yep, those book clubs--scary places. ;-)

    This is wonderful, HS! Great imagery. Well done :-)


Anyone can comment. You don't need to jump through hoops or be a member of anything. Nice huh?

Available in paperback and eBook formats

Available in paperback and eBook formats

Now Available At:

Barnes & Noble
The History Press

Carried by over 40 college/university libraries across the county, according to daily updates by worldcat.org, including Columbia University, Oklahoma State, Texas A & M, and Yale University Law Library.

Book Trailer

Weekend Writing Warriors

Weekend Writing Warriors

Follow my RSS Feed by Email

Bread & Butter the Murders of Polly Frisch

Bread & Butter the Murders of Polly Frisch
Available on Amazon

Other Great Reads


Recent Posts

A to Z - 2015

A to Z - 2014

A to Z - 2014

A to Z - 2013

A to Z - 2013


Cindy's bookshelf: read

Waiting for Harvey
4 of 5 stars
Alone, in a cabin in the woods, with a ghost. Who could ask for more in a ghost story? Harvey starts right out with a hint of foreboding in a conversation between brothers John and Erik. Already my curiosity is roused as to what happened...
tagged: books-i-read-to-me
James Potter and the Curse of the Gate Keeper
3 of 5 stars
I randomly downloaded this on my iPad when I hit the wrong button being a bumble fingers, so I thought I'd give it a shot. I've never read fanfic before. It was pretty good. But like many other people, it still can't compare to J. K. Row...
5 of 5 stars
I beta read a few chapters of a different book by this author (one that isn't out yet) so when this one was out I had to read it as it was the same character in the one a betaed a bit of--the character of Track. I have a fondness for thi...
tagged: books-i-read-to-me