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Writing History & Mysteries

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

Monday, April 08, 2013

G is for Groggy

Please forgive me any typos and excessive "ing" words. I am truly writing on the fly from my iPad and caught a signal to post as we return from a 400mi round trip to visit a college for my son. Unfortunately,  iPad does not always play nice with blogger when it comes to editing.

And now we finally meet the mysterious Malcolm Sinclair as Investigator Pepper Black goes undercover to infiltrate the book club.


Pepper pulled her jeep into the roundabout and parked along the circle. Malcolm Sinclair's estate was one of the few large homes on Spirit Lake. As she walked towards the entrance she could tell by her steps and the view that the property was wider than it was deep—common for land along the water’s edge. Pepper was told by the town assessor that one of the town's early businessmen had bought up several smaller parcels during prohibition to build it. The combination of several merged lots gave what locals would consider a mansion, plenty of frontage to support a boat launch as well as a strip of beach area.

The house itself looked imported from the south--the same as the original owner's wife. There were more porches than Pepper could count on one hand without walking around the entire building. In contrast, Malcolm's outside seating was northern New York Adirondack style chairs and rockers. Benches of the same style were placed throughout the gardens which spread outward from the main entrance of the house. Other guests, who arrived earlier than her, sat scattered amongst the floral and decorative landscape.

Sure seemed a lot of people for just a book club, and smack in the middle of it all was Malcolm Sinclair.  Wearing white cotton, zoot-suitish pants, he looked as if he walked off a 1940s dressing room movie set. He stood at the center of four cackling women and held a glass of what Pepper guessed was bourbon on the rocks to complete the image.  The only thing Malcolm was missing was the white ascot. She had better take care of their introductions now. No sense wasting her time if he doesn't buy her fake persona. She walked over to the group as timid looking as she could stand to portray.

"Excuse me," Pepper said, "would you be Malcolm Sinclair?"

"Yes," he answered, in a slur. "And you might be?

Malcolm seemed a bit groggy for only 6:00 PM. It was more like too much cocktail hour rather than not enough sleep—and damn him for reminding her she hadn’t thought of a name yet. Crap. She wished she had stopped for a brain jolt of hazelnut espresso at the cafĂ© before she showed up.

“I'm Hazel brew … Brewster,” Pepper said. “Hazel Brewster. Hi. Sorry, I'm a bit nervous. Margie Webster told me to meet her here but I don't see her yet."

"Well, Hazel, is it?" Malcolm said, as he sipped his drink in one hand and slid his other hand in the pocket of his silk, amoeba print dinner jacket in stereotypical fashion, "that would be a neat trick wouldn't it--considering she's dead."


Today's word - G is for Groggy - is brought to you by Ron Freeman.

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. Good one. Very good. I haven't read any of the other posts, I hope they are all this story!

  2. Yes, Kristin, all the same story. Course I'm thinking a serial may not have been the best idea for this type of challenge. But since I'm leaving it up others may read it at some point. I think next year I'll pick a different theme. :)

    Thanks for stopping by!

  3. Nice...kinda Gatsby-like. And cocktails would do that to you. -Belinda.

  4. I know what you mean about blogger and iPad:( I had to quit trying to blog on my iPad--too frustrating!

  5. Interesting read... :) can't wait to


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