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Writing History & Mysteries

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

Saturday, September 21, 2013

Milk Carton Murders 25

Hal, Dave's dad, was accused of the 20-year-old murder of one of the girls who was found by the creek-- one of the many foster children that passed through Dave's house as a child. Hal agrees to go to the sheriff's station to try and explain his side. He makes sure Dave grabs two boxes to bring along. And just what are in those boxes anyway? Sheriff Clayton Nazzaro and Investigator Pepper Black are asking Hal a few questions. Some of the Q&A in the last few snippets has gotten a bit heated and confusing. (A little creative punctuation to meet the 8.)
“Everybody take a breath,” said Nazzaro, “and Hal, why don’t you try starting from the beginning instead of jumping in at the middle expecting us to understand what you’re talking about.”

“Well that’s why we brought the boxes, Clayton,” said Hal, as if the sheriff was blind. “All the files of every child we had are in it—you can’t expect me to remember everything from that long ago, I’m sixty-five for Christ sakes.”

Nazzaro winced, and shook a finger in Hal's direction. “That's not that old, Hal, and there’s nothing wrong with your mind—I know—my mother is your canasta partner.”

“What’s in the other box?” asked Pepper.

“Just random photos from over the years I found in the attic when I went up there to look for my pinewood derby car,” said Dave.

“In the middle of all we have been doing this last week, you were thinking of your Boy Scout car?” asked Pepper, dumbfounded.

The link to the other Weekend Writing Warriors is here. You're bound to find something to pique your interest.

The Sunday Snippet writer's on Facebook are here. Between the two there is something for everyone. Thank you for any comments you leave me. Much appreciated!

When three small coffins are unearthed near the Wiscoy Creek during a routine dredging operation, it’s the last thing DAVE ROBERTSON, of the Lamont Weekly Times, expected. Pinned to the skeleton’s clothing are pictures from milk cartons of missing girls.

Dave is stunned to find that one of the girls is Sally―a foster child his parents had cared for through the Friends of Foster Families (FFF) program. Cold case files reveal the girls disappeared over 20 years ago. Knowing his house was the last place he saw Sally alive, he can’t help but suspect his dad.

How can he write the biggest story of his career if his father turns out to be the killer? If the voice in his head would shut up and let him remember, he might figure it out before he loses his mind and his dad is charged with murder.

Full blurb and snippet recap here.


  1. This is so good, Cindy! Hmm, that Pinewood Derby car is throwing me a curve. Do I need to file that for later sleuthing??

    "...for Christ sakes" actually lends quite a bit of reality to the scene. I could hear the words. :-)

  2. I am so enthralled with this story...can't wait to learn more (well, actually, can't wait to read the entire tale). Great snippet!

  3. "...you were thinking of your Boy Scout car?”

    Nice hook, one with which I can easily connect. Years ago, I spent many hours working with my sons' on their pinewood derby cars.
    Great vehicle for father-son bonding.
    Well done!

  4. Certainly makes one wonder what significance the Pinewood Derby car is going to play in this mystery... hmmm, my mind is salivating with the possibilities

  5. I missed this last week :-) You do these characters' dialog so realistically. And I love the derby car -- you know that's got to mean something, but what?? We'll have to come back! That's sneaky of you, Cindy!

  6. Very nicely done 8. Love the reality of the conversation and Hal's comment about memory - nice! As other's asked... should we keep that reference to the pinewood derby in mind? Well done - next snippet cannot come too soon.

  7. The pinewood derby car? Store it away. :)

  8. There is so much charm and humor in your snippet. I enjoy your writing and this eight is a corker. Canasta partner?

  9. Dave has been oddly detatched at times... I always get the feeling that his mind is trying to protect him from something he may not know he knows---or something he's afraid he knows . . .

  10. A derby car is a clue. Intriguing. I agree with Sarah W. It's such a great mystery.

  11. Heh, I love Pepper's last question, but Dave reminds me of my younger kid who goes looking for something and finds something else. Great snippet, Cindy. :)

  12. More and more wondering just what Dave knows he doesn't realize he knows.

  13. Nazzaro's mother plays canasta :) Great way of showing Nazzaro doesn't buy into Pepper being too old to remember. Well done. This story grows on me so I'll know more next week.

  14. I love the conversation and the interplay between the characters -- they flow so naturally.

  15. Is this book available for sale? I took most of the summer off from WewriWa and I really want to read the whole thing.

  16. I'm not sure I agree with Pepper. There's a big difference between focusing on a game strategy and remembering details out of one of many foster kids.

    And wow, is Dave not coming across too well in this snippet...

  17. Excellent use of dialogue! Well done with your eights.

  18. Cindy, excellent eight as always!

  19. Nice excerpt, Cindy! The dialogue was really effective here. Always enjoy reading your work! :)

  20. "pinewood derby car" Dave? Really? Aren't you trying to be suspicious here ?

  21. I think I'd be dumbfounded by that excuse too.

  22. I kind of love the fact that he fixated on something innocent like the pinewood derby car. It shows how random the mind can be at times of stress. Great job!

  23. Exciting setup. The conversation makes me want to jump into those boxes and find a clue already! Great 8.

  24. Wonderful dialogue, very natural. Definitely want to know more! Great 8!

  25. Thanks for your comments this week. Wish my blog template had a respond to comments thing. :( I do visit all your blogs though. Next week, part of the significance of the derby car.


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 20 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.


APRIL 2nd,11-1 PM
The Book Shoppe - Medina, NY

APRIL 16th, 2 PM
Barnes & Noble - Pittsfield, MA

APRIL 19th, 7 PM
Tonawanda Indian Reservation Historical Society,
Tonawanda Indian Community Center- Akron, NY

MAY 14th, 1 PM
Seneca Iroquois National Museum - Salamanca, NY

May 17th, 6 PM Warsaw Public Library - Warsaw, NY

AUG 9TH, 7 pm Hoss's Country Corner -2016 Author's Night- Long Lake, NY

AUG 25TH 6 PM Akwesasne Cultural Center - Hogansburg, NY

More to announce as they are confirmed.

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