(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.

The blog of Cindy Amrhein

Historian - Author - Abstractor

Silver Lake, NY at Sunset

Photo by Zach Amrhein

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Sunday, November 13, 2016

A Book to Die For - 11

It's time again for Weekend Writing Warriors where we post 10 sentences from one of our works in progress or a book we have written. This week, the investigation continues after Margie is found dead, beheaded, along a hedgerow in a farmer's field. Her death has something to do with the odd book club run by Malcolm Sinclair at his estate on the lake. Pepper picks up a Hemingway book like Margie's, which she assumes the club has been reading. Pepper goes over the plan to infiltrate the book club with Sheriff Clayton Nazzaro as she gets ready.

A farm field in Wyoming County, NY.

And now the snippet:
“The guy is a bit peculiar from what I was told, and I’m not talking about a minor foible or two,” said Clayton, “Mostly keeps to himself except the book club and who knows how he gets a hold of the bookies, as you call them.”

“The problem is how much of what you heard is true and how much is small town busybody gossip?” Pepper picked up a book of Hemingway’s poems similar to Margie’s. “Got it at a bookstore a couple counties over—in case you’re wondering,” said Pepper. “It’s not exactly the same, but it’ll work.”

Clayton stood up to walk Pepper out. “Got one of the department’s unmarked vehicles for you to use--still wouldn’t park near the house though, go a ways down the road. Any ideas how you’re going to justify being there seeing as no one knows how to get into the group?”

“Sure,” she said, taking the keys. “I’ll say Margie invited me and told me to meet her there. It’s not like Malcolm can ask her, right?”


***

If you've liked my posts of The Milk Carton Murders, you should like this tale too. It was written to predate MCM and includes Sheriff Nazzaro and Pepper Black as well as other characters, from MCM.


Check out the other Weekend Writing Warriors---where a sampling of a variety of great writers is only a click away!
 
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Sunday, October 23, 2016

10 - A Book to Die For

(Fictitious) home of Malcolm Sinclair.

Welcome to WeWriWa! I'm back with an excerpt of a finished mystery.

The setup:
 

Margie is found dead, beheaded, along a hedgerow in a farmer's field. Her death has something to do with the odd book club run by Malcolm Sinclair at his estate on the lake. Inv. Pepper Black is retracing Margie's steps and stops at the girl's job, McCormick's Boat Rental, the last place Margie was seen before she went to the book club. The owner said Margie seemed upset she couldn't find her book.

Now the snippet:

Steve extended the book to Pepper--Complete Poems, Ernest Hemingway. She opened the ragged cover and turned to the copyright page. The 1983 date justified the wear. She riffled the pages with her thumb until she arrived at a page with the corner turned over. There were markings in the margins. She read to herself the short verse called, Chapter Heading.

  For we have thought the longer thoughts
    And gone the shorter way.
And we have danced to devils’ tunes,
    Shivering home to pray;
To serve one master in the night,
    Another in the day.


Oh Margie, why didn’t you talk to someone? Whatever had been going on in her life she must have begun to realize she wasn’t herself—it was just a little too late.

****

If you've liked my posts of The Milk Carton Murders, you should like this tale too. It was written to predate MCM and includes Sheriff Nazzaro and Pepper Black as well as other characters, from MCM.


Check out the other Weekend Writing Warriors---where a sampling of a variety of great writers is only a click away!
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Saturday, April 23, 2016

A Book to Die For - 09

The estate of Malcolm Sinclair on Spirit Lake
(In real life the country club on Silver Lake in Castile, NY where I live)



Previously, Sheriff Nazzaro and Investigator Pepper Black separated the parents of the victim. Both parents thought something was fishy about the guy leading the book club where her daughter was last seen. With Clayton's permission, Pepper has decided to influtrate the book club. She went home to get ready at her apartment above the Lamont Bicycle Shop. She stops first at McCormick's Boat Rental where the victim Margie Webster worked. And now the snippet:

 ***
 The bell tingled above Pepper Black’s head as she opened the door of McCormick’s Boat Rentals. A man sat behind the counter sorting through a carton of Rapala fishing lures.

“Excuse me,” said Pepper, “are you Steve McCormick?”

“That would be me--what can I do ya for?”

Pepper unclipped her badge from her belt and opened it for Steve to see. “I’m Investigator Black from the county sheriff’s office. I’d like to ask you a few questions about Margie Webster.”

Steve dropped the lures back in the box and sat down on the stool behind the register. “Damn bad business that. Margie was a nice gal.”


***

We'll continue here next week and see what Steve knows!

If you've liked my posts of The Milk Carton Murders, you should like this tale too. It was written to predate MCM and includes Sheriff Nazzaro and Pepper Black as well as other characters, from MCM.


Check out the other Weekend Writing Warriors---where a sampling of a variety of great writers is only a click away!

My new book  A History of Native American Land Rights in Upstate New York is now available via the History Press (and Arcadia Publishing) the largest publishers of local & regional history in the country. Cool huh? Swing on over to Amazon or enter the Goodreads giveaway!
 
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Sunday, April 03, 2016

A Book to Die For - 08

Previously, Sheriff Nazzaro and Investigator Pepper Black separated the parents of the victim. Both parents thought something was fishy about the guy leading the book club where her daughter was last seen. With Clayton's permission, Pepper has decided to influtrate the book club. She went home to get ready. This is Pepper's scene. And now the snippet:

***
Pepper had four hours to decide what to wear to the book club and the persona she wanted to adopt. Should she go for the hot erotica book reader type or maybe the quiet librarian look? Sheriff Nazarro wasn’t much help. Although he knew Margie Webster it was just to say hello or small talk when he had seen her out and about with her parents. Clayton had known Jack and Alice Webster for years through different town organizations, but not the daughter. The sheriff was single with no kids so he never crossed Margie’s path socially and the parents didn’t seem to know the real Margie.

Pepper grabbed her badge and clipped it to her belt, along with a few accessories—notepad, police radio, and her Sig Sauer 380. Her day old coffee sat thick in the pot. No time now to brew a fresh one and she didn’t feel like stopping at the Stop-n-Shop to grab their version of coffee. She poured the sludge in her mug, diluted it with a bit of tap water and put it in the microwave—nothing a good dose of sugar wouldn’t cure. 

***

If you've liked my posts of The Milk Carton Murders, you should like this tale too. It was written to predate MCM and includes Sheriff Nazzaro and Pepper Black as well as other characters, from MCM.


Check out the other Weekend Writing Warriors---where a sampling of a variety of great writers is only a click away!

My new book  A History of Native American Land Rights in Upstate New York is now available (E-book releases in mid April)  via the History Press (and Arcadia Publishing) the largest publishers of local & regional history in the country. Cool huh?

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Sunday, March 27, 2016

A Book to Die For - 07

Last week Investigator Pepper Black and Sheriff Clayton Nazzaro split the parents up to question them. Alice, the victim's mother, had seen her daughter Margie once with Malcolm Sinclair, the head of the book club. He went through the motions of interest in Margie, but not as interested as Margie was in him it seems. Jack, the father, wanted his daughter no where near him or his book club. Now the snippet. A conversation between Sheriff Nazzaro and Investigator Black, Piecing Malcolm's motives together:

***
"So you think this guy Malcolm, found her important for the purpose she served, to him anyway?" asked Clayton.

"That's how I see it.," Pepper answered.

"That's something like what her parents implied when I first got them in here. Said his attention towards their daughter wasn't on the up and up so Jack insisted she drop the book club."

"Obviously she didn't take her dad's advice."

"Suppose we better have a talk with Mr. Sinclair to see what he was up to last weekend," said Clayton.

Pepper had a cat that ate the mouse look on her face. "Better yet, I haven't read a good book in a while. Know of a club around here I can join?"

*** 

If you've liked my posts of The Milk Carton Murders, you should like this tale too. It was written to predate MCM and includes Sheriff Nazzaro and Pepper Black as well as other characters, from MCM.

Check out the other Weekend Writing Warriors---where a sampling of a variety of great writers is only a click away!
My new book  A History of Native American Land Rights in Upstate New York is now available (E-book releases in April)  via the History Press (and Arcadia Publishing) the largest publishers of local & regional history in the country. Cool huh?
Share:

Sunday, March 20, 2016

A Book to Die For - 06

We last left off with Investigator Pepper Black entering the station where Sheriff Clayton Nazzaro is trying to get answers out of the parents of the victim, Margie Webster. For some reason Jack Webster didn't want his daughter going to a certain book club and finds out his wife knew that Margie went anyway on the Friday before her body was found. The parents have been separated. And now the snippet:
***

Pepper closed the door to interrogation room number two where she left Alice Webster with a box of tissues and a female guard. Clayton could see through the glass that Alice would need another box very soon.

"Get anything useful?" asked Clayton.

Pepper sat on the edge of Clayton's desk and slid her pad across to him. "Alice didn't approve of Margie going to the book club either. Not so much the club as the guy running it, Malcolm Sinclair."

"Same here. Jack thought the guy was filling her head with crazy ideas. He didn't say exactly what though."

"Alice said she only saw Malcolm once," said Pepper, " and Jack didn't know about it--still doesn't.

***
If you've liked my posts of The Milk Carton Murders, you should like this tale too. It was written to predate MCM and includes Sheriff Nazzaro and Pepper Black as well as other characters, from MCM.

Check out the other Weekend Writing Warriors---where a sampling of a variety of great writers is only a click away!
My new book  A History of Native American Land Rights in Upstate New York is now available (E-book releases in April)  via the History Press (and Arcadia Publishing) the largest publishers of local & regional history in the country. Cool huh?
Share:

Sunday, March 13, 2016

A Book to Die For - 05


We continue with Sheriff Clayton Nazzaro questioning the parents of Margie Webster about the daughters movements the day of her death. Alice, Margie's mother spoke up saying Margie didn't go to work like normal. She went to a book club that her father had forbidden her to go to. We pick up here.

***
The problem with murder when it comes to parents, is to get them past their misplaced guilt. Clayton ran into it on other cases too, not just murder. Even after Clayton reassured them there was nothing they could have done; that Margie, like most twenty-five-year-old women, had a mind of her own, but it didn't help ease their pain. They felt responsible in some way.

The guilt they placed on each other made it all the more difficult for the Websters to stick to the questions. Why hadn't Alice told Jack that Margie went off to the book club? If Jack hadn't stifled their daughter so she would have been more open with them--and on and on. It took Clayton an hour to get any honest answers from either of them and that was only after he called in his investigator, Pepper Black.

***
If you've liked my posts of The Milk Carton Murders, you should like this tale too. It was written to predate MCM and includes Sheriff Nazzaro and Pepper Black as well as other characters, from MCM.

Check out the other Weekend Writing Warriors---where a sampling of a variety of great writers is only a click away!

And just to share some excitement, release day is tomorrow for my new book A History of Native American Land Rights in Upstate New York (E-book releases in April)  via The History Press the largest publisher of local history in the country. Cool huh?
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Sunday, March 06, 2016

A Book to Die For - 4

Welcome again to Weekend Writing Warriors. Last time, in A Book to Die For, Sheriff Clayton Nazzaro was questioning the parents of Margie Webster about the daughters movements the day of her death. Jack thought she had been at work at McCorrmick's Boat Rental saying she worked every Friday until 4. Alice, Margie's mother spoke up saying, no she didn't. It seems Alice knew a few things her hubby didn't. We pick up here.
A scene of Silver Lake, in this story Spirit Lake.
SNIPPET:

 “She didn’t what Mrs. Webster," asked Clayton.

“She didn’t go to work Friday,” Alice said, “She was supposed to--normally did--but not last Friday.”

Jack released the hold on his wife as if the shock of her words were electric. “She didn’t go in? Why didn’t you tell me?”

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

***
If you've liked my posts of The Milk Carton Murders, you should like this tale too. It was written to predate MCM and includes Sheriff Nazzaro and Pepper Black as well as other characters, from MCM.


Check out the other Weekend Writing Warriors---where a sampling of a variety of great writers is only a click away!
Share:

Sunday, February 28, 2016

A Book to Die For - 03

Weekend Writing Warriors time! We last left off in A Book to Die For with Sheriff Clayton Nazzaro and Coroner Herbert Wilde leaning over the decapitated body of a young woman found along a hedgerow between two farm fields. They identified the girl as Margie Webster who worked at McCormick's Boat Rental, but they were confused by the simple girls flashy clothing. Her body was taken to the morgue to be identified by her parents. And now the snippet:

Just some cows in the rural setting of the story---the county where I live.

***
“Jack,” Clayton began, still unsure of 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, I understand,” Jack said, as he looked at his wife's blank expression.

“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.

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


***
If you've liked my posts of The Milk Carton Murders, you should like this tale too. It was written to predate MCM and includes Sheriff Nazzaro and Pepper Black as well as other characters, from MCM.

Check out the other Weekend Writing Warriors---where a sampling of a variety of great writers is only a click away!
Share:

Available in paperback and eBook formats

Available in paperback and eBook formats

Now Available At:

Barnes & Noble
Amazon
The History Press
Walmart

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.

BOOK SIGNING DATES:

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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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...
CHIMERAS
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

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