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Writing History & Mysteries

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

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!


  1. Sounds like a plan. Pretty dangerous, though. Nice job.

  2. LOVE the dialogue, so plain with a country flair. You are a wonder, Cindy!

    1. Thanks Charmaine. I love dialogue.

  3. Fascinating! I love the plan to say the dead woman had invited her - that out to work! Enjoyed the excerpt and want more.

  4. Great plan! Though, I wonder if it will go smoothly when put into action. Great snippet! :)

    1. There always seems to be that wrench, doesn't there?

  5. Ooo, good! I'm intrigued.

  6. Unless they decide to be suspicious because she's using a murder victim as her reference, in which case that clever plan won't work. Love the understanding that "peculiar" can mean a lot, depending on how long the gossip mills has had to work!

    1. A good observation. Be assured I covered for that in the expanded text.

  7. Very brave of her. We all know how dangerous book clubs can be, right?

  8. Small town gossip can soon twist the truth. Great snippet

  9. Tricksy plan! Hope it works, though I suspect things are about to get crazy.

  10. Pepper is such a great character. I generally think she knows what she's doing, but this plan has me worried. :-)


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