There’s Been a Death Here #SampleSunday #SpadenaStreetMysteries

Okay, so my web site (and primary email) host suffered a catastrophic accidental data dump. Their primary recovery also failed,  BUT THEY HAD A THIRD LINE OF DEFENSE! I like a service that has a Plan C. Unfortunately, Plan C took a while to fully implement, so I was out of business Saturday, Sunday, Monday, and Tuesday. So now I’m catching up.

For “Sample Sunday,” here’s a bit from early in the first book of the Spadena Street Mysteries. All books in the series are set on Spadena Street and/or Spadena Villa, a two-block cul-de-sac and the attached retirement community all built in Storybook Style.

Although I drafted the other books in third person, I drafted this one in first person. The narrator is LeJune Baron, a middle-aged divorcee who lives with her Mama, June Rose. They’ve inherited their aunt’s house on Spadena Street, over the strenuous objections of their aunt’s son, Packy. Chickapoo is a neighbor and distant relation who is helping them clean the aunt’s house, which smelled horrible when they went in. They decided the aunt must have had a pet nobody knew about and it must have died. (No pet died.)

There’s Been a Death Here

by Marian Allen

Chickapoo stood like the angel guardian at the gate, her arms crossed and her face bright red. “He told me to get out.”

“Oh, you did, did you?” I challenged. “Well, I hope you’re proud of yourself, Mr. Stay Out of That House. There’s been a death here, and we all know whose fault it is.”

Packy turned greenish-white and leaned against the door frame.

“Yes, you should look sick. As soon as we find the body, I’m going to box it up and send it to you. That’ll just about serve you right.”

He slid down onto the porch, right in front of the door, and leaned his head against the screen.

“Is he having a heart attack?” Mama cried. “Ask him is he having a heart attack.”

I was too upset to do anything but rave on. “You must have known your mother had a pet. You just couldn’t take your mouth off your cell phone long enough to think about it.”

“A pet?”

“Is there an echo in here? Yes, a pet. Like a dog or a cat. You know–a pet.”

Chickapoo said, “I never saw a dog or a cat or anything over here.”

Packy looked up. “You’re talking about a pet?”

“Yes!” said I. “What do you think I’m talking about, a hoot owl? What’s the matter with you?”

“Jet lag,” he said. “May I come in?”

“Jet lag? What do you mean, jet lag? You didn’t fly down from Indianapolis–there sits your car out in our driveway, as big as life and twice as ugly.”

Mama opened the screen door. “Yes, come in before the neighbors see you down there and think you’re drunk. We can’t offer you nothing, though. We’re just cleaning out that nasty kitchen, with all that food left to rot. It’s a sin and a shame.”


A WRITING PROMPT FROM ME TO YOU: Write about a bad smell.



I was born in Louisville, Kentucky, but now live in the woods in southern Indiana. Though I only write fiction, I love to read non-fiction. The more I learn about this world, the more fantastic I see it is.

You may also like...

Leave a Reply, If You Ple-az

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.