I’ve been editing the first book of my Spadena Street Mysteries, BAR SINISTER.
The main characters are Juss–Injustice H. Chocolate (her parents were hippies), Doris, the woman who raised her in lieu of her free-spirit parents, Kerry, the man she has just hired as a temporary secretary, and his cousin Abby. Schatzi, Kerry’s wife, is almost a major character, but not quite.
In this scene, Kerry, whose new employer reminds him of an emu, gets a call from his emotionally fragile cousin. This is how I plan to bring lots of crime into a peaceful neighborhood: Everybody knows somebody in trouble, right? Or knows somebody who knows somebody.
Oh, Juss is a Life Coach, which is her excuse for being a meddler and a busybody.
The Game’s Afoot
excerpt from BAR SINISTER
by Marian Allen
He checked the phone but, before he could turn off the ringer, Juss spoke.
“Go on and take it, if you need to. Go ahead. It might be an emergency.”
“It’s my cousin Abigail,” he said. “It’s always an emergency with Abby.”
“Take it, then. Go on.”
Kerry had the feeling he was in the presence of the queen of all natural eavesdroppers. Busybody, she had called herself. Ah, well.
Abby’s high-pitched panic squawk split the air as Kerry held the phone away from his ear.
“Kerry, he’s dead! Jack Pitt! Hit and run this morning! Oh, God, what if they think I did it?”
Jack Pitt! His first thought was Good Riddance. Then shame slapped his conscience awake and he understood why Abby was upset. “Calm down,” he said. “Why would they?”
“I don’t want to be alone. What if they come to question me? Can you come over?”
“I’m at work now. Go to that coffee shop you like and have a cup. Decaf. I’ll call you on my lunch break.”
“What if they come there? What if I get scared at the coffee shop? Can I call you from there if I need to, Kerry? Can I?”
“Yes, of course you can. Or call Schatzi, if you need to talk to somebody. Calm down; it’ll be all right. Everything will be all right. Okay?”
After a few more sobs that wrenched his heart, she sniffled and whispered, “Okay.”
“Sounds like trouble.” Juss cocked her head to the side and fixed Kerry with one big emu eye. “Let’s go desk shopping and you can tell me about it.”
“Here we go,” said Doris.
A WRITING PROMPT FROM ME TO YOU: Someone learns that somebody they don’t know needs help.