On the last day of 2018 we have a two-fer of great writers! Please welcome Debra Goldstein, author of the Sarah Blair Mystery series, and Barabara Ross, author of the Maine Clambake Mystery series, as they send us into our annual holiday break!
An Unexpected Meeting by Debra H. Goldstein and Barbara Ross
Debra H. Goldstein and Barbara Ross both recently released mystery novels. Debra’s One Taste Too Many, the debut of her Sarah Blair Mystery series, is set in Wheaton, Alabama. Barbara Ross’s Steamed Open, the seventh in her Maine Clambake Mystery series, takes place in Busman’s Harbor, Maine. Debra and Barbara wondered what might happen if their characters bumped into each other shortly before their new books began.
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Sarah Blair examined the Atlanta Merchandise Mart map figuring out where she could get a cup of coffee. She had an hour until she met her twin, who was browsing the restaurant wares displays. Deciding the coffee shop was behind her, Sarah turned and collided with another woman, knocking a package from her hand. Both tried to retrieve it, bumping heads.
“I’m so sorry. I didn’t see you.”
“No problem.” The other woman stepped around Sarah.
“Wait, aren’t you Julia Snowden, from that venture capital firm in New York?” Without giving Julia a chance to respond, Sarah continued. “I’m Sarah Blair. We met when you came to Wheaton, Alabama to look at investing in my husband’s business.”
“That was a long time ago. I was on the road forty weeks a year, I remember, though, I went to dinner with you and your husband, Bill. How is he?”
“That’s right. It was a long time ago, though. We’re divorced and other than happy with his new bimbo, I can’t tell you how he is.”
Julia smiled, happy to connect with a familiar face in the crowd. “And instead of New York and the financial world, I live in Busman’s Harbor, Maine, and manage my family’s business, the Snowden Family Clambake.” She held her package up. “I’m here looking for new supplies. And you? Are you in the food business, too?”
“Oh, no. The only time I’m in the kitchen is when I bring my take-out in or make a recipe of convenience. I work as a law firm receptionist, but my sister, Emily, is a gourmet chef. She recently came back to Wheaton to work with Chef Marcus at Southwind, a fine dining restaurant, so Emily is here getting a few ideas for that. Because she was driving from Alabama and already had the room, she insisted I come play with her in Atlanta for the weekend. You know how hardly anything exciting happens in small towns. She thought I needed a break from waking up, going to work, and coming home to my cat, RahRah. I can’t imagine what a change moving from New York to Busman’s Harbor was for you.”
Julia laughed. “Tell your sister moving back to your hometown will turn out okay in the end. At least it did for me. I fell in love with my middle-school crush, for one. And it’s great being so close to my mother and my sister and her family. You’d think small town life would be dull, but…” Julia’s voice trailed off. She looked around to make sure they weren’t being overheard in the noisy convention center. “The most peculiar thing has happened. My very first opening day, there was a body hanging from the staircase in the abandoned mansion on the island where we run our clambakes. The police shut us down and I thought we’d lose the business for sure.” Julia shrugged. “But the weird thing is, it wasn’t a suicide, it was a murder, and I helped identified the killer. Since then, I’ve helped the state police solve half a dozen murders.”
Sarah’s mouth fell open. “You’re kidding. That is weird. Maybe you should go back to New York. Things sound a bit too exciting in Busman’s Harbor. At least RahRah and I will never have to worry about murder in Wheaton.”
Judge Debra H. Goldstein is the author of One Taste Too Many, the first of Kensington’s new Sarah Blair cozy mystery series. She also wrote Should Have Played Poker and 2012 IPPY Award winning Maze in Blue. Her short stories, including Anthony and Agatha nominated “The Night They Burned Ms. Dixie’s Place,” have appeared in numerous periodicals and anthologies including Alfred Hitchcock Mystery Magazine, Black Cat Mystery Magazine, and Mystery Weekly. Find out more about Debra at www.DebraHGoldstein.com
Barbara Ross is the author of seven Maine Clambake Mysteries. The latest, Steamed Open, was released December 18, 2018. Barbara’s novellas featuring Julia Snowden are included along with stories by Leslie Meier and Lee Hollis in Eggnog Murder and Yule Log Murder. Barbara and her husband live in Portland, Maine. Visit her website at http://www.maineclambakemysteries.com
One Taste Too Many by Debra H. Goldstein
Sarah knew starting over would be messy. But things fall apart completely when her ex drops dead, seemingly poisoned by her twin’s award-winning rhubarb crisp. Now, with RahRah wanted by the woman who broke up her marriage and Emily wanted by the police for murder, Sarah needs to figure out the right recipe to crack the case before time runs out. Unfortunately, for a gal whose idea of good china is floral paper plates, catching the real killer and living to tell about it could mean facing a fate worse than death—being in the kitchen!
Steamed Open by Barbara Ross
It’s summertime in Busman’s Harbor, Maine, and the clamming is easy—or it was until a mysterious new neighbor blocks access to the beach, cutting off the Snowden Family Clambake’s supply. Julia Snowden is just one of many townspeople angered by Bartholomew Frick’s decision. But which one of them was angry enough to kill?