Yep, I’ve got a new life, but not by choice. What had been a pretty nice life abruptly ended after my husband won a top chef contest on TV and then promptly announced that he was trimming the fat in his life—namely me. Of course, my soon-to-be ex wanted this to be a clean break as did his momma, the owner of the Italian bistro where we all worked, so not only did this pastry chef kiss her marriage goodbye, it was arrivederci job.
And I never saw it coming.
Those who know me have a hard time believing that I didn’t pick up on some clue, some visual indicator. I read people. That’s what I do—see what others miss. That’s what I’ve always done for as long as I can remember. It’s my gift, what my family calls my lie-dar. I spot those split-second cues—physical tells that leak through to the surface of the face to reveal the truth. Give me enough time with someone and I can tell you if they’re lying. That’s probably why my ex didn’t want me in New York during the taping of that TV show. He needed me on the other side of the country when he lied to me.
Sure, it hurt that he took a carving knife and cut me out of his life. Rejection always hurts. It hurts to be inconvenient, to no longer fit in someone’s life, but I found something that I think will be a perfect fit for me in this next phase of my life. Better yet, I think it found me, and where I least expected it—back in my home town, the senior citizen haven of Port Merritt, Washington.
That’s right, when I least expected it, a unique opportunity dropped into my lap when the County Coroner, who has known me since I was twelve, offered me a job to be her special assistant. Yes, that means that I’m the grunt who’ll be making the coffee, but she thinks I’ll be an asset to her team and wants to train me to assist in the department’s investigations. Pretty cool, huh? I’m being paid to talk to witnesses and offer my opinion—and trust me, I can be very opinionated!
This new gig is probably the best fit of my skill set that I’ve ever had. Then, on my first day of work, a doctor at the hospital reported the suspicious death of Trudy, an old family friend. Since Trudy’s death is eerily similar to that of two other elderly Port Merritt residents, I figure my buddy, Detective Steve Sixkiller, will be launching an investigation. Unfortunately, his hands are tied until there’s an autopsy and this becomes an official Coroner case. But my hands aren’t tied and I can do some unofficial sleuthing to uncover the truth. Like I mentioned, it’s what I do.
We just won’t tell Steve.
Wendy is giving away one (1) digital copy of TRUDY, MADLY, DEEPLY. Leave a comment to be included in the giveaway. Contest ends August 20.
You can read more about Charmaine in Trudy, Madly, Deeply, the first book in the new “Working Stiffs” mystery series, published by Corvallis Press.
Meet the author
Wendy Delaney writes fun-filled cozy mysteries and is the author of Trudy, Madly, Deeply, which launches her “Working Stiffs” Mystery series. A long-time member of Sisters in Crime, Romance Writers of America, and Mystery Writers of America, she’s a Food Network addict and pastry chef wannabe. When she’s not killing off story people she can be found on her treadmill, working off the calories from her latest culinary adventure. Wendy makes her home in the Seattle area with her husband and has two grown sons. Visit Wendy at www.wendydelaney.com and on Facebook.
Books are available at online booksellers.