Whew. It’s been a long day, but everyone is finally gone. Managing the Bonaparte House, a Greek restaurant located in a bustling tourist town along the St. Lawrence River in New York State, means I work from morning till close to midnight during the summer season, attending to my various duties. Chopping vegetables, assembling moussaka and pastitsio and gyro and other delicious Greek food, writing menus, ordering supplies, scheduling our wait and kitchen staff, processing payroll and receipts, I do it all. If necessary, I can even take over for our cook, Dolly, and crank out the evening’s dinners. (Note to self: Is it Dolly’s birthday yet? She has more than one every year and I give her presents for all of them)
Why do I do it? Yeah, I’ve been asking myself the same question lately. You see, my mother-in-law, Sophie, owns the Bonaparte House. I’ve been married to Spiro for twenty years, and we have a daughter who’s away at university in Greece and whom I miss desperately. My marriage has been…unconventional for a while now. Spiro disappeared a few days ago, with no word to anyone, and although he’s done it before, I have to wonder if he’s finally left me for good.
Oh, I’ve sort of expected this was coming, but if it turns out to be true, it will leave me in a tough spot. I only manage the Bonaparte House, I don’t own it, and I live upstairs with Sophie and Spiro. So if he asks me for a divorce, I won’t only be out of a marriage, I’ll be short a job in the family business as well as a home. And after twenty years, I don’t know how to do anything other than run a restaurant.
And it’s not just any restaurant. The Bonaparte House is two hundred years old and built of solid blocks of limestone. Way back when, a group of French aristocrats got together and hatched a plot to spring Napoleon from exile and bring him here, to what was then the wild lands of Northern New York State along the Canadian border. And they built a house for him to live in while he planned his return to power—not that he ever made it here. This house is big, and drafty in the winter, and full of wonky corners and antiquated plumbing. There’s even a rumor about a treasure hidden somewhere within its rocky walls. I’ve come to the conclusion that that part of the story is just a legend. Believe me, I’ve looked. Still, I can’t help thinking there’s something weird going on here just the same.
So why do I stay? I love my job, and I love this place, that’s why. If I have to leave, I haven’t got a clue where I’ll go or what I’ll do. I hope it doesn’t come to that.
But I’ll think about all this tomorrow. Right now, it’s time to put my feet up for a little while. Hmmm. Where’s that bar of dark chocolate I keep in my desk drawer?
You can read more about Georgie in Feta Attraction, the first book in the new “Greek To Me” mystery series, published by Berkley Prime Crime.
GIVEAWAY: Leave a comment by 6 p.m. eastern on January 16 for the chance to win a copy of Feta Attraction. The giveaway is open to U.S. residents only.
Meet the author
Susannah Hardy thinks she has the best job in the world: making up stories and inventing recipes to go along with them. A native of northern New York, where she attended St. Lawrence University, Susannah now lives in Connecticut with her husband, teenage son, and Elvira the Wonder Cat. Feta Attraction, Book 1 of the Greek to Me Mysteries published by Berkley Prime Crime, is her first novel. You can visit her online at: