Hey, I’m Jamie August. It’s great you could meet me for a drink, and I’m glad you found the place. It’s kind of hard to describe how to get to my favorite watering hole on the Ocean City boardwalk—mostly because the bar is kind of dark and doesn’t seem to have a name. It’s down by the inlet, past the arcade where the Skee Ball lanes are so old that my grandma played ’em when she came down here from Baltimore as a teenager.
First round’s on me. I usually drink Coors Light, but your visit calls for a celebration. I’m trying to decide between a mai tai and a fuzzy navel. Do you want to go on the Haunted House carnival ride later? That’s going to factor into my drink decision. The last time I rode one of those coffin-shaped cars through the spooky, black-lit funhouse I was with my best friend Tammy. She laughed so hard at the skeleton (or is it a zombie?) getting flushed down the toilet that she lost her cookies. She’d been drinking Piña Coladas, so I’m just saying you might want to be careful. Plus, there’s Kohr Brothers Frozen Custard to be had on the boardwalk later, and Thrasher’s fries with vinegar, so don’t fill up too much on those bar peanuts.
I’m kind of obsessed with that Haunted House. In the second Jamie August adventure, Ocean City Cover-up, the Haunted House plays a ghoulish role. There’s a crime spree going on during the height of summer at Maryland’s favorite beach resort. The tourists are getting nervous, and the bodies are piling up. One of ‘em is sprawled by the tracks at the Haunted House, and it’s hours before somebody realizes—hey, that body next to the tracks is not a new Haunted House feature. It’s a real corpse.
Anyway, it’s good that we got here early, before the big crowds arrive for the evening. You may have noticed a lot of interesting accents as you walked down the boards. These days many of Ocean City’s summer workers—you know, cashiers, carnival barkers, cocktail waitresses, Whack-a-Mole attendants—are college kids from Eastern Europe. They come to town for summer work exchange programs. Ocean City Cover-up takes a peek into the world of those summer workers, and one glamorous frozen custard server, in particular, who is not at all what she seems.
When the Russian mafia shows up, and a Billboard Top Ten rap star rolls into OC, the clash of cultures gets a little ridiculous—and very dangerous. I’m a Maryland girl, born and raised in Baltimore. Until I made friends with these summer workers, I didn’t know the difference between Azerbaijan and Abu Dhabi. Certainly I couldn’t have pointed to either of them on a map. All that has changed now. If I spill any more details I’ll spoil Ocean City Cover-up’s many surprises! So, enough said.
Well, okay, I’ll tell you one more thing. I met a guy. Crap, this is the drink talking. Is this really my second mai tai? How’d that happen? Anyway, the guy. I met him around the same time I got tangled up with those summer workers. Really threw a wrench in the works, I gotta say. I was doing fine with my sexy surfer friend-with-benefits. He was fun, he was hot, and he was just a text message away. No fuss, no drama. And then I met Sam, and things got messy, dramatic, and really complicated. I even uttered the “L” word. Oh, man. I don’t know where that whole thing is headed.
So things are different now. I guess I don’t have any more of life’s answers than I ever did, but I sure have a lot more questions. My eyes are open to a much wider world than I had ever before considered. The Old Line State is a beautiful place—I can say that with more confidence now that I’ve seen a little more of the world.
You can read more about Jamie in Ocean City Cover-up, the second book in the “Jamie August” mystery series. The first book in the series is Ocean City Lowdown.
GIVEAWAY: Leave a comment by 12 a.m. eastern on July 3 for the chance to win a Kindle version of Ocean City Cover-up. The giveaway is open to everyone. Winner will be notified within 48 hours after giveaway closes and you will have three days to respond after being contacted or another winner will be selected.
Meet the author
Kim Kash is a 1991 graduate of the College of Creative Studies at the University of California Santa Barbara. She is the author of two Jamie August mystery novels: Ocean City Lowdown and Ocean City Cover-up, and the best-selling travel guide Ocean City: A Guide to Maryland’s Seaside Resort. She divides her time between Maryland and the Middle East. Which can be weird. Visit Kim at www.kimkash.com