Just when I think I’m getting the hang of being a “southern girl,” something happens that takes the wind out of my sails. Instead of just rolling with the “unexpected.” I find myself getting worried and uptight, reverting to my anxious Type A “northern” personality. My sister, Ali, must be more adaptable than I am, because she loves making spur of the moment plans, always welcomes a surprise and thinks of life as an adventure.
Take Sonia Scott’s visit to Savannah, for example. I’m sure you know that Sonia is as popular as cornbread and sweet tea down here, and we were thrilled to watch the taping of one of her popular cooking shows. After all, the Dream Club members love to eat; we enjoy finding new recipes to serve at our meetings. And Sonia was just as friendly and down home as she could be, chatting with the audience between takes, kidding around with the staff and generally just hamming it up for the camera.
I didn’t know until much later that Sonia was disliked by so many people and that she was one tough lady under that southern charm. But back to my reaction to the “unexpected.” Who would have thought that a chance meeting at the television taping that evening would lead to Sonia doing a book signing in our shop the very next day?
“It will be fun!” Ali told me. She was over the moon at the idea of having Sonia in Oldies But Goodies but I was less enthusiastic than my sister. Ali looked at it as a wonderful opportunity but I thought of all the work that would be involved. We only had a few hours to prepare and everything in the shop had to sparkle. Plus we needed to send out an e-mail blast to our best customers, inviting then to a meet and greet with Sonia, and we enticed them with free food. Not just any free food, but home-made desserts that we’d be up all night making. And of course, a nice selection of fresh-squeezed lemonade and sweet tea.
We slaved away scrubbing and polishing, and managed to turn out platters of delicious lemon bars and tiny cherry cheesecake tarts to serve to our guests. When Sonia and her entourage arrived and settled in the next morning, I thought my worries would be over. Everyone was in a good mood, the audience was happy and I was beginning to think that I had been silly to waste my time worrying. This was going to be a memorable experience.
And then Sonia took a bite of a cookie and clutched her throat, screaming for her inhaler. It all went downhill after that, and as you’ve probably guessed, the Dream Club had another murder on their hands.
You can read more about Taylor in Dream A Little Scream, the second book in the “Dream Club” mystery series, published by Berkley Prime Crime. The first book in the series is Nightmares Can Be Murder.
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About the author
Mary Kennedy is a licensed psychologist and the author of the Talk Radio Mysteries and the Dream Club Mysteries for Penguin-Random House. She lives in the northeast with her husband and eight neurotic cats. Both husband and cats have resisted all her attempts to psychoanalyze them, but she remains optimistic. Visit her website here.