death rides againDear Kyla,

Hope you’re having fun with your relatives in Phoenix. Ha! I KNOW they can’t be as bad as you make them seem. For one thing, I’m pretty sure your uncle Wilt has more teeth than you claim – it is just not possible to get by with three, especially now that they’ve quit making Twinkies. BTW, I’m a little worried I haven’t heard from you. Send me a text or something to let me know you haven’t been eaten by coyotes or something.

It’s been gorgeous here in Austin. The bluebonnets are mostly gone, but the primroses and firewheels have taken over. I’m planning to go to the lake this weekend, assuming that I’m not in jail for killing a student or two. Honestly, the little monsters are driving me crazy. Between the nice weather and Prom, they are bouncing off the walls. I had to make the tennis team run for two miles just to get them winded enough so that I could get a word in edgewise.

The team is doing great. We actually won our last match of the year (no one was more surprised than I was), and it’s great to have the competitions behind us and be able to play just for fun. The tennis moms have really come through and have rented the Lone Star River Boat for our end of year party. They’ve arranged to have fajitas catered by the Hula Hut, a pause to watch the bats fly out from under the Congress bridge at dusk, and then a band for dancing. (I have no idea where they got the money, and trust me this time I’m not asking.) Sometime during the evening, we’ll present the team trophies. I’ve made them myself – nailed tennis balls to wooden pedestals and spray painted them gold. Looks awesome, and every kid gets one. And don’t snort – it’s cooler than it sounds. Now, fingers crossed that we don’t have any homicides that day – I’d be so bummed if he’d get called to a case. Maybe not as bummed as the victim, but still pretty bummed.

I’ve been asked to be head of the languages department next year. I feel strange accepting it – it was going to be Laura’s job after all, but someone needs to step in and I don’t think she’d mind. It means I’ll be teaching less history, but it also means a little bump in pay. Maybe we can start planning another vacation. I’m dying to go to Paris to visit Will and my folks. Oh, and I got that contract! I’ll be translating two websites into Spanish and French over the summer. And assuming all parties are happy, they’ll probably want me to keep them updated.

Okay, I better stop. I’ve got papers to grade, and if I know you, you’ve already quit paying attention. Anyway, seriously – give me a call so I know you’re okay.


Meet the author
Janice Hamrick is the author of the Jocelyn Shore mystery series. Her first novel, DEATH ON TOUR, is set in Egypt and is the winner of the MWA/Minotaur First Crime Novel award and nominee for both the 2012 Mary Higgins Clark award and RT Reviewers’ Choice First Crime Novel award. Her second Jocelyn Shore mystery, DEATH MAKES THE CUT finds Jocelyn back home to her teaching job in Austin, Texas, where murder, deception, and a sealed letter from a dead man combine to throw Jocelyn directly into the path of a ruthless killer. In DEATH RIDES AGAIN (coming June, 2013) Jocelyn and her cousin Kyla travel to their family’s Texas ranch only to find that a cousin is missing, another has been shot, and opening day at the new racetrack is off to a murderous start. Janice Hamrick was born in Oklahoma, grew up near Kansas City, and now lives in Austin, Texas with more dogs than she cares to admit. Visit her at, Facebook, and Twitter.

Books are available at retail and online booksellers.

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