A Day in the Life with Cliff Sebastian by Paige Shelton

If Onions Could Spring LeeksOccupation: Police Officer, Broken Rope, Missouri.

Home is where the heart is, that’s what they say. And, I admit, for me home, Broken Rope, Missouri, is exactly where I left my heart. I was lucky to find it again when I went back.

I’m beginning to think that a typical day around Broken Rope isn’t all that typical. There’s something strange going on here, and ten years away, along with my new career, gives me a different perspective. At least I think that’s it.

I hadn’t meant to become a police officer, particularly in Broken Rope. I also hadn’t meant for my first marriage to end so badly. But it was the job offer and the divorce that took me back home, back to the small Ozark town where cowboys and fake gunfights still entertain tourists every summer.

And, of course, there was Betts. Betts Winston. My high school sweetheart. It had been her idea that we “take a break” while we went to college and worked on becoming the things we thought we wanted to become. Our lives became separate, as can happen when you leave each other as kids and turn into adults as you’re both going in different directions. Law school was her thing until it wasn’t. And architecture was my thing until I ruined it along with that first marriage. Betts doesn’t know all those details, and I’ll probably never tell her. She doesn’t need to know, because, I suspect she’s got plenty of other things on her plate.

She works with her grandmother, Missouri, at the cooking school on the edge of town. It’s housed in an old church building and it’s next to a cemetery that’s the final resting place of many of our more infamous historical criminals and colorful characters.

I’m glad Betts and I are back together; more than glad, I’m to the moon and filled with a sense of peace I didn’t know existed. But I sure wish I understood what was holding her back. She’s committed to me, but not all the way. I’d take it personally if I didn’t think her lack of commitment was a breakdown in every part of her life. She’s only partway committed to everything right now, a slice of her attention angled toward something I can’t see.

My days – typical for me, but, again, probably not all that typical – are filled with the small crimes that come with a big tourist community and a few bigger heinous crimes that can be expected too. There’s always been murder in Broken Rope. Gunfights and hangings used to be the norm. But there’s something else going in this town. I’m pretty sure Betts knows what it is. Probably her grandmother does too, but I think Betts lets herself be distracted by it more. It’s something I can feel, sense maybe, catch at the edge of my vision. I don’t understand it, but the more I know it’s there the more I think it’s something I might never be able to completely accept.

I’m on the job though. Sometimes I think I want to figure it out, but sometimes I’m sure I don’t. I hope that whatever it is, it’s something I can fix, something normal. I’m not sure if I’m ready for anything more than that, even though I expect I might have to be.

See you in Broken Rope.

You can read more about Cliff in If Onions Could Spring Leeks, the fifth book in the “Country Cooking School” mystery series, published by Berkley Prime Crime. The first book in the series is If Fried Chicken Could Fly.

GIVEAWAY: Leave a comment by 12 a.m. eastern on September 3 for the chance to win a print copy of If Onions Could Spring Leeks. The giveaway is open to U.S. residents only. 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.

About the author
Paige Shelton recently moved to Arizona where she’s trying to balance all the cool stuff (the scenery, the people, the pools) with the not-so-cool stuff (the summer temperatures.) For more information, check out her website: www.paigeshelton.com


  1. Wonderful title, great blurb, & very enticing location: Broken Rope, MO. This sounds so good, I’m adding it to my TBR list. If I win the print copy, I’ll donate to the library where I work as soon as I’ve read-reviewed it. Thanks, Dru for introducing us to Paige Shelton. Thanks, Paige for the giveaway.

  2. I just live this series, Paige Shelton! I’m glad I’m behind because it means I have quite a few to read. ツ I can relate to the heat thing. I am not a fan of the South in the heat. Is Arizona dry–I haven’t been in years. Seems like that’s what I remember. Here in Mississippi it’s just muggy & to quite my mother, “oppressive”. I can’t wait for the 50 degree or cooler stuff myself. I look forward to more of these & will be giving your Farmer’s Market ones a try. Looks like 2 new series coming out in 2016??? Excellent!

  3. Thank you for introducing me to a new author (Paige Shelton). If Onions Could Spring Leeks sounds like a fun book. I will have to check out this mystery series. Thank you for the giveaway.

  4. Always looking forward with excited anticipation to the next in Paige Shelton’s imaginations, most excellent reads!

  5. I have not read any of Paige Shelton’s books yet, but would like to start! Thanks for the giveaway!

  6. This is such a fun and interesting series, and the titles are great! I love Cliff and Betts together. Of course, that pesky (and handsome) Jerome keeps showing up. LOL. Highly recommended! Thanks for the chance to win a copy of If Onions Could Spring Leeks.

  7. I have enjoyed the other books in this series-can’t wait to read this one! Thanks for bringing it to my attention Dru. 😉 Thanks to both you and Paige for the opportunity to win a copy. I wonder if this one will have the unveiling of Jerome to Clint?? 🙂

  8. Love this series by Paige Shelton and the covers just get better & better. I live with Texas humid heat in the summer! Can’t believe it’s #5. So excited. Thak you for the giveaway.

  9. Your musings often change my mind about being interested in a book, such as this one. Thank you for the chance to win!

  10. This sounds like an interesting book. Looking forward to reading this one. Thankyou for the opportunity!

  11. I haven’t read any of the books in this series, but I’d love to! Thanks so much for the giveaway!!!

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