Nothing trumps concerns about aging like murder. Living in Birdsey Falls, the town that common sense forgot, does not give a person much experience with murder.
Hi. My name is Tamsen Mack and I’m a writer in the midst of a change of life. For the past twelve years I’ve been successful writing a children’s series centered on Perry, a loveable bear with six paws and his group of animal sidekicks. This was great fun when my daughter was little but now that she has just left for college I’m anxious to write something more adult. Not that kind of adult. Just a book featuring humans rather than animals.
I can’t spend a lot of time sulking about my career because suddenly all my friends are in crisis mode too. My best friend Grace, who didn’t marry until her late forties, has had the honeymoon stage of her marriage drastically disrupted by the arrival of her surly teen-age stepson. Diane, the mother of five, has aging parents who have just moved into a senior living apartment and twin sons who are experiencing sophomore slump at college. Syra, a college professor, is recovering from a double mastectomy and is being nursed back to health by her pastry chef brother who is semi-agoraphobic and will only leave their house to come across the street to mine. My husband is having a difficult time dealing with our empty nest and even Mycroft, my bloodhound, seems to have lost all his joie de vivre. Could it get any worse? Yes. My mother-in-law, a society matron dripping in sarcasm and pearls, is much too involved in our lives. Oh, and last week I found my husband’s uncle sitting in our gardener’s cottage with a letter opener plunged in his neck. What fresh hell is this?
While my friends and I may be slipping into the Women of a Certain Age bracket of our lives, we aren’t letting late life pregnancy scares, rabid step-sons, forgetful parents, cougar flirtations, blood spattered tee shirts, depressed dogs, or being terrorized in our own attics slow us down. We have a murder to solve before the small town Birdsey Falls police make a big mistake.
Between snooping in the gardener’s cottage and scouring the secret places of my own home, which resembles a haunted castle and requires a map to navigate, we have discovered a 70-year-old photo of five children, one surviving page from the murdered man’s autobiography, a stack of yellowed newspapers dated April 1 going back to 1938, an eerie quote from Edgar Alan Poe, and hints of a decades old kidnapping and murder that was never solved.
I’d love to stay and chat some more, especially if sugar and caffeine are involved, but I’ve called an emergency meeting of the Women of a Certain Age (WOACA) group tonight. Barring a surprise drop in visit from my graciously acerbic mother-in-law, we plan to systematically scour the yellowed pile of newspapers and see if we can discover why the murder victim kept them and if that information will lead us to his killer. A busy night for a bunch of women flirting with peri-menopause. But don’t worry, there will be pastry!
You can read more about Tamsen in The Death of Perry Many Paws.
About The Death of Perry Many Paws
Tamsen Mack, a successful children’s author, discovers her husband’s reclusive uncle in his study with a letter opener in his neck. Scattered around the room are a set of clues he left behind: a seventy year old photo, one page from his autobiography and over seventy yellowed newspapers from 1938 each dated April 1. An eerie quote from Edgar Alan Poe and a friend’s bloody shirt push Tamsen’s writer’s curiosity into over-drive. Aided by her friends and armed with sugar and caffeine, Tamsen plunges into the murder investigation. When she discovers a long forgotten crime her curiosity leads her to a connection between two chilling murders and the ties they have to her own circle of friends. When everyone has something to hide and someone to protect Tamsen wonders who among her friends she can really trust.
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Meet the author
Deborah Benjamin started writing at a young age to entertain herself while watching football with her father. By age twelve she branched out and wrote a play starring the neighborhood children. The play was very well received and the one night only showing had standing room only as there were not enough chairs in the basement to seat all the parents. Deborah rested on the laurels of this success for many decades until deciding to write a mystery series based on a group of Women of a Certain Age. Deborah lives in Rochester, New York with her high school boyfriend and husband of forty years (same man). They have two adult sons who live in Brooklyn, New York.