The following exchange between Summer Smythe, 26 (age unconfirmed) and Dorothy Westin, 78, takes place between 10 and 10:30 am. Hibiscus Pointe Senior Living Community, Milano, FL.
S: Morning, Dorothy, sorry I’m late. But hey, I brought us free coffee from the Guest Appreciation table in the lobby. They have an espresso machine now. I got you half-caff, so it’s not as bad for you.
D: Thank you, dear. Did you also pick up some of those little containers of cream, by any chance?
S: Yep. So what is it you wanted to talk about? Do we have another case?
D: Well, no. Jennifer Margolis, our Resident Services director here at Hibiscus Pointe, would like to interview the two of us for the What’s Your Pointe? newsletter.
S: You mean that one everyone chucks in the garbage? I guess that’s okay. As long as it doesn’t go anywhere else, I mean. I don’t really want people outside the complex to know I’m living here in a—no offense, Dorothy—senior community. It’s just a temporary deal, anyway.
D: Oh, I wouldn’t worry too much about that. And Jennifer sent us the questions ahead of time. I have them right here. Seems as if she’s looking for something of a Day-in-the-Life piece—our daily routine here at the complex.
S: We don’t exactly have routines, do we? Especially not with all these murders to solve. Seriously, who knew a ritzy town like Milano could have so many people getting bumped off? Like that slimy Dr. A, on my first day working for him. Good thing you were there for a check up—otherwise we might never have met, right? Except at the pool, maybe. But that would have been totally different than teaming up together on a murder case.
D: I don’t think Jennifer wants us to highlight any aspects of our detective work. She did make a note here about avoiding certain. . .less than pleasant subjects. The newsletter goes out to prospective residents as well as all of us. I believe she’s looking to emphasize the benefits of an active senior lifestyle at Hibiscus Pointe.
S: Uh huh. Like chair yoga and Casino Nights and fancy five o’clock dinners? I don’t do any of those.
D: True. I can’t say I’m overly fond of them, either. You have your volunteer job as our Aquatics Director, though.
S: That’s just to keep the Residents Committee from kicking me out, since I’m under 55. Dumbest rule ever. If my grandma was still alive, I’m sure she’d be fine with me borrowing her condo. My dad inherited it and he doesn’t care, as long as I fork over rent to him. And anyway, I’m going to get a real job and my own place soon—unless we’re too busy solving murders. I still don’t get why Jennifer needs me for this interview, if we can’t even talk about those.
D: Perhaps she wants to lend this article a bit of your youthful energy and enthusiasm.
S: But you have tons of energy and enthusiasm yourself, Dorothy. We do all kinds of fun stuff, even when we’re working a case. Shopping downtown, lunches on the bay, fashion shows, the beach, boat cruises, cocktail parties. Remember when we went to question that fancy wedding planner and we pretended you were my grandma and I was having a million dollar wedding? And then we had to go see that horrible play at the Milano Playhouse, so we could tail a suspect there. . .and Gladys Rumway got jealous and tried to do her own investigating and totally screwed things up? And your friend Ernie got so worried after you almost…
D: I think we’re getting a little off track. But maybe it wouldn’t hurt to add in just a few tidbits about our last case. We’ll be sure to mention the outstanding work of the Milano PD—particularly that handsome young Detective Donovan—so it won’t seem as if we’re tooting our own horns.
S: Can we leave Detective Donovan out of it? I’d rather not mention him. He actually thought I might have murdered that sleazy-lizard doctor, and then he started snooping around about a bunch of stuff that happened to me back up North, before I got here. I don’t care how cute he is or how great he is at his job. It’s none of his business.
D: Is there something you’re not telling me, dear?
S: Nooo. . .It was something stupid. And it was ages ago. Like, six months.
D: Well, I’m always willing to lend an ear, if you change your mind. Now back to this interview business. . .You’re right, sleuthing for clues certainly does make life more exciting around here. Perhaps we could write a different piece about our detective work—say, for Dru’s Book Musings. The readers there enjoy hearing about mysteries.
S: Okay. We can leave out some parts about me, though, right?
D: Of course, dear. Don’t worry, this will be fun.
You are cordially invited to join Summer Smythe and Dorothy Westin on the case in Cardiac Arrest, the first book in Lisa Q. Mathews’s debut mystery series “The Ladies Smythe & Westin”, from Carina Press/Harlequin.
About Cardiac Arrest
Twenty-something party girl Summer Smythe is starting over in the unlikeliest of places: Hibiscus Pointe, a kitschy retirement community in upscale Milano, Florida. Her new gig? Working for Dr. A, Milano’s much-loved cardiologist. But being in over her head is the least of Summer’s worries when her new boss drops dead. . .right in front of her.
Long-time resident Dorothy Westin prefers to keep to herself. But when the young blonde already causing ripples throughout Hibiscus Pointe becomes a person of interest in Dr. A’s murder, Dorothy springs into action. Not only because the real killer is still on the loose, but because there’s simply no way her clueless-but-kind new friend could have poisoned someone.
Dorothy and Summer soon discover that despite his chosen specialty, Dr. A had quite a reputation for breaking hearts. And if the Ladies Smythe & Westin don’t identify the guilty party fast, Summer will end up in handcuffs. . .and Dorothy in a body bag.
Book #2 in “The Ladies Smythe & Westin” series, Permanently Booked, will be published in April 2016.
Praise from CLEO COYLE, New York Times bestselling author of The Coffeehouse Mysteries
“Cardiac Arrest is sweet, sassy, and smart. Senior sleuth Dorothy Westin and impetuous young Summer Smythe make an endearing team in this sparkling debut. Lisa Q. Mathews is a terrific new voice in cozy mysteries.”
GIVEAWAY: Leave a comment by 12 a.m. eastern on Tuesday, December 4 for your chance to win a digital edition of Cardiac Arrest and a mug and spoon set. (open to everyone) Good luck everyone!
Meet the Author
Lisa Q. Mathews was a lifeguard, a figure skater, and a Nancy Drew editor before becoming the author of her own cozy mysteries. She also wrote for kids’ series such as Mary-Kate and Ashley and The Lizzie McGuire Mysteries and she was Creative Director at Random House Children’s Books. Mom to three grown kids, Lisa lives in New Hampshire with her husband, her own mom, and a crazy Golden Retriever named Willie. Like her odd-couple co-sleuths in The Ladies Smythe & Westin series from Carina Press, she loves swimming, rich desserts, romantic comedies, and above all a good mystery. Please visit Lisa at www.lisaqmathews.com and join her on Twitter, group blog Chicks on the Case, Facebook, and Goodreads.