Not a lot happens in small towns, at least not a lot out of the ordinary. The children go to school, the parents go to work, families go to community events, but it’s mainly the women in our community who go to the annual spring rummage sale at St. Mark’s.
I have been chairman of the committee in charge of producing it for ten years now and my committee and I have this down to a routine, so the morning of this year’s sale, I wasn’t expecting anything out of the ordinary. It was still dark when Millie, my cocker spaniel and constant companion, and I arrived at the church hall but I wanted to get the coffee going and check one last time that everything was ready. A line of people would be at the door at nine o’clock and we would all be rushed off our feet from then until closing. When I opened the door Millie immediately started to growl. At what, I couldn’t imagine, but something was wrong, so I followed her across the hall to our makeshift dressing rooms. There sat little old Miss Plym on a straight backed chair, in her nightclothes, quite dead.
Small towns are not immune from murder, theft, or treachery of all sorts, but you don’t expect to find a kind if somewhat vague old lady in a locked hall, the victim of murder. Who could have wanted her dead? She wasn’t a threat to anyone, she couldn’t even remember her way home most of the time. How did she get into the locked church hall? What was she doing roaming the streets in the dead of night in her bathrobe? But Miss Plym had money and a whole lot of it was missing. Her household contained several people who wanted that money. But which one was capable of murder? It took me several days, and Millie’s obsession with chewing up pillows to figure it out. Unfortunately, we weren’t in time to prevent another murder, and Millie and I almost lost our own lives before it was all over.
I’d love to say that everyone lived happily ever after, but that never happens, does it. But things worked out better than I could have expected and life has returned to normal. Millie and I go to committee meetings for the various charities or community events in which we take part, and I somehow keep getting elected chairwoman. Millie loves the meetings, lots of people to scratch her ears, and I’m happy to help keep things moving along. We’re going to have a Friends of the Library sale soon and the library will get new books and the proceeds from the rummage sale, when we were finally able to have it, went to support the no kill animal shelter we’re building. Our next community affair is the 4th of July celebration. It will be fun for the whole town, and the climax will be the fireworks display. I hope it goes off all right, fireworks scare me, but I’m sure it will. After all, what can go wrong with potato sack races, square dancing and a pie eating contest in the park?
I’m keeping my fingers crossed.
Curtains for Miss Plym is the second book in the Mary McGill mystery series, published by Severn House Publishers, April 2016.
This lively cozy, set in smalltown California, is the second in the Mary McGill dog mystery series
Preparations for Santa Louisa’s annual spring rummage sale are thrown into chaos when organizer Mary McGill and her devoted cocker spaniel Millie come across a dead body on the premises. Still wearing her pink nightdress and slippers, what on earth was Miss Emilie Plym doing in a locked church hall in the dead of night? And who on earth would want to harm a sweet-natured but confused elderly lady who wouldn’t hurt a fly?
As Mary questions the victim’s nearest and dearest, she discovers that not everyone had Miss Plym’s best interests at heart, and that at least one of those who should have been caring for her is hiding a shocking secret.
Publishers Weekly said “an enjoyable sequel to Purebred Dead, and “ Animal lovers will enjoy this dog-focused cozy with its appealing characters, both two- and four-legged.”
Kirkus enjoyed spending time with Mary McGill and Millie.
Booklist recommended it to all fans of Laurien Berenson’s works.
All in all, high praise for Mary McGill and her cocker spaniel, Millie, and their sleuthing skills.
# # # # # # # # # # #
About the author
Kathleen Delaney came to the writing life a little late. Instead, she raised five children, heaven alone knows how many cats and dogs, a few horses, and assorted 4 H animals. She also enjoyed a career as a real estate broker in the small California town of Paso Robles. Somewhere in there she found she wanted to write as well as read, and her first book, Dying for a Change, was a finalist in St. Martin’s Malice Domestic contest. Since then she has written six more books, to great reviewer praise. The first in her new Mary McGill canine mysteries is available in both hard cover and ebook form, and will be available this spring in soft cover, just in time to great the release of Curtains for Miss Plym.
She currently resides, and writes, in Georgia with one dog and one cat, close to two of her grandchildren, who are more than eager to share their dogs and cats with her, just in case she gets lonely. Visit Kathleen and read an excerpt from both books at www.kathleendelaney.net, on Twitter, and on Facebook.
Giveaway: Leave comment below for your chance to win a hardcover copy of Curtains for Miss Plym. US entries only, please. The giveaway will end April 8, 2016 at 12 AM EST. Good luck everyone!
All comments are welcomed.