Another Day in the Life with Veronica Walsh by Jeanne Quigley

Murder By GeorgeIn my thirty-three year soap career, I acted in dozens of scenes that involved the soap’s entire cast. A wedding, costume ball, or New Year’s Eve party were popular settings for the multi-episode shoots that would resolve one storyline and launch a new one. Romances would blossom or fall apart, a betrayal would be revealed, a life would begin or end. Sometimes, a character who died in a previous extravaganza would make a grand re-entrance (perhaps with a completely new face!).

I thought my participation in such spectacles was over when the soap was cancelled and I returned to my hometown to start a new career as the owner of a charming boutique. Yet there I was at the village’s annual flea market playing an extra in a melodrama never seen live by the trash-to-treasure crowd.

The action proceeded with flabbergasting speed, starting with young architect Scott Culverson paying ten dollars for a vintage letterbox. In an extraordinary twist of fate, a rough nudge from brutish contractor Vin Bradley forced the wood box from Scott’s grasp. The impact with the hard ground broke the box, revealing a hidden drawer.

I don’t know if even a soap writer could imagine what Scott discovered in the drawer. A million-dollar painting by renowned artist George Bradshaw. Also in the drawer was a love letter, written by Bradshaw in 1925 to a woman on the eve of her marriage to another man. A soap opera within a soap opera!

Cue the divas. Scott’s girlfriend, Isabel, and Regina Quinn, the great-granddaughter of the artist’s beloved, engaged in a nasty verbal catfight. Regina wanted the painting returned to her family. Isabel, a lawyer, hissed they had no claim to the valuable canvas. Ned, the grocer who sold Scott the box, pitched his case for the painting, and Regina’s great-aunt Ella threatened a lawsuit. Vin and his brassy wife, Debbie, added some coarse language to the dialogue.

A bewildered Scott stood there holding his Bradshaw painting while his friend Jack and my guy, Mark, kept Isabel and Regina from a full-out catfight. A good thing, because it’s been a few months since I engaged in one and I’ve lost my hair-pulling, face-slapping touch.

Isabel spirited Scott away before someone could swipe his new nest egg. Mark and I left the flea market thinking we had seen everything, but that was just the beginning of the drama.

The next scene took place that evening at The Hearth. Mark and I dined with friends a few tables from where Scott, Isabel, Jack, and Isabel’s co-worker Hillary sat. After dinner, Mark and I joined the group for a drink.

Scott was still on a high from his new acquisition and already had plans for it. He was going to auction it off and use the fortune to pay off his student loans, break ground for his dream house, and start a rich man’s wine collection. Isabel wanted a prize of her own, preferably one contained in a ring-sized Tiffany box.

I was silently ruing their lack of appreciation for the beautiful work of art they possessed when Regina swooped into the dining room. She was easy to spot in the white smock she wore for her job as The Hearth’s head chef. Regina headed straight to our table and launched into a renewed furious demand for the painting. She and Isabel again had to be separated before they started hurling hot coffee, tiramisu, or stain-producing booze at each other.

Then George Bradshaw’s daughter, Leona Kendall, entered, trailed by her two spoiled adult children. Leona, an ice queen, expected Scott to bow at her feet and hand over the painting. When that didn’t happen, Leona’s petulant daughter, Natalie, got into it with Isabel and Regina while Theo, Leona’s shifty-eyed son, stood by in brooding silence.

Thank goodness no one called the cops. When The Hearth’s owner appeared, everyone mumbled insincere apologies and left the arena, I mean dining room. Mark and I also departed, taking one last glance at Scott. He sat at his table, a contented man, beckoning to the server for another drink. Despite the dispute and threatened lawsuits, it was probably the best day of his life.

So why isn’t Scott telling you about it? Because, as in some of those soap opera storylines, murder was in the Barton script. Scott was stabbed to death two nights later and the painting stolen from his home.

I was back to a role I never played on the soap. Amateur sleuth.


Murder, by George is the second book in the Veronica Walsh mystery series, published by Five Star, May 2016.

Retired soap opera actress Veronica Walsh leads a fulfilling second act in her Adirondack hometown of Barton. Her boutique, All Things, is thriving and she enjoys a romance with Professor Mark Burke. She has neither the time nor the desire to be an amateur sleuth.

Trouble finds her when architect Scott Culverson buys a vintage box at the village’s annual flea market and discovers a valuable painting and love letter inside a locked drawer. The awe over the masterpiece, a 1920’s portrait of Barton’s main street, turns to rage when a fierce argument ensues. The box’s seller insists the painting was not included in the sale, while Ella and Madeline Griffin, whose mother received the painting as a wedding present, demand that Scott return the painting to their family. The artist’s daughter, the formidable Leona Bradshaw Kendall, later joins the battle over Orchard Street.

When Scott is stabbed to death and the painting and letter stolen, the Griffin sisters ask Veronica to help clear suspicion from their hot-tempered great-niece, Regina. Despite a vow to stay out of the investigation, Veronica’s loyalty to her friends draws her into the case.

Veronica crosses paths with a shady contractor, brassy hairdresser, overwrought lawyer, and adoring Czech housekeeper as she searches for both killer and work of art. Whom can Veronica trust, and who will lead her to the brink of death?

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About the author
Jeanne Quigley grew up reading mysteries, watching soap operas, and vacationing in the Adirondacks, never imagining these pleasures would inspire the Veronica Walsh cozy mystery series. Jeanne’s love of characters—real and fictional—led her to study Sociology and English at the University of Notre Dame. Jeanne has never been a soap star, but she has worked in the music industry and for an education publisher. She resides in Rockland County, New York and is a member of the Sisters in Crime. Connect with Jeanne at jeannequigley.wordpress.com.

Giveaway: Leave comment below for your chance to win an advanced reader copy of Murder, by George. US entries only, please. The giveaway will end May 27, 2016 at 12 AM EST. Good luck everyone!

All comments are welcomed.

67 responses to “Another Day in the Life with Veronica Walsh by Jeanne Quigley

  1. I loved the first one. Happy to see a new one. Congrats

  2. Thank you for the chance to win an ARC of this intriguing book! Good luck to all who enter!

  3. I would love to have a chance to win an advanced reader copy of Murder, by George. Thank for the chance.

  4. Donna Gantt

    This would be my first book by this author. Thanks for a chance to enter!

  5. Lexie Reed

    Thank you for the chance to win this fabulous book !

  6. Sounds like a great read! thank you for the chance to win.
    myrifraf (at) gmail (dot) com

  7. Wow…I’m checking to see if my library has this one yet!!!

    • Hi, Gram. The publisher started shipping to wholesalers/booksellers on Wednesday, so it might be 2-3 weeks before your library has it on the shelf. If your library hasn’t already ordered Murder, by George, give them a polite nudge to do so 🙂

  8. I want this one! Please!

  9. wendynewcomb

    Jeanne is a new author to me, thank you for introducing her to me and giving me a chance to win a copy of this book.

    wfnren at aol dot com

  10. Hi Dru, just looked up the author on the Brooklyn and Queens library data base and only found one book by her. So if I want to read this book I’m just going to have to win the ARC. Toss my name in your magic hat please.

  11. This book sounds intriguing and I love the setting since it is magnificent and special.

  12. Sara M Kendall

    Thank you for this exciting chance!!

  13. Hi, Elaina. What a great description of Veronica’s cozy village!

  14. Barbara Hackel

    WOW! I am not a soap fan, but this has to be better than any tv show! It sounds amazing and something I have to read. Thanks Dru for the introduction! Thanks Jeanne for the opportunity to win a copy. 🙂

  15. Mary Jane H.

    This reminds me of ‘Soap’, the hilariously funny evening soap of years ago! I would love to win an ARC. Thanks Jeanne.

  16. Oh, this sounds great! The Veronica Marsh series is one I must read.

  17. I love finding out about new-to-me series. Thanks for the chance!

    • Hi, Johanna. I love discovering new cozy series, too. Luckily, Murder, by George is the second in the series. I tend to catch on to cozies that already have a dozen or more books 🙂

  18. Doward Wilson

    Love this series and have eagerly awaited this book. Thanks for the chance to win.

  19. Life is often crazier than fiction, isn’t it? Oh, even when it’s “life” in fiction.

    • That’s right, Elizabeth! Life continues to be a soap opera, even though most of the tv soaps have been cancelled. 🙂

  20. Peggy Hyndman

    Thank you for introducing me to another “new-to-me” author. Murder, by George sounds great.

  21. I am going to have to look for this series in the store now. I liked the description.

  22. Linda Herold

    This is a new author to me. Since I love cozy mysteries, I’d love to read it! Thanks for offering this giveaway!!

  23. The description of a soap opera is right on! This book sounds amazing and I would really like to read. Definitely adding to my TBR list. Thanks for the giveaway.

  24. Awesome! This book sounds full of action and plot twist. I love it.

  25. What an assortment of interesting people. Each personality will assure anyone reading this book amusement I am sure. Thank you for including it on your blog. robeader53@yahoo.com

  26. sounds like a hoot – would enjoy reading this!

  27. Vicki Highley

    Sounds like a book I would enjoy. I have added it and the series to my TBR list. Hopefully, I can win Murder, By George. Thanks for the chance to win.

  28. Already on my WishList…..
    thank you for the giveaway….

  29. Patty Allen

    This book sounds terrific, can’t wait to read it. Thanks for the chance to win a copy.

  30. Thanks Jeanne for visiting my blog this week. I’ve read the book and it was very enjoyable.

  31. This does look like a thrilling read. Am so hoping. New author/series is always exciting. The synopsis intriguing and it calls to me. On my wishlist for sure.

  32. rosemary pfeiffer

    I love reading about soap stars going back to normal life in a small town, even if they are fictional..lol thanks for the chance

    • Hi, Rosemary. I like the small-town girl goes home again stories, too. Even if it’s fictional, there’s always some truth in them.

  33. Janet Senk

    This sounds like a great book read, so I hope to win. Thanks.

  34. I love finding new books and authors on this blog. Thanks for the chance to win another new-to-me book.
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