My life was just about perfect. There I sat, enjoying the Boston Symphony, holding hands with my new husband when a nightmare from the past collided with my present. It was every spurned woman’s revenge fantasy: Gabriel Mann, the ex-husband who had kicked me to the curb, appeared out of nowhere and begged for my help.
I should have felt triumphant but I was indifferent. Ten years later, Gabriel still possessed perfect features, lush blonde hair and the body beautiful. Fortunately, my husband Deming Swann had all those attributes plus one that had always eluded Gabriel: Deming loved me just the way I was. Despite having the looks of a film star crossed with an underwear model, Deming Swann, heir to a vast fortune and my childhood nemesis, had always loved me. Who knew?
My name is Eja Kane, and in addition to being a mid-list mystery writer, I’ve amassed a rather enviable record as an amateur sleuth. Deming denies that of course, attributes it to luck and obsesses about danger. His mother is my partner-in-crime, another thing that drives him to distraction. Anika Swann defies every negative stereotype about mothers-in-law. She’s a gorgeous former model with the heart of a lioness and the soul of a saint. I spent my childhood racing in and out of the Swann mansion with Deming and his twin sister Cecilia. When she was murdered, Anika and I vowed to avenge her death and find the culprit. Sure we took risks and in retrospect, some of them look pretty foolish. Bottom line-they were all worth it. Loyalty and friendship trump everything else in my book and always will. As an attorney, Deming regards the law as sacred but I focus on justice. Sometimes the two concepts intersect but often they are hopelessly at odds. That calls for unorthodox solutions to some thorny problems.
I have few illusions about myself especially when it comes to looks. Deming calls me beautiful but on my best day, after exerting more effort than I normally care to, I am barely average. Brains are a different matter. Despite being a scholarship student, I used intellect to flourish in the upper reaches of Ivy League schools. The world of the uber-rich Swann family neither intimidated nor repulsed me. I loved my new family for their kindness and character not their bank balance.
Back to the unworthy Gabriel Mann. In addition to being devious the man was delusional. He actually thought I would pull his academic fat out of the fire and save his career. As if!
In the past his problems always involved women and this time was no different. My raunchy Ex launched a war of words with an academic competitor about “Looks-ism” that nasty habit of judging females on their physical attributes. Like most things at universities, the feud quickly went nuclear. Gabriel, picketed by hordes of angry co-eds, was in real danger of losing tenure. Quel dommage.
Things quickly escalated and somehow when Gabriel became the chief suspect, the entire Swann clan became entangled in a web of murder and deceit. So much for Boston life being staid and boring!
Swann Songs is the fourth book in the Boston Uncommons mystery series, published by Bellbridge Books, June 2016.
Eja Kane-Swann ‘s post honeymoon bliss is rudely interrupted when her reviled ex-husband reappears begging for help. It’s every woman’s revenge fantasy but Eja bows out. Gabriel Mann is a cypher from another life, one she wants to forget. Besides, his sexist spat with a colleague means academic angst in the rarefied air of Cambridge, Massachusetts. No good can possibly come from that.
Before long Eja relents and involves Deming and the entire Swann clan in a twisted tale of double murder, jealousy, and sexual shenanigans in the Ivy League.
Beautiful Sonia Reyes has sworn to destroy Gabriel her former lover and career rival. She leads the cause against “Looks-ism” and advocates for a society based on merit not mirror. Passions run high and Sonia is soon targeted for death. When Eja agrees to write a true crime account she uncovers a web of blackmail, lies, and thwarted love that leads straight to Gabriel Mann. A second murder roils the university even more. Soon Eja and her mother-in-law Anika Swann come face to face with a cool killer determined to save Sonia’s legacy and take their lives.
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Meet the author
Former Treasury executive Arlene Kay has reformed her bureaucratic ways and now pursues writing with the same ferocity she once displayed as a tax collector. Known as a snarky, somewhat sensuous practitioner of mystery, she is the published author of seven novels, including the Boston Uncommons Series by Bellbridge Books. SWANN SONGS, the fourth in that series will be released in August, 2016. Connect with Arlene at Website, Facebook and Twitter
All comments are welcomed.
Giveaway: Two people (US only) selected at random will receive a print copy of Swann Songs. Eja welcomes ideas of all kinds so please comment about my post. The giveaway will end August 20, 2016. Good luck everyone!