One thing I can say about my life since moving back to Brooks Landing, Minnesota: it has not been dull. After spending years working in Washington D.C., I figured the most excitement I’d have would either be dinners with my family or sharing a latte with friends on Friday nights.
I’m currently managing my parents’ business, Curio Finds, a shop that specializes in snow globes from around the world. And I’m glad to help them out, especially since my childhood friend, Alice “Pinky” Nelson runs Brew Ha-Ha, a coffee shop in the building adjoining ours. She’s a stitch. Our other best friend is teacher, Erin Vickerman. She helps both of us stay grounded. Another forever friend is Brooks Landing Police Officer, Mark Weston, who is there in good times and in bad. And then there’s the assistant chief of police, Clinton Lonsbury. Clint and I agree on two things—we each find the other both attractive and irritating.
Frosty the Dead Man starts off with a bang when I overhear Mayor Frost being confronted by several people in Brew Ha Ha. They all have bones to pick with him. One is a councilman who is angry and tells the mayor he’s giving up his seat on the city council, of all things.
Mayor Frost pays me a visit a few hours later and catches me completely off-guard. Here’s a little recap:
Mayor Frost came rushing into the shop like he was being chased. And with all the controversy swirling around him, maybe he was. He looked around like he was checking to see if we were still alone, then he moved close to me and lowered his voice. “I want you to submit your name to be considered for appointment to the city council.”
“What?” My ears must have been plugged because what I heard couldn’t have been what he said.
His bright blue eyes shone. “Throw your name in the hat for the council seat that’ll be opening up. You have as much political experience as anyone in town.”
“I worked for a senator researching legislative issues and policies.”
“Perfect! That’s what we need, someone who does her homework.” He clapped his hands together.
Pinky came into my shop and caught what must have been a doozy of a look on my face. And I knew my color was a deeper tone than usual, given how hot I felt. “Cami, are you all right?” She looked from me to Frost. “What’s going on?”
“I just gave her something to consider. To strongly consider. Stop by the office when you get a break, and we’ll hash it over some more.”
And when I went to see Mayor Frost later that afternoon, I discovered something that scared me half to death:
The near silence in the deserted office space was disquieting. It’ll be comforting to talk to a live person, I thought as I walked down the corridor that led to the individual offices. I stopped at the one with the nameplate Mayor Lewis Frost on it. He’d always talked about his open door policy, but it was closed shut at the moment.
I knocked and waited. No answer. I knocked again, a little louder, but still no answer. “Mayor Frost?” I called out and gave the door a final knock. I was about to leave when I noticed the light from his office was showing out from under the bottom of the door. Maybe he had earphones in and was listening to music, or the news, and couldn’t hear me. I’d seen him wearing a pair when he was taking walks.
After I’d convinced myself Frosty was working at his desk, connected to earphones and oblivious to the outside world, I turned the knob and pushed the door open. But he wasn’t at his desk, or anywhere else in sight. His chair was pushed aside, like he’d gotten up and left in a hurry. I was about to turn tail and leave when I saw what looked like the base of the snow globe the mayor had purchased mere hours before. It was lying on the floor near the desk, but the globe wasn’t next to it. What had happened?
I hoped Mayor Frost wouldn’t think I was snooping, but I crept over to see where the rest of it was. And when I found out the answer, there was no turning back. There were broken pieces of glass and wet snow flakes lying next to Mayor Frost who was sprawled out on the floor behind his desk.
Frosty the Dead Man is the third book in the Snow Globe Shop mystery series, published by Penguin Random House, December 2016.
A snow globe becomes a murder weapon in the latest cozy mystery from the national bestselling author of Snow Way Out and The Iced Princess.
Mayor Lewis Frost has always been known as Frosty to his friends—not that he has many these days. Controversies swirling around the city council have members wondering if Frosty is trying to snow them. After one councilman storms off in a huff, the mayor turns to curio shop manager Camryn Brooks and asks her to consider taking a seat on the council.
Later, when Cami goes to his office to discuss the proposal, her blood runs cold. She finds Frosty dead, and the very snow globe she sold him earlier that day lies in sparkling shards on his carpet—along with a large diamond. Does the snow globe—which features a peculiar tableau of an armed man and three menacing bears—hold a clue to Frosty’s demise? One way or another, it’s up to Cami to shake things up before the killer’s trail goes cold.
# # # # # # # # # # #
About the author
Christine Husom is the Minnesota author of the Snow Globe Shop Mysteries, Berkley Prime Crime, and the Winnebago County Mysteries, Indigo Sea Press. She has stories in four anthologies, wrote a collaborative novel with eight authors, and co-edited, A Festival of Crime for Nodin Press. She served with the Wright County Sheriff’s Department, trained with the St. Paul Police, and is currently a County Commissioner. Husom is a member of Mystery Writers of America and the National and Twin Cities Sisters in Crime. Connect with Christine at christinehusom.webs.com.
All comments are welcomed.
Giveaway: Leave a comment below for your chance to win a print copy of Frosty the Dead Man. US entries only, please. The giveaway ends December 17, 2016. Good luck everyone!