I think there’s something wrong with me. I have a proven track record according to the residents of Tranquil Harbor, New Jersey. It’s common knowledge that everything I touch turns to – well, let’s just say I don’t have the Midas touch. Take the Golden Anniversary celebration for the Town Crier, the newspaper where I’m employed as a crime reporter. The Friday night gala at a trendy eatery down by the ocean was anything but celebratory. I should have known something would go wrong, regardless of how carefully and deliberately I dressed to entice my hunky boss, Ken Rhodes.
My mother said the outfit made me look like a hooker. Okay, maybe just a little. But I liked the effect and planned to get a lot of action out of that low-cut, blinding red dress. After all, the kids were spending the weekend with their father – the entire weekend. I had major plans for later in the evening, hopefully with no dress involved. So when my boss keeled over after one bite of his trout almondine at the party, those romantic hopes were dashed.
Ken offered me a taste of his dinner, but I shook my head no and toyed with my unappetizing broiled chicken instead. Being half Italian, good food is life and I tend to take really huge bites. I’d have been a goner for sure if I sampled Ken’s meal. As it was, I spent the rest of that night in the emergency room, dressed like a street-walker, praying my gorgeous man wouldn’t die.
Coincidentally, Ken’s wife had been poisoned several years ago and he was the primary suspect. The grand jury failed to indict him, but that didn’t quell suspicion.
Normally when I put two and two together it comes out five, but what are the odds of a husband and wife both being poisoned by two entirely different toxins three years apart? Slim to none, I would imagine – which is why I decided to poke into Nadine Rhodes’s untimely demise and clear Ken’s name in the process.
Who wanted the power couple dead? Why? Was it someone they both knew well, like Evan Rhodes, Ken’s charming, ne’er-do-well, black sheep brother? Or might the poisoner be a friend or acquaintance from Ken and Nadine’s past, despite the fact that the people they ran with, both literally and figuratively, were influential and highly-respected? Not one of them appeared to be the killer type – yet it seemed possible someone from their fashionable circle possessed a homicidal heart. I knew I’d have to dig deep through their lucrative, opulent muck to figure it all out.
As I said, I’m a crime reporter. And I don’t mind getting my hands mucky one bit.
You can read more about Colleen and Ken in Another Man’s Poison, the third book in the “Jersey Girl” Cozy Mystery series, released August 10, 2017.
Crime reporter Colleen Caruso’s appetite for romance with her hunky boss falls flatter than a ruined soufflé when he keels over after one bite of his trout almondine. With his food editor wife mysteriously poisoned three years before, Ken was and still remains the prime suspect. Clearly someone wanted both Ken and Nadine Rhodes dead, and Colleen finds herself hot on the case of the poisoned plate. She whisks her way into the scrumptious world of the culinary arts, hoping her investigation isn’t a recipe for disaster. Colleen is determined to give those responsible their just desserts, but has the reporter bitten off more than she can chew?
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Giveaway: Leave a comment below for your chance to win a print copy of Another Man’s Poison. U.S. entries only, please. The giveaway ends August 24, 2017. Good luck everyone!
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About the author
Jo-Ann Lamon Reccoppa lives in New Jersey and draws on her experience as a freelance correspondent to create oddball characters and unusual scenarios. In addition to hundreds of published articles, her short fiction has appeared in various magazines and anthologies. She is a member of both Sisters in Crime national and Sisters in Crime – Central Jersey, and a past treasurer of the Garden State Horror Writers. New Math is Murder is her first full-length novel and the first in the Jersey Girl Cozy Mystery series. The second book in the series, Hide nor Hair was released in April, 2015. Another Man’s Poison is the third installment in the series.
Connect with Jo-Ann at joannlamonreccoppa.com.
All comments are welcomed.