Liz McCall here.

What started out as a busy weekend selling vintage toys at the annual Train and Toy show—that’s model trains, not larger locomotives—just got a little more complicated. Someone put our booth right next to Craig’s Comics.

Of course they couldn’t have known our past history: Craig bullied me all the way from kindergarten up until the eighth grade, when he tried to see if I could fit in my locker. I ended up with broken glasses, sprained fingers, and bruises all over my body from the attempt. Follow this up with my humiliation when Dad, the chief of police at the time, insisted every bruise needed to be photographed. Craig disappeared shortly after, rumored he’d been sent to some juvie facility.

But now he’s back, and I can’t say his disposition has improved much. Spending a couple of days in such close quarters, especially since he’s dressed as some kind of superhero in an absurd flame-covered spandex suit complete with foam rubber abs and cape, is going to be interesting. I heard he’s got some kind of big announcement at ten, and it’s almost time for that now.

Oh, there he is, up on the catwalks. “It’s a bird. It’s a plane. It’s a chief publicity stunt,” someone calls out and we all laugh. A lost helium balloon nearby bobs in the air currents, and he climbs over the railing and reaches for it. I’m squinting to try to make out the wires. Surely even Craig wouldn’t be stupid enough to climb over the railing without some kind of backup. . .


You can read more about Liz in Murder on the Toy Town Express, the second book in the “Vintage Toyshop” mystery series.

Liz McCall has come to love running her father’s vintage toyshop back home in East Aurora, NY, so when the Train and Toy Show comes to town, she’s all aboard for a fun toy-filled weekend. The only hitch is that her childhood bully Craig McFadden, now local business rival, has set up a booth next to hers. But the fun and games are over when Craig falls from the ceiling in a publicity stunt gone wrong.

What was initially thought to be a fatal accident proves much more sinister. Pulled into the case by her feelings for both Ken, the police chief, and Jack, her high school sweetheart whose brother is one the prime suspects, Liz dives headfirst into the investigation. But as she digs deeper, she’s shocked to learn her father may have been the intended target.

The trouble train is barreling down and Liz may have just bought herself a first class ticket in Murder on the Toy Town Express, Barbara Early’s delightful second installment in her Vintage Toyshop mysteries.

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About the author
Barbara Early earned an engineering degree, but developed a sudden allergy to math and decided to choose another occupation. Before she settled on murdering fictional people, she was a secretary, a school teacher, a pastor’s wife, and an amateur puppeteer. After several years living elsewhere, she and her husband moved back to her native Western New York State, where she enjoys cooking, crafts, classic movies and campy seventies television, board games, and posting pictures of her four cats on Facebook. She writes the Vintage Toyshop series and the Bridal Bouquet Shop Mysteries (as Beverly Allen). You can find out more about her books at barbaraearly.com.

All comments are welcomed.

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