I remember when I was their age, you know.

When my only worry in life was what dinner to make for him at home. Before my Jim arrived. Back when my body and my mind were still my own.

I’d turn the radio up while I dusted and plumped up cushions.

Women were starting to go out and work then but I didn’t need to, didn’t want to. I had my girlfriends over every Thursday morning and we’d talk about them who were squeezing into pencil skirts and spending their days typing letters for men.

Shame their husbands can’t support the household, we’d say.

We thought we’d got it made.

I thought I’d got it made.

And then he went and died, didn’t he?

I couldn’t even look at my Jim for days, that’s the bit nobody knows. His face too much like his daddy’s.

They think I never dated again because I’d lost my great love and that might be true, but I was too scared really. Scared of being that angry again.

How dare he make me those promises, for better or worse, and give me a son, and then go and die? How dare he?

Can’t speak like that, though, can you?

So I poured my love into my Jim, squeezed myself into pencil skirts, learnt how to type letters for men.

Not the life I’d have picked but we made the best of it.

It’s been a good life, for me and Jim, I reckon. Practically the head of the police, he is, but too modest to boast.

I’m proud, but I fought him like a wild cat when he said he was joining the force. Too dangerous, I said, be an architect instead. Nobody ever shoots architects, do they?

Every day I dread that he won’t come home, and I’ll have lost both of them.

I know, I know, Waterfell Tweed isn’t exactly crime central. But there’s been these murders lately, it’s not the peaceful village it used to be.

I come in here most days, Books and Bakes, sit down and watch the world go by. The food’s nice and they put up with me sitting here every day, they feel sorry for the old woman.

No need, I want to tell them, save your pity. I had my youth and I was glad to see the back of it. Too many emotions, too much of everything.

Middle age was the best. I wasn’t a new widow then so people had stopped giving me those sad looks and asking how we were coping, they seemed to forget I’d ever been married. I liked my work then, didn’t even have time to dust some days, Jim was still happy to sit on my knee and have a cuddle.

I still miss him, you know.

I miss him and then I worry I’ve already forgot him. It’s easier to lose someone nowadays because you keep all the photos and videos, the Facebook posts, but back then, when someone died, they really died. You never heard their voice again.

I kept his flat cap and two photos; one from our wedding and one of him holding my Jim. That was it.

“Alright, doll?” He’d ask me. Over and over, he’d ask that. That’s my favourite memory. He must have cared, right, if he kept asking? He must have cared.

Even if he did go and die.


You can read more about Dorie in Once Upon A Crime, the first book in the NEW “Waterfell Tweed” mystery series was released January 18, 2018. The second book in the series A Tale of Two Bodies was released January 25, 2018.

Not every hero is heroic.

Sandy Shaw enjoys a quiet life.

She’s happy running her bookshop in the quaint village of Waterfell Tweed.

But things aren’t as cozy as they seem.

When village eccentric Reginald Halfman is murdered – just hours after announcing his plans to open a competing bookshop – Sandy is the prime suspect.

Can she solve the case?
And clear her name?

Before it’s too late?

Purchase Link
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Meet the author
Mona lives in the beautiful Peak District, England, where her fictional village of Waterfell Tweed is set.

She is a keen reader and loves nothing than curling up somewhere warm (which often means being indoors as England is beautiful but cold!) with a mug of mocha, a candle burning, and a good novel. She reads a wide range of fiction and does, of course, love reading cozy mysteries.

She hopes readers have as much fun reading her books as she has writing them.

You can visit her website at monamarple.com and she loves hearing from fans and welcomes comments on Twitter, Facebook and Instagram, as well as her Readers Group.

All comments are welcomed.

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