If you are interested in blogging or want to promote your book, please contact E. B. Davis at writerswhokill@gmail.com.

Check out our February author interviews: 2/7-debut author Keenan Powell (Alaskan lawyer), 2/14-Leslie Wheeler (Rattlesnake Hill), 2/21-bestselling author Krista Davis, who unveils a new series, 2/28-Diane Vallere answers my questions about Pajama Frame. Please join us in welcoming these authors to WWK.

Our February Saturday Guest Blogger Schedule: 2/3-Saralyn Richard, 2/10-Kathryn Lane. WWK's Margaret H. Hamilton will blog on 2/17, and Kait Carson on 2/24.

Congratulations to our writers for the following publications:

Shari Randall's "Pets" will be included in Chesapeake Crimes: Fur, Feathers, and Felonies anthology, which will be published in 2018. In the same anthology "Rasputin," KM Rockwood's short story, will also be published. Her short story "Goldie" will be published in the Busted anthology, which will be released by Level Best Books on April 25th.

In addition, our prolific KM has had the following shorts published as well: "Making Tracks" in Passport to Murder, Bouchercon anthology, October 2017 and "Turkey Underfoot," appears in the anthology The Killer Wore Cranberry: a Fifth Course of Chaos.


Monday, September 1, 2014

Here Comes The Crime - A Mini-Mystery

A few weeks ago I received a rejection in the mail - a very nice rejection. The editor took the time to offer a handwritten note, explaining that she liked the work but couldn't use it because an element of the story did not fit the magazine's criteria.
Because I had written this mini mystery for a very specific market, I can't use it anywhere else, so I thought I'd share it on WWK. Have some fun - see if you can solve the mini mystery!

When a bride’s family heirloom pearl necklace is stolen, Cady Miller, the owner of the Five Golden Rings Inn, must save the wedding day.

Here Comes the Crime
By Shari Randall

I had only ten minutes before the lovely strains of “Here Comes the Bride” turned into police sirens. Before people started talking, texting, and tweeting about the theft at the Five Golden Rings Inn.
My Inn. The Inn I’d worked so hard to transform into the most beautiful bridal venue in the county.
Just an hour earlier, beaming bride Ava Lee and her attendants had swept happily into the Inn’s
dressing room. Mama Lee carried a velvet box with her family’s heirloom pearl necklace. Maid of honor Rosie Lee-Mayhew, Ava’s sister, bustled in and out readying bouquets. Bridesmaid Lucy Masters fixed Ava’s makeup. The room was a whirlwind of lace and flower petals as we prepared for the wedding ceremony in the Rose Garden.
Little Harper Mayhew, the bride’s niece, ran into the room, scattering daisies. “I’m making everything pretty, Miss Cady,” she told me.
“Don’t get your dress dirty playing with Keegan,” Mama Lee warned. Keegan was the bride’s Golden Retriever.
“I’m making Keegan pretty, too,” Harper said.
“A dog in a wedding,” Mama groaned as she adjusted Ava’s hem.
“Very common these days,” I said as I draped Ava’s veil. Ava winked at me over Mama’s head.
“Newfangled weddings,” Mama groused as Harper danced from the room.
Rumor was that Keegan wasn’t the only thing upsetting Mama. Rosie had left her husband, Tim Mayhew, for Jesse Wood. As a teen, Jesse had done time for theft. Now he had a steady job at the auto shop. Still, some people wouldn’t give him a break. Mama was one of those people.
Soon Ava was ready. She opened the jewelry box and gasped.
The box was empty.
“Jesse,” Mama exclaimed. “Once a thief -”
“He’d never,” Rosie shouted.
We searched frantically, but it soon became clear the necklace was gone.
“Maybe you left it upstairs,” I suggested.
Tears welled in Ava’s eyes. “I put the necklace in the box right before Mama carried it down here.”
Who could have taken the necklace? It wasn’t in the room. Someone must have taken it out, and only Rosie, Lucy, and I had left the room on errands.
And who needed money badly enough to steal the necklace?
Lucy had recently opened a yoga studio, so money was tight. Didn’t I know it, running my own business.
That brought me up short. I had just opened the Inn. If the police came, they’d suspect me, too. I felt my stomach clench. This was a disaster.
There was a knock at the door. My assistant, Marlee, peeked in. “Ten minutes to show time,” she said.
I peered over her shoulder. I saw Jesse Wood tugging at the collar of his jacket. Lucy’s husband stood nearby. Either of them could have had the pearls slipped to him by his bridesmaid accomplice.
As Mama, Rosie, and Ava argued, heads started to turn toward the bridal dressing room. I shut the door.
“Your no good boyfriend!” Mama fumed.
“Lucy said she had to get lipstick. We were all so busy dressing Ava. She could have taken the necklace from the room,” Rosie shouted.
Lucy’s eyes widened. “I’d never do that. Ava is my best friend!”
Mama put her hands on her hips. “Rosie, zebras don’t change their stripes. Did Jesse put you up to stealing the necklace? Well, I’m getting it back!” Mama started for the door.
“Ladies.” I blocked Mama’s way. I had to get things under control or this day would be a disaster – for the wedding party and for the Five Golden Rings Inn.
“Let’s start from the beginning. Where were the pearls?” I asked. Ava tearfully pointed at the box on the vanity.
I brushed the box with my hand, then looked closer at something on the lid. I exhaled with relief. “I know who took the necklace.”

Who took the pearls? How does Cady know?

Little Harper Mayhew. Cady noticed dog hair clinging to the box and remembered that Harper wanted to “make Keegan pretty.” Cady discovered that Harper had put the pearl necklace on Keegan. After touching up their makeup, the wedding went on. Disaster averted.


James Montgomery Jackson said...

Shari - Very cute. I guess Woman's World only wants actual crimes for their mini-mysteries -- their loss.

~ Jim

Gloria Alden said...

Shari, I did solve it when I read it the first time, but then I've been reading mysteries for far more years than you've lived. :-) It was a cute mystery, and I loved it. Don't give up on looking for places to submit it. You may yet find a home for it.

KM Rockwood said...

Cute story! I have to admit I didn't solve it!

Warren Bull said...


Warren Bull said...


E. B. Davis said...

Cute story, but I suspected Keegan had the necklace! What was the element missing in the magazine's criteria, Shari?

Kait said...

Cute story. I admit I didn't solve it either, but I did figure the dog was involved. Glad that you got comments, Johnnie doesn't always do that. This story has the bones of a great short (longer than 800 of course).

Kara Cerise said...

Fun story, Shari! I didn't solve it, but thought little Harper Mayhew was somehow involved.

Sarah Henning said...

Love the concept and the conclusion, Shari!

Paula Gail Benson said...

Great story, Shari! Thanks for sharing.