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Our September Author Interviews--9/6 Kathleen Valenti, 9/13 David Burnsworth, 9/20 Jeri Westerson, 9/27 Frances Brody. Please join us in welcoming these authors to WWK.
September Saturday Guest Bloggers: 9/2--Anne Bannon, 9/9 WWK Bloggers, 9/16 Margaret S. Hamilton, 9/23 Kait Carson, and on 9/30 Trixie Stiletto.
“May 16, 2017 – The Women’s Fiction Writers Association (WFWA) today announced the finalists of the second annual Star Award, given to authors of published women’s fiction. Six finalists were chosen in two categories, General and Outstanding Debut. The winners of the Star Award will be announced at the WFWA Retreat in Albuquerque, New Mexico on September 23, 2017.” In the general category, WWK’s Carla Damron was one of three finalist for her novel, The Stone Necklace. Go to Carladamron.com for more information. Congratulations, Carla!
Congratulations to our writers for the following publications:
Warren Bull's new Lincoln mystery, Abraham Lincoln In Court & Campaign has been released. Look for the Kindle version on February 3.
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 will have the following shorts published as well: "Sight Unseen" in Fish Out of Water, Guppie (SinC) anthology, just released, and "Making Tracks" in Passport to Murder, Bouchercon anthology, October 2017.
Margaret S. Hamilton's short story, "Once a Kappa" was published as a finalist in the Southern Writer's Magazine annual short story contest issue. Mysterical-E published her "Double Crust Corpse" in the Fall 2016 issue. "Baby Killer" will appear in the 2017 solar eclipse anthology Day of the Dark to be published this summer prior to the eclipse in August.
Sunday, June 19, 2016
The Case of the Missing Wine
I can count on fictional mysteries, especially cozies, to wrap up neatly, all loose ends tied, all questions answered. I’ve grown accustomed to resolution. Which makes The Case of the Missing Wine all the more frustrating.
The story begins at my son’s graduation party in May. It was a calm affair attended by a motley collection of family and friends (AKA the usual suspects). Pulled pork sandwiches and potato salad. Sodas for the youth. Adult beverages for the, well, adults. I chilled two bottles of white wine in the cooler with the beer on the back porch. During the party, we drank half of one bottle.
Fast-forward a couple of weeks. I open the refrigerator, where I’m sure I’ve stashed the unopened bottle only to find … cream and frappucino and ketchup and mustard and pickles, but no wine. Baffled, I check the bev fridge in the basement. Not there. Surely I didn’t leave it in the cooler on the porch? Nope, the cooler is empty.
Taking the next logical step, I quiz the teenager: Fess up, did you swipe my wine? His response: “A whole bottle? That would be stupid.” And he’s not stupid.
A day later, my husband and I took a lovely evening walk down our rural road. Birds sang in the trees. The sun sank low in the west. Fireflies winked in the shadows. And there, in the ditch more than half a mile from our home, we found my missing bottle of wine, empty and abandoned.
In a book, I guess this would be the midpoint of the story. Part one of the mystery is solved, but the answer only serves to deepen the intrigue. Who took my bottle of wine? Why did they leave the empty bottle in the ditch?
Using my keen detecting abilities, I’ve homed in on a couple of possible theories:
Theory 1: Someone from the party took the bottle when they left and tossed it after they drained the contents. This seems unlikely, given the character of our guests. But isn’t that what makes a good murder mystery work? The villain masks his true character and actions, misleads those around her until the surprise twist at the end, when the murderer is revealed.
Theory 2: I left the bottle on the back porch during party cleanup and someone—a friend, a neighbor, or a stranger—happened by and snatched it. We live a long ways from anyone, so this scenario is also unlikely. And unsettling. The thought that someone may have skulked around my house, evaded the dogs, and filched hot wine from my porch makes my skin crawl a bit. Just like a good thriller.
So now what? Do I interrogate every party guest until someone confesses? Do I check the locks on the doors an extra time before bed? Maybe I could set out another bottle of wine and the motion-activated camera we use to capture shots of wildlife in an attempt to catch the thief in the act.
Or do I let the mystery remain a mystery, a reminder that life is messy and, sometimes, not having all the answers is part of the fun.