While I’m no longer doing Fiction Friday every week, you’ll be glad I came out of Friday hibernation for this one. My buddy Kylie Logan/Casey Daniels has a new book out , The Legend of Sleepy Harlow, just in time for Halloween, and when I read the excerpt in her newsletter I knew I had to share it with you. This is the third entry in Kylie’s League of Literary Ladies mystery series.
With further fuss and bother, here’s what Kylie says about the series and the novel.
Bea Cartwright’s first autumn on South Bass Island is a dream come true. Her bed and breakfast is booked solid. The League of Literary Ladies–the book discussion group she’s in thanks to a passel of warring neighbors and a judge who was tired of seeing them in court–is celebrating the season by reading “The Legend of Sleepy Hollow.” Farmers sell pumpkins and cider at roadside stands, the trees are aflame with color, and everyone on the spit of land in Lake Erie is abuzz with the excitement of the big Halloween bash. It’s ideal.
Or at least it would be if not for the ghost.
Ghost? Bea isn’t about to believe! After all, she’s from New York and if there’s one thing she learned in the Big Apple, it’s to be practical and down-to-earth. Tell that to the ghost hunters who come looking for island legend Charles “Sleepy” Harlow, a Prohibition-era rumrunner who literally lost his head in a deal gone bad.
When one of the ghost hunters is found dead, Kate Wilder, owner of the local winery and fellow Literary Lady, looks like the prime suspect and the Ladies need to band together to find the truth.
Things that go bump in the night won’t stop them. But a ruthless killer just might.
I wish I could say that the worst thing that happened that fall was Jerry Garcia peeing on Marianne Littlejohn’s manuscript.
Jerry Garcia? He’s the cat next door, the one whose bathroom habits have always been questionable and whose attention is perpetually trained on the potted flowers on my front porch.
Until that afternoon, that is.
That day, Jerry bypassed the flowers and went straight for the wicker couch on the porch, the one where until the phone rang inside the B and B, I’d been reading Marianne’s manuscript because she wanted one more set of eyes to take a look before she sent it off to the small academic press. Yeah, that was the couch where I’d left the pages neatly stacked and–this is vital to the telling of the story–completely dry and odor free.
Jerry, see, had motive, means and opportunity. Jerry had mayhem in his kitty cat heart and at the risk of sounding just the teeniest bit paranoid, I was pretty sure Jerry had it out for me, too.
It was the perfect storm of circumstance and timing, and the results were so predictable, I shouldn’t have walked back out onto the porch, taken one look at the puddle quickly soaking through Marianne’s tidy manuscript pages and stood, pikestaffed, with my mouth hanging open.
Oh yes, at the time, it did seem like the worst of all possible disasters.
But then, that was my first October on South Bass Island and I had yet to hear about the legend. Or the ghost.
And there was no way I could have imagined the murder.