word to say to anyone. In fact, most people were afraid of her,
including her boss, Mayor Mike Ellis.
Building's old bomb shelter. The only clue to her murderer is a copy
of a cryptic message from a Nigerian email scammer.
Investigator Ian Dodge, a British transplant who's never quite taken
root in the Deep South, sets out to find out who else hated Velma
enough to kill her.
has been hiding all these years, and exactly why she was so mean.
Why is it the last time always sticks in your memory?
Like the last time I saw my mum on a long ago visit to England. I can still see her, drinking her tea and raging against the new management at the Black Swan. Now it was ferns and toffee-nosed gits, she said. And the price of a pint was outrageous.
Or the last time I drove my beloved ’69 Camaro before it was stolen. Nicked right outside my New York apartment, it was. The cops never did find it. Not that they looked very hard.
And of course, the last time I saw Velma Saunders.
Velma was the secretary/bookkeeper for Tobias, North Carolina, my adopted hometown. To say Tobias is off the beaten track is being charitable. It’s forty miles away from anything interesting, like the city of Wilmington or the Atlantic Ocean. No one ever comes to Tobias unless they have family here—or they’re lost.
Velma was here because of family. I, on the other hand, count myself among the lost.
As always, Velma was at her post in the mayor’s office, answering the phone and guarding the mayor from salesmen and other petty annoyances, like irate constituents. And that’s how I picture her, sitting at her desk glued to her computer screen, engrossed in an e-mail.
At the time, I thought it was funny, seeing as how she’d fought tooth and nail against the Internet when the town fathers decided to enter the twenty-first century and invest in an Internet connection. Velma said more than once that telephones and the U.S. Postal Service worked just fine, why bother with all this e-rubbish? Only threats of forced retirement persuaded her to log on.
That day she wore her usual ensemble of a baggy brown cardigan sweater, a beige blouse, and a brown and black plaid skirt. Always reminded me of the school uniforms the girls at my grammar school wore. Nobody ever looked good in those, especially a woman on the high side of sixty.
Trouble and Strife
time driving fast cars, riding horses and keeping herself pretty. And
yet, she's down to earth, and sweet, devoted to her handicapped twin
sister Linnie. Everyone loves her.
private investigator Ian Dodge is called in by the owners of the
salon, since they're getting sued big time. It doesn't take long for
Ian to figure out Lorrie's attack wasn't an accident, or negligence
but attempted murder. Or to learn that there were plenty of people
who wanted this sweet girl dead.
service of Her Majesty, otherwise known as Laura Lane, the Food
Queen, star of a popular TV cooking show. A blackmailer has
threatened to expose her sordid past as a con artist, so she turns to
Ian Dodge to get it sorted.
Majesty is the prime suspect. It's Ian's job to untangle the web of
deception and pork pies (lies) to find the culprit, all the while
dealing with the antics of his twin sons, Jesse and Mac.
Judy Nichols lives in Wilmington, North Carolina, but she is by no means a
"Southern writer." Born in Cincinnati, Ohio and raised in
the nearby town of Batavia, she still is a no-nonsense midwesterner.
Although she does find true southerners quite charming.
She has been a newspaper reporter, a teacher, a temporary office
worker, a customer service representative, a stay-at-home mom, a
volunteer, and a proud organizer of the now defunct Cape Fear Crime
Festival mystery writers' conference.
was napping one day. Five years later it was finished. The biggest
challenge arrived once her daughter stopped taking naps and
eventually lost interest in watching the "Toy Story" video.
Dodge Mysteries inspired by her UK born husband Nigel. Ian Dodge is a
persnickety private investigator, living in coastal North Carolina,
who refuses to be assimilated and instead hangs on to every shred of
time with her husband and Bailey the Wonder Dog. Also, reading and
writing good books.
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