I hope everyone will be enjoying their Fourth of July Weekend. I know I will! One note: I will not be posting on Monday. Have fun on the holiday, and meet me back here on Wednesday for another great excerpt.
But now for today's delicacy . . .
I bring you a fun excerpt from Sherban Young's Fleeting Memory. If you like cozy mysteries, you are really going to enjoy this one!
The answer lies with Keats… With these cryptic last words, the man sprawled out on the floor of the rustic cabin expires - murdered. What could he have meant? Why Keats? Which answer? (For that matter, what was the question?)
All this and more passes through the mind of the young householder who discovers the body. If only he knew the guy’s name. Or anybody’s name. Including his own...
From here, our John Doe is hurtled along a path of self-discovery. With the help of Enescu Fleet, retired private detective and (according to some) the world’s most fascinating man, he will delve into an exciting new game show called Deadly Allusions, where trivia and murder compete for top billing. Along the way, he will attempt to figure out the dead man’s clue - and quite possibly nab a murderer who is too smart for his own good.
What readers are saying:
“If you are looking for a fresh voice in humorous, cozy, caper-like mysteries, you can't go wrong with Sherban Young.” -Brenda Weeaks, MyShelf
And now, an excerpt from Fleeting Memory:
I knelt by the remains. The figure was male, kind of a fireplug in shape, and totally dead. He was wearing a brown wool sweater damp with blood, tan wool trousers and a black scarf, also wool. I put him down as a wool fan. The way his head was cocked had covered his cheek with the scarf and pushed his glasses askew (thick black frames bedewed with tiny droplets of rain water).
Then, of course, there was the crossbow bolt in his chest.
Careful not to add my fingerprints to the evidence - I wasn’t a complete moron - I poked his glasses into place with my trusty pen and slid the scarf down. His face was mustached, ruddy in complexion and rough, like burgundy sandpaper. I didn’t recognize him (no shocker there) and for a minute I sat back on my heels, wondering who could have killed him and why. He seemed like a decent sort, for a corpse.
Suddenly the corpse spoke, and I sprang back from it.
The Maltese pup, pausing to squat and tinkle again, darted from the room, no doubt feeling its presence was no longer required here. It was just me and the dead guy now: apparently not as totally dead as I had figured him. I scooched over and tilted my ear to listen.
“Heat,” I thought I heard him say.
I nodded sympathetically. If I had been a corpse, I probably would have found it pretty nippy in there too. “I’ll call for help,” I whispered.
He shook his head and said “No time,” softly.
Unfortunately I didn’t quite make this out, and replied, equally soft, “Half past eight.”
He glared at me. “Not the time, you ignoramus. No time.”
I had nettled the poor guy. Even still, I didn’t see why he had to get personal about it. He drew me in closer. He might have called me an ignoramus again, I can’t be sure.
“Ka -” he began. “Ka -”
“Ka -” I said with him. Ka. Ka. Was he trying to pronounce ka-ching? First Heat, then sound effects? It didn’t make any sense.
“K-eat-s,” he concluded. Keats! He had been saying Keats, not Heat. He had sort of muffled the “s,” you see, and well, it had really sounded like Heat.
“Keats,” he said more clearly.
I was totally with him now. He was enunciating beautifully. Keats. A man named Keats had evidently shot him or knew who had shot him. “Keats who?” I asked.
He reached up and gripped my shirt.
“The answer - lies - with - Keats,” he told me.
The line was said with such emphasis, with such a resounding weight to the words, that I had no choice but to lean back and consider them in the spirit in which they had been uttered.
The answer lies with Keats. I took it all in.
“What answer?” I asked.
He shook his head again. “Cretin,” he remarked, and was gone.
He was really dead this time. Really dead and kind of rude.
Sherban Young is also the author of The Five Star Detour, Opportunity Slips and Dead Men Do Tell Tales. Like the hero in Fleeting Memory, he has logged many hours inside casinos - research - and frequently spends his off-hours chasing blondes. You can learn more about Sherban and his books at www.MysteryCaper.com.
Other books by Sherban Young: