Asbury High and the Parcels of Poison
Asbury High and the Parcels of Poison:
Asbury High YA Cozy Mystery Series
by Kelly Brady Channick
About Asbury High and the Parcels of Poison
Asbury High and the Parcels of Poison: Asbury High YA Cozy Mystery
Young Adult Cozy Mystery
2nd in Series
Publisher: Purple Milk Publishing (May 24, 2020)
Paperback: 269 pages
Digital ASIN: B088F1W592
Asbury’s fearless foursome is back!
Is their favorite hangout to blame for recent food poisonings? Or is there something more sinister at work?
After an unprecedented first year of high school, the gang is ready for a relaxing summer vacation, although in Asbury, that may be easier said than done. This summer, the Food Network is running a summer special highlighting local hot spots, Carly, Maddie, Pilot and Cornelious are psyched to have the world’s best restaurant featured—their very own Brady’s! In fact, Maddie can almost forget that her arch-nemesis, Alexis Johnson, will also be on TV for winning the logo design for Caulfield’s Candies… almost.
However, after patrons start falling ill, shoobies and locals alike point the finger at Brady’s and rumors of food poisoning. When Brady’s threatens to close its doors, Pilot realizes his mother’s job is in jeopardy, as well as his future in Asbury. With the aid of Cornelious’ wealthy cousin Dane, who spends every summer with the quartet, the gang is once again thrust into an investigation. Unfortunately, they find themselves thwarted by both the local police (who believe their recent success was due to luck, rather than skill), and Cornelious’ father, who has decided to run for Mayor of Asbury and cautions his son on the need to maintain a spotless public image.
With a new pancake house on the boardwalk, Mainlanders invading their beaches, and the Pitbulls sneaking around and terrorizing shoobies (as usual), there’s no shortage of suspects. But can they solve the case before the summer, and Brady’s, are finished?
Read An Excerpt
Furthermore, with preseason starting in just one week, the gang was unsure of their timeline. What if the food poisonings just stopped? Or what if their preseason activities kept them from uncovering the truth?
Not to mention the fact that Maddie was the only one in the group that had finished her summer workload, the group felt a definite time strain beginning to pull on their case.
Nevertheless, they were determined to succeed. Dane, not realizing just how integral the four of them were to last year’s burglary case, felt they were wasting away their time and the beautiful summer. Plus, he was annoyed that with any free time Maddie had, she wanted to get together with the group to discuss the food poisonings rather than hang with him. Not that he worked up the courage to ask her out yet... but still, he was annoyed.
“We know there’s been four cases so far,” Maddie began, doodling with a stick aimlessly on the sand as she lay on her stomach.
“And all of them point back to Brady’s, where their last meal was eaten,” Cornelious finished her thought.
The five of them were laying on the beach, desperately trying to discover the missing link. While they were deep in thought, the beachgoers around them were enjoying a beautiful, albeit crowded, sunny shore day. It seemed that everyone in Asbury, as well as the surrounding towns of Mainland and Dublin, could be found lounging on the sand or splashing in the sea.
“There has to be something we just aren’t seeing,” Carly sat up in frustration. “There must be a connection.”
While each of them silently agreed, no one ventured forth a guess.
“I’ll ask you one thing,” Cornelious sighed. The gang looked at him expectantly. “If Mainland kids hate us so much, then why do they spend their summer on our beaches?” Cornelious motioned over to a group of about a dozen teenagers. Of course, no one stated the obvious—that Asbury was a coastal town and Mainland was not. Therefore, the Asbury beaches were the only shore they had, or at least the closest one.
“They even had the nerve to bring their school flag with them.” Maddie raged at the sight of the ugly white mustang set against a plain kelly green background.
Even Carly and Pilot shared in the mutual Asbury disdain for Mainlanders. Moreover, it seemed like a good way to vent their current frustrations over the lack of action in the case.
“They always leave all of their trash behind on the beach,” Carly joined in.
The gang surveyed the messiness and rowdiness of the Mainland high schoolers, and Maddie even pointed out some of the well-known athletes of the group.
“That one is Alyssa. She plays basketball and thinks she’s a lot better than she is. It’s kind of sad. Then there’s Tess. She’s pretty good at soccer, but dirtier than a wet diaper.”
Cornelious laughed at Maddie’s comparisons and agreed with most of them.
“BRIAN!” One of the Mainlanders abruptly cried in hysteria, “BRIAN, OH MY GOD, OH MY GOD!”
The group looked over to see a tall, pale girl pointing to the ground in horror as one of her friends was writhing on the sand, holding his stomach in pain. Within seconds, he made his way to his knees only to double over and begin making awful retching noises.
With the snap of a finger, a crowd gathered around the unfortunate Mainland high schooler, although it was clear no one was thinking straight enough to call for help. Most stood there with their mouths agape and phones out filming. Clearly, someone needed to take the lead. Maddie quickly fought her way through and saw that Brian Lamey (a well-known football and basketball rival of Cornelious) was throwing up uncontrollably. His friends had all backed away but looked paralyzed by fear. Virtually every towel in a three-foot perimeter was now caked with Lamey’s lunch.
Maddie pointed to a girl holding a phone by her side and told her to call 911. She then sent a few of his Mainland friends rushing off to find the closest paramedic or lifeguard. She turned to the unlucky boy and, bending down on one knee, held onto his hand. Patiently, she asked him, “Brian... Brian… are there any other pains you’re feeling? This is important.”
In agony, he squeezed her hand tightly (a good sign, Maddie thought) and squinted at Maddie through slit eyes and said “Cr-cr-cramping. And… I can’t really… see you… Maddie. You look…look…look blurry—" Brian interrupted himself by undergoing another round of vomiting. Lucky for Maddie, he was able to turn his head to the side away from where she was coaching.
Maddie continued to hold onto Brian’s hand and talk to him. She knew she was rambling and later couldn’t recall exactly what she had said, but she knew she had to keep him conscious. Rival or not, he needed help. Thankfully, the paramedics took over after a few minutes, and Maddie stepped away, leading the group off to the side. Without a word, the gang grabbed their beach towels and assorted bags and made their way off of the beach, towards the boardwalk.
“How are you so close to that Mainland boy?” Carly smirked, clearly ready for some juicy gossip.
“Really, Carly?... Remember Neal and I were chosen in eighth grade to have a weekend ‘summit’ with local athletes. He was one of them. He wasn’t too bad. Neal bunked with him.”
Carly looked eagerly over at Cornelious for more input. Her gossip-loving brain sensed possible juicy intel, and she was growing excited. Unfortunately for Carly, there wasn’t much to say. Cornelious only shrugged. As far as Mainlanders went, Brian Lamey wasn’t bad, but they weren’t friends either.
“Anyway,” Maddie continued, eager to steer her friend’s rumor-filled mind away from that angle, “we just got a somewhat complete list of symptoms. I propose we convene at someone’s house and draft a list of all the cases and symptoms.”
“Okay. But who’s house?” Cornelious asked, dreading the answer but knowing where they would choose.
Stepping onto the boards, they began listing Brian’s symptoms and the need to compare them to the other known victims. However, with all of the chaos going on around them, they were barely able to hear each other. The boardwalk seemed almost as crowded as it did on the Fourth, as passerbys stopped to watch the paramedics pull Brian onto a stretcher.
About Kelly Brady Channick
For as long as she could remember, Kelly Brady Channick loved making up stories, and leaving her listeners/readers on the edge of their seats.
Perhaps that’s why she always managed to talk herself out of trouble…
After graduating from NJ’s own Ocean City High School, Kelly accepted a basketball scholarship to Holy Family University, in Philadelphia. As a lifelong athlete, Kelly understands the importance of teamwork and overcoming adversity, something she hopes translates into her books.
Before writing page-turners, she taught first, fifth, sixth, seventh and eighth grade — like a dessert menu, she simply had to test them all out. But her favorite job is the one she’s now doing full time: writing. Kelly loves to craft whodunit mysteries, leading readers through various twists and turns filled with red-herrings, hidden clues, and more peculiar characters than a reality show.
Kelly lives in South Jersey with her handsome husband, energetic baby boy, two cookie-stealing dogs, and an awfully smart cat.
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