Reading, Writing, and Murder
Reading, Writing, and Murder (Chocolate Martini Sisters Mystery)
by Brenda Whiteside and Joyce Proell
About Reading, Writing, and Murder
Reading, Writing, and Murder (Chocolate Martini Sisters Mystery)
2nd in Series
Setting – Wyatt, Arizona (fictitious setting)
Independently Published (September 19, 2023)
Print length : 273 pages
Digital ASIN : B0C4G6GZLN
At the writers’ conference, murder tops the program.
Aspiring mystery author Emma Banefield and travel writer Nicole Earp are excited to attend a writers’ conference during their latest sisters’ getaway. Nic’s birthday should be all about relaxation, writing, and a chocolate martini to toast another trip around the sun, but the climate at the gathering rumbles like a sudden desert thunderstorm.
When sparks fly between the keynote speaker and her timid assistant over a handsome mystery author, the subtitle on this anticipated tranquil weekend spells drama. If a heated love triangle, bruised egos, and betrayal aren’t enough to upset the atmosphere, the conference banquet erupts into a drunken brawl and sends the place spinning. After a body is discovered, Nic and Em do what they do best—snoop—and become embroiled in a mystery that jumps off the pages of a true-crime bestseller.
With more than enough suspects and little time, the amateur sleuths have their hands full finding the killer. But can the competitive Chocolate Martini Sisters solve the crime before the prickly chief detective does, or will a murderer outwit them all?
Read an Exclusive Excerpt
“Nic wait!” Emma stiffened. Always more cautious than her sister, she needed a moment to assess and consider the ramifications before banging on the door. The last thing she wanted was to give the author another chance to close a door in their faces, or even worse, bite off their heads. She’d seen rattlesnakes with friendlier dispositions. “The noise we heard was probably her dropping something.”
“Yeah, like a bowling ball.” Nic didn’t bother to mask her sarcasm. “Come on. Let’s check it out.” Her mouth gripped with impatience.
Not convinced they were doing the right thing, she sighed, glancing longingly at her new pajamas and back at her sister. Perhaps her hesitancy had to do with privacy, a value she prized and respected. Yet given the woman’s drunken state earlier in the evening, she might well need assistance. If Emma failed to offer help when needed, the guilt and regret would consume her.
Hands jammed on her hips, Nic bristled like a bird about to take flight, though oddly enough, resembled a polar bear in her thick, hotel terrycloth robe.
“Okay. Okay.” She stabbed her feet into her dress shoes and followed her out the door, leaving it unlatched for their hasty return. Already her toes ached in the pumps, and she regretted not taking a moment to slip into practical sneakers.
Within seconds, Nic had fluttered to the next room and rapped on the door.
“Oh, Mighty Carmac,”—Emma posed theatrically with a hand at her forehead—“what does your x-ray vision reveal?” The query amused her. Nic, not so much, who frowned and waved an urgent hand, hurrying her along.
“Maybe in anger, she tossed her designer heels at the wall?” Lord knows, she might, in sheer vexation if she’d gotten three visitors in such short order. “Bada Bing! Bada boom!”
Not smiling, her sister bit her lip in worry. “Something’s not right.”
She trusted Nic’s instincts. If the woman sensed trouble, trouble often followed. She’d learned over the years to give her sister’s intuition its proper respect. She’d quit clowning around.
“Look,” Nic whispered after she’d rapped again. “The door isn’t completely shut.”
For safety, a man or a woman locked their door in a hotel. Period. So the sight of the slender yet ominous seam in the doorway made her tummy grip with unease. “Hello?” She inched closer and knocked as though her attempt might garner a different response.
“Screw this.” Nic dove inside when they got no reply. She rushed through the entryway, past the bathroom, and came to an abrupt stop with an audible gasp.
“Jeez!” Emma pulled up short annoyed she’d almost plowed into her. “Watch where you’re—” The sharp complaint stuck in her throat.
A woman lay in a disarrayed heap on the carpeted floor, the top of her head almost touching the side of the bed. A shoe remained on one foot. The other foot, bare, with the nails painted a perky coral, stretched toward the wall.
A twinge of alarm, like a sudden rift of cool air, raised the hair at the back of her neck. In an instant, she found herself between the fallen woman, the desk on the left, and an overturned chair. “Oh, my God.”
“Is she dead?” Nic remained surveyed the scene with a pinched, horrified face.
About the Authors
is the award-winning author of Amaryllis, Eliza and the Cady Delafield mysteries: A Deadly Truth, A Burning Truth and A Wicked Truth. Along with her husband and little dog, Nellie, she lives in Minnesota in her very own little house on the prairie. She loves to hear from readers.
is the award-winning author of romantic suspense, romance, and cozy mystery. After living in six states and two countries—so far—she and her husband have settled in Central Arizona. They admit to being gypsies at heart and won’t discount the possibility of another move. They share their home with a rescue dog named Amigo. While FDW fishes, Brenda writes.
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