A Day in the Life of Lee Barrett by Carol J. Perry

Caught Dead HandedAfter parking the borrowed Buick, I pulled down the visor mirror and smoothed a couple of strands of red hair into place. I stepped out beside a granite seawall onto a sparse, brittle strip of grass, already winter-killed although it was only October. A dingy, mouse-colored sky hung over Salem Harbor, threatening but not yet raining on the sprawling New England city I used to call home.

Ducking the chill wind, I rounded the corner of the weathered brick building housing WICH-TV. The Salem cable channel’s ad for a field reporter had come along at just the right time for me. Dodging a page of soggy newspaper cartwheeling across the parking lot like so much urban tumbleweed, I dashed up the marble steps to the arched doorway.

Half a lifetime ago I’d walked along this same street on my way to school—teenaged Maralee Kowolsky with big dreams of becoming an actress. A star. Now I was back. Thirty-year-old Lee Barrett, unemployed, with hardly any dreams left. Salem born, orphaned early, married once, widowed young. Just yesterday I’d flown here from Florida. I’d come home to the place where I’d been raised, my aunt Ibby’s big old house on Winter Street.

The vintage elevator growled its way slowly upward and at the end of the second floor corridor I found the office I was looking for. My watch showed a couple of minutes before nine. I was right on time for my interview. A brunette receptionist looked in my direction. Her name tag read Rhonda, with the “o” in the shape of a heart.

“Good morning,” I said, trying to modulate my normally throaty voice. “I’m Lee Barrett. I have a nine o’clock appointment with Mr. Doan.”

That voice had become sort of a trademark for me, first as a weather girl on a Miami cable station and more recently as a show host on a Central Florida TV home shopping program. I mentally crossed my fingers. If this interview went well, there’d be no more cumulus clouds or cubic zirconia in my future. I’d have a real TV job.

Rhonda consulted a notebook. “Mr. Doan said that if you showed up, I should tell you that he’s very sorry. The job you applied for has already been filled.”

“What do you mean, if I showed up.” My redhead’s temper began to flare. I reached into my handbag and pulled out a letter. “Here!” I waved the paper, signed with the station manager’s name. “Mr. Doan specifically said I was under serious consideration for the field reporter’s job. I flew here from Florida for this interview!”

She arched black-penciled eyebrows and shrugged. “Sorry. He hired somebody else. Some guy.”

“Some guy,” I repeated. “Well, that’s just great. Please tell Mr. Doan thanks a lot for his consideration.”

“Sure.” If she caught my sarcasm, she didn’t show it.

Too angry to say anything else, I headed for the elevator. “Damn,” I whispered. “Damn. Damn. Damn,”

“Bad day?” The male voice came from just over my shoulder. I turned and looked into brown eyes just about level with my own green ones.

“A really bad day,” I agreed. “One of the worst.” I punched the “down” button.

“I hope your day gets better,” said Brown Eyes.

It didn’t.


You can read more about Lee in Caught Dead Handed, the first book in the new “Witch City” mystery series, published by Kensington.

GIVEAWAY: Leave a comment by 6 p.m. eastern on September 9 for the chance to win a copy of CAUGHT DEAD HANDED. The giveaway is open to U.S. residents only.

About the author
Carol J. Perry’s debut mystery. Caught Dead Handed is the first in a series of “Witch City Mysteries.” It’s a Halloween brew of murder, masks and magic. Appropriately enough, this Salem-born author celebrates her birthday on CarolPHalloween eve. Carol is also the author of several young adult novels, but before she began to write fiction, she worked as an advertising copy writer for a large Massachusetts department store. The second book in the Witch City series is Tails, You Lose” which will be available in April, 2015, and involves a seriously haunted—you guessed it– department store.

Carol’s non-fiction articles on antiques and collectibles appear in newspapers and magazines around the country and her third mystery will feature some strange happenings in an antique shop. (She’s also written about endangered turtles and manatees and whales so don’t be surprised if something fishy turns up in subsequent books!) Carol and her husband Dan live in the Tampa Bay area of Florida with two cats and a Black Lab.

For more information, visit Carol’s website

42 responses to “A Day in the Life of Lee Barrett by Carol J. Perry

  1. Oh how awesome this new book sounds….and I love, love, love the big orange kitty sitting there just looking at the big old house….pretty scary I’ll bet. I can’t wait to read this book….it will most likely be very bewitching!!!! Thank you dearest Dru for the opportunity to win this book….I would love to!!!!

    Like

  2. This sounds like a great book! The cover grabbed my attention from the get go.

    Like

  3. This sounds interesting, a little scary with some sarcasm thrown in!

    Like

  4. i’m not an animal person, but I love reading cozies with them in it………
    thank you for the giveaway!!!

    Like

  5. Kathy Gonzales

    I love Halloween themed cozies , and this one sounds awesome !

    Like

  6. I love New England settings and cozies… 🙂

    Like

  7. Oh this book sure sounds like a fun one.

    Like

  8. Looks like another to add to my list! Yes!

    Like

  9. Halloween is one of my favorite holidays, this sounds great

    Like

  10. I would love to read it, thank you for the chance 🙂

    Like

  11. Love the cover. I definitely need to add this to my TBR list. Thanks for the giveaway.

    Like

  12. Sounds like a good read—thanks for the opportunity to win a copy!

    Like

  13. Sounds like a fun read..

    Like

  14. The setting for this novel is awesome.

    Like

  15. I was really unhappy when this post ended. I wanted to read more. I always feel that a book needs to grab you right away and this did. October, Salem, a spooky cover , what could be better. Thanks for the chance to win !

    Like

  16. I wanted more…! Thought I had my TBR list of Sept. releases…now, need to add one more. 🙂

    Like

  17. Be willing to give it a chance. I’m not into witches and spooky too much.
    the author review mentions these but I’d try it out.

    Like

  18. This sounds so good, can’t wait to read it.

    Like

  19. My TBR list is growing again. I haven’t read any books by Lee Barrett but the review sounds like a must check out.

    Like

  20. This book sounds right up my alley – Thanks for the preview.

    Like

  21. Sounds great, I can’t wait to read it.

    Like

  22. A little bit of haunting with a mystery should be fun. Thanks for the contest.
    suefarrell.farrell@gmail.com

    Like

  23. I’d love to start reading this series. I enjoy books about witches! Thank you!

    Like

  24. This sounds great. Looking forward to readings. Thanks for the chance to win!

    Like

  25. This sounds marvelously tempting. I volunteer to go with her to “visit” Mr. Doan!

    Like

  26. Sounds like a great new series.

    Like

  27. Do you know what I love about you Dru Ann? You’ve introduced me to many debut series…not #7 nor #2…but the very first! Thank you! This one sounds spooktacular. Thanks to you and Carol for offering up a freebie copy. You guys rock!

    Like

  28. Sounds like a fun read.

    kaye.killgore@comcast.net

    Like

  29. This story sounds really interesting. I want to read it. I am going to ask my library to buy it.

    Like

  30. Stacie Amelotte

    Looking forward to this series. Can’t wait to read it. Thanks for the gieaway. Fingers crossed! 🙂

    Like

  31. Thank you all so much for your comments, and thank you Dru, for introducing me to all these great people!
    Carol Perry

    Like

  32. Sounds like a good read for fall. Always looking for another author to get hooked on.

    Like

  33. Looks like a great Fall Read.

    Like

  34. Bad days. Everyone have them. I am having one right now. This book sounds like an interesting read.

    Like

  35. Going home means a fresh (or not very fresh) start. Let’s see which one Lee gets.

    Like

  36. Carol Douglass

    Just in time for Halloween, this should be a great fun read.

    Like

  37. I cant wait to read this series,I love stories that are set in Salem and New England!!! Thanks for the giveaway!!!

    Like

  38. Upi jad me at WICH TV. sounds like a lot of fun and just in time for the season.

    Like

  39. That’s “You had” me at WICH TV….

    Like

  40. Michelle Fidler

    I like the cat on the cover.

    Like

  41. I love the cover, and the book looks like a great read. I love that I am always finding new authors. Thank you Dru for introducing me to so many great authors. Also, thanks to Dru and Carol J. Perry for this giveaway.

    Like

  42. contest is closed.

    Like