Hello, luvvies . . . I’m Bea Lambert. Isn’t Dru Ann a dear for inviting me to chat with you today? Oh, I do wish she would stop by my eatery in the Berkshires. It’s on a charming cobblestone plaza called the Wrensdale Arcade. I know Dru Ann would find it cheerful and cozy. How I’d love to whip up some tasty fish and chips for her, with a scoop of my tangy coleslaw.
But I’m really here to tell you about my wonderful friend, Talia Marby. I first met Talia when she was a teenager. She came into the eatery I own with my hubby, Howie, looking for an after-school job. Poor luv – she’d had a lot going on back then, what with her folks having problems. Oh, but what a worker she turned out to be! She handled the deep fryer like she’d been born to it, and she could clean out the grease trap with the best of them. We’d have kept her on forever if we could have. Sadly for us, she went off to college after high school. We couldn’t fault her for that, of course. She deserved a higher education, and we wanted the best for her. After college she went on to a fancy job in Boston. She’d have stayed in Boston, too, if it hadn’t been for that silly chap she was semi-engaged to. The fool didn’t know enough to hang on to a woman as kind and darling as Talia. I’m so thankful Talia saw the light and left when she did. And you know what they say about timing? Well, as it turns out . . . it really is everything.
Several weeks ago, you see, my Howie needed knee surgery. A bad infection kept him in hospital, and I was having a devil of a time running the eatery with my young employee, Whitnee. Now don’t get me wrong—Whitnee is a sweet lass. But between her community college classes, that weird bloke of a boyfriend, and her overbearing mum, she has a lot on her plate. But anyway, when I heard Talia was back in town, living in her Nana’s bungalow, I asked if she’d like to help out for a bit. Luckily for me, she said yes.
I needed help, too—badly. The fellow who owned the classic lighting store across the plaza had been badgering me on a daily basis. Mr. Hoity-Toity wanted my signature on a petition that would have stopped a comic book store from opening up on the plaza. As if comic books aren’t good enough for his posh lamps! Turns out someone else didn’t take kindly to his annoying ways, either. When Talia and I went over to the lighting shop to give him a piece of our collective mind, we had the bad luck to stumble onto his body. Guess who the coppers tried to pin the blame on? Me.
Talia’s putting in plenty of overtime now, just trying to keep me out of the pokey. I really would look horrid in one of those dreadful orange onesies. But in the meantime, I do hope you’ll stop by and visit with us for a bit. Take a load off and enjoy some of our delicious fried treats!
You can read more about Bea and Talia in Fillet of Murder, the first book in the NEW “Deep Fried” mystery series, published by Berkley Prime Crime.
GIVEAWAY: Leave a comment by 12 p.m. eastern on May 12 for the chance to win a copy of Fillet of Murder plus the “Deep Fried Mysteries” Tote Bag. The giveaway is open to U.S. residents only. Winner will be notified within 48 hours after giveaway closes and you will have three days to respond after being contacted or another winner will be selected. Make sure to check your SPAM folder.
About the author
Raised in a sleepy town in the Berkshires, Linda Reilly spent the bulk of her career in the field of real estate closings and title examination. It wasn’t until 1995 that her first short mystery, Out of Luck, was accepted for publication by a national women’s magazine. Since then she’s had over forty short stories published, including a sprinkling of romances. Fillet of Murder is the first mystery in the Deep Fried series. Visit Linda at www.lindasreilly.com.