When I set fire to my life in New York and left the noise, grime and a cheating ex-husband behind to start anew on Pineapple Cay, I certainly did not expect the bad old days to follow me down here in the form of my once-upon-a-time boss Professor Philip Putzel.
Philip arrived today. When I woke up this morning. I brewed a cup of coffee and took it out onto my back porch. The air was still, except for the trill of songbirds in the flowering shrubs beside the cottage. The sea was mirror smooth, lazy waves tumbling onto the white sand beach. Having grown up in a northern climate, I still thrill at the sight of that turquoise water and palm trees.
The peace didn’t last. My next door neighbor is back on island, and we had words. His name is Les and he’s a professional gambler, so he says. Anyway, after an unsatisfying exchange in his front yard, I left him to do his thing, and headed out to the airport to meet Philip. Philip’s hired me to organize a conference here on Pineapple Cay. He’s a difficult man, but I’m in no position to turn down a decent paying gig when it comes along.
Anyway, it was good to see some of the old gang. My old friend Victor Ross has come over from London for the event. Dr. Sylvia Putzel-Cross, Philip’s glamorous ex-wife arrived in style of a charter plane flown by a handsome pilot she met in the hotel bar last night. Things were decidedly frosty between her and Philip. Philip’s eager young assistant Bridget has accompanied him to Pineapple Cay. She must get by on her enthusiasm alone. Victor arrived with a very intense young man in hipster khakis carrying a knapsack bulging with notebooks and papers. Razor Hudson, a rising star at the Carmichael Institute of Leisure Studies, who has a chip on his shoulder about some slight he’s suffered at Philip’s hand recently. It should be an interesting week.
After dropping them all at the Inn to unpack, I stopped into the Redoubt, a breezy bar and grill on the waterfront to wait for my wash at the laundromat. The glass doors onto the deck overlooking the beach were open, and a sweet sea breeze floated in off the water. Danish was working the lunch shift. I slid onto a stool at the bar to wait for him to take my order. He swooped in, looked deeply into my eyes and said,
“Nina, everyone dies. Not everyone lives.”
His latest mantra. A true enough saying, which if printed in elegant script next to a picture of a waterfall in the pages of Oprah Magazine might be inspirational and life-affirming, but coming from Danish, Coconut Cove’s mailman-slash-yoga instructor-slash-bartender, it has an ominous ring to it. He’s up to something.
Danish is basically a good guy, but I don’t have time for any of his schemes right now. I’ve got my hands full for the next week with Philip and the conference at the Inn. I don’t know when I’ll see Ted again. I catch myself looking for his tall figure and distinctive broad-brimmed fishing hat in the crowd meeting the mail boat down on the wharf or in the Redoubt after sundown, but he hasn’t been around for days.
Anyway, there’s a new novel on my nightstand, a pitcher of iced tea in the fridge and a hammock hanging in the shade of the coconut palms on the beach in front of my cottage, beckoning to me. I just need to deal with Philip first, then I’ll get back to easy-living in the islands.
You can read more about Nina in Beachbound, the follow-up to Sunbaked in the “Pineapple Cay” mystery series that was released on August 8, 2017.
Living well is the best revenge . . . but not the only one.
Someone tried to kill Professor Philip Putzel. Sure, Nina’s arrogant former boss has a history of run-ins with everyone—Nina included—but expecting to find a real suspect in a banquet hall full of dull, book-toting academics? They’re more likely to kill a good joke than a fellow colleague. When Nina is questioned, her curiosity about whodunit leads her to investigate on her own, despite her promise to police chief Blue Roker.
Now Nina and her friends Pansy and Danish are combing the beaches for clues. And they’d better act fast, because someone out there is still planning to make good on a killer grudge.
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Giveaway: Leave a comment below for your chance to win a print copy of Beachbound. U.S. and Canadian entries only, please. The giveaway ends August 26, 2017. Good luck everyone!
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About the author
Junie Coffey lives with Fisherman Fred and Hurricane Annie in a little town north of forty-five degrees latitude, which got two hundred inches of snow last winter. She has worked as a travel writer and has both lived and worked throughout the Bahamas and the Caribbean, spending time in the islands every chance she gets. Beachbound is her second novel in the Pineapple Cay series featuring accidental sleuth Nina Spark. To learn more about the author and her work, visit www.pineapplecay.com.
All comments are welcomed.