Title: GRANDMA HAS MURDER ON HER MIND
Genre: Adult Cozy Mystery
Word Count: 70,000
My Main Character's Most Fearsome Obstacle:
Her mother. Concetta Liberatore is Milton's all-star, all-powerful realtor. With a senator's perfect jet black bob and the countenance of a caring gynecologist, she is the kind of woman you confide in. After 20 years of going in and out of every home in town, Concetta has something on pretty much everyone. She isn't afraid to use her secrets to get her way, no matter who she destroys. In fact, Concetta seems almost giddy at the prospect of ruining her own daughter and mother when their murder investigation gets in the way of a sale.
After a childhood smothered in red sauce, Anna Liberatore expects her Grandma Rose to live life one magnificent plate of manicotti at a time. But the tenacious septuagenarian drops her fork and can only think of murder when her best friend Mona is thriving one day and found dead the next. The rest of their sleepy Hudson Valley town finds the suggestion of foul play ridiculous. To them, Mona was a sickly shrew whose time had come, and Rose is a foolish old lady terrified of her own mortality.
With nowhere else to turn, Rose asks Anna, a big-city attorney, to figure out what happened. Anna refuses to get involved, especially when it means crossing her old high school flame, now the local police sergeant. But when she learns that the victim, a militant Atkins dieter, left her front door open and supposedly gorged on gloriously carb-loaded cookies for her last meal, Anna teams up with Rose to dive in and prove that Mona was not home alone the night she died.
The women navigate a veritable buffet of age-old feuds and raging gossips to reveal that half the town secretly had it out for Mona. Anyone from the victim's seemingly perfect family, to the kindly senior bus driver, to a couple of shady antique dealers could have killed her. With Mona's body set for cremation and her estate scheduled for a raucous town auction, Anna and Rose must race to discover the truth and get justice for their friend before the evidence is lost forever.
GRANDMA HAS MURDER ON HER MIND is a 70,000-word cozy mystery, complete with Grandma Rose's favorite recipes.
Whenever Grandma Rose called, Anna went running. Not because Rose was about to die, or because her furnace was acting up again, or because Rose thought she saw a mouse and spent four hours circling the block to avoid a rodent showdown. Anna went running because if she didn't, she would never hear the end of it. If there is an afterlife, Anna will have a chubby little Italian lady dishing her meatballs dripping in red sauce from a bottomless pot saying, "Would it have killed you to call?" On a loop. For eternity.
Anna assumed it was another false alarm when Rose left her a wild voicemail one night in late October. She still dragged herself onto a bus when she woke the next afternoon and headed upstate from Manhattan to Milton, her Hudson Valley hometown.
Ringing Rose's door bell, Anna heard a familiar "coming, coming, coming" chant followed by a symphony of lock clicks and clangs that would make the fellas at Fort Knox beam with pride. Anna flicked her menthol into the neighbor's birdbath just before the door flung open to reveal her grandmother.
"What are you doing here?" Rose said.
"Are you kidding? Your message said 'Get here immediately.' What's going on?" Anna said.
Rose rubbed her hands together and looked at the ground. When she faced Anna again, tears streamed down her cheeks.
"It's nothing really, nothing you need to worry about at least. Just my friend Mona. She's dead. Murdered. End of story."