Monday, June 24, 2013


It's official!  The cover for the Virginia is for Mysteries anthology has been revealed.  

Dontcha just love it?

Here's the 4-1-1 on the book, which will be published by Koehler Books in early 2014:

     Yes, Virginia may be for Lovers.  But according to 14 mystery authors from the Old Dominion, Virginia is for Mysteries, too.
     Virginia is for Mysteries is a collection of sixteen short stories set in and around the state of Virginia. A ll stories are written by Virginia residents with "murder" in mind.  Each author is a member of Sisters in Crime writers group.  Each story features a Virginia landmark, from the steps of the Cape Henry Lighthouse to Richmond's Old Hollywood Cemetery to Jefferson's Monticello and transports readers across Virginia's rich, unique, and very deadly, landscape.

     And I wouldn't be shouting this from the sandy beaches if I didn't have a story included.    "Best Friends Help You Move the Body" was inspired by a visit to the Old Cape Henry Lighthouse back in 2012.  Here are the opening paragraphs of the story (which you can pre-order your copy at ANY bookstore now!)

"Best Friends Help You Move the Body"
by Jayne Ormerod

“The Cape Henry Lighthouse silently guards the entryway into the Chesapeake Bay. Standing near the ‘First Landing’ site of the Jamestown settlers where in 1607 Captain Newport raised a cross to offer thanks for their safe crossing of the Atlantic, the Lighthouse has stood sentinel since it was completed in 1792.” ~ Preservation Virginia

            “I could kill Stella Edwards by pushing her down these stairs.” Courtney Danvers’ voice echoed down to me from her position above.  She was about a dozen feet higher on the iron steps circling around the inside of the Old Cape Henry Lighthouse in Virginia BeachVirginia.
          I’d known Courtney long enough not to be alarmed at a statement like that. Since she’d read her first Nancy Drew, Girl Detective book in fifth grade, she’s aspired to be a mystery writer and was always looking for unusual or creative ways to dispatch her characters. For twenty years she’d been all talk and no action.  But since learning her position as a government contractor would be throttled back on account of the sequestration furloughs, Courtney decided now was a good time to investigate other sources of income. Hence her recent commitment to put fingers to keyboard. In true Courtney fashion, she’d developed a business plan, the first step of which was to scout an interesting place to knock off her victim, the beautiful yet diabolical Stella Edwards.
            “The way this old iron staircase spirals down,” Courtney continued her fictional murder planning, “Stella would tumble ass over tea-kettle for a long time. All it would take is one smash of her head against these iron steps or a bash against this metal handrail or good hard slam against those old bricks and she’d be a goner. Not a single landing to slow momentum, just one long spiraling fall, ninety feet downward into the abyss.” Courtney let out an excited squeal. “Look here, a steep ladder. One misstep and it’s Sayonara, Stella! I love it!”

            I suppose I should mention that Stella is not purely a figment of Courtney’s imagination. Oh no. Stella is based--right down to the last blond curl tucked behind a multi-pierced ear--on Courtney’s childhood nemesis, Stacy Evans. This literary murder is payback for Stacy’s close encounter of the sexual kind with Courtney’s boyfriend. I should also mention this happened back in high school. I suppose Courtney killing Stacy off in a book is cheaper than therapy. 

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