|Some of Lesley's second-had finds|
Mystery author Lesley A. Diehl retired from her life as a professor of psychology and reclaimed her country roots by moving to a small cottage in the Butternut River Valley in upstate New York. In the winter she migrates to old Florida—cowboys, scrub palmetto, and open fields of grazing cattle, a place where spurs still jingle in the post office, and gators make golf a contact sport. Back north, the shy ghost inhabiting the cottage serves as her literary muse. Learn more about Lesley and her books at he website.
Channeling the Queen of Recycling, Reusing, Repurposing
I had no idea growing up that my tiny grandmother, eccentric to an extreme with her insistence on repurposing my aunt’s clothes for her own use even though they were sizes too big for her, taking auntie’s shoes and tying them on her feet with grosgrain ribbon and even reusing her bath water to wash down the second floor hallway, would have such an impact on my writing. She died when I was in college, and I’m embarrassed to say I didn’t think much about her and then, whammo! She wriggles her way into my protagonist’s choice of business.
Eve Appel is a gal who believes in fashion, and why not? She lived in Connecticut and had access to all the best stores in Hartford, and on the Connecticut coast. Travel to New York City took little time. But then Eve moves to Florida, and not to Miami or Naples or to West Palm. No. She chooses the wilds of rural Florida, the pastures and swamps of the Okeechobee area.
What can a fashionistia do there? Not only can she get away from her philandering hubby, but she can set up a high-end consignment shop with her best friend, Madeleine, selling gently used fashion from the society matrons of West Palm. Eve firmly believes, as did my grandmother, that used merchandise is not only cheaper than new, but better because finding it is like a scavenger hunt—fun for everyone and with a reward at the end. Just like a mystery.
Who wouldn’t just die for a pair of Manolo Blahniks at less than half the price?
And, of course, that is just what happens. Someone dies. In her shop. In her dressing room. Trying to get a size 14 body into a size 8 gown. That’s only the beginning of Eve’s need to push her nose into every murder in the county.
In her newest caper, Eve encounters an unpleasant owner of a game ranch who, she is sure, is responsible for the murder of a client on another ranch owned by Madeleine’s current squeeze. In A Sporting Murder, Eve finds the killer with the help of her weapons of choice—her friends and relatives. And we’re off and running on yet another caper in the swamps of Florida. Oh, and by the way, thanks, Granny, for being the role model for secondhand shopping. You’d be so proud of Eve.
A Sporting Murder
An Eve Appel Mystery, Book 3
It’s smooth sailing for Eve Appel and her friend Madeleine, owners of Second to None Consignment Shop in rural Florida’s Sabal Bay, land of swamps, cowboys, and lots and lots of ’gators. Eve and her detective boyfriend Alex have joined Madeleine and her new beau David Wilson for a pleasure cruise on his boat. But cloudy, dangerous waters lie ahead. A near fatal encounter with Blake Reed, David’s supremely nasty neighbor, is soon followed by a shooting death on the dividing line between David and Blake’s land. Both men run sport-hunting reserves, but Blake imports “exotics” from Africa and promotes gator killing, while David stays within the law, pointing clients toward the abundant quail and turkey as well as the wild pigs that ravage the landscape. Nevertheless, when a mutual client is killed, it is David who is arrested and charged with murder.
Blake’s nastiness is only exceeded by that of his wife, Elvira, who forces Eve and Madeleine out of their shop, intending to replace it with a consignment shop of her own. It seems that bad luck looms over them all, even Eve’s brawny and hard-to-resist Miccosukee Indian friend Sammy, whose nephew has disappeared.
As the case against David grows stronger and his friends’ misfortunes multiply, Eve and her strange and diverse group of friends, including her ex, a mobster, her grandma, and Sammy’s extended family, band together to take on the bad guys. But the waters are getting muddier and more troubled, and Eve and Madeleine may end up inundated in every sense of the word.