It’s always a pleasure to welcome a new author to Living the Dream. Today, I’d like to introduce you to Susan Lynn Solomon, here to promote her novel, The Magic of Murder
When his partner is discovered in a frozen alley with eight bullets in his chest, Niagara Falls Police Detective Roger Frey swears vengeance. But Detective Chief Woodward has forbidden him or anyone else on the detective squad to work the case. Emlyn Goode knows Roger will disobey his boss, which will cost him his job and his freedom. Because she cares for him more than she’ll admit, she needs to stop him. Desperate, she can think of but one way.
Emlyn recently learned she’s a direct descendent of a woman hanged as a witch in 1692. She has a book filled with arcane recipes and chants passed down through her family. Possessed of, or perhaps by a vivid imagination, she intends to use these to solve Jimmy’s murder before Roger takes revenge on the killer. But she’s new to this “witch thing,” and needs help from her friend Rebecca Nurse, whose ancestor also took a short drop from a Salem tree. Also in the mix is a rather hefty albino cat (Elvira detests being called fat). Rebecca’s not much better at deciphering the ancient directions, and while the women and the cat stumble over spell after spell, the number of possible killers grows. They’d better quickly come up with a workable spell: when Chief Woodward’s wife is shot and a bottle bomb bursts through Emlyn’s window, it becomes clear she’s next on the killer’s list.
You can get your copy of The Magic of Murder from:http://www.amazon.com/Magic-Murder-Susan-Lynn-Solomon-ebook/dp/B015OQO5LO
Formerly a Manhattan entertainment attorney, and then a contributing editor to the quarterly art magazine SunStorm Fine Art, Susan Lynn Solomon now lives in Niagara Falls, New York, where she is in charge of legal and financial affairs for a management consulting firm.
After moving to Niagara Falls she became a member of Just Buffalo Literary Center’s Writers Critique Group, and since 2009 a number of her short stories have appeared in literary journals, including, Abigail Bender (awarded an Honorable Mention in a Writer’s Journal short romance competition), Witches Gumbo, Ginger Man, The Memory Tree, Elvira, Second Hand, Sabbath (nominated for 2013 Best of the Net by the editor of Prick of the Spindle), and Kaddish.
Her latest short stories are Going Home, which appeared in the October 19 issue of Flash Fiction Press, Captive Soul, which is included in Solstice Publishing’s Halloween anthology, Now I Lay Me Down To Sleep, Volume 1, and Yesterday’s Wings, about a woman searching for the courage of her past, appears in the October 2015 edition of, Imitation Fruit. Most recently, her short story, Niagara Falling, is included in the Solstice Anthology, Adventures in Love.
Susan Lynn Solomon’s Solstice Publishing novel, The Magic of Murder, is available at Amazon.com.
Here’s something to pique your interest.
The Magic of Murder
When my nerves finally settled to the point where I could write what I learned of Jimmy Osborn’s death, this is how I began:
March in Niagara Falls. Though the calendar declared winter had neared its end, the thermometer outside the Pine Avenue Bank of America branch read nine degrees. On this mid-March Wednesday night, a new Corvette turned into an alley north of Pine Avenue. Houses lining the alley were old structures in an older section of town. Most were abandoned, boarded-up, and would never again be occupied.
Packed snow crunched under the tires as the Corvette skidded in and out of ruts at five miles an hour.
At the far end of the alley sat a dilapidated barn, the slats of its walls so shrunken with age streetlamps along the roads on either side shone through. Halfway to the barn, the driver pulled into a garage with a sagging roof. No birds chirped their night song at this time of year, so the only sound was a click when the car door opened. Seconds later, Jimmy Osborn emerged.
Osborn wore a brown leather coat over jeans and a blue and white sweater. His brown beard was neatly trimmed. The scent of his cologne almost covered the mildew stench of the garage’s soaked and rotting wood. In his gloved hand was a bottle of scotch in a brown paper bag. As his breath misted in the cold moonlight, he glanced quickly around before he trudged through snow drifts toward the rear door of a nearby house. The door was sealed by two loose one-by-six slats. Osborn shoved the bag into his coat pocket and pried the boards apart. There was a low, creaking groan when the nails gave. Then the alley was again silent.
As he began to slip between the boards, he stopped, listened. A crack of footfalls in the frozen snow came from the shadows to his left.
“That you?” he asked. There was no need to whisper. He’d chosen this place because it was deserted.
A figure an inch or two shorter than Osborn edged along the broken fence of the house next door. The figure wore a black ski jacket zipped over a black hooded sweatshirt. In the shadow cast by the hood, the figure seemed to have no face. If somebody had peeked through a window, this figure might look like a wraith—a dark spirit.
Osborn moved close, and peered into the hood. This wasn’t the person he expected to meet. “What the hell…?” he said.
The figure raised a Glock .45, and hissed words heard only by the howling wind.
Osborn’s breath escaped as a gasp when a shot caught him in the chest with such force it slammed him to the ground.
The pistol held in both hands, the figure stepped toward its prostrate victim and stood over him.
A dark stain spread on the snow under Osborn. He tried to raise his head. “Why?” His life tiptoeing away, he had no strength to say more.
A second shot split Osborn’s heart. Now the figure’s face relaxed and the fire dimmed in its eyes. With casual ease, the Glock pumped six more rounds into Osborn’s chest.
On its knees, the hooded figure dug into Osborn’s coat pocket, pulled out the liquor bottle and heaved it at the garage. The figure then slipped a hand deep into the pocket, and came out with the Corvette’s keys clutched in its fist.
Minutes later the car backed from the garage, retraced its tire-tracks to Pine Avenue, and drove twenty blocks to Flannery’s Bar. It was there Jimmy Osborn had started his night, bragging about the special liaison he had planned. It was there the Corvette was found the next morning.
Details of Jimmy Osborn’s murder didn’t appear in the Niagara Gazette the next day. They weren’t in the following editions, either. It was more than a week before I learned why he died. When I did, I felt as though I’d been struck in the chest by the bullet that took my friend Jimmy down.
As might be suspected, I’ve taken a few liberties in describing what happened. Though the basic facts are precisely as the killer subsequently related them to Detective Roger Frey, I’ve dramatized them a bit. I won’t apologize for that. It’s what I do.
I’m Emlyn Goode, a writer—short stories mostly, with a few essays thrown in and an occasional poem when the muse elbows me in that direction. Emlyn is an old family name. The Goode part…as I learned several months before Jimmy died, the moniker doesn’t describe every leaf on my family tree.
So, a fallen leaf is what got me embroiled in the murder. And since a new friend, Rebecca Nurse, pulled me out of the hole into which I dug myself, I should begin by explaining why and how she and I met, and how I learned of the special…uh, talent running in my genes.