Marilyn Levinson – Murder the Tey Way
This week, I’m hosting mystery author, Marilyn Levinson.
A former Spanish teacher, Marilyn Levinson writes mysteries, romantic suspense, and books for kids.
Murder a la Christie and Murder the Tey Way, the first two mysteries in her Golden Age of Mystery Book Club mysteries, are available in paperback and e-format. Untreed Reads has brought out new e-editions of her Twin Lakes mysteries, A Murderer Among Us, awarded a Suspense Magazine Best Indie, and Murder in the Air. Uncial Press e-publishes her ghost mystery, Giving Up the Ghost, and her romantic suspense, Dangerous Relations. All of Marilyn’s mysteries take place on Long Island, where she lives. Three of her mysteries have been featured on Book Town’s reading lists.
Her books for young readers include No Boys Allowed; Rufus and Magic Run Amok, which was awarded a Children’s Choice; Getting Back to Normal, & And Don’t Bring Jeremy.
Marilyn loves traveling, reading, knitting, doing Sudoku, and visiting with her granddaughter, Olivia, on FaceTime. She is co-founder and past president of the Long Island chapter of Sisters in Crime.
Murder the Tey Way
Professor Lexie Driscoll is discussing Josephine Tey’s books at a Golden Age of Mystery book club meeting when her sister Gayle arrives, terrified for her life. She had witnessed her boyfriend’s murder and fears the murderer is coming after her. The next morning a man’s body is found lying in Lexie’s backyard. Gayle takes off, and Lexie is worried that her sister may have murdered the man, believing he’s been sent to kill her. Determined to learn the truth, Lexie investigates. She discovers the book club members have secrets and hidden vices that lead to more murders and unexpected revelations.
Here is an excerpt:
“Lexie, wake up!”
I burrowed under my quilt to escape from the maddening person in my dream.
The maddening person shook my shoulder hard. “You have to get up!”
I blinked my way into consciousness. In the dim light, I saw my sister hovering over me, her eyes wide with fear.
“There’s a man in your backyard!”
I sighed as I slipped out of bed and into the early morning chill. Seven o’clock, my clock said. My alarm was set to go off in an hour since I didn’t have to be at the university till eleven, but I had to calm my sister before she had an all out heart attack. I didn’t want a strange man in my backyard, especially with that peeper from last night. But neither was I especially worried. Ryesdale residents often gave themselves permission to cross their neighbors’ yards. Joy, who lived two houses from me in the opposite direction of the Roberts’ sisters, did it often enough when she stopped by for a visit. And I had faith in the alarm system Al had installed when I’d moved in.
I peered out the window. “He’s gone.”
Gayle pointed to the extreme left. “He’s lying face down on the lawn. Just beyond the patio.”
She gripped my arm so tightly, I knew there’d be marks. “Do you think he’s dead?”
Now I was worried. “I’ve no idea.”
I raced into the kitchen, my sister behind me close as a shadow. I peered out the picture window. The man lay face down on the lawn. He hadn’t moved.
I spun around to stare at Gayle. “How did you know he was out there?”
She stared down at the floor. “I woke up hungry, so I made tea and toast. He was there when I looked outside the kitchen window.”
“What time was this?”
Gayle shrugged. “I’m not sure. Only minutes before I woke you up.”
I opened the kitchen door and stepped into the cold, damp air. I crossed the cement patio to kneel beside him. My heart hammered so loud, I was sure Gayle, who had followed me outside, could hear it. I placed my fingers on his neck. No pulse. He was dead, all right, though I saw no head wound or bullet holes in his windbreaker jacket. Whoever had killed him had done it face-to-face.
Looking closer, I saw blood had trickled from under the torso and into the earth. A black cap lay a few feet away. I started to hyperventilate. This was the man Joy had chased last night! There was something familiar about him and his cap, but no name came to mind.
Who had killed him?
Why was he here?
I rose unsteadily to my feet and stumbled backward into Gayle.
“Is he dead?” she asked, helping me regain my footing.
I stood there panting, too shaken to walk. Finally, I crossed the patio on rubbery legs. When I reached the door, I realized Gayle was still beside the body. I turned in time to see her reach out as if she meant to turn him over.
“Don’t touch him!” I shouted.
For a minute I thought she was going to ignore my order, then she followed me inside.
I lifted the phone to dial 911. Gayle grabbed my hand. “Don’t call anyone!”
“I have to call the police.” When she refused to relinquish her hold, I stepped back. Suddenly, I was afraid of my baby sister.
Gayle’s face crumpled. “Don’t look at me like that. I didn’t kill that man. I don’t even know who he is.”
“Then why don’t you want me to call the police?”
“Call them after I’m gone,” she shouted over her shoulder as she ran to the front door.
I chased after her. “Where are you going? A man was murdered. The cops will want to take your statement.”
Gayle burst into tears. “I can’t talk to the police. I can’t!”
In this second delightful Lexie Driscoll mystery, college professor and amateur sleuth, Lexie, gets a frantic visit from her sister, Gayle, and the next morning, she finds a dead man on her front lawn. But who killed him and why? Could it be her sister, or one of the members of her Golden Age of Mystery Book Club, which she’d hosted the night before? Trying to clear her sister of murder, Lexie allies herself with Joy, her neighbor and ex-FBI agent, to ferret out the truth. With lots of suspects, and a handsome police detective, who is also her love interest, warning her to stay out of the investigation, Lexie has her hands full discreetly searching for the killer. Ms. Levinson cleverly weaves the social issues from the novels of Josesphine Tey into the plot to come up with the solution. This is an interesting and satisfying mystery. I highly recommend it to any mystery lover.
Congratulations go to Marja McGraw for winning a free copy of Marilyn’s novel, Murder the Tey Way.
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