Sylvia Selfman – Murder She Typed
This week, my guest author is Sylvia Selfman
My first novel, The Hard Heart of Mrs Living-Stone, was received with much fanfare and acclaim (at least, by my parents and my third grade teacher). At that point I knew I was destined to become a writer. However, being the procrastinator that I was, I put off writing my second novel until I finished my education (Ohio State), worked as a copywriter in New York, got married, moved to Miami, raised two daughters, became a librarian, a yoga teacher and a small business owner.
When I finally retired to Palm Springs, I had no more excuses. I joined a writer’s group and voila! My second novel, Murder Never Retires, was born.
My third novel Murder She Typed quickly followed and I am now finishing up the sequel, Murder By the Book.
Murder She Typed
Izzy Greene, a widow of a certain age, joins a writing group in an attempt to actually finish one of her stories. She gets more than she bargained for, however, when her nemesis, sexy blonde bombshell, Sondra Sockerman disappears under suspicious circumstances. Izzy soon realizes that she has a natural detecting ability––and she and her friend, Flo, set out to find the killer…who is now after them.
Here is an excerpt:
Murder She Typed
What does it feel like to die?
I guess I’ll soon find out.
I can hear the footsteps coming closer.
That’s what I get for being so nosy. I should have left well enough alone.
I can see the glint of a gun.
It’s strange what goes through your head as death approaches. Where are all the deep thoughts? Like I should have been a better, kinder, more giving person.
Instead I’m thinking why didn’t I finish off the chocolate cake at breakfast like I wanted?
I’m cornered like a scared rabbit. And all I can think of is a line from ‘Little Caesar’. ‘Is this the end of Rico?’
Is this the end of Izzy?
I dragged myself into the kitchen and before I was able to figure out how to work my new coffeemaker, the phone rang.
My friend, Flo, has this uncanny seventh sense to know when I awaken––no small feat considering one of the few advantages of getting older was waking up whenever I felt like it. Or whenever my bladder dictated.
“Izzy, we’re walking this morning,” Flo announced in her drill sergeant voice.
I balanced the phone between my shoulder and ear as I struggled with my new coffeemaker. It was a battle of woman versus machine that I was determined to win.
“No, on the moon.”
“Forget it then.”
Yesterday I spotted at least three new wrinkles and another age spot. It took a candy bar plus the frozen remains of a Sara Lee pound cake to lift me out of my depression.
“Damn!” I punched the buttons on the machine. “How does this thing work?”
My twelve year relationship with my coffeemaker came to an abrupt end the other day, so I took it back to Bed Bath and Beyond. The clerk looked at it, raised his eyebrow and sniffed, “In what era did you say you bought this?”
I was about to offer a nasty retort when I spotted it––one of those shiny new pod coffeemakers just begging to be taken home. I toyed with the idea of obtaining its larger, more expensive sibling but quickly came to my senses. Who was I kidding? I opted for the small version––the one for a single user. It was a sign of the times––of my times anyway.
Flo interrupted my musings. “You’re mumbling to yourself again. Okay, don’t go walking. Keep running in place on your treadmill.”
Running in place––an apt description for what I’d been doing for the past three years, since Sam, my husband of thirty-five years, died.
“I was hoping you’d join me on a heart-healthy, twenty minute walk to Starbucks. I guess I’ll have to enjoy my latte with extra whipped cream and ultra rich, double chocolate muffin by myself.”
“Meet you in ten,” I said, slamming down the phone.
Ten minutes later, I was struggling to keep up with Flo. “Hey, slow down. I’m about to have a heart attack.”
“No time to waste,” she yelled back. “They’re going to run out of double chocolate muffins any minute now.”
Heart attack forgotten, I doubled my speed.
Flo and I carried our lattes and well-earned muffins outside. A modern day Lewis and Clark, we scanned the area for an empty table.
“Over there,” I pointed.
As we made our way over, I spotted a woman who obviously had the same idea. We locked eyes. Then-–as though a whistle simultaneously went off in our heads––the race was on.
By some miracle Flo and I managed to avoid smashing into an elderly woman with a walker and a gentleman walking two pugs.
Out of breath, we collapsed into the seats and avoided even a glance in the direction of our adversary. I’ve never been one to gloat over my victories––few as they are.
When our breathing returned to normal, Flo and I plunged into our double chocolate muffins with a religious fervor that a rabbi or minister could only wish for. After a few minutes I came up for air.
“By the way,” I said, “I went to that new doctor who just joined Dr. Harrison’s practice. The one that everyone says looks like a cross between Liam Neeson and Steve McQueen?”
“Lucky you. Did you get to undress for him?”
“I didn’t have to. I went there to pick up a prescription. However, I did come away with a diet that’s guaranteed to work.”
“You went for a prescription and he gave you a diet? Then he did see you naked!”
I ignored Flo’s comment and pulled a magazine page from my fanny pack and handed it to her.
“Check it out. I found it in a Good Housekeeping while I was waiting.”
Okay, I admit it. I’m one of those people who surreptitiously rips out pages from magazines in doctors’ and dentists’ offices. So go ahead and shoot me. Of course I’d never do that at my hairdresser’s––much too risky.
But I harbor no guilt—since I can’t tell you how many times I’ve flipped to articles about the ugly toes or cellulite-ridden thighs of glamorous movie stars, only to find them missing.
As Flo and I pored over the article, 10 Ways to Kick Start Your Weight Loss, we decided to split another muffin—no sense depriving ourselves before the start of a new diet.
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