Thursday, January 16, 2020

Crazy Weather

by Karen Rose Smith

When I write a cozy mystery, I'm always working within a projected calendar of a least a year in advance.  I used to be able to look at a month like January in Pennsylvania and project cold temperatures, snow and dangerous driving conditions for my characters.  Or I could assume the daffodils would be blooming by a certain date in April.  But weather in the past few years has been making my predictions much more precarious.

This past Wednesday, we were supposed to have about an
inch or two of snow.  But by Wednesday afternoon the trees in the yard were dusted with a beautiful coat of freshly fallen snow and my husband was shoveling five or six inches of snow from the driveway.

And on Sunday...he was raking left-over leaves in the yard!  With temperatures in the sixties and a passing storm system that dumped substantial rain, the snow disappeared overnight.  Our outside cats enjoyed a morning of basking in the warm sunshine.  Even they seem to be confused by the changing landscape each morning when we open the door for them to go out.

Whether it is just a pleasant fluke or something more serious related to climate change, this January has been unusually warm.  I only hope the weather hasn't confused the months and growing season.  I hope that February and March temperatures will be below normal.

I guess I'm just learning, as with everything in life, we have to enjoy the pleasant weather while we have it and save that "to-be-read" book for a snowy or blustery day no matter in which month it occurs.  And I'll just keep the snow shovel by the front door...


Keith Rebert is homeless with a sad story that includes the death of his wife and medical bills that decimated his finances. Daisy and her friend Jonas Groft meet him through one of Daisy’s employees and offer help. But soon Keith is caught up in a murder investigation. He was supplying the shop Pirated Treasures with antiques, including Gettysburg Battlefield memorabilia. The nephew of the shop’s owner, Barry Storm, was lowballing merchandise that Keith brought in. One day Keith and Barry vehemently argued. Soon after, Barry was found dead, killed with a marble rolling pin that held Keith’s fingerprints. Daisy’s special for the month, cherry tarts, was found spilled on the floor next to him. Keith is the number one suspect.

Keith finds a job on a farm where he can live in a cabin with his daughter Mandy. A friend of Barry’s lived and worked there before the murder, then suddenly moved out. As Daisy finds clues that give insight into Barry’s life and prepares for her daughter’s wedding, she faces danger, verbally battles with the detective on the case, and tries to figure out what part Jonas Groft plays in her life. When she finds the ultimate clue that tells her exactly what Barry Storm was involved in, she almost loses her life. 

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