Sunday, July 24, 2011

"Chihuahua of the Baskervilles"

Esri Allbritten lives in Boulder, Colorado with her husband, Angel Joe, and her cat, Musette La Plume. In addition to sushi, bowling and madrigals, she enjoys discovering quirky, real-life towns and wreaking fictional havoc in them. Her novels include two books about Lord of the Ring type elves, living in Boulder, CO.

She applied the Page 69 Test to her new novel, Chihuahua of the Baskervilles, the first book in the Tripping Magazine mystery series, and reported the following:
Page 69:
She obligingly stepped closer. “You’re going the wrong way. It’s there.” She pointed again.

Angus sniffed. “That’s quite the strawberry breath you have.” Was it covering something, like vodka?

“It’s my toothpaste. Good night, Mr. Ghost Man.” She giggled.

“Good night.” He walked the correct way down the hall, glancing back briefly. Cheri opened her door with no sign of difficulty, and her steps didn’t seem unsteady.

With a sigh, Angus went into the bathroom, switched on the light and closed the door. One side of the counter held someone’s personal toiletries, and he remembered that the guest bathroom was also Ellen’s.

As he took a leak, he thought about mousy Ellen. She seemed to be lowest on the totem pole, always opening doors and showing people around, yet Petey’s Closet was built on her designs.

That wasn’t strictly true. It was built on Ellen’s designs plus Charlotte’s networking, marketing know-how, and money. Presumably they were partners. Ellen was simply the kind of person who opened doors and fetched things, whereas Charlotte was not.

Angus flushed the toilet, then opened the door and checked the distance to his room before turning off the light. Second door along.

He switched off the bathroom light, then paused as something caught his eye.

A small green dot shone up from the floor, where the bathroom threshold met the wood floor of the hall. In shape, it resembled nothing so much as a paint drip.
Angus squatted and ran his finger over it. It felt dry. He looked at his fingertip and thought he saw a faint glow there, as well. It was difficult to tell, as his eyes struggled with shades of darkness.
This is quite representative of the book, except for the fact that only one of of my three sleuths is on the page. But they often split up. It's one of the benefits of having an ensemble cast.

In this scene, Angus MacGregor, editor of Tripping Magazine, is staying at the Baskerville house. Charlotte Baskerville says she's seen the ghost of Petey, the Chihuahua who got her started with Petey's Closet, a catalog of canine clothing for small dogs. When Angus gets up in the night, he takes the opportunity to see if Charlotte's granddaughter is secretly drinking, and he also finds something that may shed light on the ghost. But since he really wants a genuine paranormal event to put in the magazine, he's going to keep this possible clue quiet until he's compelled to reveal it.
Learn more about the book and author at Esri Allbritten's website.

Visit the complete list of books in the Page 69 Test Series.

--Marshal Zeringue