Sunday, October 23, 2016

"Dying For Strawberries"

Sharon Farrow is the latest pen name of award winning author Sharon Pisacreta. Born and raised in Detroit, Michigan, Farrow has been a freelance writer since her twenties. Her first novel was released in 1998. Published in mystery, fantasy, and romance, Farrow currently writes The Berry Basket cozy mystery series. She is also one half of the writing team D.E. Ireland, who co-author the Agatha nominated Eliza Doolittle and Henry Higgins mysteries.

Farrow applied the Page 69 Test to Dying For Strawberries, her debut book in The Berry Basket series, and reported the following:
From page 69:
“Yes I can.” The expression on her baby face grew hard. “It was they who informed Evangeline Chaplin that John and I were together. If not for executive producer Elliot Flynn and producer Marlee Jacob, John might still be alive today.”

“Am I really hearing this?” I was so stunned, I wasn’t even certain I asked this aloud.

“That’s a serious allegation,” the female co-host replied. It was clear that at least she wasn’t buying April’s performance.

“Murder is a serious act,” April continued. “If we had been left to tell Evangeline in our own way and in our own time, I don’t believe John would have been killed. But the producers interfered. As far as I’m concerned, they have John Chaplin’s blood on their hands.”

“I think I’m going to be sick.”

Ryan grabbed my hand. “She’s only out to make a quick buck and get some more publicity. This will all soon blow over.”

I suddenly remembered Tess was still on speaker-phone. “You see, Tess. This is why I hate the thirteenth of June. Nothing good will happen on this day again. Ever!”

“But today is the Strawberry Moon Bash. You know you’re looking forward to that.”


“Just kidding,” she said quickly. “Look, no one is going to buy her stupid book. And no one will remember the one time she mentioned your name this morning.”

“She’s right,” Ryan replied. “Forget about April and the Chaplins. And get going, before you’re late for beach yoga.”
In this brief except, Marlee Jacob is alarmed to discover that her turbulent past has come back to haunt her. Several years earlier, Marlee enjoyed a thriving career as a TV producer in New York City, and was responsible for the success of a cooking show starring John and Evangeline Chaplin, the husband and wife team known as Sugar and Spice. But John’s affair with the show’s intern April Byrne leads Evangeline to poison him. The resulting notoriety and lengthy, publicized murder trial ended Marlee’s career in television. Weary of scandal, Marlee returns to Oriole Point, her scenic hometown along the shores of Lake Michigan.

Following her return to Michigan, she finds professional success as the owner of The Berry Basket and personal happiness with her fiancĂ© Ryan. But Marlee wakes one morning to the sight of an old enemy being interviewed on national TV. April Byrne has written a self-serving memoir about the Chaplin murder, which points an accusing finger at Marlee. This unpleasant news comes just hours after an unsavory resident of Oriole Point threatens to shut down Marlee’s business. Somehow she has to work up the enthusiasm to participate in the big Strawberry Moon Bash that evening. However it is June 13th, the anniversary of the Chaplin murder. It is also Friday the 13th. And Marlee rightly suspects things might turn unlucky at the Bash.
Visit Sharon Farrow's website.

--Marshal Zeringue