Title: Death by Sample Size
Author: Susie Black
Genre: Humorous Cozy Mystery
The last thing swimwear sales exec Holly Schlivnik expected was to discover ruthless buying office big wig Bunny Frank’s corpse trussed up like a Thanksgiving turkey with a bikini stuffed down her throat. When Holly’s colleague is arrested for Bunny’s murder, the wise-cracking, irreverent amateur sleuth jumps into action to find the real killer. Nothing turns out the way Holly thinks it will as she matches wits with a wily killer hellbent on revenge.
Before the first inkling of dawn, I said good morning to the nosy crane I shared my slip with as I hoisted myself over my houseboat’s forward deck. The halyards tinkled a soft sonata on my neighbors’ masts as the leeward wind luffed their sails. Damp fingers of morning fog curled over the dock and gave the briny air a chewy texture as I made my way to the gangplank.
I entered the parking structure and dropped the top on my sixty-five pink mustang convertible. I settled into the worn bucket seat and cranked the heater to the blast furnace level. I hit the radio button for the oldies station and jammed the volume loud enough to wake the dead. I crossed Admiralty Way and glugged a fortifying gulp of unleaded commuter mug coffee strong enough to peel two coats of paint off my car.
It’s not like I’m even a morning person. But if you’re from LA the one thing you can always count on is, you’re gonna be stuck in traffic on the 405 whether you’re driving at three in the morning or three in the afternoon. The reality is either you’re gonna be two hours late or two days early. That’s how it is for us LALA Land commuters. What are ya gonna do? I traversed the Marina Freeway and merged into the heavy traffic already bottlenecked on the northbound 405. I crept along at a turtle’s pace for three miles till I transitioned eastbound onto I-10 and crawled my way downtown.
I finally arrived at the California Apparel Mart minutes before being on the road long enough to become the butt of the old joke I was a young woman when the day began. My footfalls echoed in the near-empty underground parking garage. I got to the elevator bank and pressed the button. When the elevator doors opened, I had to stop myself short not to step on her. There was Bunny Frank-the buying office big shot-lying diagonally across the car. Her legs were splayed out and her back was propped against the corner. Her sightless eyes were wide open and her arms reached out in a come-to-me baby pose. She was trussed up with shipping tape like a dressed Thanksgiving turkey ready for the oven with a bikini stuffed in her mouth. A Gotham Swimwear hangtag drooped off her lower lip like a toe tag gone lost. Naturally, I burst out laughing.
Before you label me incredibly weird or stone-cold, let me say genetics aren’t all they’re cracked up to be. If you’re lucky you inherit your Aunt Bertha’s sexy long legs or your father’s ability to add a bazillion dollar order in his head and get the total correct to the last penny. Without even breaking into a sweat, it’s easy to spout at least a million fabulous traits inheritable by the luck of the draw. Did I get those sexy long legs or the ability to add more than two plus two without a calculator? Noooooooooo. Lucky me. I inherited my Nana’s fear of death we overcompensated for with the nervous habit of laughing. A hysterical reaction? Think Bozo the clown eulogizing your favorite aunt.
I craned my neck like a tortoise and checked around. Then I clamped a fist over my mouth. Cripes, how could I possibly explain my guffaws with Bunny lying there? Disappointment was simultaneously mixed with relief when there was no one else in the parking lot. Where was security when you needed them?
I toed the elevator door open and bent over Bunny. I’d seen enough CSI episodes to know not to touch her. She was stiff as a board and I attributed the bluish tinge of her skin to the bikini crammed down her throat. I was no doctor, but I didn’t need an MD after my name to make this diagnosis. Bunny Frank was dead as the proverbial doorknob.
November is a time to be thankful. What are you most thankful for this year?
I am most thankful for the continued health and safety of my family and friends.
Why is your featured book worth snuggling up to?
Given the things going on in the world now, laughter is still the best medicine. Death by Sample Size is a book worth snuggling up to because it is a fun way to escape your troubles for a few hours and laugh, laugh, laugh.
One lucky reader will win a $75 Amazon gift card.
Open internationally. You must have a valid Amazon US or Canada account to win.
Runs November 1 – 30
Drawing will be held on December 1.
Born in the Big Apple, Susie Black now calls sunny Southern California home. Like the protagonist in her Holly Swimsuit Mystery Series, Susie is a successful apparel sales executive. Susie began telling stories as soon as she learned to talk. Now she’s telling all the stories from her garment industry experiences in humorous mysteries. She reads, writes, and speaks Spanish, albeit with an accent that sounds like Mildred from Michigan went on a Mexican vacation and is trying to fit in with the locals. Since life without pizza and ice cream as her core food groups wouldn’t be worth living, she’s a dedicated walker to keep her girlish figure. A voracious reader, she’s also an avid stamp collector. Susie lives with a highly intelligent man and has one incredibly brainy but smart-aleck adult son who inexplicably blames his sarcasm on an inherited genetic defect.
Social Media Links: