Penthouse, Pools, and Poison by @donna_simonetta is a Shake Off Winter Doldrums pick #cozymystery
Title: Penthouse, Pools, & Poison
Author: Louise Stevens
Genre: Cozy Mystery
When the obnoxious guest in the penthouse is poisoned beside his private pool, my daily planner is turned upside down. I’m Millie Wentworth, Assistant General Manager of the swanky Gulf Palms Resort and Spa and solving the murder shouldn’t be my job, but the only food found near the body is a charcuterie board sent to the victim by yours truly.
The Port Sunset Police are looking my way until a shocking revelation shifts their attention to a friend. Suddenly, cracking the case moves to the top of my to-do list and it’s up to me to find the real killer and clear my friend’s name.
Uncovering the truth should be a breeze with me, my pink-haired grandmother, her rescue corgi, and her crew of fun-loving septuagenarian beach bunnies on the case. What could possibly go wrong?
The music piped in around the pool was louder and more cheerful than the New Age music in the spa. The current playlist was steel drum music, which contributed to the festive, island atmosphere. When I stepped out to the pool area, I could almost imagine I’d been transported from coastal Florida to a Caribbean island. I paused and looked around for my grandmother and her friends. It wasn’t hard to find them, I just had to follow the raucous laughter to the table where Lulu’s crew sat, playing dominoes and drinking cocktails.
Lulu spotted me, waved her arms, and yelled, “Millie! Over here!”
As if there were any chance I might have missed them. I waved and held up one finger. “I’ll be over in a minute. I need to take care of something at the bar.”
“Who doesn’t?” Lulu’s friend Hannah Goldberg called out in her heavy Long Island accent. Hannah had moved from Great Neck to Port Sunset fifteen years before after her husband died and left her a wealthy widow, but her accent stayed as strong and distinct as ever. “Order another round for the table while you’re there. Okay, doll?”
I flashed a thumb’s up and wound my way through lounge chairs to the bar at the Beachside Café. I stood at the end of the bar and waited for the bartender to finish his order. He poured four margaritas into salt-rimmed glasses and put them on a tray, which he carried over to me. A Port Sunset native, he was forty-ish, and a few years older than my own––gulp––thirty-six. How had that happened? In so many ways, I still felt like I was a kid until I got with Lulu and her crew...then I felt like I was the senior citizen, and they were the swinging young women. But, back to the bartender, Justin. Lulu had tried to set us up before she realized he was happily married to his high school sweetheart.
“I heard Mrs. Goldberg. Here are their drinks. Do you mind carrying them over when you go?”
A blonde, sun-tanned waitress came up behind me and reached for the tray. “Are you high, Justin? You know how clumsy Millie is; imagine the damage she could cause with a tray full of margaritas.”
“Hey! I resemble that remark!” I replied with mock indignation. I couldn’t muster any true indignation, because I am a complete and total klutz. It’s kind of my thing.
The waitress just laughed and hoisted the tray like it weighed nothing, as she carried it over to Lulu’s crew. A cheer sounded from the table, as the ladies received their drinks.
“Whose idea was it to have the club memberships for locals?” I asked Justin.
He threw back his head and laughed, as he swiped down the bar in front of me, “I believe it was your idea, Ms. Wentworth. So, what can I do for you, Millie?”
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What’s your favorite activity to shake off the winter doldrums?
I am not a fan of winter, so for me, the winter doldrums set in around December 26. To shake off the doldrums, I like to look into traveling somewhere warm and beachy. Seeing the pictures of white sand, aqua waters, palm trees, and tropical cocktails while I picture myself being there always lifts my spirits.
Why is your featured book a cure for the winter blues?
Penthouse, Pools, & Poison is set in a fictional town on the Gulf Coast of Florida, so reading it is like taking a trip to a warm and sunny beach. And this beach town also happens to be populated with a quirky, fun-loving cast of characters sure to make you smile. If you’ve got the winter blues, please consider traveling to Port Sunset through the pages of Penthouse, Pools, & Poison.
One lucky reader will win a $75 Amazon US or Canada gift card
Open internationally. You must have a valid Amazon US or Amazon CA account to win.
Runs March 1 – 31
Drawing will be held on April 1.
Louise Stevens is the pen name of contemporary romance author Donna Simonetta. A lover of mysteries since her discovery of Nancy Drew many years ago, she is thrilled to be writing cozy mysteries now. Being the author of the Port Sunset Mysteries series is the fulfillment of a childhood dream.
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