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Murder at Harbor Village
by GP Gardner
About the Book
Murder at Harbor Village
Lyrical Underground (November 13, 2018)
Paperback: 216 pages
Digital ASIN: B079WM9X29
Young retiree Cleo Mack is trading in academia for a second act in Harbor Village, a community for active seniors in coastal Alabama. But someone in this picture-perfect coastal town is burning the candle at both ends . . .
It’s love at first sight when Cleo arrives in Fairhope, Alabama, after taking early retirement from her longtime position as professor of social work. Touted as “the nicest town in the world,” Fairhope is home to an eclectic community of retirees. Harbor Village boasts classes in painting, pottery, and photography, not to mention being a buyer’s market for husbands. It seems an ideal place to make new friends and rediscover life. Until a dead body is found in the pool.
When the victim turns out to be the unpopular director of senior living, Cleo is named acting director. Now she must rely on her well-honed people skills to uncover a killer in a place where short-term memory isn’t what it used to be, and age is just a number. And if Cleo keeps snooping around, her number may soon be up . . .
Character Guest Post
GUEST POST FROM PATTI ~
My name’s Patti Snyder and I’m director of resident services at Harbor Village, a retirement community for active seniors. You might hear some people call me Patti Wagon but that’s a joke, left over from when I was the driver and took people to doctor’s appointments or Wal-Mart, or just down to the bay, sight-seeing.
I guess this is pretty much my ideal job. I’m twenty-five and I’ve been here since I finished college. I majored in hospitality and thought I’d work at one of the beach hotels, maybe live down there in a nice condo, but this job opened up and here I am, with retirees instead of the spring break crowd. Go figure.
It was just all right at first. To tell the truth, I was beginning to send out applications but then Dragon Lady died and Cleo Mack got promoted to Executive Director on her first day at work. Emily and I could see it coming but Cleo didn’t believe us. All those people leaving at once, and us with no nurse, no pain meds, no idea why revenue was down? A no-brainer. Of course she needed somebody to help her, and there I was. Her daughter Stephanie is almost like my twin—we’re the exact same age and loved each other right from the start. Cleo’s more like fifty, at least. Not the oldest person here, by a long shot, but getting up there.
I sit at the front desk all day and see everything that happens, and it’s just like hanging out with friends, except they’re old. Some of them are good cooks—yum. I have to update the bulletin boards, and take photos at all our events, send out announcements, find lost glasses, get hearing aids replaced after they get washed, things like that. I might even deliver lunch if somebody’s sick.
The best part of my job was designing the screened porches. I did the first one and it turned out so good, now everybody’s asking for another one. I’m planning, but things like that don’t happen overnight. Especially since I don’t want them to be all cookie cutter. I like a little bling, and some plants, and pretty cushions on the chairs. And rugs! You know. Nice.
People are always asking about pets, and if I’m a cat person or a dog person. Why do I have to choose? I love any kind of animal. There’s four kittens in the Assisted Living unit, and lots of Harbor Village people have dogs. They’re always dragging their people to the office and we give them treats. They’re all nice except that Scottish terror. I’d have to say I’m a turtle person, because Stewart lives at a place he calls the turtle farm.
Before you ask, we’re not married. We’re not even officially engaged, but…. He’s in charge of maintenance at Harbor Village. Cleo says he’s too old for me but I don’t accept that, I think he’s perfect. Or did she say too mature? Well, same difference.
My favorite food is tacos. I could eat them every day.
And my favorite book…you mean like to read? Hmm. I’ll have to think about that. I don’t really read a lot. Just say it’s Harry Potter. That was a while ago but I read every one of them and saw the movies, too. I wish there was something like that today. Dolly Webb says I might like cozies but she’s a retired mathematician—boy, that’s a mouthful. Mathematician? You try it. Anyway, I’m just not sure we’d have the same tastes, you know what I mean? But I may give them a try, if I get bored enough.
That’s it? Well! This is the first time I ever did a guest post but it wasn’t so bad. I might do another one some time. Thank you, Shannon Muir, for inviting me.
About the Author
Born and raised in Alabama, G. P. Gardner earned BS and MA degrees in Psychology from the University of Alabama (Tuscaloosa, AL) and an MBA from Jacksonville State University (Jacksonville, AL). She also attended the University of Georgia (Athens, GA), where she studied biopsychology and primatology. But her heart belongs to Talladega College—an HBCU and the first educational institution in Alabama to admit students without regard to race—where she taught business. Her writing life began with short stories, some of which were published in regional literary journals and some of which won prizes. She enjoys the classic mystery writers as well as contemporary whodunits but reads widely. She is a knitter and once owned a knit shop in Fairhope, AL. She studied mystery writing with Terry Cline, another Fairhope resident. Murder in Harbor Village is the first in her series about social worker Cleo Mack. You can visit her at gpgardner.com.
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