Jolie Gentil and friends are putting the finishing touches on the Talk Like a Pirate Day fundraiser for the food pantry and trying to figure out who's breaking into some of the houses Jolie appraises. When she realizes a new face in town is leading high school kids into trouble in those houses, she's mad and lets him know it. But Hayden offers to help her mind her own business, and a lot of people at the fundraiser hear her give him what for. A hurricane's on the way to disrupt the fundraiser, and when a corpse turns up under the pirate ship the next day, someone wants to be sure Jolie looks like a suspect.
When her car gets run into a ditch, Jolie knows someone is seriously mad at her. Soon she's getting less work. Who wants a murder suspect appraising their house? Scoobie's pirate limericks can't solve a crime, so Jolie and her sometimes buddy local reporter George Winters look for the murderer and try to figure out who's trying to frame Jolie. They need to stay ahead of whoever's mad at her and off the radar of the local police who tell Jolie -- for the hundredth time -- to butt out. For a cozy mystery with a dose of humor and a touch of romance, join Jolie and friends in Ocean Alley.
Elaine L. Orr is the Amazon bestselling author of Trouble on the Doorstep, fifth in the Jolie Gentil cozy mystery series, which now has six books and a prequel. She wrote plays and novellas for years and graduated to longer fiction. Biding Time, was one of five finalists in the National Press Club's first fiction contest, in 1993. She is a regular attendee at conferences such as Muncie's Midwest Writers Workshop and Magna Cum Murder, and conducts presentations on electronic publishing and other writing-related topics. Her nonfiction includes material on caring for aging parents and carefully researched local and family history books. Elaine grew up in Maryland and moved to the Midwest in 1994.
Jolie Gentil moves to Great Aunt Madge's bed and breakfast at the Jersey shore, taking her cat Jazz, and joining Madge's pair of prune-eating dogs. Jolie does not view this as a retreat from her embezzling ex-husband, just a smart change. She had no idea her life was about to get even more complicated.
Jolie finds work as a real estate appraiser, but a low-life named Joe Pedone demands that Jolie repay some of her husband's gambling debts and she runs into Michael Riordan, her high school crush. She's not sure which one is more trouble. Jolie appraises his mother's house and finds his mother dead in bed. Soon the mundane work of appraising real estate and dodging suggestions that she go to the ten-year high school reunion are mixed with calls from reporters, scary suggestions from Pedone, and requests that she help the local busybody with First Presbyterian's social services work. Jolie balances her fear of Pedone, conviction that Michael is innocent, and sometimes uneasy friendship with long-ago friend Scoobie.
When Jolie Gentil’s parents leave her with Aunt Madge for her junior year so they can ‘work things out’ in their marriage, she’s angry. She knows no one at Ocean Alley High School. Some kids snub her, but she makes friends with the irreverent Scoobie. He’s quirky and fun, but he’s skipped school and smoked pot in the past, so people avoid him. Jolie learns how to shoot a squirt gun from under the boardwalk and tries not to flunk geometry. She also learns that the family she babysits for has a secret, one that puts Jolie in danger. You’ve met Jolie and Scoobie as crime-solving adults. Check out their high school friendship. Same humor, different challenges. Plus a couple of hints about why Jolie wants to get to the bottom of murders when she’s all grown up.
Her friends and local police warn her to butt out, but that’s just encouragement for a woman who likes to get to the bottom of things. Jolie tries to get her cat, Jazz, to feel at home in the new house. Maybe an unexpected visitor can be a substitute for Aunt Madge’s golden retrievers.
And then there’s her love life. Jolie also needs to decide if she really wants to get back with her former boyfriend, Ocean Alley Press reporter George Winters. Or are feelings for someone else trying to get her attention?
In between appraising houses and feeding her pet skunk, Jolie’s on the lookout for a runaway teenager and whoever planted the dead woman in her path. Thanks to Scoobie, she’s also planning another crazy fundraiser for the food pantry—this one a Corn Hole Contest. It’s sort of a bean bag game for grown-ups, and the polite term is Corn Toss Contest. So of course, Scoobie prepares to name winners in the Harvest for All Corn Hole Contest.
Just when Jolie’s ready to leave the murder investigation to the police, she gets a surprise—and it’s not a good one. Will her need to know see her hurt—or worse?
“The murderer is with us—on the train now . . .”
Just after midnight, the famous Orient Express is stopped in its tracks by a snowdrift. By morning, the millionaire Samuel Edward Ratchett lies dead in his compartment, stabbed a dozen times, his door locked from the inside. Without a shred of doubt, one of his fellow passengers is the murderer.
Isolated by the storm, detective Hercule Poirot must find the killer among a dozen of the dead man's enemies, before the murderer decides to strike again.
“What more . . . can a mystery addict desire?”—New York Times
Mr. Shaitana is famous as a flamboyant party host. Nevertheless, he is a man of whom everybody is a little afraid. So when he boasts to Hercule Poirot that he considers murder an art form, the detective has some reservations about accepting a party invitation to view Shaitana’s “private collection.”
Indeed, what begins as an absorbing evening of bridge is to turn into a more dangerous game altogether.…
The beautiful bronzed body of Arlena Stuart lay face down on the beach. But strangely, there was no sun and Arlena was not sunbathing…she had been strangled.
Ever since Arlena’s arrival the air had been thick with sexual tension. Each of the guests had a motive to kill her, including Arlena’s new husband. But Hercule Poirot suspects that this apparent “crime of passion” conceals something much more evil.
“He was murdered, wasn’t he?”
When Cora Lansquenet is savagely murdered, the extraordinary remark she had made the previous day at her brother Richard’s funeral suddenly takes on a chilling significance. At the reading of Richard’s will, Cora was clearly heard to say, “It’s been hushed up very nicely, hasn’t it. But he was murdered, wasn’t he?”
Did Cora’s accusation a dark truth that sealed her own fate? Or are the siblings’ deaths just tragic coincidences?
Desperate to know the truth, the Lansquenet’s solicitor turns to Hercule Poirot to unravel the mystery. For even after the funeral, death isn’t finished yet . . .