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.
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?
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.
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?