Excerpt for Murder at the Book Group

“So—are you excited about your friend Linda showing up?”

Carlene gave a brief laugh and said, “Well, no. To be honest, I don’t even remember the woman. It’s embarrassing since she seems to remember me so well.”

“Oh. So she wasn’t a friend in L.A.?”

“Oh, no. She says I worked with her husband. Maybe I met her at a work party. I simply don’t remember.” Carlene waved a dismissive hand, setting off those dissonant bracelets. Okay, Linda was off limits. I wondered why.

“I hate to cut this short, Hazel, but I’ve got to get the food ready.”

“Okay, I’ll give you a hand,” I offered with reluctance.

Carlene stopped at the door and turned to me. “Hazel,” she started, looking uncertain. “I have a, um, hypothetical question for you.”

“Yes?”

She continued to look indecisive before finally taking the proverbial nose dive. “Have you ever made a huge mistake?”

“Mistake,” I laughed. “Of course.” My mistakes were too numerous for a quick mental scan. There were the failed marriages. And more than one wrong turn on the career path. But huge? “What do you mean by huge?”

“The kind that comes back later to haunt you.”