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Oh, her aching feet! Micki Demetrius questions her sanity for agreeing to compete in Serendipity Springs’ Annual Charleston Challenge when clearly she and her partner, Guy Whitney, have no chance of winning or even placing. Just ask the reigning champion, who points out their low odds of taking home the trophy every chance she gets.
But then, Micki’s only dancing in this contest because Guy wouldn’t enter without her, and the poor man needs something to occupy his days. Retirement hasn’t come easy for him. Not that there’s anything special going on between them, as much as Guy would like or his daughter suspects. There isn’t, is there?
Micki can’t wait to put their performance behind them—until one of the top competitors is found dead on the ballroom floor. The sheriff warns Micki and her three mah jongg pals not to play amateur sleuth again, but he can’t stop this persistent freelance journalist from pursuing her inside scoop, with a little help from her friends. The trouble with being on the inside, though, is that being so close to her sketchy subjects might just let the killer get dangerously close to her.
The Mah Jongg Mystery series, features four retired amateur sleuths who live in a small Florida town, all female and all friends who play the game of mah jongg together. Though they don't set out to investigate murder, after their first experience in this story, others start looking to them to help investigate subsequent homicides and questionable accidents. In this first book, Sydney Bonner takes the lead, although she turns to her three friends for help. Though this series features four protagonists, the others will take the lead in subsequent stories. Two are married, one is divorced and the fourth, who has been single all her life while she tended to her ailing mother, now finds herself the object of the sheriff's attention in this series. The four don't seek out murder; somehow the circumstances and those affected drag them in. Meanwhile, as they attempt to gather information, life goes on in their community in such activities as a women's club, a social group for those over 50, real estate transactions, numerous stops at the local coffeehouse, and even a shopping trip to Naples. Sydney's husband, Trip, and her friend Marianne Putnam's husband, Beau, are golf buddies who spend many a day on the course. When not there, Trip is busy seeking to build a new post retirement life, and Beau is often prevailed upon to join in Trip's latest activity. Kat Faulkner has lived a frugal life until winning big in a lottery shortly after her mother's death; suddenly, Kat has money and doesn't know how to spend it. But her divorced friend and freelance writer, Micki Demetrius, does, even if it's to guide Kat through a makeover and wardrobe change for her cabaret.
This is the seventh book in the Mah Jongg Mystery series, although each book stands alone. Readers don't need to know how to play mah jongg or even like the game to enjoy the rest of the story, which besides solving a murder spotlights friendship and community. For more information about the author, go to her website at https://www.barbarabarrettbooks.com.