by Sandra Murphy
Details at the end of this post on how to enter to win a copy of The Corpse with the Ruby Lips. We also have a link to order it from Amazon, and from an indie bookstore where a portion goes to help support KRL.
Cait Morgan is teaching in Budapest. Parts of it she likes, some not so much. She’s almost fifty and newly married, less than a year in fact, and misses her husband, Bud. He’s back in the States, helping his father take care of his mother until she’s back on her feet. He’s due to spend the last week of her stay with her and neither can wait to see each other. Nightly Skype sessions aren’t enough.
There’s nothing like a mystery to break up the monotony of classes, research, and missing Bud. Zsofia Takacs, a student, says her grandmother was murdered; would Cait help find out who did it? The family won’t talk about it. It’s not a current case. The murder happened in 1976 in Canada, at the campus where Cait usually teaches. Ilona was on the bike path. Her body was found hours later by a student. That night there were torrential rains that managed to wash away much of the evidence. All that is known is she was struck by a rock.
Bud’s a former police officer, now retired. He’s still got contacts and can use them to ask about the cold case. Many of the officers involved have now died but junior officers remember. The family alibied each other—a thirteen year old girl, her nineteen year old brother, and their father. It was graduation weekend at the college, so there were more people around than usual.
Ilona was rumored to be attracted to young men, almost her son’s age. She’d also fled Budapest after working as an interpreter and may have heard something she shouldn’t. The case remains open but not active. Between what Cait learns from the family and what Bud learns from the police department, they still don’t have much to go on.
Zsofia’s family is wealthy but weird. Her uncle has Alzheimer’s so there are good days and bad. Her mother drinks wine like others drink soda. She rarely seems drunk which is a pretty good indicator that she’s done this for a long while and has a great tolerance for alcohol. Zsofia is determined to know what happened to her grandmother.
Cait is someone you’d like to have as a friend. She doesn’t have many. She and Bud are obviously in love and not afraid to show affection and give each other support as needed. Zsofia’s family would be tempting to know but might have you running scared after you see them in action.
The mystery is a complex one. The setting of Budapest adds flavor. Side characters include a smarmy professor who always seems to be underfoot, Zsofia’s extended family, and Bud’s contacts. Just keep in mind, not everyone tells the truth, not everyone is who they say they are, and people should be careful what they wish for—the reality of getting the wish granted can have long-lasting consequences.
To enter to win a copy of The Corpse with the Ruby Lips, simply email KRL at krlcontests@gmail[dot]com by replacing the [dot] with a period, and with the subject line “lips,” or comment on this article. A winner will be chosen December 31, 2016. U.S. residents only. If entering via email please include your mailing address, and if via comment please include your email address.
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