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Working on a television taping to promote the Parke County Covered Bridge Festival, the ladies decide to use their access to the Roseville Bridge to cross an item off Charlotte’s bucket list: #39) Be a Sexy Calendar Girl.
But the photo shoot is interrupted by gunshots and Francine’s cousin William stumbling down the riverbank followed by a man with a gun. William sustains life-threatening injuries, but is it homicide?
Francine and Charlotte go into detective mode to uncover the secret William knew about the shooter. Their success, however, depends on surviving two arson events, a séance, a shortage of Mary Ruth’s wildly popular corn fritter donuts, memory-challenged nursing home residents, and a killer who refuses to go up in flames.
Q: Aloha, and welcome to Island Confidential. Tell our readers a little bit about yourself–maybe something they might not guess?
A: I’m Francine McNamara. I’m 71 years old, and I’ve seen a lot in my lifetime. Certainly my thirty years as a nurse have contributed to that, but ever since Charlotte (my best friend) persuaded each member of our bridge club to come up with a list of sixty bucket list items we’d like to accomplish before we die, life has gotten very interesting. We can’t seem to shake the press from our attempts. It doesn’t help, either, that one of our own members, Joy McQueen, is now a correspondent with Good Morning America reporting on senior activities. Her publicist always wants us in the news. Even given this, it would be a lot easier if didn’t seem to be stumbling over dead bodies at an alarming rate. Jessica Fletcher from Murder, She Wrote has nothing on us, that’s for sure!
But you asked for information about me, didn’t you? Well, I’ve got a husband. We’ve been married for forty-five years now. His name is Jonathan, and he’s a hunk. Even in his seventies, I still find him to be a handsome man. We have three adult sons, Craig, Adam, and Chad. They’re all married and I couldn’t be happier with my daughters-in-law. Okay, that’s not quite true, but I’ve learned over the years not to squabble with the mothers of my grandchildren. And I’d love to tell you about my grandchildren, but I understand you don’t have that long.
So, you asked for some things readers might not know about me. I like puzzles a lot. I don’t talk about it much, but there’s something comforting to me about doing Sudoku. Numbers have always made a lot of sense to me. When I manage to get the lines and boxes of numbers 1-9 together, and they harmoniously live each in their own place, I feel a sense of accomplishment. I always note that my friend Charlotte likes crossword puzzles and reading mysteries and that’s why she wants to solve them, but I’m probably not far behind her.
Q: Who’s the character you get along with the best? Why?
A: I’d like to say that I get along best with Charlotte, but the truth is that while she’s my best friend and I wouldn’t trade our relationship for anything else, I probably get along with Mary Ruth the best. Mary Ruth is a caterer and I love making (and eating) good food. I frequently help her, either in the kitchen or acting as one of her servers, and I enjoy doing that a lot. It’s a good thing I exercise every day and still have a good metabolism, or I’d be gaining weight!
Q: Anyone you don’t get along with so well?
A: Well, Charlotte and I are best friends, as I said, but we frequently disagree over the nature of these investigations we keep finding ourselves in. Really, I’m just trying to keep her out of trouble. She’s terribly impulsive, and I have to control that or she’d find herself in over her head. Of course, she’d probably say I’m not free-thinking enough and that I constrain her ability to get things done. Maybe we’re just a good balance for each other.
Q: Just between you and me: What do you really think of your author?
A: Liz is such a dear. I’d love to have her for a granddaughter! Tony’s a good guy, but he doesn’t know enough about women. It’s a good thing Liz is around to tell him that a woman would never think a certain way. Tony also works too hard to make us look good. He wants everyone to love us, and really, we’re just human. We have as many uncharitable thoughts as the next person, but he’s always trying to hide those kind of things from you readers. Sometimes we just have to insist he let us think the thoughts that we have.
Q: What’s next for you?
A: As you might know if you’ve been reading our adventures, Jonathan and I are working on building a vacation/retreat home for ourselves on the 300 acres I inherited in Parke County, Indiana. There are secrets out there I’m sure we’ve yet to discover. I’m intrigued by the thought that my ancestor Doc Wheat may have located a second spring whose waters are an essential ingredient to the special cures he left us formulas for. I must locate that spring …
About The Authors
Elizabeth Perona is the father/daughter writing team of Tony Perona and Liz Dombrosky. Tony is the author of the Nick Bertetto mystery series, the standalone thriller The Final Mayan Prophecy (with Paul Skorich), and co-editor and contributor to the anthologies Racing Can Be Murder and Hoosier Hoops & Hijinks. Tony is a member of Mystery Writers of America and has served the organization as a member of the Board of Directors and as Treasurer. He is also a member of Sisters-in-Crime.
Liz Dombrosky graduated from Ball State University in the Honors College with a degree in teaching. She is currently a stay-at-home mom. Murder on the Bucket List is her first novel.
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