Happy Memorial Day! Today’s spotlight features A Foolish Plucking by Dee Wilbur, the pen name for Texas authors, Charles Yates and Dee Pipes. Take a moment to check out this mystery, read the excerpt, and enter the giveaway for your chance to win a copy of Wilbur’s A Jealous God, the first book in their series.
Genres: Mystery, Cozy Mystery
Publication Date: August 2013
In their book, A Foolish Plucking, Dee Pipes and Charlie Yates, writing as Dee Wilbur, are again telling the truth about Richmond, Texas (as well as a few lies). They’ve expanded Jon Miller’s area of operations to include Liberty, Texas, Dee’s home town. She demanded equal time with Richmond so much of the story is centered in Liberty. But not to limit themselves, they’ve also had some of the story take place in Victoria, Texas. You can’t confine a great man like Jon Miller.
–It’s all fun and games ‘til someone gets a conviction–
Gary is a lush and a womanizer. On that everyone agrees. But is he a murderer? The police sure think so. Gary denies it, and the police don’t have a corpse. But they do have the big fight at the country club, his wife’s blood behind the bed, in the shower drain, and in the back of her Escalade, and Gary’s lack of an alibi. The jury agrees with the police.
Gary’s mistress leaves Dayton with Gary’s child and moves to Richmond, to be nearby for her once a month visits with him in the Vance Unit (a Texas State Prison in Sugar Land). She hears of Jon through Lulu, her new boss, and enlists his aid in trying to get Gary a new trial.
In the meantime Jon and Sandy are dealing with a family problem. Why haven’t Jon’s brother and sister-in-law ever shown up at any of their events. It isn’t because Sandy’s cooking is bad.
All in all it stirs up a nice little brew of a mystery that’ll keep you busy for an afternoon or two.
A tall, striking brunette dressed in jeans and a bright green sweater walked in the front door of Lulu’s Flower Shop on Morton Street in historic downtown Richmond, taking the sign out of the window as she entered.
“Hey, what are you doing?” bellowed a voice from the rear of the store.
“It says ‘Help Wanted Experienced Floral Arranger, Apply Within.’ Well, that’s me. I’m Melissa Kynett, formerly from Dayton, now from Richmond. I worked for ten years picking up posies and puttin’ ’em in a basket before I moved here.”
“I’m Lulu, and I own this shop. Let’s see what you can do.”
“I need a casket spray in fall colors, no chrysanthemums, ,” Lulu continued, sizing up the young woman. “And a dozen red roses for a centerpiece. They’ve got to be ready to go out the back door in thirty minutes. I’m gonna go next door and get a sandwich. Be sure to answer the phone and listen for the bell that sounds when a customer comes in.”
“Nothing like a trial by fire,” Melissa said, picking up the clippers and glancing around the work room.
“If you’re good, you should have no trouble. If you’re not good, I don’t want you. Be back in a little while. Try not to waste too much. Good luck.”
Twenty-five minutes later, Lulu returned. Melissa sat behind the desk reading a paperback novel.
“What’s the matter? Couldn’t cut it?” sniped Lulu.
“Look before you leap, or yap,” said Melissa.
A beautiful casket spray of greens, golds, yellows, and browns lay on the cutting table. A square, gold box held one dozen red roses in four rows of three. The arrangement was stunningly elegant in its simplicity.
“O.K. You got the job. Two weeks of paid vacation; one week available after six months.”
“I’ll take it, but I get to take one Friday a month off,” she answered, too overconfidently for one who had just gotten a job. “If I have to, I’ll work another day or do something else to make up for it.”
“Why do you need the Friday off?”
“It’s a long story.”
“I got time. You can tell me as we deliver these. You’ll need to start learning where places are so you can do the deliveries,” said Lulu. “Now what makes you think you need one Friday off each month?”
“I lived in Dayton, Texas, most of my life. I worked as a florist, and then I had a little shop of my own. There was this guy, really good looking who would come into my shop several times a year to buy flowers for his wife. One thing led to another after my boyfriend jilted me, I started going out with this guy.
“Well, then my old boyfriend came back through town, and we had a one-night stand for old times’ sake. Wouldn’t you know it, he brought me a present. I got the clap, and gave it to Gary, who bought the flowers for his wife. So along with the roses, he gave her an STD, as the socially elite call it. We all got treated with a bunch of high-test antibiotics and got to talk to the public health epidemiologist. And we all got over it, but she was pretty pissed off at him for a long time. Said she was positive she got it from him.
“About a year after our shared health experience, Gary’s wife disappeared,” Melissa continued.
“Yeah, I heard about it. Didn’t he kill her after the Valentine’s Day dance? It made Fox and CNN. The case went on, it seemed like forever. I remember when his mistress was interviewed on T.V. Yipes, that was you,” Lulu said, looking at her passenger more closely.
“Yeah, pouring my heart out. I never really did think he did it, but they found her blood in the bathtub drain, on the wall behind the bed, and in the back end of her SUV. They said the DNA matched perfectly. They never did find the body, and Gary maintains to this day that he didn’t do it.
“About a month or so after Gary was charged, I turned up pregnant. Seems he’d given me another present. The guy’s always giving me something. Since he’s taken up residence at the Vance Prison Unit in Sugarland, I moved to Richmond with my daughter.”
Find on Amazon: A Foolish Plucking (Richmond Series)
Dee Wilbur is the pen name of Charles Yates and Dee Pipes.
A Texas native, Charles (Wilbur) Yates, Jr., was reared in a small Texas town, Rosenberg. He graduated from Rice University in Houston with a B.A. and Ph.D. in Biology. He received the M.D. degree from the University of Texas Southwestern Medical School in Dallas. He was in the private practice of radiology for thirty years before retiring in 2001. He has been married to his wife Sally for fifty years. They have four adult sons and eight grandchildren. He now tends his garden in Richmond, Texas.
Also a Texas native, Beatrice (Dee) Pipes grew up in another small Texas town, Liberty. Her degree from Rice University is a B.A. in English. She holds two patents from her work at Compaq Computer Corporation. She currently runs a company that helps other companies with marketing, project management, and other tasks. She has been married to her husband Bryan for over thirty-five years.
Connect With Dee Wilbur: Facebook
The authors are giving away four electronic copies of A Jealous God, the first book in their series.
Open internationally, 18 and over, please!
The giveaway will run 5/1/14 – 5/30/14.