Craks in a Marriage
(Mah Jongg Mysteries)
by Barbara Barrett
About the Book
Cozy Mystery 1st in Series
Setting - Florida
Self Published (February 6, 2018)
Print Length: 204 pages
When Sydney Bonner overhears a fellow mah jongg player arguing on the phone with her husband, she realizes the couple’s “perfect marriage” isn’t all it appears to be. A few days later, the husband is found dead, his head bashed in. Fearing she’ll be considered the most likely suspect, the widow prevails upon Sydney and her three friends—Marianne, Kat and Micki—to find out who really killed him.Though none of these four fun-loving, take-charge retirees has any training as detectives, the women agree to launch a secret investigation. As they dig under the happy veneer of their community’s social life, they find more than enough suspects, from shady ladies to resentful golf buddies, to keep them looking over their shoulders.Could the murderer be lurking among the talent in a chaotic production put on by Sydney’s husband, who will do anything to keep busy in retirement? Could the sheriff, who may have more than a professional interest in chanteuse Kat, end up pinning the crime on the women instead? Each discovery during their investigations and their weekly mah jongg game keeps them running as they close in on the killer—but the killer may also be closing in on them.
About the Author
Barbara Barrett started reading mysteries when she was pregnant with her first child to keep her mind off things like her changing body and food cravings. When she’d devoured as many Agatha Christies as she could find, she branched out to English village cozies and Ellery Queen.
Later, to avoid a midlife crisis, she began writing fiction at night when she wasn’t at her day job as a human resources analyst for Iowa State Government. After releasing eleven full-length romance novels and one novella, she has returned to the cozy mystery genre, using one of her retirement pastimes, the game of mah jongg, as her inspiration. Not only has it been a great social outlet, it has also helped keep her mind active when not writing.
Craks in a Marriage, the first book in her “Mah Jongg Mystery” series, features four friends who seek the murderer of another mah jongg player’s husband before she is charged. None of the four is based on an actual person. Each is an amalgamation of several mah jongg friends with a lot of Barbara’s imagination thrown in for good measure. The four will continue to appear in future books in the series.Anticipating the day when she would write her first mystery, she has been a member of the Mystery/Romantic Suspense chapter of Romance Writers of America for over a decade. She credits them with helping her hone her craft. Barbara is married to a man she met her senior year of college. They have two grown children and eight grandchildren. Now retired, she is a resident of Florida, although she spends her summers in Iowa, her home state. She earned her B.A. degree in History from the University of Iowa and her Master’s Degree in History from Drake University. When not in front of her laptop creating her next story, she plays Mah Jongg, knits, and enjoys lunches with friends.
Author LinksWebsite - http://www.barbarabarrettbooks.com
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*I received a free copy of this book which I voluntarily chose to write an honest review for.
Strong start to a new series. We get to meet a group of four women who live in a small town in Florida where they are each either retired or housewife's meaning their schedules are flexible. They all play mah jongg together which is nice new twist for a cozy series that I was enjoying as several rules are listed throughout. Things are great until one of their fellow players is accused of killing her husband so she asks them to help clear her name since they are so in tune with the gossip network around town. What follows is a comical investigation as this group tries to keep spouses ignorant while still trying to save the day. This is a must read for fans of cozy mysteries and I personally am looking forward to the next installment. I really enjoyed it so I give it 4/5 stars.
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