Living in Paradise

The Prince and My Book

The Prince and My Book

I watched the funeral of Prince Philip today and found myself feeling wistful.

I was thinking about those days when acting with dignity and respect for others was expected … where people didn’t come to funerals wearing jeans and carrying their cell phones … where a life well-lived that included service to others was something to celebrate.

And where a person like Prince Philip could make a snarky comment now and then without being canceled. Here was an alpha male who understood what it meant to be a man and was still willing to walk two steps behind his Queen.

Those days of courtesy and kindness still exist among most of my friends who genuinely care about others. But it feels like so many in the younger generations always have an axe to grind, a self-interest to nurture, a judgment to pass about others, a complaint to lodge. It’s all about me.

I sent my granddaughter, a college grad, a check and a little note the other day. I said I was proud of her and hoped she had a good life. Then I passed on some grandmotherly advice: “Others matter; don’t judge.”

I hope my words are meaningful to her. We can’t let those values disappear.

***

If you are lining up books for the summer, be sure to include Scavenger Tides, my newest novel.

It’s a mystery that takes place in southwest Florida. The characters are fictitious, although there is a nod to a couple of my real-life compadres, Dianna the hair stylist and Candace the jeweler.

Here’s the story: When our heroine Leslie Elliott quits her public relations job to move to a small island in southwest Florida, her dream of becoming a mystery writer threatens to become a nightmare as buzzards lead her to a headless dog carcass and a human body rolls in with the summer storms and then disappears, only to reappear and vanish again.

Leslie’s search for answers and her run-ins with the sheriff take her on a journey that involves a fisherman with too many secrets, a local couple struggling to survive in a millionaire’s playground and dangerous men who will stop at nothing to protect their lucrative criminal activities.

Stephanie Williams, one of the co-leaders of the Sleuth Book Club on the island, reviewed the mystery and said: “The plot moves quickly, the characters are realistic and believable and the dialogue funny as well as accurate. Read it in one setting with a break for dinner and then back to Scavenger Tides.”

I started the book a couple of years ago and polished it up during the Covid summer. The mystery is a sequel to my first novel, Leslie’s Voice. Incidents in the book incorporate stories from the area’s past, which included drug-running at the little airport not far from where I live.

My next book, another mystery, is underway. It’s loosely based on a shooting that took place on the island several decades ago. My main character, Leslie, and reporter sidekick, Wes Avery, will feature in this novel as they have in the last two.

Scavenger Tides and Leslie’s Voice are available in Kindle and paperback versions through Amazon. Please check them out.

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