Tuesday, May 29, 2012

ExcerpTuesday: Marilyn Levinson

Excerpt of GIVING UP THE GHOST by Marilyn Levinson: “Trust me, Darren was never a slouch in that department. But he used to be smart enough to separate business from pleasure.” Cam’s face tightened. “For once our police chief wasn’t as thorough as he should have been.” “What do you mean?” It felt surreal, talking to a ghost about his murder. Cam pointed toward the beach. “Darren knows better than anyone how many times I scrambled down that cliff when we were young. Hell, we both did. We had some great contests, which is how one Saturday night in our senior year I broke my leg and he sprained his wrist. Pissed off our coach for keeping our basketball team out of the finals. “And that ancient has-been who examined me afterward missed every sign that I was struck down, right here in this room.” “Darren said they found you down at the beach.”
“Yes, but it happened here. In this room.” Gabbie opened her mouth to argue, until she remembered the den’s piercing coldness the night before when Cam first appeared. Just now, he hadn’t followed her into the kitchen because he couldn’t. The den was the only room in the cottage where he could appear. “I understand,” she said slowly, marveling at her use of logic to support what a ghost was telling her about his death. “What isn’t clear is, since you know it happened here in this room, why don’t you know who did it?” “Because,” he said slowly, as though he were speaking to an idiot, “I was struck from behind.” “Oh.” Gabbie sank onto the couch to absorb this information. She was vaguely aware that Cam had started pacing. He seemed to be waiting for her to speak. “Who do you think did it?” Cam scratched his forehead. He looked embarrassed. “It could be any one of a handful of people.” Gabbie gulped. “A handful? You mean like more than one?” He cleared his throat. “More like four. Six on the outside.” “Six! Six mortal enemies? You must have been a real upstanding citizen.” “I was what you’d call an entrepreneur.” Gabbie tossed back her head and let out a guffaw. “A wheeler-dealer, was what I was told.” “That’s a bit harsh.” “But accurate, I bet. I know your type. I just divorced the king of connivers.” “And how is he managing without you?” Cam said. “He’s in jail where he belongs. I helped put him there.” “Oh.” Cam fell silent. Gabbie was pleased to hear a note of respect in his voice when he said, “You’re one formidable woman.” “I certainly hope so,” she said, with more confidence than she felt. Paul’s arrest, trial, and the subsequent divorce had knocked the stuffing out of her, and she was just beginning to feel like herself again.
Blurb for GIVING UP THE GHOST: Gabbie Meyerson moves to a village on Long Island in midwinter to teach English at the local high school. She discovers she’s sharing her cottage with the ghost of Cameron Leeds, the previous owner who, erroneously, is thought to have fallen to his death. Cam convinces Gabbie to investigate his murder. Though she’s not interested in romance, she finds herself attracted to the village lawman. In school, Gabbie must deal with the local bullies who torment one of her students. When one of them is killed, Gabbie wonders if his murder and Cam’s are connected. Bio: A former Spanish teacher, Marilyn Levinson writes mysteries, romance, and novels for children. Her mystery, A MURDERER AMONG US, was a Suspense Magazine Best Indie of 2011. She is co-founder and president of Long Island Sisters in Crime. The mother of two grown sons, she lives on Long Island with her husband and their red cat, Sammy.

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