What happens when four adventurous friends celebrate the big five-O? Another husband dies trying.
Zelda Carlisle’s birthday cruise in the Galapagos Islands is anything but a smooth sail. Plans go off the rails after she and her three best friends bump into a dead man on deck. When there is no body, there is no crime to ruin their fun, so they hide him and hope no one will notice he’s missing. When their reckless deed lands them in peril, they charm their way through shark-infested waters, a mud spa they didn’t anticipate, and a sexy pirate with something to hide.
Sleuthing falls to Amy Sparks, who discovers all that glitters is not gold on this dicey, deadly sea. If she can’t reel in a ruthless killer, they may never leave the ship alive. PUBLISHED BY SCORPIUS CARTA PRESS MAY 2021.
A crystal-clear panorama of tourmaline blue spread in every direction, with nothing more than the clear window of her mask separating her from the sea and its creatures. From her periphery, she caught the bright colors of the other swimmers, but returned to the blue below, mesmerized by the world that lay before her.
Under the surface, the sea reminded her of how a blanket of snow quieted a landscape. The water felt nearly as cold. She heard her breathing through the snorkel and the muted squeaks of her surprise when a fish swam close. Mostly what filled her ears was the calm, quiet hum of the sea. Not a hum. The absence of a hum, and yet, the sound was not empty.
A school of fish with bright blue and silver bands swam alongside her and then abruptly dispersed, still in perfect formation. Sea stars nestled in the sand were scattered everywhere. One reminded her of chocolate chip cookies. Another of mustard. There was a whole patch of cobalt blue sea stars, with thin spiked legs moving slowly over the pale sand. A motion caught her attention, and suddenly a penguin swam beside her, his feathers surrounded by bubbles from his dive. His eyes seemed curious and suspicious, the same beady-eyed expression from the animated film where penguins saved the world. She laughed into her snorkel and the penguin sped away.
“I don’t think I can do this,” Amy said.
“He’s going to ruin everything if we don’t,” Zelda replied. “We can’t let that happen. You’re my best friend, Amy. I can count on you, right?”
“One, two, three, lift,” Genna charged, and they each hefted a limb.
Amy squeezed her eyes shut.
“Ewf,” Zelda breathed. “He’s heavy. Too heavy.” She teetered on her heels, and the foot she held dropped from her grasp, landing with a dull thud to the deck. Zelda gagged.
“In for a penny, in for a pound,” Rian said. “One, two, three.”
The body landed with a thump in the towel cart. Rian pushed lightly at the hand caught on the cart rail. They covered him with the towels and rolled the bin back into place.
“What is it with us and dead husbands?” she asked.
“Wasbunds,” Genna said. “A husband that was.”
“That’s not funny,” Zelda said.
“It is, too.”
“I had a husband that was,” Zelda said.
Amy glanced at Rian. “Déjà vu! Another murder, right under our nose.”
“Yes,” Genna agreed, “and there’s no shortage of suspects in this dicey, pricey game of sneaking around.”
“Who’s sneaking around?” Zelda asked.
“We are!" Amy exclaimed. "We may need that get out jail free lawyer after all!”
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Scorpius Carta Press