||Oak Tree Press
Oak Tree Press
Marja McGraw - Mystery Writer
You know your day has taken a turn for the worse when you buy a vintage house to convert into a restaurant, and your two yellow Labrador retrievers find a vintage body buried in the basement.
Chris Cross and his wife, Pamela, are about to learn that a seven-year-old son, two yellow Labrador retrievers and seniors are all forces to be reckoned with in the course of this case.
Chris Cross, who bears a striking resemblance to Humphrey Bogart, and his wife, Pamela, lose their forties-themed restaurant to a fire. After buying a 1920s brick house to convert into a new restaurant, their Labrador retrievers discover a body buried in the basement that's rested there since 1942. Because of Chris' notoriety from a case he was involved in earlier, the victim's family approaches him and asks him and his wife to find out what happened all those years ago.
The home had been a boarding house during the forties, the time period when the body was buried, so they have plenty of suspects to work with while they figure out what happened. Something that comes across in the course of the story is that senior citizens can be a force to be reckoned with, so don't sell them short.
"So you and your husband want to convert this house into a restaurant?" Max asked.
"That's the general idea," I replied. "It seems like we'd have an awful lot of work to do to make that happen though."
I waited impatiently while Chris was gone, worried about Sherlock and Watson. I felt really antsy when I heard Watson begin to whine.
"What's going on down there?" I called, wishing they could answer me. It was too dark to climb down the stairs.
Chris returned with the flashlight and turned it on, carefully climbing down the stairs. I followed closely behind him. "What's wrong with the dog?" he asked.
"I have no idea, but let's get them out of here."
Chris turned the light on the dogs and Watson was scratching at a patch of cement in the corner of the cellar. There was a large old barrel sitting on top of it. I wondered if something might have leaked out of the bottom. I noticed another patch on the other side of the cellar. It appeared that at some point in time someone had thought about finishing off the cellar.
Watson, leave it," Chris ordered. Leave it was a command we'd learned when trainig them along with take it. It was a good lesson in patience for them.
Not only did Watson ignore Chris, but Sherlock began whining, too, and the scratching continued.
"Out," Chris ordered. "Right now!" He was using his authoratative voice, but the dogs weren't listening. He grabbed Sherlock's collar and pulled. He repeated his command and the dog reluctantly obeyed, heading for the stairs. Watson was more stubborn, but finally obeyed and followed Sherlock.
I felt like all the time and energy we'd spent training them had been a waste, but they truly usually obeyed us.
"I wonder what that was all about," I said.
"Probably a dead body buried down here," Chris said.
"Not funny, Bogey Man."
He smiled at my use of his nickname. "I was joking. Those dogs are always getting into things. If we buy this place I'll get rid of the barrel and that should solve the problem."
"I hope you're right."
What would you do if you found a skeleton buried in a house that you wanted to turn into a restaurant? In Bogey Nights youíll learn how Pamela and Chris, who lost their first restaurant in a fire, take on the challenge of finding out the identity of the body they find while renovating the old house. The problem is, more bodies turn up and Pamelaís sonís fascination with the discoveries causes him problems at school. Marja McGraw has created a fascinating mystery with unusual characters, a bit of romance, plenty of twists and turns, and dogs named Watson and Sherlock. What mystery reader could ask for more?
-- Marilyn Meredith, author of An Axe to Grind and other mysteries
A Winner, Bogey Nights
Marja McGraw leads us into a delightful mystery laced with a combination of intrigue and humor seasoned with a vintage flair. Her characters are fully drawn, and you feel like you know them, or would like to know them.
Bogie Nights opens as a fire rages through a restaurant bustling with people whose names are recognizable as movie stars of yesteryear. At first impression it seems this is a story set in the 40ís or 50ís. However, it turns out the burning restaurant had a vintage theme, and owners Pam and her husband Chris, a Humphrey Bogart lookalike, have just had the worst possible thing happen.
Dazed they realize with relief all the diners and employees escaped. Then their dogs run back into burning building and the canines pull the chef to safety. Thanks to a grease fire, when the flames finally die all thatís left of their restaurant is ashes and itís clear there would have been a casualty if the dogs hadnít been heroes.
Pam and Chris recover from the initial shock of the fire, agreeing they have get back on the horse, so to speak. They check out a location they knew aboutóone Chris had actually scouted before the tragedy.
The 1920ís house was about to slip into foreclosure, and although it begs for a lot of work, they decide to go for it anyway because it offers wonderful possibilities.
After escrow has closed, the dogs, Sherlock and Watson, are drawn to the cellar. They persist in barking and pawing a slab of cement, arousing Pamelaís curiosity. What are they after, anyway?
What Sherlock and Watson have led them to is something that happens in the movies. Much to their dismay, a nosy reporter is in on the find. Will they still be able to open their restaurant in the great old house? Will the reporter be a help or their worst nightmare? This and more adds spice to the plot.
Pamela loves a mystery, and finds herself being drawn into the one that now seems to surround the discovery in the cellar.
This is a well written book that moves along at a speedy but comfortable pace, making you want to leap from chapter to chapter so you can find out what happens next. My kind of book, and I highly recommend it!
-- Morgan St. James, Award Winning Author of the Silver Sisters Mysteries
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