How could a thirty-something man fall to his death from a fourth-floor balcony he knows is
defective? That’s the question freelance writer Micki Demetrius is asked to answer by the
man’s grieving mother, Clarissa White, who refuses to believe his death was an unfortunate
accident. But when the authorities determine it was homicide, Micki is shut out of her
Giving up is easier said than done for Micki. She can’t resist a mystery, and suspicious
characters won’t leave Clarissa alone, from the woman claiming a stake in the victim’s life to a
cagey character who wants his business. As the threat to Clarissa grows, Micki feels compelled
to help her in spite of the danger.
Micki’s three mah jongg pals—Sydney Bonner, Marianne Putnam and Katrina, Kat, Faulkner—are drawn into the mystery, but the retirees have their own challenges. Syd and husband Trip do grandparent duty while their daughter deals with marital issues. Marianne “finds herself” by writing a one-act play. And Kat must decide how public to go with her growing friendship with the sheriff. Together, they must connect the dots in a nefarious web of greed, neglect, secrecy and murder.
This cozy mystery, the third of the Mah Jongg Mystery series, again is titled after one of the three suits of mah jongg tiles, the Dots. The first two books, Craks in a Marriage and Bamboozled, were named after the other two, Craks (Characters) and Bams (Bamboo).
Connect the Dots
The Mah Jongg Mysteries Book 3
By Barbara Barrett
The itching of Micki’s palms that had begun back at the hardware store increased at the same time her stomach toppled into the nether regions of her abdomen. Please don’t let this be what I think it is. She parked her car as close as she could and got out, her heart thumping wildly.
She spotted a deputy about fifty feet away and headed toward him for answers. “What’s up?”
“Do you live here, ma’am?”
“Uh, no. But I was coming to see someone who does. Is something wrong in the building?”
“There’s been an accident. I can’t let you pass right now.”
About then, the EMS vehicle came through, although it couldn’t go very fast due to all the onlookers and other cars parked willy-nilly around the area.
Unable to get any specific information from the officer, she did the next best thing: she went over to a group of spectators. “Anyone know what’s going on?”
A young woman in running clothes stuck her water bottle in an oversized pocket. “Someone fell from the building.”
Micki’s heart lurched. “Do you know who? Someone who lives here?”
“They won’t say. That woman over there, the one talking to the deputies, is supposedly the one who found him.”
“Him? So it’s a man? Or a boy?”
“I think it’s a man, but they wouldn’t let us near enough to see,” the runner replied.
“Is he … ”
“Dead? Don’t know for sure.”
All she could think of was that someone had inadvertently gone out on Clarissa’s balcony and it had given way, sending them plunging. Maybe there were other balconies with defects in the building besides Clarissa’s. She’d hang around a bit longer to see what else she could learn. All she knew now was that this was serious business. If the balconies were at fault, she might not have to write the article. The public would surely notice now.
“Micki?” The woman’s voice that called her sounded like a wisp of a more familiar one.
Clarissa was being led to a sheriff’s car by Rick Formero. At least it appeared to be Clarissa, although this woman’s face was streaked, make-up running and she could barely put one foot in front of the other. She leaned into the sheriff and said something.
They stopped and Formero gestured for Micki to join them. “Are you a friend of Mrs. White’s?”
“We play mah jongg together.”
“She’s had a terrible shock and could use a friend right now.”
“What kind of shock?” Micki asked.
Clarissa turned her tearful eyes at her. “It’s Michael. He’s dead.”
WHAT REVIEWERS ARE SAYING
“Connect the Dots by Barbara Barrett is a five-star read that kept me entertained and wanting to know what happens next. I had a feeling about who did it, but I wasn’t sure if I was right. Ms. Barrett’s mystery, characters, and the setting were fabulous. I look forward to reading her next book in the series.”
– Baroness’ Book Trove
“Barrett does a remarkable job of keeping the reader guessing as the story unfolds. The use of an older set of characters is quite nice as well for change.”
–Books A Plenty Reviews
“It is a great book in which in addition to the mystery to be solved, the protagonist is friendship, it was very fun to read the adventures of Micki and her formidable group of friends.”
“The girls are a fun group and their significant others and husbands bring some humor to their adventures.”
-My Reading Journey
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