Genre: Adult Romantic Mystery
Word Count: 89,000
My Main Character is most uncomfortable with:
Snow is demonstrably inferior to sun. Many civilizations have worshipped the sun – realizing that, without it, life would be impossible. No photosynthesis would mean no food, while no Vitamin D production from sunshine would remove the strength to go get food even if it existed. But you can live quite comfortably without snow. You can plan for sunny weather, too. However, snowfall is unpredictable, tricky, and sometimes unsafe. And did humans evolve in the Arctic? Of course not. Honestly, then, why would any rational person be at ease around frozen water unless it’s cooling a lovely single-malt Scotch?
So what if Beth Macdonald can't rationalize how her Ph.D. in medieval and early modern Scottish history qualifies her for the big bucks? Dorie Campbell, star of DC society and overly generous art dealer, has materialized and rescued her from a life of temp work. Beth's not going to lose this chance at permanent employment. Besides, the dream position comes complete with rich, hunky accountant Ted Bruce, who acts so smitten that he even tracks down and reads her damn dissertation.
However, the last time a Macdonald trusted the Bloody Campbells, the Glencoe Massacre followed. Perhaps Beth could try to disregard history, too. Only the unsettling, present-day facts can't be ignored – her employer's peculiar behavior and prolific lies, the hinky business records, and the sudden disappearance of Beth's predecessor. The IRS is asking questions.
A member of the local Mob family has some, too.
Beth realizes it's time to wake up and smell the Scotch. She needs to brush off her grad school skills and research the possible misdeeds of some modern Campbells. A more difficult task may be protecting herself from her stunning new admirer. Ted could a part of whatever's going on, and he once pursued Mrs. Campbell's missing previous assistant just as hard. She turned him down.
Thank you for your time and consideration.
First 250 words:
What if I answered: "People don't appreciate being told they're wrong, even in academia. With two degrees only useful for life as a professor – and having turned any scholastic bridges into charcoal – I became an office temp. But I've always longed for a permanent position where truth is valued."
No, Beth. No. The longer I sat in my car outside the imposing gates to the Campbell’s Potomac estate, the more idiotic became my imagined interview answers. I wanted to sound like a principled teller of truth, not a pain in the ass. Of course, Mom insisted I was more frequently the latter, but I couldn’t think now about all the shortcomings she perceived in me.
I lacked a polished spiel. This was my first shot at a permanent position, and it had come without much time to prepare. I had to finesse the issue. Miss Brooks, owner of Capitol Temporary Services, claimed I shouldn't mention my degrees to potential employers lest I seem too overqualified or snooty to tackle their grunt work. My defense-attorney dad said the same thing: don't volunteer unfortunate facts.
I suppose they were right. For instance, I’d told Miss Brooks she’d misnamed the firm. There was no capitol in Columbia, Maryland. Capital was a more accurate and positive word, associated with both useful resources and the hockey team popular in the area. She hadn’t appreciated my knowledge base.
I’d impressed my boss this morning, though. Dorie Campbell, art dealer and luminary of DC society, had called Capitol to say she wanted a new permanent assistant: me.